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How to Make a Gun with Common Materials For Self Defense

Warning and Disclaimer


1. The gun can anger a totalitarian regime in which you live, causing the regime to imprison or kill you.

2. If you even make the smallest mistake during your assembly, the laws of physics may maim or kill you.

I will address the warning again toward the end of this tutorial.

Ted Kaczynski's Homemade Gun


You may be put in a situation where things go bad, extremely bad and a gun is the only way to defend and / or protect yourself. In that situation you may need to construct an improvised gun to also assist you in acquiring a better gun.

Whatever your needs for the gun may be, you can construct a gun with many commonly available materials and tools, hard work and ingenuity.


The main objective of a gun is to fire ammunition effectively and safely towards a target. In order to learn how to make a gun, it is necessary to first understand ammunition.

Modern day ammunition is composed of four main components:

1. A piece of lead or other type of soft metal which is referred to as a bullet.

2. A small amount of smokeless gunpowder, which creates an exorbitant quantity of gas as it burns. The gas in turn projects the bullet through the barrel of the gun and towards the target.

3. A very small amount of pressure sensitive explosive which ignites the smokeless gunpowder on fire. This is referred to as the primer.

4. A steel or brass casing which holds the bullet, the powder, and the primer.

All of these pieces together are called the cartridge.

The bullet will be positioned in one end of the casing and the primer will be positioned on the other end. .22 caliber ammunition is rim-fire ammo. This means that the primer is stored in the rim of the cartridge. Most other calibers, however are center-fire, meaning that the primer in this ammunition is stored in the center of the end of the cartridge.

The Components of an Improvised Gun

Basic Homemade Gun

Gun Barrel

Every gun must have a barrel. A pistol or handgun may have a barrel of roughly a few inches, and a shotgun or rifle may have a barrel 16 inches or longer.

Within production quality firearms, pistol and rifle barrels have tiny grooves cut inside of them. The grooves do not run straight, however are curved slowly throughout the length of the barrel. This technique is called rifling. Rifling causes the bullet to spin as it passes through the barrel. The spinning assists in stabilizing the bullet and making the gun more accurate.

Most hand made guns lack rifled barrels, because the rifling process is difficult to create in a situation where improvisation is necessary.

Improvised guns commonly use water pipe or steel pipe for barrels. Steel pipe will make a very effective shotgun barrel, and the steel pipe will serve as a short barrel very well. For a rifle barrel, steel pipe is not very effective.

An important choice concerns what type of caliber your improvised firearm will utilize, however that should be determined by whatever ammunition you have readily accessible. .357 ammunition. 3/4" pipe will hold 12 gauge shotgun ammunition and 1/4" pipe will hold .380, 9mm, .38.

The Firing Pin

Careful with this step because the primer is extremely pressure sensitive. Therefore, when you strike the primer hard, it explodes. The word primer is derived from "primary explosive", meaning this substance is the explosive that detonates first and is solely responsible for detonating the secondary (larger) charge.

Smokeless gunpowder on the other hand, is a very safe material. This gunpowder can be safely stored, transported and burned. Smokeless gunpowder is only useful (and dangerous) when it is ignited in a confined space, ie: when it is ignited inside the ammunition cartridge.

The primer however is protected behind a thin metal wall. The primary job of the firing pin is to strike that thin metal wall fast and hard. The primer is pressure sensitive. When it is struck by the firing pin, the primer will detonate, which will create a flame, igniting the smokeless gun powder.

Homemade Black Powder Gun

The Breech Block

Once the smokeless powder is ignited, the powder will create an exceptional amount of gas. This gas will push the bullet out of the front of the gun. You must ensure that the gas does not push the cartridge casing out the rear of the firearm, because this could be deadly for the person firing the weapon.

The rear of the firearm is referred to as the breech. In order to prevent the cartridge casing from exiting through the breech, the breach must be blocked somehow. The function used to to this is called the breech block.

In constructing your improvised firearm, the breech block is the most difficult part and can be highly varied. These piece can be inputted from whatever looks sturdy and is available. It is a very complicated piece because it must block the breech while allowing the firing pin access to the primer.

One common example and good form of a breech block is a basic pipe cap with a hole drilled into it for the firing pin.

The Trigger

It is necessary for the firing pin to strike the primer fast and hard. The best way to accomplish this task is to make the firing pin rest naturally against the primer and use some force to pull the trigger away from the primer.

This force usually is made up of a set of strong elastic or rubber bands or a set of metal springs. These items are attracted to the firing pin and the firing pin is pulled back. When the firing pin is released, the pin strikes the primer and causes the gun to fire.

Within production quality firearms, a block is usually placed within the front of the firing pin to prevent accidental discharge if the firing pin is struck or if the weapon is dropped. Very few improvised weapons will have such a device. Please be careful!

Warning and Disclaimer


1. The gun can anger a totalitarian regime in which you live, causing the regime to imprison or kill you.

2. If you even make the smallest mistake during your assembly, the laws of physics may maim or kill you.

To prevent the first danger, please be sure to research all applicable local, state and federal laws, wherever you reside before engaging in this type of project.

To prevent the second danger, be as certain as possible that you comprehend each and every step that you are taking. Think carefully about the forces involved and the directions which they are facing. If you have more than one round of ammunition and are able test fire your gun you should. Test fire by attaching it firmly to a tree or another large object and firing it from a distance with a rope attached to the trigger.

Firearms and guns ended the dark ages and brought us into an age of civil equality: furthering life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be very careful that you do not lose those privileges by careless handling your improvised gun.

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