In the event of a societal breakdown this is a simple DIY gun you can build yourself from pieces found or purchased at a hardware store.
If you can imagine a national emergency, societal breakdown, military law, national confiscation or natural disaster when firearm access has been prevented or denied, you can also imagine having to build guns on your own. Well, here’s a SHTF weapon that you can make from hardware store items.
And if nothing else, it’s a practical and fun hack in upping your McGyver skill, and improving your SHTF know-how. By the way, please, ignore the political statements at the end of the video. We chose this video strictly because of its gun-building content.
There are many homemade firearm instructional videos on the internet. This is just one example, and it’s a pretty good one because it requires a minimal amount skills in welding and a little machining. It’s not too labor-intensive but it does require some basic hand and machine work, have a look.
This story begins the way a lot of guy stories begin: At a hardware store. But I would bet nobody here is looking for the kind of stuff that we’re here looking for.
Now when we say “Apocalypse Gun” we’re not talking a total apocalypse. You know, where you’re basically running around in a loincloth, hungry and crapping in the woods, we’re talking about some sort of societal breakdown. Maybe Martial law, and at the very least, a situation where guns and ammo have been banned and confiscated. There has to be the assumption that there will still be normal commerce, electricity available, et-cetera. And under those conditions, a hardware store will become a very valuable resource. All parts of the apocalypse gun can be bought at hardware stores, or be ordered from hardware suppliers online. And while the gun can be made with only hand tools, we sure didn’t do it that way.
This is called a top-level assembley drawing, and it lists all the parts in the entire gun. Every item on the parts list references a drawing or instruction on how to buy a part.
Ok what we’re looking at here is an animated exploded view of the CAD model of the gun. Everything I designed is done completely in CAD before I even think about cutting metal. Yeah I used to do it the Royal Nonesuch way, where I’d just run out there into the shop and start cutting and grinding, and I won’t say it isn’t still a temptation, but I’ve learned over the years that this is the best way to do things. And he’ll learn that eventually, too.
In this section view, which is basically a slice right down the middle, you can see the breach which is inserted into the barrel. We made it from a scrap piece of 22 barrel, which was turned down in diameter, chambered, and welded in place. What’s interesting, is we originally only planned for this gun to fire ball-bearings using stud gun blanks. And that’s why you see this different type of breach here, this short little piece, and in fact that’s what the original barrel had in it; but then we figured out that the ideal material to use for this little breach was a little segment of 22 barrel that we had lying around, we figured ‘hey, why not leave it a little long, leave some of the rifle barrel in there, and leave the ability to fire the .22 as well?’ In fact, that’s where the name comes from, the 2238, it .22 and basically a 38, three-eighths diameter ball-bearing.
Taking one last look at the breach made from the 22 barrel scrap, we welded this part in, but you could easily thread these two together. What we’re looking at in detail here is what you call a slide cap. This is another part that could either be welded on, like we did, or threaded on. All slamfire guns have to have a firing pin in this area. Royal Nonesuch likes to make his out of a blob of weld, but I like to CNC Machine mine. And of course you could always just drill a hole and put a pin through there, or a screw through there, all sorts of ways to solve that.
Just in case you were wondering what the three holes were for, on the frame of the gun, this answers the question. It was just in order to screw it down to some other plate so we could clamp it down to the CNC machine and do all our work on it. And you can also see that the frame is made up of two pieces of two and a half-inch wide of really crappy hot-rolled steel called ASTME36. So you don’t even need a big ‘ol piece of steel to do this, you could make two little ones, weld it, sand it down, whatever. But you can get this stuff at Home Depot or some kind of hardware store.
Alright, so, here’s how you unload it. I’m gonna go ahead and– it’s easier to figure it out if you take the springs off. This little shuttle here, first you’ve got to pull the trigger to be able to pull the slide back, this little shuttle goes down this notch, you can slide the whole receiver tube or whatever you wanna call it, and there’s the round. Stick another one in there, engage the little shuttle, pull the trigger, make sure you use all four or five of our hands… Yeah I guess the smart thing to do would be if you have an easy, dis-engageable set of springs. But anyway, for now, we’ve got this!
Huh, keeps giving me an error on the chronograph. Don’t know why.
Well I hope you appreciated the Apocalypse hardware store gun build. Note that yeah, we used some pretty expensive equipment in this build, but we definitely didn’t have to. It’s all about thinking outside of the box, and using the resources you have available to you. Most of all, be safe out there, folks.
Sources: David Smith, Royal Nonesuch Youtube, Serbu Firearms