Thursday, May 09, 2013

Print your own gun (updated!)

A 3D printed gun?
Wow, this opens a big can of worms, not to say a hornet's nest! Do you think this will be controversial??!!


Kelly T put in a long and interesting comment, small quote:
At the end of it, the Frenchman said something about how he agreed with Clarkson and how he couldn't understand why we Americans left stuff in the open in the back of our pickups. Then one of the corporate jet drivers said that somebody just walking up to your truck while you were in it and stealing a bunch of crap out of it was something that just wouldn't happen here, unless you were in the bad parts of Detroit, Kansas City, or New Orleans or LA. The French guy gave him a puzzled look and asked 'why not?' and the whole group, almost in unison, replied ' because you might get shot!' 

Kelly also supplied some photos, from the workshop which made that beautiful airplane and canoe I showed not long ago.


(It's funny how something with such an ugly or primitive function can be beautiful.)

Unlike the originals, which were cast with low-grade iron in the 1700s, this one is machined with a CNC milling machine from a 200 lb ingot of stainless steel. All the parts are also stainless. It shoots a one pound ball of lead. I think it is a one-half scale of the original (a five foot long ingot of stainless wouldn't fit in any of his CNC machines).

29 comments:

BaronessBlack said...

Personally, I find this REALLY frightening!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

You very far from alone. That's what feeds the great controversy.

Some people have a great fear of armed suppression by governments (which admittedly happens all the time in the world), others have a great fear of gun violence by lone nutters (which also happens).

The Missourian said...

Americans are free to make their own firearms already. Yes, it's perfectly legal. And they don't need to be registered.

So why the fear of "printing" them instead of making them by traditional means? They still require a certain amount of metal (so they can be seen my x-ray machines, etc.)

Remember: "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

Let's do something about the "lone nutters," and just leave the rest of us alone.

CalgaryMark said...

It's for reasons like that ('printed' guns) that I have determined I will not return to the USA until they revert to the official motto - 'In God (not guns) We Trust'.

The Missourian makes a good point - it is probably cheaper and easier to get a real, pretty effective, gun than to get a 3D printer and 'make' one.

The Missourian said...

To CalgaryMike:

"It's for reasons like that ('printed' guns) that I have determined I will not return to the USA until they revert to the official motto - 'In God (not guns) We Trust'."

With all due respect, the Lord helps those who help themselves.

Imagine being in your bedroom at night and you hear the front door coming down. You have a wife and two small children. What do you do? Pull out a coin and read the motto aloud to the intruders?





Anonymous said...

So it is OK to rape someone, kill someone, steal, because "the lord helps those who help themselves" Get a real life.

TC [Girl] said...

"the Lord helps those who help themselves."

This ain't even a quote from the Bible.

I wish the States could get more control on the weapons issue, as well, 'CalgaryMark.'

Ken said...

It has never been difficult to make one shot guns that are usable over short distances. All you need is a tube of appropriate diameter, something to hold the bullet in, and something to strike the bullet, without allowing too much escape of gas. A numerically controlled lathe would turn them out nicely in brass.

The Missourian said...

"So it is OK to rape someone, kill someone, steal, because "the lord helps those who help themselves" Get a real life."

No, of course it isn't. Is that really what you think that quote means? Jeez, where did you go to school?

Here, allow me to help you out. It means that we shouldn't sit around waiting for the Lord to help us, but that we should do what we can to help ourselves.

Got it now?

Go ahead and wait for the police, or God, to help you, if you want. But I'm going to wait.

The Missourian said...

"This ain't even a quote from the Bible."

Neither is "In God we trust."

The Missourian said...


"I wish the States could get more control on the weapons issue, as well"

I wish non-Americans would worry more about their own laws and less about ours.

Kelly Trimble said...

It is interesting here in the states ever since the last whaco shot up a bunch of kids, every time you post anything anywhere that touches on a gun issue, you end up with a zillion comments that degenerate into a flame war over guns.

There are people out there that are deathly afraid of guns and are uncomfortable with the idea that there might be somebody in their environment, sane or not, that might be in possession of a firearm or, God forbid, an assault rifle. These people won't feel safe until the government takes away everybody's guns and melts them down.

On the other side, there are people that don't feel safe and protected unless they have their own gun that they themselves control, and are greatly offended by any hint of an intention to deprive them of their ability to protect themselves. Even if you do not carry or even own a gun, the idea that somebody wants to deprive you of your right to proactively provide for your own welfare in a dangerous environment is offensive.

These two sides are inflexible in their opinions. Both sides are spouting stats and anecdotes to support their side. All of the studies quoted by either side are flawed as all are sponsored with somebody with an agenda on the subject. Arguing with either side will make your head hurt and will result in loosing a friend. (I got sucked into one of these little flame wars when invited to respond to a facebook post and eventually got 'unfriended' for the first time in my life.

The anti-gun people are obviously reasoning by analogy-they seem to focus their fears on the tools used in violence, and not on the people doing the violence, so they get this screwed up idea that if you get rid of the guns, you will get rid of the violence, which is total BS. But the pro-gun people have an equally weird psychological attachment to these tools that they perceive as giving them power over their surroundings that will protect them from threats that in reality are relatively miniscule, with the costs associated with owning, maintaining, and training with a gun and the very real risks of harming yourself or accidentally harming a loved one dramatically outweighing the actual risk of encountering a violent situation where it might come into play.

It is not being covered in the media, but there is beginning to be some talk among social scientists and psychologists regarding the cognitive processes associated with perceptions of gun rights and gun violence, particularly mass shootings. There has been a lot of research done over the years, such as that done by George Lakoff, trying to understand the differences in cognition between people on the left and right or liberal and conservative sides of the political spectrum, and they are beginning to formulate some theories as to what the thought processes are between the two sides of the gun issue. Tangentially, they are also starting to theorize about the cognitive processes involved in somebody who commits a mass shooting. There has been a lot of joking around the pro-gun people about how when the press delves into the background of the latest mass shooter, or more recently the Boston Bombers, they always hope that they can report that they are right wing Republican nut-jobs, but they always find out that they were actually left wing liberal Democrats. This quirky fact is leading to some theorizing and possibly some research on the topic which may eventually link gun violence to cognition processes that tend to make somebody identify as liberal. (If this proves to be the case, we won't need to ban guns entirely, all we will need is a law that says if you vote for Obama, you have to agree to let the cops come to your house and take away all of your guns -- sorry, as a pro-gunner, I couldn't resist that little jab.)

But I digress . . . More in Part TWO (this is part one)

Kelly Trimble said...

to continue . . . .
While this comment is intended to stop the developing flame war on gun control on Eolake's site, I feel the need to comment on differing understanding of guns between people in the US and Europe.

I remember watching an episode of TopGear a couple of years ago when Jeremy Clarkson was reviewing the Ford F-150 truck. The F series is the top selling vehicle of ALL TIME, and he couldn't understand it. He spent the entire review ripping the F-150 as being a useless piece of crap, and implied that us Americans were stupid for liking this terrible concept of a vehicle. To illustrate his point, as the review was winding down, he picked up a few items at a store to start a romantic evening at home, he put them in the bed of the truck, and when he stopped at an intersection or roundabout in a small village on the way home, some scuzzy looking hood ran up and stole all the crap out of the back of his truck and ruined his evening-and he blamed it on the truck.

I remember that I was watching this on BBC American in the lobby of an airport FBO while waiting for my plane to be refueled. There were a couple of exec-looking types, their corporate pilots, a crop duster, and a Frenchman in the lobby all watching this review. At the end of it, the Frenchman said something about how he agreed with Clarkson and how he couldn't understand why we Americans left stuff in the open in the back of our pickups. Then one of the corporate jet drivers said that somebody just walking up to your truck while you were in it and stealing a bunch of crap out of it was something that just wouldn't happen here, unless you were in the bad parts of Detroit, Kansas City, or New Orleans or LA. The French guy gave him a puzzled look and asked 'why not?' and the whole group, almost in unison, replied ' because you might get shot!'

But again I digress. I feel the need to comment on the article that Eolake was posting about.

More in Part THREE (this is part two of who knows how many)

Kelly Trimble said...

To continue with Part THREE . . . .

My friend with the machine shop actually has a 3D printer and has done some jobs with it. The 3D plans that are floating around out there for a revolver are actually all plastic and would go right through a metal detector. The only part that HAS to be metal is the primer in the cartridges. Even the bullets can be plastic. Unfortunately, they don't work very well.

The part about this that worries me is that even if they (the anti-gun zulus) manage to outlaw guns and get the government to pick them all up, people will still be able to fashion their own weapons. If they don't have guns, they will fashion other weapons. The technology is out there, and it isn't that advanced.

This worries me for two reasons. First, once it is discovered that gun control wont actually eliminate violence, and won't eliminate hatred of the government, they will want to censor the technology that could be used to produce weapons. For guns, this means controls on all sorts of machine tools that we use every day. It might also lead to controls on all sorts of common household items that could conceivably be fashioned into weapons. In the wake of the Boston Bombings, people are seriously talking about outlawing pressure cookers. Some are even proposing outlawing backpacks.

Second, in the last few months since Newtown Connecticut, there have been people of influence in DC seriously talking about removing the 2nd amendment, essentially removing a person's right to own a gun. Once that is done, how far will they have to go to remove other freedoms. In the wake of the Boston bombings, people are seriously talking about government controls on what can be posted on the internet, claiming that these idiots got the instructions to make their bombs from some blog somewhere. In the wake of the original report of these guys making the guns using a 3D printer, there was serious talk about having the government somehow suppress the dissemination of their plans, and even requiring the manufacturers of these 3D printers include software that detected when a part was being made that could be used to make a gun or bomb. The next step would be some sort of process where your design for a part had to be approved by the government before it could be printed. Three-D printing is in a primative state, but it could revolutionize commerce. If one were to outlaw all technology which could be used to make a bomb or a gun, it could make life a bit difficult.

(Just a side note, the Boston bombers got their gunpowder from fireworks. That tells me that these morons had no idea what they were doing, and they had crappy instructions from the internet. I used to make pipe bombs when I was younger (back when it was legal and more socially acceptable--it was fun, we blew shit up all the time, but we weren't trying to kill anybody or do any real damage, we just like to make loud noises and see cheap stuff torn to small bits.) They could have gone to any grocery store and garden supply store and maybe a paint shop and gotten everything they needed to make much better explosives in their dorm room with a hotplate and freezer if they had the right recipe.)

How far of a jump is it from suppressing instructions on how to make weapons to suppressing any writing or speaking that communicates ideas which might incite somebody to want to blow something up or shoot somebody. Thus anything put on the internet, spoken on the radio, printed in the paper, or spoken person to person would have to be officially approved by somebody.

That is what all of us gun-crazies are really worried about. It is already happening. A couple of weeks ago .. . . More in Part FOUR

Kelly Trimble said...

And the final installment (I hope it was worth it for everybody) . . . .

That is what all of us gun-crazies are really worried about. It is already happening. A couple of weeks ago in nearby Springfield, Missouri, a lady was getting crossways with the electric company. She was broke, was having trouble paying her electric bill, and City Utilities was getting ready to shut her electricity off. She was very very frustrated in her dealings with the customer service department, and she wrote on her facebook page something along the lines of ' I can see now why some people want to blow some businesses up . . . ' and THEY HAD HER ARRESTED. You may laugh about my reasoning, but a lot of us think we have reasons to fear.

But anyway. Somebody made a comment above about how it would be cheaper and easier to just go buy a gun than it would be to make one. I own dozens of guns, so I go to the gun shows all the time, sometimes just to check pricing. Every time some nut shoots somebody important or shoots a bunch of kids, Obama and the pro-government people start belly-aching about gun control, and the more they whine about how they are gonna take away everybody's guns, the higher gun prices go. Right now the US government is hoarding ammunition (why they are doing that is a mystery) and everybody that owns guns is trying to get their hands on as much ammo as they can before the government makes it more difficult to buy. On the other side, the price of machine tools is coming down as more machine shops go broke and get auctioned. The real component that is keeping regular people from making their own guns is the relative lack of skilled machinists and the removal of industrial arts from high school education in the 1970s.

Just as a humorous on topic illustration, Eolake may remember the photos that I took of my friend Wayne and his homebuilt airplane. He ground-looped the plane and is waiting on an FAA inspection before it can be flown again. In the mean time, he has embarked on another side project. You can see photos at

http://marritza.com/DIRtest2.php?Target=Sandbox/Outbound2013/Eloake/CannonBuddy&S=N

Unlike the originals, which were cast with low-grade iron in the 1700s, this one is machined with a CNC milling machine from a 200 lb ingot of stainless steel. All the parts are also stainless. It shoots a one pound ball of lead. I think it is a one-half scale of the original (a five foot long ingot of stainless wouldn't fit in any of his CNC machines). A few months ago he machined a one-eighth scale which we have fired. it is the size of a shoe box. The photos above were taken with my smart phone in low light, so they are fuzzy, but you should get the idea.

Years ago he machined a 50 caliber sniper rifle, but he had to salvage a barrel from a derilict 50 caliber machine gun that was plugged at one end and sent to a metal recycler as scrap. Wayne says his next project will be a 1864 gattling gun which he plans to make using plans he found on the internet.

(the end)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Kelly.

---

"Man will never have outer peace before he has inner peace".

Kelly Trimble said...

Sorry for the rant, Eolake.

I had just come from Wayne's and thought you might enjoy the photos of the canon, and I was looking for some excuse for sending them to you.

It also looked like a flame war on gun control was about to erupt, and I thought a short rant might shut that down. The last four months over here, those have been so easy to touch off, and they never end well. I got sucked into one after being invited to comment on a facebook post and ended up being unfriended by the person that invited me to comment.

I was at my desk killing time waiting for a phone call and kept writing until the call finally came in. I'm sorry if I strayed off topic and goobered up your site.

I thought the canon photo was appropriate to show that even though guns are readily available over here, sometimes people still make them for fun. Wayne has a couple of 3D printers, and he looked into trying to use the 3D printer to make a gun. Wayne made a comment that he figured the FBI or the BATFE or somebody was probably monitoring the CAD files the guys in the article put up on their site and putting anybody that downloaded them on some sort of list.

Anonymous said...

(It's funny how something with such an ugly or primitive function can be beautiful.)

That's what she said!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what happened to The Missourian to make him so afraid all the time. I'd hate to have to live like that!

Kelly Trimble said...

Here is a comment that is on topic about the 3D printed gun.

The student that put the plans on the internet along with the video took the plans down off of his site and put up a notice that the US Department of Defense Trade Controls (which I have never heard of) 'controls' the plans and required they be taken down. This was mentioned in an article that was linked to the article you referenced. So you can no longer download the files from the original designer.

On a lark, I went to PirateBay to see if torrents existed anywhere to download the files, and there are several. Usually most oddball files like this might have two or three people seeding the files, most popular movies might have twenty or thirty seeders at any given moment, and pirated hot new releases of blockbuster DVDs might have sixty or eighty seeds at any given moment.

I tagged ONE of these torrents to check its current statistics. It had been up a little over a month and it had 823 seeds and 858 peers. Even though I didn't need the files (I had downloaded the files several weeks ago, thinking they might be forced down), I started the torrent and immediately connected to three dozen seeds. That is unusual. Usually you are lucky if you are able to connect to maybe three or four, especially on a Saturday night.

What this means (the tech part) is that there is a groundswell of tech savy people out there that want these files to be available and they feel the need to do it more than the latest Brad Pitt movie or the latest Gaga album.

I'm not exactly sure what the (non tech) implications of this factoid are, but I find it interesting (and perhaps relevant to your original post).

Ken said...

Kelly, I don't think you need to be technically savvy to put a file up on BitTorrent. These are just people with an attitude problem. One that forgets that the people who may well come down on them, are the same people who have been prepared to force everyone on a plane to take their shoes off to be examined. They will think nothing in the future of raiding anyone who does anything that facilitates terrorist activity.

Anonymous said...

The Missourian is probably just that ass McManigal or whatever his name was. He can't disguise his insanity and stupidity, though, that shines through (if shines is really the word I want).

The Missourian said...

"I wonder what happened to The Missourian to make him so afraid all the time. I'd hate to have to live like that!"

The only thing I'm afraid of is my government. Naivete doesn't run in my family, thankfully.

"I wonder what happened to The Missourian to make him so afraid all the time. I'd hate to have to live like that!"

Well, some of us have to work for a living. But I'm "afraid" all the time because my government lies awake at night dreaming up new ways to deprive me of the freedoms I was born with, and that which many men and women have given their lives fighting to protect.

"The Missourian is probably just that ass McManigal or whatever his name was. He can't disguise his insanity and stupidity, though, that shines through (if shines is really the word I want)."

I have no idea who "McNanigal is. And your obvious need to resort to hostile ad hominems in lieu of reasoned debate is a clear indication that you should never own a firearm.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I'm afraid of is my government. Naivete doesn't run in my family, thankfully.

No, but something else does. (Probably naievete does too, though.) You wrote this:

Imagine being in your bedroom at night and you hear the front door coming down. You have a wife and two small children. What do you do? Pull out a coin and read the motto aloud to the intruders?

Clearly this is something you're worried about happening. Either you live in a high crime area (in which case it wouldn't be paranoid to own a gun for protection, but I'd think about moving were that a realistic possibility) or you're just paranoid and fearful.

Well, some of us have to work for a living.

Almost everyone, or else society would break down. Anyway, it's an odd thing to mention.

But I'm "afraid" all the time because my government lies awake at night dreaming up new ways to deprive me of the freedoms I was born with, and that which many men and women have given their lives fighting to protect.

So you are paranoid then. You shouldn't have put the word afraid in quotes, though, as you actually are afraid that your government is doing that - you know, since there's no proof they are doing that. That's what paranoia is.

I have no idea who "McNanigal is. And your obvious need to resort to hostile ad hominems in lieu of reasoned debate is a clear indication that you should never own a firearm.

I don't know who McNanigal is either. McManigal - Kent McManigal - was the occasional poster and resident paranoid gun nut. I didn't resort to any ad hominem argument (ad hominems isn't the plural). By definition that's an attacking the person instead of their argument but I merely stated what is the obvious, inevitable conclusion based on your previous comments - i.e., that you're stupid.

Not that it would ever happen, as I have a clean record and have never been in trouble for anything (and, as is often said on cop and lawyer shows, I've never even had a parking ticket) and am an American born and raised I can't see why they would reject me. Of course, it obviously wouldn't matter if I was what you'd like to believe (or what you'd like others to believe) because if someone as obviously unbalanced - as paranoid and afraid and cowardly - as yourself could get one (or, no doubt, many) then I wouldn't have any trouble either (if, as I said, what you'd like to believe about me were true).

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

One thing which occurred to me years ago: try and look at how many people have been killed in history by terrorists, and how many by governments...

The Missourian said...

"Either you live in a high crime area"

The reason there is no crime in my area is because everyone owns firearms.

"So you are paranoid then."

Paranoia is an irrational fear. There's nothing irrational about being concerned about the government abusing its power and taking away its citizens' inalienable freedoms. History is replete with examples of it; in fact, my country was founded on the principle that government must be kept small and limited. Do you think our Founders were "paranoid"?

Nota bene: For a recent example of a government abusing its power, look no further than our IRS, and selectively auditing groups opposed to an expansion of government, ever higher taxes, etc. You read the newspaper, right?

"resident paranoid gun nut. I didn't resort to any ad hominem argument (ad hominems isn't the plural)."

Calling me a "gun nut" isn't an ad hominem? Calling me "insane" isn't an ad hominem? Calling me "stupid" isn't an ad hominem? Calling me a "coward" isn't an ad hominem?

Really?

Nope, you don't seem like the kind of person who should ever own a firearm.

The Missourian said...

"One thing which occurred to me years ago: try and look at how many people have been killed in history by terrorists, and how many by governments..."

Exactly!

Sarwat Tariq said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ken said...

This is worth looking at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9taL4svjH_g