AR-15 Magazine Follower by crank
It's a magazine follower for an AR-15 magazine made by a 3D printer. This is the future, folks. Not flying cars, not colonies on the moon; but a printer that can whip up gun parts on demand. I love living in the modern age with Al Gore's intertubes!
This is a basic AR-15 magazine follower. It fits any USGI magazine. NOTE.... This is NOT currently an anti-tilt follower and this is a work in progress. I am implementing anti-tilt functions that will be in the next revision, plus a few other changes to make it "beefy" and a magazine spring catch. The current one feeds and functions well, I put 100 rounds down range with it, no jams.... YET. Also in the works, is a whole printable magazine and spring.
SCI-FI had a few questions from the article:
1) I am assuming that you (not YOU, per se) printing your own ammo magazines would be subject to the same laws as a "OEM manufacturer"... true?2) If you could, what would you use this technology to create (within the law, of course; although feel free to theorize that you lived in a free state like NH, too)...3) Considering that they can "print" stainless steel and titanium, what parts of the weapon would you absolutely NOT trust as a 3D-printed part (ie, MUST be stamped/milled metal).....?
Actually, Sebastian over at Snowflakes in Hell has been working on exactly this project - "printing" his own pistol magazines. I dunno how far he's gotten in the process; last time I checked he had some rough prototypes but nothing "finished".So, Wally - or anyone else - whatTo the best of my knowledge, there are no laws regarding the manufacture of feeding devices, only on the ownership of some types in certain states. Smith & Wesson manufacturers new > 10 round magazines in Massachusetts, so state law certainly isn't the issue. And you - as a private citizen - might not be subject to the same laws as OEM. They could be worse - as in, since you're not a large corporation giving big donations to politicians you're up shit creek; conversely, since you're (theoretically) not offering them for sale, you might be in a better position.
What would I make? Well, for starters a shitton of VEPR mags... :) Outside of MA, I'd be interested in seeing it it were feasible to make a drum magazine for the AR-15/AK-47 pattern rifles - as well as the Ruger 10/22. Drum magazines are ridiculously expensive - while you can get a USGI 30 round magazine for an AR-15 pattern rifle for ~ $10, a 90 round Beta magazine goes for close to $300. AK-pattern rifles are a little better, with 30 rounders selling ~ $20 and 75 round drums for $150, but it still doesn't make financial sense to spend the cake on a drum.
If we're talking firearms, that's a bit more tricky - especially getting into MA law. Since the Approved Firearms Roster only applies to guns purchased from an FFL, theoretically I could "print" anything I could find the specifications for. There is, of course, the not-inconsequential matter of whether or not "printing" a firearm would make one a manufacturer; I am fairly certain the ATF would agree that if one were to "print" something that could be used as a firearm that an FFL would be needed.
Naturally, this opens a can of worms - is simply having one of these 3D printers sufficient? A 3D printer and plans? This is a case where technology is outstripping the laws, and things can get REALLY ugly when that happens - one need witness the debacle of so-called "ballistic fingerprinting" to know that when technology gets too advanced, lawmakers get REALLY stupid...
I think I'd want the barrel at a minimum to be forged rather than "printed", but I really don't know enough about either process - 3D "printing" or gun making - to make an informed decision. I'll bet Wally would know...
That is all.