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KingLudd has uploaded a printable lower receiver for an AR-15.

Proscribed Printables

Interesting milestone in open-source 3D printing over at Thingiverse: User crank has published a freely-downloadable magazine for the ubiquitous AR-15 rifle. As downloaded, crank’s magazine only holds five rounds, but a person with basic 3D modelling skills could modify it with little difficulty to produce a “high-capacity” magazine. I’m not sure what the current state of law on magazine size limits is, but prior to the sunset of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (Wikipedia) in 2004, manufacture of an AR-15 magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds was an offense.

Crank reports that the magazine—which consists of a printable body, follower, spring, and baseplate—is fully functional, at least for a few rounds:

I have used this magazine, no jams or feed problems….. YET. It works, but be reminded it is only a printed ABS magazine. If you end up using a printed ABS mag spring be prepared for stress relaxation of the polymer over time, especailly [sic] if it is kept loaded over a long period of time.

As published and as printed by crank himself, I should emphasize, this magazine is (as I understand it) completely legal, and would’ve been legal even before the ban expired. But the file raises some interesting questions.

In response, user KingLudd has uploaded a printable lower receiver for an AR-15. If you own an AR-15 rifle and want to buy replacement parts for it, you can easily buy—in person or through the mail—every part of the gun except the lower receiver, without any kind of legal controls on, or records of, the sale. So the manufacture of a lower receiver is tantamount to the manufacture of a functioning, extralegal, unregistered AR-15. Unlike crank, KingLudd has posted no photographs of the printed part or otherwise done anything to suggest that he has actually printed and/or tested it, because actually doing so—absent a federal license to manufacture a working AR-15—is unambiguously illegal. 

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Edwin Clements
Entered on:

This is true. I have heard on good authority that it is completely legal to manufacture your own firearms (as long as they are not machine guns) as long as you don't sell them. There are companies out there that sell "80% finished receivers" for a variety of guns, including the AR-15. It is not completely finished, so they aren't selling a receiver. You just finish it up and add the rest of the parts. So I don't think making one of these using this method would be illegal either. 

Comment by Joe Tittiger
Entered on:

I believe the author to be misinformed about manufacturing a firearm.  As long as you do not sell it I believe it to be legal. There was a company from Montanta that sold the blanks to manufacture all sorts of weapons legally.

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