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9-Shot .380 Pistol Made with a $1,725 3-D Printer

Written by Gary North on May 22, 2013

The gun cost $25 in materials. It was made on a 3-D printer that costs under $1,800 new. In short, it’s a home-brew pistol.

It cannot be fired rapidly. But it shows that the technology is real. Over the next few years, 3-D gun production will improve.

It had a few metal screws that the designer bought in a local hardware store.

Two months ago, this was not possible. One month ago, there was a single single-shot pistol. Now there is a second weapon. Soon, there will be dozens. Then hundreds.

The story is in Forbes, not some typical amateur blog site. Why Forbes? Because Forbes is a business magazine. If a person can manufacture a working gun for $25 on a machine that retails for under $1,800, then it is clear where the world is headed. The printers will continue to fall in price. The variety of products that they will produce will increase. The time required to produce them will decrease.

In a decade, this will be standard home business equipment.

There will be blueprints online. These will be easily reproduced digitally. They will be placed on Internet servers in nations that do not pay any attention to copyright.

Patent law? Try to enforce it in 2050.

Nothing can stop this development, any more than the Internet can be stopped. Goods will get cheaper. Manufacturing costs will fall. Tariffs and import quotas will be unenforceable. And guns will be everywhere.

Gun control? Surely you jest, Senator Schumer.

Continue Reading on www.forbes.com

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40 thoughts on “9-Shot .380 Pistol Made with a $1,725 3-D Printer

  1. This 'genie' is truly out of the bottle now, and it no doubt galls the anti-gun rights crowd to no end. Start with a single shot, work to this version, which still needs to be unloaded with a hammer and punch, after firing. At some point there will be a functional revolver, then onward. You can already print the 'main component' of an AR-15, the receiver, but all the rest is still the traditional steel components.

  2. Seymour Kleerly says:

    I doubt the NRA will stand for this either. Cash rules!

  3. What else is new..

  4. The NRA is simply a collection of gun owners that want their rights upheld. Don't believe all that the media feeds you. Without the support and contributions of gun owners, there would be no NRA.

  5. Rattlerjake says:

    Yeah, but what will impress me is if they can produce a "complete" bullet with the printer. :^)

  6. you can't stop progress, but what will impress me is when we produce a complete diesel combustion engine

  7. AHC New Mexico says:

    Well the feds buying up all the ammo makes a little more sense now. Can't print a bullet, or gun powder yet

  8. Phillip_In_TX says:

    However, you can "improvise" ammo. You do not have to have gun powder for the propellant. And, with as "inventive" as the American People are, they will.

  9. Phillip_In_TX says:

    I can see it now. You will have to have a "background check" to buy a 3-D printer. You will be required to have your fingerprints & photo on file, after waiting the "mandatory" 30 days for the background check to be completed. They will set up "3-D Printer Free Zones" to protect the people. They will make the users sign an agreement not to make "pressure cookers."

    While this is all in "jest," just wait to see what the nut job politicians come up with.

  10. BrooklynResident says:

    Spot on about the NRA. Seymour, you’re trying to make the tail wag the dog. That is the job of the press…

    I look at the Philippine garage gun shops, that started with the paliuntud, and got to making fully automatic magazine fed 12 gauge shotguns, before AK-47’s started flooding the market. Now they mostly make suppressed MAC-10’s and magpuls…
    I worry about a wonk who says,

  11. BrooklynResident says:

    ….worry about the wonk who will say, “Gee, this design looks good ON PAPER…” Then proceeds to blow body parts off with what he’s made…

  12. Naw… People will just run down to Kinko's and print them.

  13. I wonder How much it will cost to print an F-16?

  14. shagphil says:

    Now THAT's good!

  15. Owen K. says:

    As 3D technology improves, this gun will look like a crude toy. This is only the beginning. More improved versions will be modeled to the point where they closely resemble many firearms sold at gun dealers today. And many comments here are absolutely correct. The genie is out of the bottle and government can't put it back.

  16. Fleendar the wise says:

    To make the gun is cool. However, when you cannot make ammo to shoot from it, then it's just as harmful as a playground bouncyball.

  17. Fleendar the wise says:

    The MOST important part of any gun is the AMMO. Yes, the gun is critical, but without ammo, it's just a club.

  18. It will be Darwin's rule. The bad designers will eliminate themselves!

  19. Be like the government!
    Print dollars and then use the dollars to buy F-16s & send them to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood!

  20. Re: Seymour Kleerly,

    — I doubt the NRA will stand for this either. Cash rules! —

    Assuming that what you say is true, it does not mean however that there's anyting the NRA could do about it, either. So I don't understand if you're trying (and failing) to make a point or trying to obtain a sense of comfort in the belief that the NRA will come to save the day for anti-gun zealots. Either way, you sound like a fool.

  21. Re: Philip_in_TX,

    — . You will have to have a "background check" to buy a 3-D printer —

    You're quite behind the times, Phillip. You can build your own 3D printer from off-the-shelf parts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MakerBot) using any of the Open Source plans available, so it is not like you can actually enforce any of the laws that the Democrats and those like Seymour Kleerly (the resident troll du jour) are so keen on imposing.

  22. Seymour Kleerly says:

    The NRA will lose $$$ on this! They're on a roll now with the hysteria and paranoia they and the Right Wing Media are peddling.

  23. The NRA CAN'T possibly lose money by guns becoming less expensive or easier to obtain. They don't make money from selling guns. They exist to PROTECT the right to bear arms. Whatever you THINK you know about the NRA is wrong.

  24. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Pay no attention to Seymour; he is an Obamabot who posts only to serve the leftist agenda of his "sort of god".

  25. When I was a kid I made several "guns" with a piece of pipe capped at one end, book match heads, paper towels (wadding) and various projectiles that actually had enough power to injure or kill somebody. I wasn't dumb enough to actually hold them when firing (I knew better than to trust my seat-of-the-pants engineering), but I could have, they worked fine.
    I also made "rocket" projectiles by drilling out the neck of empty CO2 cartridges to about 1/8", filling them with book match heads (about 7 or 8 books). When fired, they went boom and sounded like they exploded, but actually went like a rocket at considerable speed.

  26. I actually made a "bazooka", which was a 5' open ended electrical conduit pipe with handles that the cartridge was inserted into the back end of (which was several feet behind my shoulders). This one I was stupid enough to hold onto, since I had fired many or these cartridges with no problem. It didn't actually blow up on me, and I actually killed a rabbit with it, but when I fired a cartridge (not in the "gun") at a later date that DID blow up, I decided that it was time to quit tempting fate.
    A fuse can be made with stacked match heads and tape if you are desperate. I also used flashbulbs (like from flashcubes) as electrical igniters- they work pretty good! Igniters from model rocket engines also work well.

    I think this demonstrates how many myriad ways there are to make things at home that actually work. Screw the govt.

  27. redmeatstate says:

    you're a deranged idiot with absolutely no knowledge , facts, or truth. Bet that's working for ya!!

  28. redmeatstate says:

    maybe there'll be an app for solid, caseless ammo.

  29. Very true! The NRA is just a tool for the gun-lobby. Its the GOA thats the rep for the gun-owners. The NRA is almost as scared as everyone else.

  30. Seymour Kleerly says:

    I do realize that it's the gun manufactuers that make the money. the NRA just supports and defends them. Lately their propaganda has increased sales bigtime.

  31. How about just duplicating the Kenyan and his principal henchmen, and the fascist-democraps in congress. They're just robots anyway, so who would know the difference?

  32. 3-D print a muzzle loader, use pyrodex, ignite it with flint, and use it on a gummint storm trooper, and take his firearms and ammo. Soon, we'll have enough assault rifles to hit the gummint storage depots and get our hands on all that ammo the mulatto Hitler's private army has been buying and hoarding. What these cretins won't admit is that as long as THEY have weapons, WE'LL have weapons.

  33. lilbear68 says:

    this printer gun has recently been evaluated by a shooting magazine/website and unless you push this POS against your target its useless. at any distance they say you would be better off throwing it at your victim

  34. MetaCynic says:

    These printers are now under $1,000. You can find a video on You Tube about a crude, but rideable, plastic bicycle made entirely from components printed on a 3D printer.

    It's now possible to incorporate a multitude of materials including metals in objects using 3D printer technology. Even human and animal body parts have been made. A replacement beak for an eagle was replicated using a 3D printer. The metal objects are fused from powders. Of course the printers which fuse metal powders are still very expensive but so were color laser printers at one time. Now they can be purchased for several hundred dollars.

    Objects can be printed using digital files produced either from original drawings or generated by scanning physical objects. You can find a video on You Tube showing a functioning plastic Crescent Wrench printed by scanning a steel wrench. So it should be theoretically possible to replicate a metal gun in metal by scanning its individual parts.

    The future is rapidly approaching, and it will shake up our civilization like nothing has since the Industrial Revolution but in only a fraction of the time.

  35. After their colossal failures of trying to control alcohol, drugs, poverty, etc., etc. you would think it would become clear at some point to these pointy-headed liberal control freaks that trying to control a people who demand to be free is all in vain.

    There are more guns and gun owners in America today than ever before and as a result crime is dropping. The libdiots, with their circular logic claim we're being paranoid, that there is no need to own a gun since crime is dropping anyway. The logic simply escapes them that crime is dropping BECAUSE there are more good-guy gun owners.

    Do not fear the gun. Fear the gun owner. An armed society is a polite society.

  36. Controse says:

    Yeah, I was wondering about rifling in the barrel. I can't imagine the printer can handle rifling with enough precision.

  37. olesarge says:

    Bullets are just metal, such as lead and copper. Both are not that difficult to make, can be a tad dangerous if you have not done your homework, but dooable.

    The old muzzle loaders started out life using round balls of lead, later they moved onto other forms for the bullet.

    As to powder, they also made their own, this will not be the smokeless type used to day, but it will go bang and drive the bullet out the barrel and that is probably the objective.

  38. MetaCynic says:

    I suspect that a year from today that magazine's opinion of the latest printed gun will be a lot more positive. And two years from today, they will most likely be gushing with praise. That's how rapidly this technology is evolving.

  39. Actually, a couple of years ago, someone actually "printed" a titanium component that meets commercial aerospace specifications. The part was made for a landing gear on the Airbus A300 I believe. These printers (this one was very high-end) can print just about anything whose component materials come in powder form. For what its worth……by the way, costs for these will also be coming down significantly.

  40. oblongau says:

    Of course, but here in Australia the police are saying, "'Make no mistake, these things are firearms. You do not need bullets to make it a firearm. It is a firearm. If you produce a firearm using a 3D printer, you are committing at least two crimes: Manufacturing a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. We will prosecute offenders caught manufacturing, selling, owning or in possession of a 3D gun,' Commissioner Scipione added." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nsw-police-t