DIY Barrel Rifling Tool 2.0

Last August I posted an article about Clinton Westwood’s DIY barrel rifling tool. Well he has updated it and motorized it. He used an old bicycle for parts and re-purposed it to drive the rifling tool. It acts as a differential. One side has the barrel twist rate while the other has the screw drive driven by the power drill.

Clinton is building a .380 semi auto pistol.

380 pistol

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Dickie

    Can we get moe info on his build

    • PK

      His build log is linked on the “more info” tab directly on YouTube. On the video here, click “watch on YouTube” (it looks like their logo) and then underneath the video you’ll find a link labeled “build log”.

  • PK

    There are people who make me feel, regardless of my accomplishments, that I am a mouth-breathing moron without any mechanical ability. Clinton is one of them, but more about creativity and ingenuity. This is great, and I knew there would be more after the rifled .410 staple gun.

    There are also about a hundred more I know who must have been watchmakers before they started in on guns. I feel like I’m hammering with a rock, sometimes…

    • Todd

      I feel ya, brother.

    • Dan

      Don’t feel bad some days I’m not even smart enough to think to use the rock as a hammer. I just grunt and yell and wave my arms about in frustration.

    • Mark

      AFAIK Bill Wilson started off as a watchmaker ?

  • therealgreenplease

    This is a pretty ingenious setup. Rather than sacrificing a whole bike future builds could just use an english threaded bottom bracket with external bearing cups. Very clever overall. Barrel threading is the largest barrier to DIY firearms and this setup is getting close to overcoming that.

    • George

      This is a job for McMaster-Carr.

    • Norman

      I’d disagree. Getting the hole in the barrel to thread is harder.

  • Edeco

    Interesting. Rifling seems like a major bottleneck for home brew guns, good to see people taking the challenge.

    • iksnilol

      Just go smoothbore for SMGs. Nobody will notice the difference.

      • PK

        Might as well get a simple fender washer can on there, too, at that point.

        You know, I may have to mess around with seeing what gives the best accuracy with a smoothbore 9x19mm. I’ve played with it in the past, and you might be surprised that until you get a good distance away it just doesn’t seem to matter.

        • Nicholas C

          I think you mean freeze plugs. LOL

          • PK

            Either works, but my first F1 can used fender washers. Still have it, too. Still sounds fine, too… it’s just huge and relatively heavy. I’ve come a long way since then!

            In any case, I don’t think I had really thought about freeze plugs being drilled out and then formed, not back when I made that. I was just trying to copy the “state of the art” at the time, which wasn’t exactly stunning unless you went the high-volume route. Washers and spacers, packed expansion chamber.

            These days, everyone can easily build a nice F1 can from off the shelf parts with some minor work with hand tools, thanks to the help of jigs and tools designed to make it simple and foolproof. I like how far we’ve come!

          • nova3930

            Yeah. Homebuilt suppressors are easy. Homebuilt suppressors that are size and weight efficient aren’t nearly so. My first F1 suppressor sounds as good as my Spectre II but it’s internal volume is nearly double…..

          • PK

            Ever play with a registered tube? If it’s big enough, it works fine without any baffles at all. Pretty funny stuff!

    • Xanderbach

      Indeed- The barrel was always the “part you can’t make at home.” Now you can. Kinda makes certain laws kinda silly, doesn’t it? I mean, no politics…

      • Edeco

        Yep. The freak-out over 3D printing was funny, but scary too, because it showed how many people thought home gun making should and could practically be made impossible. When you have a hammer, things look like nails. I think it’s good if there’s no illusion that just banning a few things, like 80% lowers, or say regulating rifled tube like we do receivers (as I believe one or more countries already does) will make it impossible for those of a will to make a gun. It could prevent silly, ineffectual folk hysteria in the long run.

    • Alex Agius

      Really the only thing you cannot make at home is smokeless powder

      • lowell houser

        Not true. I’ve gone everywhere and back on the internet, and here’s the list of things you can’t find data on:

        Dies to and procedure press cartridge cases. Recipe for non-corosive commercial sized primers. Recipe for smokeless powder.

        Put all of that together with the specs of a Leader Dynamics T2(simplified AR18), design for bullet swage press and dies, Lautard’s rifling machine, and Pat Delany’s concrete lathe, and improvised microwave oven transformer-spot welder, and then put it all in one zip file, send it via file sharing, and overnight gun control is obsolete because the government’s will not be able to stop small scale manufacturing.

        • lowell houser

          Oh, and throw in Cody Wilson’s 3D printed AR15 mags.

        • Roy G Bunting

          If we are talking about homebuilt insurgency guns there is no need for non-corrosive primers, corrosive primers will do the job needed. Insurgency guns are a “Quantity over quality” deal. You make them cheap and ugly, knowing that a large percentage will be lost or captured. Longevity is unimportant, most won’t have more then a few magazines fired through them.

          The Leader T2 is excellent but still overkill for the homebuilt insurgency gun. I’d think more Luty SMG and similar. simplicity and as few identifiable gun parts as possible. Also shorter barrels are easier to make and rifle.

          Pressing cartridge cases is pretty difficult, it’s a multistep die procedure. Have a machinist create the set of dies and an extruder or mold for the copper slugs. I’s probably stay with pistol cartridges for various reasons.

          From a “Ammo is unavailable to buy but I have a small stockpile” point of view, consider revolvers with cartridges that are effective with black powder. 44 Special, 45 Colt, probably even the 38 special or 357 magnum. Save your brass and reload with home brew blackpowder and salvaged primers (as seen below with matchheads), or just a stockpile of appropriate primers. They are smaller and cheaper to stockpile then ammo. If you want a rifle there are some lever action and single shots that would work well in those same calibers.

          The difference between the enthusiast and the builder is that the enthusiast builds things, the builder builds tools to build things.

          • JoelM

            If you step down from automatic arms to revolvers loaded with black powder the step from cartridge revolvers to percussion isn’t much further. Rather than spend time forming cartridge brass I would make a few spare cylinders for a Remington style percussion revolver and pre-load them.

    • lowell houser

      Do a Google search for a “Guy Lautard” He has plans for a cut rifling machine that also doubles as a deep hole boring machine. Screw it, here’s the link, replace the underscores with periods:


      • Edeco

        Awesome, thanks! Yeah deep boring sounds awesome, make a wider range of billet usable with better results. Bookmarked

  • lowell houser

    Now we’ve got to get to work on making Pat Delany’s concrete lathe with milling attachment.

  • Whiskey7

    Very nice!

  • Robert Hyannis

    At the rate things are going with inexpensive CNC machines, 3D printing, and stuff like this, in a few more years, gun control laws will be even more pointless than they are now. “You can’t stop the signal, Mal”

  • Mike Lashewitz

    I truly enjoy this kind of work.

  • JoelM

    That’s pretty slick. I always wanted to buy a rifling button from ebay and try building a button rifling machine but I might build one like this instead. Seems like you could slot the cutter head and thread the tip for a spreader screw to make it like an inside collet and use that to adjust the depth of cut instead of paper shims.

  • Mr Evilwrench

    I’ve been thinking about trying a rotating ram-EDM arrangement for rifling, once I get some messes cleaned up. This shouldn’t be too hard to do, and could be done to a hardened barrel. Ram-EDM could also address the deep hole boring issue mentioned upthread. Heck, you could make one electrode to bore, rifle, and chamber the barrel, all in one pass.