Crikey A 3D Printed Liberator Might Blow Your Bloody Hand Off

Warns New South Wales Australia Police Commissioner:

Yeah, exactly.  I’m surprised I haven’t seen lots of Liberator related injury stories already on the internet.


Sure there are obviously different quality levels of 3d Printing.  They admittedly did their test on a cheap $700 printer, but I think it does a good job of making their point.


Hat tip: Charles



Tommo May 25, 2013 at 12:48 am

I think it’s an honest argument. DEFCad made the gun with a high quality 3D Printer, not a home quality one. You could easily build yourself a weapon much more potent for far less than the $1700 it costs you to print a firearm that explodes, if you so desired.


Chris T May 25, 2013 at 12:52 am

It should also be known that they possibly did things to the liberator after it was already printed. There were reports elsewhere of them using something like acetone on the barrel to make it smoother.

Something like this should be investigated independently.


Matt in FL May 25, 2013 at 09:46 am

With certain of the plastics, an acetone vapor bath is not an uncommon thing. Basically it’s a tank with a heated container of acetone in the bottom, and a fan to move the fumes around. The fumes remelt the surface just a bit, allowing it to reflow and smooth the printed lines out of the surface somewhat. It would not significantly affect the integrity of the piece, as long as it’s done in moderation.


Jon May 25, 2013 at 05:41 am

That looked like a barrel failure. The explosion was out more than back.
You can make it with a LULZBOT and a cast epoxy barrel that is plenty safe.


Sean D Sorrentino May 25, 2013 at 08:30 am

Did they use the wrong plastic?


Matt in FL May 25, 2013 at 09:48 am

The plastic they used was not as strong as what you’ve seen in the Defense Distributed videos. Their plastic is tougher, but requires a much more expensive machine.

If you take the anti-gun propaganda away from this video, it is a good cautionary warning. Print this gun and barrel out of ABS, and you will most likely injure yourself when you try to shoot it. From our point of view, this doesn’t mean “Don’t do this,” it means “Don’t do this like this. Do your research, do it right, and don’t get hurt.”


some dude May 25, 2013 at 09:10 am

Also, could have been ammo related. I have some +p 380 I used in my P3AT that the Kel Tec could barely contain. Pretty sure this hunk of plastic would blow up with anything made by Buffalo Bore.

That said, not really a scientific test, since it was done by a dickless political hack out to disarm his citizenry. Yes, talking about you, Mr. Superintendent Meter Maid. I’m really surprised Australians have pussies like that in charge of their police forces, every Aussie I ever met would have fed him his hat ass first.


MrMaigo May 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

They also could have printed it with thin walls and low fill on the inside. Looks like that’s what they did.


Jeff May 25, 2013 at 09:53 am

It’s very easy to sabotage a test (such as not building in spec) and call it dangerous.
IIRC the US military sabotaged the first AR-15 prototypes to prove that it was a dangerous design
DEFCAD used ABS+, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used PLA (made from corn starch)


What-do-I-know-anyway? May 25, 2013 at 09:56 am

Wow… this whole 3-D printing of weapons sure has the whole world in an uproar! Just wait till they make plastic bullets (wait, too late!) and plastic primers (powder or plastic cartridges dont set off metal detectors anyway)… then there will be little that can be done to detect them short of the TSA groping perverts!

Who are we fooling anyway? I’m sure the government is already using these things all over the place!


Michael Curtis May 25, 2013 at 02:53 pm

OH NOES !!!!!




Wallace May 25, 2013 at 06:45 pm

In my opinion the DefCAD folks have caused harm with their stunt and sensationalism. There is *no* way a 3D printed gun is able to function reliably or safely with normal defensive cartridges – and someone will likely get hurt trying to duplicate their result.
The idea of using a non-structural, 3D printed plastic for a firearm is stupid. I use 3D printers often in my work, have broken parts before, and don’t care to try exploding them.


Sean D Sorrentino May 25, 2013 at 06:54 pm

The first one they built fired safely 9 times. There’s question if the original Liberator pistol could have withstood all 10 rounds that it was shipped with. That makes this plastic pistol at least as useful as the original one was.

The job of that pistol isn’t to be a reliable method of self defense. It’s to be used to sneak up on an oppressor and shoot him in the head from point blank range. Then you take his gun, preferably a rifle. Use a gun to get a gun.

The other, probably more important, job of this gun is to put all oppressors on notice that they can’t terrorize people forever. Someone, somewhere will decide that the risk of it blowing up is acceptable nad print up a gun to shoot some jackbooted thug.

I don’t think it was expressly designed to allow us to enjoy the tears of frightened cowards, but I’m certainly not going to complain.


m May 25, 2013 at 07:13 pm

Exactly. When the atf decides to ban ALL self-made guns I’m going to be really pissed. Home made guns built from parts kits are extremely functional, and a blast to build. This publicity stunt over a plastic toy is going to end up ruining that, and possibly giving politicos exactly the spectacle they need to lock down the internet.

Hope that it was worth it for everyone else, because quite frankly defense distributed left a very bad taste in my mouth… And we haven’t seen the end of this yet.


Garda May 25, 2013 at 08:29 pm

Is it just me or is this whole “home made firearm” thing a little stupid.
Criminals have been making zip guns since the self contained cartridge was invented.
Who needs a $7,000 3D printer when you can go to the hardware store, spend $20, and make a “gun” without having to worry about an ITAR issue.


SittingDown May 30, 2013 at 05:01 am

Cool story.


11b May 31, 2013 at 07:13 pm

I like how derpsquad used iphones to record with all that hi-tec shit the have



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