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August 18th, 2022

Lights, Camera, ACTIONS — See Kelbly’s Actions Being Made

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

Want to see new-born Pandas? No, not the furry kind — rather Stolle Panda actions produced with state-of-the-art CNC machinery. If you’ve ever wondered how precision benchrest, long-range, and tactical rifles are built, check out video from Kelbly’s. You’ll see actions finished, barrels chambered and crowned, pillars installed in stocks, barreled actions bedded, plus a host of other services performed by Kelbly’s gunsmiths and machinists.

If you’re a fan of fine machine-work, this video should be both informative and entertaining. You can see how precision gun work is done with 21st-Century technology. Tip of the hat to Ian Kelbly and crew for producing this excellent video visit to the Kelbly’s production center.

Click Volume Control to Activate Sound for Kelbly’s Video:

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

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June 26th, 2022

Brilliant Video From Beretta about Gun-Making

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Here’s a really great video about firearms crafting produced by Beretta, a legendary Italian gun-maker founded in 1526 — nearly 500 years ago. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of most impressive videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of modern technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
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 »
April 8th, 2020

Lights, Camera, Actions! — Video Tour of Kelbly’s Shop

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

Want to see new-born Pandas? No, not the furry kind — rather Stolle Panda actions produced with state-of-the-art CNC machinery. If you’ve ever wondered how precision benchrest, long-range, and tactical rifles are built, check out video from Kelbly’s. You’ll see actions finished, barrels chambered and crowned, pillars installed in stocks, barreled actions bedded, plus a host of other services performed by Kelbly’s gunsmiths and machinists.

If you’re a fan of fine machine-work, this video should be both informative and entertaining. You can see how precision gun work is done with 21st-Century technology. Tip of the hat to Ian Kelbly and crew for producing this excellent video visit to the Kelbly’s production center.

Click Volume Control to Activate Sound for Kelbly’s Video:

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
April 3rd, 2017

Reloading Bling — MK Machining’s Aluminum Reloading Trays

MK Machining Reloading Tray Block Anodized shell Red Blue black

Forty-five bucks for a 25-round reloading tray? No this is not a late April Fool’s Day story. The CNC wizards at MK Machining in Missouri have created what may be the world’s most high-tech tray. Milled from billet aluminum, these trays will last a lifetime, and they offer one big advantage — any powder over-spill simply fills the open gap between the top and bottom plates. That way you don’t have stray powder kernels collecting in the bottom of the cartridge holes.

The MK Reloading Trays come in four colors: Red Anodized ($44.99), Blue Anodized ($44.99), Black Anodized ($39.99), and Silver (Clear) Anodized ($34.99). The holes are sized for .308 Win-diameter cases, so they’ll work for 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, 7mm-08, and the entire .308 Win family. As shown below you can buy a Red and Blue pair and simply re-assemble them in a Red/Blue Sandwich style. We think that looks pretty cool.

MK Machining Reloading Tray Block Anodized shell Red Blue black

For more information, or to order MK Reloading Trays, visit MKMachining.com.

Reloading Block Tray Sinclair white polymer BrownellsTo be honest, the $6.99 Sinclair Polymer Loading Blocks are good enough for most reloading applications — and the larger, 50-round Blocks ($10.99 at right) can hold twice as many rounds as the MK trays.

However, the MK Machining Loading Tray definitely has more “bling appeal” and there are some advantages to the sandwich design. The aluminum is certainly more heat resistant than polymer. For guys who want a “Cadillac” tray on their bench, the MK Machining Trays may be worth the investment. We also think these might make nice prizes for a shooting match.

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February 6th, 2016

Barrel-Making: How Ruger Crafts Hammer-Forged Barrels

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
This image shows a barrel in the process of hammer forging. Watch this operation starting at 1:15 in the video linked below.

You have probably heard the term “hammer-forged barrel”. But do you know how the cold hammer-forging process works? In this interesting video from Ruger, you can see the full barrel making process, including cold hammer-forging on a massive machine. Watch long rods of steel barrel material get cut to length, then drilled. After that Ruger uses CNC machines to contour the barrels before hammer forging.

Anyone with an interest in barrel-making should watch this video:

As the barrel is cold hammer-forged, a giant machine literally pounds the barrel from all sides around an internal carbide mandrel, which forms the rifling inside the bore. The actual hammer-forging is illustrated starting at 1:15 in this video. Through the process of cold-working the barrel around the mandrel, the barrel ends up with a longer length, a smaller outside diameter, and a higher hardness.

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
Before hammer forging, the barrels are deep-hole drilled, four at a time, with a bit that is slightly larger diameter than the caliber planned for the barrel.

Ruger Firearms Barrel Making Hammer Forging
Following the drilling, the barrel rod is placed in CNC machines to be turned down to the correct outside shape and size and both ends are trimmed.

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December 5th, 2015

The Art of Gun-Making (High Tech and Human Tech)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Here’s an early Christmas present to our readers from Beretta — a really great video about gun-making. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of the best videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of ultra-modern manufacturing technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 7th, 2015

Timney Triggers Made with State-of-the-Art Automated Machinery

Timney Triggers Factory Tom McHale Scottsdale Arizona CNC

For years, Timney triggers have been popular drop-in upgrades for hunting rifles, rimfire rifles, and AR platform rifles. To meet the demand for its many trigger products, Timney Triggers has expanded its operation, adding state-of-the-art CNC machines and other high-end, automated equipment. A far cry from the dank gun factories of the 1950s and 1960s, Timney’s Arizona production center now resembles the squeaky-clean, ultra-modern facilities where electronics are assembled.

Today’s Timney factory is all about computerized automation. Timney Triggers’ owner John Vehr states that it would take 60 or more trained machinists and metal-workers to produce as many triggers as can Timney’s modern machines. Timney does employ two dozen workers, but they are assigned tasks that the computerized machines can’t do as well or better.

If you want to see how Timney triggers are made this days, check out Tom McHale’s recent account of his visit to the Timney Factory in Scottsdale, Arizona. McHale explains how the triggers are designed and fabricated, and 20 high-rez photos illustrate the production process and machinery.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
May 27th, 2015

Forum Member Builds His Own High-Quality Front Rest

AKShooter front rest F-Class Dasher 6mm Alaska
AKShooter front rest F-Class Dasher 6mm Alaska

AKShooter front rest F-Class Dasher 6mm AlaskaYou have to admire someone with serious do-it-yourself skills. Not just hammer and nail skills, but formidable design and fabrication skills. Well Forum Member Dave D. (aka “AKShooter”) has a DIY skill set that might put some trained machinists to shame. You see, “DIY Dave” crafted his own pedestal front rest from scratch, using his own design and about $100.00 in materials (not counting the Edgewood front bag). Dave estimates he put 20 hours of labor into the project, but the end result was worth it: “This Do-It-Yourself rest drives like a dream. I’ve played with the Caldwell and a Sinclair, they have nothing on this one.”

Dave tells us: “Here is my Do-It-Yourself front rest. I wanted to show other folks who are handy that a solid front rest is doable with a bit of time — and you don’t need to spend $1000.00. (You could say this is a design for shooters with more time than money.) This is for F-Class. I was originally overwhelmed by the equipment needed, so I decided to make my own rest. I didn’t have the money for a SEB or Farley Coaxial. This is what I’ll run this season (my second as an F-Class competitor).”

(more…)

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
February 24th, 2015

Tech Trends: Precision Barrel Bore-Honing

Some custom barrel makers are now honing barrels (after drilling) to improve bore diameter uniformity, smooth the interior finish, and reduce barrel lapping times. For years, large-scale manufacturers of hammer-forged barrels have employed honing. Now the process is being used by smaller, “boutique” barrel-makers. This article explains how and why barrel honing is done. Take the time to watch the video. For anyone with an interest in barrel-making, this video is an eye-opener…

Barrel Honing Process Demonstrated (Worth Watching!):

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

For custom barrel makers, honing is a time-saver and cost cutter. A few minutes on a honing machine can cut lapping times in half, leaving a cross-hatched surface finish in single or low double-digit Ra. Honing is the same process used to make diesel fuel injectors with bore roundness and straightness controlled to fractions of a micron (<0.000040"), with surface finish Ra ≤0.15 µm (6 µin).

A key manufacturing process used for hammer-forged barrels is now getting attention from the makers of custom button-rifled barrels. This process is precision bore-honing. Honing produces a high-quality bore surface fast, which is critical to hammer forging. (Why is honing so important with hammer forging? Surface finish is the one feature of the barrel that cannot be controlled in hammer forging. Surface imperfections in a barrel blank tend to be amplified as the blank is formed on the rifling mandrel. And if the bore is chromed afterwards, imperfections in the surface finish become even more obvious.)

Honing dramatically improves bore diameter size uniformity and accuracy, surface finish and roundness throughout the length of the barrel. It can certainly be used in place of a pre-rifling lap. The chief difference between a lapped and honed bore is the direction of the finish lines in the bore. Honing leaves fine spiraling crosshatch lines, while a lap leaves lines going longitudinally in the bore. After rifling the manufacturer can remove the crosshatch finish with a quick lap if desired. Honing is fast, accurate, and can be automated. Its surface quality and geometry can duplicate lapping, except for the longitudinal lines of the lapped finish.

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Frank Green of Bartlein Barrels told us: “We worked with Sunnen and we did all the initial testing on the prototype machine for them. The machine works great! We ordered and received last year a new manufactured machine with the changes we wanted on it and we just ordered a second one a month or so ago. Should be here next month.”

Computer-Controlled Bore-Honing
Honing can be done with great precision through the use of advanced, computer-controlled honing machines. Sunnen Products Company recently introduced a new machine for .17 to .50-caliber barrels (see control panel below). The spindles on this machine can correct bore size imperfections so small only an air gauge can measure them. The consistency this allows improves bore uniformity, which, in turn, produces more accurate barrels for the precision market.

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Sunnen Products Company is the world’s largest vertically-integrated manufacturer of honing systems, tooling, abrasives, coolants and gauging for precision bore-sizing and finishing. Sunnen’s customers include manufacturers of diesel and gas engines, aerospace components, hydraulic components, oil field equipment, and gun/cannon barrels. Sunnen, which just celebrated its 90th anniversary, employs more than 600 people worldwide.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
January 11th, 2015

Master Gun-Maker (with CNC Mill) Builds a 22-250 Varminter

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesJust another YouTube video … NOT. This video is a winner. If you want to see state-of-the-art 21st Century rifle-building, with advanced CNC milling operations, watch this clip. It shows how man and machine combine to create a fine custom rifle.

One of the best short features of its kind, this video shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the build are covered. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting.

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
December 21st, 2014

Ultimate Gifts: Technoframes Ammo and Handgun Display Units

What do you get for the shooter “who has everything”? How about a custom-crafted, laser-engraved ammo display case. Technoframes produces a series of ultra-sleek Ammo display units, and high-tech pistol racks. The CNC-machined display boxes, fitted to your choice of cartridge, look great. There are many varieties to choose from, including wood, metal, and plexiglass. We like the fact that many of the boxes are lockable.


Technoframes’ impressive billet-aluminum pistol racks, with magazine-style gun holders (fitted with Neodymium magnets in their bases) put ordinary plastic or wire-framed racks to shame.

Last but not least, Technoframes also makes a plexiglass-sided gun transport box and a double-tiered, two-pistol/six-magazine gun display box with removable inner tray. These units look like they were produced by “M” for James Bond.

Technoframe gun box

Technoframes is the world’s leading producer of high-end CNC-machined ammo and handgun storage solutions. Along with display cases, Technoframes offers Snap Caps and historical replica ammunition. For more info, visit Technoframes.com.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
December 17th, 2014

“Human Technology” — Superb Video from Beretta

If you do anything on our site today, watch this movie from Beretta, start to finish. Among the scores of videos we have featured in 2014, this movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is certainly a candidate for “Video of the Year”. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of ultra-modern manufacturing technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Quoting Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)

“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video will amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology robot video Human

Beretta shotgun technology video Human

Beretta Human Technology videoZoom for Best Viewing

We strongly suggest you watch this excellent video in 720p or 1080p High-Definition, Full-Screen Mode. To do this, after starting the video, click the gear icon and select 1080p (or 720p if you have a slower connection). After setting the resolution, click the four-corner box to enter Full-Screen Mode. When you’ve finished watching the movie, click the “Esc” key to return to your normal browser screen.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
June 16th, 2014

How Barnes Bullets Are Made — Views from Inside the Factory

Barnes Bullets FactoryMany of our readers have been interested in learning how modern bullets are made. While a “boutique” bullet-maker, supplied with appropriate cores and jackets, can craft bullets using relatively simple hand dies and manual presses, factory production is different. The major bullet-makers, such as Barnes, employ huge, complex machines to craft their projectiles on an assembly line.

Modern hunting bullets are made with a variety of sophisticated (and expensive) machines, such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lathes, giant multi-stage presses, and hydraulic extruding machines that draw lead ingots into lead wire. Barnes offers an “inside look” at the bullet production process in a series of videos filmed at its Mona, UT factory. We’ve embedded four videos from the series here. These videos can also be viewed on the Barnes Bullets YouTube Channel.

Milling Slots in TSX All-Copper Bullet
This video shows how the slots (between the drive bands) in the TSX all-copper bullet are cut. The slots reduce the bearing surface that contacts the rifling. This helps reduce friction and heat, extending the life of barrels used with all-metal, drive-band bullets:

Varminator Bullets Produced in Jumbo Transfer Press
Here is the transfer press used in the production of Varminator and MPG Bullets. The process begins with a giant spool of flat copper material. The copper is stamped into jackets and eventually the formed Varminator bullets are ejected one by one into a bucket.

CNC Lathe Turns Bullets Automatically
In the video below, a Bar-Feed CNC crafts mono-bloc bullets from metal bar stock. Barnes uses a small CNC lathe to turn .50-caliber bullets from brass bar stock. We’re not sure which bullet is being made in this video. The material looks to be sintered metal. In the close-ups you can gold-colored shavings from when the machine was previously used for CNC-turned brass bullets.

Accuracy Testing in 100-yard Tunnel
Barnes regularly tests bullet samples for accuracy. In the video below, a Barnes technician loads sample rounds and tests them for accuracy in a 100-yard tunnel. The rounds are shot through a special fixture — basically a barreled action connected to parallel rods on either side. This allows the testing fixture to slide straight back on recoil (see it move back at 1:07-08 minute mark). Note how the tester actuates the trigger, which is oriented upwards, just the opposite of a normal rifle. The technician taps the upward-pointing trigger shoe lightly with a metal rod. Could this upside-down trigger orientation be useful in benchrest shooting — perhaps with railguns? It could make for an interesting experiment.

Story suggestion by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 10 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.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 2 Comments »