Making a Working Homemade HK G28 Sniper Rifle
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If you love turning pieces of wood into beautiful pieces of "art" then we are confident you'll love this amazing project. Rather than making something that just sits on a mantlepiece, did you know you can actually make a working, entirely-wooden, sniper rifle?
Follow this guide to find out how. And yes, it does actually fire wooden bullets!
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Life-size plan of gun
- Band saw
- Wood router
- Orbital sander
- Wood-boring bits
- Mini lathe
- Paint spray gun
- Clear varnish/lacquer
- Airsoft gun firing mechanism
Step 1: Plan your gun
The first step is to choose and plan the gun you want to replicate in wood. In this case, the creator has opted for a Heckler and Koch G28. This weapon fires 7.62 mm x 51 rounds and is gas-operated.
Print out the life-size image or design for the gun, and cut, or choose, pieces of wood to form the stock, main firing mechanism part of the gun, sights, barrel/handguard, and grips.
With that complete, cut off the stock portion of the gun image and glue it to its matching piece of wood. Then cut out the main shape using a band saw.
Next, do the same for the gun sight portion of the sniper rifle. Be sure to trim off as much wood as you can at this stage. Continue cutting out pieces like the grip, main firing mechanism, barrel, etc.
With that complete, take a router and excavate the surface of the stock wooden block where required.
Step 2: Carve the stock details
Next, grab your hammer and chisel and continue to work the main surface details of the stock as needed. Chisel out the various angles of the stock and generally attempt to replicate the basic contours of the real gun.
Also, take the time to core the top of the stock so that it can connect to the main gun later. Continue to chisel away at the stock until it basically resembles the real gun.
Be sure to keep some reference images on hand to help guide you here -- unless you are intimately familiar with the real piece of course.
Once you've complete one side, flip the wooden stock over and do the same for the reverse side.
With the main carving complete, grab your orbital sander and smooth down all exposed surfaces of the stock. You want to remove as many of the chisel and cut marks as you can.
With that complete, grab some sandpaper and finish the surface finish of the stock by hand. You may want to use various grades of sandpaper to fully work the piece.
Step 3: Carve the ammo feeding part of the gun
With the stock now basically complete, it is time to move on to the ammo feeding portion of the rifle. Grab your router once again, and route out the rough 3D shape of this part of the gun.
You may want to leave the printout of the real gun in place to guide you here.
As with the stock, grab your hammer and chisel and continue to fashion the surface details of this part of the gun. Take your time and continually refer to the images of the real gun as before.
With one side complete, flip the piece over and do the same thing for the reverse side. Once complete, grab your orbital sander and sandpaper and smooth down all cut surfaces of the wood, as you did with the stock.
Core out or excavate a cavity in the middle of this portion of the gun for the barrel and firing mechanism.
Next, grab the smaller pieces for the grips of the gun. Route and carve using a hammer and chisel as you have for the other portions of the gun.
As before complete one side before flipping the piece over and completing the reverse side.
Once complete, use your orbital sander and sandpaper once again to complete the final finish. Once complete, match up the grip with the main body of the gun to ensure the join matches.
If not, adjust as needed.
Once you are happy, glue the two pieces together. Clamp and hold them together until the glue is fully cured.
Step 4: Carve the firing mechanism
Next, grab the sniper rifle firing mechanism block of wood. As with the other parts of the rifle, route out the rough surface shapes, back and front.
Once complete, finish the design with a hammer and chisel. Then orbital sand and finish by hand using sandpaper.
As with other pieces, carve out the center of the scope so that it can fit the main body of the rifle.
Also, excavate space to accommodate the magazine later. Next, either create the actual firing mechanism from wood or adjust an existing mechanism from something like an airsoft gun into the piece of wood.
You will also need to create a wooden trigger and rear bolt.
Step 5: Create the barrel and scope
With the main parts of the gun complete, we can now move on to forming the cylindrical parts of the gun -- like the barrel. First, take the piece of wood that will become the barrel and secure it into your lathe.
Turn on the lathe and begin to work the length of wood to form a cylindrical shape.
Keep trimming away widths of wood until you reach the diameter and shape needed.
Once complete, trim off any excess at either end (if any) and carve a hole through the center to make the gun barrel bore.
With that complete, take another length of wood, and carve a stock attachment piece for the rear of the gun. Continue to work it until it is the same dimensions and shape needed. Glue into place to the rear of the firing mechanism portion of the gun.
Next, take the "firing pin" portion of the gun and lathe it into shape and diameter. Finish with sandpaper as needed.
With that complete, grab the piece of wood for the scope and work it on the lathe. As before, use sandpaper to smooth it down as needed.
Take the scope, and work the angled/fine details using your hammer and chisel.
As with other parts of the gun, keep reference images on hand to guide you, if needed. Carve out other details like the rails on the top of the scope and glue them into place too.
Carve any other details like dials and knobs and the top sight. Glue into place on the scope as needed.
With that complete, machine the gun's supporting legs, and muzzle for the gun.
Step 6: Make the handguard(s), bullets, and magazine
With the scope complete, grab the handguard blocks of wood, cut and shape to size, and begin to work the fine details. Drill a series of holes along its length.
You will want to make the handguard in two pieces.
Once complete, grab your hammer and chisel and extend the openings to replicate the gun's ventilation grilles.
Rinse and repeat for the other half of the handguard. Grab your sandpaper and smooth down the exposed surfaces of the handguard as needed.
With that complete, grab some more wood and fashion the magazine for the gun using the same techniques for the other pieces. Add spring to the bottom of the magazine to enable the gun to be auto-fed.
Once complete, lathe a series of wooden bullets to the right caliber and shape. Next, carve out a trigger mechanism too.
Step 7: Assemble the gun
With all the main wooden components carved and prepared, you can now begin to assemble the gun. Layout all the pieces on a table.
Assemble the firing pin and trigger mechanism as needed. No details are given on the design, but you will likely need to add some springs to make it work or, as previously mentioned, use an existing one from an airsoft gun or similar.
Snap the stock to the main firing mechanism section using one of the lathed pieces you made earlier.
Next, take the barrel and firing mechanism part of the gun and glue them together. Once complete, transfer the piece to the rest of the gun assembly and secure it to the magazine section and main grip section of the gun.
Next, if not already completed, glue the handguard parts of the gun together, and then slide them into position over the barrel.
Create some small wooden bolts, and assemble the entire piece as needed.
Next, grab the support legs and muzzle, and mount them into position on the wooden handguard as needed.
With that complete, grab the completed scope and slide that into position on the top rail of the main gun.
If not already completed, finish off some other fine details like a cap for the scope lens and other details to attach to the top rail of the handguard.
Next, load the magazine with the wooden bullets you made earlier. Once all bullets are loaded, insert the magazine into the magazine feed on the bottom of the gun.
Step 8: Treat the wood and finish the gun
With the main assembly completed, you can now give the entire sniper rifle a coating of varnish or lacquer. Use a spray gun to make short work of the process.
You may also need to finish some parts by hand using a small brush.
Give the entire gun a nice even and smooth finish as best you can. Watch for pooling and drips.
With that, your handcrafted DIY wooden sniper rifle is now complete. All you now need to do is give the gun a test fire or just display it somewhere prominent in your house.
If you enjoyed this project, you may want to turn your hand to another woodworking project. How about handcrafting and an entire scale-model car?