Plywood gun

Wood is easier to work with than metal. So why not make a homemade gun out of wood? Yes. It won’t last nearly as long and it will be susceptible to moisture if you don’t treat the wood correctly. But wood stocks have been used on guns for hundreds of years. People are making complete guns out of plastic. Why not make an AR-15 lower made out of wood?

I didn’t come up with idea and I haven’t tried it. But someone else is trying it:


10 thoughts on “Plywood gun

  1. Pingback: SayUncle » Plywood AR-15 Lower

  2. ElkStone. I want an AR made of ElkStone (elk droppings “stabilized” with resin– essentially a fiber-reinforced acrylic).

  3. dear sir:

    thanks for the links to my posts on the “plywood gun.” i have been very gratified by the traffic to my blog generated by the links. and, i’ve enjoyed just looking around and reading here.

    again, my thanks.

    john jay

  4. joe:

    i am still getting hits on these links, much to my surprise.

    if you & your readers are interested, please check back in a day or so, because i have undertaken the final shaping of the receiver (except for fitting the nut for the barrel extension), and will post on that.

    in the meantime, i thought that you might be interested in another post i have done about making a “home made” upper for the ar-15, and making it out of steel. .

    i am a “newbie” here, and i don’t know how you feel about people posting links to their own blogs in your “comments” section. if this is not acceptable, please delete the comment, and please accept my apology for having done so. i won’t repeat the mistake, if this is not acceptable practice here.

    the point being, in all of this, is that by looking at things just a “bit out of the box,” we all can make arms very useful for certain applications should the “gubment” just get too damned intolerable to put up with. (i know that’s redundant, but, that’s how people express it.)

    john jay

  5. I would like to see two sheets of 1/4″ aluminum cut and drilled for pins, corresponding to the locations for the takedown pins and hammer+trigger pins in an AR. The user could then make wooden block filler/spacers between these to make a hybrid metal/wood AR lower. But the plates would be less than required to be a serialized receiver. 1/4″ plate would allow the use of countersunk screws, nuts and fasteners. If the plates were CNC cut, all the extra pin holes for safety plungers and such could be added. Bolts would reinforce the mount for the buffer tube. The grip could mount conventionally, or be an integral part of the wooden spacer used in the bottom half of the receiver. Manufacture would be easier than John Jay’s because you could shape the inner wooden parts before bolting together the receiver halves. Once the shapes are final and functional, bond the sides to the wood with JB Weld and bolts. I’ll bet it will be as strong as the original.

    • I don’t have an example to look at right now, but do all the pins in a lower completely transect the lower?

      I remember reading about 8 years ago of someone making a wooden lower. It held up for a few rounds, the wood being weaker than the glue. A hybrid lower might be the thing.

      • windy:

        all the screws and bolts “transect” the lower.

        the lower has a wooden “plug,” in which the various wells are mortised, e.g., magazine well and trigger/hammer well. the wood laminate plug is clad on either side by stainless steel plates, each 0.062″ thick: this is about 16 gauge, from what i am told.

        the assembly pins are both carried by the steel plates & the plug. and, the safety/selector switch and the trigger and hammer pins are both carried by the plates, and the plug.

        i don’t think it will be coming apart any time soon, … , if it does, i will report it. the wood is plenty strong, walnut pieces ranging from .250″ to .125″, and it is free of blemish or cracks. the wood is held together by gorilla glue epoxy, and the steel clads are held to the wood by e6000 epoxy.

        go to the links. there are plenty of pictures. and, i will be doing a post this afternoon on the lower, and you can get a very good view of what it looks like.

        john jay

        p.s. i am the guy that built it. it’s not coming apart. the thing is, the only “load” born by the lower is that of the recoil impulse. and, in the load it “carry,” that is not very much. i shoot a wildcat in another ar-15 i call “jj’s brit.” it is essentially a shortened 7mm-08 remington, made to duplicate a 1950’s round called the .30/280 british. it shoots a 130 grain 7mm bullet about 2500 fps at the muzzle. recoil is greater than a .223, but way less than a .308. the recoil impulse is carried entirely by the assembly pins, and the outside clads plus the plug: that structure is more than enough to carry multiple times the recoil energy of the gun.

  6. p.s.


    ” … the load it ‘carries’ … ”

    sorry for the typo.

    p.s.s. and, yes, it is a “hybrid” or composite, if you will.

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