Cut away Bren gun

Just a quick post and a late one at that. I am a big fan of cut away guns as a learning tool. This is one of a bren gun I looked at while on one of my trips overseas.

IMG_0038cA close up of the receiver area

IMG_0039cA close up of the piston


Building the semi auto MP-44 part 4

This post deals with just one of the small stampings that goes into making a MP-44. he part being make for this post is the sheet metal reinforcement for the back of the magazine well. This simple part closes the rear of the magazine well, strengthens the rear of the magazine well, addes extra support for the magazine catch area and provides a guide for the magazine.

DSC_8925sThis is what the part looked like after being removed from a torch cut receiver. There is not much there that is useful, however with a little work a new part can be made.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe first step is to measure out the part and then design a female stamping die that will meet the contours of the part.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAOnce verified it is time to move onto the next part

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIn this case the next part is the male die. As this process is being accomplished a number of stampings are done.Generally nothing happens correctly the first time.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow the die is added to. The complexity of the die either requires a cnc machine to make it or a fabricated die has to be made. Due to the lack of cnc yhe die was pieced together to form the required shape.


GE DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the stamping dies are completed then it is time to work out through trial and error the proper shape of the blank.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANot comes the moment of truth. If everything works properly then a good part will be made.








DSC_8922swIt took a great deal of work to design and make the press tools that were necessary to make just one simple part.

Working on the CNC router

A great deal of work went on this weekend and part of it was some work on the cnc router’

No, it is not up and running yet, however some of the components that were ordered finally arrived and we were able to start working on it again. The bad news is that some of the items we did order are not the correct parts that we needed.

The majority of work completed was minor as well as a number of solid models were drawn to start making our own parts.

As is always the case in any shop it needed to be cleaned off first so it could be worked on.

DSC_8906sNext the control panel was mounted in place.

DSC_8905sAll the limit switches were made from bent pieces of sheet metal and needed to be replaced.

DSC_8909sAluminum angle was cut and drilled then mounted to support the limit switches.

DSC_8910sAluminum angle stops were installed as well


DSC_8908sSimple things were accomplished. A number of drawings were completed in solid works to start generating the necessary drawings so to allow me to machine the new side panel and connector adapter.

More work will be completed this next weekend, hopefully the rest of the material will be here.

Hakim Cut away rifle

With the gun room cleaned up I am now able to get access to some of the reference collection. This post is about the Egyptian  Hakim cut away rifle.



DSC_0503csThis next series of pictures deals with the receiver and magazine




DSC_0507sThe cut away area of the gas port area

DSC_0509csA close up of the gas port area

DSC_0515csA cut away of the barrel

DSC_0510csA close up of the chamber area



Right side of receiver

DSC_0517csThe top of the receiver with the slide back

DSC_0527csA llok at the slide

DSC_0526csThe safety

DSC_0524csrear sight


If any one has a cut away weapon they would like to share please drop me a line.

The MG-09 light machinegun

In answering question concerning the post on the AR-10 belt fed light machine gun Ihave spent some time going through the ” The Armalite AR-10″ book. On page 314 of the book is a picture of a MG-09 light machine gun. The funny thing is that I had just seem that same weapon. It was on my back up hard drive and it was in a file of pictures of weapons that I had taken a while back. I had no idea what the weapon was, but that it just looked interesting so I snapped a few pictures of it.

This weapon bears a close resemblance to the T44 light machine gun designed by the United States after WW2.

These are the pictures I have of the MG-09. If you read the section in the book on page 313 and 314 it answers  a few questions on the weapon.

A right side view

IMG_0126sLeft side view

IMG_0128sA close up right side view of this weapon

IMG_0127sThe left side of the weapon with the side cover open

IMG_0129sA close up view of the feed system.

IMG_0130sThe feed cover assembly looks like a very simplified version of a cross between a MG-34 and MG-42 top cover. An interesting design that never got beyond a working non firing mock up. Mock ups like cut away guns are a great way to study small arms design.


AR-10 belt fed

Got tied up so just a quick basic post. On my last trip overseas I was able to snap a few shots of a belt fed AR-10 receiver so I thought I would share them with you.

This is a stock photo of the complete weapon.


This shows it open.


These are the photos that I took of the receiver area.

IMG_0125csJust a couple of close up photos



For more great information on early AR-10 rifles pick up a copy of the new book “The Armalite AR-10″ from Collector Grade Publications.


More work in the gun room

This weekend was again spent trying to make and install new gun racks for the gun room. Not as much work was accomplished as was hope for, a number for friends showed up with interesting and fun toys to play with and take pictures of. In addition it was my fathers 93 birthday and time was spent with him. I did manage to finish out three more gun racks and moved all the guns in the kitchen and living room back into the gun room.

I happen to like the Martini-Henry rifle and have a couple of them. So, I had a little space by the closet door and thought it would be a great spot for some of them.

DSC_8822sThis gives you a better over all idea of the space I had available.

DSC_8823sI then built the larger gun rack at the end of the room.

DSC_8820sFinally I re-hung some older racks that I took down for the sub-machine gun and semi auto carbines

DSC_8824sThe last of the racks will be built hopefully next weekend.

The next step on the MP-44 trunion

Not that we have finished running the parts on the machining centers it is time to do the final fit up. Using the 1018 trunions that we made a hole was drilled in it to allow alignment with the button pressed into the receiver. Then the blocks were tested to see if the fit up was correct.

This is how the trunion looks away from the receiver.


DSC_8714sAs it sets into the receiver

DSC_8715csAn angle view at the rear of the trunion for proper fit up there.

DSC_8719sA look at the front

DSC_8717sAnother at a slight angle.

DSC_8718sSome de-buring still needs to take place and we still have a few cuts to do on the manual mill. If you are interested in any new MP-44 trunions please drop me a note and I will get the request to Pete.

MP-44 Trunion op7 , 8 and 9

With these last three operations we will have completed the work on the cnc machining center.


DSC_8576sYou can see the process of rough machining the bottom of the curve for the trunion. This op also machined the complete magazine well out.

DSC_8577sA good side view of the rough machining of the curve.

DSC_8578sAll the trunions finished with this operation.

DSC_8582sThe basic set up to complete this op.


This is op 8. All we are doing in this step is to finish cut the curve under the trunion.


OP 9 then goes in and cuts the top of the trunion.

These two pictures shows the top roughed out just prior to the finish pass.





This is how they look after the finish pass.






All the trunions after the finish of op 9


DSC_8697sA close up of the trunions.

DSC_8695sThe next step in the manual mill

Update on the MP-44 trunions op6

It has been a while for a MP-44 trunion update. The next couple of posts will get us back up to date with the trunion project.

The new op 5 was to cut a slot and rough magazine opening to allow coolant flow and chip removal and still allow us to high speed machine.

Well it did not work as well as we had hoped. The chip load was so great as it was not removed as fast as it needed to be so we still had problems with the end mill chipping. So back to the drawing board. The answer was to put the trunion on the manual mill and drill the hole much larger but still under size.

DSC_8273csWith the trunion on the lower left we did just that. What a difference that made. So now with all the trunions drilled with a larger hole we were back on track.


1We were able to then finish machine the inside hole to meet specs. with a great finish as well.






7A close up of the finish of the inside bore.





The new process worked great. No chattering or broken end mills.