3D Printed Guns Documentary

Vice has produced a 30 minute documentary on Cody R Wilson’s quest to develop a 3D printed AR-15. Much of the documentary is political in nature, but it has enough interesting non-politics content to justify blogging on TFB.

Many thanks to Ethan for the tip.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Nielsen

    There’s all of 45 seconds of non-political content in that clip. Nice.

    • Ian

      Yet still TFB is less political than 95% of other similar blogs. That number seems to be decreasing, however.

      • It’s not that we are allowing any political articles to get in but some have a couple of references to political topics with no bearing on the main topic.
        With the current hoopla over gun bans and such many news stories have something some folks may consider political comments.

    • JT

      The subject is non-political and actually quite welcome to me. Although nobody’s sure why Cody is doing this. I would like to see a more in depth take on what they’re doing than an interest piece

  • Ben Dixon

    I usually enjoy VICE’s documentaries. But this fell a little flat. I found this to be a huge letdown and a bit lackluster in it’s material and information. :

    Besides, it’s not like making your own firearms from inside your own home/garage workshop is a terribly new concept. Just the tools / methods have changed.

    Maybe instead of just only interviewing Mr. Wilson and some NYT journalist, they should’ve interview some another small-time, machine shop firearms manufacturing company. I would be interest to hear what difficulties they, too, had to deal with in the past, as in comparison to Mr. Wilson’s Defense Distributed company.

    It certainly would make for extremely compelling material to hear as to what old-school, DIY gun makers have to say about Defense Distributed’s ideals.

  • Joel

    Weapons proliferation has been accomplished by the large number of small wars and the small number of large wars. Central America, for example, is awash in military grade hardware.

    In addition, many rogue states have their own manufacturing (Venezuela has Russian supplied AK mfg sites).

    Further, DIY AK lowers have been discussed for years now. They are folded sheet metal with correctly placed holes.

    The NYT may be driven to fainting spells by Cody Wilson. But really, he is a small factor and affects the ability of the individual. The overall point was as Wilson stated. The utopians need to come to grips with the inevitable appearance of the unplanned/ unknown. A few righteous politicians cannot pass a law and drive us toward the sunny uplands of no problem land. In life as in conflict, no plan survives first contact. Don’t “immanentize the eschaton.”

  • A bit over-dramatic, but I still like the project.

  • tincankilla

    I’m a big fan of VICE and this project, although I’m waiting for Defense Dist to get away from just replicating existing part designs and into a new class of open-source designs that fit existing parts inventories. that’ll be awesomely innovative.

  • JT

    Finally. I was waiting for TFB to post something about defense distributed, but wondered if it was a situation where it was seen as too political. I’m very interested to see if they can create printable ammo or a gun that can run printable ammo. If they can produce a workable casing and have it run on easily producable propellants and bullets, maybe produce parts to create the rest of the cartridge, than IMO the act of producing one’s own ammunition will effectively bring the 18th century into the 21st century

  • PatrickHenry1789

    I love the way this kid thinks!

  • So they took a readily available CAD file and printed it? Wow, such innovation!!

    • Syndrome

      no they made the cad file and uploaded it.

  • JT

    Of interest is that they were applying for a firearm manufacturer permit. With no interest in selling firearms. That tells me they’re protyping a machinegun of some sort. I can’t see the point in obtaining one to produce an SBR or SBS or some other restricted class

  • Syndrome

    ack cody! eyes and ears man!