The 3D Printed Handgun Works

Yesterday I mentioned that Defense Distributed had announced the first handgun developed almost exclusive (the one exception is the nail that is used as a firing pin) on a 3D printer. Many people questioned if it would work or if it would explode into a million tiny plastic pieces, especially since the barrel was made of plastic. As it turns out the handgun worked pretty well:

On May 1st, Wilson assembled the 3D-printed pieces of his Liberator for the first time, and agreed to let a Forbes photographer take pictures of the unproven device. A day later, that gun was tested on a remote private shooting range an hour’s drive from Austin, Texas, whose exact location Wilson asked me not to reveal.

The verdict: it worked. The Liberator fired a standard .380 handgun round without visible damage, though it also misfired on another occasion when the firing pin failed to hit the primer cap in the loaded cartridge due a misalignment in the hammer body, resulting in an anti-climactic thunk.

Here’s a video of the test firing:

It’s obvious by looking at the gun and hearing about the failure to fire that the firearm is a prototype but, considering how quickly Mr. Wilson has been advancing the art of manufacturing firearms on 3D printers, this design will likely evolve very quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reliable, albeit ugly, design capable of firing multiple rounds by the end of the year.

2 thoughts on “The 3D Printed Handgun Works”

  1. Now it is time to add a cylinder and ratchet and make the first DIY revolver. Also the HBO show Vice did an episode on Asian gun culture and in the Philippines where the guns are outlawed there are many backyard gunsmiths making what looked like very quality 1911s and revolvers. Making the prohibition worthless.

    1. Interesting.

      It’s good to hear that prohibiting arms is failing spectacularly in other regions of the world.

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