Can't find a gun with features I want. Thinking of designing my own, thoughts?


June 7, 2005, 07:34 PM
I can't find a gun with the features I want, so I'm thinking about designing my own. I've already got some ideas about how it would work, the overall design and the end objectives, but how hard is it to make a design or idea a reality?

I figure I'll need a complete machine shop and a skilled operator for the equipment or learn how to use it myself. Lots of specialized machines too. I already have shop space and ability to get lathes, mills and welders inexpensively.

Prolly need a specialist to make certain parts like the barrel.

I'll consult with an engineer too, or go back to school and get another degree! LOL!

Lots of people advocate CAD/CAM stuff, and I'll prolly look into it, but how did guys like Garand and Stoner (in his early days) design, build and test stuff without modern computers?

I know it'll be hard with lots of issues, but I think it'll be interesting.

I'm looking to use as many off-the-shelf parts as I can to help defray costs. Sure, lots will be fabricated, but this is more than a "dabbling" for me. This is the first thing in a long while which has stimulated my brain. I want to do this, 1: to get the gun I want, but also 2: to see if I can design, develop and build a working, reliable and accurate weapon to my specs.

This'll be a long project, but worth it I think.

Any advice, thoughts, ideas?

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June 7, 2005, 07:45 PM
CAD is great for production since you can use the computer models for CNC machining. For your purposes I doubt it would be any better than good quality hand drawings.

Remember, the SR-71 was designed with slide rules and paper drawings.

Buy your barrell. Chances are you can find someone that already makes one that will suit your needs. That'll be way cheaper, and probably higher quality than anything you could do yourself. Most tubes are forged rather than cut anyway, so it's not like you could hammer forge a barrell yourself anyway.

Are we talking handgun or rifle?

June 7, 2005, 07:48 PM
Ditto on buying the barrel, probably the trigger too. So what do you want out of this gun?

June 7, 2005, 08:03 PM
I'll have to look into barrel makers. I figured I would just buy a barrel as making it would be a pain.

I have some ideas for what I want and some sketches. It would be rifle.

Here are some key features so far:

BREN-style top feed
LEFT-HANDED offset sights (yes I'm a lefty and the impetus for this project is a lack of lefty topfeed guns)
bottom-eject with ejection port cover
quick-change barrel (this might give barrel makers apoplectic fits)
closed-bolt semi-auto
Easy to tear down and work on
different calibers, including 7.62 Soviet, to use AK mags
5.56 version would use .223 AK mags or possibly a mag of original design

Split on the drive system. Considered a gas piston and oprod design like the FN MAG-58, but that'd add weight and complexity, so I'm probably going to go with a direct-impingement gas system.

Imagine a left-hand-sighted BREN ate a 249 SAW and barfed it up. That's SORTA my idea.

Got more concepts, but these are some of the big ones.

June 7, 2005, 08:10 PM
Have you considered the Robinson M96?

June 7, 2005, 08:20 PM
The M96 is a no-go.

Reliability issues
no lefty sights
don't like the looks
no quick-change barrel
availability of spare parts is terrible

June 8, 2005, 12:49 AM
Gee, you don't want much, do you? A one-off prototype would be too costly, and that's probably all that would ever get made.
Caliber interchangability on such a weapon, particularly between 7.62x39 and .223, would be virtually impossible, requiring replacing both bolt faces and barrels, which need to be headspaced to each other, then there is the factor of different rates of wear for these sets compared to surrounding parts, (i.e., reciever or bolt carrier, if applicable) which on a military-type semi auto would be appreciable.

I was thinking itwould be more doable as an FG42 in .223 with the magwell and ejection port turned 90 deg. :

But, then that looks amazingly like an M96, doesn't it? :o

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