Open Source 3D Printed Gun

Joe Huffman points to an interesting tech project, called the WikiWeapon:

Now, a group called Defense Distributed, a grassroots research and development collective whose volunteer engineers and designers span Arkansas and Texas, are utilizing 3D printing for something they say is unprecedented. Defense Distributed is entering phase two of their development of a digital file to print a plastic civilian defense system, the WikiWeapon. “The WikiWeapon will be capable of firing one .22 round. It is both functional and symbolic”.

This breakthrough begs the question, has gun control obsolesced? Defense Distributed will not be producing any physical objects or digital files for sale. The group intends to freely share the files they create for online sharing once fully developed and tested. “When we’re done, seed and hack this file—improve it if you can” they added.

It’s a nifty idea, but there some things to consider. You can see their requirements here. You’ll need a good spring and metal firing pin to whack rim. Im skeptical a solenoid has the necessary punch. I think they are underestimating how much impact force it takes to ignite a rimfire round reliably. The barrel also has to be metal. The rest of the gun can certainly can be made from plastic, and metal parts that would accomplish the necessary tasks shouldn’t be hard to find. There are 3D printers, beyond the reach of hobbyists for now, that can lay down metal, but it’s not of the quality that it would contain even a .22 LR round safely. A lot of people make the assumption that the .22 LR is a low pressure round. It’s not. The .22LR will generate 24,000 PSI of pressure. In comparison, the .45ACP only generates 21,000, and a .38 Special 17,000. Granted, the overall pressure the .22 needs to contain is less because of the lower area, but that’s still enough to turn a 100% plastic gun into a 100% plastic grenade, so that’s something these folks need to consider in their design. The barrel has to be metal.

6 Responses to “Open Source 3D Printed Gun”

  1. Rydak says:

    I love his comments and direct message to gun control advocates…ballsy. I just love the spirit of it.

    “It’s over….you don;t understand the world your living in.”

    LOVE IT!

  2. Jerod says:

    Don’t hate, just donate! This should happen, and it has 19 days to get the funding.

  3. Justin Buist says:

    I like the idea, but I also question the soundness of the idea. Then again I know nothing about plastics and very little about what it takes to make a function gun.

    Somewhat related to this whole idea, a buddy of mine said somebody is trying to get a “Maker Shed” for the area. Think of it as a YMCA type deal but instead of a gym they have machining equipment and a plastic printing bot available to members. Yeah, that’s pretty much make gun control efforts obsolete.

  4. Diomed says:

    How does this stack up against the Security Exemplar of 18 USC 922(p)?

    • Bill Twist says:

      They could get around that prohibition quite simply by making it a single shot muzzleloader, which aren’t firearms under the federal definition of the law. See: 18 USC 921 – Definitions

      In fact, that would probably make the amount of metal required less of a problem, because a percussion cap will be easier to ignite than a rimfire. Since it’s a “1 shot only” deal anyway, convenience of loading and speed of reloading isn’t a problem.

      Also, because of the lower pressures generally involved in using black powder or black powder substitutes instead of smokeless powder, you might be able to make it somewhat safer for the person firing it.

      I’d still want at least a metal barrel liner, though.

  5. Ed says:

    I wonder is the barrel or the who firearms can be made out of Liquidmetal? This is an alloy that can be worked with as if it is a thermoplastic, but is very light and strong when cooled.


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