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The World's First 3D-Printed Gun 846

Posted by timothy
from the ok-ok-you've-got-my-order-now dept.
MrSeb writes "An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, who goes by the name HaveBlue and is an AR-15/M16 enthusiast, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear. HaveBlue's custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal. ... While this pistol obviously wasn't created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. This means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun." Here come the illegal shapes. Note that the legal fiction of receiver-as-firearm is true in the U.S., but may not be in other jurisdictions, and that no gun license is required in most of the U.S. to purchase or possess a semi-automatic weapon.
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The World's First 3D-Printed Gun

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  • But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oPless (63249) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:40PM (#40778915) Journal

    Who will they blame when some nut-job goes postal with one of these illegal shapes?

    Will they ban 3D Printers?

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:46PM (#40779017)

    The apparent amazement about the "plastic" pistol is a bit baffling. I mean come on. [bing.com]

    And as far as concern over someone who can not lawfully own a gun using a 3d printer to manufacture a weapon, really? For a very small amount of money pretty much anyone who wants can go buy a gun on the street. For slightly more money they can purchase a totally legal gun through the classifieds or a gun show.

  • Odd statement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:50PM (#40779065) Homepage
    No gun license required? Why would anyone need a license to exercise a right guaranteed by the law of the land? Do you need a license to vote? Do you need a license to be safe from being enslaved? Do you need a license to own a printing press and open a newspaper? I'm totally lost here. What sort of brain structure causes this mental vomit to occur?
  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sporkstorms (472590) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:59PM (#40779235)

    The NRA is 4.3 million Americans who care enough about their rights to put their hard-earned money to work (via dues) protecting those rights.

    Whenever you read "NRA", substitute "4.3 million American citizens" to give the statement a little context.

    Congress are "slaves to 4.3 million American citizens". That sounds pretty great to me!

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:04PM (#40779323)

    Which constitutes only 1.37% of the population...

    Beware the tyranny of the minority.

  • Re:But ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Agent0013 (828350) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:09PM (#40779397) Journal

    Which constitutes only 1.37% of the population...

    Beware the tyranny of the minority.

    Tyranny of the smart minority sounds better than tyranny of the fearful and stupid majority. Those who give up liberty for the sake of safety end up with neither one!

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:13PM (#40779491) Homepage

    You could probably apply this "tyrrany of the minority" rhetoric to the ACLU and the EFF.

    So that's a pretty dangerous bit of propaganda to push there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:15PM (#40779515)

    Lots of silly information here. "Glock 17 Parabellum"? Seriously? Hammer Spring? On a striker-fired pistol?

    (You may "handle firearms on a daily basis", but I'm a Glock Armorer.)

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:16PM (#40779549) Homepage

    Nothing short of a Soviet style police state would have stopped him either. That's kind of the whole point of this article. We live in a highly advanced technological society. We have been building our own weapons since before we were an independent nation.

    The idea that we can put the genie back in the bottle is a little absurd.

    If not bullets, then explosives. If not explosives, then chemicals.

    Some of this tech is ancient already. If you can build stuff, you can probably build bad stuff.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:16PM (#40779553)

    Good thing he had that crappy high cap mag.

    If he had carried 4 30s things would have been much worse.

    Then again the number 1 single handed murderer in US history did it with 1 gallon of gasoline and a match.

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PRMan (959735) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:21PM (#40779657)
    The people ruling on Apple v. Samsung ALREADY don't know their shapes.
  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:22PM (#40779669) Journal
    Laws preventing the government from stepping on rights are not tyranical, nor are they alarming. What's alarming is that people who want these laws are the minority.
  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:35PM (#40780031)

    I still think some of what comes out of the NRA is pretty kooky and I see no "liberal" or UN conspiracy to take any of that from me.

    Let's see. Colorado massacre happens Friday late.

    By Saturday morning, the first editorials calling for more gun control appeared.

    Yesterday, Obama called for more gun control (admittedly, he was pandering to his base, since the "more gun control" he said we needed have been existing law for 40 years or so).

    See now why the NRA worries about the liberal left trying to disarm the populace?

    And that's not even counting the Brady Campaign and all the other branches of the gun control nutjobs, who have always been calling for more gun control since I was a kid...

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B1oodAnge1 (1485419) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:38PM (#40780091)

    Body armor does a great job of keeping you alive, and a shit job of keeping you comfortable. It's incredibly hard to continue whatever you're doing while you're being punched repetitively in the center of mass. If a "John Wayne wannabe" would have knocked the breath out of, or even just distracted, the shooter, then there would have been an opportunity for him to be attacked. Your assumption that there is nothing that can be done about an armored attacker with a gun is most likely the product of your unfamiliarity with guns and does not reflect reality.

    Furthermore, your ignorance of the subject is showing, the Colorado shooter had no automatic weapons. You were probably confused by the term "assault rifle" which is commonly assumed to mean an automatic weapon, but in fact (in the US) is legally defined as a weapon that has a detachable magazine and at least two of several cosmetic features such as a forward grip or a barrel shroud. This is why assault weapon bans are commonly ridiculed as bans on scary looking guns.

    Ultimately, of course, this is all just a bunch of people being brave in hindsight. We know that guns are effective at deterring normal crimes, however an insane shooter obviously offers a different problem. At some point a shooter is going to run up against an armed citizen, and then we'll find out for sure just how effective they will be. Hopefully that armed citizen is responsible and capable of using their weapon effectively and are not just carrying around a gun to feel safe.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:45PM (#40780243) Journal

    BTW, no number of delusional John Wayne wannabes could have stopped that gunman. He was wearing full body armor and riot gear, including armored protection for his head, throat and groin.

    False and untrue - you should know it's false because it's a technical detail reported in the press! He was wearing gear that looked aggressive and macho, but actually stopping bullets is hard to do.

    Futher, had there been a "delusional John Wayne wannabe", the shooter would have needed to focus his fire on that brave individual, giving others more time to react and escape.

    The gun the shooter use was already illegal in Colorado. How will further disarming the victims make anything better?

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:01PM (#40780587) Homepage Journal

    So, if the barrel shroud and forward grip are purely cosmetic, why are they so popular?

    Same reason 20" rims and body kits are popular on cars, even though they do nothing to help performance (and in some cases, diminish it).

  • Re:Printing Guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@@@harrelsonfamily...org> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:07PM (#40780703) Homepage

    Guns are only designed to kill things.

    Wow. Somebody should tell the olympics [usashooting.org]. It seems that they are not aware [olympic.org] of this fact.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:09PM (#40780739)

    It'll just add to the political football match we've had for decades. Nutjobs will still kill people with weapons bought legally, with ammo bought leagally and nothing illegal done until they day they act.

    I'm waiting for the first 3D printed bomb

    That's entirely true, as long as there are human beings, people will go insane and kill people. But when certain classes of weapons become illegal or are made more difficult to obtain, the outcome of these events would be rather different. The most recent headlines would probably read something like "man goes on insane rampage, kills six with bolt-action hunting rifle", as opposed to a dozen. The NRA likes to say, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Which is true. But guns are tools people use to do a job, and when you can't get the right tools for the job (in this case, murdering people), then you can't do your job as well. Canada, for instance, places restrictions on the size of the magazine (5 rounds for rifles, 10 for handguns) are requires that you take a test and get a license called a Possession and Acquisition License before you can buy a handgun. Their rate of firearms-related deaths (4.78 per 100,000 people) is about half that of the United States (10.27 per 100,000 people). The U.K. has effectively banned semiautomatic rifles and handguns and has an even lower rate of firearm related deaths (.46 per 10,000). All else being equal, the more restrictions are placed on handguns, the fewer deaths there are. Obviously, people can and will resort to other tools, but it's a lot less efficient to stab, poison, strangle or bludgeon people to death. Canada still has a lower murder rate (1.7 murders per 100,000 people) than the U.S. (4.7 per 100,000) and the U.K. is even lower (1.23 per 100,000). These stats are all off Wikipedia, incidentally.

    Think of it this way. We already have gun control; you can't buy a fully automatic assault rifle. What if there wasn't any restriction on what you could buy? If you could buy anything you wanted, you wouldn't conduct a massacre with a semiautomatic AR-15, you'd buy a fully automatic AK-47. For one thing, on automatic an AK can fire 600 rounds per minute. The other thing is that they're simple, rugged and reliable, designed for use by untrained peasants fighting in the hills. The AR-15/M-16 was notorious for being finicky and jamming at the wrong moment, particularly when the rifle was first fielded in Viet Nam. It's better these days, but the fact that the AR-15 used in the Colorado killing jammed is the only reason more people didn't die. The bottom line is here, gun control (as limited as it is) saved lives during this massacre, more gun control would save more lives.

  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:15PM (#40780853) Homepage Journal

    BTW, no number of delusional John Wayne wannabes could have stopped that gunman.

    I guess I'll take comfort in the fact that the cops will be there in 5 minutes while I take a bullet in my back shielding my girl friend from the maniac. Actually, the riot helmet Holmes was wearing wouldn't have stopped a bullet. Difficult shot but I'd rather take it than wait for the cops to show up and "save" the day.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:18PM (#40780905) Journal

    If a right granted to you interferes with the natural rights of another, the law granting you that right is unjust and tyrannical.

    Slaves, e.g. negroes, being humans, in and of themselves, would have their own natural right to freedom. Therefore, the law to which you refer would, indeed, be a law which steps on that right, which would certainly be tyranical.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fned (43219) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:34PM (#40781193) Journal

    Ultimately, of course, this is all just a bunch of people being brave in hindsight. We know that guns are effective at deterring normal crimes, however an insane shooter obviously offers a different problem. At some point a shooter is going to run up against an armed citizen, and then we'll find out for sure just how effective they will be.

    yes, someday, [timesdispatch.com]

    perhaps in the far-flung future, [wikipedia.org]

    we'll see what actually happens [wikipedia.org]

    when armed citizens [wikipedia.org]

    confront crazed mass shooters. [denverpost.com]

    surely, such an event will irrevocably alter the dialog on armed self-defense from that day forward. [theonion.com]

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IceNinjaNine (2026774) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:42PM (#40781331)

    You could probably apply this "tyrrany of the minority" rhetoric to the ACLU and the EFF. So that's a pretty dangerous bit of propaganda to push there.

    Indeed!

    What gets me is that I work with educated people who cannot understand how I can be a member of the ACLU, the EFF, and the NRA.

    It's called trying to keep the government in line!

  • Re:But ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#40781403)

    Round and round we go.

    If only pro-gun folks knew how easy it was to live without the things, and what a sense of peace one gets knowing they aren't about. Walking through an American city must be like walking through a cactus field - watch yourself all the time lest you get punched full of holes.

    A hard to elucidate but very real reason why I (and I suspect, many others) want laws banning guns is because they are such inherently ugly and vile things - with the exception of hunting rifles, they exist for one purpose, to facilitate the most abhorrent crime there is. Defense and offense are malleable terms; killing is not. And that's what those things are for.

    Both sides use statistics to back up their points. Neither ever seems to win. As you would expect, by my reading the statistics support gun control. You most likely think otherwise. But what test are we applying to the statistics? Whether gun control decreases murders, whether gun control decreases injury and death caused by firearm, or some other measure? What test is the important one? Why? Are these measures even relevant in an atmosphere were gun rights are assumed?

    I hope that, someday, the United States becomes a country with regular forces, a reserve force, and a well-regulated milita force, composed of citizen soldiers who carry weapons under well regulated conditions, as they do in Switzerland, for - by my reading - that is the right to arms that your constitution grants you.

    Beyond that, ban everything but slow-shooting hunting rifles. You don't need anything else. The police in the UK have and still to a degree manage to police their country without guns; surely regular citizens can get by in the same way in your country. Recall one of the reasons why police in the UK were able to operate that way: since criminals knew the police didn't carry guns, the criminals had less of a reason to do so themselves. Compare that situation to the US, where a veritable arms race has occurred, to the point were criminals and police carry military rifles on what appears to be a regular basis. The key here, I think, is that, absent a small minority, people - criminals, civilians and police alike - do not want to kill others and will prepare in such a way as to minimize the probability of that happening, even at some risk to themselves.

    As an aside, if you ever want to overthrow your government, then you will succeed when army units defect to the rebels' side. If the army is united, you can't win against it, for they are better armed. But the army is made of of citizens, and a just rebellion should be able to convince soldiers not to shoot fellow citizens and to oppose tyranny.

    My apologies for the flowery language but I'm tired and I feel like pretending at being literary.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @03:09PM (#40781803)

    "The NRA opposes (in part) an assault rifle ban because they understand the functional definition of a rifle like the AR-15 (detachable magazine, semi-automatic, ...) would apply to many hunting rifles as well."

    That is NOT the only reason, or even the main reason.

    The 2nd Amendment was put in place specifically to give people the right to own "military-grade" firearms, so they could protect themselves from a potentially tyrannical government. Hunting actually has little or nothing to do with that. It's just one more reason.

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @03:20PM (#40782007)

    See now why the NRA worries about the liberal left trying to disarm the populace?

    And that's not even counting the Brady Campaign and all the other branches of the gun control nutjobs, who have always been calling for more gun control since I was a kid...

    Gun control is to gun ownership what speed limits and drivers licences are to car ownership. Gun control is a risk management proposition that can easily be managed to the benefit of all interested parties.

    The NRA has nothing but strawmen, slippery slopes and other bad-faith argumentation.

  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:03PM (#40782845)

    "The most recent headlines would probably read something like "man goes on insane rampage, kills six with bolt-action hunting rifle", as opposed to a dozen."

    No, they wouldn't, because we ALREADY know that doesn't happen. Keep in mind that various states and municipalities have banned guns every which way from near complete bans to restrictions on "assault" weapons, and they've been doing it for over 50 years (80 if you count Federal restrictions that were put in place back in the 30s).

    The Department of Justice has been keeping records and statistics for all of that time. And we KNOW that bans don't work. The government's own statistics prove it.

    The places that had the strictest bans continued to have the highest crime rates. The only real difference was that the guns used were, by definition, illegal. But they were still obtained, and still used.

    I am well aware that the "fewer guns equals fewer deaths" argument seems straightforward and logical, and even obvious. But things are not always what they seem. And we KNOW that, at least here in the United States, restrictions don't work. They don't reduce crime. In fact, the number and severity of crimes tends to go UP.

  • by PraiseBob (1923958) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:05PM (#40782869)
    "Military Grade" is a political fiction, the civilian AR-15 is functionally identical to popular hunting rifles.

    Except he managed to shoot 79 people within the span of a couple minutes. Do you think that is even remotely possible with a regular hunting rifle?
  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:09PM (#40782917)

    Because taking away legal firearm ownership clearly reduces the chances of getting shot... (That was sarcasm for the slow among us)

    Here are the stats on gun deaths for the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., from Wikipedia:

    • United States: 10.27 per 100,000 people
      • Canada: 4.78 per 100,000 people
        • England: .46 per 10,0000 people.

        The United States, obviously, has the least gun control. Canada has more regulation. Rifles are limited to 5 round magazines, pistols to 10 rounds; licenses required for pistols. The U.K. has effectively outlawed semiautomatic weapons and pistols. Overall homicide rates follow these patterns, so it's not the case that people will just find other ways to commit murder. Making guns more available and making rapid-fire weapons more available makes murder easier, and therefore more common. I've shot assault rifles and .50 caliber sniper rifles, and yeah, they're pretty awesome. But personally, I'd be willing to have stricter licensing requirements, gun registration, background checks, and limits on clip size to save tens of thousands of lives a year.

  • Moar guns! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThePeices (635180) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @05:23PM (#40783843)

    In the USA, this can only be a good thing.

    What this enables is the possible production of millions and millions of more guns, which is perfect for fixing the out of control gun culture in the USA.

    Remember, the *only* right solution to lots of guns is.....more guns! amiright?

    Nobody will ever take away the Americans GOD given right to shoot lots of people to death. Its the only answer to everything.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @06:50PM (#40784803) Journal

    If only pro-gun folks knew how easy it was to live without the things, and what a sense of peace one gets knowing they aren't about.

    I am pro-gun. I grew up and spent most of my life where legal handguns are essentially unavailable to citizens, and you can only get a rifle (yes, even .22) after 10 years of owning a shotgun, and you need a hunting license for either. That country is also has three times as many homicides per capita as US, and violent crimes in general are even higher than that. Based on this personal evidence, and on available statistics, I have arrived to the conclusion that widespread legal gun ownership does not correlate with high crime rates, and therefore cannot cause them.

    And yes, I do own and legally carry weapons here in US.

    A hard to elucidate but very real reason why I (and I suspect, many others) want laws banning guns is because they are such inherently ugly and vile things - with the exception of hunting rifles, they exist for one purpose, to facilitate the most abhorrent crime there is. Defense and offense are malleable terms; killing is not. And that's what those things are for.

    I don't see what's vile or abhorrent about killing in self-defense. Objectively speaking, it's not a crime in many jurisdictions (a crime is what the law says is a crime). The moral angle is, of course, subjective; but even if we disagree on that, why are you trying to force your morality onto others? It's no better than the right-wing loonies who campaign for gay marriage bans on the grounds that it "threatens social mores" or similar BS. Morality has no place in laws; stick to utilitarian reasoning.

    Whether gun control decreases murders, whether gun control decreases injury and death caused by firearm, or some other measure? What test is the important one?

    The relevant metric is whether gun control reduces violent crimes. Injury and death caused by firearm is a misleading statistic because it counts injuries and deaths inflicted onto criminals in self-defense, and I argue that those should not be counted the same as injuries and death inflicted by criminals to law-abiding citizens. Counting murders alone is also misleading because it ignores other violent crimes, often those which are much more common - e.g. if you see a 10% increase in murders and a 50% decrease in rapes after legalizing guns, the absolute numbers are even more different because rapes are far more common than murders. Of course, you should still weigh a murder heavier than a rape, but you can't disregard the latter altogether on the grounds that it's okay to let 50 women be raped to save one human life.

    I hope that, someday, the United States becomes a country with regular forces, a reserve force, and a well-regulated milita force, composed of citizen soldiers who carry weapons under well regulated conditions, as they do in Switzerland, for - by my reading - that is the right to arms that your constitution grants you. Beyond that, ban everything but slow-shooting hunting rifles.

    That doesn't make sense together. If you ban possession of everything but "slow-shooting" (what does that mean, exactly? bolt-action and single shot only? are lever-action okay? revolver carbines?) rifles, then you already are going much further than Switzerland, since in Switzerland civilian possession of semi-automatic rifles is legal and very common.

    If you are talking about banning carrying, then your rationale suddenly doesn't make sense. A criminal will carry a gun if he needs one for the commission of a crime regardless of whether the law prohibits that or not - he's already breaking the law. A citizen legally owning a gun is statistically highly unlikely to use it in a commission of a crime, and even less so when legally carrying it outside the house.

    The police in the UK have and still to a degree manage to police their country without guns

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