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2013-05-10 14:30:36.328701+00 by meuon 8 comments

I've been watching the furor over the 3d printed plastic guns from "Distributed Defense" and laughing over the disaster drill it has created. Anyone that can afford a 3d printer, laptop, software.. and the skills to make it all work whose intention is to make untraceable firearms should be spending that money elsewhere. Like: LittleMachineShop.com or Northern Tool and making better weapons.

If you really want a good non-magnetic barrel, there are better choices than ABS plastic that will fire real (powerful) bullets.

After looking at some beautiful guns last week at the Fuller Gun Collection at the Chickamauga Battlefield, many of which were made with "crude" tools, I found myself thinking: These would be fun to replicate with modern materials.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-10 15:33:43.007897+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I think this is kind of like the "OMG, the 'grey goo of nanotech will doom us all!'" alarmists, reacting without understanding the processes involve. In any given city right now there are more machine shops that can turn out a full-fledged AK47 than 3d printers that can do one of these zip-gun like devices.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-10 18:29:59.457248+00 by: meuon

Another good analogy, "zip guns" are made by prisoners, in prison, with limited resources. Bullets are easy to buy, or manufacture. But you can be more creative than that if needed for small compact very deadly weaponry. - And I am not expanding on that in a public forum.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-13 16:46:00.2272+00 by: Dan Lyke

Robert Kroese: The Feds fall for the plastic gun.

What’s so special in this case is not the technology inherent in the weapon; it’s the technology used to distribute that technology. The feds are essentially saying that the problem isn’t what’s being distributed; it’s how it’s being distributed. And that’s where you run into a problem. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m fairly confident that ITAR is only concerned with the what, not the how. If I send information on enriching plutonium to Syria, I’m going to be in a lot of trouble whether I send it by email or courier pigeon. But what if I email instructions for building a musket out of PVC pipe to a friend in London? To be consistent with their apparent position on distributing plastic gun technology, the government would have to claim that my email is a violation of ITAR. And suddenly every Civil War reenactment group with a Facebook page is a potential den of international criminals.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-21 17:38:06.630567+00 by: Dan Lyke

Gun created with a $1,700 printer fires 9 shots:

Eight of Joe’s test-fires were performed using a single barrel before swapping it out for a new one on the ninth. After all those shots, the weapon’s main components remained intact–even the spiraled rifling inside of the barrel’s bore. “The only reason we stopped firing is because the sun went down,” he says.

Though they were having problems with cartridge expansion and jamming.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-21 21:14:58.859582+00 by: meuon

Reading his results, not something I would want to rely on.

I think the real issue is, if I wanted to "print" a weapon, it'd be more like a taser or something else entirely. This is not something to be considered as safe or effective for actual use beyond the media/legal/social frenzy created.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-22 11:44:26.168758+00 by: DaveP

Hmm. A QR Code can hold a maximum of 2953 bytes of information. I wonder how much data it takes to represent a printed gun, and whether it would fit on a T-shirt that a guy could wear across borders...

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-28 11:13:33.480899+00 by: meuon

http://www.wimp.com/printinghands/ Trumps printing guns, hands down.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-28 20:04:02.160994+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yes, that's exactly what's awesome about 3d printing.

In other news: Mother Jones: I Built This AK-47. It's Legal and Totally Untraceable.