Plastic Defence: New Documentary on 3D Printed Guns from Popular Front

    demonstrating the FGC-9 MKII (Popular Front)

    Jake Hanrahan, a British journalist and filmmaker known for his project Popular Front, recently published a new 26-minute documentary called ‘Plastic Defence’ on ‘Illegal 3D Printed Guns in Europe’. The documentary see Hanrahan travel to an undisclosed location in Europe and interview JStark, a prominent individual involved in Europe’s 3D printed firearms community.

    JStark is affiliated with the Deterrence Dispensed network/group, he is best known for developing the 9x19mm pistol caliber carbine, the FGC-9 – an evolution of the Shuty AP-9. In the documentary, we see the FGC-9 MKII, which features some improvements and has an HK-style charging handle.

    In the forest demonstrating the FGC-9 MKII (Popular Front)

    The documentary amounts to little more than an extended interview with JStark, which while interesting, I think the documentary would have benefitted from input from others working within the 3D-printed firearms community and perhaps other subject matter experts and those using additive manufacturing within the firearms manufacturing industry. The discussion of the technology is necessarily entry-level with the film’s audience likely to be unfamiliar with the concepts, however, Hanrahan focuses heavily on JStark’s beliefs and motivations.

    Sadly we’ve already seen a number of major media outlets seize upon the documentary and write articles that in some cases misrepresent the realities of 3D printed firearms, merely use the documentary as a jumping off point to air their own opinions on the matter and in some cases far from technically accurate.

    Check out the film here.

    Hanrahan and JStark discuss loading ammo (Popular Front)

    Here’s Popular Front’s press release about the documentary:

    Plastic Defence is a documentary about illegal 3D printed firearms in Western Europe and the decentralised network behind them. These guns are robust, they don’t blow up in your hands, and they’re untraceable. What’s more, they’re being made in people’s bedrooms.

    At Popular Front, we got access to the network designing and building these downloadable guns. They’re called Deterrence Dispensed. They’re determined to give untraceable DIY firearms to the world. We spent time with the founder of the movement—a man known as JStark.

    He showed us how he designs the firearms, builds them in his workshop, and even makes bootleg 9mm ammunition for them.
    We went out into the forests with JStark to witness how powerful 3D printed firearms have become, and to gauge how dangerous they could be for Europe.

    JStark argues that his group is helping people living under authoritarianism fight back against their oppressors. Whilst this might be true, Deterrence Dispensed is sending their technology out into the world for free to anyone and everyone. If it gets into the wrong hands, which it easily could do, many innocent people could die.

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    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]