.1 reamer pilot of bore diameter or slightly less. Of course, most 9mm and .45 ACP cartridges art-used in full atid semiautomatic arms, but there are also revolvers chambered for these calibers. Just to be on the safe side, go ahead and specify that the reamers are for rifle barrels.

It should be noted that the higher priced reamers will usually come with an integral throat reamer, allowing you to perform the entire chambering operation with a single reamer. Many times the cheaf>er ones will require the use of a separate "throating*" reamer to cut this portion, which is actually a bullet seat. The higher-priced reamers mii h as those made by Clymer Manufacturing Co. will usually prove to be the cheapest in the long run, or at least the most convenient.

Construction of the barrel is a fairly simple process. The barrel blank is cut 10 the desired length and the ends are sijuared in the lathe. Don't be surprised if. once the barrel blank has been cut in two. the bote is not concentric with the outside diameter. I his is a fairly common occurrence, especially with cheaper barrel blanks. 11 sui h is the case, the barrel should be rnnnnted between centers and the entire length turned round. The breech end is then turned to :< diameter of .875 inch for a length of 1.125 inches. Just ahead of this cylindrical section, which (its inside I he upper receiver» h llange .125 inch wide and 1 inch in diameter is formed. The remainder should be turned to a diameter of .600 to .IS25 inch if used in the 9mm pistol version. The .45-c aliher pistol version should be .650 inch ot slightly larger in diameter.

The rifle barrel is made in the same fashion, with the same dimensions at the breech end. 1'he portion directly forward of the retaining flange can he slightly larger than ihe pistol version lor a length of 6 inches if desired. The remainder, or the portion that extends past the fore-end. can be turned ¿is small as .550 inch in diameter Inr the 9inrn and should he no larger th:in .615 ineh. ihis should be the minimum diameter for the .45 barrel. Just forward of the fore-end's front face, two hands .should be turned to a diameter of .626 inch. Ihese should be 1/2 inch in length with a relieved section (.610 to .61 5 inch diameter) .900

inch in length between them. This will allow a military surplus VI16 front sight to fit snugly over the two bands while sliding freely over the barrel until almost in place. This is done primarily avoid marring the finish when assembling the finished gun.

A 45-degree "approach cone' is formed in the breech end of the barrel to aid in feeding. With this type ol feeding system, which is similar to that used in the 1903 Springfield, 1917 linficld. VI54 and V170 Winchesters, as well as several others, the bullet is pusilively guided into the chamber as it moves? forward. This lends to eliminate the "stovepiping* and hangups on the end of the barrel that are fairLy common with some other systems.

The muzzle should be crowned with a rounded outer edye? and a convex curve on the inside, l'his will leave a sharp edge where the bore exits the barrel instead of the rounded curve often seen. A lathe cutting tool is ground !o lorm this contour, h can be brought to a high polish with progressively finer grits of abrasive cloih and paper. This type of crown is fully as accurate as the so-called 'target" type flat crown with a second Hat counterhore inside» which, although it has been used for at least a hundred years, is "discovered" at frequent intervals by some of the newer gunsmiths.

Proper depth of the chamber is determined by measuring from the front face of the receiver to the Ik>Ii face, making sure the* holt is hilly forward while this measurement is taken. Another measurement is taken from the breech end of the barrel to the: retaining flange. I his measurement will be slightly longer than the first, so the smaller (first) number is subtracted from the larger. I he result will be the depth of the cartridge head below the end of the barrel.

The chamber is cut by feeding the reamer into the end of the barrel that is chucked in the lathe and turning at the slowest speed available. Pressure from the tail stock ram is used to push the reamer into the bore. Do nut attempt to hold the icatiier with the tail stock chuck. It must be kept from turning by using a hand-held tap wrench, a clamp, a small wrench, or some similar arrangement that can be released and allowed to


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Small Wooden Barrel With Tap
Ifidc'xcngpin LS presset in place usirig »'¡se iaw.v.


Material lo be softened is placed in wood pile.
Lubricated Eels
Wood .fire wdl sollen hard si eel, malting if workable.
So/lewd s reef is removed/rorn ashes after cooling

turn with the barrel in the event the reamer should seize. I he reamer should be kept well lubricated and withdrawn and cleaned frequently.

Supporting the drive end of the reamer uii a tail stock center should onlv be done when the bore is absolutely concentric, without runout, and the tail stock is absolutely in line and centered with tlie bore. Otherwise, a flat-faced center with a small dimple in the middle should be used to push the reamer.

Another method is to clamp the barrel between wood blocks in a vise and turn the reamer by hand usinjt a suitable tap wrench or reamer drive. If this method is used, care must bo taken to hold the reamer straight and in line with the bore, with no sideways pressure exerted in anv direction.

A small hole is drilled, as shown in Diagram it7. using a No. 31 drill, and after a slight taper is ground on one end, a locating pin made from 1/8-inch drill rod is pressed into it. This causes the barrel to be replaced in the same position after removal.

The extractor slot is located and cut as described in the chapter on fitting and assembly.


If the commercial lower receiver assembly is used, we will only need In concern ourselves with the barrel shroud, as used on the pistol version, or the fore-end, as used on the rifle. Roth are identical except for overall length and the fact that a cap is welded in place in the front end ol the rifle fore-end.

Each is begun by turning a barrel retaining nut to the shape and dimensions shown in Diagram threaded on the inside to screw on the front end of the receiver. It has a shoulder inside that bears against the barrel flange when tightened, securing the barrel in place. This nut should be made from a belter grade of steel such <is 4140 or automobile axle material. I he threads may stretch and wear rapidly il low carbon steel such as 1018 is used.

The cylindrical portion can be made from almost any thin-walled tubing of the correct oucside diameter. Since there is no strength requirement here, even muffler pipe can he used, provided the unsightly seam that is usually present is acceptable. Discarded automobile shock absorbers are a good source for material such as this, provided the right size can be lound. Actually, the outside diameter can be adjusted up w down to accommodate the available material. In fact, when used with the pistol version, a barrel shroud slightly smaller than the receiver diameter would probably look better than the one illustrated in Diagram fiH.

Both versions should be a snug fit over the outside nl the nut and are welded or silver-soldered in place. The rifle version should have an end cap, which is turned to a snug fit inside the tubing and then welded <>t silver-soldered in place at the forward end. Il must also have a lude bored through the center, slightly larger than the barrel diameter.

The ventilating holes in the shmud body can he spaced to suit your taste. The prototype had four rows of 1/2-inch holes spaced 1.200 inches apart, rhese can be accurately and easily spaced and drilled in the milling machine. If the hole* are started with a center drill and finished with a radius-nosed 1/2-inch end mill, smoother holes will result than il the work is done with twist drill.

Commercial pistol grips are available from a number of sources, some with the original military configuration and others with numerous modifications and refinements. These are available at such low prices that it would seem foolish to manufacture one.

Should il become necessary, however, it is a fairly simple matter to build one. A block of whatever type ol hardwood that suits your fancy js obtained. Since it only needs to be 1 1/4 inches thick, 2 1/4 inches wide, and 5 inches long, such ¿i scrap can usually be found at a cabinet or custom furniture shop. Custom gun stock makers and knife makers are also sources for rhese.

The outline is drawn on the side of the blank h







co C

80RE 1.080" THREAD 1 125" x 7A

H 300"


Ar15 Barrel Nut Drawing

H 300"




Custom Shot Gun Stock Makers




Homemade Gun Cabinet
firip was made of walnut, painted black simply because I didn c have a plastic military 5iirplu5 grip on hand.

using the pattern shown in Diagram #10, or whatever profile suits you, and cut to shape. It is then clamped m the milling machine and the top side is shaped to mate with the receiver. The top and front side where it fits against the receiver are milled flat and square. This is followed by canting the blank at the required angle and cutting the slot. The hole for the mounting bolt should be drilled while this angle is set. The hole's location can be determined by measuring from the center of the boll hole in the receiver to the part of the receiver that the grip adjoins and transferring this measurement to the grip blank. I he grip is then reversed and either a counterbore to clear the head of the mounting bolt hole or a cavity similar to the one found in the commercial grip is cur in the lower end. This should be parallel to the mounting bolt hole, and it ran be done with a 5/8-inch end mill.

I he outside contour is formed using the sanding wheel to rough-shape it and finishing with rasp files and sandpaper in progressively finer grits (starting with 50 or 60 grit and finishing up with 400 grit).

The finish used can be any kind or color thai strikes your fancy, from clear gun stock finish to camouflage paint. The grip shown in the photographs was made from a walnut block and given several coats of automobile primer. Ibis was followed by several coats of flat black enamel in an attempt to match the color of the butt stock. My only reason for building it in the first place was that 1 wanted it on a certain day and none were available locally. A bit of planning and ordering ahead would have saved me this extra work, but I suppose I need the experience.

The butt stock, as available on the surplus parts market, is another bargain. Mounting it in place presents no problem. If the action spring and buffer housing are on hand, you simply screw it into the lower receiver and slip the butt stock over it. It is held in place by a screvs that installs through rhe butt plate.

When the short, self contained bolt assembly is used, this part is not necessary. A plug is turned from aluminum (if available—to save weight) to the dimensions shown in Diagram ffl I and threaded to screw into the lower receiver. It is drilled and tapped in the center for a 1/4 \ 28 thread. A draw bolt, which extends to the rear of the stock, is cut from 1'4-inch drill rod and threaded with the same 1/4 x 28 thread to screw into the receiver plug. A 3/8 inch-diameter sleeve, 1 1/2 inches long, is drilled to approximately half depth with a 1/4 inch drill, slipped over the smooth end of the draw bolt, and silver soldered g o Ä

Sawed Off Shotgun Single Barrel
-.160' v



Breech Plug Flat Face Side Carve










THREAD .250"x 28





THREAD 1.187* x 15



Homemade Buttplug

Suqylus Ml 6 butt 5lucfc ¿5 mounted usins; through bolt and breech plug adaptor. Recoi/ pad is added for exira length.

freed» pfoj¡ 5crews intu iov%rr rrcciver. Through-bolt screws intn r*nr end 0/ plug

in place. The remainder is drilled and tapped for a 10 x 32 screw. This arrangement allows the butt slock to be positioned in place and a short 10 x 12 screw installed through the butt plate, which, when tightened, holds the butt stock in place.

For a full-grown man. it is desirable that the butt stock be somewhat longer than the length provided by the standard militan Ml6 butt stock.

For some reason, our military has always even from flintlock musket times used rifles with a short enough length of pull to accommodate the very smallest shooter, and everyone else is cxpcctcd to adapt to it. The butt plate portion can he removed by sawing and squared with the sanding wheel, after which a recoil pad is epoxicd in place. This will lengthen the pull by 1/2 to 1


Homemade Carbine Pictures
Breech plug partially screwed in place.
Homemade Recoil Pad

TJiroi/gh-hoff k teemed using ol/en ur*nrh through recoil pad.

inch, depending on the thickncss of the pad. If this is done, another close-fitting aluminum spaccr is cpoxicd in placc in the rear end of the stock« it should also he pinned in place with a 1/8-inch steel cross pin> installed through a hole drilled through the plug and both slock walls. This should he. drilled offset from the cenrer hole so as to not interfere with the draw holt. The outside end of this plug should he ronnrerhored ro Accept a bolt head, which is welded 01 silver-soldered to the end of the stock holt, replacing the threaded sleeve. This should he a boh head that accepts an alien wrench. If the upper mounting screw hole in the recoil pad is enlarged cnuugh lu clear the alien wrench, the hutt stock can he installed or removed without the bolt head showing.

Homemade Recoil Pad
R-jitfcci stock is uvoiiuMe from many sources.

St en magazines are still available at a reasonable price from the following source:

Manchester Arras

I cnoir City, TN 37771

I ven before the assault weapons bill went into effect, most suppliers of these and othci surplus paits raised their prices n> exorbitant levels wirh the mistaken idea that there would be such a demand for these that customers would pay the price. The owner of Manchester Arms, told me recently that she still has some 10,000 Stcn magazine* on hand. Her price is $4 each for new magazines and S2 each for used. You might want to order a maga/.inc loading tool at the same time. These make loading the magazines considerably easier.

Barrel blanks jre available from a number of sourccs. Most are satisfactory. Fur some 20 years now I have obtained most of my barrels from the following supplier:

Thorns Run Road and Presley

Bridgeville, PA 15017

fhese barrels are lully as good as most that I

have had experience with and far better than some. And, like most people 1 deal with a second time, the folks at F..H. Shaw arc decent, helpful people {unlike some of the arrogant smart alecLs at some of the orher companies, who seem to feel that they are doing you a favor if they eondeseend to sell you something).

Small parts, sucli as the Ml carbine recoil springs, hammer springs, hammers, triggers, firing pins, and so on, are available from the I ill lowing source:

Quality Tarts Co.

Roosevelt Trail £3

Windham. ML 04062

The people at Quality Parts also build the Busliin.istc r versions of the M16 and have built and sold complete firearms to thr military. I heir parts, like their complete guns, are top quality. They sell only new parts, hut usually for less money than most of the salvage shysters want for worn nut junk.

Finished /ore-end installed on t umpired guu.

If the time ever comes when the military-type stocks art? no longer available, it will he simple enough to make a butt stock from hardwood, just as we did the grip. This would require a draw boll hole extending from the front face of the stock* partway through to the rear, with the remainder enlarged to clear the bolt head. I he threaded plug in the receiver would lie c.ounlerhored at the rear to accept a round tenon, machined or carved on the front face of the stock. A short metal pin, which fits into the recess in the receiver to keep the slock lrom turning, would be threaded inln the stock face just below the tenon. Your choice ol hull plate or recoil pad is lilted lo lhe butt end and the assembly shaped and finished in the same fashion as the grip.

Photo Homemade M16

Grip, buff nock, oud uddploi

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