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Printer Hardware Build

The World's First 3D-Printed Gun 846

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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  • Don't freak out. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Psychopath ( 18031 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:44PM (#40778977) Homepage

    While the lower receiver is legally considered to be the serialized firearm it is fairly simple part. Folks have been making them on CNC machines for years. The metal upper receiver is much more difficult to manufacture and required precision metal machining. You need both to have a functional weapon. Without the upper, the lower is completely and utterly useless.

  • Printing Guns (Score:1, Informative)

    by thomasw_lrd ( 1203850 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:44PM (#40778979)

    I was wondering how long until someone could circumvent the law with a 3-D printer.

  • Overblown fears (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:49PM (#40779043)

    Exactly. Anyone with access to milling equipment could mill their own lower reciever, assuming they knew the plans. Then they would still have to purchase the upper, the trigger assembly, and other parts. It's not really any different, and with the ability to mill a real receiver, they could make a firearm that can actuall handle .223/.308 rounds.

    Or, you know, they could save themselves all of this time and trouble and just go to one of the myriad of websites that allow people to get in touch with others looking to buy or sell firearms. I visit one myself regularly that is part of the forums of an outdoor website dedicatedto my state, and I have even sold a firearm through it. All perfectly legal, with no documentation of transfer of ownership. And on this website alone there are often several AR- and AK- type rifles for sale, anywhere from $400-$1000. This development adds nothing to the equation.

  • Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:50PM (#40779069)

    A synthetic AR-15 lower receiver is nothing new, printing one yourself is however. Is it dangerous? Yeah kinda, unless you a printing with a rather high strength polymer. Is it illegal? Not if you follow the BATF guidelines. Hobby machinists have been milling them from aluminum for ages. You can buy all sorts of jigs and receiver blanks. If you were to say start manufacturing lower receivers, or do not qualify to legally own them and get caught the penalties are very severe. Also as anyone who builds their own AR-15s will tell you, certain parts are in very high demand, you may wait weeks to months for something simple to complete your build. So I wouldn't worry about somebody building a ton of "off books" rifles any time soon.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by pnutjam ( 523990 ) <slashdot@nOsPAM.borowicz.org> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:12PM (#40779453) Homepage Journal
    The NRA has the same problem that Unions and our Government have. It has been co-opted by a vocal minority. Many people have left or refused to join. Which is why a simple google search on "NRA membership coupon" turns up a plethora of discounts and ways to get free memberships.
  • Re:Odd statement (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:12PM (#40779459)

    The text of the second amendment reads "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". What actually constitutes "well regulated" is admittedly controversial, but requiring a license to own a gun is generally accepted as being part of that regulation and is not really all that controversial for most people.

  • Durability (Score:5, Informative)

    by JakFrost ( 139885 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:23PM (#40779697)

    There is a reason why firearm manufacturers create parts out of single bar stock aluminum or steel metal pieces and machine them out, that is to maintain durability during firing process of the gun so it doesn't explode in your hands and injure you or worse and that it will last over repeated uses.

    The most difficult part of creating the gun is the creation of the barrel with a chamber that can withstand pressures of 22,000 to 55,000 pounds-per-inch and not explode into shrapnel hurting you badly. Barrel creation is difficult and taken very seriously with many manufacturers using a magnetic particle inspection process to ensure that there are no metal weak points or fractures inside the walls of the barrels to prevent them from exploding.

    Until these low priced home 3D printing machines can print out of aluminum, steel, or other metals to maintain some kind of rigidity on the parts these printed firearm pieces will just be an exercise in computer aided design and prototyping. Many of the pistols now use plastic frames

    As far as legality of manufacturing your own firearm by people who are somehow restricted by law from owning one, well it's the possession and ownership that is restricted, not the creation so all possession restrictions still apply.

    You can create your own firearms according to the Gun Control Act of 1968 for personal usage just not sale or distribution. If you decide to make these 3D printed firearm receivers you would have to apply for a Federal Firearms License type 7 or 10 and register your business then put serial numbers on these parts.

    US BATFE (aka, ATF, BATF) [atf.gov]
    Q: Is it legal to assemble a firearm from commercially available parts kits that can be purchased via internet or shotgun news?

      For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution."

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:23PM (#40779717)
    No. He believes that the NRA doesn't try to control the lives of Americans, but instead to give them freedom. It's the government that is trying to control people, sometimes far beyond what is safe or reasonable. He may or may not be correct, but it's not really that hard to get at what he is saying.
  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:25PM (#40779773) Homepage Journal

    now this guy could have constructed the bottom part without a 3d printer too.

    Somebody once made a working lower out of paper mache. The lower isn't the high-stress part of the gun. I'll note from the article that it mentioned the chamber was solid metal - I'll point out that the barrel is as well if he's using a standard upper as it states.

    We've been able to make 100% plastic lowers for quite some time. They're just not durable enough quite yet for common use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:26PM (#40779797)

    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.)

    Oh, come on, I couldn't stop laughing over the "tenifer steel" compression ability. I wasn't aware that a metal treatment mere microns thick had that kind of power. Impressive.

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:30PM (#40779911)

    Which constitutes only 1.37% of the population...

    Around 1/2 of the US population has at least one gun in their home. The NRA indirectly represents those people as well as the others that support the right to bear arms but don't happen to have any. Ultimately that means they represent over half the population. So shove the "tyranny", you Anonymous Coward.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:32PM (#40779941)

    Laws preventing the government from stepping on rights are not tyranical, nor are they alarming.

    Agreed, that describes the constitution.

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by dark12222000 ( 1076451 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:34PM (#40780013)
    Because taking away legal firearm ownership clearly reduces the chances of getting shot... (That was sarcasm for the slow among us)
  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZeroSumHappiness ( 1710320 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:53PM (#40780395)

    47% [gallup.com] based in a recent Gallup poll.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:02PM (#40780589)

    By pushing their extremist view of the constitution, ...

    That is a very close minded and telling statement.

    ...they are forcing the rest of us to deal with all kinds of military-grade weaponry in civilian hands.

    Not really. "Military Grade" is a political fiction, the civilian AR-15 is functionally identical to popular hunting rifles. It's "military" only in a cosmetic sense, black plastic instead of wood, same sights and controls as the M-16/M-4. In operation it functions like many hunting rifles, semi-automatic only (one shot per trigger squeeze), it leaves the factory with a 5 round magazine just like the hunting rifles, it uses the same ammunition, etc. 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.

    They think it's an infringement of their 'rights' to even be required to be trained to use the weapons they are buying.

    The NRA is the largest firearms safety training organization in the world. They got into the political debate only because well meaning but ill-informed politicians were going down the path to outlaw (sometimes unintentionally) traditional hunting and target shooting firearms.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:05PM (#40780649) Homepage Journal

    Are you really that stupid? The NRA doesn't want to make it legal to shoot people.

    Just because you have a right to have the gun and use it safely, doesn't mean you have the right to shoot people willy-nilly. That's covered by other laws (assault, manslaughter, murder etc) that the NRA does NOT have any problem with.

  • Re:But ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:07PM (#40780691)

    He did not have a high powered automatic weapon.

    He had an ar-15 a semi-auto rifle that is considered unhuman for use against deer in some states because of its low power.

    A 12 gauge pump shotgun.

    And a .40cal glock pistol.

  • Re:But ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:25PM (#40781029)

    Around 1/2 of the US population has at least one gun in their home. The NRA indirectly represents those people as well as the others that support the right to bear arms but don't happen to have any. Ultimately that means they represent over half the population.

    Who Does the NRA Represent? [huffingtonpost.com]

    A new survey, by Republican pollster Frank Luntz and commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of over 400 mayors, even more dramatically contradicts the conventional political wisdom on the gun issue. Not only does the NRA not represent the views of gun owners on major issues of gun policy; it doesn't even represent the views of its own membership. For example, the Luntz survey found that 69% of self-described NRA members agree that all gun sellers at gun shows should be required to conduct criminal background checks on prospective buyers, a reform that would close the infamous "gun show loophole". Luntz found that 82% of NRA members support "prohibiting persons on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns." Seventy-eight percent of NRA members support "requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen." All of these measures are vehemently opposed by the NRA.

  • Re:But ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @03:17PM (#40781941)

    "... I see no "liberal" or UN conspiracy to take any of that from me."

    Then you haven't been paying attention.

    This is from a letter from a Congresscritter to her constituents, on July 13, 2012:

    "I recently joined many of my colleagues in a letter urging President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to reject a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that infringes on our constitutional right to bear arms. While the Administration voted in the U.N. General Assembly to participate in the negotiation of this treaty, I am extremely concerned that the ATT -- as it stands -- will pose serious threats to our national security, foreign policy, economic interests, and constitutional rights."

    The UN has publicly stated that one of its goals is to restrict private firearms ownership throughout the world. And in case you have forgotten, they have a giant statue of a revolver outside their building. It doesn't stand for "shoot thy neighbor". It's a symbol of their GOAL of taking guns away from people.

  • Re:But ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by WolfWalker545 ( 960367 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:25PM (#40783167)
    Probably the Happy Land social club fire in 1990 that killed 87 people, all because a man had a fight with his girlfriend.
  • by dokebi ( 624663 ) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @06:23PM (#40784507)

    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?

    Remember the guy in Norway who killed 69 people? He used a Mini-14, a hunting rifle he purchased with a permit to "hunt deer."

    When the California's assault weapons ban, which is the most stringent in the US, was being drafted, they could not figure out ways to ban the Mini-14.

  • Re:But ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @09:54PM (#40786317)

    homicide rate does not track with gun ownership:

    Taiwan: 4.4 guns per 100 people, murder rate: 3.0 per 100,000 people
    Cuba: 4.8 guns per 100 people, murder rate: 4.6 per 100,000 people
    UK: 6.8 guns per 100 people, murder rate: 1.23 per 100,000 people
    US: 88.8 guns per 100 people, murder rate: 4.7 per 100,000 people


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