Design for Manufacture – Firearms

Manufacturing cost reduction without sacrificing premium features

Client – Axial Precision (now AllTerra Arms) – a startup

Expertise Applied


Axial Precision had developed prototypes of an advanced, high-precision rifle. But tolerance requirements in the design made cost-effective manufacturing impossible.


In depth analysis by SGW Designworks identified options to reduce the tolerance requirements in many mechanical features while still providing the same level of firing precision in the system.

precision rifle engineering
Precision action assembly

Results / Outcomes

  • The rifle was successfully launched, employing specific design improvements to reduce cost, identified by SGW Designworks


Axial Precision identified a niche in the market for a super high precision rifle system, for the high end hunter. The concept was based on a ubiquitous and proven rifle action platform, but incorporated specific proprietary changes that would provide significant improvements in breech alignment with the bore. Initial prototypes had proven the theory, but the system was too expensive and difficult to manufacture.

Axial Precision engaged SGW Designworks to identify options for design changes that would maintain the critical differentiating functionality of the concept, but would allow for faster, less expensive production. A full design review, including a detailed analysis of tolerances for each design feature uncovered a number of opportunities for improvement. Changes were first tested in 3D virtual models, then with physical prototypes. The improvement work was executed using an iterative approach, making small and deliberate changes, then validating each before moving on to the next. As the design optimization work completed, SGW Designworks moved on to optimization of different product configuration, and design of new accessories for the rifle system.

Tolerance analysis and optimization were critical to ensure the system was manufacture-able.
Tolerance analysis and optimization led to reduced manufacturing cost.

The rifle system was launched in 2017, and is a commercial success. On the company website , customers can configure their rifle, which is then custom built to order. Axial Precision is able to rely on SGW Designworks as an arm of their business, providing ongoing product design and engineering services, as well as design optimization for manufacturing.

Product Development when precision matters.
Tolerance Optimization and Design for Manufacturing helped make this rifle a reality.

Engineering Focus Technologies Leveraged
Tolerance StackupSolidworks Simulation
Manufacturing Process SelectionSolidworks 3D Modelling
Failure Modes Analysis