Part One of the Bushmaster Pistol

In this video I had the opportunity to chat with John D about his collection of Bushmaster pistols. This is part one of the multi part review of this interesting weapon.

Here are a few still pictures of this interesting first model sheet metal stamped upper pistol.



Close up of parts of the pistol.



DSC_1175csStay tune for the next video.

Making the VG1-5 cocking handle

In the following pictures of original VG1-5 one of the items that you will notice is that all the cocking handles look different and that they have been through some rough times.









DSC_0617csSo this is the cocking handle that we developed. The first thing that you will notice is the steel is just a little thicker. We are hoping to prevent the serious bending issue that we have seen in the original rifles. We are trying to keep it as the same basic shape of the original and it will be riveted as well.


DSC_2675sThis is the video showing how they are made.

And the close ups of the tooling to accomplish this task.



DSC_2680csSome times simple tools are the best.

AR-180 part 3

In this write up we are going to look at the smaller parts and how they were made. The majority of the AR18/180 was a stamped weapon with minimal machined components. These are the stamped parts we are going to look at today.


The first part that we are going to look at is the magazine hold open lever.

DSC_2330sClose up of the stamping strip.DSC_2332sThe actual part.DSC_2355sThe bending fixture.DSC_2357s



Next is the dust cover.

DSC_2476sWhat the stamped part looked like.



Next there is the lower receiver strengthening support.

First is the stamping strip.


DSC_2325sFinal part as it comes off of line.

DSC_2373sThis next part is the trigger stamping cut out.

DSC_2321sThis is the sear stamping cut out.

DSC_2322sThis is the butt stock attachment piece.

DSC_2314sThe final stamped piece we are going to look at is the scope base.DSC_2337sAnd the actual stamped piece.

DSC_2372sI hope you have enjoyed this little walk through stamping. Thanks for stopping by.

Making the Gardner gun Part 1

I enjoy making things, specifically guns and any thing associated with making guns. I also enjoy chatting with people who make guns or any thing dealing with that. I also love mechanical machine guns. That leads us to today’s topic.

A friend of mine really wanted a miniature Gardner gun and with none available took it upon himself to make one. In fact not only one but a number of them. He has since sold the complete operation and tooling but this is a little write up of the process it took to do it. I really wanted one of these and to complete the project, there was just a little problem, money. The amount of work required to make this weapon much less a miniature one was immense. There were no usable blue prints to work from. There were no patterns available. So to complete this project he had to first find a gun, reverse engineer it, draw it up in a modeling program ,then reduce all the components to make it in 22lr. This was a task only one person would even think of doing, Papa Joe.

The original Gardner guns were made in 577-450, 43 Spanish, 11mm dutch and just about every other military black powder cartridge and 45-70 then finally in 303 British and 6.5 Dutch, can’t remember where I saw this at.  The weapon was used up to WW1 by the Dutch. It was even copied by the Nepalese in the form of the Bira Gun. It is a manually operated machine gun that came in one,two and five barrel versions.



navy gun 3On wheeled mounts.


A two barrel version with no jacket.


A two barrel version with a jacket.

IMG_0944csThis is what the hole in the top of a water cooled version looks like.

Data00364scThen to the 5 barrel version.



It was a beautifully made piece of art. There are a number of varieties, as I have shown you some come with no jackets, some come with solid jackets and some come with open top water jackets. It is currently being reproduce by two different companies both as a bronze casting and as a fabricated steel one that is plated.   No mater which model or style you look at they are just great. It was even made as a belt fed gun.

belt fed gardner

Papa Joe took it upon himself to make the most complicated one possible. The two barrel full jacketed water cooled version. Part 2 will continue on with this saga and go into a little more history.


Weekend update 11-17

As always there is to much to do and not enough time to complete all of it. First is the update to the addition to the wood shop. The door is hung and the roof is up. The roof and sides are epoxy and fabric covered, for the most part. One more day and I should have it complete. Here are a few pictures of the project as the end of Sunday.


DSC_2808sAnd a quick look inside. I still have the dust collector ducting, the air piping and the lighting circuit to complete. After all that is complete I will insulate,sheet and sheet rock.

DSC_2809sTalking about the wood shop. I was on a job and was chatting with the home owner and a piece of equipment in his garage and he gave it to me. So meet the new addition to the shop.


DSC_2811sIt is a router table with a real nice Porter Cable router. It is funny that I just bought the same router last week for 309.00. I sold the new one to my neighbor today.

More work was completed on the rifle rack that I started a couple of weeks ago.


DSC_2824sI will cut the slots for the top and bottom hole this week and then set it up in the gun room.

I spent most of Saturday in a class on anodizing and I have a little write up on that in the future.

Last but not least I made a number of pieces for the stock washers. Simple parts but time consuming.


I will chat with you all tomorrow.



Sunday answer 11-16

This post will be a little late. I have to finish the stock screw bushings today and will photograph the answer a little latter. Sorry

What is it Saturday 11-15

I started another photograph class dealing with product photography. I am hoping it will improve my pictures. So these pictures are from the class.



A british video of gun proofing

Interesting how they did this.

Pedersen Device manual

The illusive Pedersen device.

Here are a few pictures of the rifle and device.DSC_1813c



As promised here is the manual for the Pedersen device.

Pedersen Device manual


The most interesting part of the manual are the pictures showing the components. This is actually a complex part.

AR-180 part 2

In part 2 of making the AR-180 we will be looking at the upper receiver and the steps necessary to make one. There are a number of rifles that use the same basic design concept. So this build concept would work for any of them.

This is the AR-18/180.

DSCN2975scAnd a close up of the upper receiver.


A number of other weapons have the same basic upper receiver design. This includes the AR-180B


DSC_2737scThe early Bushmaster rifle


DSC_2739scThe Leader rifle


DSC_2741scAnd the Vulcan V15DSC_2743s

DSC_2744csSome of these have strengthening ribs while other do not.



This is what the flat would look like after the initial pressing. The holes would be alignment holes for set up and the groves would be pressed in.


This pressing shows the unnecessary sheet metal cut away and the remainder of the holes in the receiver.





The other side of the same pressing


At this point there were probably 2 or three ops performed between this pressing and the last one.  The hole has been cut into the receiver for the ejection port and for the bolt operating handle. In addition the first and second bend has been completed.


The other side of the same pressing.


You can now see the upper receiver completely bent and welded.




These 4 holes on both sides of the receiver are to tig weld the barrel extension to the upper receiver.

DSC_2538sThe vertical run of holes is to tig weld the “u” channel that the bolt runs along into the receiver.




Close up of the welding performed to close the upper receiver together.

DSC_2545sOur next post on this type of rifles will be the smaller parts and how they were made.