The Liberator 3D printed pistol made Cody Wilson famous. The State Department made it moot, censoring the files needed to print the pistol. Cody’s Company, Defense Distributed, now makes the open source code-driven Ghost Gunner 2. It’s a desktop CNC machine that makes it dead simple [sic] to complete unregistered 80 percent firearms. I stopped by to schmooze with DD’s founder (liberator?) . . .
The last time I hung out with the Austin-based entrepreneur, Mr. Wilson was talking a mile-a-minute, throwing quotes from classic literature, obscure philosophers and radical intellectuals like a computerized quote-throwing machine. Cody 2.0 is a different cat entirely. Subdued. Relaxed. Entirely coherent.
Credit/blame his commercial success. Mr.Wilson reveals that DD is currently shipping some 100 made-in-America Ghost Gunners per month, at $1500 a pop. Plus $100 shipping. Or not. For some reason, some customers like to pick up their Ghost Gunner 2 in person.
Yes, there is that.
“As far as I know, no one has committed a crime with a gun completed on one of our machines,” Mr. Wilson tells TTAG. That said, “I have been contacted by law enforcement when someone [with a Ghost Gunner] was caught doing something else illegal.”
And did he provide customer info.? Nope. “I will not honor a request for customer records,” Mr. Wilson promises. That said. “If someone clearly did something bad, I’d help. But I’m not looking to do the work of the court.”
But Mr. Wilson and his band of nerdy pranksters are doing plenty of work, upgrading previous gen Ghost Gunners, expanding sales to retail distributors and creating software to complete new (for the machine) 80 percent handguns. Business is booming.
“With Trump’s election, a lot of people are more confident about buying the Gunner,” Mr. Wilson reveals, “given the political climate.”
And although Defense Distributed’s facilities look more like a college frat than a high-tech manufacturing facility, I’m a lot more confident that Mr. Wilson is more than a one-hit wonder. He’s dropped his riotous rhetoric and gotten down to business. And while political disruption makes great press, the business of America is business.