Advice on making a personal firearm

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by malmais, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. malmais

    malmais New Member

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    I've been interested in gunsmithing and designing for a long time as a hobby. I currently found out it is legal to make your own firearm as long as you remain the owner of it. But I can't find anything on the regulations. If anyone knows of them or a place I can find them please help. I am in Virginia. Thank you
     
  2. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    I do not think that is the case any where, but I could be mistaken. I would suggest contacting your local law enforcement to make sure you are with in your legal rights.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You can make your own firearm as long as it is otherwise legal (no full auto, short barreled rifle/shotgun, etc.)

    Try atf.gov
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    check out the BATF website. yes you can legally make a firearm from scratch as long as it meets the criteria of legally owned firearm. as Robo said, no F/A firearms or SBR or SBS or AOW. any of these require a tax stamp and fee paid to the BATF.

    you also cannot make one with the intent to sell as that requires an FFL from the BATF. you can make one for your own personal use and enjoyment.
     
  5. malmais

    malmais New Member

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    Thank you axxee55. I am just trying to make just a single shot shotgun or something along those lines . I just can't find the restrictions like barrel length or full length.
     
  6. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    What are your capabilities and available equipment? (two files and a hammer or a fully equipped
    machine shop)?

    Good starter gun for make-your-own is a 22 LR long gun. Bolt action, rolling block,
    falling block---there are plans and prints out there. Relatively low pressure--if you screw
    up heat treating a part it probably won't grenade on you.

    Better idea. Grab a cheap mil-surp rifle or old 22 beater and modify/repair/customize
    it. Gets your hands dirty, and if you screw it up no great loss.

    Barrel length etc.? Your Google-Fu is weak grasshopper. A quick search for
    "minimum firearms lengths" pops up 7 million hits---the ATF FAQ site is a good
    place to start.

    Rifle. 16" minimum barrel length, 26" overall minimum.
    Shotgun. 18" minimum barrel, 26" overall.
     
  7. malmais

    malmais New Member

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    My capabilities are entry level novice. I have information but no experience doing so. I know the theory behind it, but I do have many tools. The only gun I have made is a pipe shotgun, it is very basic and not something I can be proud of making. My biggest fault will probably be not knowing what names to go with and who are good manufacturers of parts. But I do thank you greatly for all your information.
     
  8. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    BillM's answer to both the rifle and the shotgun are dead on!
    But you also need to check your local and state laws since they could very in some cities and states.
    But what Bill advised is the Federal Law requirements.

    03
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    as long as it meets BATF regulations, of 26" OAL and an 18" barrel you're good to go. less than those specs and it's a SBS and without a tax stamp and permit fee, it would be illegal.
     
  10. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    What you are trying to do ain't nuthin' new. People have been banging
    out firearms for hundreds of years. Heck--there is a village in Pakistan
    that pretty much does it full time, and they make complex firearms that
    can fool experts----working over a dried mule poop fire with the previously
    mentioned 2 files and a hammer.:)

    First thing to do is buy yourself the "I wanta be a gunsmith" wish book,
    the Brownell's catalog. Purchase price refunded on your first order--and
    you WILL be placing an order.

    Then maybe a cruise over to the Numrich website---check out the exploded
    views with the names of all the itty bitty parts. Buy your cheap beater
    whatever to play gunsmith with. Take it apart and put it together a few
    times. Order the little spring loaded whatzit from Numrich that shot off
    into a parallel universe when you took the gun apart the first time.:confused:

    Welcome to the insanity.
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    Bill, an insanity, addiction or a passion?:D
     
  12. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    All of the above. And there are "levels".

    I started out with the two files and a hammer.

    Then it was a good set of screwdrivers--then pin,
    starter and drift punches---

    Now I have that fully equipped machine shop,
    and I'm considering setting up bluing tanks.

    Just as a hobby--

    Hmmm---maybe we should toss disease and obsession
    into the hat along with insanity addiction and passion?:)
     
  13. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    quite true! firearms started as an interest for me, then a passion, then an addiction!

    maybe i have moved past obsession and moved to the diseased part now!
     
  14. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    You have been given some good advice (so far, anyway....:D)

    Would offer couple more bits- spend some time learning about metals. And if you have access to the internet, you can learn. Steel is not steel- it is an alloy of iron, carbon, and a host of other metals. Steel has different crystalline forms that appear at different temps- purpose of heat treating metals is to get it to the crystal state you want, and by quenching it, hold that crystal pattern. Look up cementite and austentite- both are steel- different crystal structure.

    You should spend more time on your drawing than in drilling and filing. By drawing I do not mean doodling something that would look REALLY cool- I mean laying out and blueprinting what you will build. That is how gun makers get all those parts to work together without interfering with each other.
     
  15. malmais

    malmais New Member

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    I do thank all of you for all the needed information. Any tips on a good starter project? I thought about the ar 15 or m1 garand but I feel that if I buy parts and put it together then I'm not really building the gun. How do you all feel about that and omwhat are your opinions?
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    For a decent "first time" find a good kit for a single shot muzzleloader. Get some experience with wood and metal working- filing, drilling, bluing or browning, etc.
     
  17. cornbelt

    cornbelt New Member

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    A rifle's overall length is only 24". But if you are making a smoothe bore, even a .22 would be considered a shotgun, and a shotgun must have an 18" bbl and be 26" OAL.
    The following is a discussion including where to download a blueprint for five bucks as well as internal pictures of the single shot action and completed pictures.
    http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php/topic,199913.0.html

    And another from all over the globe from downright dirty to extremely professional: http://www.homegunsmith.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?;act=SF;f=3

    Deciding what to build may be the hardest problem, but there is always a use for another .22
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    a rifle has to have at least a 16" barrel to be legal, vs. the 18" barrel for a shotgun but a rifle still has to have the same OAL of 26", just like a shotgun to be legal. check the BATF website for proof on this.
     
  19. malmais

    malmais New Member

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    Thank you all for your advice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  20. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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