Behind the Making of the Bullet-Cam.

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If you didn’t see the Bullet-Cam video. You can check it out here.

The Concept.

The Bullet-Cam concept started like many of our funnier video ideas around here.

Step 1: We get in a room with a bunch of creative people.

Step 2: Someone throws out, what on the surface, sounds like a ridiculous idea.

Step 3: Everyone jumps in with additional – and equally ridiculous ideas, industry connections, props, etc.

Step 4: The idea grows legs and is approved.

Step 5: Video team – go forth and execute.

The relationship with Hornady.

Like any good scheme, to pull it off, you’re going to need an accomplice. And for this job, we needed an accomplice with a good sense of humor. Hornady it was. Halfway through the pitch, they were on board.

Initial struggles – Finding a camera small enough to integrate with a bullet.

This was going to be tricky. Once we removed the iconic red tip off actual Hornady Bullets – a task that proved tougher than initially thought, it was time to add a camera. Simple, right? No glue dried clear enough to look like a lens. Model shops turned up no good options. Jewelry stores came up gooses as well. Inspiration finally struck Mike Jones while passing an electronics repair shop on his commute to work. The perfect bullet camera prop was finally found. Thanks broken Apple iPad Mini’s.

How do we fasten said camera to a bullet and make everything look legit?

Once again, teamwork saves the day. Get the video, machining and graphics department together and they can apparently make anything you need.

Aaron Huff in Machining offered up his sweet skills. With surgeon-like precision, he cut and shaped the bullet, as well as the camera, for a seamless marriage. Add some super glue for bondage and presto – we’ve made a Bullet-Cam.

Now we just need to put them in a box and…Crap, we’re going to need a box!

The internal cartridge-holding portion of all existing boxes we investigated are designed for the tip to face down. Great for real ammo – not great when trying to show off a super-sweet, camera-tipped bullet. Back to engineering we go. Mike Rosen got his creative juices flowing and fired up the 3-D printer. A few hours later, we had an ivory-white Vortex and Hornady-branded cartridge holder. But white just wasn’t tactical enough. Some black spray paint took care of that in short order.

Applying the Veneer.

Hornady is known for not only great bullets and ammunition, but also super sweet and dynamic packaging. At this point, we were into this project with both feet and wanted to make sure the exterior artwork of the box matched it’s wicked interior….. “Stephanie!!!!!! Help!!!!!”  A master of computer graphics and designer of many of our own internal boxes, Stephanie Dobbs whipped up a dieline and some art that exquisitely represented the product contained within….Look out da Vinci!

Explaining the Bullet-Cam and building a script.

For this, we went back to the smart kids in Engineering – here and at Hornady’s headquarters in Grand Island, NE. They dazzled us with big words, complex processes and science. Not having an idea what any of it meant, we knew it was perfect for the script.


The Video Department spearheaded this project start to finish and was involved throughout the entire process. Documenting each component and applying Spielberg-inspired movie magic, the Bullet-Cam came to life! Seeing the finished product for the first time was super cool. This thing looked real!…Maybe too real!?

The Release:

At the risk of beating our own chest – which I am about to do – we felt the video was too good to be a “one-and-done” on April 1st. Plus, what’s the fun in that. So we teased it a bit on Instagram and Twitter. Something big was coming, we announced. To mix it up and sell it a bit more, we launched our falsehood-laden electronic-motion-picture the day before April fools. It took off like a rocket. Many smelled a rat right away, some didn’t but quickly figured us out, and a few are still waiting to see Bullet-Cam’s on the shelf at their local dealer. Sorry. Regardless, everyone – well, nearly everyone – had an awesome sense of humor and had a good time with it.

Why did we do it?…Why Vortex, Why?

Good question. Well, we honestly think of all our customers as friends too! And who hasn’t – in good fun – played a prank on one of their buddies. Yeah, that may sound a bit sappy, but deal with it – because that’s how we feel about you guys!

Thanks again everyone for being awesome, joining in the fun and having such a good sense of humor. Until next April, Vortex Nation!


30 thoughts on “Behind the Making of the Bullet-Cam.

    Jayson Losado said:
    April 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

    That was an awesome video..a lot of time and effort went into that I’m sure..hope prices don’t go up too much


    Keith said:
    April 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Awesome fun!


    Jerry said:
    April 13, 2017 at 11:36 am

    That was awesome! Kudos to all involved


    Mike Tery said:
    April 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Great video, glad to see people still like to have fun at work. Sent the video to my buddy who introduced me to your product line. Can’t wait to see what his reaction is. Go Vortex!!

    P.S. loving my Crossfire II


    James Pence said:
    April 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I guess I will need to find new scope and bullet companies?


    Tim R. said:
    April 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    One of the best April Fools spoofs in a long time. More companies need to follow your lead in viral / social marketing. Love your products. Love your no B/S warranty. Love your marketing efforts.


    Travis said:
    April 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Awesome video! I sure am glad that I seen it was an April fools before I made a fool out of myself. I was going this weekend to Buy as many as I could. Love my Vortex! Great video!!


    Kurt said:
    April 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Ok, I’ll admit I gave ya’ll a pat on the back for this idea, I’ve been so busy, wasn’t really thinking to far into it. And I figured it was the latest and greatest. Yup gut me, hook line and sinker till I read this Email. My buddy is waiting at Cabellas in the amo isles. Lol
    Congratulations you definitely went the distance, nice job.


    John said:
    April 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’m actually PO’d it’s not real. My first thought it was April fools gag, but when 2 of my favorite and very reportable companies were part of idea I forwarded to many friends. I got the you idiot, April fools. So now that you’ve punked a bunch of us, why not get started with the technology. It’s doable and there’s an interest.


    Scott C. said:
    April 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Job well done. i hope your phone (as well as Steve Hornady’s) continues to ring for months because of it.
    By the way, will the BC change caused by the change in the shape of the bullet cam require a different ballistic reticle and when will this be available?


    Dave P said:
    April 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    One of the best pranks for April 1st ever, was only fooled for a few minutes, had to think about it though. I have a Diamondback 10×50, great for boat and truck, almost doesn’t go narrow enough for my beady little rodent eyes.


    Richard Cousins said:
    April 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    wow !!! hook ,line and sinker my son sent me the video while I was at work. was very proud to be VORTEX at that moment (still am) never going back.That was as good as when a local radio station said the space shuttle was landing at a little airport in east county San Diego
    VORTEX FOREVER !!!!!!!!


    Anthony C said:
    April 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    That’s good stuff. Thanks for sharing this part. I get to keep giving a good buddy of mine a hard time who was ready to go down to his nearest sporting goods store to look for them.


    April 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Great job we all need a dream and a few pranks!!!


    Gino said:
    April 14, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Even though it was an April fools’ and (kind of) a prank… maybe this is a new endeavor to explore? I can’t imagine that DARPA hasn’t toyed with the idea…


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