Interested in manufacturing guns or parts? Want to automate some of your shop work? A CNC machine may be an ideal fit and buying used can save lots of money.
by Curt Doherty
CNC gunsmith machine shops are involved in manufacturing guns and parts. Gunsmiths use a computer program run by software and a CNC milling machine to accomplish a set of tasks. Consider repairing obscure or old firearms with no replacement parts available. Programmed with the correct dimensions and specifications, a CNC machine can largely automate making needed pieces. Another possible job is making customized versions of existing guns that would be time and cost prohibitive to build strictly by hand. If you’re so inclined, the right CNC machine could turn your shop into a manufacturing facility where you could design and create a new firearm that does not resemble any other in the market.
If you are interested in gunsmithing in your home shop or to expand your existing gunsmith business, you can master such jobs and create a profitable business with the right equipment. Used CNC gunsmithing machinery is a great way to save on costs and start a machine shop that lets you manufacture parts and guns meeting your choice and requirements.
I’m the CEO of CNC Machines (CNCmachines.net, 844/262-6789), a used CNC dealership based in Sanford Florida. Our company has over 14 years of experience in helping manufacturers and gunsmiths get the best machinery for their projects.
The CNC gunsmith process involves creating the design of the part to program your milling machine. These machines come in a variety of sizes. Bigger models are more expensive than smaller machines which fit in a limited space. The process also requires using the CNC machine to contour, surface, drill, and engrave blocks of aluminum or steel according to the program. When finished, the parts are coated with anodized paint and then assembled together to get the creation ready for testing.
Milling machines are the most widely used type of CNC machines around the world. Top brands of CNC mills include Mazak, DMG Mori, HAAS, and Okuma. A variety of models from these brands are typically available at used CNC machine dealers to save you a lot on your purchase while serving you the most efficient machine for your gunsmithing jobs.
Top CNC Milling Machine Brands
Mazak. With a reputation dating back to hundred years, Mazak is used everywhere from agriculture to aerospace. It is one of the leading brands that make all the types of CNC machines including mills. Their 5-axis machines are specifically notable. Mazak is also popular for creating out of the class multi-tasking machines that handle turning, boring, milling, and other tasks in one unit. Consider a used Mazak CNC machine to get fully functional equipment withing your budget.
DMG Mori. This Japanese manufacturer is a specialist in 5-axis and has a global presence. DMG Mori boasts locations in six continents of the world, warehouses full of replacement parts, and an outstanding 24/7 customer support to offer one of the best brands to work with in the world of machining. They manufacture some of the most powerful CNC machines with their CMX series being particularly popular for blending ease of use with precision. If you are a machinist on budget, used DMG Mori mills that guarantee 24 hours delivery on spare parts are a great choice.
HAAS. This is the only American milling machine manufacturer on this list and has been around in the market since the 1980s. Not only do they carry out all their manufacturing and production in the United States but also offer affordable prices and helpful, comprehensive tutorials on different aspects of mill operation. For experienced shop owners, HASS delivers the quality that beats Japanese and Korean manufacturers. Used HAAS mills are often an ideal one-size-fits-all choice for those interested in making guns.
Okuma. With the largest distribution network across America and more than a century of industry experience, Okuma stands as one of the biggest players in the machinery world. This brand is the only single-source provider with CNC machines, motors, drives, spindles, controls, and encoders manufactured in-house. This is made possible with the innovation and cutting-edge technology they use to manufacture whatever they do. This is true for their milling machines as well. A recent development from Okuma is their App Store that works similarly as those used with smartphones. Okuma is a perfect choice for all those who are interested in starting a gunsmithing shop or CNC machine shop.
Buying New or Used?
As a gunsmith looking to purchase a CNC machine, you may wonder whether new machines are the best options out there. Certainly not. Used CNC machines can deliver the efficiency and productivity just as a new machine does when you buy right.
There are a number of important advantages of buying a used CNC gunsmithing machine. The first is machine cost. CNC machines can be a huge investment for your machine shop. Buying a used machine gives the same capabilities and functionality as a new one but is a more affordable choice for your business. Be careful and do not buy a used CNC machine on the basis of price tag alone. Keep a watch on sellers trying to push older machines which are not reconditioned and are in complete disrepair. Work with a trustworthy used CNC machine dealer who can deliver you a well-maintained and functional CNC machine in your budget.
Next is machine quality. Quality of functionality is the advantage that older, used machines will always have over newer ones. Used models, upon reconditioning, are better options for buyers as they are remodeled to top working order. Moreover, they offer much time to identify any problem, differences between models and drawbacks, etc. When you work with an experienced and qualified CNC machine seller, you get machines that work to the highest capacity even after years.
Finally is machine maintenance. One of the biggest reasons why some used CNC machines are worth more than newer machines is experienced when you find a seller who knows how to recondition them. Buying a reconditioned machine delivers you the quality of function, faster RPM maximums, and longer running times. Used CNC milling machines and lathes are reconditioned to run for longer years and keep serving your production.
When you want to buy a CNC machine that proves to be a great piece of equipment rather than a problem dumped from somebody else, make sure you purchase a machine from a reputable, reliable dealer that offers support and service for your machines. Buying a used CNC machine from the right place can get you a cost-effective way to start your parts making and/or gun manufacturing business.
CNC Machines (CNCmachines.net, 844/262-6789)
Read more in the February 2019 issue.