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The Original Defense Distributed

As much attention as the downloadable plans for a 3-D printed gun are getting online, I chuckled when I read over the benefits to joining the Miniature Arms Society. One of the perks to membership is: “Access to a library of plans for making miniature arms.”

They have been around since 1973, so the idea of sharing plans for guns a serious hobbyist could make at home with the right equipment isn’t anything new. The previous versions are just…tinier.

5 Responses to “The Original Defense Distributed”

  1. Andy B. says:

    “The previous versions are just…tinier.”

    I assume the files to drive a 3-D printer are readily scalable?

    • Bitter says:

      Possibly, but I understand that it’s bulky because otherwise the plastic is just too weak to handle the discharge. Even scaled down, I believe the 3-D printed gun would be bigger than quite a few of these working models. :)

      I will say this about the Miniature Arms Society–they are artists. I don’t care what their day trade might be, they create art in these firearms.

    • Sebastian says:

      You could pretty easily scale down the 3D model. You’d have to generate a new toolpath from the model, and at a certain size, the mill probably wouldn’t work… but something like a half-scale AR-15 might be doable.

  2. Andy B. says:

    Just to reminisce, some years ago I saw pictures and an article about a beautiful reduced-scale Thompson someone had built, that fired (presumably, semi-auto only) shortened .25 ACP cartridges. I think the scale was such that the other dimensions matched the scaled caliber (i.e., .251″/.452″) and the cases were shortened by that ratio.

    For several years I went to the “Cabin Fever Show” in York, PA, usually held in February (?) where hobbyist machinists display their miniaturized creations. Usually those are scaled down engines, like miniature, operating Chevy V-8s, Harleys, and nine-cylinder radial aircraft engines, but now and then there are miniature firearms displayed, e.g., a miniature Gatling Gun in caliber .22 RF Short.

  3. John A says:

    I love miniatures, even dollhouse furniture.

    I once stumbled upon a post about firearms made in prisons over roughly the last fifty years. I think my favorite was the Italian double-barreled shotgun made using the hollow iron legs of a prison bed, and a bed-slat stock. OK, it would probably take a day to reload it…

    Or, does anyone have the plans the Brits dropped to French Resistance? Pistols that could be [stealthily] made in auto-repair or machinist shops?

    3D printing is cool. And as long as you do not sell the result BATFE says it is legal under Federal law (except transport across State borders?), although State/local law may be otherwise.

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