To make a Gun?


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Diet
November 17, 2006, 06:19 AM
Hello, I've been working on a 3d model of a gun I would like to make. Now, to be honest, I'm not very savvy about guns, I know my share, but nothing extensive, and I'm having a friend base the design off some things he has. Now my question really is; Where would i go to get the gun made? Could i have it cast? Would it have to be milled? If both which would be cheapest? Etc.

The gun uses large ammo, and is a type of a semi-auto pistol. My main concern is trying to use aluminum and it not being strong enough and, well, problems, but then I'm not sure what would be options from there.

Thank you,
-Lukas

P.S. Also, any other information on anyone who's tried/done something similar would be very much appreciated.

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Jim Watson
November 17, 2006, 08:50 AM
Are you rich?
How complete is your model? What is your friend contributing?
If you do not have the knowhow and skills to do it yourself, it will be VERY expensive to pay someone else to do it. And, if you are in the USA, he will have to be a licensed manufacturer. You may make an otherwise legal firearm for your own use, but if you hire someone else to do it, he becomes the manufacturer and you the customer, so he has to have a license.

CTD99
November 17, 2006, 08:54 AM
I know a guy that made a 3 barrel shot gun. Actually, it was a wooden prototype for a gun manufacturer and I saw it and held it at his wood shop. Obviously, it didn't go anywhere or we would have seen production models in the field, or at least in collectors cases. Probably too heavy?

kaferhaus
November 17, 2006, 09:37 AM
Try not to be offended, but this is an incredibly dumb idea.

Your lack of knowledge is dangerous for both you and anyone that would be in the vicinity should you ever assemble anything and try to shoot it.

Firearms are not made from steels or other alloys that your local machine shop may have on hand.

Properly heat treated CM or the proper stainless alloys would need to be used.

A thorough understanding of breechs, barrel locking (if an auto or break action or bolt gun etc.) head spacing etc. would be required.

"Casting" of any critical part of a firearm requires extensive knowledge of the metalurgy and proper techniques/equipment to produce something "safe". The equipment to properly test such a casting in itself costs thousands of dollars.

Pick something else to do.

Jim Watson
November 17, 2006, 09:45 AM
The guy with the wooden three barrelled shotgun had not done his market research. They have been made but were blown out of the market by cheap repeaters. The last I saw was from Italy in a peculiar pyramid layout. The old German and Austrian makers would build you an all-shot Drilling, and Rodger Barlow had a Dickson horizontal triple.

Kaferhaus is perhaps a bit strict. You do not have to have perfect alloys for a working model or even a shootable toolroom model. One of the gun companies even told a gunzine writer not to shoot the prototype they had sent him, that it was a trial piece out of mild steel.
But you DO have to know the general principles of material selection and fabrication. A couple years of machine shop trade school and a study of everything in print on gun design would be a fair start.

jmorris
November 17, 2006, 09:50 AM
If you donít have the equipment to build at least the receiver then you are facing an up hill battle. I would imagine most manufactures would not want to take on the liability of an unknown design. If you can manufacture the receiver, itís a different story. A bullpup bolt action rifle can be made using only a lathe, mill and welder. You can buy quality barrels rifled and chambered from many manufactures. Youíll need to know how to cut threads on both ID and OD drill and tap holes and weld (preferably TIG). Oh, and have a lot of free time. NOTE: contact your local ATF, talk to an agent about what you are wanting to build and get a copy of their book (I didnít expect them to be so courteous, you have to love Texas). It always better to be safe than sorry (especially when you cold go to prison). It is rewarding though.

kaferhaus
November 17, 2006, 10:03 AM
The guy with the wooden three barrelled shotgun had not done his market research. They have been made but were blown out of the market by cheap repeaters. The last I saw was from Italy in a peculiar pyramid layout. The old German and Austrian makers would build you an all-shot Drilling, and Rodger Barlow had a Dickson horizontal triple.

Kaferhaus is perhaps a bit strict. You do not have to have perfect alloys for a working model or even a shootable toolroom model. One of the gun companies even told a gunzine writer not to shoot the prototype they had sent him, that it was a trial piece out of mild steel.
But you DO have to know the general principles of material selection and fabrication. A couple years of machine shop trade school and a study of everything in print on gun design would be a fair start.


Great post Jim!

I knew my post would probably come off as "harsh"... I'd just hate to see anyone get injured.... something like that would certainly make the MSM and make us all look bad.

The 3 barrel info was good too! Drillings have been around for a long time, but even I had no idea a 3 barrel shot gun had been marketed..

wolf_from_wv
November 17, 2006, 10:13 AM
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi

http://www.homegunsmith.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi

.45Guy
November 17, 2006, 10:39 AM
Kids these days are spoiled, what with their abundant and cheap high points and such! What happened to the glory days of the zip gun? Has American ingenuity finally succumbed to our litigious society?:neener: (Sarcasm) Although I do have to admit that....uhhhh... someone I knew....yeah, that's it... had a hankering to build an in line muzzle loading pistol when he was a wee one. It worked fairly well using crushed match heads for propellant, and a plastic toy cap for priming. At least that's what he told me...;) Ahhh the innocence of youth. The scariest part was, years later this individual dug up the remains of said pistol to show his father. Lo and behold his father dug through his archives and found that he had the same idea 40 years earlier...

Jim K
November 17, 2006, 04:34 PM
There are plenty of machine shops that will make parts if you can provide detailed engineering drawings or even good sketches. They could also do the receiver as long as there is at least 20% to be done by you. For a non-firing model, aluminum, brass or even wood would be OK (Sam Colt worked out his revolver ideas with a wood model).

A rough picture won't do, though. A CAD program will help, but note the middle name - "aided". A lot of folks today learn to use CAD and think they can design anything from guns to jet fighters. Not quite!

Jim

Diet
November 18, 2006, 03:54 PM
Wow, a lot of info at once, though I did understand the dangers of the project, and that's exactly why I didn't jump off and have one made randomly without asking anyone. I know CAD to fair degree (took two classes at my college, though I understand I can't make a jet engine, heh) and I probably could make the model into CAD. The internals I was going to base off another gun so I would be sure to make something that's already worked in the past. I read what you said about the licenced production if someone else makes it, I assume that goes for parts as well? (As in, I get all the parts and assemble it myself, hm, guess there's not THAT many parts, but...) By chance is there any place that DOES do such a thing that knows the proper techniques and is licenced? I lack knowledge of casting and metal work, and I get the feeling from your post it's not something I could pick up enough for this over a week or two to make few things. What would you suggest be the easiest course of action if I really want to take this to reality?

P.S. To the earlier comment, I'm (sadly) not rich, I'm a Jr. in college, though this has been something I've wanted to do for 4 or 5 years now and I figured I'd look into it to see what the process would be and how difficult it would be. I came here cause I have a friend at a different college who's in ROTC and loves guns and this was one of the sites he said that might be able to offer some ideas if I really wanted to do this.

brickeyee
November 18, 2006, 05:57 PM
"I read what you said about the licenced production if someone else makes it, I assume that goes for parts as well?"

Only one piece is legally the frearm. For most handguns it is the grip frame (though Ruger .22 auto pistols use the barrel and extension). This is the part a manufacturer puts the serial number on.
You may manufacture a gun for your own use with no license as long azs it does not fall into any of teh restricted classes (short barreled rifle, full auto, short barreled shotgun, etc.).
Designing a firearm is a lot more complicated than being able to draw it though.
You need enough knowledge to compute the strength of the steel required unless you want to just copy something. Even then you need to know enough to make sure the metal you choose is strnog enough for the application.
There are plans available (mostly for rifles) and they are not really very hard to make.
Falling blocks are popular since all the parts can be made with a milling machine and a lath. Bolt actions are alos possible, butthe machining tends to get a little harder for locking lugs.

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