A Gun In The Works: How many of you have to have a project gun?


November 7, 2012, 06:02 PM
It seems that it isn't too long after I customize or have a project gun to work on, that I am on the lookout for another. It is not an excuse to hoard or buy another gun, but has more to do with my creative side. Something a little different; something unique to my tastes, etc. Anyone else have this quirk; this gun tinkering, creative thing?

If you enjoyed reading about "A Gun In The Works: How many of you have to have a project gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
November 7, 2012, 06:17 PM
Yeah, like most I go through project guns. Sometimes as simple as reconditioning some lumber or sometimes re barreling and creating a whole new rifle. Currently have Remington 700 action (with a screwed bolt) that was a custom 6mm PPC I built years ago. Eventually I'll get to that rifle and make something out of it. :)


November 7, 2012, 06:23 PM
Personally, the project guns just happen to find me Ė not the other way around. And even odder than that, the project guns Iím working on DIDNíT start out that way! There were perfectly fine the way they were, and I decided to go tinkering. Once that happens, there is NO going back. I find myself going down this path:

ďOh, Iíll just put some new springs in it. Well now that thatís done, I should probably get a new pair of grips Ė I mean, the old ones are already off, right? And I wonder if I could buy a shorter barrel for it so I can CCW itÖor a LONGER barrel for bench-rest shooting! I should probably get it re-bored to a higher caliber in case I ever get a chance to hunt Cape Buffalo. I wonder how much a Fancy AAA stock would cost?Ē And, of course, it only continues to spiral out of control from there.

All that said, a work-in-progress is just one more reason to wake up in the morning. It may never be finished (especial when you through in all the side projects on other guns), but thereís something American about always making something better, and not being happy until itís done juuuuuuust right.

November 7, 2012, 06:32 PM
Guilty (well, when I don't have five other projects going on, at least). I started by thoroughly cleaning a new-to-me CZ52, which led to a complete teardown, requiring me to upgrade and polish the internals, prompting me to polish the tooling marks off the exterior, making it too nice for the factory grips, and ultimately, the factory sights. Even better grips than the pair I made, a sight adjustment, and polishing the slap outta the trigger and I may be finished.

At that point I get to decide if I'd rather delve into the refinishing/modification of a Belgian clone of a S&W 44 Russian, or try my hand at rebarreling a Steyr M95 to a bigger-bore brush thumper (the latter is winning, since it seems way more feasible).

Some of us are always busy, probably something to due with extra nervous energy from sitting at a desk all day bored outta our gourds... I find the projects distract me from buying more guns or ammo, and tend to rack up expenses slower than gun/ammo purchases--so for me projects are a budgetary thing (yeah, that's it :rolleyes:)


November 7, 2012, 07:00 PM
I use to start project guns during those cold winter months when there was absolutely nothing worth venturing out of the house for, and little else on TV to watch. Over the years I did an M1911 build in .38 Super, then moved on to an AR-15 build, a CMP M1, fitted a walnut stock to an M1A, restored a Krag-Jorgensen M1898, and built a couple of black powder guns from unfinished kits. I also use to work on my friends guns if I was between projects.

When I do run out of projects to work on I like to try out different grips on various guns, change out optics, maybe add a laser/light combo, swap out barrels on my shotguns; just about anything to keep busy and to avoid the overwhelming boredom during that time of year.

November 7, 2012, 07:07 PM
I always have at least 6-8 project guns sitting around. The only problem I have is the cash flow to get parts or the machine time to make them. I restore a lot of old auto pistols and parts have to be researched and made. As to the polishing and re-finishing I have to get that farmed out so more funds are needed. I keep on trying to call an end to the projects. I need to glass several rifles and get my reloading bench set up again.

Texan Scott
November 7, 2012, 07:57 PM
Always. Most recently, I traded into (among other things) a poorly maintained, bubbafied "tacticool" SKS. Way too far gone to be restored, and being a short stocked Yugo, wouldn't fit a man my size if it were. Fortunately, the previous owner still had a "junk box" full of original parts. I'm the process of "de-pimping" it. Lots of mechanical attention and cleaning at first, and now a bit of money spent or set aside each payday to turn it into something clean, accurate, reliable, useful, sensible, and tasteful.
When I'm done, I'll have an assortment of "tactical accessories" to sell or trade to the next Bubba that wants to "sporterize" his SKS. Nothing wrong with that, if it's done intelligently with a specific role in mind... just that what some people want is not what I'd want for myself, obviously.

November 7, 2012, 07:58 PM
Working on a retro Vietnam shogun right now. Stevens 67 that will become a 77E.

November 7, 2012, 08:35 PM
heh...I've had a project gun or another constantly since I started messin' with them over 40 years ago. Currently have 3 projects, a couple stock refinishings and need to finish out 2-3 longbows...

November 7, 2012, 09:04 PM
Oh yeah I have several. I have a 18" Mossberg 500 that is getting a Blackhawk Spec Ops 2 stock and a repaint, a Maverick 88 18" getting the same stock and repaint , a Marlin 825 possibly getting a new stock and a 10/22 that will never be finished. A little work but a lot of fun!:evil:

November 7, 2012, 09:13 PM
Each of the last three winters has seen a project gun on the bench. If you can't get out to shoot, you might as well be building something.


November 7, 2012, 09:49 PM
I always have a project or 3 in various stages of work. Usually it's waiting for the right part or the extra cash to buy whatever is needed. I do start them in the winter when nothing else is going on. I find it relaxing as well as fun and the finished product is either kept or sold, depending if I want to sell it to start another project or keep it because it just turned out nice. It's therapy.

November 8, 2012, 07:53 AM
Seems like I can't leave anything alone; I just finished a 1022 build and installing threaded barrels on my Sig 226 and one of my 1911's.
I like tinkering with guns making them just the way I like them.

November 8, 2012, 09:09 AM
Currently I plan on re-bluing my late uncles Winchester model 94.......

November 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
Still working on my VZ24 based scout rifle. I have it re-barreled in 7x57 19" but I still need iron sights, long eye relief scope mount, a better stock than the chopped up stock it came to me in & a good leather sling. Probably have it parkerized in the end too.

Once that's done, I hope to start working up a mauser based 9.3x62 rifle.

November 8, 2012, 01:23 PM
I have two in progress and one waiting to get started.

It's a sickness.

November 8, 2012, 01:33 PM
Just finished up my 1903-A4 clone and am very happy with the results. However, right now I've got nothing on my plate. Instead of buying some poor sporter to rescue I think I'll be rebuilding my FN Hi-Power. It's one of the Isreali trade-ins with the goopy grey parkerization on it.

November 8, 2012, 01:38 PM
I have a circa 1919 manufactured Winchester 1897 in 12ga. that is my current winter project.

It looks like something tried to scratch the bluing off it, the wood is a mess, and it was probably last cleaned in 1916.

Cant wait!

November 8, 2012, 02:07 PM
I have an AR-10 I have been pecking away at for a couple of years. Deployment and divorce scrambled things around a bit.

November 8, 2012, 02:09 PM
I like to tinker with rifles but decided to try my hand at a 1911 build. I have knicknamed it the "Kimber x3" because of the cost thus far :D

November 8, 2012, 11:25 PM
I've never had a project gun...probably because i have no skills with which to design or complete such a project.

For example...about 13 years ago we had a glass top coffee table in our living room. I thought it would be cool to refinish it so I took it apart and began sanding it. Then I got sidetracked...all of the parts are still sitting in my tool room...it's never gonna get finished...I should really throw them out tomorrow. I guess I'm just not a project kind of guy...I just shoot guns the way I bought them.

November 10, 2012, 03:56 AM
A project gun? I figure once I retire I'll be able to work on guns most of the time and it will still take years to get down to a project gun.

November 10, 2012, 10:33 AM
When I finished sporterizing my 91/30, I got the itch to do another. I'm only halfway done with it, and am already hot to get another, either an Arisaka or a SMLE. I can use the same bullets to load for all three...

November 10, 2012, 10:50 AM
Not yet... I keep getting tempted by a pistol that keeps getting re-listed on gunbroker thou. I may just buy it when I get stateside for Thanksgiving. Give me something to tinker with...

November 11, 2012, 12:41 AM
I've been slowly accumulating parts for a retro XM16E1 build I'm planning to do this winter unless Barry-O Gun Hysteria keeps me from being able to get an upper and lower receiver from NoDak Spud.

November 11, 2012, 12:56 AM
My AK is constantly a project gun. When I can afford it, I buy another thing for it to add on.

November 11, 2012, 06:59 AM
Definitely me. I finished an AR recently, but a very drawn out and long home-buying and moving process has kept me from having anything even RESEMBLING a good spot to make a video about it.

Thinking about building a 1911 next, or maybe convert a Saiga on my own first...

November 11, 2012, 11:55 AM
Currently working on finishing up my Savage 110ba in .338 Lapua, then it's back to my Remington 700 project that I've been working on for god knows how long.

November 11, 2012, 12:30 PM
I have a Kareen (Isreali assembled FEG Hi Power) I am doing some metal work on; basically smoothing out the trigger and trying to take out as much take-up as I can. I've removed the magazine diconnect (HUGE improvement) and began polishing the hammer and sear and working ont he engagement angle as well. I'm going to work on building an extended thumb safety if I can find one at a gun show for the right price or just modifying the one that came with the gun (I paid all of $250 for the pistol). Once I get that where I like it I'll smooth up the other faces of the moving parts where they contact the frame. I have a buddy who is a hobby machinist and I'm going to have him cut the dovetails for some Lo-Mounts as well as a rib along the top of the slide. After that I'll look into getting some Alumagrips and maybe a new Cerakote or Durcoat, funds permitting. What I'm after is something that will outshoot a factory or slightly modified Browning for a quarter of the cost.

November 11, 2012, 12:50 PM
LOL! I'm just amazed when a project gun gets finished!

We did 3 for SHOOTING GALLERY 2013. My favorite is a tack-driving AR-15 .22, using a Spike's Tactical Lothar Walther-barrelled upper and a one-off JP lower built for .22s. Man, is that a GREAT little rifle! When we were doing the filming of the final build at my friend Alan's gun store, Machine Gun Tours in Lakewood, CO, people kept trying to buy it. We also put together a take-down AR on one of the ATI Omni polymer lower receivers and a suppressed Ruger Charger. Would you believe that the Charger was the biggest PITA? I can take apart and overhaul a 10-22 in my sleep, but the Charger fought me to a standstill...I finally ended up pounding the barrel out of the receiver. And no, we don't have that on camera! Oh, we also did a Glock 19 Gen 3 with a Glock Trigger upgrade and a Trijicon RMR...we're doing a segment with Mike Seeklander on the rise of the red-dot defensive pistol, and we've got both S&W M&Ps and Glocks with red dots, the RMR and DeltaPoints.

On the Endless TV Project List, an SBR in .300 Blackout, a Rock Island 1911 project in .22 TCM (maybe a little longer barrel and a silencer), some kind of AK project and whatever else percolates up.

Michael B

November 12, 2012, 01:01 AM
After recently selling an AR15 in 300BLK, it opened up the way for 2 projects. First is sporterizing a Mosin Nagant 91/30. Second is a lighweight AR15 pistol build using a polymer lower receiver.

November 12, 2012, 01:15 AM
Yes, first you need to get everything to make your project gun, then you have to make it all fit together, then you have to show it off to all your friends.

Then you need to get custom leather for it.

Then you need a new project gun...


Just finished my three year project gun: a Safari Arms Matchmaster rebuild/upgrade.

Just started my next project: a Beretta PX4 Storm .45 upgrade

November 12, 2012, 12:19 PM
My wife bought me a used Ruger KP94 last Christmas. I had asked for it. The gun had evidently been in a corrosive environment at some point, as there were dark spots on the slide, the grips were eaten away at, and the barrel rifling was interrupted by what looked to be lichen.

The thing was, this was an early version, in 9x19, and used the Browning Link set-up. I replaced the barrel, added NOS grips, buffed the slide, and took it to the range. It worked perfectly, although it shot 4" to the right. When I attempted to loosen the set screw, it all went downhill. I soaked the slide in penetrating oil for a month, no go. I finally took it to a local shop, and they cut the sight off with a cut-off wheel. The dove-tail had corrosion in it.

A little work with a three-corner file, and the new sight was on. The gun now shoots to POA/POI, and we're all very happy. I even had a few 15 round OEM Ruger mags for it. Cost of the gun was under $100.00, parts were under $70.00. A project that actually turned out well. :)

November 12, 2012, 12:37 PM
I didn't have a project gun when this thread was started but that changed last night.

While my step dad is in Japan on business, I have his Remington model 10 and am getting it refurbished for Christmas. Got it broken down and cleaned last night, just need a new extractor spring and have a 'smith check over the barrel and receiver to make sure it's going to hold up.

My plan is to reblue the metal and refinish the stock once I know it's safe to shoot.

November 12, 2012, 12:48 PM
For the guys who mentioned re-blueing projects, you probably already know this but just in case: If a gun has any collectible or antique value, you can seriously diminish that value by re-blueing (or stock re-finishing, etc.) Please be sure you know what you have, and if it's a surprise for someone else, make sure you aren't altering someone's ugly, but prized, possession.

November 12, 2012, 01:21 PM
Yep, it`s what I do, am always working on some firearm, if I am not reading the stuff on here...................LOL

November 12, 2012, 01:43 PM
Since someone started the topic, a friend of mine asked me years ago to help him find a good refinisher to re-blue his dad's old Colt Police Positive. It was a mostly finish gone, "slightly pitted" thing, and I told him that rebluing would diminish the "collector's value", but he said it would always be an heirloom, and he just wanted a nice job. We sent it to a really good refinisher, and when it came back, I thought they did a great job, for the task that was asked. However, my friend was greatly disappointed that the lettering, etc, was reduced from the metalwork and polishing. I explained that to detail the exterior and get it bright blued as they did, that that was normal. He had envisioned a RESTORED Colt, and I explained that relettering, engraving as such, would have added $100-$200 to the gun, and it would have had to go to one of the better restoration guys, and the bluing would have been a lot more than whatever it was for us at the time (can't recall the $$ amount now). So, expectations differ from person to person, and clarity and understanding as to what is to happen to a gun is really an issue. I felt bad for my friend, but I also felt I had got him a fair price for what he asked for and had done. He just didn't ask for RESTORATION, and he wouln't have liked the price of that level of work, either. There IS a balance when money is concerned.

November 12, 2012, 02:16 PM
For the guys who mentioned re-blueing projects, you probably already know this but just in case: If a gun has any collectible or antique value, you can seriously diminish that value by re-blueing (or stock re-finishing, etc.) Please be sure you know what you have, and if it's a surprise for someone else, make sure you aren't altering someone's ugly, but prized, possession.
I checked out the going rate for a Remington model 10 with a middle run serial number in fair condition. My refurb project can only increase its value. As for sentimentality, if it were a prized possession, it wouldn't have been left in the condition I found it, tossed in a gun sleeve in the back of a closet with decades of mud and rust in the action.

Erik M
November 13, 2012, 06:45 PM
last winter i started on my second AR build. I took me just over 8 months to complete. Im still tinkering with it to get all the little quirks out of it.

November 14, 2012, 07:42 PM
This thread has inspired me to get back to work on my 70% complete, on-again off-again Remington 700 benchrest stock of the last 2 years:D. An hour or two a day, it should be done in no time.

It's gonna be sweet :), blonde, swirling Jatoba for the forearm and butt, and fiery orange Cocobolo for a custom-fitted thumbhole grip neatly jointed together under the comb. No curvaceous "classic" sporting lines here, either; it's a faceted, fast profile that would look futuristic if painted black, but instead boasts some of the "loudest" woodgrain I've seen on stock that wasn't dyed laminate:cool:

Tim the student
November 14, 2012, 09:14 PM
Nothing at the moment, although I do have a Savage 110 I've thought often about playing with. I think I might just try to trade for a short action though, and use that to play with.

November 15, 2012, 08:40 PM
ALL my guns are black hole money sink projects.

November 16, 2012, 12:09 PM
Yes. I'm building my second semiautomatic M1918A3 BAR. All I need is the OOW receiver (which is on order).

If you enjoyed reading about "A Gun In The Works: How many of you have to have a project gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!