Need help with weaponsmithing [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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02-20-2013, 22:45
I'm trying to figure out what type of metal i need to build weapons. I've started a reising m55, the stock is good but i need some easily workable metals to do the barrel and other metal bits. I've seen a video or two of someone carving some soft type of metal, with a file, into all the metal parts on some rifle. Any other materials i might need or tips etc. are welcome.

02-21-2013, 00:57
Heya, RedRhino!

Aluminum is fairly easy to work, and is reasonably easy to come by. Try to get it in "O" (full soft or annealed) condition, it'll be at it's softest.

An example would be "6061-O".

It's available in strips, sheets, tubing, etc.

Good luck!

02-22-2013, 00:31
Thank you. I picked up a few little aluminum bits today some of it looks like it will work to finish the Reising. Might post some pictures of the progress.

03-12-2013, 12:31
I am now wondering if there is a good way join metal bits. For example, I need to add "iron sights" to this barrel. Also, say i want to craft the receiver of a machine gun or some such thing, Is there a way i can use sheet/strip aluminum or is it best to use a solid piece. Joining the strips and such at the seams seems like it would present a problem. In a moment of ignorance I thought that I would be able to use soldering for these types of projects. That does not seem to be panning out for me. I would be most appreciative of any tips. Thank you.


03-12-2013, 14:31
It may seem alittle off but in the past I have used lead fishing weights.They are soft and be pounded into shape and can be used to made molds also.

03-12-2013, 18:43
Heya, Zack!

As you know, many actual weapons (AKM, Uzi, MAC-10, etc) are made from stamped and formed sheet metal. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate well to our scale. The few prototypical weapons, like Soldier Story AK's, use very thin gauges of metal formed at fairly high pressures... not something doable in the home workshop.

I would suggest using solid shapes (bar, rod, strip) machined down to finished shape versus trying to form something from flat sheet. Use flat sheet for trigger guards, dust covers, and such. In lieu of using aluminum for larger pieces like receivers, you can use polystyrene (PS) with barrels and other details out of metal.

Lead would be easy to machine / shape, but is probably a little to soft. Brass is commonly used in model railroading. Zinc or tin could also work, but aluminum would be easiest to find.

As for joining metal, or metal and plastic, I'd suggest superglue (ACC). Brazing or soldering would be the strongest join, but I don't see it being very doable in this scale. Try to do a "semi-mechanical" join... cut a narrow slot in a barrel end to fit a blade foresight into. This will make for a stronger union.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Proud son of Rose and Wes

03-12-2013, 23:00
Thank you very much for the replies and tips! I had thought about using lead but did not know if this was common practice, and was also a bit concerned with health related issues as i have three kids and it seemed irresponsible of me to be creating lead dust. It does seem like it would be useful for a range of applications though. I started work on a machine gun before i read the replies here. Using sheet aluminum. Or strip sheets? i dont know what you would call them, they are thin strips of aluminum anyway. Superglue is working well enough once i realized that I should "frame" the inside of the seams with square tubes. I have the basic shape of the receiver put together. It will be a custom "fantasy" weapon loosely based on an m240b machine gun. Can someone tell me how to post pictures so that i can show off when I'm done?

03-14-2013, 13:52
Hello Russcal, 19RedRhino89
I have been trying to work out the same issues the OP is encountering. I am not a big fan of using lead to make essentially "toys" that will be handled a lot esoecially by children. I have done plenty of lead casting for bullets and even for lead soldiers, but those were basically shelf sitters. When I did the soldiers, I also did not have to be concerned about children.

If you must do soft metal casting, you might want to look into Bismuth. Be careful about the alloys that contain lead though such as Woods Metal and Fields Metal. Bismuth casting is typically done at VERY low temperature (near the boiling point of water) so it isn't terribly unsafe. Also, Bismuth today is used for shot as in shotguns because it isn't toxic to waterfowl who might eat it. I don't know how well bismuth shot works for casting though.

Another idea might be to use tin. Again in its pure state, it is non-toxic but finding a source that isn't lead contaminated might be difficult.

Depending on what exactly you are trying to do, Silver might work. People cast silver jewelry fairly commonly.

There is also non-toxic solder that can be used but it also tends to be pricey though not as much as for Silver.

I know there is workable Aluminum solder, but don't know if there is a non-toxic version.

If you find a solution that works, let us know!
- Ivan.