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Magazine manufacturing

In this post we are going to look at making a magazine. In this case a 22lr pistol magazine. This magazine was stamped out on a progressive stamping die. In a machine that would look like this.

progressive-stamped-magazinesNot for the home shop.

So lets take a look at the steps that would be required to make a magazine. Starting from a role of steel metal to the final product.  The sheet steel is removed from its coil and fed into the stamping machine. The process start with the initial cut and a pilot hole or holes that serves as a locator hole for following steps in the process.

DSC_4906csThis is the stamping strip from start to finish. So lets take a closer look at the individual steps.

First step. Initial cut of the magazine and two pilot hole for locating the sheet metal for the next step.

DSC_4878csSecond step. In this step you can see that the second hole is removed as the top of the magazine is finished cut.

DSC_4879csThird step. This starts the initial bends

DSC_4880csFourth step. Now we are in the pressing of the ribs of the magazine.

DSC_4881csFifth step. Another bend step.

DSC_4882csSixth step. This is a bend step for the bottom of the magazine

DSC_4883csSeventh step. Here you can see that the slot has been punched in for the follower button.

DSC_4884csEight step. The folding over of the magazine

DSC_4885csNinth step

DSC_4886csTenth step. The magazine stamping is separated from the strip and being set up for welding

DSC_4887csEleventh step. At this point the magazine is machined welded.

DSC_4888csTwelfth step. The tab are now cut off and for all practical purposes the magazine body is complete

DSC_4889csAll that is required after this to verify fit and do your quality control inspection

7 comments to Magazine manufacturing

  • JB

    You wouldn’t happen to have photos of the die bodies as they made these progessive stamps would you?

  • Very cool. It’s interesting to me how many little steps it take for specific parts that can’t be done as part of the larger operations (follower slot or base tabs for example).

  • Kerwin Kerr

    Most interesting. As a former GE tool and diemaker I’m familiar with progressive punch press tooling. This tooling can be very intricate depending on the number of steps needed to fab the part. Most of us gun nuts have a tendency to take our magazines for granted. Usually we just stick a loaded mag in a gun and blow it off! Of course the more intricate the tool is the harder it can be to troubleshoot in the press when something does go wrong! When that happened an experienced floor man was indispensible! It would sometimes take hours to diagnose and fix the problem or problems. Many modern firearms now use stamped parts. In some cases like the MG42, HK91, HK93, AK74 and AR-18 the entire receiver is made out of stamped steel. It is the fastest way possible to make gun parts. Several years ago I finally figured out that the fastest way possible to make a rifle receiver was with press called a Yoder-Roll [not sure if the spelling is right]. It was type of rotary press which had secondary die stations to make pressings and cut offs the rollers couldn’t do. I never got around to designing the receiver. Good article!

  • JB

    That is too bad. I have been fascinated with progressive stamp tooling as the die opften does not look like what the finished stamped part does.

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