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3D Printed Guns - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
3D Printed Guns
 The files for them are now freely available.  I foresee a lot of Darwin Awards.  Making a gun is not actually all that difficult.  Making one that won't explode when you fire it has been a project of the centuries, and takes considerably more skill and luck. It gives a whole new meaning to "You'll shoot your eye out!"  I would not be surprised if exploding plastic guns do a great deal more to discourage people from making them than the government ever could. 

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nimitzbrood From: nimitzbrood Date: August 2nd, 2018 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Also google the term “zip gun”. It’s been around for decades and made with plumbing parts.

From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 2nd, 2018 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who needs idiot-hunting licenses when you have 3D Printed Guns freely available?
HooWeee! Now if that doesn't remove a lot of idiots from the gene pool I don't know what would.

I have a feeling though that the printed gun is going to cause someone to look--REALLY LOOK--at the whole concept of the gun and figure out a "work-around" that prevents guns from exploding when fired.

Bullets are something else that could stand a re-work if your one goal in using them is to kill someone.
A bullet with a little payload of a toxin or a poison would NOT need to do much more than penetrate someone's SKIN in order to kill them. (Think snakes' fangs.)
Such a bullet need not be fired at a high velocity in order to do its job and especially not if you're standing less than say twenty feet away from the person you're shooting.

(end/wicked thoughts now.)
:^|

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 2nd, 2018 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>I have a feeling though that the printed gun is going to cause someone to look--REALLY LOOK--at the whole concept of the gun and figure out a "work-around" that prevents guns from exploding when fired.<<

That's entirely possible. It has happened numerous times over the history of weaponsmithing. Certainly, one could find safer designs. But I don't think it's possible to get the frequency down to zero, simply because chemical propellant guns are based on the principle of a directed explosion. There's always a chance for containment failure with that. And when you move up to things like energy guns, then again you have a very potent energy source for which uncontrolled release would be very bad.

>> Bullets are something else that could stand a re-work if your one goal in using them is to kill someone. <<

That's true. The concept is simple, but the physics get much more complex. That's because doctors can't agree on what "really" kills gunshot victims. Some say it's the force wave, that is, higher-powered bullets do more damage. Some say it's the size of the hole, that is, bigger bullets do more damage. Some say it's the nature of the injury, that is, fragmenting or deforming bullets do more damage than round or pointed ones that go right through. All of these are true to some extent.

It also depends on where you hit. High-penetration bullets will kill with a head shot much more reliably than lower velocity, spreading, or small ones. But if you put that through someone's gut, meh, they'll be fine if they get to a doctor sometime soonish. A tumbler in the gut can do so much tissue damage that it can't be fixed without a transplant, and resources for that are scarce.

>> A bullet with a little payload of a toxin or a poison would NOT need to do much more than penetrate someone's SKIN in order to kill them. (Think snakes' fangs.)
Such a bullet need not be fired at a high velocity in order to do its job and especially not if you're standing less than say twenty feet away from the person you're shooting. <<

That's true, but it would have to be either a fast-acting poison or one without an antidote or other effective treatment. There are more slow poisons than fast ones, and a victim who makes it to medical help is likely to survive.

However, not all effective adulterants are poisons per se. Many drugs have disabling or even fatal effects, and people who peddle drugs typically carry guns. A fatal batch of drugs is a bad idea to sell to users (you can't milk a dead cow) but quite useful as arsenal.

Then of course, the U.S. military already uses depleted uranium bullets, primarily for armor-piercing qualities, but their tendency to vaporize on impact and contaminate the entire landscape is an unspoken subsidiary advantage. Hard for the enemy to muster effective resistance if their rate of birth defects undermines their ability to find healthy soldiers. That a significant number of U.S. troops using such weapons have come home with similar problems is an unfortunate side effect, but doesn't seem to dissuade the military from using it. This is one of the rare times I've seen that type of ammo used outside a post-apocalyptic scenario. Guys, what makes sense after the world goes kablooey is not necessarily a good idea before that happens. 0_o
elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: August 3rd, 2018 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
"A bullet with a little payload of a toxin or a poison would NOT need to do much more than penetrate someone's SKIN in order to kill them. (Think snakes' fangs.)
Such a bullet need not be fired at a high velocity in order to do its job and especially not if you're standing less than say twenty feet away from the person you're shooting."


You're describing a blowgun. They've been around for thousands of years; anyone can make one out of free junk, or buy a fancy hi-tech one for less than the cost of a basic handgun.

There was a drive-by blow-gunner in Washington DC about 15 years ago, who hurt a number of people. His darts were not poisoned, so no one died.

Arrow-poison isn't so easy to make, unless you live where you can catch poison-dart frogs or some other source of fresh, natural neurotoxin, and know how to process them. You can't just dip a dart in arsenic or aconite or hemlock or oleander, and expect it to kill anyone; those poisons don't work that way. The Viet Cong dipped their trap-darts in fresh human shit, which caused horrific infections out in the jungle - it wouldn't be so effective in civilization, where people who got shot with a dart would go straight to a doctor.

Edited at 2018-08-03 12:45 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 3rd, 2018 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>The Viet Cong dipped their trap-darts in fresh human shit, which caused horrific infections out in the jungle - it wouldn't be so effective in civilization, where people who got shot with a dart would go straight to a doctor.<<

That was decades ago in the heydey of effective antibiotics. Such is no longer the case. Many germs are now resistant to drugs. A few germs are immune to everything we have. Now I would not recommend loosing the latter, but some of the former are quite readily available through such locales as open-air manure pools at factory farms or any sink drain at a medical facility. Even if you don't kill your enemy, he will be too busy not dying to bother you for some weeks.

But don't limit yourself to poisons or germs. Consider things like lead or mercury. It takes very little of that to do lasting damage, and they're difficult or impossible to remove once inside the body. You'd need a form suited to quick dispersal, such as a liquid or fine powder, but it's doable.

Of course, there's a challenge to firing a loaded projectile -- it has to withstand the launch force yet still break or otherwise deliver its payload on impact. In the absence of tippers such as arrow poison, I'd probably look for inspiration from paintball guns.
elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: August 3rd, 2018 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

One can legally buy tranquilizer-dart guns that will drop a rhinoceros. Buying the tranquilizer to go in it is a different matter, but as you say, drug-runners already have plenty of lethal substances on hand. If it was practical to use dart guns instead of firearms, I'm sure they'd be using them already, but it's not practical - especially where real guns are so easily available.

"Even if you don't kill your enemy, he will be too busy not dying to bother you for some weeks."

That's fine for warfare, but not too applicable to crime, where the whole point is shooting people immediately dead.

"You'd need a form suited to quick dispersal, such as a liquid or fine powder, but it's doable."

Doable, but, again, not practical. If one wants to slowly poison someone, there are a hundred surer ways to do it. Unusual crimes attract a lot more forensic attention than ordinary shootings, stabbings, bludgeonings, etc., and they're easier to trace, especially if the victim lives long enough to talk to the detectives. There's no way to pass off a dart-gun wound as an accident, and such weapons are uncommon enough to be traceable.

If one just wants to kill random people from a safe and untraceable distance without using firearms, what in the world is wrong with the good old-fashioned compound bow? Any half-decent archer in a building above a big crowd could kill and injure dozens or even hundreds of people before anyone realized what was happening, because there'd be no sound to give warning.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 4th, 2018 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Poisons of all different types are all around us. You just need to think outside the box. (I won't go into this topic any further here--but you really don't need those toxic frogs to do real damage.)
But you're right--a blowgun is a better idea and they could be made of plastics without a problem.
:^}


elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: August 8th, 2018 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
There are plenty of different kinds of poisons that could do real damage, but not that many that would drop a person if used on a blowgun dart. Even real arrow-poison (neurotoxin) isn't immediate. There's not much point in shooting someone if they don't fall down.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 8th, 2018 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Well ...

Close, but not quite. The core goal of a weapon is stopping power. You want the person to quit bothering you. One way to accomplish that is to kill him, as in the "double tap center mass, follow with a shot to the head" philosophy. Under some circumstances this is an excellent plan. In many it is excessive.

If you shoot out his legs, he will be unable to pursue at more than a slow crawl. So long as you're faster than that and he hasn't got a projectile weapon, that's good enough.

If you shoot out his arms, he can't use a weapon even if he has one.

Severe pain can make an excellent deterrent, but doesn't work on some drug addicts. However, they do still need bones in order to move. Break the long bones and they aren't going anywhere.

Shorting out someone's whole nervous system works. Of course, it occasionally kills people. But that's why tasers have some popularity.

Drugs and poisons are interesting because they don't necessarily have to kill instantly to disable an opponent. Tear gas, for instance, isn't deadly except to people like asthmatics or fetuses but it's effective enough as a deterrent that it's popular. So is pepper spray. Now imagine loading a bullet with capsicum and putting it into someone's upper chest near the brachial plexus. Unless your opponent is on quite a lot of PCP, his nerves will tell him that a quarter of his body is on fire. He will almost certain stop bothering you even if you haven't punctured a lung.

Frag rounds to the lower torso or crotch area will generally make an opponent stop bothering you in favor of checking to see if his junk is intact and trying to plug up the leaks.

In fact, any injury to large blood vessels will usually make someone abandon other plans to cork up the blood, unless the person is A) combat-crazy or B) really high. If he keeps moving, well, stay out of reach for a few minutes until the moron bleeds out.

It depends on what kind of weapon you want to carry, how good your aim is (which is a factor of physique and practice), how combat-capable you are, and whether you're comfortable killing someone or would prefer a disabling shot to a kill shot. The more powerful you are, the better you can afford what amounts to a warning. The less powerful you are, the more essential it becomes to kill someone instantly. You can see why this makes me think very little of policemen who empty 60 rounds into one unarmed victim.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 8th, 2018 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
"There's not much point in shooting someone if they don't fall down."
Depends on what your purpose is. It might work quite well if you only wanted to kidnap someone.
Suppose you want someone to be unable to resist you grabbing them and steering them into your car....no fuss and no one on the street is going to report you to the police or remember seeing you put that person in your car.
Then too, just think about how the President of Vens. feels about drones now that somebody tried to assassinate him with one.
:^|

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 8th, 2018 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Well ...

People are probably still thinking of guns there. Well, America already uses drone airplanes to kill people all the time. The pilots fly by remote. Drones are fantastic for dropping bombs, gas, mines, and other miseries. Small drones just carry smaller payloads. It doesn't take much of many payloads to create a giant fucking mess. But most people won't realize that until terrorists have used them a few times.

*shrug* People should read more SF.

... except terrorists. I'd rather they have to think up bad ideas on their own. It's slower.
elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: August 3rd, 2018 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
True indeed. Wonkette has a good article:
"For now at least, the technical challenges to 3D-printed guns are still great enough to keep the things confined to tinkerers and well-off gun hobbyists, the sort of people who already build their own custom flintlocks or hand cannons. As Kyle Mizokami points out at Popular Mechanics, you really can't simply print out a gun on the public library's printer. You need a pretty high-end printer, costing into the thousands of dollars, and the materials are iffy even now. Not that any gun enthusiasts are likely to be put off by someone's flawed experiment blowing up in their face, because only other people do fatally dumb things with firearms."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 3rd, 2018 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes ...

It's basically not much different than the potential of building a gun in a machine shop, which anyone with the relevant equipment and a moderate amount of skill can do.

I mean heck, a friend and I once made a mortar with a metal pipe, a hacksaw (to cut off a suitable length), and several bricks (to prop the pipe at launching angle). The fireworks we bought had come with a cardboard tube for launching the 1" shells, and a great big fuck no to that. So we built a mortar, and it worked great. Light the wick, drop it in ... SHOOONK ... POW ... YAAAAYYY!

The main difference is that a 3D printer substitutes a minimum requirement of computer skill for what used to be a minimum requirement of manual skill. A slightly different subset of yahoos will now be able to make guns, but it is almost certainly a small number. Most people are not excited by the prospect of blowing their hands off.

Which reminds me of an easy solution the government could use to undermine interest, but yaknow, I'm not going to mention that one. Let 'em do their own damn homework.
matrixmann From: matrixmann Date: August 3rd, 2018 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Heard this from somebody recently.
Made me go like: "I wouldn't have allowed this because I don't know if you have 3D-printers around already which can handle hot iron, but other than that - I wouldn't worry that much a lot about it. 'Cause - there are solid reasons why certain parts of a gun still are made of metal and not of plastic."
Speaking, if you made a gun entirely out of plastic parts and tried to shoot a bullet from a regular one, it won't have the power to do the same that a usal gun has. Maybe the bullet gets stuck, maybe it makes the whole damn thing burst in your hands - whatever.
The power you'd get out of these plastic guns would be on the niveau of a normal airsoft gun, if that at all.
Just because the plastic parts break under inflicting big physical powers onto them.
Normal firearms they have introduced plastic parts with over the decades in order to make these items lighter for the one who wields them (and still they're heavy enough), but those you mainly find at grips and stuff like that, not in core parts that make up the canal that bursts out the bullet.
This is for reason - and the reason is simple physics.

I wouldn't have legally allowed that because I'm not that up to date with what 3D-printers can do and handle in materials meanwhile (and I'm pretty paranoid about everything), but other than that, I wouldn't worry too much. I wouldn't make a bigger thing out of it than it deserved from the view of the facts.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 5th, 2018 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
CBS's "Elementary" did an episode where the murder weapon was a 3D printed gun. The dude got caught because it exploded in his hand, and left him with some sort of wound that Sherlock determined was from an exploding 3D printed gun.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 5th, 2018 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, anyone who would willingly use a gun made of plastic, whether 3D printed or not, deserves whatever bad thing happens to them as a result.
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