Defense Distributed Updated Ghost Gunner 2

New and Improved!

Defense Distributed, known for a variety of of political statements and some great firearms designs for home-manufacturing, has announced the shipment of the “Ghost Gunner 2” a desktop CNC mill to complete common 80% lower receivers. The Ghost Gunner 2 is the newest version of the Ghost Gunner, designed to “democratize” firearms manufacturing.

The Ghost Gunner 2 is an impressive little table-top machine in its own right. Per Defense Distributed:

Ghost Gunner is built from rigid plasma-cut A36 steel and 304 stainless steel. The machine part count is greatly reduced compared to traditional CNC machines, which both increases rigidity and decreases cost.

GG2 employs a horizontal milling format, a 10,000 rpm ER-11 collet spindle and has a machinable area of 8.25″ x 2.95″ x 2.35″, optimized for machining AR-15 and AR-10 receivers.”

Those looking for their own home CNC milling may find the machine a great fit. It accepts TinyG code (a common format) from any CAM software suite.


The Ghost Gunner 2 will likely fall into the $1500 range with a $250 deposit. Due to its size and complexity, its expensive to ship commanding a $100 flat-rate fee. The Ghost Gunner 2 includes the receiver mounting jig, software, and operating instructions.

Legal gun owners should note that in the United States, the ATF requires that individuals manufacture their own firearms from their own tooling and machinery. The Ghost Gunner 2 is a legal option and compliant with ATF regulations.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • OCG

    Does it still chug trying to machine aluminium?

    • Amplified Heat

      Always struck me as more a ‘meowing’ sound

  • gunsandrockets

    Hah! I think I recognize the music used in the video ad clip. Even I was just a kid when that movie first came out.

    • M.M.D.C.

      Well done.

  • gunsandrockets

    Go go DD!

  • M.M.D.C.

    I wonder how durable it is and how many receivers it would have to mill before it pays for itself.

    • Amplified Heat

      Depends how many 10$ 0% forgings you socked away, I imagine.

      • Spencerhut

        It’s for doing 80%, right?

    • Spencerhut

      Anderson 80% $40, Anderson complete $60. So you would need to mill out at least 80 of them to break even.

      • Evan

        The thing here is that not all of us have the tools or the know-how to mill out ab 80% lower. That’s the intended market. I have no idea how to operate a drill press, nor do I have access to one.

        • David Harmon

          Really? You can buy a drill press for about $100 that will be perfectly fine for drilling out 80% lowers…

          Heck, you can even buy one on online and get it delivered to your door for a bit more.

          Learning how to do it is a matter of reading instructions and following them.

          • Marcus D.

            All a drill press is, Evan, is a vertically mounted electric drill that you can raise and lower with a lever on the side of the machine, giving you perfectly vertical holes if your work piece is well anchored. Plus you can buy high quality steel machining guides for 80% lowers that come with all the needed instructions to get a good or better result, even for a rank amateur..

          • David Harmon

            It’s a little more than a drill, but yes, I agree. There is no reason to not scrounge up $100 and pick one up if 80% lowers is something you’re interested in.

      • Pete

        U shouldn’t even own fire arms

        • Norm Glitz

          If you can’t spell “You” maybe you shouldn’t own anything with a keyboard.

      • JohnnyJTav

        Don’t forget to add Transfer Fees on the 100%ers

        • Emperius

          No, private sale. Everything else is a violation of the 2nd and 4th.

    • Wolf Angel

      Consider that a 100% lower is only a few dollars more than the cheapest 80% and at times the 80% is more expensive depending on the election cycle driven demand. This is not about saving money. It is both a hobby and political statement.

      Articles on DIY barrels and DIY barrel making machines are becoming more popular. No way those are more accurate than a commercially made one. Similarly swagging machine articles not just limited to making bullets, but now cases too. The idea is you can own the full cycle (save modern smokeless powder) … But black powder is a known art that is easy.

      So given a $20 savings… That’s 75 lowers for personal use. Not very practical. And that’s not counting tooling costs, bits etc. But you can also do other things with it. It is afterall a general purpose horizontal CNC mill. So carve out some decorative draw pull plates, or metal carved nameplates. Make replacement latches that broke on windows; lots you can do.

  • M

    So what’s improved?

  • Amplified Heat

    LOL, “rigid.” Cool little machine, though, glad it uses an open code now, so maybe 1911 frames, engraving, and small minimill parts are a possibility.

  • Roy G Bunting

    This is what the end of 80% lowers looks like.
    “It can be turned into a gun with the push of a button, using a publicly available tool. It’s a firearm.”

    The result of widespread adoption is likely to be the opposite of the intent. As I understand it the 80% rulings aren’t written into law, but are BATFE rulings and regulations that can be changed at the department level with the advance of new information. Just because they haven’t moved on this yet doesn’t mean they won’t.

    • Alex Agius

      Then it’ll be 70% receivers and so on until we have a Ghost gunner which will machine a receiver from a block of aluminum

      • Roy G Bunting

        I think it’s much more likely to go directly to “block of aluminum” or other virgin materials. No more flats, no more kits. Which is fine for people that can afford $1500+ of CNC machine. Whereas 80% right now can be finished with a hand drill and time. Or an existing drill press in the garage.

        Or worse, they get smart and regulate the sale of barrels.

        • David Harmon

          Don’t give them any ideas…

        • Phil Hsueh

          But CA is trying to pass regulations that restrict even that, so, no more 0% lowers even if this law gets passed. Not that your average nutjob or gangbanger is busy working on 80% lowers or trying to machine a lower from a block of metal.

    • raz-0

      And the step after that is for the button to turn a cube of aluminum into a receiver.

      Now what?

      Is knowledge the gun, all aluminum bigger than x by y by z a gun?

      Is a cnc machine a gun now?

      • Ben Griffin

        No, you’re a gun.

    • JohnnyJTav

      And we all know what they did to the Barrels from import kits

  • Evan

    What’s the difference between this and the original Ghost Gunner?

  • Could you do a bill of sale of the cnc machine to a pal for $100, then so on and so forth to basically time share the machine and legally manufacture multiple people’s goods with it?

    • You don’t even need a bill of sale, your friend is free to use your machine to manufacture his firearms. I have built AR-15s on other people’s CNC machines before. It is completely legal.

      • Ben Griffin

        Right on! I try to explain something very similar to people about driving faster than the speed limit. I have exceeded the speed limit so countless times without incuring a ticket. You don’t even need use a radar detector, a compelling excuse, or escape route. It’s like you say about manufacturing a firearm on your friend’s CNC machine; you did it and didn’t get into trouble, which obviously means it is 100% legal.

  • Alex

    Can they show us what a lower receiver FCG pocket done by a Ghost Gunner 2 looks like?

    Part of me is skeptical as they don’t even bother showing the outcome of what the machine is capable of. Is this going to be better than the router and easy jig route? Convince me that your machine can achieve better precision than an router.

  • This ruling applied to businesses and especially makes note of money changing hands.

    What is to (legally) prevent a friend or neighbor from using your Ghost Gunner (or even just your hand tools) to mill out an 80% lower themselves? Not with your help. Not paying you any money. Just borrowing your tools for zero dollars.

    Much in the same way that you can’t be responsible for what a person does with a hammer you loan them or a book you loan them or a cast iron pan you loan them (all legal, unlicensed items) I fail to see how the above-quoted ruling applies to someone using a GhostGunner you loan them.

    (Is it somehow related to this being a purpose-specific tool for firearm manufacturing? Would using someone’s drill and maybe a jig from 80% Arms also be a legal problem?)

    • Ben Griffin

      ‘…Much in the same way that you can’t be responsible for what a person does with a hammer you loan them…’
      False premise. Loaning someone a hammer or otherwise providing support when it is known or reasonably should be known a crime is going to be committed (with said hammer, for example) could result in being charged as an accomplice.
      Also, the charity model of on individual purchasing the machine and then transferring ownership without reimbursement, seems totally unrealistic. If a plan is worked out such that reimbursement is disguised as something else, that could result in charges like conspiracy and fraud.

  • Yes, before reading the portion you pasted, I read the opinion/determination PDF. My uncivilized self was under the intepretation that if you were no longer legally in possession or ownership of the ghost gun cnc machine by means of a legal but trivial transaction of goods for cash, you would be off thr hook.

    Ex billy buys it for $1500, makes as many receivers as he wants and throuh a pre planned transaction, bobby buys it for 1400, then jim buys it from bobby for $1300, etc etc etc.

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    With a little more effort, this could machine 0% lowers from billet,
    albeit with more setups. The internet is all about people sharing their
    files and knowledge and information. What would the banners and
    infringers do then?

  • CruisingTroll

    I’m looking forward to when the files for machining your own select fire trigger group ship with it…. 😀