DIY barrel rifling using salt water, electricity and a 3D printed jig

by ImproGuns

Here are pictures of a preliminary setup for creating rifling grooves in a piece of steel tubing by using a 3D printed spiral insert, lots of salt water and a battery charger. Electrochemical Machining is a process whereby metal is removed by passing an electrical current through a solution, the insert in this case exposing the specific areas to be ‘cut’ during the process. The results are quite interesting and certainly open up some possibilities for homebuilders.

“This is Jeffrod’s ECM jig, 5 inches long with a 0.813 diameter printed in black PLA and setup for 4 grooves using 26 gauge steel music wire for the electrode.”

“ECM jig hooked up to a Schumacher SE-82-6 12 volt manual battery charger (12v@6/2a; 6v@6a) at 6amps for 10-15 minutes. Note: this Rifling machine has no moving parts.”

The first test results showcasing the ease with which material can be removed in short order:

Salt, 12v battery charge, water supply (orange bucket) and rifling jig setup (green bucket).

The results of a four inch twisted pentagonal cylinder with five grooves:

The complete process can be viewed here along with two rather long videos explaining everything above.


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2 of 41 comments
  • SumDude SumDude on Mar 05, 2017

    Here's another rifling bench:

  • James Kelly James Kelly on Mar 06, 2017

    WoW! Whatever grade of steel you choose, whether alloy steel or plain carbon steel, some seamless tubing in that steel will have seams in it. It is likely to burst even with a pistol cartridge. This may remove important body parts of your body.
    Seriously, don 't use so-called "seamless" tubing.