3D Printer Guns – The Mouse That Roared

Defense Distributed Liberator Pistol
Defense Distributed Liberator Pistol
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Canada – -(Ammoland.com)- The successful firing of the world’s first plastic gun made with 3D printing technology, has brought immediate calls for a ban on so-called “undetectable weapons.”

The gun, called “The Liberator”, was made and developed in Austin, Texas by a non-profit organization called Defense Distributed, which claims its purpose is to “produce and publish information related to the 3D printing of firearms.”

The weapon was made with a 3D printer bought on eBay for just $8,000, and constructed by assembling 15 printed components made from ABS plastic. According to the BBC, which witnessed the weapon’s first test, only the 16th piece, the firing pin, is made from metal.

While Defense Distributed sees its guns as a way for people to defend themselves, at least one U.S. lawmaker wants the weapons to be made illegal. Sen. Charles Schumer claims the plastic design would make the weapons undetectable by airport scanners.

“Guns are made out of plastic, so they would not be detectable by a metal detector at any airport or sporting event,” Schumer told reporters. “Only metal part of the gun is the little firing pin and that is too small to be detected by metal detectors, for instance, when you go through an airport.” “A terrorist, someone who’s mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” Schumer added.

The weapon can fire a .380 handgun round, but Forbes, which was on hand for the firing, claimed a larger 5.7×28 rifle cartridge was tested, and blew apart The Liberator. 3D printing technology is seen as one future direction for manufacturing. Typically, it takes a digital representation of an object, and recreates it physically by laying down thin layers of material, usually plastics, until the digital file is literally printed in three dimensions. The object could be an iPhone case, a simple tool, a high-capacity magazine, or if Defense Distributed has its way, all the parts for a single-use firearm…

Tony Bernardo, the acting director or the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, said the ability to produce printable firearms won’t be a problem for Canadians.

“It’s a total non-issue,” Bernardo said. “People have been making firearms by hand for 400 years. Many of the firearms that were used in World War I were produced in factories that didn’t even have electricity.”

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website www.cdnshootingsports.org

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Penny Brown

I see this as a venue for a whole new branch of criminal activity, but as Bernardo pointed out, people have been devising their own weapons for centuries. I don’t think more prohibiting laws or more precise detectors will do. We need to reshape our societal, political and economic structures. With fully-fledged information AND design democratisation, it is even more imperative we take time raising the next generation, and putting enough resources in education and socialization. On the other hand, we are going to have to redesign democracy as well. Physical violence and crime are complex issues, but I dare… Read more »


ITS a shame,THE POLICE GANGS IN NEW YORK,went to public schools,judging by the fact they are commiting treason against the people of their state,their LACK OF EDUCATION proves the gun owners of new york will have to take them down,now considering the charge of TREASON is such a serious crime in america,I think a just punishment would be to give them a choice,of being shot or hanged,their choice,but if you americans want your country back,YOUR GOING TO HAVE TO ENFORCE THE LAWS YOUR SELF,cause you can’t relie on a pack of commies and traitors to do it………………..


ALL you good americans who love gun laws,READ-THE DICK ACT OF 1902,it FORBIDS,any and all gun laws and can’t be changed,it can’t repealed,AND IT’S “TREASON” to VIOLATE IT,and goes on forever,THIS law was written because the senators back in 1902 could see the american people were getting stupider by the day,SO TO PROTECT THE SECOND AMENDMENT,from being destroyed by gun grabbers,and morons and traitors,they passed the dick act and ITS IN FULL FORCE TO THIS “DAY” 2013 and goes on forever,anyone trying to take your weapons,or pass laws against them is guilty of TREASON,do you stupid cops hear this,treason is… Read more »

Rob Morse

There are several examples of guns without metal. Printed ABS is only a way for the inexperienced builder to buy a simple design. For the more sophisticated builder, they can use ceramic projectiles, carbon fiber springs and a carbon fiber firing pin weighted with carborundum. Even that is old technology.

5 War Veteran

While I applaud the ingenuity of the concept it is only within the reach of the well to do enthusiast and the criminal element.

Weapons can be made in a day with simple products purchased from hardware stores and assembled in a garage.
They are neither safe nor smart in most cases. However it expresses ingenuity and perseverance. Good luck with the rifling.


Ban them? Heck no. Hand them out at gun shows as a promotional item.


How about a 3d pressure cooker??


This is so sad. Why exactly the idea is behind this i do not know. How is this in anyway defense? Arming anyone and everyone in the world. Total madness. As far as the idea of using guns of any kind (printed or not) to rise up against the government go’s, good luck. No matter how many plastic guns you print, the US government will always have more fire power than you could ever compete with. You have just made terrorism even easier. If you want to see some positive uses of 3d printers you should take a look at… Read more »

Bill Baker

He left out that the ‘mentally ill’ or incompetent probably won’t be smart enough to figure out how to print it, put it together or use it. Plus, while the firing pin may be the only part made of metal, you also have to sneak past metal detectors the ammunition, which unsurprisingly will be largely metal in composition. Also, while I love this technology, how many of us actually own a 3d printer?