Why Laser Engraving is Used for Firearms

Manufacturing firearms that are safe to use requires precision and integrity. One way that the firearms industry has adapted to facilitate safety is by requiring strict engraving and marking protocols on weapons. Since traceability is another priority in the firearm industry, it’s particularly important that manufacturers find a marking process that’s precise and easy to repeat. Laser engraving is commonly used to support this mission, making it the number one choice for firearm traceability. And the following paragraphs discuss why laser engraving is used for firearms. 

The ATF Requires Specific Engraving Parameters

 Since the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has specific parameters that must be followed during firearm production, it’s important to find a marking method that easily follows those parameters. Using laser marking systems is a precise way to adhere to those restrictions because of its versatility and consistency. 

Firearm parameters are designed to keep the integrity of each firearm intact, making it safe to operate. And following these parameters involves staying within a certain range of height and depth, which is easily attainable with a laser.

According to the ATF, firearms must be identified by: “engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch.” Which is a goal that’s best achieved with the user of a laser. 

Adhering to Standard Firearm Parameters

According to the ATF: “We believe that these minimum standards are necessary to ensure that firearms are properly identified in accordance with the law. In addition, the final regulations will facilitate our ability to trace firearms used in crime.”

Firearms require the creation of a serial number in order to create part traceability. If crimes occur or illegal weapon trading takes place, the serial numbers help officials to trace the origins of the weapon. Since laser engraving creates long-lasting graphics, it’s the ideal pick for firearms manufacturing. 

Providing Detailed Production Information

ATF also requires information like the manufacturer, location where the firearm is made, the model, caliber, and serial number to be easily accessible on each weapon. While it is possible to mark weapons with stamping or casting processes, engraving delivers high-contrast marks that are more likely to last a lifetime than stamped alternatives. 

Laser engraving is commonly used in many different types of products in the firearm industry. During the firearm engraving process, manufacturers commonly engrave accessories, rails, suppressors, barrels, and more. 

You can also brand, trace, and decorate weapons, which makes it a great candidate for firearm production. It’s an extremely precise process, which makes it a good candidate for applications that require strict parameters. But what also sets this process apart from others is its ability to maintain material integrity after the material has been marked, which is essential when it comes to weapons. 

Here at Laser Marking Technologies, clients can meet with experts to fulfill their production needs. Get in touch with us today to ensure that your weapon engraving needs are met and capable of meeting rigid manufacturing requirements.