No attempt has been made to incorporate an ejector into this weapon. In most cases it is desirable to retrieve the empty cartridge case after firing for the purpose of reloading. So, in this design, a simple extractor actuated by the lowering of the breech block causes the spent case to protrude from the chamber far enough to be grasped by the fingers and removed. This is preferred by most shooters, rather than hunting the empty case after an automatic ejector has thrown it completely out of the gun.
I seriously recommend that your weapon be machined for rimmed cartridges. Use of a rimless cartridge complicates the extraction mechanism, since a spring-loaded lip is required to cam outward over the head of the case when the action is closed, simultaneously engaging the extractor groove of the cartridge case. On the other hand, the extractor for the rimmed case is of solid one-piece construction, moving only the rim of the case during ejection.
The round breech-block design shown should be used only if the gun is to be chambered for the relatively low-pressured cartridges, such as the .22 rimfires, .38 special, etc. This type is included here simply because it is much easier to build than the rectangular type also shown.
If the gun is built and chambered for any of the high pressure, high intensity cartridges such as the .22 Hornet, .357 magnum, or .44 magnum, then you must use the rectangular breech-block design. It is much stronger than the round one.
My second pistol can also be made to accept several interchangeable barrels in different calibers. Its caliber is changed simply by changing barrels, provided the rim diameter is the same as that of the cartridge the pistol is originally built to accept. A larger or smaller rim ^liameter will necessitate that the extractor be changed also.
I, personally, have no use for a telescopic sight on a pistol. If you want a long-range weapon, you should build a rifle. My own pistol designs utilize only adjustable iron sights, as shown in the drawings and pictures. Any "sport" who simply must have a scope on his handgun will find that scope mounts made for other handguns are also adaptable to those of my design as well.
One last word of advice: read all the instructions and study all the diagrams presented here before even considering starting your home workshop gun. If you thoroughly understand all the procedures and schematics before beginning construction, your pistol will be much easier to build right the first time.
I also suggest that you have a copy of Volume One of this series handy for reference, though it is not imperative.
If you have already read the first chapter of volume one of this series, the following information will already be familiar to you. Also, I realize that a good percentage of readers are amateur or professional gunsmiths, gun buffs, or machinists. To them much of this will be routine.
Very few readers will have a fully equipped machine shop at their disposal, nor all of the knowledge needed to run it professionally. Though I do have a machine shop of my own now, just a few years ago I did not. It was then that I learned most of the "home workshop" techniques I present as alternatives to making up your weapon with the help of a machine shop. Here is a list of the minimum tools necessary to build your handgun(s):
• A 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch drill motor (or hand type drill)
• A hacksaw with several blades
• Several eight and ten inch flat mill bastard files
• Three-cornered triangular files (small)
• Small square files
• Micrometer or vernier caliper
• Appropriate taps with corresponding drills
• The use of a lathe, welding equipment, and grinder. One of the most useful home workshop improvisations can be used to form openings or small parts usually made with a vertical milling machine. These include the ejection port, trigger, hammer, sear, and many others. This substitute procedure is started by scribing the outline of the
Left: here are the hand tools I use In making my home workshop guns. You will also need the use of welding equipment and a lathe, If possible.
By replacing the pins in the hacksaw frame with longer ones, it can be made to accommodate two or three blades at once. Wide slots are cut far more easily with this method.
Some readers may have a drill press and vice set-up like this at their disposal. Those who have only a hand drill will have to take extra care to Insure that the drill Is held at a right angle to the work.
opening or part on a piece of steel of desired width. Drill inter-connecting holes around or within the outline (depending on situation), until only a thin web of metal connects the outlined area. Punch it through with a cold chisel, and finish with files.
And I'll add here that you should learn to use files properly and efficiently. Many procedures normally done with a milling machine can be done with hand files and patience, hence the fact that the file has been nick-named "the poor man's milling machine".
"The poor man's lathe," or your electric hand drill, can be substituted for many lathe operations, but is not recommended for accuracy. Here, the part to be lathed is chucked in your drill, and the drill's handle secured in a solid vise. The drill is switched on, and a flat mill bastard file applied as shown in the photo.
All of this, and other alternative procedures covered in the following pages, add upto"jackleg"gunsmithingatits best. Patience can substitute for electricity, and perseverance for elaborate equipment. And remember, there is no reason why your home workshop gun should not be just as safe, accurate, and reliable as a similar mass-manufactured model.
If no lathe Is available, many lathe operations can be performed with a recommended for accuracy, It can save you a lot of time and sweat, and "poor man's lathe," as pictured here. Though this technique is not produce suitable results In many cases.
These sanding discs were originally designed to serve in an automobile body shop. I mount such discs on an arbor, and use them for grinding and sanding operations. Use masonite, or a similar stiff backplate material, behind the disc.
Chapter Three Magazine Construction
Since a proper-functioning magazine or clip is crucial to the dependable operation of the semi-automatic pistol, and is also the most difficult part to home-build, I suggest that you purchase a mass-produced magazine in the caliber desired and build the gun to fit around it.
At the present time, there are several companies that regularly advertise magazines for almost any caliber and model gun that you care to name. Most sell for eight to ten dollars. That price is considerably cheaper than you can make one for at home, if you count your time as being worth anything. If you do elect to buy your clips, get at least a couple of extras.
If an interchangeable caliber gun is planned, try to obtain magazines with the same outside dimensions in each of the calibers that you intend to use. Chances are that this will not be possible, so you must obtain magazines for the largest caliber that you intend to use, and rebuild them to handle the smaller cartridges. For example, if you want the same pistol frame to handle the .380 ACP, .32 ACP, and .22 long rifle cartridges, you should purchase at least three identical magazines in the .380 ACP caliber, then rebuild one or more to handle the .32 ACP cartridge, and another to accept the .22 long rifle.
In the future, the possibility exists that pre-manufac-tured magazines will no longer be available when needed, so this chapter will deal primarily with building them at home. The same method described here to adapt the magazine to the smaller calibers also applies to the conversion of existing magazines.
If you elect to make a magazine of the dimensions shown in the drawings, first obtain a section of thin sheet steel 3.200 inches wide by 3.900 inches long. It is preferable to use 22 gauge sheet metal, which is .0299 inch in thickness, or for all practical purposes, .030
inch thick. This .030 inch dimension is the one used throughout this chapter, so if a different thickness material is used, the forming die dimensions will have to be adjusted accordingly. If new material is not available, sheet metal salvaged from an automobile body can be used, after stripped of all paint and primer and cleaned thoroughly.
Make a template of the magazine body shown in the drawing. Transfer the outline to the sheet metal, and cut to shape with a pair of tin snips or sheet metal shears. Leave the extra material shown at the top and bottom of the center line. Locate and drill the 3/16 inch holes shown as accurately on the center line as possible. The guide pins in the forming dies fit through these to keep the blank centered while forming. Any extra metal around these two holes is cut away after the magazine body is formed to shape.
Construct the male forming die from a piece of steel 41/2 inches long with a finished width of .380 inch and a finished depth of 1.000 inch. Its front side is rounded to a perfect half-circular contour having a radius of .190 inch. If you cannot form this rounded portion properly, either by filing or grinding, turn a section of drill rod to the .380 inch diameter required and split it down the center. After it is filed or ground to half diameter, it is sweated or brazed to a rectangular section, thereby forming the rounded front edge.
The female die can be made in one piece, but is much easier to build in three sections. These consist of a center section .455 inch wide, an inner or top side shaped to a concave radius, and two sides welded, bolted, or riveted to the center section. The male forming die fits into the female die exactly with .030 inch clearance on each side and the front (rounded) edge. This allows for the thickness of the sheet metal blank plus another .005 inch clearance in accordance with the dimensions shown in the drawings. A 3/16 inch hole is drilled at each end of both dies exactly on center to allow for guide pins to hold both the blank and both parts of the die in the proper relationship. These two holes are drilled 3.800 inches between centers and a guide pin at least 2Vz inches long made for each.
Bevel the top edges of the female die slightly, and polish them smooth since this surface rubs across the sheet metal as the dies are forced together. Use a press for this step if one is available. A large vise can also be used, as can a truck jack when a suitable frame is made to support it.
Coat both dies lightly with oil, and insert the guide pins into the male die. Place the magazine body blank on the pins. Once the guide pins are started into their holes in the female die, the magazine is ready to be pressed into shape. It will be necessary to place a spacer on top of the male die slightly shorter than and between the guide pin holes to permit the male die to fully seat while clearing the guide
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