General

The Hammer Forged Barrel Process

An interesting video I came across recently came from The Gun Collective. They took a tour of the Daniel Defense factory, and spent some time showing the hammer forge machine in operation. I briefly discussed how hammer forging works on my guide to AR-15 barrels, but this is a nice visual representation. The key part starts at 1:27 and ends around 6:27 (though the entire video is worth watching).

I’ve been very vocal about the importance of quality control and how it factors into the cost of a component. I found it interesting that the first QA inspector talks about doing random inspections on about every 20th barrel rather than every individual barrel. I can’t say this is the best or worst practice, because it clearly works out for Daniel Defense. Hammer forging is known for very consistent results, and it probably just makes the most cost efficient sense to check every 20th barrel to look and see if the tooling is ready for replacement. The second QA inspector likely does her process on every barrel, since it is a faster process.

The remainder of the video shows the aluminum manufacturing and assembly processes that DD goes through. DD is a known quality company, with prices to match. So, again, you have to ask yourself what steps other companies are skipping in order to give you that cheaper price.

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3 thoughts on “The Hammer Forged Barrel Process”

  1. You’re right about checking every 20th barrel being more cost effective. But don’t think this is skimping on the part of DD; more than likely they simply have an effective, modern quality program that will actually lead to fewer discrepancies and waste. Measure how accurate the process is, analyze it to determine how it can be made more accurate, remove all the outside variables as much as possible, and once it’s within your requirements sit back and trust statistics.

    1. Absolutely, I don’t want to come across as knocking them for not checking every barrel. I understand hammer forging, QC procedures, and statistics enough to know what you said is true. I don’t think it is skimping at all.

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