How many THRers have designed their own firearm?


November 29, 2005, 02:31 PM
... or even better built them? ... or best of all, willing to share about their experience designing/building guns?

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Harry Tuttle
November 29, 2005, 02:37 PM
mine are all air powered and launch nerf rockets at ~230 fps
but according to Monkey County MD code

dats a "firearm"

November 29, 2005, 02:39 PM
Well...I did cobble up a pretty nice zip gun when I was about 10. Even used a rifled barrel cut from and old Glenfield .22 rifle. Worked pretty good too. Sadly, the ol' man beat it to Helen Gone with a heavy hammer when he found it. He did the same thing with the supressor I fashioned from an old lawn mower muffler and stuck on a single-shot .22 rifle the summer before. He just wasn't any fun...:rolleyes: :D

November 29, 2005, 03:03 PM
I have a very rough, unfinished, bullpup FAL sitting in my basement. :) That project had to take a backburner for awhile.

November 29, 2005, 03:03 PM
Things that will never be allowed to exist... Fictional Ammo included

SpiggyTech CQB Weapon, featuring the melonslice magazine, loads from the side like a STEN, but it's curved downward to save space. Includes a rail system mounted launcher for grenades or beanbags. Chambered for Spiggytech Stopper type Ammo

SpiggyTech Carbine, Folding retractable stock and rail system, based off the CQB Weapon, chambered for the much bigger SpiggyTech Shredder type Ammo.

SpiggyTech Technical Shottie/Launcher, Biggest meanest 25mm automatic shotgun with a drum magazine ever concieved. Easily retrofitted to launch 35mm grenades

I love my math class, it's just that boring!

Standing Wolf
November 29, 2005, 04:10 PM
Designed, yes; built, no.

I managed to trim my lilac bush today. It's a bit less than even. The job took well over an hour. I ended up with a couple cut fingers. Some people are just considerably less handy than they used to like to believe.

November 29, 2005, 04:18 PM
only in my mind

I aint smart nuff to git it tu paper, er one o them com-puter thangys

November 29, 2005, 04:25 PM
"SpiggyTech"...... LOL :D

I've got one or to designs germinating in the back of my head, but nothing you'd call "designed" yet.

Harry Tuttle
November 29, 2005, 04:44 PM
This guy is shooting M&Ms thru plywood...
Building a marble shooting airgun (

November 29, 2005, 05:46 PM
I didn't design it but I'm building a mockup of Sgt. Schlocks gun from


mine are all air powered and launch nerf rockets at ~230 fps
but according to Monkey County MD code

dats a "firearm"

November 29, 2005, 10:51 PM
Back when I was 10 or so and thought that Chuck Norris or Jan Michael Vincent holding mini-machine pistols was the coolest thing since sliced bread, I thought up a few.:) I was always drawing pictures of James Bond cars with more guns than they could possibly store ammo for.

But no real designs...

November 29, 2005, 11:11 PM
I've picked parts from different mfgrs, including custom color stockwork, but they all got sent to a _real_ gunsmith... That rifle will shoot in the ones.

November 29, 2005, 11:16 PM
Designs? Yep.

Waiting on patents and the skill to machine said designs.

November 29, 2005, 11:21 PM
I've built a few black powder kits. Not so hard to do and the results are nice if you take your time and pay attention to detail. I've used them quite a bit hunting. Been offered lots of money for them by admirers. Haha, as if... But it's a nice compliment to receive.

November 29, 2005, 11:37 PM
When I was 13, I dismantled a pellet gun, cut the barrel down to ~8", welded a nipple in the back and attached it to a frame I made by bending aluminum flat stock. Then I took the lockwork from a metal capgun. I pulled bullets from .22 LR shells and drove them through a swedging block to make them .177 diameter. I would use the powder from the .22 shells and regular red plastic caps for ignition. It worked quite well, actually-despite getting quite a few pieces of plastic caps stuck in my hands. A short while later, a friend and I built .22 cal smoothbore zipguns from assorted steel stock taken from his high school's metal shop. Mine was all welded together with a basic trigger and pistol grip; the barrel was hinged and used a briefcase latch to lock closed. His, however, employed a simple pinball-style firing pin (pull and release) and he used hose clamps to secure the barrel. Tragically, while loading his above a table he managed to drop it square on the back of that pin and it discharged. The bullet went into his left cheek and lodged at the rear of his skull. He survived after 6 hours of surgery, but the effect on his memory was profound. He also has to take anti-siezure medication and be careful not to hit his head hard, as the bullet could dislodge and cause an annurism (sp?) (it was too close to an artery for surgeons to remove it). My zipgun was confiscated by police later.

I have since built a couple of single-shot smoothbore blackpowder pistols, but have not fired them in years.

These days I stick to the ready-made variety.

November 29, 2005, 11:58 PM
-I had a matching pair of genuine imitation 1911 dart guns blue of course with the dancing horse.
I think the Drug Store had a Quality Control problem, my ammo was suction cups. I wait until the coast is clear , pull a chair so I could reach the stove top, and used needle nosed pliers to insert them really nice needles . Now I had a dart gun with dart ammo.

-A boy, a .22 rifle ,OTASCO Muffler for a lawn mower and steel wool...err...well everything was quiet with that muffler, until my Uncle turned green... then he grinned, helped me shoot some ammo , then the muffler got beat all to hell...

-It seemed like there was a need for left over bullets, like .22 lr , .38spl, and on up to like '06 ones needing to be fired from shotguns. Well, there I was with a single shot 20 ga Uncle said someday he get around to fixing the stock he bought for $5, all that stuff...I didn't really understand Sabot, but I learned. "How come this one here is key-holed - what did you shoot it with...??"

So a few years later, and remembering the exact words " do not make any Sabots for a shotgun" . I got .32 to sabot from a 1911...and not keyhole.

My uncle dropped his cigar...started toward me, then went into the house, head shaking and mumbling something. He got to doing that lot the older I got for some reason.

Then I found this little light off a display. I tell a older fella, not a mentor, just some guy out shooting.. " you know some day, there will be itty bitty batteries and folks will mount lights to send a beam of light to target. Be great when folks don't see too well...

"Son...that is almost stupid enough to make good sense...a light on a set of stocks as an aiming tool...".

Uncle passed away, he would have like the 28 ga slugs I made some years later...

November 30, 2005, 12:07 AM
Piece of pipe, pipe plug with hole drilled in it. Firecracker propellant and ball bearing projectile.
It worked.

November 30, 2005, 01:11 AM
it's nice to know that if one day the chinese/islamic jihad/frogs/penguins invade I'll be able to pick off all their sentries quiet-like with a lawnmower-muffled .22.

home brew bond hehe

all this talk about mufflers and homemade cannons almost makes me want to try it.

then i read sm's post, count all the injuries i've gotten over the years doing just such stupid things, and wisely choose to stick with my sig.

November 30, 2005, 01:32 AM
Not a firearm, but I'm designing (and sooner or later fabricating) a drum magazine for my Saiga 12. 25 rounds = full round of skeet without reloading. :D

November 30, 2005, 02:01 AM
DR, that's delicious I imagine it's gonna be pretty... tremendous, too. Also heavy. Make one that'll fit in the mag-well of those nifty Sidewinder doohickeys that Knoxx makes, and I'll beat a path to your door!

Y'know, me and the world.

Then, doorbell. Bam!

To return to the topic at hand, I'm in the process of building a better Potato(e) Gun, which I've affectionately termed the Potato(e)zooka.

M2 Carbine
November 30, 2005, 10:06 AM
Well...I did cobble up a pretty nice zip gun when I was about 10.

In the cities, in the 50's, any kid that couldn't build a 22 zip gun was lacking something in his education.:D

I designed a 1/4 inch bore hand cannon. Even mixed our own black powder.

I cut down a single shot Remington rifle into what I called my Pirate pistol. I didn't know that was illegal.:) No sights but with a little practice we were hitting soda cans in the air. I later bought a new stock and barrel and gave it to a friend's boy.

When I was about 16 I designed a machine gun but didn't have the tools to build a working model.

And in the 80's I built my M2 Carbine "conversion kit". Mostly that's just licenseing the parts but at the time I had it modify a couple M1 parts.

November 30, 2005, 10:30 AM
Made: Only the Dragon-Lance 2" compressed air cannon. Tested to 100 PSI; lobs a marshmallow (unaerodynamic as hell!) 300' with a ~ 30% charge. Used to down a damaged tree after Charlie (not as cool as you might think, I just threw an improvized grapple and we pulled it down)

Designed: working on the Quarter-Pounder. 4 barrels of 4-ga, milled from a block of steel 3.5" x 3.5" x 18" -- I expect this to require a powered exoskeleton to fire ^_^

Various mecha-mounted systems. I'll describe it later if I can find this thread after microbiology.

November 30, 2005, 10:45 AM
I am a mere dreamer...

But these guys are serious

Check out the "Your Projects" section.


Henry Bowman
November 30, 2005, 11:10 AM
I have (almost completely) designed a pre-loaded drum mag for .22LR rimfire. It would have a metal housing that would fit to the most popular receivers (like a Rugar 10/22, for example) and which would have the wind-up drive spring. You would them buy pre-loaded 250 or 500 round disposable (thin plastic) packs that would drop into the housing and let 'er rip. Throw away when empty. The guys that have those double 10/22 crank operated gatling guns would love it.

Sarah Brady would have a cow and I can see the VPC declaring them "the ammunition feeding mechanism of choice for drug dealers and terrorists." :evil:

November 30, 2005, 12:31 PM
I am a mere dreamer...

But these guys are serious

Check out the "Your Projects" section.

I'm actually working on a few home build projects. I'm still waiting on parts but I hope to have (semiauto versions of) a 1919A4 and two Yugoslavian AKs done within the next few months.

AJ Dual
November 30, 2005, 11:30 PM
Not a firearm, but I'm designing (and sooner or later fabricating) a drum magazine for my Saiga 12. 25 rounds = full round of skeet without reloading. :D

Good for you.

Just don't EVER produce them for anything other than your own use, don't sell them, make them for your friends, or publicize your drum in print or on the internet if you are successful.

It's not illegal for you to do, assuming you live in a free state, but if the ATF-sometimes-E gets wind of these in circuation, the Saiga 12 is going to the Secretary of the Treasury with a request that he or she classify the Saiga 12 as a Destructive device, like the Streetsweeper, or the (even semi-auto) USAS 12.

Then, it's "amnesty" time and $200 for everyone who already owns one, then no more for anybody else.

June 9, 2007, 11:36 AM
My father designed allot of innovative artillery and machine guns, but the ones that really made the money were the M52, M110, and M107.

When I was a little boy, I thought that red hydraulic fluid on the ground was blood from shooting people with these guns.

The US patent numbers are:
4430909 [1181965 Canadian]

Here is the dumb little kid with a cap gun.

June 9, 2007, 12:30 PM
I've got a couple of pretty good designs floating around in my head. Some are just 'actions' and some are complete firearms. I'm waiting to get further along with my ME degree before I really flesh 'em out and polish 'em up. Two of them I'm reasonably sure I'm going to pursue patents for.

EDIT: HAHAHAHA!!! I just realized I posted basically the same thing in this thread 2 years ago! :D

June 9, 2007, 01:31 PM
Well I've had a few ideas bevfore but never realy built anything. Not got the machine tools, skills or paperwork required! :D

Like to build a (non-firing) replica of the rifle used in Day of the Jackel film though...

June 9, 2007, 02:17 PM
I drew one up one day when I was in class bored out of my mind, it actually fired spider monkeys and was meant to fight was totally cool.

June 9, 2007, 02:42 PM
Yes, I have some interesting designs. Sorry, but I am not going to elaborate. I will say however, that someday I want to build a motorized minigun! Don't even know if it's legal, but I want one.
Edit: Of course, I won't be breaking any laws.

June 9, 2007, 05:13 PM
"On de advize uh my attoiney I... what's dis woid? Oh, OK, t'anks... I respit- respEtfilly ducline to ansuh unduh duh groun's uh duh fift' amenmint."

I quit experimenting in 1968.

(I thought the "statute of limitations" usually ran from the day of the discovery of a crime, not the commission thereof.

Mr. Bowman?)

Josh Aston
June 9, 2007, 05:41 PM
Yes, I have some interesting designs. Sorry, but I am not going to elaborate. I will say however, that someday I want to build a motorized minigun! Don't even know if it's legal, but I want one.
Edit: Of course, I won't be breaking any laws.

Miniguns are already motorized.

June 9, 2007, 05:51 PM
Yes, I have some interesting designs. Sorry, but I am not going to elaborate. I will say however, that someday I want to build a motorized minigun! Don't even know if it's legal, but I want one.
Edit: Of course, I won't be breaking any laws.
Miniguns are already motorized.

Yeah, I realize that, but I have never built one. The mini gun I wasn't claiming as my own idea, just something cool. :D

June 9, 2007, 06:00 PM
I'm always drawing up design ideas I have for firearms. Aesthetically, I'm big on futuristic styling and flowing curves a la Cx4, Rx4, F2000, etc. I'm constantly trying to think of innovative internal mechanics, and haven't really come up with anything groundbreaking yet... although there are a couple concepts I might pursue at some point.

June 9, 2007, 06:09 PM
I always thought a belt fed 12 gauge would be cool but couldn't figure out how the mechanism would work.

June 9, 2007, 06:11 PM
Since I inlisted in the crotch, I was issued an M1. When they replaced them with the POS that jambed all the time I've wanted my M1 back. I sure can't afford the ones they have for sale (bunch of thieves), so I'm buying the part one piece at a time and building my own damn M1. I got about half of it now. Once I get it that done. I'm starting on the one I carried through ITR, the BAR. BTW never ever hit the TI, even if he hits you first.

June 9, 2007, 07:09 PM
I decided to build my own 45 match pistol from a mis-mosh of spare parts and a Caspian frame and oversized slide.

After reading a number of publications on how to do it, I figured I had the tools and the b***s to try it myself.

The toughest part was honing and filing some expensive parts the last thousandths of an inch or so to meet the perfect machine fit.

It took about 2 weeks or so and the results were outstanding.

The gun shoots less than a 2" ten shot group from a Ransom Rest at 50 yards.

Here is a picture of the gun and a target I shot freehand.

June 9, 2007, 07:16 PM
To heck with my own design. I want the one from The Cat Who Can Walk Through Walls by Heinlein, it fires a 4mm dart that explodes when it gets inside the body. Now thats stopping power!

June 9, 2007, 07:30 PM
I've only ever had ideas that are either Sci-Fi only stuff (like the V-ACT Weapon System or the Smart-Scope) or just plain stupid (like the AR-440 or the 12-gauge RSS).

If anyone fancies a laugh, I'll post them.

Big Calhoun
June 9, 2007, 07:44 PM
Somehow I don't think my water-pick powered squirt gun would qualify. My mothers husband help me to put it together when I was about 12 or 13. Even worked out a portable power source using NiCad batteries from old R/C cars I had. Fully automatic and would put a nice sting on you if I caught you up close. I still might have the thing in my mothers attic.

June 10, 2007, 01:24 AM
Designed? No. Built? Yes . . . Discussed here: 1911 LW Commander gallery (

Built by me working with Jim Garthwaite during a week long "Build your own 1911" class. All parts came unfinished and oversized.

June 10, 2007, 02:23 AM
Most of mine aren't even to the design phase yet. They're set up in a story on the borders of going from today, to sci-fi. The first was the idea of using porting and such along with heavy recoils systems to make not a "recoilless" gun, but a "managed recoil weapon system"(complete with fancy military name). A balance between a traditional recoil system and a recoilless gun that uses a smaller cartridge(more ammo capacity and efficient powder use) but lower recoil. It was intended for weapons for first generation power armor and mecha--full power shot, but recoil managed to the point where the lighter firing points could handle it. Then I saw a video of that "high impulse weapon". Similar idea, though since I was going with armor, I wasn't concerned with low blast effects, just cartridge size and recoil.

More recently, I was looking at rail guns(high round count guns), I just need to find someone to talk about patents with. It's possible that the idea is already out there, just classified so I can't find it on Google. More recently, my dad found a fusion reactor design that makes ball lightning, I think it'd be fun to shoot that out of the rail gun.

There's also intermediate guns for power armor. An M240 designed to be fired one-handed like a pistol, and a modified M2HB. This would be modified to feed off a 20-30 round magazine put in a modified top cover. I didn't think a large magazine on your back with a chute going to the gun would be reasonable, and dealing with loading a belt with large, powered gauntlets I figured would be out of the question too. So, you'd double stack magazines to stick in like a normal gun.

I had a few other ideas, like the M2 above would have the mag release set up so that when the last round is chambered, the follower hits the switch to release the mag, and you load another. That way you don't have to worry about a holdback, or charging the gun. Thinking about a normal rifle, A story about Hammer's Slammers had a gun that had a paddle that blocked your sights when the magazine was empty. It might be useful, but a bit complicated, and would have to be designed so that if it breaks, the sights are still open, and it doesn't jam the mechanism.

June 10, 2007, 06:51 AM
Funny you should ask....I've come up with what should be a practical air powered (actually argon or helium from a 3000psi tank) Gatling gun. Using old Mosin-Nagant barrels, 00 buck projectiles and the aformentioned high pressure gas. And each barrel could fire multiple times per revolution (e.g. on a six barrelled gun 3 barrels would fire similtaneously. x3 firing cycles per revolution.) Not as complicated as its sounds, although I'm sure I'd find some complications when I actually built it (suspect reliable feeding at high revolutions might be a problem). Obviously not real portable, but wicked rate of fire.

But, I lack the machine tools required (but not the knowledge to run 'em) so it's just stuck in my head for the moment. Maybe someday........

June 10, 2007, 05:05 PM
All I've done is build a matchlock rifle.

June 10, 2007, 11:34 PM
2.7" blackpowder coehorn mortar, (pop can full of cement)
1.7" blackpowder coehorn mortar, (golf ball)
80mm blackpowder howizer, towable,
3" blackpowder howizer, towable,
blackpowder paintball deuling pistols,
blackpowder paintball double rifle,
Compressed air guns for "c" and "d" batteries, which will disintegrate a cinder block,
A working rail gun, and
See Popular mechanics, July 07 issue, p100.

June 11, 2007, 12:00 AM
I have the blueprints for a Brass / Wood Cannon, I just have not got to it yet!

I have made some potato cannons with calcium carbide..they are neat!

But I have done some cartridge work myself... I did a .41 Magnum Accelerator for a Thompson Contender. I machined Teflon Sabots for .41 Caliber to accept a .30 cal Nosler Partiton Balistic Tip. It was very hard hitting from a contender 14" Barrell with a Compressed Load.

Disclamer: Do NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.. I relinquish myself from any and all liability concerning this wildcat cartridge.:) You are on your own!!

June 12, 2007, 10:12 AM
Designed... no... ideas yes... decided what i wanted, put it together, blueprinted, made it run all that happy jazz... yes.... results are better than i could have hoped for... Some day I'll whittle out or find a "fancier" stock for it... til then it'll just continue to put big game in the freezer :)

700 Rem, Douglas XX tube, 35 Whelen AI - a bit deeper than Mr Ackley wanted but not quite a Brown... Refinished and recheckered beat up old 700 Classic stock... 4.5 - 14 x 40 AO Leupold Vari-X III on QR bases and rings.

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