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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just starting out wanting to learn gunsmithing/gun building. I have read for making barrels I need either 416R stainless steel or 4140 chrome moly steel. I have most of the machines I would need.
But how do I tell what the diameters of the steel for the barrels should be?
I have looked online for charts and am not finding it. So I assume other factors have to be taken into account of which I am not aware of at present?
Right now I have an opportunity to get stock for little cost (privately), and so want to prepare for future projects of different calibers.
Possibly thinking I want to make .22, 9mm, .357, .45, 30-30, and 30.06.
Not sure I will ever make some of those, but the opportunity to get the stock at a great price is one I do not want to pass up.

Thanks for ay help.
Pointing me towards a good source for what else I need to know would also be much appreciated.
 

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I like guns....
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Please check out our introduction page. Express yourself. It really helps us understand what your looking for.. Im sure you can gain some information our group... Thanks for joining..
 

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Most of the raw stock that rifle barrels are made from starts out at 1.5" diameter rod. From there it gets cut to length and turned down to different diameter's depending on what type of barrel it will end up being. Then it gets line bored for the caliber it will be used for.
Once a customer orders a barrel, then it will get rifled, contoured, straightened, and chambered.

Most Gunsmith's order barrel blanks from custom barrel maker's, and only chamber, thread, do the final finishing, and install the barrel onto a customers action.
The machinery and tooling required to produce a barrel is very expensive as well as something that takes a long time to learn how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for this. When I say getting into gunsmithing, I am, I think, misusing the term. Again, likely of my ignorance in the subject. I just want to be able to make the parts I want when I want them, to build what I want to use for myself and be able to help out a friend in need if that situation ever arises. I have no desire to profit or make a business - I have been a woodworker all my life and am wanting to expand into metal now. What better way than build s few guns (the RIGHT way with plenty of homework and from advice from those who know what they are doing).
 

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Unless you are wanting to invest in a metal lathe and end mill along with all the tooling required to use them, your best bet is to assemble pre- made parts that are designed to work together.
You still need a good bit of knowledge about firearms, and the mechanical ability to fit parts precisely together.

I've been working with metal most of my life, I fabricate, weld, run end mills and lathes at work, and I assemble almost all of my precision rifles from custom parts, but I will never consider myself a " Gunsmith ".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for this advice as well. Both of my grandfathers were machinists for many years, and unfortunately I never had the chance to get into metal fabricating until they were long gone. But I did inherit some of their tooling, gauges, calipers, reamers, cutters, etc., etc. and not long ago got a 10" Atlas lathe with a lot of extra tooling/chucks/cutters, and things I have yet to identify!
You said:
You still need a good bit of knowledge about firearms, and the mechanical ability to fit parts precisely together.
I was always the one who tore things apart to see how they worked and to see if I could make an improvement. Mechanized systems are fun for me. The more intricate the better. I made an 8-day cuckoo clock with animations from scratch years ago, and have looked over gun plans. Comparably the gun mechanisms are not too complex. I don't anticipate (famous last words!) much trouble b/c I love to troubleshoot anything and everything.
I am starting to look at a mill, but am waiting until I know a lot more of what I might need (again, just for my own tinkering) before I get serious about getting one. I have always been the kind to "engineer" and make my own solutions/parts and have lived by what my one grandfather always said: "Anything can be fixed even if you have to melt it down and re-pour it!" So these new (to me) machines and tooling will get a workout (practice!) in that respect as well.
I KNOW it will take time. That, to me, is part of the fun also...the learning process.
 

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S&W 637-2, M&P sheild 9mm
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Check out the DIY threads, and find the 7/10ths mauser thread.

As stated above, the barrel is the hardest part to make on a firearm as one would need expensive tooling to cut the rifling.

Edit: I posted on the 7/10ths project to bump it to the top of new posts.
 
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