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From: (Kirk Hays)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Two Gun-Making Questions - ooh! evil!
Date: 16 Oct 1997 22:26:49 GMT

In article <3445B306.13F0@see.the.text>,
Marty Jones  <see.the.text@see.the.text> wrote:

>> [In my callow youth, I once proved to a gullible friend (who was
>> somewhat poorer afterwards) that given vice grips, a hacksaw, and a
>> file (the vice grips and hacksaw are optional, but convenient), plus
>> an automobile carcass and about two hours, one can make a working
>> gun, one that'll put 3 shots in a 10 inch circle at 100 yards.
>Details, PLEASE! - This sounds like a good story!




Since there was another request, I'll post the story.

My good friend Jake and I were out shooting one day, something we did
several times a week while in college, and he was marveling at how
difficult firearms must be to build and engineer.

I, of course, disagreed, mostly to be disagreeable, but because I was
pretty sure I knew better, too.

"Nothing to it, Jake.  Why, you know that 1955 Chevy Pickup that Chris
[my girlfriend at the time] just gave up on?  I could build a rifle
from pieces of it with just a file, a hacksaw, and some visegrips.
Probably take about two hours."

"Could not!"

"Wanna bet?"

"Yer on!  $100 says you can't."

We gathered the Requisite Tools, and adjourned to the shady tree under
which the clapped-out pickup lay.

I removed the steering wheel shaft housing and the engine head using
the vise grips on the nuts holding them on, and used the hacksaw to
remove a chunk of the head with an intake valve port.

The steering wheel shaft housing was the barrel - I filed a slot
around the circumference and flattened the sides to create an
interrupted thread (with only one thread), then fitted the breechblock
(the valve port, opened to fit over the threaded end of the barrel) so
that a quarter twist of the valve port would lock it tightly against
the end of the housing.

A few more minutes with the file on a small bolt resulted in a firing
pin, which, with a scavenged spring (from the gas pedal), and a couple
of other small parts (sear, trigger, trigger housing created from bent
fender metal, a couple more small springs), all held together by slots
and clever cutting and bending (no pins, bolts, or through holes!),
gave us a firing mechanism.  The firing pin passed through the hole
for the valveshaft in the breechblock.

Total elapsed time, about an hour and fifty minutes.

Back to the house and copped twenty of dad's .45-70 cartridges, and off
to the gravel pit.

Baling-wired the gun to my truck's rear bumper, and took the first two or
three shots from behind the truck, using some string to pull the
trigger, after cocking the gun by pulling the bolt head.

Ater determining that it wasn't going to blow, we set up a target 100
yards downrange, and "walked" the gun onto the target, which is how we
determined that it could put three shots into a 10" circle at that

The cartridge cases were grossly distorted, and most of the primers
were partly backed out, both symptoms of the very loose "chamber".

Jake happily paid up, and we discarded the breechblock in a dumpster,
and tossed the barrel into the bed of the junk truck.

Kids - don't do this at home.

Note that this was all perfectly legal, and still is.

Kirk Hays
[I don't speak for Sequent.]

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