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superc 02-19-2013 01:04 PM

Small carry pistol from a billet?
Like many Americans I have been exploring the AR-15 DIY billet craze. I personally like the billet80 80% version but understand other vendors also sell them. Easy enough. There are even jigs on the market for those who only have a drill press, but not a mill.
There is at least one guy out there offering a similar product for a 1911, but I am shying away from that for now. This is because the 1911 is so persnickity about hole placement.
What I am wondering (and speculating if I have to invent it) is, does anyone know of 80% billets for small carry pistols?
Yes, I know you could probably 3D print a Luger or a Mauser 96 with the right CAD drawings, but I am thinking only of at home from a billet manufacture right now.
What I would like to see on the market is a billet kit for a medium size pistol of a forgiving design. I am thinking of something in the 32 - 40 caliber size.
Problem I am seeing is most of the designs are either not designed with do it yourselfers in mind, nor are they not terribly forgiving of manufacture variations.
Fact is the only good candidates I see are the Tokarev and the old Ruby class of 32 pistols.
I find myself not able to come up with any easy to make (but reliable to fire) pistols in the 9mm/40 caliber class.
What I think I would like to see is a Do It Yourself Billet kit around 9mm or 40 caliber, semi-auto, with a Luger grip angle, with a Browning Hi-Power (ie, like a Glock or Sig 226) derived recoil mechanism, a coil spring main spring, and using off the shelf readily available internal parts from one or more guns.
Aluminum would be nice, but I/we can work in steel too.
Ideally it would be available with jigs like the AR15/AK kits are.

So how about it, does anyone know of a kit like that already on the market?

hiwall 02-19-2013 01:39 PM

Guns are not very good candidates for DIY building.

trip286 02-19-2013 01:42 PM

If little kids with worn out files can build a pistol in an afghan cave, I see no reason why anyone with the drive couldn't do the same.

Go for it.

superc 02-19-2013 02:40 PM

Yuh. I am really not sure where Hiwall is coming from with that. I built my first working (single shot) pistol when I was 14 (40+ years ago). The technology is pretty simple, and strength of construction is the limiting factor for first forays. Hiwall, rather than me telling you that since our own Beloved Leader has proposed banning the things, sales of even only partially completed AR-15 and AR-10 receivers have been occurring at such a rate that 8 month delays of rough forging delivery is not uncommon, I will let you research that yourself. Go to and click on the vendor links towards the bottom of their web page. Note the backorder delivery times being quoted by those vendors. Conclusion? There are one heck of a lot of us successfully choosing DIY as a method of AR15/AR10 acquisition.
[Neat thing about it is a billet, even when partially done for you, isn't legally a gun yet, so it can sit in your garage for years until the day you suddenly decide to put the needed holes in it and throw in some parts, which is why some folks are buying 4 or 5 at a time.]
I think a more accurate statement is most Americans simply hadn't considered it worth their while to do it when all we needed to do was walk into Walmart to get an AR-15 (if we wanted one, I mean yuck, AR-10 rules). But once we changed that formula, coupled with the greater availability of mini-mills and lathes for the home, cheap drill presses in our garages, etc., why not make one yourself?
If you are like me, you will find that once you have successfully completed one or three, and perhaps moved on to a 0% billet and completed it too, you will find yourself not quite as dependent on a source of pre formed billets (if you know where to get unformed blocks of steel or aluminum), and starting to speculate things like, why not build one from a steel block, or build a pistol? Which is what I am inquiring about. I don't need another 1911, not even one I built.
[Incidentally, change the number of 1911 billet sources in my first post to 3 I know of so far.]
So far I have found billets (and jigs) for 1911s, 10-22s, AR15s, and AR10s. All I am asking is where are the other handgun type billets?

hiwall 02-19-2013 09:00 PM

Just so you know the amount of work involved(sounds like you do). I have made 3 guns from scratch(except for re-purposed the barrels). It is a substantial investment of time. Many say they built an AR but all they did was assemble one. Building from scratch is quite different.

superc 02-20-2013 01:37 AM

We are in 1,000% agreement that taking a bag of mil spec parts to include a milspec receiver and throwing them together while often referred to as a build is a long way from a true build.

Of course mixing mil spec parts with commercial parts that aren't quite milspec brings us closer to a build as we get into fitting issues. I note with amusement on several posts on other Boards the howls of protests over non-milspec billets vs. milspec parts kits or vice versa. Kind of reminiscent of what we used to hear during the 1911 clone wars.

[Back in the 80s I acquired a Browning 1900 with all of the parts, except the barrel. A year or two later I got a barrel for it. Imagine my joy at learning the screw in barrel which was manufactured after the FN fire in the new FN plant was metric threaded while the early 1900 frames made at FN before the fire were English threaded (i.e., inch scale). Very close, but no cigar. I would call that one a build by the time I figured out a way to mate them anyway.]

I think, if a person is good with machine shop tools, understands how to use a micrometer, what a jig is and understands mechanics, and it is legal where he/she is, and they understand the dangers of doing it wrong or with the wrong materials, and has put together a few guns from kits and part bags, then hey, why not come join the big boys? There are about 30 decent videos on you tube that take the viewer through the steps of dealing with an 80% billet.

I have been looking for most of the day for billet pistols. Didn't find many. Mostly 1911s and AR15 pistols. Don't want those. Looking for a better paradigm. Trying hard to create something new for Feinstein and Bloomberg to cry about. Looked through my old Triple K catalog at different pistol designs too. I still think, since internal parts can be found, the old Tokarev designs would be good billet candidates if one had a set of blueprints for them. {Anyone with blueprints listening?) Moving up in power I also like some of the Sigs for a candidate as again parts can be found, but who has the blueprints? Too soon to go with the new Sig modular pistol. The ribs of the stamping for the FCU look easy enough to make, but until SIG starts releasing the internal parts to that for sale, fuhgedabout it. Blueprints for a SIG 228 would be really cool cause internal parts are easy enough to find. Uncle might have the blueprints stashed someplace because we used them in DoD as the M-11 pistol. That would be a cool 80% billet project. :)

As someone else said.. Building a gun is just knowledge of information. Once enough of us know how and do and share the info, they can't confiscate the information. True that.

[A total irrelevancy, I am watching 'Marked for Death' (1990 Segal) on AMC as I write this and just noticed a sequence with an old version 2 Chicago Palm Pistol. First time I have seen one of those in a movie. Not exactly a common piece.]

superc 02-20-2013 04:45 AM

Okay, I just found M11/Sig 228 blueprints on Scribed. Multiple versions there. Reviewed em. Nope, let us not go there. Sheesh, those are some complex cuts. Been too long since I played with one of those. I hadn't paid that much attention to the milling when I was carrying one. A shame. Something a little less complex is desired. :)

Jericho1911u22 03-09-2013 04:21 AM

I was thinking of doing a small .22LR there are a lot of zip gun videos on youtube they are all crude designs. I was thinking something a little nicer. More little saterday night special like gun probably with a pin in barrel instead of a press in barrel though. Move up in caliber as I improve my skills.

Intheshop 03-17-2013 11:24 AM

Might want to define/understand "Billet" before you invest?See if linky works.

Note to moderator....feel free to Zap my above link if you feel the need.It's a sore subject with a lot of folks.

clr8ter 03-17-2013 11:55 AM

Huh, interesting. The second guy in that link certainly has a hair across his ass about the word "Billet". Seems if we all use it in the same way, and all agree to the way we use it, no problem.......

I work in a machine/sheet metal shop, but alas, no toys in the garage. If I was to try something like this, I'd start with a barrel and magazine, and design around those. Take something existing, and change it to suit my needs. (Could a P938 be made simpler?) I have no doubt a skilled machinist could come up with something, but what about the cost? Parts? Finish? Heat Treating? (Other than the barrel, IS there heat treating involved?) Paying Chumlee from Pawn Stars to shoot it 1st..........:D

Very cool, idea, though.....

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