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Gun Control? - How To "3D-Print" A Semi-Automatic Rifle

Tyler Durden's picture


As the furor over gun control fades from the front pages - and therefore from politicians need to actively participate en masse - it appears there is a rather large loophole that could change things considerably. As this clip shows, Cody R Wilson, a 25 year old University of Texas Law student, has figured out how to print a semi-automatic rifle from the comfort of his own home. Wilson is an advocate for the open source production of firearms using 3D printing technology and it is forcing the US legal system to catch up and control this new technology. From the constitution to the legal system and from the manufacture and test-firing of 3D-printed gun, this clip is intriguing to say the least.



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Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:16 | 3396391 Squishi
Squishi's picture


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:20 | 3396414 prains
prains's picture

i thought he'd only figured out how to print the larger clip (see white piece in pic) as there is not yet strong enough composites than can accurately print the barrel to withstand the forces of accurately and safely firing a bullet.

So he might be able to print a gun but the barrel can't be printed from what I've been told

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:33 | 3396470 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Please print one in full auto for me ;-)

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:50 | 3396527 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Not unless you first invent a time machine that can go pre-1986, when Shrub Sr. closed the Register to new additions...

Or elect a President who with the stroke of an auto-pen demands that the National Firearms Registry be opened to new manufactures/conversions.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:53 | 3396533 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Disarmament is a prelude to genocide!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:18 | 3396599 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Cody Wilson is really fun to listen to.  He has been interviewed by Glenn Beck and Alex Jones.  Very smart kid, who knows exactly how important this work is.  Ben prints fiat currency with his computer, Cody prints lead delivery systems with his.

BTW that looks pretty real at his website, looks like Big Brother is putting the boot on Cody's head.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:21 | 3396622 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Jackboots of the digital variety!?!


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:36 | 3396670 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Really cool guns & ammo website run by robots:


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:49 | 3396732 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Great tool. Gives you a very clear idea at any given time what the current market price is for various calibers. Ammo at "below market" prices gets cleared within hours, sometimes even minutes.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:52 | 3396744 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture



Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:50 | 3396992 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

It appears that the down arrow bot has come through and marked all of us...


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 16:32 | 3397177 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Indeed.  Waaa, waaa!  It hurts so much!  Make it stop!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 17:35 | 3397385 MagicHandPuppet
MagicHandPuppet's picture

Google 'defcad mirror' to take a deeper look.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:27 | 3396643 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Who needs a 3-D printer? A good CNC machine can produce an AR-15 lower from aluminum billet with virtually no human intervention required.

In California, a lot of gun clubs have "CNC parties" where they rent a CNC machine for a night and everyone makes their own AR-15 lower. You are given an instruction sheet on which buttons to push on the CNC machine, and voila, you have just made your own AR-15. The ATF has no jurisdiction on any non-NFA firearm that you manufacture yourself for personal use.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:37 | 3396671 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Finally, a party I would look forward to going to.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:54 | 3396753 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Disclaimer:  State laws may vary.  Consult your state and local firearms laws/regulations to find out if making your own gun is right for you.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:57 | 3396759 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

"The ATF has no jurisdiction on any non-NFA firearm that you manufacture yourself for personal use."

Unfortunately, California does:

California Penal Code section 30600(a).

Punishable by up to 8 years.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:22 | 3396868 ALPO
ALPO's picture

30600(a) applies to assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles. It does not apply to lower receivers.  A lower receiver is not an assault weapon under California law.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 18:30 | 3397553 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Thanks to all above for the updates.  This is more than a little overblown.  No serious shooter defines his ammo clip as his "gun."  That's an artifact of some really strange regulation.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 20:17 | 3397821 beentheredonethat
beentheredonethat's picture

the price of the 3d printing is declining 20% a year - you can build them out of semiconductor lasers. the cost of a cnc machine is increasing 5-10% (made up but directionally correct). In 10 years the economics will be vastly different

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:07 | 3396582 fourchan
fourchan's picture

no ar15 was used at sandy hook.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:20 | 3396616 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Bingo. The coroner who handled the Newtown shooting has quietly resigned. You may have missed that story in the news. Oh wait I forgot, there was no way you could have read that-- because it wasn't reported.

Scuttlebutt in western CT is, he was told to lie, and resigned because he couldn't live with that.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 17:01 | 3397276 currencywar
currencywar's picture


Scuttlebutt in western CT is, he was told to lie, and resigned because he couldn't live with that.



What do you mean that he was told to lie? 

Sorry that I am not up on all the nuances on Newtown.



Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:50 | 3396735 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Thank you!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:56 | 3396757 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Sandy Hook conspiracy theories videos.  (I doubt them but they're out there)


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:15 | 3396596 zuuma
zuuma's picture

"..that can go pre-1986, when Shrub Sr. closed the Register to new additions"

That would be Bonzo.

Shrub sr. wasn't innaugurated Until Jan 1989.


Also, for reference, it was the Hughe(sp?) amendment, signed by Bonzo on May 19th, 1986.

Register still open for SBRs, SBSs, & suppressors

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 16:00 | 3397024 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

My bad- Shrub was the import ban, three huge binders of ATF reference letters sometimes render my few brain cells which don't have focus avoiding federal entrapment forgetful as to which fascist masqerading as a conservative was responsible for which headache... 

If only bankers had to comply with the same level of crap government oversight gun owners do, or face the same penalties...

Or it could be the holiday feldschlössen...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:50 | 3396521 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



If only we could print courage, knowledge, honesty, love, time, and compassion.

Wrong link, sorry.  Here is the correct link:


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:53 | 3396746 skistroni
skistroni's picture

These should be the absolute prerequisites for owning a gun. Humanity as an attitude was there before guns and governments, and it will be there after them too. This is what I missed in Cody's talks, no sign of that anywhere, and therefore no transference of hope. But we are so far from our human nature that we might employ a government agency to measure these things, which would be worse than a hot day in hell. 

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:01 | 3396774 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Humanity as an attitude before guns and government!!??

NOT!  Humans have been slaying each other even before swords, bows, spears and rocks!

They used bones!  Watch the beginning of 2001 Space Odyssey.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 16:34 | 3397184 skistroni
skistroni's picture

You mean it is so, because you saw it in the movies? What depth!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:35 | 3396665 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

If only we could print courage, knowledge, honesty, love, time, and compassion.


We can't print them yet, but we can ferment, distill and drink them.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:47 | 3396974 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture

It is already in print, it is called God's word...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 20:41 | 3397873 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

Yer a fucking childhood brainwashing victim.

Tue, 04/02/2013 - 00:55 | 3397965 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:32 | 3396472 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


That is my understanding as well.

But, I presume the technology will advance rapidly,  Once we can 3-D print them, then "Molon Labe" will become moot.  Molon Labe my Printer!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:34 | 3396475 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Printing isn't the only issue...  it also needs to be durable enough to withstand combat conditions.  There are plenty of polymer lowers on the market...  handguards, triggers, accessories...  hell, even back up sights.  But for the "working" parts of virtually any gun, you'll want something a little more robust.

That said, these can serve as limited fire weapons (i.e. <10 shots)...  and practically be distributed everywhere...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:48 | 3396518 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

For 1-time use, I think it's OK.  wink wink

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:57 | 3396549 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

3D printing has some limitations.  Mainly that the material used has to be some form of plastic that will harden after it's applied.  But I suppose in theory you can use some form of micro welder to build on layers of melted metal.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:07 | 3396574 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Powdered brass

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:15 | 3396600 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Right now they use a urethane to bind it.  But use a laser to melt it on as it's appllied and yea, maybe.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:57 | 3396755 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The materials science just needs to catch up to the idea. Give it time.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:05 | 3396796 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



"3D printing has some limitations."


Wake me up when you can 'print' barrels and bolts.

While currently, the ATF and most states regulate 'firearms' by regulating the receiver; they could easily get around 'printed' receivers by simply banning ALL firearms components (including barrels, bolts, trigger sears, etc...


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:09 | 3396809 dtwn
dtwn's picture

It's called selective laser sintering.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_laser_sintering

Been out there for a while.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:53 | 3397006 noless
noless's picture

why isn't this more commonplace? Are the input materials prohibitively expensive?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 16:23 | 3397141 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The device uses a high power laser to melt metal powder.  That is the expensive part--there's no getting around that expense absent a radical advance in laser technology.

IIRC, the device goes for a minimum of US$300,000.  Don't know about the cost of the material.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:42 | 3396947 noless
noless's picture

A workable 3d printer for metal world utilize a powdered metal with flux applied in a misted form, and several lasers mounted on several axis, so as to apply triangulated heat, each laser given full mobility.

Either that or develop a mini computerised tig set up. The key issues however revolve around controlling applied amperage in relation to work heat, also necessary issues to be addressed involving dig, and flow angles. there is a reason why people still pay my hands to weld, because electrically short circuiting metal together is difficult, and has innumerable factors which often times evade description even by the most experienced.

You would be better off going cnc right now, but i have faith that this process can be achieved.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:36 | 3396481 Osmium
Osmium's picture

He just needs to be able to print the lower for the AR.  The lower is the part of the firearm that is licensed.  He can they buy a complete upper that would have the barrel.

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