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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the gun-without-a-bang dept.

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.

Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles.

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  • (Score: 3) by aristarchus on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:12AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:12AM (#100824) Journal

    Lower receiver of an AR-15? What a sucky gun! You know, any reasonably equipped gunsmith can make a whole gun, and probably an automatic if they have sufficient reason (money!) I mean, hillbillies used to make Kentucky rifles (even though they are more correctly called Pennsylvania rifles, and OMG here we go off into another ammosexual obsessive discussion, but at LEAST it does not involve the distinction between automatic and semi-automatic. ) My point is, if you are going to produce a one-off automatic assault rifle, why not improve the design instead of copying the lowest bidder to the US military industrial complex? What low depths hacking has fallen to. First systemd , and now this!

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:45AM (#100831)

    Wow, Aristarchus! I did not know that someone could weave a systemd rant into a post about the right to keep and arm fully automatic bears! My hat is off to you, Kudos, sir!

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:09AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:09AM (#100862) Journal []

    Ghost Gunner is capable of manufacturing more than just firearm receivers. With Defense Distributed's open source Physibles Development SDK (pDev), designers can distribute files via our '.dd' file format, which contains all installation and assembly instructions, any required jig files to hold the part in place (that users can print with a 3D printer), and all machine definitions and code to physically manufacture a particular design.

    To a casual user, the .dd file is a one-stop solution to manufacturing any aluminum physible that the public can design to fit into the build envelope. Defense Distributed will be developing in and supporting this format, and we are happy to publish your own innovations and contributions.

    After installing the included software, you'll be ready to manufacture publicly available .dd designs. Defense Distributed is committed to releasing future firearm design files, from the AR-15 to the AR-10 to the 1911, and then continuing with our own designs.

    The .dd file format is itself open source and not constrained to the Ghost Gunner or Defense Distributed; any user can define any existing machine's specific parameters via the machine parameters list. A single file can contain specific code and installation instructions for any number of machines.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:45AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:45AM (#100892) Journal
    The thing is, the AR-15 is an ASSAULT WEAPON. It looks really scary and military looking with lethal features like flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, and black paint.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @11:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @11:07AM (#100897)

      /me hides his fully automatic assault cattle prod

    • (Score: 1) by infodragon on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:53PM

      by infodragon (3509) on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:53PM (#100942)

      If looks define what is an assault weapon then we are in a whole heap of trouble! An AR-15 is not an assault weapon, a 7mm rifle or a 3006 are both hunting rifles with a lot more lethal effect. The energy behind these are significant compared to the AR, in the event a bullet proof vest is used there will be tremendous impact damage compared to the AR. Not to mention the good quality 7mm mag and 3006 are more accurate than a good quality AR. Accuracy = more lethal.

      You may say the AR is semi-automatic. Both of these hunting rifles can be found in semi-auto variants. You may say the AR has larger magazines, same can be said for these others. In fact anything that can be done to an AR to make it "more evil" can be done to any other rifle, however other rifles have longer range, better accuracy and more energy behind the projectile. If the debate were rational typical hunting rifles would be demonized. In fact if the debate were truly rational we would be talking about what guns are used to kill people, tiny handguns. But the debate isn't rational, it's about "really scary and military looking weapons."

      What makes a weapon an ASSAULT WEAPON is an arbitrary definition, "In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use." Almost any gun can be this! I wish we could all have a rational discussion but instead we have scary boogy monsters killing people with flash suppressors, bayonet lugs and disguised with black paint!

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  • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:57PM

    by mhajicek (51) on Thursday October 02 2014, @10:57PM (#101182)

    The AR-15 can be significantly improved with a commonly available has piston system.

    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek