Defense Distributed Releases Downloadable, Printable 30 Round Magazine

We interviewed Cody Wilson a while back about his views on the Wiki Weapon project and Defense Distributed, and it basically boils down to him thumbing his nose at anyone who thinks they can regulate anything in the digital age. With a 3D printer (that gets cheaper every year) and a simple CAD file, you too can print yourself a 30 round magazine. More information on their blog. Looks like a “high capacity” magazine ban just became damn near impossible. I’m really starting to like this guy . . .

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

51 Responses to Defense Distributed Releases Downloadable, Printable 30 Round Magazine

  1. avatarTeutonicTenifer says:

    Guys like this would be major forces in the Second American Revolution, if there ever was one.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      Go here to download the files:
      http://defcad.org/ar-15-magazine-30-round-hicap/

      • avatarS.CROCK says:

        i dont understand this article. what are you talking about “download a mag”?????

        • avatarOddux says:

          You can download the complete “image” files for a 3d printer to work off of to print a standard capacity magazine. It’s a tested data sheet that tells the 3d printer where to put material and how much to put there to make it. It will then spray plastic in the amounts necessary to construct the magazine. That description is very simplistic, but I hope it gets the concept across.

        • avatarWilliam says:

          It’s one of them newfangled computer things.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I just used this to destroy the last arguments standing from a Facebook friend who was advocating a mag capacity limit. Once I’d explained how easy it would be to extend a small mag into a large one in a basic workshop, then posted the link to this, it was all over.

  2. avatarDave S says:

    Now if you can get it to self destruct in the Evidence Room, before your felony Possession trial, where they take your ability to own, that would be a good deal.

    I have more fear of the possession charge

    • avatarrosignol says:

      Not an insurmountable obstacle. There are plastics that more-or-less degrade after a certain amount of exposure to oxygen and/or sunlight.

      If there is demand, someone will make it.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Kind of like the self destructing hard drives you can buy. They’re set up with heavy encryption and have the nifty feature of if the power is ever turned off, they automatically wipe everything. That way if the Feds come and confiscate your computer to look for evidence, they’ll find absolutely nothing.

  3. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Unmitigated awesome.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      What’s with the new Gravatar?

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        A few people made comments to the effect that it looked like an underage teenage girl, which is apparently icky. So I changed it to an even younger girl, with a submachine gun.

        Variety is OK; I would have changed it eventually anyway, just to have something new.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          I didn’t have a problem with your previous avatar. Although, somehow I got the impression, around the same time you picked the avatar, that were in the mid 60s in age. Must be the “in FL” thing.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I was born here. I wish a bunch of these transplants would leave.

        • avatarTotenglocke says:

          Yea, I have this picture on my computer. I have no desire for kids, but if I ever did have a daughter, she’d look like that kid.

        • avatarMilsurp Collector says:

          My grandma has a condo in South-west Florida. It used to be nothing but friendly mid-westerners and native Floridians everywhere you looked. In the past five years the number of Manhattan/Boston area transplants has increased ten fold; days at the beach without some loud-mouth New England drunks nearby are rare now.

          It’s a lot like California liberals who jump ship to Arizona and then call for increased gun control and bullshit environmental regulations because they want to impose their failed programs on everyone else.

  4. avatarSteve in MA says:

    Nick, any idea if the code for the magazine is on their site, couldn’t find it

  5. avatarg says:

    Wow. The future of DIY 3-D printing is looking even more awesome.

    I guess depending on the economy of cheaper 3-D printers and cheaper, better plastics, it won’t even matter if the printer makes a mag that can only last a couple of years – you can just build new ones whenever you need ‘em!

  6. avatarSteve in MA says:

    Also, any idea for what’s a good (free) STL file viewer

  7. avatarAir Force TSgt says:

    I wonder how easy is would be to add a manufactured 12/2012 script on there…. it was made pre ban… says right there :)

    • avatarspeedracer5050 says:

      Just find the time date file in the program, use regedit, and enter the ore ban date and save the file. Do the work you need todo and when done restore the original date. Be sure to back up your files.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        He’s talking about putting an imprint on the mag, not modifying datestamps in the file.

        AF TSgt — there are macros (shortcuts) in 3D printing to add embossed lettering to objects. It would be pretty easy to indelibly imprint any date and label text you want right into the plastic.

        • avatarBill says:

          Ah, but in this digital age, I wonder if it could be argued that the files were pre-ban so hence forth the mags themselves are pre-ban as well. I know know, probably not. But that line of thinking is akin to the whole concept of these mags. To snub the system on why to even legislate something that makerbot can make with a handful of free files.

  8. avatarSteve in MA says:

    A word on the defcad downloads, the mega-pack has all the files they have, including what looks like suppressor specs. just a heads up

  9. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    Did he say: “Tastes like Dianne Feinstein’s lunch”?…..

  10. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    This is pure awesomeness..

  11. avatarJoseph Ragsdale says:

    If you do not want to use a 3D Printer, you can make your own polymer “high capacity” magazines with a benchtop plastic injection molding machine. Medium Machinery makes a high quality machine for less than $3,000. If you do not have machining skills and access to a milling machine to make a die, you would need someone else to make you a die.

    It would be difficult to regulate or ban the manufacturing of your own “high capacity” magazines for a number of reasons:

    One, the government would have to ban the sale of dies for “high capacity” magazines.

    Two, the government would have to ban the manufacturing of dies for “high capacity” magazines.

    Three, if you have machining skills and access to a milling machine, the ban on the manufacturing of dies would be difficult to enforce.

    Four, magazines made before a ban would be grandfathered. How are the police or government going to know when you made your magazines? If you said you made your magazines before the ban, how is the government going to prove you made them after the ban? There will not be a record of sale, because you are not engaging in commerce.

    Five, if you have no intention of selling the magazines and you are making them for your own purposes, you are not engaging in commerce. The federal government’s power to ban or regulate “high capacity” magazines would likely come from the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court case United States v. Lopez limited the Commerce Clause to things that directly affect interstate commerce, which excludes issues certain gun control laws that affect commerce but are not directly related to commerce. Other recent cases including United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co. further limits the federal government’s power to regulate the states and commerce. In United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., Roberts wrote “The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated.”

    Judging from previous Supreme Court cases, it appears that it is plausible that state law can shield us from federal gun control law provided that we do not engage in commerce.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      @Joseph,
      Would this type is machine also work well for polymer lowers for an AR, or perhaps the polymer lower frame for pistols, like the S&W MP, or Glock?
      If so, this type of tool could be as powerful as a $5,000 bear CNC station.

      • avatarJoseph Ragsdale says:

        Yes. However, the receiver and frame you are describing use a combination of polymer and metal inserts. For example, a tapped metal “ring insert” would have to be overmolded into the AR-15 lower to attach the buffer tube. Likewise, the metal slide rails would have to be overmolded into a Glock frame. On the Medium Machinery web site, they show some examples of overmolded parts that were made with the machine.

        A better solution than overmolding metal inserts, in my opinion, would be to use pins to attach a metal “cradle” or “chassis.” This would require more machinery than a plastic injection molding machine as you would need to machine the metal inserts, cradle, or chassis.

        I do not own the machine, but the specs look good. Compared to the typical high school shop class plastic injection molding machine, the Medium Machinery machine looks to have the capability of molding higher strength polymers such as Zytel. Zytel requires a high temperature melt that is beyond the capability of a lot of inexpensive benchtop machines. The Medium Machinery machine melts plastic with heat and friction heat combined, which will result in a strong mold. The inexpensive machines only use heat, which might overheat and degrade the material.

        The “prototype” or “personal” CNC machining category is very exciting. Tormach is another company that makes a “prototype” or “personal” CNC milling machine that is marketed similar to the Medium Machinery plastic injection molding machine. Tormach is currently developing a CNC lathe and you can find more information about their CNC lathe on their blog at their web site.

        The combination of a CNC milling machine, CNC lathe, and plastic injection molding machine really opens up a lot of possibilities in what you can do in your garage. The cost of these machines has decreased to the point where a very diverse group of people can machine their own parts.

  12. avatarmatt says:

    So can this be done on a RepRap or MakerBot class device, or do you still need a commercial unit?

    • avatarThe Resistance says:

      You have to realize that the video shows a printed prototype made with a much more sophisticated/accurate/detailed machine.

  13. avatarAccur81 says:

    So it is impossible to ban standard capacity AR mags, and I definitely appreciate that. Since there are billions of 30 round magazines in existence, it was already not feasible to ban them.

    The problem is, the antis have a problem with basic logic. They can still ban the possession or use of an item. So I say build and print so you can grandfather these things in. I’m glad these programs are available. There is no longer an intelligent argument that banning standard capacity magazine is feasible. Now, to get the antis to understand intelligent arguments…

  14. avatarstateisevil says:

    The beginning of the end. For the other team.

  15. avatarDon says:

    This is what true democracy looks like. No joke.

  16. avatarPeter says:

    When 3D printers are outlawed…

  17. avatarJoe says:

    Anyone ever try to make a kydex mag? All you would need is an oven and some baking parts…

  18. avatarguzzimike says:

    To quote a line from the movie “Serenity” – “…you can’t stop the signal…”

    So many folks think that banning or making something illegal will somehow make that thing cease to exist. Blueprints are out there for just about everything in print & cyberspace. A magazine is just a box or tube (levergun or shotgun) with a spring and a follower. A single shot gun is a tube of the correct size machined to accept a cartridge and some means effected to strike the primer and fire the gun. Multishot guns have been around for 200-250 some odd years? And on and on. It doesn’t take a PhD (the anti folks can’t seem to figure this part out) to figure out how any of this works or how to make a new one.

  19. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    Everyone should realize, the govt is not actually trying to BAN anything. If that was the case you would not find black tar heroin on the streets at lower prices than reefer.

    This is all about PEOPLE control, and thought conditioning. If they make possession of high cap mags a felony, then they have won, because the vast majority of the people such restrictions are targeted at, the LAW ABIDING, will promptly obey the law.

    As neat as 3D technology is, how many people are going to actually commit felonies to produce them during a “ban?”

  20. avatarLance says:

    Now the expensive part of getting a 3d printer!

  21. avatarJustice06RR says:

    While I like the idea of producing your own mags, I’m not sure if I want to rely on using a magazine made from a 3D printer. That 3D-printed AR lower receiver only last a few rounds…

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      “…only last a few rounds…”

      For now.

      Look at it this way: you don’t want to rely on a 3D printed mag because you currently have working factory magazines. Magazines are wear items. Unlike your gun itself, which can last effectively forever with decent maintenance, magazines will eventually wear out or break. When that happens, what if you can’t procure more factory ones in the foreseeable future? Then being able to churn them out in your basement suddenly is much more attractive.

  22. avatarNathan says:

    These men are American patriots and deserve a Presidential Medal of Freedom. They have done just as much to preserve freedom as the President who will never award them has done to steal it.

  23. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    There main problem besides the minor design defects/inaccuracies is the material. They need to (for now) abandon the idea of using the print as the actual working piece. Most producers do not do this past the prototyping stage – remember 3D printing is for prototyping not end-use. Rather they need to focus on casting and or injection molding their print. There is a much wider variety of materials available for casting than printing. This is the way its done in a production environments and would still make their point about the unstopability of this technology and the ubiquitous access that it guarantees.

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