Homemade 3D printer guns could become the nightmare of gun control law makers. Until now the all-plastic-guns 3D printers produced had the major problem of cheap plastic that does not hold up from the stress of multiple shots. A machinist from York, Pennsylvania thought of a way to create an unlimited number of bullets that would also give a 3D printed gun “unlimited number of shots.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a video proves that a $800 consumer model 3D printer can print a shotgun shell almost as deadly as the ones you can buy by the box at any gun show. This feat, along with world’s first 3D metal printed handgun, is freaking out politicians who want 3D printable handguns banned.
As 3D printed guns have quickly developed in the past 18 months, ever since the world’s first 3D printed gun, The Liberator, which fires a.22 mm rimfire round, was printed from an experiment and into a subculture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts.
DIYers have faced a fundamental limitation in creating 3D printer guns: Cheap plastic isn’t the best material to contain a gunshot blast. Now an amateur gunsmith has found a way to transfer that stress to a component that’s actually made of metal—the ammunition.
Michael Crumling, a 25-year-old machinist from York, Pennsylvania, has developed a round designed specifically to be fired from 3D printed guns, called the.314 Atlas round. Made from a thicker steel shell, the casing can contain the explosion of the round’s gunpowder instead of transferring that force to the plastic body or barrel of the gun.
A lead bullet inserted an inch inside is deep enough that the shell can contain the explosion. Crumling says that it allows a home-printed firearm made from even the cheapest materials to be fired again and again without cracking or deformation.
And while his design isn’t easily replicated because the rounds must be individually machined. The.314 Atlas round is made on an 1920s Atlas lathe, from which its gets its name. Michael Crumling’s design is another step towards durable, practical, printed guns—even semi-automatic ones.
It’s a really simple concept: It’s kind of a barrel integrated into the shell, so to speak. Basically it removes all the stresses and pressures from the 3D printed parts. You should be able to fire an unlimited number of shots through the gun without replacing any parts other than the shell.”
The below video shows Michael Crumling’s gun firing 18 rounds. Though the gun misfired a few times, it didn’t suffer from any noticeable internal damage after all of those explosions.
During Crumlings first tests the gun was breaking apart because of the ejecting of the shell. To fix the problem he left the roof of the gun’s chamber open, as you can see in the GIF below.
Each round takes about 60 minutes to create on the lathe. The material costs for unlimited bullets is only around 27 cents per round. At this point he doesn’t plan on selling his rounds unless there is enough demand from the DIY community.
Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies around the world have responded to printed guns by noting their unreliability. While Crumling’s advancement of rounds for 3D printer guns has in no way made them reliable, or even necessarily safe for the user, it is a notable enhancement that the DIY community can build upon.
Crumlings made clear that he did not create the new round as a political stunt, but simply as a guy trying to solve an interesting problem.
I’m not an activist. I’m more of a challenge-oriented person. This posed a challenge and that’s much more interesting to me than any political motivation.”
Even as the DIY community has refined and remixed 3D printed guns, it’s left legislators and regulators in the dust, according to Wired. Congressional efforts last year to place restrictions on printed, plastic weapons within the renewed Undetectable Firearms Act fell flat.
With DIY enthusiasts finding better ways to create homemade 3D plastic guns, 3D printed bullets, and 3D printer-friendly rounds it gives credence that printed weapons are quickly becoming more practical to create. The ingenuity shown could become a gun control nightmare with the ability to created unlimited bullets for 3D printer guns.
[Image courtesy of Americanlivewire.com]