Single Status Update
I think it'd be cool to design and build firearms as a living.
I would love to make hunting rifles and shotguns, revolvers and novelty firearms sometimes (like this).
For example, Colt made an 8 shot .357, so I would like to make one as well. I also want to make "pocket" pistols for girls to carry in their purse for self-defense. I want to make a .22 rifle based on this Marlin .22, which itself is based on the Marlin Model 60.
Another desire would be to build old-style single-shot bolt-action .22s, as these have the advantage of being able to load .22 Short, .22 Long (a different round from LR) and .22LR.
Modernized replicas of old firearms would be sweet too.
It'd also be neat to tinker with the idea of building a modern flamethrower...
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Scuba Steve said:
Using a flamethrower on your driveway would be the most fucking moronic idea ever. What does snow do when it melts? It turns to water! What happens to water when it gets cold? It freezes!
Heh, that's exactly what I was thinking. Reminded me of a Nodwick comic where they were fighting frost giants in the freezing cold and the wizard decided to use a fireball. So the result is that the giants die, but the heroes are now frozen in place due to the rapid heating/freezing process. Hahaha...
Current Production 8-shot .357's:
I also looked into starting my own gun company, but the reality is kind of sobering. First you have to have a design and prototypes (which means you need access and training on machine equipment). Then you have to have a facility, the machines to produce the parts ($), a slew of both skilled and unskilled workers that run the machines, assemble the guns, test them, package and ship them, handle administrative stuff, run customer service, and the like. Not to mention there is a ton of governmental red tape that has to be cut through.
All in all, you need lots of capital to start. Ever notice how it is Sturm and Ruger, or Thompson Center? Those were the guys who provided the funding (Sturm) or the facility and workers (Thompson) to the designers (Ruger and Center). The most recent start up I know of is Henry Repeating Arms.
Remember that people have to want your product too. Though the singleshot .22 is nice, there isn't really a market for them anymore. The only models I have seen were aimed as youth guns. Also alot of bolt actions can be fired singleshot if you drop the rounds into the breech rather than filling the magazine.
The .22 semi could be cool, but it would really have to be something special, seeing as the market is currently dominated by the RUger 10/22 and Marlin 60. It would have to be a specialized gun (like the T/C Classic .22 that I have) to break away from the pack. Something like great out of the box accuracy or military styling.
I don't want to burst your bubble, but overall it is really hard to make it in the gun world. It takes alot of money to start up a manufacturing business, and you have to have a something that people want and the advertising capabilities to make people know they want it. Most gun shops ride a razors edge in regards to profits (although I have heard that if you can get the money and local permission to build an indoor range profits go way up). I have read stuff by several gunsmoths who say that you would end up with more money in the end working at McDonalds than gunsmithing.
Of course it isn't all doom and gloom. Like I mentioned above, supposedly gunshops that have ranges do well, as the range not only provides income from usage fees, but people are drawn there and thus buy stuff when they are not shooting. If you can make a name for yourself as a quality gunsmith you can start doing less of fixing Old Joe's Mossberg that he snapped the action bars off and more custom work, which pays much much better. If you really put out quality stuff there are gunsmiths who went on to start their own custom gun manufacturing, building rifles for the connoisseur on an individual basis.
And there are some companys who realized that they couldn't make a profit building in the US, so they instead sent their designs out to a foreign manufacturer for production and then acted as an importer to the US. Browning started off this way (they were eventually bought by the Belgian company they farmed out manufacturing to, FN), and Springfield Armory (the company, not the actual military aresenal that was closed down in the 70's) does this right now with their pistols.
Anyway, I learned all of this stuff because I too have a couple of ideas that I would like to build. One of them was a .223 semi-automatic bullpup, which could not cost too much to produce and could be set for either right of left handed use. I don't have the skills or means to bring it into the world, at least not now.
Getting into the gun business is tough, but it is possible if you have a vision.