Skip to comments.The Gun Explosion - Why the firearms boom is good news for the American economy
Posted on 04/20/2012 1:39:42 AM PDT by neverdem
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I'd say a stamping press is pretty specialized. You find very few of them in home shops, but I'd like to hear how you plan to make smokeless powder and the lead styphanate for the primers.
Have you ever tried doing this on a lathe? You'd still need some sort of press to get the tapered shape, but ignoring the expense and the need for a press anyway to get anything except straight sided pistol cartridges, think of how long it would take. I just made some stainless steel repair parts about the size of a .44 cartridge on a lathe, parts that didn't need the precision that ammunition needs and didn't have to be tapered (replacing a broken aluminum boat hatch hinge - no longer available), and making half a dozen of them took all day.
Voting, letter writing, lobbying.
What you’re missing is that you can also make your own tooling.
Get some O-1 drill rod, and start from there. Learn how to heat treat and temper steel, and you’ll have to worry about your final dimensions once. After that, you just keep using the forming tools.
I could, in theory, turn a chamber for a rifle on a lathe with a boring bar. But that takes too long, so we use reamers that are sized for the chamber in question.
Custom made tooling is the cat’s ass. That’s why I have a collection of O-1, A-2 and S-7 drill rod next to my machines. Need a screwdriver, punch, chisel, cutter, drill bit, countersink, whatever? I make it, then heat treat, temper, put a little grind on it and wha-la. I’m off to the races.
Seriously, check it out. Saves you GOBS of time...
A high-volume stamping press is specialized.
A hydraulic 50+ ton press isn’t.
Making smokeless powder isn’t difficult. Start by making gun cotton. Sure, you’re going to have to experiment to get the correct burning rate. But making propellant isn’t as difficult as people think. Making propellants with varying rates of burn - that’s more difficult, but making propellants that could propel a rifle bullet are hardly impossible to make.
As for the priming compound: Yea, it’s corrosive, but fulminate of mercury is easy to make as a starting point. It worked just fine 100 years ago, it would work OK today.
Too many people think this stuff is impossible. It *isn’t*. It just requires getting back into a shop and thinking how our grandfathers did this stuff.
Not missing that at all. I've made my own tooling before, but it usually isn't worth the effort when only making a few parts.
. Learn how to heat treat and temper steel, and youll have to worry about your final dimensions once.
I know quite a bit about this. I usually make my custom cutting tools out of T-15. Lasts longer than O-1. I'd worry about deflection and distortion when machining out brass that is this thin, and of course it's not anywhere near cost effective as just buying ready made. Those poor suckers who have firearms with obsolete cartriges are kind of over the barrel if they want ammo aren't they?
This requires nitric and sulphuric acids. Buy a supply of these and expect a visit form the feds. I agree it can be done, but it isn't nearly as easy as you make it out to be. Btw If you have something like one of these handy then I really envy your shop
Sulphuric is so common no one notices. What are they going to do? Have a hissy every time someone buys a starter battery?
You can make your own nitric. Again, ain’t that difficult. I know what you’re going to say: Where do you get the nitrites to start?
Well, I’m guessing you occasionally have to take a leak, right? There ya go.
Have any horses nearby? Look at the horse poop. See those white crystals that grow as “fuzz” on a pile of horse poop? Probably sodium nitrate. Horse and cattle urine/manure is a wonderful source of nitrates. Wash it out, dry it down, purify and you got a working product. This is how, btw, the black powder makers of the old days in Europe got their saltpeter.
You don’t need a press that large for drawing. When I say “50 ton” I mean the force the press can exert. A 100 ton press could be only 8’ tall, have a 5HP motor on a hydraulic pump if it has a small work envelope. That press you’re picturing is capable of thousands (NB plural) of tons. That could cold-form steel. With cartridge brass (”260” brass), you don’t need that much force to get such a small amount to start flowing.
Here’s an example of a drawing press:
These are what are used in stages to draw out the brass to a cartridge on ammo production lines. They’ve been around for 80 to 90+ years. Documents about the manufacturing of the .30-06 ammo for WWI show Bliss presses in them. The advantage of the Bliss is that it just goes “thump, thump, thump...” and pounds in quick succession. You can do the same thing with a common H press in a shop, but you’ll have much slower cycle times. The point it, you can press your own brass. It isn’t rocket science. People think that making modern ammunition is magic, and it just isn’t. Making modern ammunition at the rate of 10’s of thousands to hundreds of thousands of rounds per hour... that’s magic. Making one at a time, correctly... no more tedious than loading rifle rounds, one at a time. I know where there’s a couple of Bliss presses out in the weeds around Sturgis... and I’m wondering if someday, I should go figure out who owns them, what they want for them and whether I could haul them.
All of this would take gobs of time, I agree. But in the resulting non-compliance and effective strike that would come on the heels of any action by the feds leading to these circumstances... we’d all have plenty of time on our hands. The upshot is that the silk pantywaist liberals who think that they could ban guns.... are engaging in mental masturbation of the stickiest kind. They can’t ban poop, and if they can’t ban poop, then I’ve got what I need to at least make black powder.
Yes, they are. I know of at least two guys (one in Cody, WY and another around Rapid City, SD) who make brass for obsolete cartridges. They charge pretty well for their products, which are at the very least visually quite pleasing. They’re doing as I mentioned - machining them out of 260 bar stock. As you can guess, the cost of the end product causes your breath to escape out of you as tho you were just punched in the gut. Still, as you say, it’s the only option for those old timey rifles and pistols.
re: T-15 vs. O-1/A-2/etc: If I’m cutting something like brass, I don’t need really good HSS like a T-15. O-1 is just so cheap compared to good HSS...
And mind you, I like T-15, or Rex-95. Lately, I’ve been playing with inserted HSS tooling from A. Warner Co. in PA. Neat idea - combine the flexibility of HSS with the speed of insert tooling. Really cool idea. I like their threading tool because it is external on one end, internal on the other.
You sound like you use your machinery more than I use mine. I have a 16x40that I got 26 years ago for one offs and general repair parts. Often months will go by without my using it and other times I’ll be using it in all my spare time for a couple of weeks. BTw that is a picture of a 300 ton press. I got a good deal on some t-15 (about ten years ago) and have been using what I bought then whenever I think the time making the tooling would be worth it - which is not very often. BTW it came with a 3 jaw, a 4 jaw and a faceplate. They could have skipped the 3 jaw - I never use it.
I used a three jaw when I need to whip up something quickly and the runout won’t be any issue. Eventually, tho, I’ll get a 3-jaw set-true chuck, which has the advantages of both a scroll chuck and the ability to dial it in like a four jaw.
If that’s a 300 ton press, they must be able to apply that force across a large working area. I have a 50 ton H press that is rated to apply that 50T into one square inch, and I could fit it into the average walk-in bedroom closet.
16x40 is just about the ideal size to get into all manner of mischief that would cause liberals and henny-pennies heartburn. You could chamber .50 BMG bolt guns on that lathe just fine...
“Some people reload.”
That’s like saying art is easy because you can buy puzzles. Assembling the pieces is trivial; stamping & shaping shells is hard, making primers is hazardous, swaging projectiles (stuffing lead wire into copper tubes and squeezing to shape) isn’t hard but making them accurate & high-performance is, mixing propellant powders is an art, and that’s all assuming you can get the right metals & other specialty materials in forms you can work with.
We’re not talking black powder & lead balls here. “Reloading” amounts to final assembly; yeah it’s cheaper, but when SHTF you’ll wish it were all assembled already and not have time/resources to make more.
Is it doable by individuals? Sure. Thing is, for meaningful results it must be done on a scale equating to a small business, not a hobby. Once you get enough going on all fronts to churn out meaningful amounts, you’re at high risk of being noticed by the wrong people.
I’d hope whatever that was needed for would be taken care of by existing stashes before your production would get up to speed.
Some of what you say is true but I think you have the wrong impression.
If you have an minimum amount of ammo in mind, keep that amount but the components to reload it 5 times doesn’t take that much more space. I won’t say how many rounds I keep but sometimes I have to invite friends over to shoot to make room.
I pick up a few pounds of powder every time I go to a show, either something is on sale or there is something I haven’t used yet and want to try. Primers and bullets are cheaper when you buy them by the 10,000 lot. When you have the reloading bug, you tend to accumulate over time.
Like I said, some people reload.
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