I know it’s hard to believe that Americans don’t trust their government when it comes to guns any more than they trust registered child sex offenders when it comes to their kids.
On October 1st, Cody Wilson – the man who brought us the 3D printed plastic gun – released his “Ghost Gunner” machine. It’s a small, computer numerical control milling machine that grinds out finished AR-15 lower receivers (the part the government considers a “gun”) from a chunk of metal. While the finished product can’t be legally sold or transferred as it’s considered a firearm, it is perfectly legal to create for your own use.
And Cody Wilson’s machine pumps out perfect specimens (aside from some tool marks) every time. When the rest of the AR parts are lovingly and carefully installed, it makes a fine guarantor of liberty against people like Senator Dick Durbin who would ban America’s favorite rifle and every other semi-auto gun in America.
Frankly, many including myself underestimated the appeal of these $1200 milling machines.
Wilson sold all 175 of them in the first 24 hours.
(Wired) – Americans want guns without serial numbers. And apparently, they want to make them at home.
On Wednesday, Cody Wilson’s libertarian non-profit Defense Distributed revealed the Ghost Gunner, a $1,200 computer-controlled (CNC) milling machine designed to let anyone make the aluminum body of an AR-15 rifle at home, with no expertise, no regulation, and no serial numbers. Since then, he’s sold more than 200 of the foot-cubed CNC mills—175 in the first 24 hours. That’s well beyond his expectations; Wilson had planned to sell only 110 of the machines total before cutting off orders.
To keep up, Wilson says he’s now raising the price for the next round of Ghost Gunners by $100. He has even hired another employee to add to Defense Distributed’s tiny operation. That makes four staffers on the group’s CNC milling project, an offshoot of its larger mission to foil gun control with digital DIY tools.
“People want this machine,” Wilson tells WIRED. “People want the battle rifle and the comfort of replicability, and the privacy component. They want it, and they’re buying it.”
Here’s more about the project (an excerpt from the entire story):
(Wired) – When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.
Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.
That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles. Some gun control advocates call it a “ghost gun.” Selling that untraceable gun body is illegal, but no law prevents you from making one.
Here’s the video from Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed.
I guess the question is: If Guns Save Life bought one of these machines for its members to use, would you be willing to chip in $50 a copy as a donation to GSL? Or perhaps $100 for non-members to use it? Let us know in comments!