How do the latest 3D-printed, mostly-plastic ghost guns fare on the shooting range?

Originally published at: How do the latest 3D-printed, mostly-plastic ghost guns fare on the shooting range? | Boing Boing


How do the latest 3D-printed, mostly-plastic ghost guns fare on the shooting range?

In a word(s), they are strictly for a one hit/shot. No durability and for all the made at home hubbub it’s a toy for the ammo sexuals out there.

P.S. I have been shooting & hunting for 50 plus years, so there’s that…


I will have to listen later. But the short answer is:

There are several designs that have had good success using parts kits and 3D printing receivers. Some of them more or less re-making the receiver, and others making something new that works with the existing parts kits.

Navi of Boomhandia - AKA Ivan, is one of the more prolific builders I am aware of and has done kits that work with Hi-Powers, and more recently 1911s. The most recent thing, and maybe the most impressive. is a CETME in .308. You can find him on twitter to see some of his contraptions.

Simply put there are a lot of nerds and engineers doing this as a hobby. I saw another one who built a replica of the rifle in Halo in .22lr complete with the digital read out and everything. This was how a lot of gun designers started out. The technology and networking are allowing more people to get into it.

I don’t really follow this niche, I am just aware of it. I know there is a subset of makers who have an anti-capitalist bent, where people can make their own firearms from old parts kits and not have to pay gun companies for new ones.


It’s inevitable that 3D printing will be good enough to allow for firearms that include more printed materials (resin, plastic, and even metal) than traditional manufactured metal parts. It’s really an impossible task to stop people from making the files, just how you could attempt to ban people from making certain types of books… they’re going to get made regardless if you want to or not. I think the only area that cannot be easily replicated is ammunition so that’s probably the best area to focus on restricting access to.


This is such a laughably pointless concern in a country where you can go to Walmart and buy a real AR-15 for less than the cost of the 3D printer that might be able to make a super crappy one-shot weapon that might not hurt you worse than your target.

Edit: not meant to throw shade on your comment, just in general about all the breathless news stories about this sort of thing.


That may have been true in 2012, but if you watch the video towards the end you’ll see the development has gone quite far.


I’ll allow someone else to fire homemade weapons with their appendages / body parts in harms way. No need to answer back, I know how that turns out when it goes to shit.


It’s strange that this guy has never heard of children.


Check This Out GIF


It was a remarkably fair, and actually interesting, story. The people here aren’t the ones I’m worried about as gun owners (other than that piece of shit, smug ass sexual predator who made the first one… fuck him).


Are you suggesting there a lot of children investing in 3D printers, parts kits, and experimenting with 3D printing firearms?


What I don’t understand…how do people expect to get metal bullets past the TSA, even if the gun isn’t spotted right away? Unless they planned to use it as a paperweight.


Hardened paper / cellulose bullets exist, although very expensive and or difficult to self manufacture will be near impossible to detect.

Scary world we live in…


That is absolutely not where we’re at now. They’re way more effective and way more durable than they were when this debate started ten years ago.

I’d imagine this is because you think of these people as a bunch of woo doggy lets get liquored up and go to the range with my hastily bolted together plastic gun, and not what they really are. Maybe that’s what they were awhile back, but now, like all craft, the professionals are doing the work. These are professional gunsmiths, metal workers, highly trained individuals who work at actual gun companies and military contracting companies, using state of the art 3d printing and bonding techniques, as well as full safety practices.

These aren’t idiots making these. These are the very same people that are the people designing and making your modern firearms.

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My point of view isn’t necessarily short term but more like what 3D printing will look like in 10 years time, give or take. It’ll get to a point that it’ll be much faster and robust, trying to stop people from 3D printing weapons would be pointless. But yeah, this being America you can just go to a Walmart or a gun show and get a firearm for zero effort.


“ Cody Wilson, who recently agreed to register as a sex offender as part of a plea bargain to get out of some even worse charges,”

Not sure we need to give anything associated with a statement like that more airtime.


Yeah, that ain’t no WIN WIN…


We had a fused filament fabrication chopped fiber printer in composites lab and we made some incredibly stiff, strong parts. One could make an outstanding handgun frame with one of those, but there’s a huge step between a $20k FFF printer and a hobbyist FDM makerbot.

Yeah, but soon (at great expense) you’ll be able to make an actual automatic rifle, as opposed to a semi-automatic with a bump stock that has the same rate of fire! And these “ghost guns” bypass our deliberately hobbled, mostly ineffective gun-tracking system!