GS_TestimotionalBlog
Ian Huges is a Gunsmithing student at Colorado School of Trades where he has learned the basics of rifle building & firearm repair. Ian uses our GS lathe so we decided to reach out to him and ask him a few questions! Enjoy.

Describe your business and how long you’ve been operating.

I am working on opening a custom gunsmithing business with an emphasis on building precision long-range rifles. I got interested in shooting long-range precision rifles when I was about 14 and now have had the opportunity to attend the Colorado School of Trades, which is a gunsmithing school where I have learned the basics of rifle building and firearm repair.

What services does your business provide?

I am working on providing highly accurate rifles that are capable of maintaining their accuracy out to and past a mile. I also am able to do firearm repair and some customization. 

How did you discover Lagun and why did you choose us?

With the help of my father, we discovered Lagun through lots of research on high-precision machinery. We ended up choosing to pursue Lagun because we were very attracted to the cast iron base and 3 v-ways. We had an old Cincinnati toolroom lathe that my father had used for many years and I got an introduction to running a lathe. We appreciated big, heavy, and accurate machines, and thought that the Lagun would be an adequate replacement.

What other companies did you reach out to before coming to Lagun?

We looked at some other gunsmithing-oriented lathes from Grizzly, Precision Matthews, and Sharps. I had some experience with Sharp lathes as that is what we have at school.

How has your experience been with your machine?

My experience has been nothing but extraordinary. The level of precision that we have been able to achieve with this machine is incomparable to any of the other machines that I have ever been able to use.

What is your favorite feature of the machine?

It is tough to narrow down just one feature of this machine as a favorite. I have grown to greatly appreciate how quiet this machine is. But I think what would be my favorite features of this machine are the DRO and the EVS. They are keys to being able to get a quality finish and high accuracy.

How has the machine exceeded expectations?

It has exceeded my expectations in every way. With lathes that I have used at school, I always had some doubts about how accurate they would be, but with this machine, I feel more confident in every piece that I make.

What application(s) do you use the machine for?

When building and chambering rifles the most common things that I do are turn and thread.

How often is it used?

I am using this machine weekly, mainly in practice and also in chambering a couple of barrels. I expect to be using it a lot more after completing school and getting my business fully up and running.

What problems were you trying to solve with your Lagun product?

I grew frustrated with the sharp lathes at school as they felt flimsy and did not provide a great feel while using them, as I had grown to appreciate the rigidity of the Cincinnati, but needed something slightly smaller to be able to do the work I was planning on doing.

Was it successful?

This machine is every bit as rigid as the Cincinnati that we had before, if not more so. And has a phenomenal feel that I greatly appreciate while machining.

How has your machine effected your operations?

I feel much more confident in my work and am able to turn at much higher speeds and produce a much better quality product than with any of the lathes that I have used before.

Do you have a story that illustrates the value?

I was recently chambering a barrel for myself, the first one that I had done on this machine and was experimenting with different speeds that were not really feasible with the sharp lathes at the school. On those machines anything over 600 RPM would produce a vibration in the machine that would end up showing up in my workpiece. On that barrel I was turning at over 1000 RPM and could not feel a vibration anywhere on the machine and the finishes that I was able to produce were better than any I had ever gotten. I also spend a lot less time having to stop and measure what I am doing because this machine is so accurate I can cut to the dimension that I want and not worry that it has taken just a little too much or not enough.

Bottom Line, Was the machine worth the investment? If so why?

Absolutely. Every penny. I knew that I wanted something that was going to last my lifetime and knew that it was going to cost some money to get that. But the accuracy and ease of use of this machine make machining not only fun but easier than I could have ever imagined.

What have you enjoyed about the Lagun experience?

I really enjoyed getting to come out to the facility and meet everyone who had worked to build this machine and get hands-on training on how to run it. When we got it home and set up I was able to start producing right away and did not have to spend a lot of time trying to learn the machine.

How could we improve?

The only improvement I would love to see on my machine is a more pointed index mark on the half-nut. The round rivet sometimes is slightly more challenging to have an exact point at which I engage the half nut, but I am really getting into minutia with that. I love this machine and getting to run it is a pleasure. I used to look for all of the lathe projects I could get at school, but since getting to run this machine it is really hard for me to get excited about using anything else.

Is there anything that you would consider us the best or only at?

I think that Republic Lagun is a leader in accuracy, customer service, and innovative designs on not only their lathes but also their other machines. I will admit that my experience with machining is limited. I have been thoroughly impressed at how Lagun works hard to stand out from the rest of the competition with its machines.

Are there any additional comments you would like to add?

The fit and finish of this lathe are like no other. It is truly a beautiful machine that I just enjoy getting to see when I walk into the shop. I am proud to show it off to anyone who will give me the opportunity. If anyone is on the fence about purchasing a Lagun machine I would strongly encourage them to do it. Their motto is not a false message about their accuracy and quality. I will always trust my Lagun.

Gunsmith Lathe