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Old November 16, 2013, 08:21 PM   #1
chris in va
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A little confused about 3d printed guns

Eric Holder is trying to re-up the undetectable gun law. I thought the printed guns still required the use of a steel barrel, which would be picked up on a scanner...?
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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No, plastic smoothbore barrel to my knowledge. The firing pin is a nail and the bullets still have to be made of metal.

My question: aren't smoothbore handguns considered AOW?
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:55 PM   #3
ricko
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There is nothing particularly special about 3D printing in this respect, except that instead of having machining skills, you need to have computer skills. A working (good for a shot or two, anyway) gun has been made by 3D printing, but the same gun could have been machined from a block of plastic and worked the same way.

There are 3D printing processes that make metal parts - I recently had a camera part made in stainless steel by www.shapeways.com on a 3D printer - but, of course, a metal 3D printed part is no less visible to metal detectors than one forged or machined from billet.

The only real difference with 3D printing is that the parts are made by deposition of material, rather than by cutting material away from a larger block. It's very significant in terms of the amount of material consumed and the time required to make (the first) part, but otherwise it doesn't really change anything in terms of the ability of someone to make a gun. Once the 3D computer files are made, of course, the data can be shared around very easily ... but unless someone has the 3D printing machine to make the parts, he can't do anything with the data. Someone with a CNC machining center could use the same data to make the same parts, without 3D printing.
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Old November 17, 2013, 03:14 AM   #4
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You are right to be confused. No printing technology is going to produce a gun that is any different than something that could be made by other methods.

In the case of plastic printing, the final product is weaker than other simpler hand methods.

If a "plastic" gun were desired, laminate hand construction is more useful. Yet no one bothers.
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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You’re all wrong, I read on the internet that you can build a full auto MP5 and the ammo for only a couple of hundred dollars.
Not here this is a good question but I am sick of this topic and the way the national media is handling this. Some of these stories it’s like every criminal will have one of these printers in their met lab and supply all the guns that criminals need.
One story on the front page of our local daily rag several weeks ago it was written like we’re all in danger and it’s the end of the world if we don’t find some way to stop 3D printing. (Understand our mayor from several years ago was the president of the Brady bunch and they love him)
I’m also confused, but confused as to why so many people are making this into an earth shattering tool.
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Old November 17, 2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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Old November 17, 2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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"Never let a good panic go to waste" is the creed of self-serving politicians everywhere.
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Old November 17, 2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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I saw a news video showing the making and firing of a 3D printed single shot handgun and wondered if anyone else realized that you could build a cheaper, stronger "zipgun" with materials commonly found at any hardware store.
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Old November 17, 2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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Even if it could go undetected, which it can't, I'm pretty sure I will never be carrying a magnetron to detect if someone has one produced by standard methods, so for me all are theoretically undetectable. I believe I should probably carry for defense.
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Old November 17, 2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
My question: aren't smoothbore handguns considered AOW?
Yes, they are. That leads to a troubling possibility.

It's perfectly legal to make your own Title I gun. Even with a 3D printer. However, if you make something that would be considered an NFA item, you would need to submit $200 and a Form I ahead of time. Failing to do so would be unlawful.

Sooner or later, someone who doesn't know that (or doesn't care) will get busted, and the opposition will have rhetorical ammunition to say that 3D printers are a way around the law.
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Old November 17, 2013, 04:38 PM   #11
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I’m also confused, but confused as to why so many people are making this into an earth shattering tool.
Because it represents a loss of control. Even the Brady's can't concoct a useless policy initiative that would make them feel better at night. It also represents the kind of convenience they are used to in their lives, which is very important because most gun control is based upon psychological projection (I am constrained by laws, so everyone will be --even criminals)

Since most of these people are at least two generations removed from those who knew how to run machine tools, the concept that a criminal in their midst would have the skill, knowhow, and ambition to machine a gun is unfathomable (never mind the fact it's absolutely the case in highly restrictive countries/cities). But a printer that runs itself while you watch TV and eat Doritos, why, that's something they could imagine themselves (as a criminal) doing, so all criminals must have the same goal!

Combine the (inaccurately) purported ease of printing with the inability to regulate its products, and "voila;" the perfect storm of panic for a control freak.

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Old November 17, 2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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"Sooner or later, someone who doesn't know that (or doesn't care) will get busted, and the opposition will have rhetorical ammunition to say that 3D printers are a way around the law."

Oh, they already do that for metallic garage guns; there's a reason it's hard to find metal tubing in telescoping sizes in Lowes, and a reason why the pipe sizes offered don't fit common cartridge diameters (like how car antennas used to be 22LR sized). Somehow, even though we frequently get posters here completely unaware of SBR/SBS/AOW/MG regulations, none of these people went and did these things themselves before the internet . Heck, how often do we hear about someone how kept stoning his 1911 sear until it "doubled?"

"Breaking the law" is the proverbial way around the law, but most law-abiding folks are so accustomed to obeying statutes that they assume it is somehow difficult to disobey them. The printers remove that perceived difficulty, leaving no imaginary barrier between them and chaos.

Cry "havoc," and let print the Rep-Raps of war...

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Old November 17, 2013, 04:55 PM   #13
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"Never let a good panic go to waste"
Or let reality, common sense, the laws of physics, or anything else get in the way of making redundant, and even more unenforceable laws than the ones we already have. If a politician cannot pander to the unrealistic fears of their constituents what would they do with all the extra time? Pass a budget, read the bill before voting on it or something? Now that is expecting too much!
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Old November 18, 2013, 11:07 AM   #14
chris in va
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The thread is drifting a bit.

So to reiterate, a functioning pistol can be printed without the use of a metallic barrel? Does it fire a couple rounds and blow up?
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Old November 18, 2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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I "made" a Glock magazine, barrel and slide on a 3D printer in 1997. I put it on a Glock frame and shot a complete magazine of 9mm training rounds out of it. A friend who is LEO walked it through a metal detector, fully loaded, to see what happened. It was not detected. Nothing new.

As others have said, the 3D printed parts do not have the same durability as a plastic machined part would have. But, there are 3D printers that use metal powder and therefore make stronger parts. Anyone with a drill press can make a functional, and safer, "zip-gun" with a little skill and smarts.

It is just another path to alarm the general public into supporting gun control without restraint.
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Old November 18, 2013, 05:58 PM   #16
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Chris in va wrote:

Quote:
The thread is drifting a bit.

So to reiterate, a functioning pistol can be printed without the use of a metallic barrel? Does it fire a couple rounds and blow up?
Yes and yes.

(I would have sworn that I posted that already but my post isn't here)


It may not technically 'blow up' but Yes, after a few shots there barrel is done. I think they got 8 shots out of one.
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Old November 18, 2013, 08:10 PM   #17
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I think one has been fired considerably more than 8 shots at this point. In canada I believe. The thing looked absolutely absurd as the barrel must have been 6" in diameter.
The simple fact of the matter is people outside the US have 3D printers and the research continues even if the US gov't stifles it with threats internally. Hundreds or thousands of hobbyist engineers are working on this project and sharing their progress openly. I believe the canadian gun had no metal as required by US laws and the design was posted as in Canada a small arms design is not illegal to distribute internationally.. "land of the free and all.."
Makerbot wants to put a 3d printer in every school.
Some predict one in every house within a generation. With better materials more than likely.
CAD is taught to so many people now. It isn't high level anymore.
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Old November 18, 2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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If criminals want to trade up to huge, inaccurate single shot pistols, I think they should be encouraged.
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Old November 18, 2013, 09:40 PM   #19
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I "made" a Glock magazine, barrel and slide on a 3D printer in 1997. I put it on a Glock frame and shot a complete magazine of 9mm training rounds out of it
Wow! You got a whole magazine through a plastic Rapid Prototype barrel no thicker than a steel Glock barrel? I've been working with that stuff for 20 years, and I think any (plastic) RP material I've worked with would blow to splinters on the first round if it was that thin. I'm also surprised about the metal detector, I'd have thought a magazine load of bullets would have set it off.
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Old November 18, 2013, 10:26 PM   #20
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A working, 3D printed 1911...

http://www.solidconcepts.com/news-re...olid-concepts/
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Old November 18, 2013, 11:23 PM   #21
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well yeah, that's in metal. No easier to get through a metal detector than a regular 1911, though.....
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Old November 19, 2013, 10:41 AM   #22
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Ricko, I used "9mm training ammo". It is a polymer case and polymer bullet with a small aluminum case head. I used the German stuff, but there is a Swedish version too. I never fired a full powered round through the set-up. I do a lot of testing of firearms and material failure issues, so I knew what the risks were. I can't go into significant detail, but suffice it to say, we were able to dispatch slaughter animals with the set-up with about 95% one shot kills after a few tweaks to the ammo.
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Old November 19, 2013, 10:43 AM   #23
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This is being handled exactly like the first "plastic gun" ban. A bunch of politicians trying to create panic and invent a problem that does not exist in order to justify them being needed to "solve" the non-existant problem.
No person has ever been shot with a plastic gun. Liberal politicians will tell you its because of the ban. Its easy to ban something that does not exist and then claim the ban is working.
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Old November 19, 2013, 10:53 AM   #24
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TimSr., while you are correct, the technology does exist to make a functional, effective and reliable firearm that does not contain enough metal to be detectable by the typical metal detector. Fortunately, cutting edge technology is beyond the reach of most people who would use it nefariously. But, if you have a smart phone, you have more computing power in your hand than the first shuttle combined with the ability to track via GPS, calculate long range ballistic solutions, trigger remote devices, etc. So what was cutting edge 20 years ago is common today. There are implications which we, as individuals in a declining society, should be ready to address.
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Old November 19, 2013, 02:09 PM   #25
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But, if you have a smart phone, you have more computing power in your hand than the first shuttle combined with the ability to track via GPS, calculate long range ballistic solutions, trigger remote devices, etc. So what was cutting edge 20 years ago is common today.
So what? Do we punish all smart phone owners because one guy does something harmful? No. So why stifle innovation in one area, while rewarding it everywhere else? Oh, right. Because it's guns this time.
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