View Full Version : Question for the Machinists on the Forum

March 25, 2002, 17:51
Could a lightweight FAL receiver be machined from Titanium?

March 25, 2002, 19:08
Titanium: Stronger than aluminum, weaker than alloy steel. HARD AS HELL to machine. I guess if you had lots of money it could be done.

March 25, 2002, 19:18
Yes it could no doubt be done.....but as Blackbird said, take lots and lots of money with you.

Enquiring Minds
March 25, 2002, 19:54
Titanium... another fancy aerospace metal... wonder what the fatigue characteristics are?

Wonder if most of the machining could be eliminated by making a cast Ti rcvr?

Could sand casting, using a steel rcvr as a "dummy", reduce mold costs?

But I seem to remember, vaguely, that one of Ti's merits is VERY HIGH melting temp.

Oh well, not going to happen soon. Time to eat spinach and do those Rhodesian FAL-PT exercises.

March 25, 2002, 20:21
yeah, more push ups.

Can't hurt to ask, eh?

March 25, 2002, 20:32
Dwight Williams claims he has one. FWIW.

March 25, 2002, 20:45
Titanium very difficult to machine and extremely expensive material. Get yourself an order of about 200 going and a die casting die made of some fancy expensive difficult to machine refractory metal that can withstand temps needed to melt Ti and you will have a reasonably priced and toleranced recvr. Want a light rifle get an AR where you can make most parts out of Al since lockup is bolt to barrell.

March 25, 2002, 20:49
If a person had access to a wire edm and a handfull of TiAIN coated carbide endmills the only hold back I can see is the lack of "goverment" time. :D

March 25, 2002, 21:50
Heck, that chunk of titanium would cost you 300-400 bucks. At the time I was buying titanium you could only get round stuff, 2 1/2 dia 6 1/2 in long was 250.00 or around that price range.

March 25, 2002, 21:59
Years ago, I did analysis work for a company that was working on a way to extract Titanium from a low grade ore that was available in the US so that we could reduce our reliance on foreign ore. The only thing that I really knew about it aside from tha analysis was that I used to see piles of the stuff laying around that place. :D

I thought that I recalled that it was hard to machine, but the cost is something that I have had no knowledge of at all. :p

I guess it may be something for those intent on going after the holy grail of building the worlds lightest FAL. :cool:

March 25, 2002, 23:33
The russians have dumped some of their Ti on the world market and prices have come down a little. Here's a foot of 2" diameter bar stock for $245.29

That's not enough to build a receiver and I am not sure where to go for small quantities of square/rectangular stock. The people who sell it say it's really not that hard to machine, just lots of coolant, slow speeds and heavy feeds... right! My attempts at milling a part for a homebuilt aircraft were the most unenjoyable shop experience of my life.

The weight savings would be about 50% but you would also loose 50% stiffness. Titanium is "rubberier". This is why Ti revolvers have steel barrel liners. You cannot rifle the stuff and wouldn't really want it if you could.

Titanium melts at over 3000 degrees farenheit so an investment casting, etc. would be an interesting and costly proposition.

Is this worth it to save half the weight of the receiver?

March 26, 2002, 08:26
FWIW, russia built almost all of their submarines, hulls etc. out of ti. maybe you could take a vacation to russia and get them to do the rough casting, ti is cheaper than dirt over there. just a thought.

March 27, 2002, 00:25
What about a bolt & or carrier? More than one way to skin a cat.

March 27, 2002, 11:48
The neat thing about Ti from an engineering standpoint is its heat and corrosion resistance, not its strength. The FAL in never be a lightweight weapon. If you want light weight but an Armalite in .308

Just my 1/2 ass opinion

March 31, 2002, 11:27
I have some TITANIUM scrap that I'll trade anyone. Approx. 1/2" thick by varius W. and L.. E-mail me with what ever you want to get rid of ,gun part wise that is.
This is left overs from some projects long ago ,so I'm not going to be an ass about how much current prices are. Besides ,my in-laws in helping us move thought that they were doing me a favor by "throwing out those 5 gal. buckets of scrap metal". AAARRRGGGGGG!!!
You have no idea how much I $$$$$$ I lost. So let me know and we'll talk. ;)

April 01, 2002, 16:08
I was looking into getting some titanium AK firing pins made last year, and was told it would be really expensive, it would need to be ground to get it any where near tolerances. I wanted to do it any way, but then couldn't find rod close to the same size, no one in town could get it.
Could any one tell me what type of titanium I would need, and where I could look to buy some mail order?