Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Gunsmithing Cheap Tricks II

If you missed my 1st post on this subject (last year) you can see it here

1. Custom Butt Plate: 
A butt plate does two things, it provides gription (grip + traction) for your shoulder and provides protection for the butt stock when setting or (god forbid) accidentally dropping the gun.
This guy made his own butt plate from aluminum and then dimpled it with a Dremel tool and carbide ball mill. See his work here

If your gun has a smooth plastic butt plate, you could stiple it (see below for more stipling).

Another option would be to use a checkering file and checker the butt plate, I would not advise using aluminum though as it is very difficult to checker

A third option is to make one of wood, this guy used scrap pieces of veneer, laminated together, to make his butt plate, see the video here

2. Butt Plate Storage
This is nothing new, many military and some hunting rifles came with a storage compartment behind the butt plate. There are a few ways to accomplish this. The first is to adapt an old military rifle butt plate to your gun

You could cut holes in the butt plate, drill out recess and make a plate that pivots from one of the screws

photos courtesy of Cast Boolits

You could also utilize a slip on recoil pad, attached with snaps or velcro for easy access.

photos from Survivalist Boards

3. Bedding Compounds
You don't need to buy an expensive kit, some JB Weld or Devcon works just as well (although not as pretty).

photo courtesy of Rimfire Central Forum
photo courtesy of Texas Bowhunter Forum

4. DIY Gun Socks
Gun socks made from old flannel pajamas, wool blankets, the sleeves from lined jackets or fabric from the fabric store. While it may seem silly to make one when you can buy a silicone impregnated one for less than $10, if you have the time and material, why not get creative?

Here is one from Outdoor Life Magazine:

This guy made his from old Crown Royal bags..
photo courtesy of Pintrest

5. Plastic Stippling
This has been around for a while now, but it seems to be gaining momentum and people are getting creative, so I thought I would include it.
While I would never do this to my own Glock, I would consider doing it on a plastic rifle stock or magazine. The options are almost limitless as to the size and shape of the dimples. You can even make your own tips for your soldering iron to get a unique pattern.

This guy did a "gator skin" (although it looks more like fish scales to me) style by using a wide, flat tip and laying it at a 40 degree angle. Search youtube for lots of great how to videos

photo courtesy of Lawson 11b

This guy made tiny dimples on his magazine

photo courtesy of Mr Fiux

This one is unique, the owner started in the middle and worked outwards like a starburst

photo courtesy of the AK Forum
How about a leopard/Kryptic style pattern?
 photo courtesy of Valkyrie Combat

photo courtesy of

This guy on Armslist was selling his wares....I think I might want to try to replicate the Punisher one..

Another tip: buy a $2 AR grip and practice different technices

photo courtesy of Random Stuff

6. Shotgun Shell holder:
This one has been around a while, using pieces from 3/4" PVC pipe, you slit the pipe (removing a 1/4" of material), then heat the pipe with a heat gun or in the oven and squeeze it together until cooled.
Here are a couple of examples I found on youtube:

from Coldiron Gary
from Cryptic Cricket

7. .22 Shell holder:
I believe the unit below was made from leather, it provides additional rounds within easy reach.

photo courtesy of Rimfire Central Forums

The Nordic Marksman makes a product for this (used in Biathalon competition
Another fellow on the Rimfire Central Forum, modified the comb of his .22 to hold spare cartridges.

8. Camo  Wrap
You may have seen this stuff before, it has been around a while now. Made from 3M Coban (originally used as a medical dressing to hold bandages on), it is a non-permanent modification that you can perform in minutes.
It is also inexpensive, comes in a multitude of colors and camo patterns and will protect your items from dents and scratches.
The stuff only sticks to itself and is reusable (up to a point). 

see more info here

photo courtesy of Outdoor Writer

photo courtesy of Outdoorsman forum

9. Ejection Port Smoothing
If your pistol is having issues with extraction, the culprit could be the edges of the ejection port. Similar to smoothing out the feed ramp, the exit ramps of the ejection port may need the same attention.

photo courtesy of Kahrtalk forum


10. Clay Pigeon Holder
You can buy these pre-made or you could build your own from some sturdy cardboard

See this guys video for the step by step

11. AK Grip Racks?
Take some surplus AK grips and some wood and you can make coat racks or a rifle display rack. The grips are affordable, plentiful and they have a perfect swept back angle to fight gravity. I am guessing this would work with AR grips as well

12. DIY Gun Sling
Re-purposing an old belt into a gun sling is easy and can add something different to your build.
Cryptic Cricket found one at a junk store that had animal shaped medallions

This guy used an old guitar strap on his "battlefield pick-up" AK

I used an old leather belt that was 1.5" wide, which worked perfect with the military slings that I installed on my 10/22 Spencer rifle project 

13. Wood Stipling

Just like with the plastic stipiling, you can stiple wood (in lieu of checkering) with a Dremel tool. This tidbit comes from DIY_guy on the Firearmstalk forum.

Another example

14. Small Bore Reactive Targets

This home built set-up uses 2x4s, PVC tubing, golf tees and paint balls to provide a reaction when struck with a .17 or .22 caliber rifle (air or firearm). 

If you place a piece of canvas as a backstop, you could make a work of art while you are at it.......