3D printed gun fires

Yesterday, I wrote about Defense Distributed's 3D printed handgun, and asked whether it would fire, and how many rounds it could fire before experiencing stress fractures, melting, etc. Now, Forbes's Andy Greenberg follows up with a report of the successful firing of the gun -- though not its longevity -- and says that Defense Distributed will publish the CAD files for printing your own gun on its site today, along with videos of the gun in action.

Unlike the original, steel Liberator, though, Wilson’s weapon is almost entirely plastic: Fifteen of its 16 pieces have been created inside an $8,000 second-hand Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, a machine that lays down threads of melted polymer that add up to precisely-shaped solid objects just as easily as a traditional printer lays ink on a page. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail used as its firing pin...

Even Wilson himself says he’s not sure exactly how that’s possible. But one important trick may be the group’s added step of treating the gun’s barrel in a jar of acetone vaporized with a pan of water and a camp stove, a process that chemically melts its surface slightly and smooths the bore to avoid friction. The Dimension printer Defense Distributed used also keeps its print chamber heated to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, a method patented by Stratasys that improves the parts’ resiliency.

Meet The 'Liberator': Test-Firing The World's First Fully 3D-Printed Gun [Andy Greenberg/Forbes]

(Thanks, Andy!)


  1. I just watched the video of the gun being fired.

    Surely they could have found some footage of actual Liberators (B-24) rather than the Flying Fortresses (B-17) that used.

  2. It was bound to happen eventually. How long ’til the ATF shits it’s (collective) pants? 

    1. It requires an industrial grade 3D printer, this isn’t such a game changer. When we get to a point where you press a button and out pops a working firearm from your personal home printer is when things get tricky.

      This is more along the lines of having a machine shop and creating your own guns, it just happens to be a 3D printer instead of a CNC machine that does the fabricating.

      1. It is an early design. These printers are going to get cheaper and are going to be able to print more durable materials in the future. This really is kind of a big deal. It is not going to change the world tomorrow, but it may invalidate many security measures in the coming decades. I would expect security screenings to start to become more intrusive at many locations, especially at places where assassination is a risk (like courts, prisons, and political rallies). And I expect that many people that should not have guns will be able to create a gun that they can throw in the fireplace when they are done with it.

        1. A CNC comes as cheap as about $500.  That’s pushing it.  You really would need to spend about $750 to $1000 for good parts.  But with it, you can cut ABS plastic, aluminum, lexan, etc., and, with care and attention paid to cooling, steel.  Much more durable materials.  This hoo-ha about 3D printers printing guns is a red herring. A CNC, which takes away material, is the way to go for producing these guns, if you wanted to spend your time doing that.

      2. Based on my exposure to the technology, programming, maintaining, and operating CNC equipment requires a lot of skill. That’s one reason people might care more about 3d printing than CNC (or for that matter, people doing the same thing with lathes and end mills). 3D printing is more accessible to non-experts.

        1. Based upon the AR15 lower receiver builds I have seen on cnc mini-mills, you have to make more tooling than you do gun parts if you use a subtractive machine.

          We’re talking multiple setups per part, each setup requires locating the part along a known edge to within build tolerances, and even then you can to hand file out parts of the mag-well to get a square cornered hole.

          With the 3d printer, it is the complete tool.
          With a cnc mill, it is your main tool, but it requires that own specific tooling (mills, cutters, dial indicators, vises, custom setup blocks) costing nearly what a cheap mill alone does, to make just the lower receiver. The barrel would be even more difficult.

        2. based on my experience building home made CNC router and mill, no it’s not that complicated, and its not that expensive either, I’ve built a CNC machine that cost less than $500, that can cut aluminum. Meanwhile an average 3D printer currently cost about $700, which can only print ABS plastic.

          Why is this 3D printed guns such a big deal????

          A CNC router/mill and a metal lathe can even do better than that.  And most of the hobbyist have these tools in their garage.

          The people who are making this a big deal doesn’t have any clue, and are surely ignorant, and the people who are buying this story are too dumb to realize. You can just walk into Toy’sRus and get a plastic gun and modify it so it can fire real bullets, and its cheaper and faster, Printing a gun takes a lot of time, and its not as sturdy compared to the plastic guns that ToysRus are selling. Unless you have an industrial printer which  surely most of us doesn’t have.

          Go figure.

    2. I don’t know about the ATF, but the New York Post is already cranking up the fear machine by making it a cover story: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/gun_is_lock_upload_mcSF4lQ6cpR47ekeRNDLYP

    3. Eh…I doubt they’ll shit themselves much.  

      AFAIK it’s long been quite legal to make a gun yourself; you just can’t make it with the intention of selling/transferring it.

      1. This.

        Problem is that the knowledge and skills required to make a working gun are numerous, but the knowledge and skills required to print this is zero.

        Cody Wilson… You’re a fucking douchebag. Here’s hoping your crapgun explodes in your hands.

        1. He may or may not be a douchebag (in my opinion he does seem like a douchebag), but the fact is if it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else.  Plastic guns are a reality we need to face. 

          1. He is the first, so I will hate. I hope anyone who is working towards printable guns dies in a horrible DIY gun accident, or at the muzzle of their own creation.

            That asshat, fucktard’s self-obsessed masturbation about “liberation” or “freedom” or whatever shit excuse he’s putting behind this stands to make MY country more dangerous. Working on it is one thing but being so stubborn about making the plans freely and easily available to anyone without checks and balances is fucking irresponsible.

            In Australia we have sensible gun laws, so whenever I hear about the latest mass shooting stateside I can switch off and think “you reap what you sow”. Now this fuck is sowing the seeds of rampant gun violence everywhere.

          1. Someone had to be that douche, this guy happened to be to one to live out that dishonor.

      2. O.o

        The comment in this tree with the most likes gets deleted? Since when was reasoned aggression not allowed on BB?


  3. Alternate names, based on real-world use cases much more probable than “liberation”:

    Snitch Slayer
    Hey Maw, I Kilt the Baby
    7-11 Knockeroffer
    Depression Ender
    I Was Just Cleaning It and it Went Offinator

      1.  Geek: uh, no
        Tinkerer: MAYBE. More like death tinkerer
        Maker: Go make an arduino back scratcher instead
        Gadgetfreak: It’s a chuck of plastic. My shoe is a gadget?
        Inventor: The gun was invented long ago

        Try reading some more books, guy

        1.  Geek for sure, do you think that lawyer front man designed the gun or the process for its creation?

    1. None of those names really fit. I suspect that this thing is more dangerous to the person behind the trigger. How about: ‘suicide machine’, ‘face full of plastic’, and ‘the Darwinator’

      1. ‘face full of plastic’

        The entertainment industry’s already called dibs on that one.

      1.  Which makes it even that much more of a joke given his Libertarian beliefs. What a jagoff.

    2.  The name is a take upon the 45-calibre Liberator pistol which was built by the USA by the millions to drop on Nazi occupied Europe during WWII. Ultimately only a small number seem to have ever been deployed. This was a simple single-shot pistol which was intended to allow the recipient to capture a better weapon if they were a willing fighter.

      It seems to me the name is appropriate.
      Anyone knocking off a 7-11 with a one shot pistol is even dumber than the average armed-robber, and likely to get what’s coming to them.

      1. “the name is appropriate” – so you think that contemporary societies with access to 3d printers are akin to countries living under brutal foreign dictatorship being delivered weapons by a different foreign power as a precursor to military invasion to overthrow that foreign dictatorship and reestablish the original nation states?   Seems like a stretch.

      1. And the fact that he displays poor trigger discipline.  It might be the angle of the picture, but it sure looks like he’s got his finger on the trigger. 

  4. Hmmm, if one can print guns at home who needs commercial gun makers.  UH, OH!  The National Rifle makers Association (NRA) is not going to like that because is means lost profits.

    Of course, in reality it is not quite that simple but it is something to think about.

      1.  The NRA is funded by mostly gun industry sources and acts as a trade lobby and gun industry stalking horse.

        “There are two reasons for the industry support for the NRA. The first is
        that the organization develops and maintains a market for their
        products.  The second, less direct function, is to absorb criticism in
        the event of PR crises for the gun industry.”

        1. I’m not inclined to believe the fact checkers were awake for this article when they can’t manage to spell Ruger correctly.

          1. argumentum ad misspellium – a less discussed fallacy that has become more common with the advent of the internet.

        2. A lot of the money the NRA receives from businesses is from their “Round up for the NRA” donation efforts. Furthermore, in a sense, customers vote for businesses based upon their support of the RKBA.

          But don’t let facts get in the way of the banner seekers rhetoric…

        1. Understand or make use of… but isn’t that a prerequisite for NRA membership?

          1) Loves guns
          2) Shit for brains

      2.  The NRA is supposed to represent its members but it does not, it represents the gun manufacturers instead.  Just as congress is supposed to represent the people of the United States but does not.   Instead they take bribes from industry lobbyists.

      3.  I’m having a really hard time comprehending the enormity of ‘stupid’ in this comment. This notion of a 1:1 ratio of manufacturer to consumer seems a little… odd. By this rationale, every car maker has one single customer – is that why Detroit’s in such a bad way?

      1.  I think I’d be able to “liberate” his ass with my old baseball bat before he could shoot me.

        1. Probably.  But imagine this horrible thing that popped into my head.  Print a one-shot .45 plastic gun.  Compact.  Also print a muzzle suppressor, so it’s not as loud as a .45 would normally be.  Stuff the whole contraption into the pocket of a large coat.  Walk up to the victim and without unpocketing the thing, blast away.  Leave, throw it into the fire, it’s gone.  That’s why these things are scary.

  5. This must be interesting to some people, but how is this useful or important?  Because when it comes to both the dark-maker fetishism or the bloviating political fear-mongering: I just don’t get it.

    What is the argument in favor of 3D printed guns except ‘hey look we can!’?

    Besides the squishy legality that excites the nitpickers…regardless of the faux-fear created by elected officials: this is a weak ass ‘piece’ that is neither particularly useful in practical terms, nor does it present as a positive exercise for society as a whole.

    What dark hole do you live in that ‘making’ a plastic gun is in any way preferable to making a real one. Or buying one. Or if governmental intrusion is such a concern; buying an illegal firearm like every other two bit criminal, wanna be revolutionary or penny ante gangster?

    “We did it because we could” might be a fair excuse for climbing mountains or building log rafts and sailing across oceans…but when it comes to jury rigging weapons of minimal destruction…somehow this meme gets my goat.

    Because weighing the scales of beneficial vs. detrimental…this falls squarely on the other side.

    1. The people I know that are into this idea only saw 3D Printers as something interesting when the idea of guns came up.

      Oddly enough they all listen to Alex Jones and believe that Obama is going to round up all middle aged white guys and put them in Fema death camps and all that stands in the way is a gun.

      Oh and they also seem to believe that fluoride in water is a commie plot.

      I wish I made that up.

      1. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but my interest in 3D printers increased dramatically when the idea of guns came up, and I”m not even in your neat little category (I’ve never even heard of Alex Jones). I’m not terribly interest in making art, or replacement parts / widgets / accessories / etc. But things which involve explosions,  fire, things flying through the air, or combinations thereof, these have always been interesting. 

        1. You’ve got almost 500 disqus comments on BB. I don’t believe you’ve never heard of Alex Jones.

          1. Actually, I have to google him every time, because I never remember who he is. I don’t allot much brain space for that sort of thing. If you referred to Asshole Jones, I’d probably get it immediately.


          (I’ve never even heard of Alex Jones)

          Oh ho — buddy, you are in for a treat.  Get a bottle of your favorite bourbon, get on youtube, and take a swig every time he says the phrase “false flag.”  You might asphyxiate yourself laughing but there’s worse ways to go.

    2. While I agree most of the interest in this weapon is in the US and largely from the folks who fear government, there are global implications for inexpensive weapons produced in a distributed manner. While we (in the US) can go down to the local Walmart and get a handgun for about the same price as a charcoal grill, there are many countries where that’s not possible. Sure, in most of those countries can’t get a 3D printer either, but with open-source plans for building printers, and open-source plans for building guns, it’s conceivable that arms production will be decentralized and distributed, without expensive tools, but producing standardized, reliable and effective arms. And while this “weak-ass piece” certainly isn’t capable of much, you can bet there are 1000 people right now working in their basements to improve the design and make it semi-automatic (or fully automatic), more accurate, more concealable, or all of the above.

      Again, this doesn’t mean much in places like Alabama or Colorado, where guns are ubiquitous, but its probably going to mean a lot in countries (or states) that tightly regulate arms. For better or for worse.

  6. I can see the ATF having guys surfing the net to shut down sites that put the plans for guns online in the near future.

    1. And that’s worked so well for the FBI and movies.

      Now, substitute in a criminally understaffed, underfunded and hamstrung organization like the ATF.

    2. Given that the CNC-gunsmith site(s) that were the predecessors and starting point for the AR-15 lower, if I recall) have been online without incident for at least a decade, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  7. Just like how color laser printers stamp invisible identifying information so that forged currency can be traced back to individual printers, the software which controls 3D printers should indelibly tag objects created. It won’t stop the creation of illegal weapons, but it will help deter some of the bigger idiots.

      1. True. But presumably these things will fail in interesting ways – leaving lots of pieces behind – or be found by police on various types of criminals, living or dead. If a maker can’t go into business selling cheap disposable guns without knowing the guns are potentially traceable to him, then good.

        1. That’s a valid assumption for now, but, most likely, not for very long. It only took a few months for that 3D-printed AR15 lower receiver to go from 8 shots successfully fired to >600 (limited only by running out of ammo). This is a much more difficult feat than an AR15 lower receiver, but the techniques and designs are improving at a ridiculous pace.

          1. Maybe. I guess we’ll see. Is it ever going to evolve past a single-shot design? I can’t imagine solving the problems inherent in semi-automatic action and in getting magazines to work properly using plastic. The technology’s going to have to progress a long way before I would be comfortable using one in a situation in which I might have to shoot someone. 

        2. Absolutely.  Most people don’t have DD’s experience making these.

          Also, think worrying about viruses are a problem with your torrents?  Get ready for gun files designed to fail spectacularly.

          1. Well, I imagine the gun community will vet the designs. There are a lot of forums out there where people discuss the relative merits of various firearms and accessories. 

  8. You are aware of course that Defense Distributed is a bunch of right wing lunatics, anarchists and conspiracy theorists who are bent on doing things like printing guns in order to “circumvent regulations and make governments irrelevant”? I mean, surely you did your research on these clowns before promoting their technology? I happen to believe in the free exchange of information but a disclaimer seems to be suggested in this case.

    1. Perhaps so, but if you believe in the free exchange of information, you don’t put restrictions on that exchange.  Otherwise it’s not the free exchange of information anymore, but more or less a “controlled” exchange of information.

      I think one of the reasons this site is interested in this is because it pushes the question on the “war on general purpose computing.”   It introduces a question that people have to answer now.  What’s illegal?  What will the government do to counteract these things?  Will the files be illegal and be treated like the government treats child pornography files?  Will the programs that send create the files be made to have “gun recognition routines” compiled into them, much the same way many graphics programs have anti-counterfeit modules compiled into them?  Will computers have to have “illegal file monitors” embedded into the OS and protected via signed bootloaders and signed binaries?  Will the printers become illegal?  Or have to be registered and tagged?  Or will the extrusion gain some sort of radiological marker or similar that is customer specific?

      Some variation of this theme is going to occur as a result of this, and it could affect how we use technology down the road.  All because of fear that someone MIGHT do something bad if we let them use their computer, cad program, or 3d printer without controls.

    2. Obviously I can’t speak for ‘this site’, but I’m interested because it is cool technology. Just the fact it is a interesting technial accomplishment makes it worth reading about, and I’m assuming there will be smarter coverage and comments here than I’ll see elsewhere. That’s why I started reading boing boing, because people linked to technology articles here. I eventually realized it is really more of an social activism site than a technology site but I can put up with the billion articles on DRM and police malfeasance to get to the occasional technical piece. :-)

    3. Just because BB writes about it doesn’t mean they endorse it. Going by your logic Cory supports anything banana-related* and Xeni loooooves Mexican journalists being murdered.

      *This may actually be true

    1.  .380 Auto, not very high pressure which is why it was chosen, but presuming it penetrates (think leather jacket etc) then it would be just as deadly as a .38 Special.

  9. Wow, so they’ve just invented one of the world’s most expensive zip guns, one that is bigger, harder to make and more dangerous to the user than metal zip guns. Brilliant.

    1.  But a zip gun doesn’t have a rifled barrel, making it illegal under federal law.

  10. Awesome tech, until you’re caught standing in front of it.  Oh well, wtf? Anyway, it’s just a zip gun with a plastic exterior, so f*cking what?

  11. That’s great, assholes. Now the news gets flooded with hand-wringing and fear-mongering and we get a zillion short-sighted laws passed locking down and restricting home 3D printing before it’s properly begun. You could’ve waited a decade or two for the tech to grow and mature unhindered, maybe then give it a shot. But no, unrestricted home fabrication tech is clearly less important that your ability to play with shitty plastic toy guns.

    1. Agreed, this will kill all the fun. I expect DRM style restrictions on 3D printers now.

      Of all the good things they could have build, you know to actually help people they build killing machines.

      1.  I expect that any half-way decent maker could make or rebuilt their own 3d printer to get around “DRM style restrictions”.

        They aren’t that complex, a few stepper motors and a precision feeder for molten plastic.

        Regarding new tech to designed to kill people- it seems to me that is primarily what the USA creates today. Just look at that scramjet test this morning- great new tech- Mach 5… designed to kill people more quickly and at further distances than ever before.

        1. Yeah :( I guess we as humans have always made great strides where technology and war are concerned. We all know that, yes there are benefits that percolate down to civilian tech, eventually. It really doesn’t have to be the only way though.

          There’s no doubt that the USA is a massive innovator in weaponry, so are many other countries. We Brits have had more than our fair share of  ‘innovations’, even the peace-loving Swiss for crying out loud. There’s lots of money in war & weapons.

          I know that there is a lot of heated discussion on this topic doing the rounds at the moment, think there’s a lot of anti-american sentiment because of it. This is a real shame and not right obviously.

          Personally, well I care actually, even if it is 2,000 miles across the ‘pond’ and ‘not my country’. Think we all should care and if more of us did care on a local and international scale would this issue even be in the news?

  12. You could make a British Sten submachine gun from the scrap you probably have in the shed

  13. Same here in the UK, we don’t have the insanity that is the American attitude, obsession with guns.

    I’ve never heard such utter drivel, about freedom and liberty and how to have and attain that we all need to be armed. It’s perverse and so far removed from actual freedom and liberty. I know that this is a segment of US population but they are very vocal.

    The justifications for doing this, for arming ones self to the teeth are all without exception selfish, self-centered egoism. My rights, my liberty. There seems to be zero responsibility toward others, the community. Screw them it gets in the way of what I want to do.

    To be honest this is a disgrace.

    You have massive problems, far bigger than the ability print guns, which by the way will if allowed progress at breakneck speed.  

    How long before an innocent is murdered with something like this? Where is the freedom and liberty then? I doubt it was ever there.

    1.  Oh, I’ve met people here who firmly believe all that horseshit too. mainly hopeless Reddit addicts (with actual fedora and beard for bonus points) who’ve never been near a real gun, never mind had one pointed at them in anger (I have). Not that my pointing out how unpleasant such an experience actually is blunted the perceived thrust of their argument…

  14. Crickett kills 2 year old child

    Not Jiminy, by the way.  He’s now perched on the shooter’s shoulder, for life.

    Let’s not pretend this isn’t a nascent massive issue.  Tech is improving fast, and when kids decide to print off some guns for play while Dad and Mom are out, some will die.  I’m concerned primarily for the loss of life, and also for the withering impact this will have on an amazing manufacturing technology that could change the world.So yeah, this irresponsible spread of how-to sucks.


  15. I don’t consider this THAT big a deal.  It’s still illegal to have manufactured a receiver, and the law governs that.  Penalties are stiff, and anyone with an FFL that is not set up as a weapons manufacturer who produces this stuff is playing with serious legal issues.

    any of us with basic machining skills can build weaponry, from rockets to land mines.  3d printing makes it a little easier, and may make it more widespread, but it’s not going to be the end of civilization.    the analogy comes to mind that  while a computer can be used for hacking bank accounts, most computer owners don’t do that.  most folks have no interest in making 3d weapons.  so what.

    (i once had a federal firearms license and am familiar with the relevant law.  i also have 3d printing smarts, several decades of computer skills, engineering background and absolutely no interest in 3d printing anything other than pieces for prototypes of the stuff i work on… mostly product development and test equipment.   this breathless hype is just speculative, uniformed hysteria. best spend equivalent time considering how 3d printing affects everything, and not just  the simple task of holding a bullet and making it imprecisely discharge at low fire rates. BFD.)


    1. Just for the record.. if you make it yourself, for your own use, it’s not illegal at all.

      And these guys have a FFL to get around the sticky “But they’re distributing the files and so are distributing the gun” claim that people have made.

      1.  thanks.  my recollection was in error and i appreciate the correction.

    2. 3d printing makes it a little easier

      It means any idiot can print off the parts.  Not any idiot can make a gun.  You don’t need basic skills to print parts out.  You do to make a gun.

      Most people won’t print guns – but the people with the highest incentive will print guns.  And the disproportionate danger they represent is the issue here.

      And whether it’s illegal – who cares?  Unless the police frisk you every 5 minutes, the law is irrelevant.

      Stop making out like this is just a new recipe for cheese souffle.

      1. We’re all entitled to our opinions, and frankly, we disagree and I decline your offer to stop doing anything.  I have a few suggestions for what you can START doing!   for one, you might consider polite discourse, even if you have strong opinions.  

        That said, I will tell you what difference is makes if it’s illegal.  Back when I had an FFL, it was common for everyone I dealt with to insist on proper paperwork.  most of them wanted to keep their FFL.  you could make illegal machine guns and silencers.  most people did not.   at that time (1980’s, late), class 3 weapons owners (machine guns, etc.) liked to brag how there had never been a crime committed with a legally licensed class 3 weapon.  the permitting was strict, complex, and hard to manage.  that may have changed, but was true back then.

        criminals will always be with us.  the stats are that most of us are not serious criminals (though most of us are minor criminals!)  3d printing of guns is a problem, perhaps.  perhaps not.  the jury is out for the moment.    right now, the amateurs i have seen 3d printing cat door parts can’t get it right.  perhaps you will agree that cat doors and guns are different?

        reliability, maintainability, availability are hallmarks of weapons design.  printing guns from hot melt glue sticks, ABS, or even sintered metal entails no testing, no verification of the ability to accommodate high chamber pressures over time, no testing for contaminate influence on weapon operation, no operator safety considerations.   one thing a gun MUST do when called on for use is to work. A Ruger will.  A Winchester will.  A Colt will.  A script kiddy plastic ranger bazooka may not.  Further, just because it worked once in a row doesn’t imply it will function properly again, nor does it guarantee being able to hit a bull in the ass, let alone dispatch a US Marshal with training and decent hardware.  quality counts.

        If you’d like to explore other technical aspects of your opinions,  i’m certainly open to new information.  what have you got, other than opinion?

        1. Stop being so sensitive, it’s hard to talk.

          I’ve got this:

          I’ve got 30k dead a year in the USA by firearm.  I’ve got a two year old Kentucky kid killed by her five year old brother with a “Crickett” kid’s rifle.

          I’ve got the highest firearms homicide rate in the developed world.

          I’ve got ‘easy to get’ as a problem.

          You’re experienced and knowledgeable in the field.  But how do you reduce, at the very least, the firearms homicides?

          It sounds like you don’t think guns are a problem.

          1. According to the FBI, a large majority of the firearms murders in the US (like 70%+ if memory serves) are committed with handguns.

            There also seems to be a correlation between gun murders and poverty rate.   If you find a map of poverty rates by state, then compare that with a map of gun murder rates by state, it’s quite intriguing to see the number of states that are poor *and* have high gun-murder rates.  

            It’s not a perfect fit, by any means, but it’s something to think about.

          2. I haven’t done the research, but wouldn’t be surprised to see that correlation – as always has been, economic stress is paralleled by a collapse in acceptable norms of behaviour.

            I am however in favour of better lives for all humanity, so any homicide anywhere is unacceptable (if, sadly, inevitable)

          3. Makes sense, obviously would need some *real*  analysis to be sure.

            Here in the UK we had the Dunblane massacre:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre

            It was after this that the UK passed legislation regarding handguns. Essentially handguns are illegal in the UK, rifles and shotguns are not. This was the right thing to do, public opinion was generally  behind this move. It is true that one idiot / monster / imbecile / unhinged individual ruined it for everyone else.

            We now have I think a good balance, attitude in the UK towards firearms. This is essential because what anyone will say, they do kill and take lives, guns are designed to kill. To anyone who says otherwise and owns firearms, well perhaps they are not mature enough to own them.

            I myself have recently toyed with the idea of obtaining a FAC, I grew up in Europe and did a log of target shooting there. I certainly don’t think I need to arm myself as a protection from ‘evil’, ‘interfering’ governments. Actually if the government ever decided to ‘come and get’ me I don’t think I’d stand a chance even if I was armed to the teeth. As has been pointed out for example, during WW2 this nation did not overcome the Nazi’s because of small arms, that was our air force and navy that did far more damage. Long has passed the time were ranks of soldiers lined up and slaughtered each other with muskets.

            So we now have legislation were firearms are concerned, you can still own them, there are restrictions and it’s a tough process to go through. As it should be, look on it as elitist if that makes one feel better  about the situation here :) 

            The latest incident perhaps shows that we as a nation are now happy with the status quo:


            Did not result in any actual change to the legislation, although it did spark a lot of debate.

            I’m not to sure if the great American public are actually aware of the situation, attitudes  legislation in countries other than their own. Personally I believe if a sensible debate, with all the fact at hand including how it’s done abroad, you can hopefully decide some rules to enforce. You desperately need them.

          4.  Also, one troubling issue to consider is the percentage of suicides (in the USA) employing guns.  It’s over half, IIRC.   This is one area that undeniably could be influenced by single shot printed weapons.  Robbers and anti-government types want reliability.  It only comes from process control, material, and design. 

            Another area where 3d guns might appear is in realistic appearance weapons.  It’s true, some folks get shot during crimes, but many crimes involve brandishing and/or claiming weapons.   Just as effective until an armed opponent (guard, cop, etc.) shoots first.  A realistic printed gun would be awfully effective in  ‘suicide by cop’ plans, too.  But then, so would a starter pistol, a big ass knife, or a pipe wrench.

          5.  mr. p, you would be hard pressed to find anyone more supportive of restricted gun possession than I.   I won’t bother you with the details,but we’re on the same page.  i preach this stuff constantly, articulately, and effectively.  Background checks, feature limits, severe penalties for breaking gun laws and trafficking, no gun show loopholes, no high tech bullets or accessories, nada.  Guns for defense or hunting or targeting, great.  For opposing lawfully constituted authority and casual mayhem?  Not on your life. 

            So if you HAVE a question as to what I believe on those topics, you are welcome to polish off your Ms. Manners book and ask it. 

            As to the printing issue, I am an engineer.  Are you?   I’m not talking out my peregrinus, amigo.  Making a one-shot gun takes a pipe and a hammer.  Making a chain fed cannon isn’t going to happen in plastic.  Got that, son?  What do you know about strength of materials, delamination, fusing, lubrication, testing?   I’m all ears. 

            We can all oppose stupid gun availability issues, but frankly, we need to be pointing our intellects at those who support such nonsense, and not wasting time on each other.  In your case, I’d suggest finding another freshman for debate practice.  

            Over and out.

          6. I’m not talking out my peregrinus, amigo

            Classic line.

            you are welcome to polish off your Ms. Manners book

            New phrase for my lexicon, thank you kindly.  Double-classic, in light of the first quote.

            I get it, and kids in Angola make stuff out of old bicycles, one-shot wonders, but the kids in America don’t really go for that.

            We all know it’s the i-future now, and the tech is changing so fast that it’s only a matter of (short) time before multi-material printers can churn out purposeful, useful weapons.

            The incentive is just so strong.

            Additive manufacturing is going to change absolutely everything – mainstream business is starting to pay real attention:

            I hadn’t picked up that you were a freshman – apologies, maybe I went too hard on you.

            I respect your position and experience; and am wholesomely amused by our ping pong.

            Until the next one.

    3. NO. You are incorrect.
      It is currently LEGAL to manufacture a receiver without commercial intent under Federal law.
      State laws vary.
      Whether the BATFE eventually decides that 3d printing is somehow an exception to one’s right to make (without any paperwork or licensing) one’s own firearm… that remains to be seen. The BATFE has previously made noise about cnc machining of AR15 lower receivers (the part of that weapon which is “the gun”), and suggested that people had better be doing their own setup work and not just pressing the start button at a build party.

      1.  thanks.  i stand corrected and appreciate the tone  and information. 

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