Part 2: VG1-5 Receiver Pressings

Now that you have seen the concept models it is time to get into the nuts and bolts of making this. So the first step is cutting the 16 gauge sheet metal to the proper size. This is no easy task as we do not know what the starting size is. So we cut the flat to the basic die size. These are cut in lots of 10 pieces on a friend’s shear.  Then we press them.  The first set of pressings will give us a basic idea how to proceed.

starting flats

About now you ask why sets of 10. There is a certain amount of movement of the sheet metal on the die as no stops have been placed in yet. Using ten stampings allows us to verify the how the stamping looks. Once this initial set is completed we now adjust the size of the flat to give us the overage required we need for overlap.  So there is another 10 pressings for the scrap bin. Now we look at the stamping to see where we can remove metal and if any cuts need to be made in the blank to give us the correct and proper looking final product. A master is made to work from.master flats

At this point a flat sheet of 16 gauge is taken to the water jet people and cut for the proper shape. Again all we do is 10. Once cut they are all pressed.  Now we should be very close to what we need.  If the pressings are correct we then cut up the complete sheet and press the complete run. Now, as for what we do with all the extra pressings. They are used for a variety of items. Some are used for testing the amp and time settings on the spot welding 2spot welding 1

Some are used for doing tig welding. The rest are made into art , if you want to call it 2art 1

Now on to the pressing. The dies are set up in the four poster press that we rebuilt – this is it prior to rebuilding.hydraulic press 008s

Now onto some pictures of press operations…

This shows the properly sized and cut sheet in the dies and ready for pressing.pressing set uppress die set side view

This is a side view of the same set up.

pressing start

Starting of the pressing cycle.

pressing finished 2

Pressing completed.pressing finished 3

As removed from the die.finished pressed flat

A few pictures of the pressing die:press die bottom 1press die top 1

Now with both halves of the receiver pressed it is time to do the touch up work.  The receivers are placed in a mandrel and all the angles tightened up and prepped for spot welding. Each set of receiver halves is clamped together with this mandrel inside to ensure that all the corners are nice and square and the angles completely formed.mandrelThat is it for today. The next post will be adding the side support pieces and setting up for the first milling operation.


8 comments to Part 2: VG1-5 Receiver Pressings

  • Martin

    Interesting. Casting and machining is what I’m familiar with, so this is very interesting. Seeing how it’s done removes a lot of the ‘mystery’ to me. The pictures make the receiver look simpler than what I imagined.

    A question a little of topic. For a design like this, is the heat treatment of the the parts less critical than for a design like say an AK or AR? I’m thinking like the bolt of an AK or AR vs the breech block/bolt of this design.

    Thanks for the write up and pictures.

    • Ian

      Heat treat is just as important on this as any other design, but there are different parts that need to be treated. There are no locking lugs, for example, but areas like the face of the hammer will need to be hardened.

      Regarding the receiver, the initial stamping is only the first step. There is a lot of trimming, fitting, welding, and machining that needs to be done before you actually have a finished receiver.

  • ecox

    great post, I am very impressed with the work that has gone in to the stampings and redesigned trigger group work. What a difficult project. It turned out well. I would sure like to purchase one of these for my collection. When will it be available?


    • Ian

      No idea yet when they will be available. The first prototypes are still in the works, and then Chuck can do a “real” production run of them.

  • […] 2 examines how the receiver pressings are made, with Ian hosting a video. This really combines well with the Weaponeer thread (linked below) to […]

  • MG

    A small hydraulic press like that is OK for trying out dies even though its rather slow. I’ve never seen one used in production though. I would imagine the Germans would have used high speed mechanical presses for production. I’ve been in press shops that were still using flywheel presses from the 1920s! Definitely though you could run this part many times faster if you were using a press that was meant for production.

    It’s interesting that the Germans had so many problems with cracking or splitting of parts. I can’t imagine anyone running a press operation today with such high defect rates, and I’ve also never heard of anyone repairing stampings rather than just scrapping them. Perhaps die and stamping design knowledge wasn’t as advanced in those days as it is today, or perhaps the types of steel that they had wasn’t as suited to the stamping process.

  • Chuck

    At the time the MP-44 and MG-42 were being made it was in the infancy of weapons pressing.A lot has changed since then. The MP-44 was made with a combination of hydraulic and fly presses. In the book “Sturmgewehr” by Collector Grade Publication on pages 351 through 372 it talks about the manufacturing process. A very interesting read.

  • matzat

    Hello first I would like that it is a very good working her delivers! ! So I’m from Germany we collect deco weapons now I have the following problem I have a vg3 which I in the forest Found, therefore, the condition of not stamping sheet metal parts so beautiful, it is possible that they could I replace these parts deliver it? ? Greeting from Germany My email

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