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Ask the Armed Intelligentsia: .45 Tire Valve Caps?

Bullet caps on wheel (courtesy Adam Rogers for The Truth About Guns)

Back in the day, inventor and Navy vet Alex Bosco sent us an email asking if we’d do a story on his prototype AR-pistol arm brace. He needed investors. We posted pics of the styrofoam mock-up. The rest is history. And now we present a request from reader/inventor/machinist Adam Rogers: what do you think of ARTactical bullet caps? [Available for purchase at the link, no kick-back to TTAG.] Here’s his full enquiry . . .

I was wanting your opinion on a product that I have started making. They are just little things, but I like people’s opinion on stuff. They are Bullet Caps, valve stem caps for you vehicles and bikes. They work on anything that has a Schrader valve.

I first made a little set for myself, and then decided it would be cool to see if I could make something of it. They are made in Salt Lake where I live. I made them to fall within the tolerances of SAAMI specs of a 45 ACP. I had to go with a 45 cartridge because the wall thickness of the other sizes could cause failure with the caps under stress of the revolution of the tire. I have also lightened them inside so they are light enough not to cause any problems when put on a valve stem.

Bullet caps (courtesy Adam Rogers for The Truth About Guns)

I’m a gunsmith and machinist by trade with a background in auto mechanics so this was destined to happen. The whole reason behind it was because somehow, one of the four valve caps on my truck didn’t match the other three. This prompted me to just make another to match the other three. It was only a brief thought before I just decided to make something of my own. I happened to put the valve cap I was going to model the replacement after next to a 45 that was sitting on my bench, and that gave the idea.

Now, I did look them up to see if this was already being done, and it was. However, I do things in great detail, and the ones that were offered all looked like cheap knock offs with very little detail. There was no way I was going to buy one of the cheap looking caps I had seen in my searches. So, I decided to just make my own, with great detail. That led me to making my Bullet Caps.

I never knew how many people actually look at your wheels, but quite a few people do. I’ve been told how neat they were, and sold a few just from people seeing them in the grocery store parking lot. I’ve also got a scowl from a passer by… Anyway, I was wondering what you guys thought about them?

Adam’s given TTAG a set to give away to one lucky reader. SO enter your comment below and we’ll pick one at random to receive four of them to spruce up the vehicle of your choice.


  1. avatar Matt says:

    Those look sweet.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      They’re cool but I bet kids would steel them within a few weeks.

      1. avatar franklin the turtle says:

        they sure will taken by the kids (all the adult kids will want them too)

  2. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Hey, real cool — as long as the ATF doesn’t rule that installing such a valve cap then changes the definition of the valve itself into a Short-Valved Destructive Device

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      ^ . . . and he didn’t use .40 S&W because of the casing’s “wall thickness” yeah right.

      We all know he did because .40 is too ‘snappy’ and no one wants a snapped valve stem.

    2. avatar Jon says:

      Its all fine as long as you dont shoulder the tire with these installed.

  3. avatar Stu says:

    What is the pricing for a set?

  4. avatar Matt Richardson says:


    Novel, but I just don’t understand the value of fancy valve caps at all. The little plastic ones work just fine. I know a lot of people like to spend money on stuff like this for their vehicles, how much crossover is there between gun people and car people?

    If there’s a market for the product, blow it open and more power to you.

    1. Use them as dummy rounds for training.

    2. avatar 277Volt says:

      Think of it as how those little plastic hand guards that come with an AR work fine but plenty of folks like having fancy aluminum ones.

  5. avatar Phil LA says:

    [Insert caliber-war joke]

    1. Press and release the accelerator just once and the momentum of the .45 valve caps will get you to your destination.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Yes, but what about your soul?

  6. avatar Brick says:

    I like it!

    Be sure to offer different finishes on them. Probably start with aluminum and chrome, then anodized colors?

    You’ll have a big market with the hot rod and rat rod guys.

    1. avatar rip_vw32 says:

      I was totally thinking about an anodized version! Red/Silver/Blue variants!

  7. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Put them on and and I bet they’d sell.

  8. avatar matty 9 says:

    Will .308 or .270 be available soon? Maybe 50 BMG for the tractor????

  9. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    I like them and would buy them, if I didn’t know they’d get stolen the first week.

  10. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    Smith & Wesson .40 brass fits right over most valve stem caps. Just sayin’

    1. avatar MarkB says:

      Yep! I just put some epoxy inside the casings and slipped them over the regular plastic caps. Works great!

  11. avatar thepotato says:

    Take my money!

  12. avatar slowermonkey76 says:

    Should only need one. Maybe you should make some 9mm ones, that way I would feel better about using four. (Sarc)

    1. avatar CGinTX says:

      Good one 🙂

    2. avatar Morgan Gatorsee says:

      LOL Best post of the month

    3. avatar jonwaynetaylor says:

      Clap. Clap. Clap.

  13. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Bang bling? ………
    Or…bling with a bang?

  14. avatar CGinTX says:

    I’d like to know how much they weigh, but I think they’re cool!

  15. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    Not much for bling-y wheels in any form, but I will say that I’d prefer to see these on someone’s car than the stupid set of balls hanging off a trailer hitch. That, and anything worth doing is worth doing right, and these look well done. Might want to add a caution that, since they are SAAMI spec and will fit in a chamber, that they are not intended to be used as snap caps. Otherwise some numbnut might take them off the car to dry-fire, potentially damaging the gun if they are dirty, deformed, or pock-marked from being on the road. Not to mention that they do not function as snap caps, as the firing pin still has nothing to hit.

  16. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    very nice. I used to have a full set of some little blue anodized aluminum caps, they kept getting swiped. I would put these on a show car maybe, but not something your going to leave unattended for more then 10 minutes in a walmart parking lot.

  17. avatar Jon says:

    I would replace my valve caps with these.

  18. avatar Red In Texas says:

    They would be cool for hunting vehicles too.

    1. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

      what vehicles are in season near you?

        1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          I always wanted to bag a impala myself….

  19. avatar Kevin says:

    Looks like something more geared towards the motorcycle market.

    1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

      I made a pair of 9mm valve caps for my motorcycle. First I sanded down the ridges of a couple of standard valve caps.Then I put a couple of drops of super glue in 2 spent 9mm casings. Using my vise, I pressed the caps into the casings and “Voila”. They look sharp!

  20. avatar Alex Waits says:

    the rounds are in that mag backwards.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      I see what you did there.

  21. avatar Ilya says:

    That’s cool

  22. avatar Tessius says:

    Wish I had a set, they look awesome!

  23. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Instantly adds 50 lbs-ft of torque and teaches you karate.

  24. avatar Sian says:

    Would be stolen inside a week.

    This is why I have plain valve caps.

    1. avatar kapeltam says:

      I can’t even have plain plastic ones because they get stolen.

  25. avatar nemsis says:

    “I’d buy that for a dollar”

  26. avatar Gunr says:

    How long have they been in use on a vehicle, might find that over time the weight WILL do damage to the stem??

  27. avatar Gene says:

    Washinton DC felony right there.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      My thought at first, but I thought that applies only to “real” reloading components.

      I have heard of people getting busted for .40 case valve stem covers. But these are something very different, they are not and never have been ammunition nor a component thereof.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Maybe so, but Police arrest, Prosecutors prosecute, courts sort it out. Those groups will still go home at night and the arrested would not. i wouldn’t want to be the test case and bear that culumative expense in dollars and liberty. Keep in mind that novelty keyrings can be an issue, so why not these?

  28. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    I dig ’em.

    Its a very subtle way to fly the pro-gun flag. I wont put a sticker on my G Wagon, but these I would roll in a heartbeat.

  29. avatar DJ says:

    I wonder if these would help keep the crappy aluminum valve stems on my Jeep from breaking off?

  30. Banned in Massachusetts!

    1. avatar Craig says:

      Not banned, just legislated to death. You’re not allowed more than 10 per vehicle, valve stems were made before 1994. In addition, you have to apply for a permit to use non-OEM valve stems at your police department and hope that you live in a green town. Also, only valve stems approved for sale by the Attorney General shall be sold in the Commonwealth.

  31. avatar Bob in Washington says:

    Nice novelty to have. Wouldn’t mind having them.

  32. avatar Jason says:

    Just make sure they won’t rust onto my valve stems in the winter salty slush.

    Had that happen once with metal caps. Broke one getting them off once they rusted on, and now that Uncle Sam mandates pressure monitoring, it’s a $100+ part. Never again.

  33. avatar Eriq says:

    Would buy, but can’t find

  34. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    They scream “steal me!”…

  35. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

    my valve caps are steel and have the little tool on the end to extract or tighten the schraeder guts in case i need to patch a tube in the middle of nowhere.
    i’d put one on the front. saddlebags obscure the rear..

  36. avatar DaveinLA says:

    I think they would.look sharp on my truck…

  37. avatar Ralph says:

    If you buy 4 caps for the low, low price of $37,500.00, you get a free car!

  38. avatar clickboom says:

    Because they don’t make a 46

  39. avatar Sean in MT says:

    I would get a set or two for my rigs. Probably slip a set onto the wife’s Subaru and see if she notices as well.

  40. avatar Steve In MA (now RI) says:

    They look sweet, still probably illegal in MA and CT.

  41. avatar RetMSgt in Pa. says:

    Drive with them through our nation’s capitol and some over-zealous cop will probably do his best to bust you for your having “unregistered ammunition.”

  42. avatar Brett says:

    I think they’re cool, but it’s not something I would buy for myself. My brother-in-law would be all over them though.

  43. avatar JSF001 says:

    Those are pretty cool I’d put them on my truck.

  44. avatar Model66 says:

    I like them. Subtle enough to go unnoticed, but fancy enough to be appreciated when noticed.

  45. avatar sam says:

    Silly. Sorry. They look nicely made, but to me cars are serious business. Don’t want shiny stuff anywhere, much less on a moving part.

  46. avatar Henry says:

    Better either make them locking, or sell them in bags of 40.

  47. avatar Damon says:

    Can I get them in .50?

    Probably just the bullet though, the case may be a little long……;)

  48. avatar thewiz says:

    seen the case ones in the nra store. 40 brass is too wide. .32 may be a good fit.

  49. avatar Jacob McMerth says:

    Those will match my naked woman mud flaps perfectly!

  50. avatar Roymond says:

    I used to have valve caps in the same color as my truck, but after buying about four dozen I got tired of replacing them, they got stolen so often. These, while I’d love to have them, I’d have to order by the gross just to get through the summer.

    The only novelty valve caps I’ve ever seen that don’t get stolen like clockwork were erect penises — but the guy who had those got his tires slashed a couple of times.

  51. avatar ADM says:

    Huh. A novel idea, and I gotta say I appreciate the ingenuity required to craft them, but like many of the others, I’m not big on customization beyond a bumper sticker or window cling. I’d pop them on my motorcycle if I was gifted a pair [and toss the other two over to my best friend for his own], but I don’t think I’d want something conspicuous like that on my car.

  52. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    At first I thought they were something else, er, never mind.

  53. avatar JonFTC says:

    link is broken in the article, go here to buy these from these folks.

  54. avatar Brian says:

    I saw something like this but in silver for precious metal collectors/gun owners.

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