By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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Image Credit: Forbes Magazine
May 6, 2013
Leftist gun-grabbers/Second Amendment deniers everywhere will really dislike this development. DefenseReview's (DR) favorite friendly neighborhood libertarian anarchist, Cody Wilson, has just upped the ante on 3D-printed firearms components/parts. His outfit, Defense Distributed (DefDist), has just developed and introduced the appropriately-named DefDist Liberator pistol (catchy), a completely additive-manufactured/3D-printed gun. Even the barrel eschews metal and is instead made from polymer. Not sure how smart that is, but o.k. Anyway, Forbes Magazine published a story on it yesterday, and it's an interesting read, especially for Forbes. A little joke.
While the Liberator all-polymer "Wiki-Weapon" pistol is reminiscent of fictional metal-detection-defying plastic/polymer pistols like the "Glock 7" pistol from "Die Hard 2" (1990) and the side-by-side double-barrel derringer-type pistol from "In the Line of Fire" (1993), and doesn't exactly instill in us a sense of safety for the shooter, it's a very real pistol that doesn't require advanced manufacturing machinery or molds and handwork. All you need is the CAD design program, the right printing software, the requisite polymer material (ABS plastic, etc.), and a 3D printer.
Like any new firearm there are some reliability teething problems, as described by Forbes:
The verdict: it worked. The Liberator fired a standard .380 handgun round without visible damage, though it also misfired on another occasion when the firing pin failed to hit the primer cap in the loaded cartridge due a misalignment in the hammer body, resulting in an anti-climactic thunk.
Assuming you do everything right in 3D-printing the Liberator, you should theoretically get at least one safe shot out of it (and potentially as many as ten safe shots out of it), according to Wilson (DR Disclaimer: Defense Review does not endorse the DefDist Liberator pistol–even though we support the idea and the ability of law-abiding citizens to 3D-print their own firearms–nor are we signing off on its safety. We haven't tested it, and we're not mechanical or chemical engineers. So, if you print and fire it, you're doing so at your own risk, so you should exercise all the necessary caution and avail yourself of all the proper safety equipment when doing so.). If you want to keep your hand and face, definitely DON'T try to fire 5.7x28mm ammo out of it.
Notice we included the description "(almost) all-polymer" in the title. The Liberator reportedly utilizes a steel nail for a firing pin and incorporates a mechanically unnecessary metal component in order to comply with Johnny Law, specifically a federal metal-detection-compliance law.
The caliber of the initial proof-of-concept test gun was .380 ACP, but Wilson told DR that he'll be testing a 9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO Liberator very soon. Go 9mm.
Cody Wilson is, in DR's opinion, one of the most important figures in the Libertarian, pro-Second-Amendment, and freedom movements. He's a freedom-loving-and-promoting "crypto-anarchist" badass and serious political intellectual. He's very smart, totally determined, and one seriously brave sonofabitch. (Editor's note: "Crypto-anarchy" is a term used by one Joshua Kopstein of The Verge, and we like the term.)
If Wilson has his way, it's going to be a brave (and armed) new world. The matrix (and Dianne Feinstein) had better look out. Our only question is will the Liberator float (both figuratively and literally)? No way to tell, yet.
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