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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 12/30/2006 9:16:54 AM EST
Reading another thread about the FOPA and such, it got me wondering what is needed to make your own firearms.

I'm assuming a mill and a lathe would be needed, but what kind/quality would be needed to turn out a decent quality gun?
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:19:03 AM EST
John Moses Browning turned out fine weapons with a 19th century vertical toolroom mill, a drill press, a band saw, files, and a small forging furnace.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:20:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2006 9:21:15 AM EST by FlyingAttackPorcupin]
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.

For everything else, at least on an Ar-15, id say a good mill and lathe that can hold tolerances of +/- .001" would be perfectly capable. If you get a CNC mill the sky is the limit as long as you have the patience and creativity. They build AK's in 3rd world countries with sheet metal and hand tools, so its not too hard. Look at the machinery WW2 era guns used, and they're perfectly fine.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:20:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By California_Kid:
John Moses Browning turned out fine weapons with a 19th century vertical toolroom mill, a drill press, a band saw, files, and a small forging furnace.


What would you think would be necessary to turn out modern day type firearms. Albeit mag or belt fed?
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:21:02 AM EST
A file..
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:21:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:22:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By shootemup:

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?


The name escapes me at the moment. It either has to be a hammer forging machine, which is VERY large and VERY noisy, or a button rifling machine that pulls the cutter through the barrel in a perfectly straight line, +/- .0001" or so. The exact terminology escapes me though.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:25:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:25:27 AM EST
I'd like to see some of the crudest setups used in History.

I thought the Russians made subguns, and the Japanese made bolt guns, with a truly minimal set of tools. Perhaps they were just supplied with the barrel, and the rest was stamping?
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:26:37 AM EST
Another thing to consider, what kind of firearm are you talking about? Modern day Ar's have bolts that go through magnetic particle inspection, so if you intend to build on that sort of level youd need the equipment and knowledge for that. Youd also need the fixtures and cutting tools for creating the bolt and bolt carrier. You'd need the equipment for creating the springs and jigs for all the trigger equipment. You'd need the plastic molding machines to make the handguards and pistol grip, and the dies they're molded in. Not to mention the metal forging machines and dies for the base receiver forgings. To truely build a complete modern day rifle like an Ar-15 youd need ALOT of equipment and money to invest in the undertaking. However, if you're talking milling your own lower and building a gun with a parts kit, that simplifies things ALOT.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:27:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.


And a 2 liter of cola!
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:27:50 AM EST
For the crudest guns in history look at the Sten MK II designs, which used simple steel tubing and took very little to manufacture.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:28:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.


And a 2 liter of cola!


That's only for fullauto.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:31:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.


And a 2 liter of diet cola!


and dont forget the mentos!
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:39:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By Coronado:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.


And a 2 liter of diet cola!


and dont forget the mentos!


That sounds like the plans for a WMD
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:47:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


Damn, you beat me to it.

I have seen some pictures of guns made in the Phillipenes during WWII. They were all made with simple hand tools.

I wouldn't fire them, but they would work in a pinch.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:49:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By shootemup:

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?


A Gun Drill
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:52:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Nightdriver:

Originally Posted By shootemup:

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?


A Gun Drill


Lol thank you!! That was going to bug me for days :)
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 10:01:03 AM EST
An AK?


An AR?


Link Posted: 12/30/2006 10:11:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.


Don't forget the shoestring if you want to go the full-auto route.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 10:16:46 AM EST
I found The Home Gunsmith while browsing a few months ago. Wondered if anyone had the tinkering time to try it out.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:11:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2006 11:15:37 AM EST by ProfGAB101]

Originally Posted By Nightdriver:

Originally Posted By shootemup:

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?


A Gun Drill


Actually a gun drill is only used to drill long deep holes fairly straight.

After that you would need to use a draw thru broaching machine to rifle the barrel or use a multi-pass button rifling machine. - These are still in the realm of a fairly small shop. There is also a complete hammer forging method - but now your talking major factory because it would require a team of skilled operators to run such a machine.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:16:59 AM EST
Ask Kenny Jarret. He rolls his own...
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:21:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:

Originally Posted By shootemup:

Originally Posted By FlyingAttackPorcupin:
for a barrel youd need your own special machine for that.



What would that machine be called?


The name escapes me at the moment. It either has to be a hammer forging machine, which is VERY large and VERY noisy, or a button rifling machine that pulls the cutter through the barrel in a perfectly straight line, +/- .0001" or so. The exact terminology escapes me though.


You could also rig a rifling cutter ala old time gunsmiths.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:21:43 AM EST
Barrels are not the rocket science some of you think they are.


A good quality deep hole drill, followed by a reamer, and then a rifling tool (button or broach...broach for cut rifling) are all simple tools.

As a simple experiment, many years ago I fabricated a crude rifling button from a high
speed steel milling cutter tool shank. I simply cut grooves in it using a grinder, and
ground a taper on the nose of it and polished it, then lubed the "barrel" (just a piece
of 4140 with a suitably sized hole in it, bored and reamed) with moly grease and rammed
the rifling button through the barrel with the aid of a machinist's bench press. (3 ton class)


The result was rifling that would get the job done but it wasn't the finest rifling you've
ever seen. But the point was made. Rifling isn't such a mystery.

The button's own rifling grooves ensured that it twisted itself through the barrel at the
rate of the rifling. The rifling appeared to have a consistent twist to it as intended.


Of course, this was a pistol length "barrel". A rifle length barrel would be a bit more
of a challenge. But I wouldn't hesitate to attempt the same thing with a rifle barrel
blank if I needed to do so.

CJ
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:27:25 AM EST
+1 on what cmjohnson said about barrels

In reference to the quality of the machines used to produce WWII firearms and the like, the manual mills and lathes from that era were and still are among the best ever made. Many machines from that era are still in use. We have 2 lathes from 1942 and they are some of the best manual lathes i've run.

Basically just a good manual lathe and mill capable of +/- 0.001" (which most are) and a good drill press is all the big equipment you need. Every thing else is in speciallized tooling.

Willis
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 11:28:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2006 11:38:33 AM EST by stoner63a]
A decent CNC Mill, a good 12"x50" lathe, drill press, bandsaw, and a bunch of knowledge and experience.

Buy your barrels in pre-made blanks. Turn it on your lathe.

For ARs, you can sub out the EDM of the mag well. Mill the rest using fixtures on the CNC.

For my particular product, I made casting molds for the upper and lower. I had them cast at a professional foundry from aircraft grade alu alloy, then proper heat treat. I was smart enough to have the barrel subbed out to a guy who's made AR barrels for years. Just a few changes.

I have an older 1981 Series I Bridgeport CNC, but updated with a PC Windows-based driver.

And, liability insurance for firearms manufacturers run approximately $25,000 per year.

Link Posted: 12/30/2006 12:00:42 PM EST
Are you using Mach3 on your BOSS?
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 12:16:12 PM EST
Though some of the set-ups would be a bit of a bitch, one can make just about any modern personal (not crew served, etc.) firearm with nothing more than a good Engine Lathe. One which is at least a 12x36. A 14x40 might be better. You will need some tooling and the abiltiy to make fixtures and additional tooling.

Even rifleing can be done on a lathe, it's just a matter of making a device which will rotate the barrel as the cutter is drawn out. Much faster than the lead-screw is capable of doing.

But, given a good Horizontal Mill or Vertical Mill and a good Engine Lathe, plus a pedistal grinder and a lot of time, it is not too difficult to make firearm parts.

Time and ingenuity will be your greatest constraints.

BTW a complete manual shop (no CNC stuff) will run you about $ 20,000 for good used equipment. Cheaper than that, I would suspect that you would be un-able to produce quality parts, as the machines would not be good enough.

If you want to make barrels, it would best if you obtained a rifling machine. These are expensive, however.

Dave.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 12:17:31 PM EST
I expect that once you have the skills to make a firearm on any machine, you'd know which ones you need.
Link Posted: 12/31/2006 10:33:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2006 10:37:20 AM EST by RJGatling]

Originally Posted By CajunMojo:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
A file..


also a toothbrush, a pack of matches and nylon pantyhose.

Six packs of chewing gum, one combination Rooskie phrasebook and Bible......


Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Barrels are not the rocket science some of you think they are.


A good quality deep hole drill, followed by a reamer, and then a rifling tool (button or broach...broach for cut rifling) are all simple tools.

As a simple experiment, many years ago I fabricated a crude rifling button from a high
speed steel milling cutter tool shank. I simply cut grooves in it using a grinder, and
ground a taper on the nose of it and polished it, then lubed the "barrel" (just a piece
of 4140 with a suitably sized hole in it, bored and reamed) with moly grease and rammed
the rifling button through the barrel with the aid of a machinist's bench press. (3 ton class)


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