Print Your Gun Parts at Home

New technology challenges gun control laws.

Credit:DefenseDistributedCredit:DefenseDistributed

In February, the techie gun-rights group Defense Distributed unveiled a 3D-printed lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle that withstood hundreds of rounds of fire. A YouTube video of the component in action was accompanied by the terse statement, “Does not fail from firing stresses. 600+ rounds.” 

This impressive development came just months after the group earned some ribbing for its first attempt at a homebrewed plastic receiver (the core of the AR-15 and the component that is technically regulated by law), which disintegrated after six shots. But success followed failure, as Defense Distributed unveiled a high-capacity rifle magazine that could be manufactured in a home workshop on a 3D printer. They named it Cuomo after New York’s governor, who recently pushed a new, stricter magazine limit through the state legislature. 

3D printers, which are getting cheaper by the day, lay down layers of plastic or powdered metal to produce solid objects. Using digital specs that Defense Distributed plans to make available online, individuals will be able to produce this vital component of a gun that has become highly controversial (and popular) since the Newtown and Aurora massacres.

In February, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced his intention to impose a legal barrier to the home manufacture of firearms and magazines. Defense Distributed’s official response: “Good luck.”  

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Conservatives cannot stand with Israel on this.

  • ||

    Save the one-liners for the PM links guy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I may not be around for PM Links.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Obamacare came TOO LATE to save Fist of Etiquette.

  • sinclairs||

    my classmate's step-sister makes $79 every hour on the internet. She has been laid off for eight months but last month her payment was $17549 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here http://www.wow92.com

  • ||

    But success followed failure, as Defense Distributed unveiled a high-capacity rifle magazine that could be manufactured in a home workshop on a 3D printer. They named it Cuomo after New York’s governor, who recently pushed a new, stricter magazine limit through the state legislature.

    Brilliant, I like these guys.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Defense Distributed disturbs me, but not in the heebee-geebee way the critics talk about. Listening to Cody Wilson gives me a joy I haven't quite been able to identify yet. It's close to how I feel when I discover something new for myself.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Listening to Cody Wilson gives me a joy I haven't quite been able to identify yet.

    A tingle up your leg?

  • fish||

    Thanks for spoiling it!

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    My pants are tight!

  • ||

    If you like that one ASM, you'll absolutely LOVE the new Feinstein AK magazine!

  • ||

    good times!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm a little worried that the government, in its usual farsighted way, will attempt to curb distributed fabrication because of stuff like this, killing a possible manufacturing Renaissance.

  • Raston Bot||

    Well, political royalty did mention something about centralized manufacturing hubs so obviously distributed fabrication is illegal.

  • Matrix||

    You do not understand the powah of the legislative process!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    When will they be able to print me up some .45 acp for my steel 1911?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    That's coming too, though I don't know of anyone having a timetable yet.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm a little worried that the government, in its usual farsighted way, will attempt to curb distributed fabrication because of stuff like this, killing a possible manufacturing Renaissance.

  • Tak Kak||

    I own a 3D printer, did they say what type plastic they made it out of?

  • Generic Stranger||

    I'm sure it's on their website somewhere, along with the plans.

  • fish||

    .....did they say what type plastic they made it out of?

    I heard it described by the "fainting couch" contingent as that special homocidal plastic....you know....can't be picked up with x-rays.

  • Tak Kak||

    That's quality stuff there

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Black?

  • fish||

    Black?

    Ah...you bring back happy memories regarding the staffer working in Barbara Boxers SF office in the early 90's referring to "Black Talon" ammunition as "Black Felon" ammunition on "empty headed Babs" senate office letterhead.

    Good times!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Erp.

    I'm a little worried that the government, in its usual farsighted way, will attempt to curb distributed fabrication because of stuff like this, killing a possible manufacturing Renaissance.

    Wingnutz fantasist conspiracy theory!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Note my telltale use of French, the lingua franca of conspiracy theories.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Since Reagan banned plastic guns why can't other composite materials be banned?

    (please note - I am opposed to any gun ban)

  • SugarFree||

    cool story, bro

  • OldMexican||

    It worked for drugs, why not for polymers?

    Right?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    You'll have to take those polymers from my cold dead hands.

  • Restoras||

    Who farted?

  • KPres||

    "please note - I am opposed to any gun ban"

    Funny. I must have somehow overlooked your prolific posting in all the gun-grabber articles over the past few months...

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuck The Reagan Administration.

  • OldMexican||

    Print Your Gun Parts at Home
    New technology challenges gun control laws.


    Don't worry, the gun-grabbers are nothing else if not ingenious and relentless.

    "A bill to strengthen the enforcement of background checks with respect to the use of explosive materials. Sponsor: Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] (introduced 4/23/2013) "

    "Under current law, people can buy up to 50 pounds of explosive "black powder" with no background check, and can buy unlimited amounts of other explosive powders, such as "black powder substitute" and "smokeless powder."

    Lautenberg's bill would require a background check for the purchase of any of these powders.

    It would also let the attorney general stop the sale of explosives if a background check shows the applicant is a known or suspected terrorist, and if there is a belief the explosives will be used for terrorism."

  • fish||

    Can't this old feeb just hurry up and die before he commits another act of legislation?

  • creech||

    "Licensed Civil War Re-enactor"
    Must have associates degree and agree not to portray Rebel side.

  • Paul.||

    Printing presses can be banned.

    They can pass a law which forces all pieces created to have a 'signature'.

    Anyone purchasing a 3d printer must register with the government.

    Anyone making any system, device or part which can be used in the manufacture of a firearm faces $250,000 fine, ten years in prison, or both.

    Never underestimate the government's ability to regulate or ban something through sheer force of will.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Paul,

    Anyone purchasing a 3d printer must register with the government.


    You can make your own 3D printer from off-the-shelf parts. Also, vendors would simply switch to selling "kits" in order to avoid the registration mandate.

    Anyone making any system, device or part which can be used in the manufacture of a firearm faces $250,000 fine, ten years in prison, or both.


    First, it would not fly with the SCOTUS especially since what constitutes a firearm's "part" is pretty subjective. Is making receivers under that category? If so, how about designer grips? If you engrave a gun, does that count as manufacturing a part?

    One can certainly think of ways the government could impose its will on the people, but government is still bound by the Law of Scarcity and Opportunity Cost just like everybody else. In other words: It is not like everybody worked for the government.

  • JD the elder||

    OM - you're acting like the laws have to make sense. This is the government we're talking about, you know.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Firearms have to be registered too. Hahahahahahahaha fuck Tulpa.

  • geekster||

    "Anyone making any system, device or part which can be used in the manufacture of a firearm faces $250,000 fine, ten years in prison, or both."

    Congratulations, you've just banned machine shops, and most well equipped garages, along with manufacturers/sellers of metal billet, high strength plastics, stepper motors and springs.

  • Matrix||

    if it saves just one life...

  • Cyrano||

    Sure, the government will try to regulate or ban this. It will work just as well as a traditional gun ban (not at all).

  • Paul.||

    Which means I get banned. 'Cause I a lore abidin' foo.

  • ||

    This is all well and good, and it's nice to have unregulated receivers floating around out there, but all they really need to do to put a stop to this right now is require an FFL to handle upper sales. I don't see anyone being able to 3D print barrels anytime soon.

  • db||

    It happened with the FNC. For decades the lower receiver was the serialized registered part of an FNC. Then one day the ATF changed their minds and said the upper was the actual firearm.

    The only functional difference between the AR platform and the FNC is that the recoil system is contained within the lower receiver of most ARs, and in the upper receiver of the FNC.

  • KPres||

    They'll fucking monitor your internet traffic if they have to. And all those anti-CISPA internet freedom fighters on the left like Bernie Sanders will be nowhere in sight.

  • T||

    I'll be selling lots of threaded vortex tubes, with a lovely pattern on the inside to promote a swirling airflow.

  • db||

    To do that they would have to switch to a European style definition of a firearm, which has the barrel as the registered bit, or at least considered legally a firearm. You can buy rifled barrel blanks from a number of manufacturers and make your own barrel for pretty much any firearm.

  • Juice||

    Did anyone watch the CNN special last night "AR-15, America's Gun" ?

    They interviewed the 3D printer guy and the "I'm gonna start killing people" youtube guy from Tennessee.

  • Mudhen||

    Molon Labe my 3D printer. We need to make April 19th as big a holiday as July 4th so as to remind folks that the final straw for the colonists was when they came for their guns.

  • Anders||

    Ah, what's that smell?

    Smells a lot like Freedom.

    DiFi to introduce bans on assault printers in 5,4,3,2...

    Seriously. No one needs a 3D printer. And this bill explicitly allows people to use all kinds of 2D printers...

  • space junk||

    You know, 7075 Aluminum is available anytime we want to buy it. The plans for CNC milling are available online. Oh yeah, and its not illegal to own a CNC milling machine.....

    My point is that they (loud mouthed politicians) can try to ban plastic printed receivers or anything else they like. They cannot stop the engineering mind and resourcefulness of the U.S. public. The very elements that build these guns also build our everyday items.

  • space junk||

    *CNC milling of AR receivers (both 15 and 10). Guess I forgot that part.

  • Atillahn||

    Wake me up when you can make a barrel - and all the CAD drawings needed - and the ammunition. Until then I am working on 3D printing a warp engine for my flying saucer.

  • Cloudbuster||

    People have been making sturdy barrels with nothing but a coal fire, bellows and hand tools for hundreds of years.

    The technology can't be stopped by attempting to ban it.

  • Sesde||

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