One of the most popular handguns for men and women today, from teenagers up to elderly gun enthusiasts, is the .22 caliber pistol. It is lightweight, easy to handle, fairly accurate and reliable, and relatively inexpensive to purchase or build. One of the most interesting characteristics of this weapon is its adaptability, since there are many different ways that it can be modified or altered to suit the needs of the gun owner.
Several different manufacturers offer a .22 caliber pistol, each with different characteristics and capabilities depending on the gun and the needs of the gun owner. Many of these can also be built by a gunsmith, with the same look, functionality, and features but with a far smaller price tag.
Types of .22 Pistols
The Browning Buckmark is one of the more popular .22 pistols for those who prefer semi-automatic weapons, according to gun enthusiasts and many gun experts as well. Of course, this is a very old brand name and it comes as no surprise that the quality of the weapon is excellent.
Building a replica is not as complicated as one might imagine, and finding the blueprint is fairly easy when using an online search engine. The Ruger Mark III is another similar favorite, with a classic name and reputation to match for those hoping to find the perfect handheld weapon. Ruger actually makes a variety of weapons that fall into the .22 category, depending on the needs and experience level of the gun handler.
Both Smith and Wesson and Beretta make their own .22 caliber weapons as well, although there are conflicting reports regarding their efficiency and effectiveness. Some experts claim they are suitable for a variety of purposes, others claim they are highly ineffective and unsuitable for anything but the most expert gun enthusiasts. Many of these are semi-automatic weapons, but a few are double-action revolvers as well.
Equipment Needed for Building a .22 Pistol at Home
Like building any other weapon from home, there are things necessary to keep the gunsmith safe at all times when designing a weapon based on blueprints. These will also help to ensure that the weapon fires properly and safely when it is finished so that the work is not in vain. Of course, the exact tools may vary from person to person based on experience and the type of weapon being built—and to some degree the blueprint’s design—but the average equipment list will incorporate all or most of the following items:
- Hand tools: Pliers, ball hammers, rasps, chisels, iron scrapers, barrel rods, wood punches, files, and wrenches, for example
- Welding equipment (depending on the gun and gun parts)
- Oil (for the barrel)
- Chamber brushes
- Drill press (with a machinist’s vise preferably)
- Tap/die set (for threading)
- Bench grinder (used to grind with an abrasive wheel)
- Dremel tool (used for sanding, grinding, cutting, and drilling and shaped much like a pencil)
- Shop press (some experts claim that this is not as necessary for those with some previous experience as a gunsmith)
- Chop saw (lightweight circular saw, cuts very precise lines)
- Metal lathe (larger lathe used to machine more precisely, not for beginners)
- Milling machine (used to rotate and cut metal, not for beginners)
Materials Needed for a .22 Pistol
The materials required for building the pistol will vary based on the blueprint and many other factors, but most are not difficult to find or purchase. Unless the design is something very unique or completely customized, many can be ordered from the internet or from gunsmith shops around the world. There is not really average price range, but many homemade .22 pistols cost less than $600 to create from scratch. Keep in mind that customizing and modifying the weapon can drive up the price though, so adding accessories can increase that $600 exponentially.
For most people, the barrel is one of the most important materials for the entire weapon, although in the grand scheme of things it is no more important than another part. More time is spent on creating and modifying the barrel than most other parts, and it is the focus of many DIY websites related to gunsmithing around the world. There are many different laws related to the barrel, including what it can be made from and the lengths that are acceptable in a given place.
A few laws regulate building handguns such as the .22 from home, mostly having to do with barrel length and firing the weapon. If the weapon is operational, the gunsmith needs a gun license in most states, and it costs money to register the weapon legally. Without going through the legal hoops with the BATF, the gun builder faces potential jail time and monetary fines, and many states will confiscate not only the weapon built but other weapons owned by the gunsmith as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the gunsmith must have a legal right to own a gun in the United States prior to building the weapon. Those who do not have this right should not attempt to build the gun, even if they have all of the right tools and materials. It is not worth getting in trouble with the law when the end result must be so carefully hidden!