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Hi everyone,

I have a question and I'm hoping to get some answers from people who are more experienced with firearms than me. I realize posts should be HK specific, but I'm not sure where else to ask and I really just need some advice. So if you could please give me a hand, or at least show me some links I can read by myself, I'd appreciate it.

I've always had a strong interest in firearms. I compiled some of my own ideas in the form of drawings and text, and I do believe they are good ideas. (I have no tools or materials to try and build any mockups with, though.) So I'd like to approach a firearms manufacturing company and actually design firearms based on my ideas. In fact, I don't know how open they are to this, but HK would be my favorite company to work with; I'm Portuguese and HK firearms are very famous in my country, and personally I respect the quality of all HK products.

I guess the more experienced you are handling firearms, and the more training (military or otherwise) you've had with them, the more likely you are to be taken seriously about your ideas. I was never in the military and I have limited experience shooting firearms. Still, I want to try.

So what I need to know is:
- What would I have to do to patent my designs before presenting them to any firearms company? Does it cost money? And would they be protected internationally or is there any kind of limit as to what country/countries patents apply to?
- What kind of education and/or training can/should I start pursuing before trying to actually apply to any firearms design jobs? (I graduated in a different field, but it is not my only interest.)
- How and where would you go about getting the necessary tools and materials to build some models with? (I guess wood is easy to work with and shape into all kinds of different parts, but I'd still need springs.)

Thanks,
LJ
 

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Some answers:
Patents will cost money. Talk to a patent attorney in Portugal to find out what it will cost there and what countries will honor your patent.
Consider mechanical engineering. Get a lot of firearms experience. Shooting and taking guns apart will help you understand them.
You need a mill, lathe, and small machine tools. Steel and Aluminum are what you want to work with. Make sure you meet whatever laws Portugal requires to manufacture prototypes.
 
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