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Wanting To Build A Simple Pistol

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  • Wanting To Build A Simple Pistol

    I have been thinking about trying my hand at making my first firearm. Maybe a simple and small .410 pistol, possibly 2 (or more) round capacity. A .22 isn't out of the question either, but the .410 sounds a bit more interesting.
    I usually don't like to use plans, but for this project, it would probably be a pretty good idea. I am fairly competent machinist and have the usual array of machines and tooling. I likely won't get around to this project until fall, but I wanted to go ahead and get a plan together.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions or a link to some plans?
    Location: North Central Texas

  • #2
    The .410 kicks pretty good in a small light pistol. You may want to rethink that unless it's going to weigh at least 2.5 lbs. For a center fire, I'd be inclined to do a 38 special, rimfire a .22lr of course. Extractor is easy with a rimmed case and the low pressure gives some margin on the material selection. Short sections of rifled blank are easily procured.


    • #3
      You might want to rethink .410. Feds consider all short barrel shotguns as worth about 2 years in federal pen and lost of your right to bear arms.
      A .22 would be a good choice for first try. Relatively low pressure so more forgiving of steel required.
      Most .22 use mild to low heat treated steel. A file will cut most locking lugs.



      • #4
        I would definitely need to look into it more carefully before the build as I have no desire to do anything even remotely questionable - but I thought that if it was a pistol, had a rifled barrel and was chambered for, say LC/under .5 cal, it was legal - like the Taurus Judge, for example. CA laws are possibly more restrictive?
        Location: North Central Texas


        • #5
          California laws are bad and more designed to eliminate guns then solve a problem. Last time I looked a rifled barrel like the Judge was legal in most states, but even with a smooth choke had poor patterns.


          • #6
            Smooth bore pistols are an ATF no go for modern firearms. It MUST be a rifled barrel. Also the rifled barrel bore can be no larger than 50 cal without ATF "Sporting purpose" approval. Which is why 45LC/.410 are the standard. You can not just scratch a smooth bore and call it rifling. The ATF has it defined somewhere. Do your research and stay away from the federal felonies.


            • #7

              And then to muddy the waters further there is this thing:
              *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


              • #8
                OK, we have established the laws and that a .410/LC would have to meet certain criteria.

                Any plans or suggestions for a .22, or talk me into or out of a small caliber center fire.
                Location: North Central Texas


                • #9
                  There is a very simple one that you can make using commonly available tools and materials. It's the boys camper single shot .22 short. (link is for a PDF of a magazine article complete with all plans). It's n easy one make in order to get your feet wet.

                  The only part that is somewhat challenging is rifling the bore. It's easier to rifle the bore of a .45 than it is a .22 simply because the grooves are so small. You can get past that by buying a .22 barrel liner. One liner will give you enough material to make many pistol barrels.

                  I did the math for that, and a 3/4 inch diameter 4140 is plenty strong enough for a .22 long riffle chamber.

                  At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                  Location: SF East Bay.


                  • #10
                    Also, try googling Jaco Designs pistol and you will find several designs for something similar to the one danlb points to above. Interesting to study these relatively simple designs. I think it would be really fun to build one just because, but I've never quite gotten to doing it.


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys. The jaco derringer looks interesting.
                      Location: North Central Texas


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                        Doesn't muddy the waters at all, the first link is about modified or alternatively riffled barrels but still rifled and that second link to the Mossberg Shockwave short barreled shotgun is about a firearm that has an overall length of 26+ inches to make it legal which simply does not apply to a pistol.

                        One option is for something like the old Thompson Center Hot shot pistols that had a rifled barrel but a screw-on straight "slotted" choke/extension (I hesitate to call it rifled because the "slots" were straight and very deep, this was available as an external screw on choke/extension and an internal screw in choke version that didn't lengthen the barrel. The internal version, according to my experience, did not work very well as the "straight rifling/slots" were shallow and did little. The external version was chambered in 44 Magnum and shot either a true 44 Magnum cartridge with the choke removed or a special 44 Magnum shot capsule (I still have a few of these special shot rounds!) or in 45 LC/410 in the internal choke version, not sure if the 45LC/410 was ever available with the external choke.

                        That external choke worked VERY well and actually shot a really nice pattern that looked as if it had been shot from a true smoothbore, the internal choke version got very thin in the center and seemed to shoot a circular pattern as would be expected from a rifled bore. I was very impressed with the pattern on my external version and actually used it to hunt squirrels, it worked quite well for this but it did give them a sporting chance!

                        To make one of these would be fairly easy and would involve just using a legal rifled bore with a screw on tube of the proper bore diameter about 1.75" long (IIRC) with slots cut internally about .062 and about the same depth. I have often thought about doing this myself and have really regretted selling those pistols, that 44 Mag external choke barrel shot a pattern every bit as good as my little Stevens single shot break action long gun did when using 2 1/2" shells.
                        Last edited by radkins; 06-18-2018, 01:03 PM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Ford View Post
                          California laws are bad and more designed to eliminate guns then solve a problem. Last time I looked a rifled barrel like the Judge was legal in most states, but even with a smooth choke had poor patterns.
                          Ya think[emoji6]. IMO nearly all "gun control" people are actually gun abolishment people in disguise. The disguise is pretty thin too. Not trying to rattle anyone's cage or high jack a thread. Just saying I agree with you.

                          Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk


                          • #14
                            Have you seen this It looks to be a great start you might have to get a bit creative with the action it doesn't show the hand much
                            I know absolutely nothing about US gun laws and laws in general so I suggest you look before downloading it and take advice I can't make it here in NZ until I acquire a licence
                            Last edited by Kiwi; 07-03-2018, 06:34 PM.


                            • #15
                              No license needed here as of right now in the U.S. except for maybe some state regulations in a few places. Basically as far as the feds are concerned as long as it is a gun a person can normally buy/own then no problem as long as it's not being built for sale or otherwise to be transferred to someone other than the builder.

                              Quite interesting links there, hadn't seen that one before.