Rifling a Barrel in the Bathroom using Electrochemical Machining

Luke C.
by Luke C.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can get just a little bit more functionality out of your bathroom look no further. Twitter user Freegunzone has shown us his method of rifling a barrel inside his own bathroom. Using a process called Electrochemical Machining, this adventurous gunsmith is making homemade barrels with just a few simple tools and chemicals.

Rifling a Barrel in the Bathroom using Electrochemical Machining

Those who frequent the blog will be familiar with Electrochemical Machining. It is a popular option for those making DIY Guns in order to keep the build more true to the name – doing it yourself. Rifling a barrel is normally done by drilling the barrel stock, reaming it and rifling it using a series of tools – usually on a lathe.

An ECM Produced Barrel Photo: FOSSCAD

Most of the tools and equipment used to traditionally make a barrel are often cost-prohibitive and also require lots of training and experience to get done right. While some DIY gunsmiths will go this route, it is often not popular due to the aforementioned hurdles and most end up buying stock barrels from established manufacturers. Others will bypass this step altogether and simply use a smoothbore gun.

Electrochemical Machining (ECM) is a comparatively simple and cheap process, especially with modern 3D printing. To put it simply, ECM is using saltwater and a conductive material like copper wire in order to rust the rifling grooves in a controlled manner.

An example of an ECM Jig using 3D printing and copper wire by FOSSCAD

The Setup in Freegunzone’s video is similar to many others with a cutting jig, electrical source and a 5-gallon bucket of saltwater being used to cut the rifling in the barrel without the need to specialized and expensive tools and equipment. The guys over at FOSSCAD have done extensive research into the topic and can take out much of the guesswork if you’re interested in trying something like this for yourself.

Luke C.
Luke C.

Reloader SCSA Competitor Certified Pilot Currently able to pass himself off as the second cousin twice removed of Joe Flanigan. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ballisticaviation/

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