More work on the fluting press.

I had a little extra time this morning so out to the shop it is. Wrote the program and go the mill warmed up and spent my free hour cutting out the guide slot for the fluting machine. Here is a quick video of the process.

A couple of pictures.


DSC_2593sAnother step closer to finishing the project.

Viet Cong 1911 look a like

On my trip through the mid-west I happen to have an opportunity to examine a Viet Cong  copy of a 1911 pistol.


You can learn a great deal studying arms made with just basic tools. The first is that you can do anything with a file, chisel and hack saw. That is how this gun was made. It is crude and I am not real sure that it is safe. However, the owner did say that he has shot it with much reduced loads. This pistol has seen some rough usage, jungle life and all.


DSC_2065scEven the magazine was hand made.

DSC_2078scTaking a look at the pistol taken down and the first item that is noticed is that it is a blow back pistol with no lock up at all.DSC_2117csAlso some of it looks hot forged or brazed together.

DSC_2122scYou can also see some of the chisel marks.



DSC_2109scThe lower receiver is an interesting piece of work as well.


DSC_2100scYou can see that it is starting to crack. Interesting feed ramp design.

DSC_2126scThis is the lock up pin. It is what pins the barrel to the lower receiver. It also looks very battered.

The barrel to slide fit up is not great.

DSC_2123scAfter studying this pistol I do not think I would want to be on either end of it when shot.


Mondays update 10-27

With the SAR show coming up quick the main push at Gun Lab is to finish out the VG1-5 project. Not all the rifles will be built prior to SAR, but the parts will be completed and the first 3 rifles will be completed. That is my goal at least. So right now we are going over every parts and finishing every detail as working on the barrel fluting press. To that end is what this post is about.  The first picture is of the front barrel support with its final locking notch cut in.

DSC_2586swThe next picture is of the push pin that locks everything together. We needed to cut in a hole and slot for the retaining spring, still to be made.

DSC_2589cswAll the holes have been drilled and reamer on the lower 1/2 of the fluting back plate. The next components made for the fluting machine are the support and gussets for the 3 jaw chuck.

DSC_2581swand a side view of the same assembly.

DSC_2583swWe also finished the lower support for the hydraulic cylinder.

DSC_2579swI hope to cut the slots and machine the sides parallel on the back plate in the next few days. Keep checking back for up dates.

Saturday update

I am a little behind just coming back from a 10 day trip through the mid west states. So today was a work day in the shop. The major projects right now are finishing all the parts for the VG1-5, you know the hole that needs to be drilled or the slot that needs to be cut, and the fluting machine for the barrels on the VG1-5. When we last left the back plate on the cnc mill I had just finished the hole for the hold down and alignment bolts.

broaching machine backing plate revised 1

DSC_0184_sSo the first thing to do was ream the alignment bolt holes. With that accomplished we moved the plate over on the mill and started drilling holes. Just so you don’t think that I goofed off all day to get to the point that I am going to show you in the video I spent 9 hours on this. Now this includes writing the cam program as well.

This is the final product as of Saturday evening when I stopped working.DSC_2578s


The Pedersen device

I have always wanted a Pedersen device or by the proper name U.S. Pistol, Caliber .30 M1918. The standard joke between my wife and I has been we should stop at this yard sale, antique store, or gun shop because there is a Pedersen device there. This has been going on for over 30 years. I guess if you keep hoping then some day it will happen. No, I did not find one to buy.  However, I was able to photograph and shot one on this last trip. So the next couple of posts will be concerning this part of my trip. Today’s post is part one of the photo layout of the 1903A1 rifle and the Pedersen device. For every picture that I post I have another 20 with a slight angle difference. In addition to photographing it I also video it and shot it as well. Those videos will be in a later post. So here is the photo essay on the Pedersen device.

This one is with the device in the rifle

DSC_1744schere is a view from the other side.

DSC_1757cThis is a closer look at the device it self in a rifle.

DSC_1745sThis is a look at it with a magazine installed.

DSC_1813cThis next series of photos is at various angles.





DSC_1745sA few close ups of where the magazine is installed.



This next set is with the magazine installed.





DSC_1814cThe next few pictures are close ups of the modified bolt stop.



DSC_1958sNow on to the device it self. This is a piece of work.









These are some pictures of the ejection port.


DSC_1842sA couple of pictures of the barrel.

DSC_1909sThis one you can see the rifling in the barrel.

DSC_1919sThis is the pouch set that was issued with the kit.

DSC_1981sI hope you enjoyed this essay. I will be posting more pictures in the future as well as a couple of videos.

Steyr sheet metal rifle

I had the opportunity to visit with Mel Smith and look at some very interesting weapons from his collection. Today’s write up is about one of the most interesting ones. This is a Steyr bolt action sheet metal stamped prototype rifle. This rifle was made as a contender to replace the 98 mauser. It was made to be produced with less expensive sheet metal stamping instead of the usual forged and machine method of making a rifle.

Studding this rifle I can tell you that the stamping dies and equipment would have been extensive. It is truly a work of art. I hope you enjoy the photo essay.

This is the Steyr G42 (St)

Starting with the rifle.

steyr model 20001cs

steyr model 2cs

steyr model 20002cs


DSC_0952czNow for the receiver.

steyr model 20004_Page_12csThe sheet metal in that receiver is thick. The tonnage for that pressing would be quite large.

steyr model 20004_Page_11cs

steyr model 20004_Page_10csJust look at that pressing.

steyr model 20004_Page_07cs

steyr model 20004_Page_06cssteyr model 20004_Page_05cs

steyr model 20004_Page_04ssteyr model 20004_Page_03s

The sear assembly.

steyr model 20004_Page_02cs

steyr model 20002cs

The bolt group.



steyr_Page_3csI like the design of the bolt and the removable bolt handle.


steyr model 20004_Page_20cs

steyr model 20004_Page_19csInteresting design bolt





steyr_Page_5cssteyr model 2a_Page_5s

steyr model 2a_Page_4sThe safety

steyr model 2a_Page_3s

steyr model 2a_Page_1s

The magazine and follower. What a set of stampings.







Trigger and Trigger guard.







Stock and hand guard.







The rear sight. Even this stamping is interesting.

steyr model 20004_Page_14cs

steyr model 20004_Page_13cs

steyr model 20004_Page_09cs


Again I would like to thank Mel Smith for allowing me to look at this rare and unusual rifle.

Interesting Mexican pistol

While on this trip I had the opportunity to look at a number of interesting pistols. As I have a think for single shot inexpensive pistols when I had the chance to look and photograph a  Mendoza pistol ( the same company that brought you the light machine gun and sub-machine gun)  I jumped at the opportunity. This  is a Rafael Mendoza, Productos Mendoza, S.A. This pistol was mad for the general Mexican population until they changed the law and for the most part banded the private ownership of weapons.  It was made to look like a 6 shot single action revolver but was really only a single shot pistol in 22lr. It had spots on both sides to hold 3 rounds per side. The majority of the pistol was plastic with the barrel, locking block and fire control mechanism being made of metal. My friend John D. had two copies of the pistol that he let me photograph.


here are a series of close up pictures of the pistol.

DSC_1364csWith these pictures you can see the simple and basic breach block.







DSC_1357csI find this type of weapon interesting hope you do as well. If anyone has any pictures of simple and basic 22 pistols I would love to see them and publish them as well. Thanks

Monday update 10-20

This is just a quick post in that we are home after a grueling 16 hour drive. I will have a complete after action report of our 10 trip looking at guns and talking to heat treating specialist and metallurgists. We had a great time and visited some old friends and made some new ones on the trip. I will work on the trip overview to night and will start on the posts of what was learned for the rest of the weeks posts. It is go to be back home and now off to work.

Tuesday shop pictures

What a shop to work in. And to think that the people that work in my shop complain about the working conditions.







tumblr_ndevi1OI1R1qdzr9to1_1280I just don’t want to hear about the benches not being the right height or that we need a new cnc machine.

Monday update 10-13

Sorry for the lack of posting, however I have an excuse. I have been having to much fun visiting friends, taking pictures to post, looking at guns and learning about metals and heat treating. I have a pile of pictures for you, some great information on metals and a couple of interesting interviews. Now on to the rest of my trip. I will be posting everything when I get home as for now I an just having way to much fun. Tomorrow it is off to Ohio Ordnance, to look at some fun stuff.