Your definition of “building” a rifle

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by Dusty Stevens, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    with all these modular parts systems and garages fully equipped with vices and big hand tool assortments, we may need to revisit what actually building a rifle is. Assembling an AR from a parts kit is not building it- not even if you have to dremel a part to fit. Neither is putting a pre-fit barrel on an action and slapping it into a stock straight from amazon. Just sayin.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'd never put down a guy who built his own with parts.
     
  3. davidpatton

    davidpatton Silver $$ Contributor

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    Building an ar: Buy a bunch of parts and put together on the kitchen table.
    Building a benchrest rifle: Chamber and install barrel blank to action, fit in stock, bed, tune trigger, install optics and hardware, then start testing.

    definitely two different definitions depending on the application. I imagine this is going to get interesting :)
     
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  4. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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  5. jr600yd

    jr600yd Gold $$ Contributor

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    Moreover Hog I want to watch this also (I’ll bring more popcorn!)
     
  6. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not saying I disagree. But that is how it is known and referred to.

    And according to Webster's Dictionary for build:

    1 : to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole : construct birds building a nest build new hospitals and schools the boat her father built
    2 : to cause to be constructed a contractor who has built hundreds of homes
    3 : to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base building a legal case against her built the organization from the ground up
     
  7. rgc54

    rgc54 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Building by definition is putting together
    Making would be another thing all together
     
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  8. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    Assemble is a better descriptive word for the AR/pre-fit "build". Think autos. They are produced from pre-made parts in an assembly plant.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass

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    What if you actually make one or more of the 'parts' yourself? Not even thinking about cutting a chamber. Todays' "build" seems to amount to purchasing "parts" (action, trigger, stock, barrel, scope mounts) and assembling them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  10. miningshawn

    miningshawn Gold $$ Contributor

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    So.....
    This is how Jeep clubs die. It is a polarizing argument. I cannot machine out an engine block, but I assembled A 4.7L stroker from parts - did I "build" it? Godamn right I built it. Same with an axle, a transfer case or a transmission.
    Getting all of these premade parts to work together makes a Jeep. I don't see where assembling a 92F, AR, or 700 is really any different. I would love to lathe out my own chamber with a reamer that I machined out myself after boring the steel stock and turning it down and running the button for rifling after mining the iron, chromium, and molybdenum and smelting it into an ingot....
    Where does the distinction begin? I try to avoid being a snob. If somebody has invested their time and effort into creating something usefull, damn right they have built it.
    Unless you just like riding your high horse and stomping on somebody else's accomplishment. I want to see more shooters and firearm owners. I will give them a warm congratulations and encourage them to become more involved. If I can I will teach them to do better, if I don't have the knowledge I will go get it. But I will not tolerate a snobby, conceited douchebag telling me how great they are because they blah, blah, blah.
    Invest in a new generation.
     
  11. Texas10

    Texas10 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I seem to recall an ATF proposal to change the laws to read that if you put a screwdriver to a scope to tighten a mount, you'll need a FFL as you are a gun mfg. Did that ever come to pass?

    I count myself as one of those garage mechanic "bubba-smiths" who can bolt together a Savage and a prefit, add a trigger, scope and a stock and go shoot. But I don't think for a minute that I'd qualify as a gunsmith.

    Some elderly gentleman came into the worlds biggest home improvement store where I worked part time and wanted some plywood to build a work bench in his bedroom closet so he could "build AR's". I didn't say a thing but pointed him towards the plywood aisle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  12. shortgrass

    shortgrass

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    That was not a proposal by ATFE. That was an addition to regulations set forth by DDTC (Doctorate of Defense Trade Controls), a division of the State Department that oversees export of items on the USML (US Munitions List). It is regulation directed towards firearms related businesses, not individuals. And, the regulation is directed at those who alter or machine "parts" to make them functional, or actually make "parts".
     
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  13. shortgrass

    shortgrass

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    addition to the above post, " that fit together without alteration". You don't even have to set the gap on spark plugs anymore, they come pre-gapped.
     
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  14. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I guess we throw the phrase "built a rifle" around pretty casually. Kind of like some folks say they "raised three kids", when in fact a pack of wolves could have done better. :p

    Where do ya draw the line. Do we have to cut or forge our own rifling? Completely carve and inlet a walnut branch for a stock?

    I've been reading the article in Jan. 2019, "American Rifleman", about the traditional gunsmiths building rifles in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. These guys are probably the only folks who have a right to say they "built a rifle". Every part is chiseled, carved, filed, forged, cast, and fitted by hand. Literally forged in fire with hand tools.

    If we use even a little of the skill and techniques that it takes to preform a beautiful and accurate fit, finish, and reliable function, who is gonna deprive us of the pride we take in calling a rifle "my build". jd
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  15. KMart

    KMart Gold $$ Contributor

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    Anyone that built/manufactured firearms before the Industrial Revolution, built those items. Since then, everyone else are just assembling parts to one degree or another.
    Except for the guy over on Accurate Shooter that built a rifle starting with forging the steel with a hammer and anvil. I think everything that went into that gun was made from scratch by hand. He did have the advantage of some modern machine tools. I think there is a fellow making muskets up in the Northeast that is doing it the old fashioned way.
     
  16. xswanted

    xswanted Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well unless you’re actually drilling the bore of the barrel you made from raw steel just before you cut the rifling, grow the tree for the wood for the stock and make your optics from scratch you’re not really building a rifle.
     
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  17. Drop Port

    Drop Port

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    I agree and would encourage it, but would call it assembling rather than building and also call Dusty the "Torch" rather than Dusty.:eek:
     
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  18. shortgrass

    shortgrass

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    There are still those who make stocks by hand, from a blank. Some make a fine living at it, but not many. Not all gunsmithing is machine work, although, many see it that way. There is a guy on another forum asking about what is the 'best' gunsmithing school. Should tell him they will teach him to use file, it's not all about lathe and mill.
     
  19. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    The only thing I cannot do with the tools and machines I have on hand is chamber a barrel, flute a bolt, and thread a muzzle for a brake. Which admittedly is probably some of the most critical tasks required to build a custom rifle. Everything else I do myself. Any and all stock work/finishing, trigger installation/timing, drilling and tapping receivers/scope bases for 8-40 screws and pins, opening mag wells and ejection ports on receivers, bedding actions/bases/rings, etc...

    And yes I have made a stock (for a shotgun) with nothing but hand tools. It turned out very good, but also took a very long time. Would I ever do it again? HELL NO! Not worth my time and effort when I can purchase a stock ready made and be at the range in short order.

    So do I build my rifles? Not completely, nor do I claim to. However, I do play a large role in the overall build to get the finished product. But I dont get caught up in my own ego with worrying about whether or not I "built" the rifle because ultimately all I care about is that the rifle does what I want at the distances I had planned for it when I send rounds downrange.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  20. Bogusname

    Bogusname Gold $$ Contributor

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    I assemble rifles with parts that require fitting and machining. Even when I fit and chamber and AR barrel. I don’t have the capacity or knowledge to make all the parts.
     

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