BATFE Test & Blow Up 3D Printed Gun

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The BATFE have been testing 3D printed guns. They have concluded that they are both lethal and liable to self-destruct (see animation above). Gizmodo reports

The bottom line is, the penetration results demonstrated that the Liberator is a lethal weapon. The .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull.

Thanks to Paul for the tip.

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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.


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  • JT

    so basically they probably tested it until it exploded or built them until one exploded…but it must have worked at some point without exploding, otherwise how could it contain enough gas to support the propulsion of the cartridge? Or how much power would it have lost with the barrel being there only momentarilty?

  • bbmg

    A law enforcement agency with a vested interest in not having people print their own guns proves they are unsafe? Sounds legit :)

    The idiots who would make this out of inferior materials deserve to have it blow up in their faces, Darwin would be proud. The “criminals” who actually know what they’re doing are the ones who the ATF should be wary of.

    • gunslinger

      yup. need more data.

  • bbmg

    The ABS one clearly works fine.

    Also, if you look at the one that did explode, it does look lethal at first glance but jusging by the apparent frame rate, it generates a number of lightweight fragments travelling at relatively low velocity which would be highly unlikely to cause significant harm to the shooter.

    • noob

      plus the low shooting grip on the ar15 style pistol grip will keep you far from the barrel.

    • Avery

      I’ve been wondering about some of these tests, mostly because it’s real easy to rig those tests so it looks like they’re unsafe by making it out of PVA. PVA is rather brittle compared to ABS. Not only is ABS stronger but also flexible, allowing for the use in tension-based components and can give some when under pressures (like when firing bullets).

    • The Forty ‘Twa

      If you read things again carefully you’ll notice it isn’t the fragments from the gun that explodes that are stated to be lethal but the bullet fired from it.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

    Oh lord, if only the public knew what I could make in my garage with my lathe and some hand tools. God forbid you throw a Sten parts kit into the mix :)

  • ThomasD

    BATFE demonstrates that zip guns are dangerous to all present.

    Who knew?

  • Mike Arms

    Forget about 3D printed guns now there GunMold.com
    a silicone mold to make AR15 lowers now all you have to do is pour in
    the polymer resin into the mold no computers, expensive 3D printers or
    technical know how. If you can pour you can make one. I was sent a free
    sample to review on CalGuns.com here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=862882&page=2

  • Mike Arms

    Forget about 3D printed guns now there GunMold.com
    a silicone mold to make AR15 lowers now all you have to do is pour in
    the polymer resin into the mold no computers, expensive 3D printers or
    technical know how. If you can pour you can make one. I was sent a free
    sample to review on CalGuns.com here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=862882&page=2