Teh Squeaky Wheel
Wednesday, eh? Good morning, GN.
Related to yesterday’s Defense Distributed article: https://www.wired.com/2014/10/cody-wilson-ghost-gunner/
“Ghost Gunner is specially designed to manufacture a growing library of mil-spec 80 percent lowers to completion. With simple tools and point and click software, the machine automatically finds and aligns to your 80% lower to get to work. No prior CNC knowledge or experience is required to manufacture from design files. Legally manufacture unserialized rifles and pistols in the comfort and privacy of home.”
What do you think, Mac?
Good morning, Sven; hai, Wheelizens!
Just got the internets back after a nearly 5-hour outage; feh.
Spent the morning working on numbers for that large job we were asked to bid; holy frijoles…it’s about $1.1M!!1! Really want to ensure that we don’t get shot down during Round 1 of the bidding process.
So far, I’ve been unable to make the numbers not make sense, so I’m confident there aren’t any gross errors in the square footage and/or pricing; I think I’ll work on something else and revisit that bid later today (or tomorrow morning) just to make doubly-sure Jim and I haven’t screwed the proverbial pooch.
I am very appreciative of the satellite-based take-down service we use on large projects; experience has shown their numbers are very reliable and they save a lot of roofing scut-work on bids like this.
I’m curious about that, too. (Defense Distributed is kind of like something out of a ’70s or ’80s near-future libertarian SF novel; I quite like that.)
Happy Wednesday, Gerbil Nation!
Good morning, Sven, and Fatwa!
I rather like that Defense Distributed is trying to get their library federally certified so they can have microfiche copies of DoD small arms technical manuals.
Effective 1 July 2018, California requires that you apply for a serial number for any firearm you assemble, if it doesn’t already have one. I’m not sure if pistols have to go through the state testing protocol and must micro-stamp the cartridge in two locations (currently impossible), but I’m sure the rest of California’s firearm restrictions apply (loaded chamber indicator, assault weapons characteristics, magazine capacity, etc.).
Sorry for the late response. Had to read the article (I’m a bit behind). It seems to be written by someone rather ignorant of guns, machining, manufacturing, and criminals. From Wired that should not be surprising.
I am all for what the guy is doing and wish him the best. I trust people so much more than government to work out a civil society. I think we have, as the human race, given the strong man rules approach plenty of chances and it just does not produce the utopia that is promised.
I am always amused when people think they can eliminate guns. You can take them from law abiding people of course, but they are not the problem and never have been except to those who would impose their rule by force. In San Quintin prison there is a wall covered in guns made inside the prison, including one clip fed automatic along with it’s electrically primed ammo all made inside. Two men made it and used it to steal a laundry truck and escape. I wonder what kind of society these people envision that is more restrictive and controlling than a max security prison?
Kids have made zip guns for a century. I saw an article about a copy of a 1911 automatic that was made in a jungle hut by a Vietnamese gunsmith. I could easily make a gun (submachineguns are the easiest and cheapest to make, STEN guns were costing under $7.00 at one point) with basic machine tools and could assemble a single shot gun from plumbing parts. I did that once to prove a point though I did not fire it. It chambered .44 special revolver rounds. During WW2 in the Philippians, a guy made 12 gauge shotguns out of iron pipes slid inside one another. It worked well enough he sold a civilian version after the war. The ATF claims that a weapon that can be converted to full auto is a machinegun, even if it takes a gunsmith. By this standard any steel bar becomes a machinegun as I could build one from it. Remember the FBI claim they found “bomb making materials” in Richard Jewel’s garage, that turned out to be duct tape and nails? This is why I wish this guy complete success and thank him for his efforts.
Sorry to run on. Was that what you were asking or was it more along the machining aspect?
Hey Mac! I’d be interested in hearing your opinions regarding the machine tool DD is selling, its capabilities, flexibility (e.g. must you start with 80% lowers, how much variation in the lower is allowed), accuracy, repeatability, etc.
Hi Paddy. I am not familiar with the particular machine but if it functions at all as described in the article it would be quite limited. I am sure it would require the 80% parts. An AR lower is actually rather challenging to machine. The inside of the magazine well has small internal radius and deep cuts, a difficult job. It is where many people who want to manufacture them from billet run into trouble. These are on much more versatile and capable machines costing several to many times what those cost. It is why the 80% receivers are sold, they are legal to sell but can be finished on fairly conventional machines. You don’t even need CNC machines or the programs he sells. You can finish them on manual machines. The left has been upset about these long before this aspect came up.
I was a bit amused at the idea of just anyone whipping out a gun on their 3D printer as well. They are becoming cheaper and better but a good one is still rather expensive. I think you could buy a lot of serviceable guns for what one costs. That may change with time but the writer kept harping on people making deadly weapons at home. I guess the bomb used in OK City was not a deadly weapon? It has been easy to do so for a very long time, and without fancy equipment.
Here’s a link to the website:
Thanks for the info, Mac. From what little I know about machining -- which is 98% second-hand -- it would seem like any small machine would be unable to hold the tolerances for consistent precision machining of something the size of a lower receiver.
The AR lowers are just aluminum and I believe the operations left on the 85% units are simple so I expect the machine can handle them. I think it would be limited to those jobs though. I will look on Fatwa’s link. The writer seem to be implying the machine could make other guns with just a download and I doubt this. A different work piece would require different fixturing and tool set ups. This is what a CNC operator does.
It does look like a clever machine for doing simple operations in a very limited work envelope. It will be interesting to see what develops. I would have no interest but I am in favor of breaking out of the restraints put on the whole firearms field. It really is a mess and has been badly abused. That was one of the annoying aspects of the Fast and Furious scandal.