Last year Defense Distributed used a 3D printer to make a key component of an AR-15 rifle which could fire six rounds before breaking. They’ve made huge strides since and have released a video of the first 3D-printed receiver which can fire .223 caliber high-pressure rifle rounds. It fired over 600 rounds (they ran out of ammo) without breaking.
The receiver is the base of the gun with the serial number and trigger group. It’s is the part that’s legally classified and sold as the gun, subject to much more regulation than a magazine, buttstock, barrel, and other parts which connect to the receiver. AR receivers have also made an enormous jump in price lately due to gun regulations being debated in Congress.
Defense Distributed connected a high-capacity drum magazine and some store-bought rifle parts to their 3D-printed receiver and fired a ridiculous number of rounds at the shooting range for the video below.
The group had to take out as many angles and points of stress inside the new receiver as possible, thicken several areas to withstand pressure from vibrations, and “let the piece act more as a spring,” developer Cody Wilson e-mails Danger Room. Angles below the buffer tower — which helps absorb recoil — were also curved and strengthened. The group still had to bolster the piece with some metal parts, though. A one-eighth inch compression bushing is embedded in the back. [WIRED]
Defense Distributed is going to release information this weekend about the first printable AK-47 magazine. Meanwhile, congressman Steve Isreal has called for a ban on 3D-printed weapons. Uh, good luck with that. Cody Wilson, for his part, seems determined to circumvent any bans.
The 25-year-old second-year law student at the University of Texas, Austin told Ars on Thursday that he’s actually a “crypto-anarchist.”
“I believe in evading and disintermediating the state,” he said.
“It seemed to be something we could build an organization around. Just like Bitcoin can circumvent financial mechanisms. This means you can make something that is contentious and politically important—not just a multicolored cookie cutter—but something important. It’s more about disintermediating some of these control schemes entirely and there’s increasingly little that you can do about it. That’s no longer a valid answer.”
He added, “The message is in what we’re doing—the message is: download this gun.”
He put all the files up for free on DEFCAD. He tells Ars Technica that it would take about $150 to $200 in parts to build this partially 3D-printed gun with his supplies, an SLA resin and P400 ABS on a used Dimension. The Dimension printers cost around thirty grand, though, so we won’t be downloading this gun just yet.
Here’s the 3D-printed gun receiver in action, set to Ravel’s “Bolero” because it’s all classy-like.
[Banner picture via Defense Distributed.]