Mini Monday Dump

Since I was pretty busy late last week, I have some stories building up in the tabs I meant to have something to say about, but for now better just link before things get too stale:

Maine Senate rejects gun control.

Five reasons Forbes is wrong on 3D printing. I have some disagreements with Jacob on this topic, but he’s mostly right. Absent a serious revolution in 3D printing, you won’t, for instance, be able to make hardened parts like barrels through additive methods. At least not any barrel that would survive long.

Pennsylvania gun control advocates are delivering petitions to call for background checks. Except we already ban private transfers of handguns in this state. Despite the fact that long guns are hardly ever used for criminal purposes, and despite the fact that we’re constantly hearing that background checks just aren’t enough when it comes to pistols.

One problem with challenging gun control laws that only affect 18-20 year olds is that you constantly have to keep hunting for plaintiffs.

How the NRA never ends, by someone who pretty clearly doesn’t understand this issue at all, nor its political dynamics.

Democrats still aren’t being ruthless about gun control. The reason for that is we are, in opposition to it.

Another “I’m a gun owner, but…” story. He’s looking for a gun rights group that supports gun control. Good luck with that.

Looks like a deal was reached in Illinois. Hopefully it’ll provide a base for improvement, but I’m not happy about how lawmakers behaved in this whole thing. John also has a rundown of the bill’s key points.

16 Responses to “Mini Monday Dump”

  1. Jacob says:

    There are 3D printers which print in metals and non-metals using either laser or microwave sintering which could make barrels w/rifling. They just aren’t affordable yet.

    • Sebastian says:

      I know about them, but they could make a barrel in the sense that they could make something shaped like a barrel that could perhaps survive a few firings. SLS 3D printers can print pot metal. Barrels need to be made out of hardened materials to last, and it’s not possible to do that with current 3D printing tech, not even the stuff well beyond consumers.

      • Jack says:

        Addative laser metal printing can make rotating disks and blades in gas turbines, among other parts.

        High temp high stress environment.

        Granted not the same as gun barrels, but certianly better than pot metal.

      • Jacob says:

        I know the material needs to be hard, but I question how much of it you actually need to make a barrel. You can buy carbon fiber barrels that are relatively thin steel with CF wrapped around them to stiffen them.

        • Geodkyt says:

          Exactly. It’s not like it’s difficult to wind CF around a thinwall barrel. You could even use the printer to print the hand cranked (or electric drill spun) spindle and auto-traversing spool, mechanically linked to give perfect, consistant, windings.

  2. Andy B. says:

    One neat thing about being under 21 is, the bastards never expect you to fight back.

    I was 18 the first time I took a municipality to court, that time over a local hunting ordinance that violated state preemption. When I was arrested, I raised the issue that the State Supreme Court had declared all such laws invalid, a year earlier. The judge’s response was, “Shut the [eff] up, you’re guilty.” When my father came to bail me out, and said we wanted to appeal, the same judge looked at our ragged working clothes and said, “Well sir, then post twice the fine, and an additional bond, and got get yourself a lawyer — which I’m sure you can do. . .” It’s probably a good thing he was a sarcastic bastard that way, because we managed it, and some months later the municipality’s ordinance was declared invalid.

    (Of course they went on enforcing it anyway, with people who wouldn’t fight back, but that’s another story.)

  3. Bryan S. says:

    Sintering, while strong for some applications, is usually not pressure safe.

    • aerodawg says:

      True, but I think you could easily reinforce it externally such that it was. A bidirectional carbon fiber weave could be wrapped in several layers and be ridiculously strong…

  4. LC Scotty says:

    Or a rifled insert press fit into something hardened?

  5. Sebastian says:

    The problem is you need something that can contain a fairly hot explosion. The kind of pot metal you’ll get from sintered material is not very good at that. Carbon fiber does indeed have a great deal of strength, but it will also be pretty easy to hot gases to work their way through if they can find a weakness. You can use carbon fiber to reinforce a barrel, surely, but your base steel material still has to be pretty good and hardened.

    • wackadoodle says:

      This discussion sounds a lot like people arguing that no one could ever build a computer the size of a wristwatch. 3D printing is in its infancy and before you know it will be routinely doing those things that are impossible at the moment. Thank goodness there are still some people who don’t believe in “impossible”.

      • Jacob says:

        Actually, 3D printing has been around since the 80s. It is just becoming more affordable. I read a story in today’s newspaper which had a guy selling a plastic one for $299.

      • Sebastian says:

        It’s not that it’s impossible, it’s that it would require something fundamentally different than what exists with current technology… namely additive building at the molecular level. 3D printing technology today doesn’t even come close to working at the molecular level.

    • Jacob says:

      I don’t think heat is the main issue, it’s containing the pressure in the chamber area.

      • Sebastian says:

        It depends on whether you want to make a throwaway gun that will maybe survive dumping a magazine or two or you want to make something that will be durable. Both heat and pressure are issues, given they are related, especially when you’re dealing with materials that have a low melting point and tend to lose strength with temperature. You can certainly make a barrel with an SLS printer, even one that’s reinforced, but I doubt it’s going to be able to last long, especially if you add rifling.

  6. TS says:

    You will also notice that the costs of ammunition and the weapons have increased dramatically. You would think this organization would try to lower the prices so more individuals could afford the rights they portend. But, where there is a buck to be made, make it.

    Elmer here thinks the NRA sets the price of ammo. Cute.

    Also, check out the typo that made it passed the Washington Post editors:

    Democrats say Republicans will pay a price in the 2014 election for their opposition to popular gun-cuntrol measures.