Next Generation 3-D Printed Gun Fires Nine Shots, Costs $25

When high tech gunsmith group Defense Distributed test-fired the world’s first fully 3D-printed firearm earlier this month, some critics dismissed the demonstration as expensive and impractical, arguing it could only be done with a high-end industrial 3D printer and that the plastic weapon wouldn’t last more than a single shot. Now a couple of hobbyists have proven them wrong on both counts.


One evening late last week, a Wisconsin engineer who calls himself “Joe” test-fired a new version of that handgun printed on a $1,725 Lulzbot A0-101 consumer-grade 3D printer, far cheaper than the one used by Defense Distributed. Joe, who asked that I not reveal his full name, loaded the weapon with .380 caliber rounds and fired it nine times, using a string to pull its trigger for safety.

The weapon survived all nine shots over the course of an evening, as you can see in the YouTube video below. (The clip was filmed by Michael Guslick, a fellow Wisconsin engineer who helped Joe with his tests and who is known for printing one of the first working lower receivers for AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.)


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  • jdelaney3

    Cool, but its significance and practical applcation is questionable.

    • Robert Zraick

      True, but the principle is great. I like it because it is a thorn in the side of the gun grabbers. The only way the government could stop this would be to outlaw or modify 3-D printers, which they may well try. Anything that can be done by man can be undone. In doing so, they will have to continue to confirm what we already know, that they are traitors to the Constitution.
      A person with a regular printer could print up flyers which would be critical of government policies. The government would have to expose themselves as being against the first amendment to stop this. Let them flap their gums all they want to about supporting the rights protected by the Constitution, any such action will expose their lies.
      These printed guns are somewhat impractical, but in a pinch, a few shots is better than none. The printers and the cost of the materials is pretty high from what I understand, but in general, these guns could be distributed black market and I just do not see how the government could stop it.
      Let them expose that they are against the Constitution by trying. Anything that even remotely reminds them and reminds us that we the people have rights which they are sworn to protect, and that we also have power.
      The government uses fear all the time to control us. Fear of attacks, fear of police, fear if IRS audits, you name it. Let these plastic guns and their proliferation put a little fear into the hearts of the tyrants.

      • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

        I can get a Barret .50 with one of these. You just have to have enough balls to shoot the guy with the .50 and take it.

      • jdelaney3

        You sound like a good, principled guy, Robert. Excellent comment. Thanks.

  • Bisley

    Totally impractical junk. There is no sort of plastic in existence that can contain the pressure of even a relatively weak cartridge, like the .380, without suffering permanent deformation or catastrophic failure, rendering it unusable after a few (or maybe the first) shots. Nor can a plastic barrel contain the expanding gas behind the bullet to propel it to a useful speed, or supply the stability and rotation necessary for any accuracy, at all. Yes, it can be done, but other than to make a noise and self-destruct after minimal use, it has no practical application. With the possible exception of a few very exotic and expensive materials (which cannot be produced by this sort of manufacturing process), there is no substitute for metal gun barrels and breeches in producing a gun that can actually be used.

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      So you are the expert…

      • Bisley

        Closer to it than you might think.

        I’m not saying the technology is worthless; for things that can be constructed of plastic, and function as they should, it’s great. It’s the idea of building a totally plastic gun that’s stupid. In order to be safe and effective, it must be constructed of materials suited to the application. Plastic is suitable for (and presently used for) many low-stressed gun parts, but it is not a substitute for steel in its ability withstand heat and confine pressure (21,500 psi for a .380), while maintaining its original dimensions over tens of thousands of cycles.

        There is nothing to prevent anyone from building their own guns from materials that are suited to the job (except, of course, the threat of federal prison, which would also apply to unlicensed manufacture of plastic guns). If you’re going to risk going to prison by building a gun, why not build one that works, or better yet, buy one that works (without prison)?

        • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

          The pistol is called the Liberator. Do some research on the Liberator that was used in WWII. That is the idea behind this. And screw what the feds think. Maybe they need to live under the threat of death for trying to disarm people that are basically non violent. What is so hard about SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED?…These are not MEANT for any other purpose than to get a REAL gun from some criminal wearing a suit and carrying a piece of tin that makes him feel important, in EVERY COUNTRY of the world.

    • Brendan

      Yeah, well see how the human body holds up after a few (or one) shots…lol

      Let’s compare that brief conversation: “I’ve been shot!” “I’ve got to get a new gun.”

    • LoneStar

      You should save this comment and revisit it in a couple of years. I am certain you will feel quite foolish.

      • Bisley

        Evidently, you (and several others who have commented) have no conception of the physics and engineering of firearms, or what is required to make one that is safe, effective and useful. Educate yourself and check back in a few years.

  • TrevorLyman

    I understand this may not yet be “practical” but there is a pattern developing here. It’s a pattern that has existed for thousands of years as it exists with all technologies. That pattern being (for this example), the first one shot one bullet, the second one shoots nine bullets, the next one will…, and the one after that will… That’s the name of the game. Progress.

    Just think of what would have happened to the plane if it’s inventors decided their first model was impractical and gave up. Or the lightbulb, and so on.

    • Mark Abraham

      Good point, Bisley would have bitched about the first glider the Wright Bros. flew because it was only a few feet off the ground, and claimed that only birds can fly higher.

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      This shoots one bullet. He reloaded it each time.

      • TrevorLyman

        The first gun only shot one bullet and then the gun was unable to fire again. It’s still progress. I’m sure you understand my point.

        • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

          I did not realize that. Yes, this is progress. Soon the world will be liberated by this type of weapon because EVERYONE will be armed!

          • TrevorLyman

            Ha- now I’m trying to make sure I’m not mistaken. But it seems I’m correct as this reporter keeps calling it the “single-shot” firearm.


            Obviously this gun is far from usable in a real world situation but if it improves enough I can imagine it having a huge impact in certain countries – like North Korea, China, Burma, etc.

  • drikk

    Pirate Bay has free downloads of the blueprints.

  • Parker Orfield

    We need something that is cheap but like “Fire storm”