Easiest gun to build (recommendation)?


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eastwood44mag
April 11, 2012, 09:35 PM
I need something to work on in my down time (very little) and to burn off frustration (a lot), so I figured I might as well look into building something. Since I really don't have anything left on my bucket list as far as guns go, I'm not looking for anything in particular. Limited shop set-up right now, so the simpler the better. Personal use only here, starting with existing receivers, etc., so there won't be any legal issues. So, what should I be looking at? Thanks.

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daytodaze
April 11, 2012, 09:41 PM
AR builds are easy, and you can get a pretty awesome rifle for cheap if you shop around for parts.

larryh1108
April 11, 2012, 09:47 PM
A 1911 build or a Hi Power build can be quite satisfying. 1911 frames and slides are readily available for a start and you can hand fit the rest as time allows. Satisfaction in a job well done is the reward.

allaroundhunter
April 11, 2012, 09:50 PM
AR's will probably be easier than 1911's......but after your first one, either will be an addiction.

animator
April 11, 2012, 10:00 PM
ARs won't really make any serious dent in down-time. I'd do something that will require a bit more time... maybe something with some custom wood.

zoom6zoom
April 11, 2012, 10:07 PM
AR's are the Snap-Tite's of the gun building world. You'd better have something lined up to do Saturday afternoon.

AK's aren't terribly tough, but do generally require some special tooling (or jury rigging) to complete. If you can team up with someone who has the equipment it can be a lot of fun. I've built a few.

rule303
April 11, 2012, 10:20 PM
To me a 1911 is much more of an actual build, where an AR you are basically just assembling parts. I find a lot more satisfaction in a well running, accurate gun that I had to fit by hand.

303tom
April 11, 2012, 11:19 PM
An AR.....................

paintballdude902
April 11, 2012, 11:28 PM
i enjoy buying old grungy milsurps and junkers and fixing them and making the wood look nice. but i always try to find guns with walnut, mahogany or coachwood stocks.

i can spend hours trying to get the finish on a stock perfect, especially with sanding. once you add the oil finish you can then use ultra fine sandpaper to polish the finish into the wood. heck ive gone down to 2000 grit auto sand paper on an old piece of claro walnut i found on gun broker for cheap. that gave me a nice profit too.

HGM22
April 11, 2012, 11:54 PM
How about a black powder gun? Plenty of kits available.

chute2thrill
April 12, 2012, 12:14 AM
I second the black powder option, check out Dixie Gun works and I even think Cabelas has a couple kits as well.

baylorattorney
April 12, 2012, 12:55 AM
My first build was a black powder CVA pistol... Lol. It taught me a lot. I was 12.

Thefabulousfink
April 12, 2012, 02:09 AM
BP kit builds can be alot of fun if you like wood working, lots of room to carve and decorate the stock.
For modern Guns I would say AR or FAL would be the easiest. The FAL requires no special tool except pin gauges and go/no-go gauges; everything just bolts together. The downside it parts are getting more expensive. I havn't priced it recently but I think a budget build will run at least $1200.
AR's are a little cheaper, but you will need a few specialized tools (less than $100 for all you should need). Assembly is also pretty straight forward. both these guns are a good toe-dipping into gunsmithing, builds like a 1911 or bolt action rifle will require more finesse...filing pieces to fit, lapping...ect.

BP, AR, or FAL is a great place to start. There are lots of step by step instructions on the web. then you can move up to a 1911 or custom bolt-action if you like fine craftsmanship, or explore the dark arts of the AK-47 for more advanced, but rougher metalwork.

FIVETWOSEVEN
April 12, 2012, 02:11 AM
A 1911 build

Far from easy unless you are completely using genuine GI parts.

tarosean
April 12, 2012, 02:19 AM
To me a 1911 is much more of an actual build, where an AR you are basically just assembling parts.

Assembling slide/frame/ and parts is different than upper/lower and parts?
or did I miss something?

jcreid06
April 12, 2012, 02:32 AM
Quote:
To me a 1911 is much more of an actual build, where an AR you are basically just assembling parts.
Assembling slide/frame/ and parts is different than upper/lower and parts?
or did I miss something?

A 1911 is not a put the parts together gun at any stage as compared to an AR build. To do it right/proper everything will need some hand fitting. For someone wanting to just get into building a gun the 1911 would not be a great starter unless they are willing to do a lot of reading and research. An AR build is really pretty straightforward and would be an excellent first build.

tyeo098
April 12, 2012, 02:37 AM
Assembling slide/frame/ and parts is different than upper/lower and parts?
or did I miss something?
Probably because many modern parts require hand fitting on a 1911.

bannockburn
April 12, 2012, 07:33 AM
I have done a number of DIY builds over the years (M1911, AR, and BP revolver and rifle kit), and I would have to say that the BP kits were the most satisfying to do. The Hawken rifle I built was very time consuming (but in a good way), especially with all the wood working involved, as well as fitting all of the metals parts to the stock.

Probably the easiest was the AR build which was pretty much just a drop-in parts kind of exercise. The most interesting, and at times frustrating, project was the M1911; very much so since there was a lot more metal work (and mental work), as well as precise hand fitting of parts involved. There was also quite a bit of time spent on scratching my head and muttering "Why aren't you working like you're supposed to?". One thing that helped a great deal was that I already had a M1911 that I could totally disassemble to see how all the internal parts were supposed to work. I have got to say that it's very gratifying when you finally get everything put together properly and see the results of your hard work on paper!

OARNGESI
April 12, 2012, 09:03 AM
how about finding something thats been neglected maybe a older 1911 or shotgun and make it like new

fatcat4620
April 12, 2012, 09:04 AM
The problem with an AR build is you will spend 90% of your build time on the web looking for parts. If you want to be sitting at a work bench most of the time a 1911 would be much better.

Iron Sight
April 12, 2012, 09:12 AM
A Ruger 10-22 Tons of accessories and information.


http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php

HOOfan_1
April 12, 2012, 09:45 AM
The problem with an AR build is you will spend 90% of your build time on the web looking for parts.

As someone who is in the process of buying parts right now, this is very true. Finding In stock items is pretty frustrating

drcook
April 12, 2012, 10:57 AM
single shot black powder rifles, whether front stuffers or cartridge arms. there are some front stuffer kits that will make some rifles anyone can be proud of

here are some links to sources of parts / kits

http://www.logcabinshop.com/

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Index.aspx

http://possibleshop.com/rifle-kit.html

to name a few

here are some pics of my rifles that I am doing the wood on. the middle two are as recieved

i get them inletted and formed off the duplicator and then finish the wood out. I am not fast at it due to a hand injury but it is very satisfying to get results that I can show off a little

the finish on these is an oil finish, wet sanded into the wood. if anyone is interested, I can post up the contact information for where the oil comes from. it is a formulation that duplicates the "red" color that Winchester used back in the day, I also have a source for the old fashioned "rust blue" that makes such a deep luster. it all takes work, but in the end the results are something you can be proud of

http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL2063/10245039/18392501/299611374.jpg

pseudonymity
April 12, 2012, 06:07 PM
Another vote for the 10/22 if the shop setup is limited. They are pretty much a tabletop project unless you have to do stock inletting or something similar.

ARs take a little bit more setup if you are dealing with the barrel nut, receiver extension or gas block / FSB, but otherwise basically a tabletop project also.

eastwood44mag
April 12, 2012, 08:09 PM
Thinking I may end up finishing my 10/22's and my Savage bolt-actions (yes, those are both multiples). I need to marry a rich woman just to afford all these flipping parts....

Buck Kramer
April 13, 2012, 08:17 PM
Drcook, those look......classy. It's clear you take pride in your work.

writerinmo
April 14, 2012, 12:48 AM
I just picked up a Saiga and did the conversion on it. Interesting, but still only a few hours work.

Dr.Rob
April 14, 2012, 09:48 PM
Building a kit gun can take as little or as much time as you want depending on how ornate you want the final product. Dixie has a lot of kits and a lot of options for kits.

I had a friend that tried his hand at making stocks. He started small, with a broken 22 stock as a template and a biig chunk of walnut. It took time and patience but he really got something he liked in the end.

MachIVshooter
April 15, 2012, 01:00 AM
starting with existing receivers, etc., so there won't be any legal issues.

It's perfectly legal to manufacture your own gun from scratch-you just can't build them to sell (that requires a manufacturer's license).

That said, unless you're experienced in metal fabrication and have a good understanding of metallurgy and heat treating, it's probably not a great idea to do a 100% scratch build, unless it's to be a BP gun or a .22 rimfire.

chute2thrill
April 17, 2012, 01:21 AM
Nice work drcook! Those pics alone will make everyone convert from those ebrs! ;)

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