Empty Brass Art

Ronald Reagan
John Wayne

AR-15.com reports

The shading was done by pouring gunpowder on the brass and lighting it up, with the darker areas being flashed subsequent times. The art is incredibly well done and the idea is pretty cool, but $40K cool?

A bit about the artist who live is Laguna Beach, CA:

“David Palmer, who is not a fan of guns, intends neither to glorify nor criticize gun use and ownership, but merely to point out its significance in culture and society.”

“Adapting his theme a little to include icons of gun culture and not just those who have met their demise by their use, Palmer just released “The Duke”, honoring western and war film icon John Wayne.”

Gun art does not usually appeal to me, but these do. Sadly, as usual, it is done by an artist trying to be edgy by delving into the dark arts of gun ownership, not a gun nut like you and me.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if thousands of reloaders facepalmed in unison

  • Anonymoose

    I would have made the John Wayne one out of .45LC casings…or perhaps .30-30 or M193 brass.

    I would have made the Ronald Reagan out of something fired through a machinegun, or perhaps Red Chinese 7.62×39 brass, because it would be humorously ironic.

    • Anonymoose

      *44-40, not 30-30

    • Burst

      Reagan was shot by a .22. I’m pretty sure he’s got ‘humorously ironic’ covered.

  • bbmg

    I’d have been more impressed if the had pre-shaded brass and assembled them into an image, as opposed to putting together a brass canvas as it were and “painting” on it.

  • Trev

    Anybody who believes Ronald Reagan was friend of the gun community better have a good reason why I can’t transfer a machine gun made past May of 1986.

    Won’t even get into his doings in California or his support of the AWB.

    Then again, maybe the artist picked Reagan because he was shot.

  • gunslinger

    art is worth what someone will pay for it.

  • nil8tor

    Here’s an artist who creates with guns and is a collector of guns as well, so supporting him is supporting actual gun owners, unlike the other artists you’ll find that use guns in their art.


  • gdeck

    “Sadly, as usual, it is done by an artist trying to be edgy by delving into the dark arts of gun ownership”

    The OP seems pretty presumptuous and insulting to the artist. Where did the artist say they were trying to be edgy? Or that they considered gun ownership a dark art? If the literal statement is “not a fan of guns” that doesn’t mean they have to be anti-gun either. Because his explicit statement of “intends neither to glorify nor criticize gun use and ownership, but merely to point out its significance in culture and society” seems pretty neutral, and a wholly factually accurate statement

    This whole “if you’re not a gun nut then you’re not good enough” is very divisive and likely unproductive point of view. An artist feels comfortable working with gun based art, making interesting art that respects the medium they’ve chosen, well twist their words however you like, but the artist has already spoken with his speech louder than words in a way that is fairly positive.

  • Lance

    Like it. But no Clint Eastwood??? Use of .45 brass is good 9mm would have used alot more brass for 1/2 the space.

    • Lance

      If they make one of Eastwood have to use .44 mag brass 😉

      I agree with today ammo prices and a reloader its hard not to cry.

      • Anonymoose

        Actually, in the Dirty Harry series the revolver Clint Eastwood actually shot was a S&W Model 25 in .45LC as .44 Magnum blanks didn’t exist at that time, and he used .45LC revolvers in almost all of his Westerns (with the exceptions of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, The Outlaw Jose Wales, and Unforgiven).

      • Anonymoose

        Actually the “Henry rifle” he used in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was also probably loaded with 5-in-1 blanks, so I guess in a way he sort of used .45LC in that movie too.

  • John Doe

    Thousands of reloaders’ hearts just exploded.

  • There is a guy in China who uses gunpowder as a medium to “paint”