How were guns made in the 1800s? - Page 2
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jpattersonnh View Post
The 1st example of a rifled barrel came from Germany, year was 1520.
The Kentucky long rifle was produced in south western Pa by German gunsmiths during the French and Indian wars, they started in the 1680's. W/ a patched roundball good marksmen could hit a head sized target at 200 yards.
This is from the Revolution:
Col George Hanger, a British officer, became very interested in the American rifle after he witnessed his bugler's horse shot out from under him at a distance, which he measured several times himself, of "full 400 yards", and he learned all he could of the weapon. Hewrites:
"I have many times asked the American backwoodsman what was the most their best marksmen could do; they have constantly told me that an expert marksman, provided he can draw good & true sight, can hit the head of a man at 200 yards."

Quotations from M.L. Brown's, FIREARMS IN COLONIAL AMERICA
Funny how they waited that long to introduce it into the U.S. Maybe they started to realize that they could have the advantage if they had more accurate firearms in the arsenal.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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Yes, and commercial firearms stamping was post WW2.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:02 PM   #13
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Yes, and commercial firearms stamping was post WW2.
Yes this is true. I always thought stamping was for mass production in war time. I am not sure which companies use stamping today. Very effective way to produce though.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:05 AM   #14
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the way guns were made was by a series of machine tool operations and operators. one machinist would make the cuts for hollowing out the reciever, another machinist cut a couple other operations and so on. the part would stay with a given mill or lathe or press operator unless a tool head change was needed then it was passed to a different station.

there are also special jigs that make the use of drill presses and mills so easy to use its kinda unskilled and anyone can do it with little training. setting up the station is the skilled part not running the machine. there is nothing really new about cnc machines they just compress the roles of a master machinist jigs and opertors into one machine.

i worked in a machine shop in high school that did it the old way churning out masses of parts by hand. i could make a part that needed 5 different cuts and turn out a thousand in a day.

so several machinists could turn out all the pieces needed in large batches before retooling for a different gun design production run. and so it would go retooling when production quotas were met and new runs needed.

machined parts would go to the gunsmiths for hand fitting.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:02 AM   #15
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Re: rifled vs smoothbores during the American Revolution- the speed of reloading favored the smoothbore for the average rank and file soldier. Rifled arms were reserved for special troops.

Re: Gun manufacture in the 1800s- y'all DO realize that this spans 100 yrs, and runs the gamut from making barrels by hand, by damascus steel, to the other end of the century, where bolt action, semi-auto and full auto cartridge arms were the norm? One end of the century is flintlock, the other end is a belt fed machine gun (1883).

Without defining the time period MUCH more closely than "the 1800s", there is no single simple answer that can be given.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:36 AM   #16
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How? Only several hundred hours of hand labor. Simple as that.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FP-45_Liberator

Most MP40's were also stamped.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BillDeShivs View Post
Rifling has always been cut with broaches-a tool that is pushed down the barrel.
Talented machinists built purpose-built machinery to manufacture guns. Talented gunsmiths built guns from scratch.
I find it humorous that you young guys think people were "primitive" in the 1800s.
BTW- casting was used for some gun frames, but none were stamped from sheet metal. Stamping is a post WW2 process.
Never said they were primitive back then, they just did things differenly, and I'm interested in how they did it.

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Originally Posted by JonM View Post
the way guns were made was by a series of machine tool operations and operators. one machinist would make the cuts for hollowing out the reciever, another machinist cut a couple other operations and so on. the part would stay with a given mill or lathe or press operator unless a tool head change was needed then it was passed to a different station.

there are also special jigs that make the use of drill presses and mills so easy to use its kinda unskilled and anyone can do it with little training. setting up the station is the skilled part not running the machine. there is nothing really new about cnc machines they just compress the roles of a master machinist jigs and opertors into one machine.

i worked in a machine shop in high school that did it the old way churning out masses of parts by hand. i could make a part that needed 5 different cuts and turn out a thousand in a day.

so several machinists could turn out all the pieces needed in large batches before retooling for a different gun design production run. and so it would go retooling when production quotas were met and new runs needed.

machined parts would go to the gunsmiths for hand fitting.
Is that probably how John Browning created his first gun?

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Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Re: rifled vs smoothbores during the American Revolution- the speed of reloading favored the smoothbore for the average rank and file soldier. Rifled arms were reserved for special troops.

Re: Gun manufacture in the 1800s- y'all DO realize that this spans 100 yrs, and runs the gamut from making barrels by hand, by damascus steel, to the other end of the century, where bolt action, semi-auto and full auto cartridge arms were the norm? One end of the century is flintlock, the other end is a belt fed machine gun (1883).

Without defining the time period MUCH more closely than "the 1800s", there is no single simple answer that can be given.
More interested in the late 1870s-1900. In other words, I want to know how JMB took is designs and made them a reality.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by texaswoodworker View Post
I'm kind of interested in how things were made long before computer controlled machinery made production automatic for the most part. So here's a question for you all, how were guns made in the 1800s? How did gunsmiths like John Browning create guns from scratch way back then?
Heres one for you, how did the jungle people drill holes thru iron wood to make blow guns........
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #19
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1870s-1900, you would feel very much at home in a machine shop- with lathes and mills. Those are NOT new inventions by any means. The tools might be turned by water power or steam power rather than electricity, but a modern day machinist would be comfortable with them.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:05 PM   #20
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As far as what JMBs early shop would look like....

browning-shop1.jpg

browning-shop2.jpg

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