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Best Gun Lathe

A Comprehensive Guide

Gun owners know how important it is to keep their guns in excellent condition. Unfortunately, the process of modifying your weapon is slow and tedious. You don’t have that much time to waste on the up-gradation of your firepower-operated arms. The solution is simple. Get yourself a gun lathe and save yourself from having to do all of those hours of monotonous work by hand. The gun lathe makes it easy for you to get your guns ready faster, and it makes sure that your gun modification is as accurate as possible in the end.

Table of Contents

The gun lathe is also known as a flexible shaft machine or screw machine. It is a machine that can shape metal, mainly by cutting off pieces or boring holes. You can use it for a wide range of gunsmithing projects, such as making molds to manufacture bullets or boring your gun barrels. Now It’s important to know what is the best gun lathe before you buy one. After much research and testing, we have developed our list of the top 3 gun lathes. We hope this post will help you find the perfect machine for your needs.

Top 3 Best Gun Lathe (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe
$289 $499.99
12 08 2022
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
2 new from $289

Specifications

The Shop Fox W1704 is a compact, robust lathe ideal for the hobbyist or professional gunsmith. This benchtop model features an easy-to-operate gearbox and comes with tool rest, wrench, faceplate, and spur center. This Fox lathe is a 1/3HP, single phase, 110V variable-speed lathe with a 12-inch distance between centers. It has a 4-way tool post holder capable of holding 1/2″ shank tools. The lathe’s enclosed base keeps your workspace tidy while you’re working on projects of all kinds. It’s equipped with a heavy-duty belt cover that allows the user to change belts without removing the belt cover quickly.

 

It has various accessories, including a 4-1/2 and 7-inch tool rest for multiple applications, a spindle lock, and a safety paddle switch. It features a cast iron bed and headstock with a quick change tool post for ease of use. The motor is oil-lubricated for long life and dependability, and the spindle can be reversed to thread from the tailstock end of the headstock end. The work light and tool storage tray make it easy to use this machine for hours on end. The faceplate can thread onto the headstock spindle and hold up to 5-3/4-inch diameter workpieces. The Spindle travels at speeds from 700 to 3200 RPM for turning or milling applications. 

Positive

Negatives

2. Grizzly Benchtop Metal Lathe

Grizzly Benchtop Metal Lathe
$2780 $0
12 08 2022
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
2 new from $2596.5

Specifications

The Grizzly Industrial 10″ x 22″ Benchtop Metal Lathe is a fantastic tool for home gunsmiths or small shops. The lathe features a 1 HP, 110V motor that provides the power needed to turn large pieces of metal, plastic, or wood. The 10″ swing and 22″ between centers allow you to work on larger projects than other benchtop lathes. G0490 Benchtop Lathe is a great starter lathe that will turn out quality work. The headstock has a 3-jaw chuck with an 8″ capacity, and the tailstock has a 4-jaw chuck with an 8″ capacity.

 

The faceplate is included and can be used to hold your workpiece during machining operations. It is a heavy-duty metal lathe that will last for years. It comes with a 3/4″ x 12 TPI lead screw and has 6 different speed ranges from 150 to 2400 RPM. The headstock has an integral tool storage area, and the tailstock has a built-in swarf trap to keep your work area clean. The bed ways are 1-3/4″ x 8 TPI, and the spindle bore is 25mm. The lathe comes with a tool rest, compound rest, tailstock, spur center, and live center.

 

The bed ways are hardened cast iron and the headstock ways are ground steel for accuracy. There is an adjustable quill travel stop for precision depth control when using the tailstock or faceplate jaws. The headstock comes equipped with a spindle lock for fast and easy setup of the tool rest or chuck. There is also a quick-release lever on the tailstock for easy removal when needed. The carriage assembly includes an adjustable gib system that allows you to make precise cuts.

Positive

Negatives

3. Mophorn Metal Lathe

Mophorn Metal Lathe
$449.99 $0
12 08 2022
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
2 new from $449.99

Specifications

Mophorn Metal Lathe is a tool that allows you to turn your metalworking projects into reality. The whole body of this metal lathe is made of high-quality iron, which has excellent durability and wear resistance. It also gives you more convenience when working. This Lathe is equipped with nylon gears, which makes it easier to cut down on costs while still providing excellent finishing, and it comes with a chuck that can hold bits of different sizes. It features a 3-jaw self-centering chuck with an adjustable jaw opening of 80mm(3.15″). Taper attachment, the spindle that can bore up to 21mm(0.83″) included with the lathe. 

 

Mophorn Lathe is a multi-functional toolset for metalworking. It includes a  mini metal lathe, a drill press clamp, a  drill chuck, an adjustable wrench, a ratchet handle, and 9 cutters. The machine has 7 combined centers used to hold the workpiece in place during drilling or cutting operations. It’s designed to be sturdy and efficient, with a 550w DC motor that won’t slow down even when you’re working on rigid materials. The machine has an adjustable feed speed from 50-2500 RPM so that you can work at your own pace. It features forward and reverses momentum to offer you flexibility for your gunsmithing projects.

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Gun Lathe Vs Drilling Machines Vs Milling Machines

If you’re looking for a tool to help with your machining needs, it’s essential to know the difference between a lathe, a milling machine, and a drilling machine. While all three perform similar functions to some extent with some differences. Let me break it down for you:

Gun Lathe

Lathes are used for many applications, but they’re typically most well-known for shaping metal into firearm barrels.  They use two kinds of tools: cutting and forming tools. Cutting tools cut off pieces from the workpiece. A lathe is used primarily in gunsmithing, and It allows the operator to use various cutting tools like saws and drills at different angles on the workpiece.  So it’s the best-chosen tool to mold your firearms. 

Drilling Machines

Drilling is an old-school technique for making holes in the metal. It comes in both manual and power operated models. There are many different types of drill bits, which have specific purposes: cutting straight or slanted holes, removing waste material from drilled areas, enlarging existing openings, and more. However, The drilling machine is used only for the limited scope of work. 

Milling Machines

A milling machine for firearms is a device that can be used to cut, shape, or finish metal surfaces. It often has multiple heads and spindles controlled by CNCs (computer numeric control), so it can make several cuts simultaneously. The CNC, in turn, is usually connected to a CAD/CAM computer system via software modules. Milling machines are primarily used on prominent objects like guns because of their precision to work correctly with metal. They’re also used on many other things, such as automobile parts and furniture pieces. You need a lot of experience to handle a milling machine for processing your firearms. 

FAQs

The most common type used for gun barrels is called ordnance grade steel, a tough and durable alloy that can withstand a high firing rate. Steel alloys have been developed to be lighter weight than ordnance grade steel but still offer similar strength properties. These alloys are often used on small arms like handguns because they offer better accuracy due to decreased recoil forces from heavy ammunition rounds fired at high speeds.

Yes, you can change the rifling of a barrel. The process of rifling a barrel is a critical step that determines the accuracy and effectiveness of your shot. Barrels are typically made from steel. Steel barrels are the most common as they provide durability without breaking the bank. 

It takes years and years of training to master the skills needed to make a firearm from scratch. Even then, it’s not easy because there are several steps involved when turning raw materials into your weapon. You can reshape your gun barrels, but it’s tough to make a new rifle on a lathe. 

Conclusion

If you want to get started quickly and don’t have much room in your shop, look into getting a benchtop model that’s easier to store when not in use. For more specific customization of firearms parts or heavier workloads, we recommend looking at floor models. Which lathe you choose is essential because the quality and accuracy will be reflected in your final product.  If you are considering investing in a firearms molding machine, make sure to do some research before making any purchase decisions so that you can pick out the best possible model.

Our Research Process

Our curated list of products has been provided to you by our experienced team of researchers and writers at Ballachy who have tested and scrutinized product recommendations on the market. Our experience in the field, in-depth research and hands-on approach has allowed us to objectively analyse products for years and continuously providing value for buyers who are looking to get accurate and unbiased reviews. If you would like to know more about our research methods, we welcome you to visit our page here detailing how our recommendations are done. Furthermore, as we are always looking keep our guides updated and welcome any feedback from readers regarding different experiences or recommendations to adjust our list. If you consider that we have missed on some important recommendations, please let us know here, so we can add-on any valuable feedback.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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