In a scare tactics video released by the New South Wales police, they built two of their own 3D Liberator hand guns with a AUD $1700 printer and then used them to fire .380ACP into synthetic blocks that mimic the penetration of human skin. The first fired the bullet 17 centimeters into the synthetic block, enough to fatally injure someone.
However, the 2nd gun literally blew up into pieces after being fired for the first time.
The lesson here?
There has been huge interest in the Liberator globally. Checking our Analytics for the past five days after the gun’s initial blueprint release showed that the Liberator had made its way to the top of search engine keywords, outranking other keywords by a huge distance. Even when the download was banned from the official website, it was re-hosted on The Pirate Bay with some torrents having close to 2500 seeders each.
What this means (on the whole) is that there are a lot of people out there willing to build the gun for their own purposes, whether ‘for science’ or for less than ethical purposes. The biggest problem is that the specs called for use of certain materials for quality sake, but the fact that the NSW Police used a ‘sub par’ printer, and potentially sub par printing material, it does mean that others can be putting themselves at serious risk as well.
We all know that even with detailed instructions, many people tend to ignore them, but the quality of this gun still comes into question because when it was first demonstrated by the Defcad team, it did self destruct after a few tries.
Unfortunately 3D printing technology (printer and material) still isn’t at the stage where it’s cost effective enough to produce a weapon like this that is durable and cheap. I wouldn’t rush to print a gun until maybe the next 5-10 years when things drastically improve.
Check out the video below to see the demonstration by the NSW Police.