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HMC puts gunmaker on sales target.

Springfield Armory has long been known as a maker of quality handguns, such as the .45 automatic that has been a favorite of US military officers since 1911. But the Illinois-based manufacturer was entering uncharted territory with its M-6 scout utility gun, a lightweight, "over-and-under" style gun originally designed for use as a survival gun for downed military pilots. The single-shot weapon folds in half for easy carrying, and features both a .22-caliber rifled barrel and a .410-bore shotgun barrel. Springfield originally priced the M-6 at about $400. Sales lagged expectations, and the product was relaunched with a substantially lower pricetag. The price reduction was made possible by re-evaluating manufacturing processes for the M-6, reducing costs wherever possible.

One of the main components where cost reductions were effected was in the M-6 receiver. The 4140 steel part has two bores, one for the .22-caliber cartridge and one for the .410-bore shotgun shell. The bores must be exactly parallel, and the back surface of the receiver must be perpendicular to the bore centerlines.

The receiver was originally milled and drilled from a solid block of 4140 steel on a vertical CNC milling machine. The new manufacturing process uses an investment casting and an MCH-3 horizontal machining center from Saeilo Machinery (USA) Inc, Long Island City, NY.

The machine mills and drills one receiver while the operator is setting up the next workpiece on a separate fixture. Cycle time for machining one receiver is 16.5 minutes. The MCH-3 also can hold accuracy of |+ or -~0.001" with no special foundation. It is running three shifts to keep up with demand for M-6 receivers.

Springfield vice president of manufacturing Bill Piernot says the changes in receiver production, including switching machining to the MCH-3, played a big role in the relaunching of the M-6 utility gun.

"We've cut the final cost of the product roughly in half," he says. "Orders are coming in from dealers in the USA, Canada, and Europe."

For more information from Saeilo Machinery (USA) Inc, Long Island City, NY, circle 326.
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Title Annotation:Manufacturing Solutions; Springfield Armory purchases horizontal machining center from Saeilo Machinery USA Inc.
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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