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A few weeks ago, in the town of Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast of Eastern Australia, police raided a house and found 3D-printed plastic guns, some false identifications and a small amount of drugs.


“They are all polymer and all they needed was a pin and a spring-type assembly pushed into it to make it work. For all intents and purposes they would look like a gun.”

Police allege that three 3D-printed handguns, along with weapon parts, a knuckle duster, false licences and drugs, were found at a house at Mudjimba on Wednesday.

The 3D revolver shown above appears to be a variation of the Imura revolver design, named for the Japanese inventor who was jailed for making a 3D-printed revolver that was capable of firing blanks. The Mudjimba revolver doesn’t seem to have any metal in it. This makes it highly unlikely to operate successfully.

As the police noted, a firing pin and springs were needed, at a minimum. If the officer quoted thinks it would contain the forces of factory ammunition, I would like to see a video of him test firing it.

The single-shot designs found at Mudjimba seem unlikely to be capable of firing as claimed by the police. They appear to be a sort of zip gun design, without some necessary metal components. The barrels, made of plastic, are unlikely to hold up to firing more than a single shot, if that.

Such designs can be made much more capable by using metal tubes for barrel liners, metal springs, and a metal breech plate and firing pin. Such hybrid designs are simple and easy to make, but they’re not any easier to construct than simple traditional designs using metal and wood…without 3D printers.

The current media meltdown over 3D guns in the United States has misinformed people all over the world. In an article about the Mudjimba case, Sporting Shooter shows how far the misinformation has spread.


Should Australia ban 3D-printed gun plans like the US?

Mr Matthews said that, while there should be a crackdown on printed weapons because “there is nothing stopping someone from getting a print from the States”, he disagrees with the need for regulatory movement against the 3D printing process being used to print other items.

The United States has not banned 3D-printed guns. Designs have been freely available on the Internet in the United States for five years or more. Unlike Australia, individuals in the United States have always had a right to make their own firearms, and have done so for over 200 years.

Only recently have a couple of authoritarian states claimed to have the power to license individuals who desire to make their own guns. Those claims will likely be challenged in court.

The misconception in the case of 3D printed guns comes from the Cody Wilson/Defense Distributed case, where the State Department claimed the 3D-printed designs were covered under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Those regulations are designed to control the export of defense and military related technologies. It was a losing case on First Amendment grounds from the start.

People all over the world, whatever the local laws, have been making guns at home for centuries. Australians lost the legal right to do that in 1996.

The person who printed the designs in Mudjimba has claimed he didn’t know it was illegal to do so.

In the Australian state of Queensland, which includes Mudjimba, non-firing replicas are not illegal.

In New South Wales, the Australian state to the South of Queensland, a license is required to possess a non-functioning replica. In New South Wales, possessing the computer code to print out a 3D gun is a crime. And so it goes.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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  1. I’m pretty sure I have all the parts required to make a better firearm than those 3D printed guns, and faster too, in my garage.

  2. How long do you figure the police were sitting on those, waiting for the go-ahead on the time being right?

  3. Like yeah man , I want to get a 3D printer , spend a months income , and build that plastic gun , cuz I really don’t need my right hand ” I’m a Righty ” well I am !!

  4. The cynical part of me says he forgot to make weekly pay off for drug business. 30 years ago there were a lot of police found guilty of corruption including the state commissioner.

    That aside I would not want to try firings those guns in my hands.

    • In Australia,. paintball and pellet guns must be registered the same as firearms.

      That’s what the democrats want here.

      • And airsoft guns, by virtue of being replicas that expel projectiles, are apparently subject to the same restrictions as firearms.

        Lots of countries with draconian gun laws have strong airsoft communities, including England (though they still restrict the power of them, most American owned airsoft rifles would be illegal there without downgrading the spring), Japan, and even Russia. Not Australia though! Nope, just imagine the carnage if they let anyone get a fully automatic M4 that can fire .2 gram BBs at approximately 400 FPS! Think of the children!


        • In New Jersey, BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball and airsoft guns are all considered firearms, and the rules concerning firearms apply.
          In California, for rifles producing more than, a Firearms Certificate (FAC) is required. Air pistols that produce more than are prohibited, according to Google.
          So the cancer is here, too.

        • Bill…. at least here they (so far) have to go one state at a time because if the Fed tries it their billion rounds will get used up really fast…. IMHO

  5. I think the politicians and the LEOs need to evaluate and study these guns by test firing them.

    • Just give them one of those plastic 12 ga. Olin flare guns and some Aguila mini-shot shells. Then stand way back…further, no even further.

  6. Funny that I can’t have the code for 3D firearms legally but I can have various armorer’s manuals in printed and PDF formats. For now.

  7. all of the chicken-littles in both countries have been smoking way too much bad weed.the socialist fools can not add 2=2, they always end up with19 or so .I DARE ANY ONE OF THEM TO FIRE THE BEST LOOKING ONE OF THE PLASTIC-PRINTED PISTOLS.the only thing is they have to use factory ammo, just pick it up and pull the trigger.that is not hard to do , the hardest thing is firing the second shot with the same hand..

  8. total bullshit. its bit even a cap gun. plastic thing that doesnt work. no firing mechanism. total bs.

  9. Funny. My oldest son has a NERF gun that looks exactly like that revolver. Honestly that revolver looks like that’d be about all it’s good for shooting foam darts at the neighborhood cat.

  10. Once one has the printer, how cheap are these to make? I’m thinking that in time the process will be faster and cheaper, and the printers will proliferate…when the printers are as common as smart phones…what ever will these draconian anti gun jurisdictions do when, as an act of civil disobedience, people start leaving these things everywhere?

    Years ago I met a guy who claimed he was the Johnny apple seed of marijuana, planted the stuff in flower boxes of public buildings, on DOT righaways, in parks and such. His theory was that eventually, if every pot smoker did the same, the authorities would just have to give up eradication, since the stuff is a weed and will grow anywhere.

    Given the ability to make 10, 20 guns a day for a dollar or two, times 10s of thousands of participants, and it’s viable to seed them just like Johnny’s pot: leave them all over the place to the point that acquiring a firearm is like picking flowers. Crazy? Sure thing. But it still beats losing the ability to be armed (you can’t actually lose a natural right, only the ability to exercise it).

    Clearly I havnt really thought this out, but there is something here…i just can’t quite put my finger on it…

  11. The revolver at the head of the article is a washbear.

    Having trouble finding freely available stl files for that, and the songbird

  12. Just keep making them en masse. Make more of them then they can ever find or confiscate. Learn how to make black powder and how to mill it to make it much more effective.

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