Local Machinist: Firearm Treasure Trove

Thanks to my friend Tom for introducing me to Keith Biddle of Keith Products Co. He is a machinist that is only 5 miles from my house. Keith picked up machining from his father. Mostly self taught, Keith has been machining for most of his life.

At first glance it looks like your typical machine shop with components all over the place. But once Keith found out that I was into firearms, he started pulling out bits and pieces he made.

 

For a local gun store he made these A2 stock spacers. Now while there are stock spacers out there, I have not seen someone make them in different lengths.

 

Combined, I think they could make a rather interesting suppressor design.

 

Keith also showed me a clamp on rail system for adding optics to a fully supported barrel revolver like this Smith and Wesson.

 

Below is Keith’s swing arm optic mount for an Aimpoint Pro that he made in 2004.

 

While it seems rather pedestrian now, this would have been amazing back in 2004. The knob adjusts the tension and there are springs under the clamp to push it open when the lever is unlocked.

Here is a collaborative item he made with his friend Rudy. It is an adjustable sight that can be attached to any shotgun rib.

 

Below is the pin that sets the height of the adjustable sight rib.

 

 

 

Once I saw what Keith could do, I ran home and grabbed my project revolver that I picked up during a Black Friday sale. It is a Heritage Rough Rider that was on sale for only $99 at Field and Stream. Last year I had someone help thread the barrel 1/2×28. The next idea I had was to machine the top strap to accept Aimpoint T1 style red dots. Keith was excited for the challenge. I had already measured the .22LR revolver and knew there was enough material but the method of attaching the optic was difficult. How do you counter sink the screws when you can not get an endmill under the top strap? After a little back and forth coming up with different methods, Keith came up with this simple solution. Come at the receiver at 90 degrees and mill out space for the screw heads.

More cool stuff to come from this machine shop. You won’t believe who his Uncle was.





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 nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


Advertisement

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Id be careful sticking those parts together and calling it a suppressor design.

  • Dickie

    Whats purpose of a stick spacer

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Revolver with a threaded barrel? Hmm

  • J.T.

    Why thread the barrel if mounting a suppressor isn’t very effective on a revolver? Just because? Maybe throw a flash hider on there or a compensator that costs more than the gun?

    • Nicholas C

      I had an idea to suppress it.

      • Anonymoose

        You’ve been watching too many old movies and TV shows.

      • Flounder

        Tell us how it goes. Supposedly you cant suppress a revolver to hearing safe levels due to the cylinder gap. And the increased back pressure from the can puts a lot of strain on the top strap and everything else immediately around the cylinder gap.

        • Anonymoose

          Handnugget, though.

        • Nicholas C

          I had laser cut some delrin to make a shim that would go inbetween the cylinder gap. It blew
          Apart just using Remington Golden Bullets. Going to try it with sub sonic loads and 22shorts.

          • Flounder

            Don’t take this the wrong way… But why in the world did you think delrin would be able to hold? Is there nothing else you could have used? The gap is right at the chamber so you are trying to contain almost the maximum pressure of the round.

            And I am super curious how much the gap actually effects everything? As in how much velocity do you gain by plugging it, how much noise does it make, is it worth plugging? And how can you plug a cylinder gap?

            I ask cause I got a nagant revolver and everything I need to thread it. I would like to see someone go through suppressing a revolver. Ya know, see someone make all the mistakes first! 😀

            Maybe you can make a bushing with brass?

          • Nicholas C

            Delrin is easy for me to laser cut. I didn’t think .22lr would be that potent. I was wrong. I will try brass or steel next.

          • Flounder

            It’s alright to be wrong! Its how adults learn new things. I would recommend brass. I mean it works very well as a gas seal for the Nagant revolver which is significantly more potent than a .22lr.
            The only issue is how to transfer that concept over to your pistol. Maybe a milled block of brass set very tightly in between the barrel and cylinder. You could get tighter than steel because the cylinder would wear into the brass. Brass also deforms a little bit which could possibly provide a better seal.

            But whatever you do, write an article about it! So document everything. That way all us adults can learn from your mistakes. And hopefully your successes!

        • Twilight sparkle

          There have been some successfully suppressed revolvers in the past. Some people in Germany supposedly got a smith and Wesson revolver down to co2 rifle level of noise. Knights armament is famous for suppressing a ruger revolver. Plus I hear you can suppress nagant revolvers

  • Phillip Cooper

    Very cool! Can’t wait to see more.

  • codfilet

    Hey, Machinist! Get your safety glasses on!

    • Dave Parks

      Pretty sure his safety squints were fully engaged.

  • SP mclaughlin

    Red dot on an SAA?
    You’re pretty good.

    • El Duderino

      I love to make purists cry myself.

      • .45

        Well, my idea was just to get a cheap rail and drill two holes in the top strap, thread them, then run screws (countersunk) through the rail on top. If it were to prove accurate enough with a red dot or scope, then I would have a super duper “survival pistol” for squirrels and rabbits on the cheap. Even with a red dot on top, it would be pretty compact and could be stashed anywhere.

        • Colonel K

          Decades ago I acquired a used Hawes Western Marshal .44 Magnum for $90. Why so cheap? The previous owner had drilled several holes in the top strap so he could mount a scope for hunting. It was still safe to shoot, but looked like crap. Keith’s solution may be more practical, and possibly one that Heritage might consider doing in-house. If nothing else, it would be a neat advertising and sales gimmick.

    • Anonymoose

      It’s okay. It’s just one of those Heritage .22s. I had an idea to put a scope on a Vaquero. I see no reason why any real gunsmith would put a scope on a .45LC SAA. There are better options for power and accuracy that are far more readily available and popular if you’re going to go big bore. Nowadays legit SAAs are only in the realm of collectors and reenactors (such as CAS shooters). They’re basically “premium” handguns and no one would waste a real one. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/59e2fc6c583a7e8748f969b6bc60821b684b0b3a4419521f6396ce9dfc8762cc.jpg

    • Will P.

      I modified a mount base and put a micro red dot on top of my Ruger Blackhawk .357, it looks a bit off but I like it. I call her my techno cowboy. LoL I was trying to find a picture but I can’t seem to.

  • PeterK

    Support your local gun machinist.

  • Will P.

    This is half of the reason I got a degree in machine tooling and CNC programming, and now I’m a Paramedic. :/ Unfortunately unless you run your own shop this kinda fun is harder to do.

    • Anonymoose

      Wow, that seems like a complete waste of a degree. Go into biomedical engineering, and you’ll end up a computer programmer- happened to me and several of my friends.

      • Will P.

        Not a complete waste i do some gunsmithing on the side, but nothing major. Have actually thought very seriously about going to engineering school. Lol

      • Idrathergofishing

        I’ve been thinking about getting minors in Machining and ME side by side and the next year into Bio_Med

    • carlcasino

      I’m trying to draw a mental picture using paramedic skills in a machine shop ! I never had clean hands when working on a lathe or a milling Machine but I must say I prefer cutting oil to Body Fluids.

      • Will P.

        I’d have to say I prefer cutting oil too, and I’d probably say I’d prefer those red hot chips getting thrown at me better than some of the other stuff I’ve had thrown at me. Lol I have a passion for both still I just don’t get to do as much machining as I’d like.

  • Anonymoose

    Wow, stock spacers and a red dot on single-action…that brings me back to some conceptual customization plans I had a while ago. By the way, those aren’t actually “A2 spacers” as you’d have to be an NBA player to really want a longer LOP than the A2 stock provides. They fit the A2 and A1 stocks, but they’re really meant for giving a longer LOP on ridiculously short fixed stocks like the RRA Entry Stock and Sully Stock, without messing with CAR stocks or wafflestocks or running afoul of AWBs. DPMS has discontinued their stock spacer which was around for a long time, unfortunately. I’m not sure why you would thread the barrel on a .22 revolver though. Maybe if you had a .44 or a lightweight .357 and wanted to put a compensator on it.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    I’m liking the sine bar shotgun sight. That’s pretty smart.

  • mrpotatocat

    What a legit dude. Seems like he can make some cool things. See if he can make me a pair of nail clippers that wont fall apart after the second use.

  • maxsnafu

    This guy is a national treasure.

  • .45

    Hmmmm… I have been kicking around putting a red dot on my Heritage SA revolver. Thanks for the info…

  • rockojb

    Ah, Bridgeports… Good times.

  • jackalope

    Who is his Uncle?

  • Biglou13

    How do we get in touch with him?