modern manufacturing technologies -- who does it "best?"

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by upptick, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    From years ago!



    How Savage makes rifles (not saying the best) most companies today have modern machines. People still make a difference!

     
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  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    That sucks for you. I wish you’d have worked with more skilled companies at implementing these principles. Sounds like you had the wrong engineers designing the CI projects if you were chasing data without gains.
     
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  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Remember that the complexity isn't always anti-modern. For a lot of Ruger's designs they were able to simplify the manufacturing by using parts that were mostly cast with just a little finish-machining to clean up important areas. This is far cheaper than machining from a billet or even forging. That's also why everyone yells "Space gat!" every time a new polymer frame gun comes out because they can mold in incredibly complex patterns that once would have cost a fortune to machine.

    The Mini-14 in particular was created to simplify, scale down, and make cheaper the design of the M-14 service rifle, which it did quite well.

    Also, what is easy and modern changes over time. For a while in the mid 1900's stampings were heavily used as a simple and cost effective manufacturing method. In modern times however stampings are mostly being abandoned in favor of various types of cast parts and CNC machining. Additive manufacturing (eg, 3d printing) is quickly becoming another technology used to make things cheaper too (not your average home plastic 3d printer but industrial metal 3d printers - SIG is already 3d printing metal suppressors for example).
     
  4. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    The company I work for was selling fully functional 3d printed 1911's for a couple years. I don't really see investment cast parts as being an example of modern technology any longer. In the 1960's and 70's that was a big innovation and certainly cheaper for a lot of parts compared to machining, but that's less and less true today. Rugers doesn't even cast the receivers on the American or the slides on their handguns. They are cut from billet. If anyone in the world could do it cheaper by casting them it would be ruger because they own the foundry, but they don't because its not cost effective anymore. Too much tooling and labor and touching and finishing and stress releveling, and then you have to machine it anyway.
     
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  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Good video. Funny how one guest is wearing a Beretta shirt.
     
  6. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Hi-Point comes to mind.
     
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  7. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    BCM uses modern CNC machines to cut and check dimensions of parts. I believe they also use automated systems for such tasks as torquing the barrel nut.
     
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  8. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

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    How about Cabot Arms with their EDM (electrical discharge machining?)
     
  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Way to break it down for us. Thanks.
     
  10. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    For reference purposes, here's state-of-the-art manufacturing as of 1917:



    Back then, when just about every gun part was wood or milled steel, efficient firearm production involved a huge number of separate machine tools set up for quick, single operations, rather than a relative few sophisticated CNC machines.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    When people wax poetic about the old days of hand fitting, it often seems to be forgotten that it was done because it was necessary. Machines couldn't produce finished parts. They HAD to be fitted by a skilled hand. Now, it's true that the best made firearms today have the most skilled hand work involved, not all hand fitted firearms are of such quality as a Westley Richards or Purdey.

    Some things have drastically improved over the last 100yrs, some have not. It's easier and cheaper to produce a more precisely built firearm with modern machinery. STI produced its Texican SAA replica with as-machined parts (EDM). However, such high levels of fit and finish as we typically measure it was lost in the goal of rapid manufacturing. A Ruger American will outshoot virtually any high grade rifle from 100yrs ago but accuracy is not the only measure of a rifle.


    I don't agree with this at all. I have bought 78 Rugers from the earliest to the latest. Why would a Security 9 even be compared to a Blackhawk?
     
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  13. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

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    Loaded question, OP.

    CNC machines, lasers engraving, CHF barrel machines have not only greatly sped up manufacturing but have increased the longevity of many parts.

    Depends what you are looking for.
     
  14. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'm only a lowly SixSigma Greenbelt, but even then I've made some big impacts on improving quality and through put at the places I've worked that let me utilize that experience.

    Some companies do like to talk a big game, get people certified, and then do nothing with it just to add buzzwords to their resumes though.
     
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  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A lot of them were ASSEMBLED by practiced workers.
    Smith and Wesson were known for "selective assembly." An assembler started out with a rack of barreled actions and an oversupply of parts. Put in a set of parts and check. If it does not operate well, try other parts. I am sure they had a rework line for frames that just wouldn't accommodate run of the mill internals, but I bet it was small.
     
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  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Agreed. Admittedly, when I got my Yellow and Green, it was only 1) to pad my resume and 2) satisfy a headcount on a continuous improvement focused corporate initiative, but in the end completing my black, I had opportunities to work with really great people and processes which drove significant improvements in processes and manufacturing technology. Largely out of my focus these days, and maybe never aligned with my primary passion in technology development, but there are a lot of great things happening around the world in the scope of Manufacturing Tech built on the back of CI principles like Lean and SS.
     
  17. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I'm just waiting until Elon Musk gets into weapons... .
     
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  18. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    No more solid projectiles, they'll hurt you by having your phone explode.
     
  19. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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  20. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    That's not a weapon - it's just a weed-burner in a fancy plastic shroud.
    The weapons come later... .
     
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  21. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I know, still kinda funny though.
     
  22. upptick

    upptick Member

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  23. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    My father had an aunt that worked at US&S, machining the frame. He told me he remembers her complaining "I hate cutting trigger guards!"
     
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  24. upptick

    upptick Member

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    Thanks for posting these. I found them very interesting, although the Remington piece is obviously dated and likely totally obsolete given the bankruptcies / change of ownership / change of location.

    I found everyone's perspective on this very informative -- thanks for posting your replies to my original post. I started off thinking that Howa probably had the best C&C / modern machine shop processes. My conclusion now, still tentative but a bit better informed, is that Howa is number 2 and Tikka (or Sako) is probably number 1. Thoughts?
     
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