Parts wanted and for Sale!

Looking for G-43 fire control parts. Hammer,trigger,sear. This is for one of the projects we are working on. A friend of Gun Lab has helped out with this. Thanks

Continue reading Parts wanted and for Sale!

VG1-5 Preorder Now Available!

We are now taking reservations for out reproduction VG1-5 rifles! Price is $4000, and they will be ready to ship once ATF gives final approval on the design. The get on the priority list, contact Matt or Greg at Allegheny Arsenal – (814) 362-2642. No payment will be taken until the guns are ready to ship.


Life at Gun Lab, studying the MP-44 receiver

Here at gun Lab what we do is study weapons and at any time you could come across anything. A set of EM-2 locking flaps,


a Destroyer carbine,


a Vickers cut away lock,


Hand drawn prints for a weapon

drawings c

or a French MAS 36 22 trainer cartridge adapter.


Anything and everything can be found in my office area. So today we are going to be looking at a MP-44 half of a receiver. I enjoy studying parts and looking at this part it is very interesting to see how the Germans made this part and the interior design that you hardly ever get to see.

DSC_6309csA couple of views of the back of the mag well housing and the added pressings.


DSC_6314csA look at the front of the mag well and the added strengthening plate spot welded on.


DSC_6319csA good view of the press work on the inside of the trunnion and magazine housing area.



DSC_6331csThe out side view. Nice trunnion curvature.

DSC_6334csLook at the internal and external rib stampings


DSC_6336cThis is a nice photo of the magazine housing ribs.


DSC_6346csLook at the transition between the receiver body and the trunnion.


As complex as this weapon is I am amazed at the quality of the stamping. This is actually a beautiful stamping

Older gun making video part2

Today’s post is another of the video’s out there dealing with making the weapons of war in the U.S. This video deals with making the BAR and it.s magazine.

What is interesting is the pressing dies and method used to make the BAR magazine. I find the fixture design to answer question that I have on how to fixture something.

Enjoy the video

AR-180B safety spring bending

A while back we showed you the springs that we obtained for the AR-180B safety and bolt hold open. We bought these with out the tabs pre-bent and trimmed.

DSC_5762sThe next step was to design the tooling necessary to bend the springs for an AR-180B rifle. A couple of pictures of the tooling necessary to bend the spring at a proper angle


DSC_6404sNot as simple as it looks.


The spring wire put in for the first bend.

DSC_6406sThe tool necessary to bend the spring.


DSC_6407sAfter the first bend


DSC_6409sPivot pin moved to second op position.



DSC_6412sThe bending handle re-installed.


DSC_6414sSecond op completed.

DSC_6415sThis is where and how the spring is installed.


A quick video showing how it’s done.

New style VG1-5 trigger guard

After we built the first prototype VG1-5 I just did not like the style and shape of the trigger guard. It caused problems with the location and operation of the trigger and just did not look like the original rifle.

A part of the building process is to make necessary changes when it is required. That is what we did.

With these next two pictures you can see the change.


DSC_6396csA lot of pressure was required to do this task. So much so that it moved the fly press a lot.

DSC_6353sA close look at the female dies

DSC_6397csThe complete die package

DSC_6398csThey are all done and waiting to be attached to the lower receiver


AR-180B parts update

With the parts coming backĀ  from the heat treating company on Friday it was time to get busy getting them finished.

This is how they look after heat treating. This is the safety.

DSC_6361csAnd this is the bolt hold open.

DSC_6359csThe first step was to run them through the tumbler to remove the majority of the scaling.

DSC_6363sAfter the tumbler they are then bead blasted to clean them for parkerizing.

IMG_0009sThis is how they look after finishing.


DSC_6386sYou will notice the different colors. They were parkerized at the same time with the same solution. The reason for the differences is the material , 1018 vs 4130, and the heat treating performed on the parts.

We are working on the spring bending die today and hope to have the parts set up for sale this weekend.


Older Gun Making Video

I just locate a series of videos that were made concerning making the 1917 Enfield rifle and Browning machine gun. There is no sound as the age of when they were made precludes that. There is however a lot of information in the videos concerning making weapons.

I enjoy studying how weapons have been made in the past. I hope you like the series.

So here is the first of the series, enjoy.

A good video on the making of stocks for the 1917 Enfield

Owen SMG

A friend of mine showed up this last weekend with a new addition to his collection. It is interesting enough that I wanted to share it with you. As with all collectors we not only want the weapon but all the accessories as well. In this case the accessory that he just received was an original transit case used by the Australian military.

DSC_6271csThis chest is really very cool. It holds 3 Owen guns with magazines, slings and cleaning gear.

A close up of the lid shows the packing and equipment list and location.

DSC_6272csIn the lower right hand corner is the actual list of material to be in the box.


You can see what the inside of the box looks like here.


Here are a few more pictures of the out side of the box with the painted lettering on it.

DSC_6275csand another.

DSC_6279csThere was a card attached to the box with the serial numbers of the weapons in them.


To give you the over all appreciation of the box you really need to see it with the Owen inside the box.


And a couple of pictures of a real nice Owen.

DSC_6282csThis particular weapon has an additional accessory as well.

DSC_6284csA close up of the markings on the Owen.

DSC_6286csIt was nice to see this weapon. When the temperature drops we will be out shooting it.


AR-180b upper receiver

Here At Gun Lab we actually have a number of projects going on. While we are waiting for our heat treating to come back for the VG1-5 and AR-180b parts we started on the AR-180B upper receiver. This receiver is design to fit on the Nodak-Spud lower as well as the AR-180B lower and the original AR-180.

The project was started July 20th when a friend sent me a original flat for the AR-180. That evening I sat down and started the solid model drawing for the upper receiver. It was not a priority project here and was put on the back burner until the projects on the mill were completed. However, by July 30th I had completed the solid model and had completed the first set of basic modelling for the stamping die.

This first picture is of an original AR-18 flat that has had ribs pressed in.


This picture shows what it would look like after the next stamping. The basic shape is cut out.

DSC_2475sThe next step that was performed was to bend the bottom tabs.

DSC_2485sThe next step was then to punch out the ejector port and cocking handle opening.

DSC_2482sWith the advent of technology we have made a few changes to the process in which this part will be made.

In looking at an original AR-180b upper you can see a few of the manufacturing changes. Looking at these pictures and at the actual part you can see that a laser cutter was used versus stamping them out. The cost difference is huge.


DSC_6267csWhat we have done is drawn up the receiver then changed it into a flat design then had that laser cut out of the proper material and thickness of sheet metal

DSC_6263ccsNext we started working on the stamping design.

AR180 Complete Die3

AR180 Complete Die2

AR180 Complete Die1

AR180 Complete Die

Once the basic design is completed we start working on each component of the design and changing the parts and assembly as we go along. Finally we come up with a working model.

AR180 Complete Die1Then every part and component is accurately located and attached.

AR180 Complete DieDown to the pins and screws.

AR180 Complete Die2Once this is done we start making each of the individual pieces. Starting with the basic stock.


To the final products.



DSC_6259sThe next step and post will be the assembly then off to testing.

This is were we stand now on 8-17 and starting from 7-20. Less then 30 days from concept through design and modeling to programming and machining.

Not bad.



MP-44 trunnions update

We finished the first 6 test sample MP-44 trunnions to the buyer. This is an update report on the product. At the time we made these we had no flats to test them against so certain measurements could not be verified against an actual matching part. This lead to a couple of minor dimensions that would have big effects.

The first in the button hole that is one of the points that a sheet metal pressing sets into the trunnion properly. The hole dimension was correct, however its position was off by a very slight amount.

DSC_6306cwsA .5mm in one direction and a 1mm direction in another. Small but important. Now with the solid models changed this will no be a problem in the production run.

The second problem was one of our radius was off. This radius allowed the flat to set next to the trunnion.

DSC_6305cwsAs you can see in the picture the radius is incorrect and not allowing the flat to set properly to the trunnion. Most likely this was a file and fit part of the original manufacturing process.

This is what it should look like.


The remaining test pieces will be corrected and sent to Pete to test prior to making the final production run.

Some of the differences that we have come across that need to be addressed when reverse engineer a part. What are the tolerances that we have to deal with. An example of this is the trunnions that we are working on. We just receiver a second cut original cut trunnion and have found the following differences. First with the original trunnion that we received there is .010 difference in parallelism between the two sides. the width difference between the first trunnion and the second one is .015 measured over the complete part in both cases. Now between our part and the first one that we started with we found our parallelism to be .003 and the difference between the two parts .003. So now the question is what is the max width. Are we over because the first part we tested was at max or are we in spec. The next step is to put the part in a receiver and check it out.

Reverse engineering is a great deal of work. Here at Gun Lab we do a large amount of it ranging from simple to almost impossible projects. In fact we currently have one our plate that has taken 2 years to get to basic drawings, now comes the hard part of checking it against every other component. Just to grasp the project not every minute has been spent on it and lucky the owner of that project is not driving me crazy and understand the complexity of the task he is asking. However it will be perfect when it is done. Everything has to checked, re-checked and then checked again, not an easy task and sometimes very frustrating but in the long run worth it.


Gun Lab update

This is an answer to a friends question about a particular project.

It is good to always keep checking with me. Things can get a little hectic around here. This is the status of the projects here.

1) the MP-44 trunnions test pieces have been completed and sent to the buyer. A few changes need to be made and we are correcting the drawings now.A post coming up about that next.

2) I hope to have the parts to fix the wire edm in this week and have it back up and getting it operational, this is for the mag wells on the AR-10.

3) we are finishing the tooling for the VG1-5 project so spot welding can go on in mass next week. While on the subject of the VG1-5 a new trigger guard stamping die has to be made, to look more like the original one. Still waiting for the heat treated parts to come back. The parkerizing set up is ready to start parking parts.

4) The cetme receiver has been solid modeled and the stamping dies are currently modeled as well, need to finish up the final oddities.

6) The AR-10 lower receiver has been modeled and half of it has been programmed to machine.; The work on the AR-10 lower will start again as soon as I can get the VG1-5 off of the HAAS machining center, need to change all the tooling out to aluminum cutters.
7) The AR-180b upper receiver stamping dies are 98% complete and hope to have them finished tomorrow. We are still waiting for the parts to come back from heat treat for this as well. Then we will start parkerizing them also.
So far That is about it. I am still working on the cnc router, made a new panel this weekend.