Gun Smithing / Imitation Guns
This page is to show some of the modifications I have made to some gun's for myself it also displays some idea's I've had. So what is an imitation gun? well there are several different types / variations. The basic type is one that looks like a real gun, also known as a realistic imitation firearm where in the UK these can only be owned with certification, they don't need certification if they have at least a 50% bright colour scheme, normally 50-100% orange. There is also a variety of guns, some just props, some airsoft, some that cycle electronically and then there are blank guns. I'd rather stay within the law so the gun I wanted to create was a blank firing one with two tone colour, that cycled and recoiled like a real gun. I also wanted to create a gun that cycled and recoiled electronically, that was originally planned for July 2016.
I bought myself a Smith & Wesson style handgun a while back, I had a spare scope, and, well I thought it would be a little fun to make an addition to the gun.
These guns come in three different lengths of barrel, the great thing is that the barrel and it's shroud can be removed to interchange the barrels. So firstly I clocked up the vice in the miller to make sure that it was parallel, no runout at all. I then removed the shroud from the gun and placed it in the vice, along with some paper to stop the bluing from being scratched. The top of the shroud was then clocked to make sure it was level.
Using a milling cutter upside down I made sure that the shroud was parallel to the vice, I then used it as a reference point to find the centre of the shroud. The cutter was replaced with a dovetail cutter, the depth set, some calculations made, and a minute later a dovetail slot.
I milled the other side, I wasn't quite sure If the slots were deep enough for the scope mounts, but I couldn't go any further or I would weaken it. Thankfully the slots were, the mounts and the scope fitted perfectly. I took the gun to the range to see how accurate it was, 1/4" groupings at 10 yard and 3/8" groupings at 18 yard. I have to admit that I'm really surprised, especially with it being CO2.
9mm PAK Blank 1 - Shell ejection - PBMk1
At the current time of writing this page I was living in Canada (May 2016), before I started this page I first researched what I could / couldn't do with respect to the laws. In the UK an imitation firearm requires a license unless it's at least 50% brightly coloured, that means it can be dimensionally the same. However from what I've interpreted from Canadian law is that a replica firearm (what it's classified as) is prohibited unless it is significantly smaller or larger than the real version. This also means that a lot of the blank firing guns which resemble a gun are not illegal because they are not an exact replica of an original, they are infact known as an imitation firearm. So what does all this mean? well if I was to build my gun of my own design, not resembling a real version, not capable of being converted to fire live ammunition then I should be ok, I wouldn't even need a bright colour.
An interpretation was not good enough for me, I wanted to be absolutely certain that I was not breaking the law so I chose to contact the Royal Canadian Firearms Program for further clarification. I outlined what I perceived as their law, what I could and couldn't do, whether I was right or not and asked how I could go about obtaining legal documentation. After a week I got a reply telling me to give them a call, which really wasn't the reply I wanted. I feel they were not 100% sure on an answer, the problem with a phone call is that the information cannot be documented.
Why? and Conclusion
My original idea was that the guns would incorporate a laser system along with a special target and would replicate the accuracy of a real gun, this would all mean that I could practice like I'm firing a real gun without the need to live at the firing range. The shooter genre of gaming is extremely popular but paintball and airsoft are limited with their range and cheating is easy. Laser tag however I feel is a "better" game all-round but lacks with the reality of firing a gun. I think that combining laser tag with blank firing guns would make it more realistic, I also had some ideas of AI targets that fire back and a scoring / timing system. I do however think the AI targeting system could be a further project.
Overall I think it could be a great idea but I simply can't throw money at something like this unless I'm absolutely certain. I can see two problems with my whole idea. The first is that blanks can become quite expensive, they are loud too, so the safety aspect could be difficult to enforce and the cost could become substantial. If I don't go with the blanks and go with the electronic recoil system instead then it closely resembles laser tag, the difference could be with the game plan. If something isn't a complete game changer then it probably isn't going to catch on, I think the AI targeting system could be the game changer.