3D Printer Panic

guns-and-freedom:

kasaron:

Reminder, it is possible to make a firearm that is literally 1 (one) moving part. Out of 20 dollars in hardware parts (tops), that can fire a 12 gauge shotgun shell.

An automatic firearm is so simple to make that it’s actually generally trickier to make a semi-automatic firearm. 

3D printing will not change this.

This technology will not suddenly change the laws of mechanics or the basic engineering principles used. 

I have worked with and operated industrial grade 3D printers before. They’re fiddly little things, and dollar for dollar if you are going into illicit firearm production, a drill press is a better investment. 

@the-purple-owl

An automatic firearm is so simple to make that it’s actually generally trickier to make a semi-automatic firearm.

Ain’t that the damn truth.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen the internal mechanisms of a lot of firearms and one of the interesting things is the American ban on automatic weapons and the effect this has had on submachinegun design.

Modern submachineguns typically have both a semi- and a fully- automatic firing mode, and when they’re sold on the civilian market the automatic firing components have just been removed.

But when you see images of old submachinegun designs, it’s the other way around. They typically only have a fully automatic firing mode in the military model, and when you see the civilian version, the internals are completely different.

Remove the magazine from, say, a WW2 grease gun SMG and here’s the full list of moving parts:

  • Safety
  • Spring
  • Trigger
  • Bolt
  • Extractor (Technically only moves because it’s mounted to the bolt)

That’s all that’s there. It’s in a metal tube to hold it all together and has a barrel and a grip and all that nonsense but mechanically, there’s nothing.

I have a little – I say again a little – metalworking experience and I could probably build one in a week, build two in a week and a single day, or build thirty in two weeks. From memory, without looking up any plans, and without a 3D printer, obviously.

Getting back to: “one of the interesting things is the American ban on automatic weapons and the effect this has had on submachinegun design.”

Because it’s not just illegal to sell a fully automatic weapon on the civilian market.

It’s illegal to sell a weapon that is easily converted into a fully automatic weapon.

Which means the most dead simple design (Like the grease gun above) is completely impossible to make civilian-legal because then you could just pull all the parts out that make it semi-auto and it would go back to being fully automatic. You have to add complications that stop working if you remove the semi-auto features, and also stop working if you remove the complications.

Grease guns are less than a tenth of the complexity of my car door and I could set up a production line in a week.

Meanwhile to build a US-legal semi-automatic version, I’d have to study first. Somebody remind me how a disconnector works again?

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