Engraving a gun slide/action?

Has anybody used their x-carve to engrave a handgun slide or rifle action? The ones I’m considering doing are aluminum, so I would imagine it’s totally doable once I get some fine tuning and calibration done… I’d love to see examples if anyone else has done something like this. Or perhaps if anyone has bit recommendations for the task? Do you think I would be better off using a diamond drag bit instead of an engraving bit? The engraving will likely be small text, maybe a simple line image.


I would also love to hear from anyone that has, or is interested in doing such a thing. I have done some looking online but haven’t been brave enough to try anything yet. Here is a video that looks like a great starting point for such a thing.

Cannot wait to hear what others are doing\thinking as I would eventually like to do some firearm engraving myself.

Designing should be easy, and I’ll definitely test it on the part of my ruger action that is concealed by the stock before I attempt anything serious. But I have no idea what would be the ideal bit or method to use…

I’m pretty sure there was someone on here that did a firearm. I think he commented on another thread. Try searching engraving aluminum. I think the the diamond drag would be the best.

I did a search for ‘gun’ and went pretty far down the results page without a lot of luck. Searching for aluminum engraving would probably turn up some really useful info, though. Thanks!

You could use Schortchworks G-code Ripper to map the surface. Make sure your moves move up high to clear any areas that would be in the way. The rest is pretty much what others said about finding aluminum milling videos. Feed should be slow and speed fast and use HSS bits. A good Vbit will do well for the engraving. Just follow the pros on how to mill text. :slight_smile:

I’d be most likely to do the flat side of the action, with it held parallel to the work surface in a drill press vice. Especially if it’s just text or something simple. As long as the slide is level and straight, I’m essentially just engraving on a flat surface without the need to map it. Just gotta get my measurements and work zero right. I ordered a couple cheap 30 degree v bits for engraving and I’ll try them out on some random aluminum I have laying around when my machine is back up and running! :slight_smile:

Take into consideration that not all aluminum is the same. ( you may already be aware of this)
the alloys used in firearms may be considerably harder than what many here have been working with and even " case hardened " which can complicate things further. Testing on an inconspicuous area is a good idea , but if possible talk to a local gunsmith, they may be able to connect you with some scrap stock or take off material from a no longer functional shootin’ iron.

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That’s a great idea! Thanks!