February 18th, 2021

Genesis of a Tactical Rifle — The Process of Creation

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tactical 2 Comments »
October 10th, 2015

Create and Print Your Own Custom PDF Targets

Free downloadable targets

AccurateShooter.com has a HUGE collection of FREE downloadable PDF targets. We offer a very wide range of target designs: Load Development Grids, NRA Bullseye targets, Official-Size BR targets, Realistic Varmint Targets, Silhouette Shapes, Fun Plinking Targets, and even specialized tactical training targets. If our collection of free targets isn’t enough, or if you want to create a new kind of target — you’re in luck. There’s an Australian-based interactive website, PrintTargets.net that allows you to create your own customized, printable PDF targets.

CLICK Graphic to Create Your Own Targets.
Free downloadable targets

Just follow the step-by-step instructions to set paper size, layout, bullseye color, line thickness, number of rings and diameter. You can even add Score Numbers to your target rings. PrintTargets.net is easy and fun to use. It’s much faster to create targets this way than to try to draw a series of circles with PowerPoint or MS Paint. Power-User tip: PrintTargets.net even offers a handy diamond-grid calibration diagram that you can add to your custom target designs. You’ll find the calibration grid as option #15 when you design your target — just scroll all the way down the PrintTargets.net home page.


CLICK HERE to Design Your Own Downloadable Targets

Permalink Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
August 9th, 2015

39% Increase in Suppressor Ownership in Past Year

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

There has been a huge growth in the number of registered suppressors in the USA. From 2014 to 2015, the number of NFA-registered suppressors rose from 571,150 to 792,282. That’s a 39% increase in just one year! It’s remarkable that there are nearly 800,000 suppressors now registered in the USA. These stats are based on data published in the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Firearms Commerce Report.

According to Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, “The suppressor market grew more [from 2014-2015] than it did in the previous two years combined. This unprecedented growth is in large part due to educational initiatives, and the passage of 11 pro-suppressor laws and regulations last year.” (Source: Guns.com.)

We expect suppressors (also known as “cans”, “silencers” or “sound moderators”) to become even more popular in the years to come. This trend will continue: “As more target shooters and hunters realize the many benefits suppressors provide, their popularity across the United States will continue to increase,” said NSSF Senior Vice president and General Counsel Larry Keane.

Texas Leads the Way in Suppressor Ownership
Currently, 41 states permit ownership of Federally-registered suppressors. While suppressor ownership rates are increasing in all those 41 states, forty percent (40%) of all registered suppressors are found in five key states: Texas (130,769), Georgia (59,942), Florida (50,422), Utah (50,291) and Oklahoma (27,874).

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

Suppressor CAD drawing by Reimo Soosaar, hosted on GrabCAD.com.
Silencer infographic by SilencerCo.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 12 Comments »
November 9th, 2013

Future Tech: 3D Metal Printing of Gun Parts and 1911 Pistol

Could your next metal scope rings, trigger guard, or muzzle brake be crafted with a 3D printing process? It’s possible. In fact, a wide variety of metal parts (even a complete handgun) can be printed using the latest 3D Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process. The way this works is as follows: powdered metal is heated by a laser, causing the metal particles to fuse and solidify. This is progressively repeated, in vertically-stacked layers, until the entire metal part is complete. It’s like building a metal layer cake with the shape/size of each thin layer defined by a precise laser beam. The laser is guided by computer-controlled servos following a CAD “blueprint”.

This video demonstrates how metal parts are 3D printed using the DMLS process. This technology is offered by Solid Concepts, a leading rapid prototyping and manufacturing services company.

The Solid Concepts 1911 — World’s First 3D-Printed Metal Firearm

Solid Concepts has manufactured the world’s first 3D-printed metal gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. The gun, a .45 acp 1911 clone, has already handled 50 rounds of successful live-fire testing. A 1911 design was chosen because the “blueprint” is public domain. The gun is composed of thirty-three, 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, crafted through the DMLS process. Even the carbon fiber-filled hand grips are 3D printed, using a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) process.

3D metal printing 1911 DMLS Solid Concepts

Except for the springs, all the parts of this 1911 handgun were printed using the metal laser sintering process. Yes even the highly-polished slide, the barrel, the frame, and the hammer were printed. There are no forgings, castings, or conventionally-machined parts. With the exception of springs, all 30+ components in this prototype pistol were printed using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology. Watch the video for a glimpse into the future of gun-making:

World’s First 3D-Printed Metal Gun Test Firing

Solid Concepts believes that its fully-functional, 3D-printed 1911 handgun proves the viability of 3D printing for gun parts, even highly-stressed components. Kent Firestone, V.P. of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts, states: “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D metal printing. And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D printing service provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

3D metal printing 1911 DMLS Solid Concepts

Will we see complete 3D-printed metal guns on the market soon? That’s unlikely. It’s still more economical to produce complete guns the old-fashioned way. However, we may see 3D printing used for rapid prototyping. In addition, 3D metal printing has advantages for hard-to-machine parts with complex geometries. Solid Concepts reports that its 3D printed metal has fewer porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the years ahead.

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July 9th, 2010

3D Laser Scanner Used for Replicating Stock Designs

rifle stock duplicatorFor more than a century, makers of rifle stocks have used large, complicated mechanical duplicators to reproduce stock designs. These contraptions rely on mechanical linkages to follow the lines of a stock and reproduce the shape on a new blank. Now new 3D scanning technology and CNC milling systems may render the mechanical stock duplicator obsolete. Laser Design Inc. (LDI) has developed a system of scanning lasers that creates an ultra-precise 3D model of a gunstock. Digital CAD data from the scans is then used to program a CNC milling machine that produces exact duplicates of the original stock.

Keystone Sporting Arms, LLC, of Milton, PA, has already started producing rifle stocks modeled on designs derived from laser scans. Keystone, one of the nation’s biggest producers of gunstocks, turned to the laser-scanning technology after Keystone purchased another stock-maker. Keystone wanted to continue to produce the acquired company’s legacy models. However, there were no CAD models for those older stock designs. Keystone had already invested heavily in the machining equipment and needed to be able to quickly generate CAD data from scanning a master model of the stock.

rifle stock duplicator

Keystone owner Steve McNeal knew that 3D laser scanning was able to produce excellent results when reverse-engineering rifle stocks. When an object is hard to measure manually or with a touch probe due to its irregular surface contours, non-contact 3D laser scanning can produce accurate CAD data very quickly. The Keystone stock scans were done with a 7-axis Faro Platinum articulating arm fitted with an SLP-330 laser probe. LSI’s technical experts helped Keystone create crisp well-defined edges and corners in the data files — this is key to the reverse-engineering process. The scanning process is fast, and exporting directly to MasterCAM for milling is extremely efficient.

Amazingly, the scans from a single stock contained over 18 million data coordinates. This enormous amount of data was then exported to MasterCAM to create the CNC toolpaths. From start to finish, the project took only three hours for the scanning, data editing, and export to MasterCAM.

rifle stock duplicator

How Laser Scanning Works
Scanning free-form shapes and irregular surfaces, such as curved gun stocks, is an ideal application for a non-contact laser scanner. Because the scanning system projects a line of laser light onto surfaces while cameras continuously triangulate the changing distance and profile of the laser line as it sweeps along, the problem of missing data on an irregularly-shaped surface is minimal. The operator moves the laser line back and forth over the area until the complete surface is captured. The capture progress is continuously monitored by the operator on the computer screen. The system measures details and complex geometry so that the object can be exactly replicated digitally. Laser scanners measure articles quickly, picking up to 75,000 coordinate points per second.

Scanning a gun stock offers certain special challenges. Most of the gun stock had a smoothly finished surface which produces excellent scan data with very precise tolerances. However, the front end of the stock, which had a rough wood grain, needed sanding to yield more usable 3D data. A feature that was somewhat challenging to scan was a 1.5″ hole in the stock. To capture the sides and bottom of the hole the scan technician positioned the laser directly over the top of the hole so the laser could “see” the bottom, then at a 45-degree angle for the sidewalls.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »