May 16 2012
I have written up some pretty serious posts as of late, most of them reviews. So this week I want to lighten the mood up a bit and write about something a little more on the fun side.
As some of you may already know, I have had the Hot Caliber Renegade pendant on my Amazon universal wish list for quite some time now. About a week ago, it arrived in my mail box. Thank you, summertime Santa!
While there is a lot of gun themed jewelry out there, the only pieces I’ve actually fallen in love with are Hot Caliber’s. Unlike the other jewelry designers out there that claim to create bullet jewelry (but really only use casings); Hot Caliber keeps the bullet as the center point of all their designs.
After a long chat with Manos, the owner and creator of Hot Caliber, I realized that much more time and care go into making the Hot Caliber jewelry then even the website suggests.
Manos has been in the jewelry business for over 15 years, and obviously has exquisite taste when it comes to pretty shiny things. He told me that idea for the flattened bullet pendant actually came from his wife Kelle (pronounced Kelly). After Manos returned from intensive handgun training, he presented Kelle with a flattened lead bullet. When she mentioned to Manos that he could turn it into jewelry,Manos knew right away that it was a truly unique idea, and so the long quest began for the perfect flattened bullets.
These pendants are not actual flattened bullets, as would interfere with laws regarding lead in jewelry. Instead , Manos perfect the art of using the best looking flattened bullet, stamping an edition number, then molding the bullet to create a wax. The wax is then used to cast a sterling silver or gold bullet. This way they have maintained the exact look of the bullet that Manos fired by hand.
The Hot Caliber website states that they have “fired over 4000 rounds to perfect the system for being able to recreate a flattened bullet.” And that “Even after having perfected this method it takes 100 rounds being shot and collected to find the right bullet for an edition.” You can click here to see video and pictures illustrating the process.
Lucky for us, Hot Caliber didn’t stop at pendants. They boast a decent selection of bullet themed beauties, and have found the perfect balance between badass and feminine. From several choices of pendants for men and women, to earrings, cufflinks and key chains; Hot Caliber is starting to win the hearts of shooting enthusiasts all over the country. I just can’t wait to see what they do next!
The best part of the Hot Caliber story actually has nothing to do with the jewelry itself. Somewhere along this couples journey to bring us fine, handcrafted accessories, Kelle developed her own love for shooting and the firearms industry. Even if Kelle’s new passion was the only thing to come out of the Hot Caliber business, it would still be a success in Packing Pretty’s eyes. Kelle, we welcome you with open arms to this new and exciting world!