Gunsmithing, by hand

tobnpr

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
293
Check out any of the videos online of the crazy chit that comes out of Khyber Pass...cool stuff.
Not sure I'd put my face against some of them and pull the trigger, but amazing what they can turn out with what they have to work with.
 

badthirtyone

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
621
Location
Denver Colorado
Unbelievable. Thanks for posting. I never saw this video growing up, and I feel like I missed out by having not seen it until now.

That is otherworldly dedication to so many skillsets and abilities. And Mr. Gusler looks like he's in, what, his late 30's? Unreal.

Makes me smile watching this, especially when we hear so much from the "dude-bro" community on how they "built" their latest AR. This puts all of the hobbyist/enthusiast "builders" into perspective.

Thanks again, great video.
 

shortgrass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,117
Location
Western Oklahoma
As of 1993, when I graduated from GS school, we were still taught stock making by hand, from a blank. 4 stocks were required for completion of the course. Lots of 'other' tasks taught and preformed by hand with only hand tools. "It ain't all machine work , synthetic stocks and spray-on coatings". Traditional gunsmithing, making for 1 of a kind firearm upon completion, and/or being capable of making repairs to arms where the parts are all hand fit. "Files, stones, chisels & gouges used along side the lathe, mill and TIG welder". Almost a 'novel idea' in todays day and age.
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
915
Location
Utah
It is truly amazing. I didn't realize their "machine" for boring and rifling a barrel back then was so involved or that it could turn out such a high quality barrel.

I had been dreaming.... "Some day I'm going to make myself a Kentucky long rifle all from raw materials using no power tools".

Haha I don't think I will without a major life change and dropping most of the hobbies I currently have!!

I then watched a short video of the Williamsburg gunsmith shop/museum and the director mentioned that back then, labor was cheap and the materials were of high value. Notice how that guy used charcoal to make his brass mold, iron filings for flux, iron filings for the "stain". Different world, different economy, different times.

It was probably much more enjoyable, except for many many things they had going that weren't so enjoyable.
 

8x68s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
438
Location
Salem, Oregon
I do my own stock work up to and including a little action fitting. I'm forever in awe of smith's that can take a stock from blank to a fit and finished product. Knowing what these guys are capable of keeps me humble. The hours required just for sanding ... AA-Argh!!
 

Muddyboots

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,935
Location
Michigan
What an awesome video! The patience and skillset to do this over such a long period of time to turn out one rifle is a tribute to our forefathers focus on building the best they can. I can cast the lead balls but that is about all!
 

hunter0528

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
193
Location
boston,ma
As of 1993, when I graduated from GS school, we were still taught stock making by hand, from a blank. 4 stocks were required for completion of the course. Lots of 'other' tasks taught and preformed by hand with only hand tools. "It ain't all machine work , synthetic stocks and spray-on coatings". Traditional gunsmithing, making for 1 of a kind firearm upon completion, and/or being capable of making repairs to arms where the parts are all hand fit. "Files, stones, chisels & gouges used along side the lathe, mill and TIG welder". Almost a 'novel idea' in todays day and age.
When I was in High School, my "Industrial Arts" teacher would not allow us to use any machine in the shop till we could do it the same with hand tools. Whether it was plaining wood, or making a round bar of stock flat or a square one round. This has proven so useful when I've needed to do something and not had a machine, and total respect for the workmanship of some of the fine English or European firearms of the turn of the Century.
 

Muddyboots

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,935
Location
Michigan
I was once a farrier and turned hot shoes for drafts and on occasion I would repair a fan blade for a client out of his grain bin. Sometimes a large stone would get into the truck and hit the blade in off load. Fan blades turning at high PTO RPM's usually lose out on that. It was fun doing that but to see how a barrel was forged with the tools they had is incredible.

So what would a BP Kentucky rifle manufactured like that be worth today? 💰💲
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
915
Location
Utah
I was once a farrier and turned hot shoes for drafts and on occasion I would repair a fan blade for a client out of his grain bin. Sometimes a large stone would get into the truck and hit the blade in off load. Fan blades turning at high PTO RPM's usually lose out on that. It was fun doing that but to see how a barrel was forged with the tools they had is incredible.

So what would a BP Kentucky rifle manufactured like that be worth today? 💰💲

I was wondering the same thing. If they're occasionally turning out a full rifle at that Williamsburg colonial gunshop/museum, I assume they're auctioning them off or something to find the museum. I'd like to know the price of one.

Other than the guys at that museum, I'm not sure if there is anyone doing whole rifles and all parts/steps themselves. I've done a bit of searching and haven't found anything.
 

762x51

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
456
Location
NC
growing up in NC, we went to williamsburg every few years on family vacations in the 80s/90s. the gunsmith and magazine were always my favorite things. i dont recall which building it is, but one has flintlock rifles and pistols all over the walls as decorations.
 
Top