3D-printed guns aren’t very interesting right now, because the person firing the deadly weapon is putting himself in as much danger as the object on the other end. Another reason being, the gun is made from plastic which fails to contain an explosive blast. Now, an American gunsmith has discovered a way to transfer that stress to a metal object – the ammunition.
Machinist Michel Crumling from Pennsylvania has started hand-crafting lead bullets designed specifically to be fired from 3D-printed guns. His ammunition is encased in thick steel shells, which can contain the explosion of the bullet’s gunpowder rather than transferring it to the plastic body or barrel of the gun. Crumling says that now the cheap plastic weapon can fire unlimited rounds without replacing any parts other than the shell. You don’t require a gun license to print a 3D gun just a 3D printer is enough which may cost you between $400 to thousands of dollars. This is a boon to DIY gun enthusiasts, and a big headache for law enforcement.
Crumling’s gun was printed on an ultra-cheap $400 Printrbot printer using PLA plastic and a few metal parts. But that doesn’t mean it was very easy to make the ammo. Although the raw materials cost only 27 cents a round and can be fired multiple times, the process takes a painstaking 60 minutes per round. He doesn’t plan to sell his 3D-printed Ammo but he’s making the plans for sharing the blueprints for the ammunition on his own website. He also notes that he could change his mind if enough gun enthusiasts are interested in buying the rounds, in which case he will apply for a Federal Firearms License.
The Ammo is just the first step; Crumling’s ultimate goal is to develop 3D-printed automatic and semi-automatic weapons.