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Home Made Rifles

On a CNC machine. As Uncle says, “Gun control is no match for technology.” It’s amazing to me that people still think you can stop criminals from getting guns, and pooh pooh the idea that even if you instituted a comprehensive ban, they’ll just be made in garages. Uncle has proof that it’s not that hard, especially with modern technology.

My friend Jason has a CNC machine in addition to the 3D printer we made an almost working 30 round magazine with. He been bugging me to try to fix the program that’s used to calculate the tool path for his CNC machine so he can turn out an AR-15 receiver on it. He’s quite capable, but doesn’t have the time. Even now, though, I’m not sure I do either. Finding a job is turning out to be close to full time work, and then I’m developing a game of sorts, also in Python.

Interestingly, a Python programming contract job just fell in my lap today, for which I threw my resume into the ring. We’ll see how that goes. I’m more of an IT systems guy than a developer, but beggars can’t be choosers, and if I can pay the bills for six months while I find a more permanent gig, that’s fine by me. I had been eschewing contract work, but there’s a lot more of it out there than full time employment.

10 Responses to “Home Made Rifles”

  1. PT says:

    Most tube style guns (sten, sterling, etc) can be made with a dremel and a file.

    The hard part is the magazine. That’s where your 3D printer comes in!

  2. Terriligunn says:

    I can honestly say with confidence that I can make my own firearms, and ammo. So yes it is silly, and I have a high school education and a large book collection :)

  3. Graumagus says:

    I’ve been programming, setting up, and operating multi-axis CNC machines for over 16 years. I also have about 5 years of CAD training (classroom and on the job) under my belt.

    Making a functional firearm is not as hard as people think.

    How long until the Brady bunch wants background checks to buy a lathe and mill?

  4. Bill Twist says:

    I would point out that guns are a 600 year old technology that for most of that time, were made using tools and materials inferior to what you can get at your local hardware store.

  5. PhilaBOR says:

    David Kopel et. al. wrote an excellent piece in 2001: http://old.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel120501.shtml . In it they cover means, motivation and history of underground gun manufacturing.

  6. Stew says:

    Maybe you should move over into making pistols with proven innards and pretty custom shells? Surely you can modify the slide of a 1911 to make it look sleeker or more [adjective].

  7. robert says:

    “I had been eschewing contract work, but there’s a lot more of it out there than full time employment.”

    And we all know the reason(s) behind that. BHO.

  8. Alpheus says:

    This very topic is why I became interested in machining. You could probably put together a shop for less than $5,000–see Sherline for an example of how to get started–and while that may be a miniature lathe and mill, that’s enough to make a rifle receiver, or an entire pistol.

    Once, I wanted to design a gun that was as easy to make as an AK-47, but as accurate as an AR-15. I was surprised to learn from Wikipedia that, due to CNC technology, the AR-15 *is* that gun: the AK-47 was designed to be stamped out by heavy presses, manned by factories of plebes, while the AR-15 can be churned out by garage-sized shops set up with about $20,000 worth of equipment.

    And machining, in and of itself, is a fun hobby!

  9. Jonathan says:

    I’m working on machining an AR-15 lower. I’ve made the workholding I need; just been picking up or making the cutting tools I need and writing toolpaths. I also just lack time right now. Definitely not a complex project, though. Gun control just doesn’t stand a chance. Muzzle brakes/compensators are also fun to make.

  10. Ian Argent says:

    Out of curiosity, if I rent my tools from Home Despot and turn out a receiver in my basement, is HD in for it for not having a manufacturing FFL? If not, why shouldn’t I be able to rent time on a CNC machine if I provide materials and source file…

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