A violent debate: Could guns be made at home by 3-D printers?

Feb 11, 2013 by Thomas Birtchnell & Robert Gorkin
Do we really have anything to worry about? Credit: Pete Prodoehl/Flickr

Gun laws have been back in the media recently due, largely, to the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. In response President Obama has just unveiled gun control proposals.

In light of this growing focus on gun legislation, some have expressed concern about the possibility of guns being manufactured in the home using 3D- (also known as "additive manufacturing" or AM).

If this were the case, the ability of almost anyone to 'print' a gun at home brings about the question of monitoring and oversight. This is particularly significant in places where guns are difficult to get locally, including Australia.

So is it possible to manufacture a ready-to-fire gun using a ? And would this be possible at home? Before we can answer these questions, it's important to understand how and why we even got here.

Supply and demand

Over the past couple years the growth of has represented an unprecedented shift in how objects are made. It's just one very visible part of a transition from mass manufacturing dependent on factories and global freight systems, to innovative manufacturing done locally and on-demand.

With 3D printing, bits of information digitised in a appear out of thin air in the atoms of a finished object. This happens in front of the eyes and at the press of a button.

As we've reported previously on The Conversation, there are many uses for 3D printing in the home, office and beyond that are driving the development of this technology.

A key problem in commentaries about the 3D printing of guns is that there has been a gross over-simplification of what constitutes 3D printing, particularly what can be done with a home desktop printer.

To accurately look at printing a firearm it is critical to understand the capabilities in the range of equipment.

Apples and oranges

3D printing isn't just one technology but a whole ecosystem of machinery with a common theme: taking designs created using 3D computer-aided design (CAD) data and fabricating structures in a layer-by-layer fashion.

These machines can be used to print a wide variety of materials, from plastics and metals to even food and living tissue, all in arrangements that are impossible with traditional methods.

The equipment also varies greatly in terms of size, ease-of-use, and cost. At the entry level (which gets the most attention), 3D printers are compact units, some only a few hundred dollars, targeted to the home/school/community hobbyist.

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These typically work by extruding coils of pre-formed thermo-plastics onto a platform, guided by a computer. Some 3D printers can be assembled open source, such as the Rep Rap, others can be bought pre-assembled, such as the Makerbot.

At the high end of 3D printing are laser-sintering units (see video below), electron-beam melting systems and specialised polyjet printers. These printers can stand as tall as a person and require custom software and specialist technicians.

High-end systems are completely different from domestic-use 3D printers, relying on high-power sources to repeatedly fuse layers of plastic, ceramic or metal powders, or the activation of thermal and UV cured resins in a layer-by-layer fashion.

These techniques are capable of printing a wider range of stronger materials such as steel alloys or titanium and require special handling and lots of energy to process.

The reality

So, with this in mind, is it possible to "print" a gun at home?

The simple answer is that with current personal 3D printer technology, you cannot simply download a file and build an assembled ready-to-fire gun like those available on the market today.

With inexpensive desktop 3D printers, a host of difficulties are apparent in replicating a complete commercial firearm. A chief problem is the fact that the plastics are generally too weak to withstand the stresses of repeated firing without destroying the printed structure.

It is possible to print individual components on more advanced machines, but these parts still require "finishing", using traditional fabrication equipment, and often require assembly with additional components produced elsewhere.

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Even the highest-end polymer and metal printers would have difficulty printing a market-replicate firearm without further equipment development. The printers could again provide individual parts for a gun but prints would still require post-processing with specialist equipment.

Metal printing in particular demands special handling procedures as certain materials, such as titanium powders, can be very reactive with air and can ignite and explode. As such, all handling is done in inert or vacuum environments.

And even more finishing and complexity would be required to 3D print ammunition, which combines a number of different materials, including some sensitive to heat processes such as gunpowder or cordite.

The powder and the finger

So even at the high-end of 3D printing it is not currently possible to download a design and print an operational firearm with the press of a button. In some ways it would be far easier to make a weapon using traditional methods and it is possible to find aspirational gunsmiths making firearms at home.

3D printing could certainly play a role in prototyping for the multi-billion-dollar global arms industry, particularly in the aerospace sector, although it is debatable whether 3D printing can offer any real economic advantages in firearm development on top of current techniques.

Better used elsewhere

Although 3D printing guns illegally for malicious uses is a contentious issue, those not familiar with 3D printing should understand that additive manufacturing offers many obvious benefits across a range of areas including robotics, infrastructure and medicine. This is taking place in innovations at home, in industry and at research centres around the world.

In the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) at the University of Wollongong some of the most sophisticated 3D printers are being used for projects ranging from bioprinting to advanced energy applications.

Additive manufacturing in biofabrication is already revolutionising medicine by creating patient specific implants. Part of IPRI's work focuses on developing new materials, methods and AM equipment in the hopes of producing regenerative tissues. In the future such technology could help enable science-fiction-like concepts such as replacement organs or printable skin.

No doubt people will keep trying to print firearms and other weapons. But discussions on the topic would benefit from a clear understanding of the range and capabilities of personal versus non-domestic 3D printing.

While the future legality and availability of 3D printed weapons is uncertain, guns will be far from the most innovative object to emerge from the build tray of 3D printers in the foreseeable future.

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VendicarE
1.8 / 5 (19) Feb 11, 2013
The coming American civil war will require many guns and greatly reduce the American population.

Printing guns will only facilitate the slaughter.

FrankHerbertWhines
3.6 / 5 (23) Feb 11, 2013
The coming American civil war will require many guns and greatly reduce the American population.

Printing guns will only facilitate the slaughter.



we will be sure to eliminate you and your ilk first.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2013
The coming American civil war will require many guns and greatly reduce the American population.

With the amount of guns in the US I doubt that they'll need any more. There's only so many guns you can carry at once. If you look at the guys who went apeshit with guns in the past then they didn't even bring their entire arsenal with them.

Printing guns will certainly be attractive to people who would not want their guns to be traced. (Though from what I gather there are no compulsory registration mechanisms, nor any compulsory inventory procedures for arms dealers in the US...so that advantage is marginal at best.)

Probably just a matter of time till the first crime with one is comitted.
VendicarE
2.4 / 5 (14) Feb 11, 2013
Sadly, the child just can't remember to start it's sentences with a capital.

"we will be sure to eliminate you and your ilk first." - ConservativeWhiner

Have your freedom lists ready people. 30 years of Republican treason demands correction.

AWaB
4.2 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2013
A functional gun can be created from nothing more than over-the-counter products from Home Depot or Walmart. Granted, they aren't as versatile as what could eventually come from a 3D printer, but it still serves the same function. Other explosives can also be simply made. The issue is that if someone has a mind to do harm to others, they're going to do it whether weapons are legal, printable, or constructable.
packrat
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2013
Printing guns will certainly be attractive to people who would not want their guns to be traced. (Though from what I gather there are no compulsory registration mechanisms, nor any compulsory inventory procedures for arms dealers in the US...so that advantage is marginal at best.)

Probably just a matter of time till the first crime with one is comitted.


Gun dealers are required to keep records of all guns they buy and sell. The AFT can come into their business at any time and inspect the book. Gun dealers can't even buy their own inventory without getting a permit or FBI approval. Just having an FFL license does not mean they have free reign in what they can do.
rfw
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2013
The Gun That Does Not Exist Cannot Be Used To Kill People.
CapitalismPrevails
3.2 / 5 (13) Feb 11, 2013
I say stop printing money and start printing guns!
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2013
Gun dealers are required to keep records of all guns they buy and sell. The AFT can come into their business at any time and inspect the book

I think you're not up to date:
http://www.nytime...amp;_r=0

Excerpts:
- "under current laws the bureau [ATF] is prohibited from creating a federal registry of gun transactions"
- "The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, for example, prohibits A.T.F. agents from making more than one unannounced inspection per year of licensed gun dealers. "
-" The law also reduced the falsification of records by dealers to a misdemeanor"
- " The amendment still prohibits the bureau from using tracing data in some legal proceedings to suspend or revoke a dealer's license and it requires that records of background checks of gun buyers be destroyed within 24 hours of approval"

..and many other goodies.
packrat
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2013
AP, I've done enough gun smithing work for one of the local stores over the years to know that a copy of every fbi form and purchase permit is kept by gun dealers. They have to keep them with their records. The feds don't keep a record as firearms are sold but it is kept locally and I've seen them in that store more than once in a year trying to track down the original owners of stolen firearms usually accompanied by the local police. I never saw them make an unannounced visit the whole time I was around there. They probably do in some places though I guess.
I do know that if you close down a gun shop and give up the license you have to turn all your records over to the ATF. So technically they do have records but they are always generally years out of date by the time they get them.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2013
Here's a bit more :
http://www.washin...3_4.html

No head of department for 6 years.
The acting head has been demoted in order to artificially shorten his term.
Average ability to check in on a gundealer was once in 22 years until recently (now it's a 'phenomenal' once every 10 years).

Quote: "DEALERS BY LAW DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE INVENTORY"
(NRA says taking inventory would be a 'huge cost'. Exquise me? Bakingpowder? Inventory is done in ALL businesses I know of)

Quote: "Nationwide, dealers lose track of an enormous number of guns. Since 2005, 3,847 inspections have documented 113,642 guns that cannot be found."

Pending regulation which will make stuff even more bizarre: "The agency, for the first time, would have to show that a dealer knew the law and intentionally disregarded it; in other words, the ATF would have to establish the dealer's state of mind at the time of the violation. "

ATF is a paper tiger.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2013
I do know that if you close down a gun shop and give up the license you have to turn all your records over to the ATF.

True. It says nowhere that they have to be legible (or complete), though.

How else would you expect that, on average, every gun dealer was missing about 30 guns when inspected? Sure - many would be missing boatloads and others would be perfect in their record keeping. But 30 per dealer? That's pretty frightening.

And in the article they detail a case where a dealer was missing 180 guns, failed to log 700 and STILL was able to sell guns for 2 years afterwards while the paperwork was going on...and then handed the business over to his pop.

Does that sound like an agency with clout? Not to me it doesn't
PoppaJ
1 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2013
I have a replicator M. The ones that can potentially make guns are far out of reach financially. Because of the high cost of both the purchase of these machines and there associated operating cost, the only real group that could benefit from this is big gun makers. I see this and so much more coming from large industrial scale replication.
packrat
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2013
It sounds to me like someone wasn't doing their job. I know for a fact the shop I was in didn't have bad records like that. The guy that runs that shop is meticulous about his records being done correctly. I don't know how the ones you describe could get away with it but I guess they do. I agree, all business's do inventory otherwise they won't have a business long so those people have no excuses as far as I'm concerned for 'losing' any firearm except by theft. Some people need to be in jail over numbers like that and not 2 years later....
It doesn't surprise me at all about not having enough agents to do the job. It normally took me 2-3 days to contact the local one if I needed to ask a question. All you ever got was a phone message machine and after calling at least half a dozen times and leaving a message someone would finally call me back. Most of the time then they didn't know the answer and had to look it up and call me again.
JimCool
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2013
Sadly, the child just can't remember to start it's sentences with a capital."we will be sure to eliminate you and your ilk first." - ConservativeWhinerHave your freedom lists ready people. 30 years of Republican treason demands correction.

Dosn't matter about capitols, your ilk will be first! Got it!
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (11) Feb 12, 2013
Conservatards have more guns but liberals have better aim. Stupid Texan hicks recruited into LAPD shot about 50 rounds into two trucks, achieving two destroyed vehicles and one wound of an innocent bystander
VendicarE
2.2 / 5 (11) Feb 12, 2013
I can't wait for the revolution to start so that the Eradication of American Conservatives can begin.

"Dosn't matter about capitols, your ilk will be first!" - JimCool

I can think of nothing better.

antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Feb 12, 2013
The guy that runs that shop is meticulous about his records being done correctly.

One among a few.
Given the numbers of 'lost' guns, and that the 170-guns lost guy was an extreme example, this means that at least 20% of arms dealers are as bad as he is (or a vastly greater percentage aren't quite as bad but still lose guns in the 10 guns per year range (a GUN for chrissakes!).

Every hot-dog stand is being scrutinized more meticulous by orders of magnitude than these merchants of potential mass-death. The entire kitchen of a housing project for elderly people close to where I work was recently put 6 months out of service for having meatballs as not being used in their inventory that were 1 day over the best use-by date. Now THAT's checking stuff properly.
unknownorgin
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 14, 2013
The number of ways to make a gun is limited only by the inventivness of those making guns and the quality of the materials availible.
Thrasymachus
2.8 / 5 (6) Feb 14, 2013
I'm all for appropriate government regulation and inspection, anti, but 6 months down for meatballs that were one day past their best use by date seems a bit excessive even to me, raging commie-liberal that I am.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2013
The coming American civil war will require many guns and greatly reduce the American population.

Printing guns will only facilitate the slaughter.
we will be sure to eliminate you and your ilk first.
Throughout human history savvy Leaders were able to avert revolution by blaming their neighbors for their problems. The populace was then eager to attack the enemy and take what they needed.

This became easier when religions were devised which told the people that they were obligated to destroy their neighbors in order to secure gods blessing.

Either way, large numbers of people on both sides of the fray were eliminated, along with most of the problems they were unhappy about. Leaders smiled and began Planning the next round.

Printing guns is not possible because of the heat-treating of critical parts. But, parts for older guns which could turn them into full-auto, like receivers and sears, may be printable. To do so would be a serious felony however.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (13) Feb 16, 2013
Every hot-dog stand is being scrutinized more meticulous by orders of magnitude than these merchants of potential mass-death.
Ahaahaahahaha says the propaganda-saturated euro. Food poisoning and pathogens have the potential to kill FAR more people than guns do. Obviously. Bad meatballs present a much greater hazard than firearms.
The Gun That Does Not Exist Cannot Be Used To Kill People.
...people who are trying to harm you and your family in your own home.
Claudius
2.5 / 5 (13) Feb 16, 2013
"Could guns be made at home by 3-D printers?"
No.
Jo01
2.8 / 5 (11) Feb 16, 2013
I made guns when I was 14. Didn't need a 3D printer.

J.
plaasjaapie
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2013
Parts of guns, such as clips and low stress lower receivers, can be readily printed in plastic with with open source FDM 3D printers. Parts such as barrels and slides await the success of a Reprap project to make a cheap, open source electron beam 3D printer. That shouldn't be all that big a technological leap from where we are now.
Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (18) Feb 16, 2013
The entire gun debate is meaningless gibberish, that only a mush-headed liberal could make sense of. The liberal left would rather protect the lives of prospective home invaders than law abiding home owners.

Liberals are far too weak and forgiving on crime in general, ...constantly seeking to excuse on various grounds, and are nearing the point of seeking reverse affirmative action for prison sentencing. They're morons for most issues, but especially wrt crime,.. as can be clearly demonstrated as a case study in Chicago.

The only effective way of reducing gun related crime is to arrange the justice system so that the consequences are resoundingly devastating for the criminal. Speak the only language criminal savages understand. Attempted murder = death penalty; any other crime created with use of a gun = life sentence of hard labour, NOT 'prison retirement'.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2013
Parts of guns, such as clips and low stress lower receivers, can be readily printed in plastic with with open source FDM 3D printers. Parts such as barrels and slides await the success of a Reprap project to make a cheap, open source electron beam 3D printer. That shouldn't be all that big a technological leap from where we are now.
Sorry. You won't be able to print parts which can stand repeated pressures of modern smokeless powder ammo, like barrels and chambers. Perhaps black powder?
The only effective way of reducing gun related crime is to arrange the justice system so that the consequences are resoundingly devastating for the criminal. Speak the only language criminal savages understand.
But these things don't usually enter a lunatics brain. And prisons are already overcrowded.
Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (15) Feb 16, 2013
The only effective way of reducing gun related crime is to arrange the justice system so that the consequences are resoundingly devastating for the criminal.
But these things don't usually enter a lunatics brain. And prisons are already overcrowded.


The vast majority of gun related crime is committed by degenerates not lunatics. If you nationalized the death penalty for convicted attempted murder, you wouldn't require housing them in prisons. Obama's drone executions are less civil than this, yet criminals within the USA are as much a threat.

Also, the reason prisons are already over-crowded is because they're run like retirement houses. It's hard to believe but true, that the typical low class degenerate actual doesn't mind kicking back in prison, no work and tv all day. End this BS. It's not hard to clear out prisons,... hard labour.

Liberals fight for the rights and dignity of hard criminals, when they should be fighting against them once convicted.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (10) Feb 17, 2013
The vast majority of gun related crime is committed by degenerates not lunatics.
"As many as 1 million gang members are believed responsible for as much as 80 percent of crime in America"

"Up to 80 percent of Chicago's murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police."

"Gang-related crime and violence continues to rise. NGiC analysis indicates that gang members are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime..."

-You are not considering the tribal dynamic. Violence and predation against tribal enemies are not perceived as crimes. It is 'degenerate' to act as if everyone were members of your tribe. This is a difficult trick to teach people, much like teaching your dog to tolerate your new kitten.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 17, 2013
kicking back in prison, no work and tv all day
Your comfort or misery in prison is directly related to what gang you belong to.
you wouldn't require housing them in prisons
Increasing the death penalty currently only feeds lawyers who live fat off of years of appeals. But technology will soon provide us with the means to dependably ascertain guilt by many different methods.

Lawyers and lawmakers will have to be FORCED to adjust to the fact that we can KNOW whether someone is guilty or not before they enter the courtroom. This process will accelerate once AI begins sorting through our laws and weeding out redundancy, injustice, and nonsense.

The legal profession is already under threat from technology:
http://www.thefis...px#page1

-Legislator buddies are feverishly inventing new crimes to keep them fed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 17, 2013
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there." ecc3

-Which is why we need machines judging us and not people.
Justsayin
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 17, 2013
The 3d printed gun is already here. http://www.nbcnew...C7404226
dtxx
3.6 / 5 (7) Feb 17, 2013
Granted it's not as easy as click, print, and shoot, but anyone can learn to make real guns like the AR-15 after spending a few thousand dollars on a CNC mill.
Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (15) Feb 18, 2013
-You are not considering the tribal dynamic. Violence and predation against tribal enemies are not perceived as crimes. It is 'degenerate' to act as if everyone were members of your tribe. This is a difficult trick to teach people, much like teaching your dog to tolerate your new kitten.


I don't care about "tribal dynamic". Why would I consider that? As Chicago is proof, you don't solve shit by "understanding" their degenerate street "logic".That's the problem with the left, they legitimize "street thug logic" by considering that "dynamic" to have a ratz ass to do with the justice system.

The justice system isn't about teaching anyone anything, its about protecting the public. Street gangs are frightened morons that huddle together in numbers because they as individuals are generally incompetent, and repeatably fail to earn their "respect" the hard way, so supplant it with intimidation. Idiots. Society must intimidate them back.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2013
The justice system isn't about teaching anyone anything, its about protecting the public.

If that were the case then every crime would be punished by a prison sentence (since any other verdict does not protect the citizens)

A justice system has several functions which it tries to balance:
- punishment of the criminal
- incentive for correction of aberrant behavior
- compensation/restitution of the victims
- protection of the public from repeated criminal activity by an individual

Problems arise when different people have different attitudes towards the weights of these. (E.g. when people see the justice system as JUST a punishment apparatus or JUST an apparatus for corrective behavior, or JUST a system for locking people away, etc. )

On an unrelated note: Why is the gun in the pic in a box of Altoids?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2013
I don't care about "tribal dynamic". Why would I consider that?
Of course you don't. That's why I feel justified in calling you willfully ignorant. Gangs are tribes. Gangs have their own laws which supersede those of whatever culture they are imbedded in.
As Chicago is proof, you don't solve shit by "understanding" their degenerate street "logic".That's the problem with the left, they legitimize "street thug logic" by considering that "dynamic" to have a ratz ass to do with the justice system.
Loyalty to the tribe and the willingness to sacrifice oneself for it, is one of the most noble of human endeavors, do you not know this?

Countries exploit this dynamic all the time. But to gangs on the street countries are meaningless. 'Like pop says, we don't fight for other people.' -Sonny corleone

-Seriously, you didn't see the nobility expressed in the godfather? From our perspective they were thugs but from theirs, we are the enemy and we have what they want. For the Family
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (11) Feb 18, 2013
As Chicago is proof, you don't solve shit by "understanding" their degenerate street "logic".
Sure you do. Understanding is everything. You can't reach gangbangers with the attitude that they are degenerates. You also have to know that a tribal identity, like any recalcitrant culture, needs to be destroyed as the carriers of it will never surrender it willingly. Their highest honor is to defend it to the death.

This was relatively easy under fascist or communist or catholic martial law. Somewhat more difficult here.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (9) Feb 18, 2013
Much of the drug- and gun-related trafficking on the outside is controlled by prison gangs. Sure it would be very convenient, and very effective, to begin executing them en masse. Anyone with gang tats, as part and parcel with capital murder and crimes against the state. Communists and fascists had no problem with this.

In fact it would be a little too easy... Why was this sort of power left to accumulate in people living in maximum confinement? Protective custody? The Only Way to prevent organized crime from destroying civilization, is to Create it yourself and then Employ it Creatively.

The Only Way to ensure the proper outcome in any war, is to command both sides. This is the Secret of Empire.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2013
Forget guns. Too easy to locate the bandit attached to the gun. The real siege will be printable drones and drone swarms available to every miscreant
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 18, 2013
Granted it's not as easy as click, print, and shoot, but anyone can learn to make real guns like the AR-15 after spending a few thousand dollars on a CNC mill.
Sorry but you can't print materials which can approach the performance characteristics of heat-treated, forged, high-carbon steel of the sort necessary for gun barrels and chambers. Prove me wrong.
Estevan57
3.1 / 5 (23) Feb 18, 2013
dtxx, you are very correct - the cnc business I own is having trouble making gun parts fast enough to serve our customers.
The talk of a gun ban, whether it happens or not is a HUGE boost for many job shops and the machinists/machine operators employed there. It's Obamas economic stimulus package - talk about gun control and sell a million guns a month later.

Obviously Otto doesn't know what a cnc mill is.
Hint -it's not a printer, so you don't need to argue about it.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 18, 2013
dtxx, you are very correct - the cnc business I own is having trouble making gun parts fast enough to serve our customers. The talk of a gun ban, whether it happens or not is a HUGE boost for many job shops and the machinists/machine operators employed there. It's Obamas economic stimulus package - talk about gun control and sell a million guns a month later. Obviously Otto doesn't know what a cnc mill is. Hint -it's not a printer, so you don't need to argue about it.
Are you so sure it is not one of these?

"RPM CNC Mill / 3D Printer"

-At any rate I suspect this entire post is bullshit. I am of course going on esais track record which is pretty embarrassing. See my profile page, as well as the long list of stalkings on my activity page.

Estevan lives in a vast world where he is king of butt-sniffers and cnc machine lords.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2013
But, with only a little further research, I see you are both full of shit.

"So what about making a whole gun? The hard part is the barrel. Barrels have to be a hard steel, and hard steel is expensive and difficult to machine. The law also requires pistols to have a rifled barrel. If you do a smooth barrel firearm on the scale that's easy to do on this small mill, you generally have an NFA firearm, which you can't just manufacture willy nilly legally. Speaking of NFA, it would probably be easier to design a simple submachine gun than it would be to design a reliable semi-automatic pistol. But again, because we're law abiding here, that's off the table.

"The idea of doing an entire home-made CNC pistol, with equipment that is within the reach of the hobbyist, is still a PIPE DREAM."

-You too noumenon. And I was of course right about the barrel. Wouldnt a real cnc owner know that cnc barrel fabricating couldnt be done by amateurs? More LIES esai? Little man?
packrat
3 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2013
Ghost, I hate to tell you this but the rifling can be straight. There is a revolver on the market that has straight rifling in it and it has been sold for years. I agree though the average home machinist doesn't have the ability but I know a few local enthusiasts that do and have built pistols and rifles from scratch. They have simply been buying the barrels for most of them but I've seen a few homemade barrels too for the pistols. The firearms are legal as long as the owners don't try to sell them as that requires another license from the gov.
Probably what is going to happen is the ATF will start requiring the serial numbers to be on the barrel. Then it won't really matter if people print the plastic frame as they will still have to do all the paperwork to buy a barrel. That will work if they require all firearm manufacturers to begin doing that on the same date. Hopefully that way the new ones wouldn't be confused with the older versions where the serial number is on the frame.
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 18, 2013
No, Otto I live in a world of owning a cnc business (48 employees) and know the capabilities of the technology.
The parts we make can be made with a machine ordered out of a machinery catalog for 10,000, just like dtxx posted. It would just be much, much slower.
Mastercam and Solidworks are on piratebay, and tutorials are all over youtube.
Steel and tooling is easy to find. Amazon!

Some of my local customers:
http://www.smosarms.com/
http://www.bigborecanyon.com/
http://fidelisarms.com/

http://grabcad.co...uery=gun

A usable "gun" can be made with a drill press, file and pipe.

Nice "quotes", got source?

Dumbshit.
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 19, 2013
Hey! I found your cherry picked source Otto - http://www.pagunb...project/ "The difficulties Jason has experienced is mostly just in the learning process. He's not trained as a machinist, and has never tried this before." "If you do a smooth barrel firearm on the scale that's easy to do on this small mill..."

And then they, (amateurs) go on to successfully make, assemble, and fire the AR15 they made.

Nice quotes ya got there Otto.

http://www.kmtr.c...TEg.cspx

http://www.thefir...ine-gun/

http://www.abc.ne.../4111652

http://www.ar15.c...p;page=1

Look! A whole website of handbuilts.
http://www.ar15.c...p;page=4

http://www.tormach.com/ Its waiting for you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2013
dtxx says:
anyone can learn to make real guns...AR-15...a few thousand dollars...CNC mill
-to which estevan replies:
you are very correct
-at which otto observes:
I see you are both full of shit
-because he found an informed opinion:

"Barrels have to be a hard steel, and hard steel is expensive and difficult to machine."

-To which esai offers:

"Two homemade shotguns found" -shotguns are not M16s.
"Possibly homemade, the submachine-gun" -obviously assembled from a parts kit (barrel NOT made)
"Homemade gun seized" -ooh pretty. Another parts kit. (observe end cap)
"discussion of 3D printing an AR lower" -No esai, 3d printing of lower receivers is not cnc machining of M16 barrels and chambers, which is not possible for amateurs with a few $1000 to spend.
A usable "gun" can be made with a drill press, file and pipe.
-But zip guns are not M16s are they?
owning a cnc business (48 employees)
Huh. Do they know you stalk people on the internet on company time?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2013
Look! A whole website of handbuilts.
-None of which have barrels or slides machined from scratch. Which makes you a liar. But we already knew this.
owning a cnc business (48 employees)
Huh. Do they know that youre a congenital liar?
obama_socks
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2013
In the 1950s, New York City and surrounding boroughs had a situation where gangs of young thugs made homemade "pistols" called zip guns. These zip guns, when they worked, were used by the gang members to kill members of other gangs and threaten the police. The zip guns were easy to manufacture and were not too sophisticated, but in most cases were deadly...as well as easy to break down and dispose of, sometimes in the East River. The gang members were able to make these zip guns out of pipe and a few other parts that were readily available. They did a lot of damage and did not need to be registered, licensed or declared in any way. NYC still has gangs, as does Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. And they are still shooting each other, but with guns that are stolen from legal owners. I think the knowledge of zip guns has been forgotten as the former gang members have gotten old. But the technology of the guns still exists, and the cops know it. Gun laws don't mention zip guns, AFAIK.
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 19, 2013
Ha ha, Otto you lose SO ungracefully.
The same people who said barrels are hard steel etc. went ahead and made one anyway! In the next sentence they describe it!

On the website you failed to post because you cherry picked one quote out of it.

Its only steel, and steel can be machined.
Its amazing how you are able to refuse to see what you post.

By the way the website has MANY homebuilt barrels.

"the shotgun is not an m16" - Well duh, Otto, its not an elephants ass either. Just another example of a amateur gun.

The point is that an amateur can make a gun from scratch, and MANY have. Barrels and all.

As seen on the website YOU used for a reference.

Have a well medicated day.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2013
are hard steel etc. went ahead and made one anyway! In the next sentence they describe it!
If that were true you would have copy/pasted it. As such, copy/pasting it would have made it easy to discount ie, show you again what a liar you are.
By the way the website has MANY homebuilt barrels.
Homemade barrels as in zipgun barrels, not AR-15 barrels, which dtxx claimed and you agreed with. Are you anything BUT bullshit esai?
Just another example of a amateur gun
Which is not an AR-15 barrel.

Perhaps youre just forgetful and not a liar... Dtxx said,
to make real guns like the AR-15 after spending a few thousand dollars on a CNC mill.
-and then you said,
you are very correct
-which, as you yourself have proven, is bullshit.
steel can be machined.
Again for esai and all other dimwits, AR-15 barrels cannot be made by amateurs on a few $1000 worth of equipment. Maybe esai does not know this and is selling junk to his customers. I would not be surprised one bit.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2013
I would suggest you hire some people who actually know something, and have them look into this for you
http://en.wikiped...ISO_9000

-Before you get sued into history.
Estevan57
3 / 5 (20) Feb 19, 2013
Otto, I DID copy/paste it. Your'e too stupid to recognise your own source.

"If you do a smooth barrel firearm on the scale that's easy to do on this small mill.." Your source.

Noone said it had to be perfect, I just agreed that it can be done.

Making barrels is not common, but can still be done, and is done.
It is MUCH safer to buy a rifled blank, and easier too.
The rifling is the hardest part but can be done.
http://www.homema...-mandrel For homemade barrels./

http://ar15barrel...ng.shtml

What does a quality management systems have to do with amateur gunsmithing?
Do you really know what ISO 9000 is about or are you just flinging more Otto-shit? I have a well trained staff to cover the quality control. I have to, we make medical and aerospace parts as well as dental, firearms, automotive, optics, and more.

For a person who doesn't know what a cnc mill is you sure think you know alot about its capabilites.
Get out of the the basement Otto.
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 19, 2013
Since you appear to be in full duh mode I will provide easy sites to understand.
http://www.ehow.c...rel.html
http://www.wikiho...n-Barrel
http://www.firear...ture.htm

Did you know that specialty shops rent barrel rifling kits? Didn't think so.
Did you know that barrels, and the steels they are made from can be hardened AFTER being milled? didn't think so.

http://www.youtub...Zjbdu4Ok Homemade rifling machine!
http://www.youtub...KSfDUCWY Rifling machine bought by amateur gun hobbyists!
http://www.youtub...G2HHMcxE Even Russian hobbyists make them!
http://www.youtub...uOvh4uLI Homebuilt rifling tool for other amateurs to buy!
http://www.youtub...9Y-OvDpY Rifling machine from E-bay!
http://smartflix....-Machine Amateur sells to other amateurs!

The shop is laughing. All 48.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 20, 2013
More lies. You left out the important part.

"If you do a smooth barrel firearm on the scale that's easy to do on this small mill, you generally have an NFA firearm, which you can't just manufacture willy nilly legally"

-AR15s are not NFA firearms. Smoothbore guns are in no way comparable to modern rifles.
I have a well trained staff to cover the quality control.
Sorry it just seemed like you had a substandard knowledge of CNC machining. For instance you don't seem to know that heat treating after boring would distort the barrel and change chamber dimensions.

So I doubt that you make quality medical instruments. And please do show this to the shop. All 48.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 20, 2013
I did note that your eBay rifling machine was doing a black powder barrel. Steels used in black powder rifles are softer than those used in modern firearms. And borers, riflers, reamers etc to make the barrel alone, as found in a typical barrel shop, would cost you LOTS more than the few $1000 that dtxx claimed.

This is in addition to the machinery required for making receivers, stock, trigger assy components, and magazines. And what about all those nasty little springs?

So again thanks for making it so easy to demonstrate how full of shit you are.

Maybe the shop is laughing at you and not with you? Just guessing. Maybe they find lying stalkers amusing as I do?
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 20, 2013
Ha Ha Ha Otto. Like I said before, noone said it had to be perfect, I just agreed that it can be done. And noone says NFA but you.

The fact that there are vidio and E-hows on how to do exactly what you say cannot be done is very telling.

Reamer : $105 plus shipping
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 20, 2013
Oops bad thumb, bad bad.
cont.
Amateur, remember?

Also the fact that barrel drilling tools are sold all over.

Reamer : $105 plus shipping - Cheaper in machine tool catalogs.
Spring Kit: $11.99
PILOTED BARREL LINER DRILL 79.99 - What the amateurs use.
All this and every other part needed to make and assemble right here:
http://www.browne...ndex.htm

I would just buy a match-grade barrel for $198.00 Better safe...

CNC Mill Center:
http://www.tormac...in2.html
This is very versatile mill center that can make every part of most handguns and short barreled rifles. Just add skill.

Steel can be reamed and honed after heat treat. Distortion is relative to mass and an AR 15 barrel is usually only 16" long (406. MM) and hollow, which actually aids in heat distribution.
Carbide, Carbide, Carbide.

Look it up O ignorant one.

Next will you claim a person can't make a model airplane? Or boats?
Engines and all?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2013
Ha Ha Ha Otto. Like I said before, noone said it had to be perfect,
Dtxx said it had to be comparable to an AR-15. I showed you this is not possible on a CNC machine accessible to amateurs for a few thousand dollars. You threw out a lot of lies and deception to try to win an argument that didnt exist.
I just agreed that it can be done.
-Which shows that you know little about guns, AR-15s, CNC machines, heat treating, or personal integrity.
And noone says NFA but you.
-And the link which I posted, and which you chopped up dishonestly.
The fact that there are vidio and E-hows on how to do exactly what you say cannot be done is very telling.
If there are you didn't post them. I see nothing showing CNC machining of high-powered AR-15 rifle barrels. By the way AR-15 barrels are chrome-lined but this is not entirely necessary.

So - did you inherit your business or did your wife set it up for you? Or are you in fact just some tech who only works there?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 21, 2013
I would just buy a match-grade barrel for $198.00 Better safe...
So then why don't you just buy the whole fucking gun esai? Because you can't make all the components you need on CNC machinery for a few thousand dollars like dtxx claimed and you agreed with. No matter how much you try to lie or cheat or bullshit your way around it.

Zip guns are not AR15s. Black powder rifles are not AR15s. Shotguns are not AR15s. Boats and model airplanes are not AR15s. Did you know that they used to use a Damascus process for shotgun barrels because of pressure requirements?

Guns are not toys esai and are not MADE like toy boats and airplanes.

I suppose you can get away with this sort of bullshit with the guys in the shop or family members... but you're having a hard time of it here aren't you?
Estevan57
3 / 5 (21) Feb 21, 2013
So despite visual and other evidence you still believe otherwise... enjoy your willful ignorance and faith based reality.

By the way, "high powered" is a specific category of competition shooting not a particular amount of velocity or power per se.
http://en.wikiped...er_Rifle Ignorant little man.
The .223 is actually small compared to most rifle rounds. For varmints and automatics because of small kickback.
You are soooo ignorant Otto, you really are.

Guns ARE made by the same machine tools as model boat engines and airplane engines.
THE TECHNOLOGY INHERENT IN THE MACHINE MAKES IT POSSIBLE!

Obviously you don't know how a cnc machine works.
Computer aided design and manufacture, baby. Look it up.
If a product can be drawn, it can be made. Thats where the jobs are, look that up too.

You have actually "shown" nothing but your own willingness to ignore facts you find inconvenient. You poor ignorant loser.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2013
You cannot NOT lie can you esai?
By the way, "high powered" is a specific category of competition shooting not a particular amount of velocity or power per se.
http://en.wikiped...er_Rifle Ignorant little man.
The .223 is actually small compared to most rifle rounds. For varmints and automatics because of small kickback.
You are soooo ignorant Otto, you really are.
"High Power Rifle is a specific format of competitive shooting popular in the United States...or an AR-15 (M-16) style rifle."
http://www.6mmbr....ics.html

.223 replaced 30.06 in US service rifles. Both are considered high power by the NRA.

-So does your boss know you stalk people using his computers on company time? Or pretend to own his company, and use his clients names to do this with?
Estevan57
2.9 / 5 (21) Feb 21, 2013
"There is great comfort in a faith which simply requires that you IGNORE any evidence which would make you feel uncomfortable." - Otto The Ignorant.

CNC Milling an AR-15 From Scratch: It works! http://www.youtub...HFKqLCd4

All the parts of an ar15 milled by an amateur on video.
http://www.youtub...C76FBF48

Home rifling machine.
http://www.youtub...Zjbdu4Ok

Man creates a working ar-15 with a 3d printer.
http://www.nation...-printer http://www.popsci...-printer

So Otto, what is the PARTICULAR process that can't be done by an amateur?

I have provided sources for tools, software, milling machines, cad files, parts and springs,and videos of people doing exactly what you said can't be done.

I told the shop if you admit it can be done I'll buy pizza all around. Don't disappoint me Otto, that's a lot of pizza.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2013
Hey dumfuck
"There is great comfort in a faith which simply requires that you IGNORE any evidence which would make you feel uncomfortable." - Otto The Ignorant.

CNC Milling an AR-15 From Scratch: It works! http://www.youtub...HFKqLCd4
These are receivers. No barrels. Amateurs can't make AR15 barrels on CNC milling machines for a few thousand dollars.
parts and springs,and videos of people doing exactly what you said can't be done.
I am assuming dtxx meant it when he said you could make an AR15 on a CNC machine. Does this include buying things like cotter and snap pins, leaf springs, or barrels?

Why don't you promise to buy your shop pizza if you can just admit to them that you're a lying, stalking dumfuck? But they would probably just conclude that you were bullshitting them as usual.
Estevan57
3 / 5 (20) Feb 21, 2013
Thank you Otto, you have confirmed exactly what I stated about High Power being a format of competition.

"By the way, "high powered" is a specific category of competition shooting" -My quote. The words "high powered" are yours.

"High Power Rifle is a specific format of competitive shooting popular in the United States..." Your source' quote.

Yup, pretty darned different alright. Not. Dumbass.

So Otto, what is the PARTICULAR process that can't be done by an amateur?
Estevan57
3 / 5 (20) Feb 22, 2013
A person could get very nit picky and make his own fasteners, but why? Making springs by hand sucks. The pins and screws would be tedious but can be made with a cnc mill. Programming and setup would take longer than the actual run time.

The barrel? tedious, but people still do it - even your source made a smooth-bore. And rifling hardware can be rented, bought or made.

How to drill deep hole with VMC. (Vertical milling center) (Mill)
http://gundrillin...cpr.html

A mill can drill a hole longer than its vertical travel. They are designed this way.

Ya know, there's a reason long drills are called gun drills.

I'll tell the shop you came to your senses and praised God for deliverance from the evils of metallurgical ignorance, and that lunch is on me.

Then I tell them we're all working Saturday.
Gotta make them widgets.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 22, 2013
You know, in looking back over this thread I see there are some more ominous questions you may need to consider...

What sort of business owner would post a client list as part of a discussion like this?
http://www.smosarms.com/
http://www.bigborecanyon.com/
http://fidelisarms.com/

-not considering how easy it might be for they and their customers to visit this site and find out how little this business owner knows about component fabrication, heat treating, quality control, equipment availability, cost, and function; that he has to educate himself from youtube vids and blog posts?

-Or how easy it might be for anyone to contact these firms, get sub and supplier lists, compare, and possibly identify just which CNC mfr in oregon is lacking these basic skills?

-And if these parties were to contact the REAL owner of this firm, just how incensed would he be at employees who would misuse company time, resources, and clients to jeopardize his companys reputation in such a manner?

Go ducks
Estevan57
3.1 / 5 (19) Feb 22, 2013
Well stupid Otto, a proud business owner would post the hard and picky customers, especially if they are relevant to the topic at hand. Duh.

You are the one who needed educating Otto, you didn't even know what a cnc mill was. Still don't. Toys ARE made like firearms.

So what business would give out sub and supplier lists? Especially firearms?

All these businesses and more go through our facility frequently, at our invitation. You don't do business with people for 15 years by not getting the job done well. We play golf together, we swap employees, go to the same trade shows, sit on advisement boards, etc. Business is a community and a bad reputation goes around faster than a good one. Like yours, Troll.

If you want to try to find my business - go ahead. I have two.

If you just want to try and insult me or mine - fine.

Have you fucked your dog lately?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 22, 2013
If you want to try to find my business - go ahead. I have two. If you just want to try and insult me or mine - fine.
Oh not me esai. But who knows who reads what you write? If you post that kind of info in a place like this you might well expect to lose your customers or your job.

I cant imagine responsible company owners compromising their reputations by having their clients, or their clients customers, reading stuff like the above post, or watching you stalk people or lie through your ass. They might wonder if you are lying to them, or cheating them; or about the mental state of an obsessive, lying stalker.

Or they might wonder why you apparently dont know some of the basics of metal machining, without having to first look them up. Do they wonder if your products are safe?
So what business would give out sub and supplier lists? Especially firearms?
Customers and retailers who want to assure themselves that what they are buying meets minimum quality standards.
Estevan57
3.1 / 5 (19) Feb 22, 2013
Otto Otto Otto. I show people YOUR posts for laughs.. and they do.
The only person the slightest bit concerned about my reputation is you.

When you say "I can't imagine..." it pretty much sums up your experience on earth. You can't imagine a lot, I gather from your trollish behavior on this site. I have a windmill that spin less than you do.

With every "esai steals pennies from babies, etc. you end up looking more and more like a website Gollum. "THEY RUINS IT!" Otto says.

Telling people something can't be done is a really good way to end up looking like a fool. And you ARE one.

You have proven you know nothing about manufacturing at all.

You can't imagine a person with a happy fulfilling life with a couple of businesses and a great home life.
Do I bother you basement boy? Get a life, get a job. Get laid.
But for Dog's sake don't breed.

Have a well medicated day.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 24, 2013
You can't imagine a person with a happy fulfilling life with a couple of businesses and a great home life.
Sounds like Job.