Recycling goes well past plastic bottles and newspaper. Empty casing that litter the ground at a shooting range have the potential to be reused because they often keep their shape after being shot. However, sorting through all of the shells can be tedious. That lead one inventor to find a way to make the process easier.

Roanoker Tony Fisher has created a better way to sort out the different sized shells with his newly patented automated shell separator.

The automated shell separator has a four- or six-sided housing for shells, sitting on an axle that rotates the housing. At least one side has a slot that can be changed to separate out a specific shell size. A catcher sits below the housing to collect the separated shells. Five gallons’ worth of shells can separated in 15 minutes.

“It takes a long time to get a patent and a lot of money to market it,” Fisher said. His separator and the patent were forgotten about until he got a notice from the U.S. Patent Office. Currently, the separator isn’t available to the public.

Photo by The U.S. Army