Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms

Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms

Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms
Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms

Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms


I’ve been watching a lot of youtube recently on homemade guns. One day I ended up on a video on accident of YouTuber Royal Nonesuch making a 50bmg

I kept watching his channel for two reasons. One, I keep expecting him to get hurt. He seriously takes no safety precautions. 

Secondly, that kid has some serious skills. He has come up with some pretty ingenious weapons. And he is much more entertaining than some all the other DIY gun YouTubers. 

It got me thinking about making my own homemade guns. And the legality of doing so. I had always assumed that zip guns were illegal to make and own. 

I decided to brush up on the subject to see what is legal and what isn’t. Happily, I can tell you that it is 100% legal to build homemade guns. 

 The rules you have to follow are pretty lenient. Basically, if you can own it you can build it. We will start off with all the legal mumbo jumbo before getting to the good stuff. 


Like many laws, it seems that the ones on homemade guns are all for stealing collecting tax. No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. 

Nor are these homemade weapons required to be registered.

Homemade guns are legal under federal law, as long as the weapon does not violate any existing gun laws. And if you are legally able to own one. So felons who are not able to own a firearm can not make one.  Don’t believe me? Here’s a lawyer site for reference. 

Checking On the ATF’s Site to make sure I didn’t miss anything at the time of writing. It is prohibited by law for a person to assemble a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts. Also,  firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines.

 In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF. NFA weapons are also sometimes called class 3 weapons. 

What is the NFA and what are NFA weapons? NFA or the National Firearms Act is a Gun Control Act that was amended in 1968. The law is mostly another way to steal collect money.

NFA weapons are machine guns, sound suppressors (a.k.a. silencers), short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, destructive devices and “any other weapons”.  For more info on What NFA weapons are Vow Guns has some great info. 

Besides the NFA items the only other real prohibition to consider is in selling them. A license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. 

Also, There is barrel length to consider.  You must have an 18″ barrel with a 27″ overall length.  There has to be Rifling in the barrel if it’s pistol length. 

There are tutorials online on how to rifle a barrel. Or you can buy from Ebay. 


So once you make any firearm, whether from scratch or an 80 percent kit, you many not sell it. Legally. Without a license. 




What are the benefits to building a homemade gun? There are a ton of benefits. Below are a few of the many reasons why you should make a homemade gun. 

  • Price
  • No Record
  • Building Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Fun

In many cases, these improvised weapons and home finished ones are much cheaper. Buying guns can get pretty expensive. I would love to own a few more but I’m broke.

By building your own guns you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Maybe it’s just me but I want to shoot every caliber. This is an affordable way to play. 

By making a homemade gun you get around having any kind of record of you owning it. When buying a firearm from a retail store there are many records made. 

There will be store records retained, Background search info, bank statement etc. 

I read one prepper book where corrupt sheriffs used those records as a shopping list. 

Using your hands to create something is satisfying like nothing else. For many of us, our work is intangible. You go home at the end of the day with nothing to show for it. 

You build your maker skills every time you build. Just like a muscle when you lift heavy weights. You can only grow as a builder by building. 

Making homemade guns now when resources and laws are on your side will give you the knowledge you will need. In a collapse knowing that you can build improvised weapons makes you better off than not. 

Sure you may have your firearms in place but what about your community? 

I’m big on building community both now and during a collapse. Lone wolf survival is not practical. Yes, there are rare cases of it being done. Will you be the exception or a casualty? 

With homemade guns, you can arm your unarmed friends and neighbors for extremely cheap. Unless you bought cheap Mosin Nagants and AK’s before the prices went up this is the best option. 


Zip Guns

Homemade guns go by many names. Zip Guns is the first one I remember hearing. Wikipedia uses the catchall phrase of Improvised firearms. 

Liberals have started calling homemade and home finished guns Ghost guns. Which probably scares liberals by being vague and uninformed. 

For our purposes, let’s define a few things. A homemade gun is a firearm not made by a firearms manufacturer or gunsmith. They are typically constructed with existing materials repurposed.

The quality on homemade guns varies greatly. Some you see look like death traps and others are both functional and beautiful. 

The quality of your zip gun depends on your skills and the tools at your disposal. A master of his craft can make a great firearm with poor materials and a few tools. Like this guy that made an AK from a shovel

Or you can have no real skills but have fancy tools. You can go buy The Ghost Gunner and mill you own ar15 lowers. 

Many of the homemade guns can be built from hardware store items without fancy tools. A middle ground between dangerous death traps and works or art. 

I want functionality and reliance first. And I want it to be affordable. Also, I don’t want to go spend thousands of dollars for a gun that would cost a few hundred. 



Built From Scratch

The first method of building homemade guns is to build them from scratch. So you won’t be using off the shelf items or repurposing things. 

Building from scratch produces the best looking and functioning weapons. It is also the hardest method.

For this, you will need to have a significant amount of tools. And the expensive ones. Like milling machines, welders and metal lathes. 

With the right tools, you don’t even need a high skill level. If you have a CNC milling machine you can download the files to mill out an ar15  lower for example. 

I have even seen people making ar15 lowers from wood. And they can actually work. At least for a few shots anyway. 

YouTube has a few examples of homemade guns made from scratch. They are great to watch even if you can’t make them. 


80 Percent Lowers

Building homemade guns from 80% lowers is a lot easier than building from scratch. Even without having to use mills of any kind. 

An 80% lower is the lower part of a firearm, the part that has the serial number and requires an FFL to buy, only 80 percent finished. 

When you get one you will get the lower and a jig to be able to finish it. All the instructions I have seen, call for milling with a drill press.

Most of the videos I watched had people using Dremel tools and files. Although it takes a bit more work they worked just fine. 

I just did a quick search to try to compare prices. You can get an 80% lower for $54.99  and $79.99 for a stripped lower. So the savings are not great. 

In using an 80% lower you will also not need an FFL and that will save a few dollars. 

Best of all your weapon won’t have a serial number or be Federally registered at all. 

I got extremely excited when I found out that they are making 80% polymer lowers for Pistols. They are Glock clones that are homemade. 

Buying just the 80% lower is around $149. That is an amazing price I thought. I was all ready to buy one. Until I saw what the cost to complete it would be. 

You can buy the entire build kit here at Lone Wolf Tactical.  And it will only cost you $727. Only.  

I would personally buy a used Glock 19 from a person with cash in the $400~$500 range. 



The most popular, easiest and ugliest method of building homemade guns are repurposed. These are typically what are called zip guns. 

They are built from random junk. Zip guns will often look more likely to kill you than to hit anything. 

Building a zip gun requires little to no tools. The name comes from using zip ties to hold them together. And I do not have any faith that a will zip tie keep me safe. 

I have seen several well made repurposed homemade guns. Repurposing a cheap flare gun to shoot .22’s is one example I’ve seen. 

You can build a lot of homemade guns from the plumbing section of a hardware store. Black pipe makes a great unrifled barrel.  Like a shotgun. 

I found a few places with tutorials on how to build zip guns. Check out this Simple Zip gun here. And this site has a ton of plans. There are not pictures only ASCII code. 

Or You can turn to Youtube for videos on how to make them. 



For some reason, I never even thought about there being plans for homemade guns. I figured you had to follow tutorials and build pictures. Or even reverse engineer a photo of a finished gun. 

I came across both kits and plans while watching a Mark Serbu video on youtube. It was a video on his GB22 build. A gun the was designed to be simple and cheap to trade in at gun buybacks. 

At the end of the video, he said he is working on plans and kits to be released. Well, when the GB22 plans finally came out I bought them. 

I will be doing a build video and post on the GB22 when I get the plans. And when I figure out how to read them. 

I will admit that the plans to the GB22 confused me. They are more technical than I had expected. I kind of wanted to cut out paper, tape to metal and cut out. 

And maybe I’m reading them wrong.  Also, Mark released a video discussing them that helps a lot. 

A quick google search will turn up lots of homemade gun plans. Of varying quality. Like computer ASCII code pictures showing you how to build. 

The ones that cost a few bucks will, of course, be better. 



3D Printed

Another option to build homemade guns is to print them. This option will only grow over time. Right now 3d printers are in their infancy. 

At this time 3d printers are not that common. But they are getting there. I knew when I saw one at Lowes that it’s about to explode. 

To get one that can print a working gun will cost you a good bit. The ghost gunner requires a $250 deposit then  $1250 plus $100 shipping.

While you will most likely not find a 3d printer under $1,000 that will be able to print a firearm. And definitely none under $500. 

Once you have a printer you will need to find plans on the internet to print. And a quick google search should turn up the needed files. 

Finally, You will need to get a strong filament to use for printing guns. And it will get pretty expensive. 

So depending on the resolution of your printer you may spend hours with a file to clean up your weapon. 

The benefits of using a 3d printer to make homemade guns are that you don’t have to register it.  And It won’t have a serial number. 

And you will know how it works better than any weapon you didn’t make. If a part breaks you can fix or replace it. 

After building the first one it will become cheaper and faster to make additional ones. That you can not sale. 

One solution that might work is for a few friends to go in on buying a 3d printer to make it more affordable. Also, you can sell the printer after printing to recoup much of the cost. 

There are places online that will 3d print for you but I’m sure none will print guns. Especially without giving your info to the FEDs. 



In conclusion, I plan on building some homemade guns. Not so much for the unregistered aspect. Which I am a fan of. But for the knowledge and resiliency gained. 

Firearms are a must for a SHTF scenario. For defense and for hunting purposes. Since having a weapon is a must why not have the ability to make more?

Firearms are tools. And You need to use the right tool for the right job. Therefore you aren’t going to be hunting elk with a .22 long rifle. Just as you shouldn’t hunt squirrel with a .50 cal. 

If a gun breaks during a collapse can you replace it? What if you still have holes in your firearms preps when the SHTF? 

I didn’t mention it before now but please be safe. Normally I don’t talk about safety but in making homemade guns I will. 

I plan on not test firing in my hand until I’m sure it won’t explode. Use a string or something for initial testing. I love building as much as the rest of you but don’t want to loose a hand. 

Knowing how to make homemade guns is a big investment in your self-sufficiency. Since you will have the skills to build weapons for defense and hunting. 


Have you ever built a Homemade gun? Did you use parts or build from scratch? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts to “Homemade Guns A How To On Legally Making Firearms”

  1. I build all of my AR platform rifles with 80% lowers (7075 Aluminum) and buy pre-assembled uppers from accredited armors based in the USA. I mill the lowers on a milling machine using the jigs purchased through the sellers of the 80% lowers as guides. The lowers carry the serial number on a purchased weapon therefore my weapons are legal but not registered. This allows me to have quality rifles and pistols without the hassle and paper trail associated with firearms purchased with a background check. These guns are no less safe than ones purchased through dealers because I have followed blueprint specifications and the lowers are built with parts purchased from accredited firearm distributors. The main reason I started milling and assembling my own guns is the knowledge I have gained about the weapons I deem to be necessary for survival in these uncertain times. One needs to know how to build and repair their own firearms or they will be no better than an expensive club when they malfunction.

  2. I’ve made 1 like zip gun that you say more likely to kill you than hit the target and 2 semi auto pistol
    the zip gun i’ve threw it to hell
    and the first pistol (which is my own design) also the failure project, the slide come off when i test it. The last one that just finished 2 moths ago, the design i just copy from 1911 parts that i seen on youtube and google then make my own blueprints

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