Mark Serbu of Serbu Firearms is gauging interest on an extremely simple homemade single-shot rimfire pistol kit. The design has only four main components and all can be made easily at home with just a few common tools.
Serbu’s gun, the GB-22 — for Gun Buyback .22 — is primarily built around a frame or receiver, a barrel, a slide and a spring. All four components can be manufactured from basic stock materials including the spring, which is music wire turned around a drill bit. Other components and features can be added to the design but as it is it’s a complete, functioning firearm.
The GB-22 is chambered for .22 Long Rifle, which means that the design doesn’t require headspacing or anything else requiring specialized tools. It doesn’t have a magazine so it can fire from an open bolt.
“First, there’s the very mundane but very unnecessary step of cutting up the materials with a bandsaw,” said Serbu. His design uses steel bar stock for the bolt and barrel. “The frame was cut by a waterjet … it could also have been laser-cut or cut with a jigsaw. Or if you’re desperate, a hacksaw.”
The design still requires simple tools and the knowledge to use them, but with enough trial and error and steel building a GB-22 could be a matter of routine. Serbu uses a CNC machine and other equipment from his shop to assembly his GB-22. But as mentioned, users can assemble a GB-22 with simple hand tools. Of course, it’s going to be more labor intensive.
Even without the dimensions the design behind the GB-22 is pretty plain to see. It would be possible to make a similar pistol with plywood, tubing and other hardware store components — for one or two shots, anyway. With the GB-22 Serbu is offering to share this guns’ critical dimensions to interested parties to make it easier.
Serbu is considering selling GB-22 plans or kits and is using this to gauge public interest. The GB-22 is an excellent project for any beginning gunsmith. You can assemble the GB-22 in a variety of different ways and it can be used to teach and learn different manufacturing methods including drilling, welding, pinning, riveting and more.
The GB-22 could be a fun project on its own or as the jumping-off point for a more complex build. It’s a basic design and doesn’t have an ejector system. The GB-22 doesn’t even have sights. If you want those features you’ll have to design and add them yourself. That’s what makes it fun. If you’re interested in trying your hand at making a GB-22 contact Serbu for more information.
If anything the GB-22 even looks more fun to make than to shoot. That’s one of the main strengths of this homemade pistol. It’s super-cheap to make and when you’re done with one, it can be dumped at a gun buyback. Gun buybacks are widely panned by the gun community for being ineffective and even counter-productive. Even the law enforcement community has criticized buyback programs.
Typical gun buyback programs offer around $50 to $200 dollars for guns, working or otherwise, no questions asked. Because of this gun owners horn in on these programs by trading their worthless or broken guns for gift cards and cold hard cash.
If you happen to have one or more GB-22s built when a gun buyback rolls around they could be worth more in trade than in materials and time spent making them. The GB-22 is crude but that doesn’t make it less of a firearm.
Manufacturing firearms for the express purpose of selling them requires a Federal Firearms License. But gunsmithing as a hobby is perfectly fine under federal law. It is legal to sell homemade guns, they just can’t be made with the intent of selling them.
If you’re thinking about getting into basic gunsmithing talk to Serbu about the GB-22. It may even pay for itself. If anyone should take advantage of gun buyback programs, it’s the home gunsmith.