The technology of 3D printing has begun to proliferate in the firearms world, and designs that were once essentially novelty project guns have evolved and been further refined into actual working, shooting firearms of reasonable effectiveness. 3D printed guns have come a very long way from the first 3D printed handgun released by Cody Wilson in May of 2013. 3D-printed AR-15 lower receiver designs have been perfected through new materials selection, dimensions better suited to those materials, and more creative use of 3D printing and other manufacturing techniques. 3D printing has proven suitable for making some basic components of firearms, such as housings, receivers, and furniture, but not others, like fire control groups and, of course, barrels. For those parts, makers turn to existing firearms components, most popularly the AR-15 fire control group, and, in the case of the Shuty MP-1, Glock barrels:
The Shuty design, one of the first 9mm semiautomatic 3D printed firearms I am aware of that doesn’t substantially rely on existing receiver and bolt components, has been refined over the past year to become the MP-1, a relatively compact, easy to build semiautomatic 9mm blowback pistol based on the AR-15. Here it is in test firing:
A pistol like this is a major milestone for the 3D printing firearm world. A relatively small, useful 9mm handgun that can be printed on a machine and assembled with a minimum of other components brings us one step closer to letting yet another genie out of his bottle.