When Firearms are a Political Statement – The P.A. Luty Homemade SMGs

Famous strategic and political thinker once said that “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” From many perspectives, this is entirely true and weapons being tools of war can then be seen as weapons of politics. While we here at TFB focus on the technological aspects of our hobby, sometimes the creation of a firearm is indeed intended as a political act.

The classic modern example of this is Defense Distributed, who’s use of 3-D printers to manufacture a firearm has been a loud statement. However, what happened before the internet and rise of crypto-anarchy? A British subject named P.A. Luty who developed and then¬†published instructions how to create your own homemade sub machine gun – much to the chagrin of the UK government.¬†

The weapons he created were capable of being manufactured entirely in one’s home with readily available materials. Where modern mass-produced guns require CNC machines and specialized knowledge, the weapons Mr. Ludy created were made without specialized anything.

For defying the Crown’s firearms regulations, Mr. Ludy ultimately went to prison for the manufacture of unauthorized firearms, but the guns he made are fantasic exposes in how guns can be made in defiance of political systems.

Ian at Forgotten Weapons has a rare look at the actual firearms themselves. When Mr. Ludy was arrested, his firearms were confiscated and ultimately ended up at the National Firearms Centre where they are the subject of Ian’s latest video.


TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


  • Paul Rain

    Speaking about this from a purely technical point of view- it sure is interesting that an entity claiming to protect people would lock up and brutalise someone for making a device from metal, while defending a group of persons who raped more than a thousand girls in the small Northern city of Rotherham alone.

    • Evan

      Maybe of Ludy was named Muhammad, he would’ve been protected too.

  • Tom – UK

    We need to see one of these being shot, can someone please take up the challenge to make a couple of these and video how effective the are?

    • TFB posted a vid of some seized in Australia about a year ago, including a video of a 30rd mag dump that ran flawlessly.

      • Tom – UK

        Thank you but what I’d and I believe others would really enjoy is a full on in depth video not a snippet.

        • Samuel Millwright

          You do realize you’re asking someone to do something flagrantly illegal and then post more than sufficient evidence online to guarantee their successful prosecution right?

          • Joshua

            illegal in most places

          • Samuel Millwright

            Yeah, I’m sure there’s maybe a country or two where you could do it and at very least not face punishment just because the authorities have bigger issues….

            But if an American were to do it, they’d pretty much for sure go to prison for it.

            Unless of course you have a SOT and are willing to burn the money to do it for shiggles, but i just don’t see it happening.

  • Brett baker

    Think I have one of his books. The design seemed workable.

    • Dougscamo

      Looks far more “finished’ than what is seen here most of the time under “home made” autos….

  • Joshua

    the SMG at the end, that thing is running a hair’s breadth from failure, but it runs flawlessly. I am very impressed.

    • iksnilol

      Not really.. the cop is just holding it loosely to show how “uncontrollable” it is.

      • Joshua

        no, the slow motion footage of the not Luty based gun right at the end, watching the cartridges walk forward out of the mag lips, one of them almost pops free, yet it feeds every time. The cop I agree is not even trying, but then he’s Australian, they have to make it look uncontrollable to keep up appearances.

        • Dougscamo

          Saw that as well….but it still looked pretty cool overall…

  • SP mclaughlin

    Is there a reason why the article changed his name from “Luty” to “Ludy”?

    • Dougscamo

      “This is a true story….the names have been changed to protect the innocent”….?

  • Martin M

    Imperative term being ‘British Subject’. A nation of whom a majority of subjects wet themselves at the sight of a steak knife.

    • steveday72

      If you only get your understanding of British Subjects from the mainstream media, then I can see why you might think so, but in reality that is not how things really are.

      People there are especially pissed about their persecution if they decide to defend themselves. It’s the Police and the rest of “Her Majesty’s” busy-bodies that want everyone to be at the mercy of the imported aggressors.

  • Martin M

    Therein lies the problem of ‘laws’. When people are truly free, that freedom comes with the expectation that they behave in a civil manner. At some point a line needs to be drawn to determine what constitutes civil behavior, which is defined in a ‘law’. Over time the definition and scope of laws creep and erode or even obliterate freedom. Laws, like anything else, suffer from diminishing returns. In other words, laws meant to address a specific problem will always fail to completely eliminate the targeted problem no matter how large the scope and penalties are increased. Ultimately, laws are not the answer to problems.

  • Phillip Cooper

    It’s a shame this sort of thing will land you in prison. I’m a DIY kind of guy and I’d love to fool around with this stuff.

  • iksnilol

    Yeah, he wasn’t arrested for the guns. He was arrested for spreading info on how to build them.

    A free speech case if I’ve ever seen one. Despicable what the “crown” did to him.

  • Kelly Jackson

    There’s a couple of video of Australian police departments firing these things. As one would expect the rate of fire is high

  • Noishkel

    There is such a huge part of me that wants’ to start churning out open source designs of some of the weapon ideas I’ve got kicking around in my head. Theoretically it’s not illegal by itself, but internal arms laws keep getting used as justifications to have the designs pull from the internet. Even if the weapons I have in mind would themselves would all be US legal.

    You know theoretically selling books on arms design is legal. Not sure why a video and a CAD file would be any different.