Courtesy Ivan the Troll
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In a previous post, I briefly shared the story of the FGC-9, and its appearance in Burma’s ongoing conflict. Despite facing incredible brutality after a military coup, and living in a country that was already among the poorest on the planet, civilians have been able to construct effective weapons with which to fight back and hang on against a professional military with modern weapons from tanks to warplanes.

It’s an inspiring story that proves not only the inherent ineffectiveness of gun control, but the power and effectivness of gun rights (a natural, human right) as a bulwark against tyranny.

Preparation Is Preferable

Having to scrounge together the resources to build weapons and develop the skill to do it correctly is hard enough even in peaceful times. Trying to do it during a domestic conflict against a national military is several orders of magnitude more difficult. And that’s before you consider the need to train with improvised weapons to be truly effective with them. The fact that Burma’s rebels are doing all of this shows that they’re pretty tough and determined people.

The point isn’t to be tough, though. The goal of any kind of rebellion or resistance movement is to defeat tyrannical rulers and secure not only peace, but freedom for one’s children and future generations. To greatly increase the chances of accomplishing that, preparation is key.

One great historical precedent for this would be the UK’s Sten submachine gun program. Facing a Nazi invasion, and still in short supply after the evacuation of Dunkirk, they had to come up with a simple and cheap gun design that could be built in small workshops to keep the resistance supplied post-invasion.

Fortunately for Britain, Hitler made the fateful decision to invade the Soviet Union early the following year, and months later, the United States joined the war. The invasion that would have required the underground manufacture of Sten submachine guns never came.

In the United States, we’re generally blessed with a legal system that allows us to prepare for such a conflict. The Second Amendment, combined with a system of other interlocking rights in the Bill of Rights, keeps us from having to rely on anything as crude as a Sten or an FGC-9 in the event of such awful times.

But not all countries’ founders had the foresight the Founders did. And in some cases, even the leaders of countries facing great dangers are shockingly naive about how they’d handle a post-invasion resistance.

The FGC-9 And Its Variants Make Preparation Possible

Before I get to the ways this can happen, I want to remind readers that it’s their responsibility to research local laws and consult with a lawyer before building 3D-printed weapons. In some jurisdictions, it may be legal to have all of the materials and designs ready to go as long as the weapons are not actually constructed. But in other places, merely possessing the files and the materials would be enough to face prosecution.

Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. I’m only sharing ideas you might research further to see if they’d work for you and be legal where you live.

FGC-9 exploded view (courtesy Ivan the Troll)

To make all of this work, we’ll first need to work on the design of what I’ll call the “FGC-T”, or a training version of the FGC-9. Instead of building a metal bolt and barrel, one could instead build a plastic barrel that can hold a cheap low-power laser emitter (like you’d find in a laser pointer) and a self-resetting trigger that activates the laser. Weight of some kind should also be added to the design (possibly with a permanently plugged metal barrel) so that it feels like a real FGC-9 in your hands.

This would allow people to do dry-fire practice with a training gun that’s legal in most places that ban real guns. As Gabe Suarez points out in his book The Tactical Rifle, dry fire can produce very competent shooters.

Dave Westerhout of the Rhodesian Defense Force saw that his country was facing a shortage of ammunition not only from war, but also from international sanctions against the unrecognized country. To save ammunition, he set up a special unit that would train with dry fire practice. To everyone’s surprise, the dry-fire trained unit outperformed a live-fire unit when it came time to qualify.

Adding a laser to a training gun built exclusively for dry-fire practice adds the ability to not only get trigger control right, but to also have a friend check to see if the laser dot jerks away from the bullseye during dry-firing. It also allows the use of software to check shot placement and conduct more complex drills.

When The Fecal Matter Hits The Ventilation Device

In the even the rule of law collapses or a foreign power invades, the actual components can be constructed to convert FGC-T laser training carbines to real FGC-9 firearms. Or the FGC-Ts can be left as they are and additional live-fire FGC-9 weapons can be built.

FGC9 FGC-9 3d printed gun
 By JStark1809 / Deterrence Dispensed – Extracted from the CC-BY-4.0 licensed media package for the FGC-9 125 MB zip file linked from DEFCAD page, CC BY 4.0, Link

Obviously, this “dry-fire only until bad times comes” strategy is inferior to training with actual firearms, but it has the advantages of being both possible and likely even legal (again, please check on this yourself carefully…it’s YOU who could end up in prison if you’re wrong) in countries with strict gun control laws. It’s far better than starting from square one with completely untrained gun builders and entirely untrained shooters. It with the advance of affordable technology, it gets more accessible every single day.

For the basics on 3D firearm printing, see TTAG’s introductory series of posts here, here, and here.

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  1. Note from the article:

    “In the United States, we’re generally blessed with a legal system that allows us to prepare for such a conflict.”


    “I want to remind readers that it’s their responsibility to research local laws and consult with a lawyer before building…”


    “I’m only sharing ideas you might research further to see if they’d work for you and be legal where you live.”

    Unfortunately, the second and third statements point out how the first is not really the case in this country today. I think the author (Jennifer) did a great job with this article, and she (perhaps inadvertently?) shows why the Founders’ intent against tyranny here at home is becoming more relevant every day. Here in California, the Dems are doing everything they can to choke gun building and make as much activity illegal, regardless of the Founders and the Constitution.

    • I’m sure those statements are just there for legal reasons. However, the necessity of such legal statements is extremely sad. Just print till you run out of polymer, and then order some more.

  2. quote————Fortunately for Britain, Hitler made the fateful decision to invade the Soviet Union early the following year, and months later, the United States joined the war. The invasion that would have required the underground manufacture of Sten submachine guns never came.——————-quote

    Jennifer obviously flunked history classes. In reality the Polish People under occupation converted toy factories over into making stamped sheet mental weapons for the coming uprising against the Nazi’s. They worked underground and at night. They also stole guns from gun manufactures that were making guns for the Nazi’s. When the Polish uprising came did all this make a difference? No, the Nazi’s crushed them in a matter of weeks because they had a well trained and well equipped modern army complete with heavy weapons.

    The Far Right in their infinite ignorance love to give examples of mythical uprisings by the people ever since they believed the myth of the Revolutionary Minute Men who were a bunch of underequipped, ill trained, local yahoos that had little to do with the winning of the American Revolution including their incompetent leader George Washington that lost more battles than he won and was almost captured twice.

    In reality it was French Foreign intervention that came to the rescue and won the American revolution for the American Colonials (polite name for Hillbillies) by providing so much money and professional siege troops and modern cannon and a complete French Navy that trounced the British Navy that it bankrupted France but convinced Britain that the cost of the war was not worth it anymore. Sound familiar? Vietnam is a good modern day example of U.S. imperialism/colonialism knocked flat on its ass with the financing and supplies from foreign governments i.e. China and Russia.

    We live in a modern era of advanced electronic surveillance making the mythical Minute Man even more Mythical than he was in 1776.

    • I once worked at a factory that made encapsulated bolt fasteners. They were used in installing the screen windows on polish submarines.

      • LOL…yeah the Poles only killed & maimed a bunch of German’s. Same as the Warsaw Ghetto uprisings. A war of attrition for the dopey troll…

        • Several other factors were involved. First the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was in a limited geographic area. It was beyond the range of western bombers and transport planes to drop supplies and return. Stalin refused such flights to land in Soviet territory to refuel for a return journey or mission. Stalin held his armies back from Warsaw supposedly for resupply and reorganization but in reality to give the Germans time to destroy the Polish Home Army as they were political rivals to the Communists.

          I’m impressed the uprising held as long as it did. They reportedly even captured some Panther tanks and used them against the germans until breakdowns, ammunition shortages, and combat losses rendered them useless.

        • Dacian is a Nazi. It’s his duty to try to down play any attempt to rebel against fascism.

          He’s only doing what Herr Biden tells him to.

    • I cannot believe I am about to say this–I am pretty sure that dacian’s comment is accurate in this particular case.

      The American Colonies all by themselves absolutely could NOT have prevailed over England–France was largely responsible for the Colonies “winning” the Revolutionary War.

      I don’t know very much about the Warsaw uprising. The end result, however, is that the Nazis crushed it. Was it due to Germany’s giant war machine, the puny uprising resistance force, or a combination of the two? My intuition says that it was mostly due to the giant German war machine.

      As for whether or not a bunch of armed “patriots” in the U.S. could repel and then prevail over a well-organized and well-run foreign or domestic war machine? That is anything but guaranteed. It would boil down to raw numbers and tactics.

      If China sent an invasion force of 2 million troops (with light armor and modest air support) to the West Coast and only 200,000 unorganized “patriots” (with nothing more than small arms) opposed them, those 200,000 “patriots” would lose badly in short order. If the U.S. government went full-on evil and sent 500 man hit squads on lightning fast surprise attacks–converging on random small towns for “non-compliance”–the dozen or two “patriots” at those towns would be quashed almost instantly.

      On the other hand, if China sent an invasion force of 500,000 troops (with light armor and modest air-support) to take the entire West Coast and 4 million “patriots” (with small arms) opposed them in overwhelming numbers at key isolated locations, the “patriots” would prevail. Similarly, if the U.S. government went full-on evil and sent 50 man squads to parade around random small towns in a “show of force” to frighten them into compliance, 400 “patriots” (with nothing more than small arms) would take out those squads in short order.

      • Yeah, I have to second busy beef’s comment. But once again, to give Dacian her due, the NVA were supplied with arms from both China and Russia. They didn’t have the industrial power to resupply all that we destroyed. They also had significant supply from corrupt South Vietnamese pols and officers who were funding their “Get Out of South Vietnam kitty”

        To the best of my knowledge, after the Afghanis kicked the Russkis out of their country we stopped supplying them deliberately. Of course, there was always the factor of their officers and politicians selling arms to the talibani in a private pension funding scheme and that would exist in this country too. There are always those who play both sides for private gain. It would be very possible to gain arms from sales by military who favored an increase in their income in addition to those who might be patriotically motivated. Then there is always the hit and run on supply depots to augment supply

        It’s not a done deal under any circumstances.

        While Dacian is partially correct, she overlooks the political scene in Britain at the time. True, Georgie Boy was frothing at the mouth both from personal pique at the upstart ragtag army facing off against the German mercenaries, bought and paid for with good British gold and early onset of senile dementia. Dacian forgets that the desertion rate on both sides was astronomical, especially among the German mercenaries who had been dragooned into service and found the freedoms in the U.S. very enticing.

        The French coming on board after the war was basically won was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Let’s not give the French more credit than is due. They hung back promising the fledgling U.S. government everything but only producing their page. (Old time Playboy joke) It was only when the Brits were getting their clock cleaned in the South (Those pesky Southerns and their damned gun culture again) that the French decided to jump on board the bandwagon so they could toot their horn about how they saved us.

        In any civil war there are tremendous losses on both sides. Except for foreign intervention, every casualty is a citizen lost.

        The nightmare of landing 2 million bodies on the West Coast is some Chinese general’s opium induced wet dream. On of the big advantages we had in WWI, WWII and every other foreign adventure we have partaken in since the turn of the 19th century has been due to our industrial might. We just out-supplied the buggers. The German military organization was far superior to ours. Man for man, the Japanese soldier was far superior to the U.S.trooper on the ground. The big problem with the Germans was that their POL supplies were a fantasy in both WWI and WWII. Do some reading on the effect POL supplies had in both wars. The Battle of the Bulge was brilliant — except the Krauts ran out of gas. Tanks eat up an astounding amount of gas per mile gained.

        The Japanese fighting man’s warfare skills were superb. The big difference was we would fire ten artillery shells to kill one Japanese sniper. The Japanese would have one shell to hold off a battalion assault. Bad math by the Japanese high command.

        Except for very few special instances, the Japanese high command was fighting the Boshin war all over again. Sorry, General, Yamato Damashii with swords will not overcome the lazy, undisciplined White dogs who have machine guns and lots of artillery.

        Any army landing on either coast, but especially the West Coast of the U.S. wiall have incredible supply problems with a 12,00 mile supply chain. Ask Adolph about long supply lines. He could write a book on it. Then there is the terrain. There is a small highway winding up into the hills from the town where I live. Every time I drive it looking at the terrain and thinking about assaulting it gives me chills. Coming off the coast of California an army immediately runs into easily defensible mountainous terrain. I wouldn’t want to be the general reporting back to Beijing with the casualty figures such an assault would create. Even with only small arms fire taking those mountain ranges would easily accomplished. Even the passes go through such rugged terrain that taking a pass would strain the manpower and supply chain.

    • Colonials=”Hillbillies”? Incredible- the Revolution was fought by “hillbillies” FOR “hillbillies”.. I never before realised that Jefferson, Adams, Washington and the rest of the Founders were “Hillbillies”! They pulled off an incredible feat and wrote several incredible and history-making documents- the Declaration, the Bill Of Rights, and the US Constitution!
      Proud to be numbered among those “Hillbillies”.

  3. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and what follows is not legal advice.

    The gun as pictured above has a shoulder stock and a barrel less than 16 inches in length. As such it is a short barreled rifle under US federal law and possession in that configuration is a felony. The prospective builder would do well to obtain a “pistol brace” which is legal and not the stock.

    Having all of the components including the stock (even if not assembled) could be construed as “constructive possession” of a short barreled rifle. Omitting the stock is critical to avoiding a felony charge in the US.

    • I believe the whole point of the FGC-9 is to counter gun control in its entirety. I imagine people who are likely to make this particular gun from scratch would be doing so to remain completely off the radar from TPTB, so that such guns will be available in the unsavory event of societal collapse, WROL, TEOTWAKWI, and/or outright tyranny.

      Make the gun, store it with the stock removed, and simply slap on the stock when it comes time to bring it all out of the safe.

  4. While it’s nice to see the FGC in use I personally don’t sympathize with Muslims or their freedom fighters. The roots of the conflict in Burma (more correctly, Mynamar) stem from a Muslim minority that the Mynamar government correctly identifies as an existential threat, not dissimilar from the threat posed by Muslims to India, or that found in various nations in Africa (Nigeria springs to mind most recently, as well as Mozambique.)

    If anything the FGC-9’s proliferation just proves what anyone with a brain already knows. A gun is as good – or bad – as the person who wields it. Nice of TTAG to post the information for general use. Never know when the files might come in handy.

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