NSW Police Print and test their own 3D Gun

The Australian police have expressed grave concerns over this weeks latest buzz story in the world of 3D printing.

The were so concerned about the availability of plans for the 3D printable weapon known as The Liberator that they decided to print a couple for themselves – with frightening results.

theliberator-partsThe NSW police used a fairly entry level 3d Printer (publicly available for less than $2,000), and printed the 15 separate parts required in 27 hours at a cost of just $35 in materials.  Assembly took just a minute or two. The only part not printed is the firing pin, which is fashioned from a nail – available in any hardware store.

The scary part comes when they test fired the guns.  The guns were test fired into a block of resin designed to simulate human flesh. The first bullet penetrated the resin block up to 17 centimetres – almost certainly a fatal wound if it hit a real live person.   The second resulted in a “catastrophic failure” of the weapon. The barrel exploded under the  force of the exploding .38 caliber bullet, and if not fired under test conditions would most likely have seriously injured the shooter.

NSW Police have been in the mainstream media today highlighting their concerns, stating that the devices are clearly dangerous (potentially to both the shooter and the target). NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says “they are truly undetectedable, truly untraceable, cheap, easy to make”. 

“Don’t try it, no matter what end of this gun you can be on, you could die. Do not download, do not manufacture The Liberator,” the Commissioner concluded.

About “the Liberator”

The 3D printed gun, called ‘The Liberator’, was designed and made by 25-year-old University of Texas law student Cody Wilson. It is made from sixteen different pieces (the only non-printable element being a nail which acts as the firing pin) and uses interchangeable barrels for different calibers.

Cody Wilson was recently featured in the 24 minute documentary (below) on 3dPrinting of gun parts called Click. Print. Gun

fp-45-liberatorIt is ironic that the last gun to be called The Liberator (the FP-45 Liberator), was also a one shot weapon used in World War II. It was dropped behind enemy lines during to French Resistance soldiers so they could kill Nazis and steal their guns in order to keep fighting.