This is how guns are made in a factory from scratch
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Guns are one item that relies heavily on precision engineering to ensure they work the same way, every time they are fired. The process involved in making them is actually pretty fascinating to watch.
Step 1: Machine the parts
The first step is to source some high-quality steel suitable for gun making. This is because the metal needs to be very strong to cope with the intense wear and tear a gun is exposed to throughout its life.
Softer metals, like iron or gunmetal, are OK for older black-powder firearms, but for more guns, they simply will not be able to survive for long. With the metal in hand, the first step is to place extruded bars of the steel inside a CNC machine.
Once secured in the vice, the machine is set to automatically cut, trim, and shape the metal to size and shape for a particular part of the gun assembly. The entire process is overseen by a human worker, but most of the work is performed by the machine itself.
This process generates a lot of heat, so the CNC machine needs to be constantly cooled using a coolant like liquid water.
Once the CNC machine has done its work, the next step is to check the dimensions of the CNC part. Depending on the gun in question, things like the firing chamber and firing pin assembly can be assembled and attached to the main body of the gun to check the action.
In this case, this is done by hand, but some of the assemblies can also be automated. The more complex and fiddly parts, however, usually need the delicate hands of a master gunsmith.
Where needed, parts are checked against a guide or calibration tool and modified by hand using metafiles. With that done, the parts are then stacked and stored ready for the next phase of assembly.
Step 2: Welding and polishing
The next step is to use a variety of hand and power tools to further machine or refine previous parts to meet the specifications of the final gun. Some parts of the gun may need to be welded and bonded together.
In this case, a special plasma torch is used for this purpose. Parts are secured in a vice, and the plasma torch is left to do its thing automatically.
With that done, parts are then cleaned and polished in a large vibration polishing machine. These machines use blocks of abrasive material in a vibrating chamber in which the relevant metal parts are simply thrown into.
Where required, other parts are polished by hand using a belt sander or other polishing tool. This is to ensure the gun parts are as clean as possible but to also ensure they have a perfect luster for the final piece.
Next, some parts are placed on a rack and dipped and heated treated in special oil baths to case harden the steel. This is usually performed on parts like the chamber and barrels.
With that done, the parts are then removed and are now ready for the actual assembly of the gun. But, before that, a round of quality control is needed to ensure each part has been made to the exacting standards needed for something like a gun.
Modifications and refinements are made as needed too. This is especially true for parts like the main magazine for this gun.
Step 3: Assemble the gun
With all the main parts now complete, the next step is to actually assemble the gun. This is, in this case, performed by skilled gunsmiths who expertly assemble the firearm using all of its constituent parts.
Some assembly stages are relatively simple, like for the magazine, where the spring mechanism is simply inserted into the main magazine body.
For the main gun, the barrel, firing pin, springs, and other parts are all carefully assembled and installed as needed. At all stages, the firing action is tested (with no bullets) and modified as needed.
Assemble continues with the addition of things like the handguard, grip, receiver, shell deflector, etc, as needed. Physical sights and the muzzle can also be added once the handguard, etc, is installed.
The stock can be added near the end of the assembly process and fixed into place as needed too.
Once the assembly of the main gun is complete, the last step is to test fire and "prove" the gun. This is done by loading the magazine with some rounds and firing the weapon in a special firing chamber/range.
If everything has gone to plan, the gun should work perfectly and as expected.
And with that done, the weapon is now complete and ready for sale.
If you enjoyed watching this industrial process, you might be interested in watching another. How about, for example, seeing how chocolates are made?
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