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Posted: 9/29/2001 9:31:51 PM EDT
I was wondering, are there any small arms design courses at colleges? Where do people learn to design small arms (there has to be some because how else do they come out with new small arms?)
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 12:21:49 AM EDT
Most small arms engineers (including my dad) have mechanical engineering degrees. Small arms design is usually something they go into after graduation because they are already shooters and are passionate about it. At least that's the way it used to be and still [b]should[/b] be. There are schools for gunsmithing, but that's not the same thing. Most really successful small arms designers have a "gift" for it and already know the basic mechanics of it before they are far enough along to get a position in the design end of it. My dad never got a job designing guns, but he went pretty far working for the govt. testing and improving existing designs.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 7:53:40 AM EDT
well I've never been exposed much to real guns, I am familiar with my paintball gun though (I own it so I have to clean it). What if you just have a general knack for designing and building things?
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 8:22:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 10:40:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2001 10:41:18 AM EDT by gus]
Originally Posted By jz02: well I've never been exposed much to real guns, I am familiar with my paintball gun though (I own it so I have to clean it). What if you just have a general knack for designing and building things?
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Then go to a good engineering college, which means get as much math as possible while in high school (not that I'm saying you're in high school, how would I know that?). If you're already out of high school and didn't emphasize math while there, some time studying math and sciences at a community college would be a good start to getting admitted to a "real" school. That and a bunch of money. Most companies won't just hire a design engineer out of the blue.... Also, ditto what raf said.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 10:59:50 AM EDT
Abstracted from an industrial design philosophy and applied to small arms design and production. Engineering, yes, is a must. The machinists ability is not really that important as it has been stated, though a good understanding is important. The machinist abilities will make a great Gunsmith, but not a designer. Machining, rifling, sighting and milling are fine, but they are not methods of design, but production. Design and R&D is very different from production and modification. Areas with which you will need basic understanding: Mechanical Engineering & some Metallurgy and Polymers (polymers becoming more important) Ballistics and Ballistic Forensics Physics Biology These are, of course, 'perfect world' areas of knowledge. If you do not possess ability in these areas you will need to find associates that do. The design of a weapon is, as any precision product, complex and best served by teams of designers. There are very few visionaries such as J Browning. Such men just thought in that dimension. Most designers are not so. Hmmm, that was kinda long.....[:)] Zaz
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 11:04:42 AM EDT
Well said, zaz.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 11:11:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 11:16:00 AM EDT
Another shining example of a small arms design visionary is our very own Eugene Stoner.
Link Posted: 9/30/2001 12:08:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf:ZAZ, I'll second your post, except to say that an engineer ought to understand the tools and practices used to make the things he designs. As an outstanding example to aspire to, I give you John C. Garand. Not only did he design the Garand rifle, but he designed and built all the tools, jigs, and fixtures needed to build it efficiently. According to Hatcher, after careful study, it was found that without exception, Garand's methods of manufacture were the most efficient. Most problems with the Garand rifle occurred when Garand's practices were not observed. I'm sure we have an agreement somewhere here.
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Agreed 100%. Design compromise is often the foremost reason for failure. Zaz
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