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News Link • Gun Rights

3D Printing Rifle Magazines


Hello, James.
I was wondering about something. If it is possible to build an entire lower assembly for an AR-15 (though a bit more fragile than what most people are aware of) using a 3D printer, wouldn't it also be possible to program that same printer to make composite construction 30 magazines (or larger) for AR series rifles. All that you would need to do then is buy the springs. Everything else can be produced using the printer. Sincerely, - Gerald H.
JWR Replies:
Unfortunately, with current technology I don't think that the plastics used have the requisite tensile strength, especially in the feed lips.  A  fully-loaded magazine exerts a lot of force on both the feed lips and the floorplate retainer. But in a few years, I expect 3D printing technology to mature substantially. So it could then become a viable option for fabricating magazines.

Dater JWR:
I am a retired police officer, SWAT team member, firearms instructor, armorer, First Aid CPR/AED instructor, and consider myself and my wife into prepping at a moderate level. While we do not have everything that I would like to have in my arms and accessories I know I am so far ahead of many of my friends that my confidence is high on that point.

I must tell you I was shocked when we visited a Southwestern Ohio gun store  about a week ago. My friend, an employee and also retired law enforcement officer, looked at us like a rookie department store clerk and said "I do not have words to describe this!"  "The last AR went out the door an hour before you got here, and we have no magazines left". They were limiting 5.56 ammo sales to half cases so naturally we bought half a case each as well as another of .45ACP.

The gist of my observation was while looking at a familiar gun store, and having a visceral reaction to shelves that looked like a grocery store pre blizzard or hurricane. I have been to homicides, fatal car crashes, and any number of scenes that would shock many of your readers who are not military or law enforcement. Nothing prepared me for this sight!

I told my wife: "All it will take is some small financial crisis and we could see a run on the banks." My story is not unique, I am sure you are hearing this again and again. Are we approaching a Rubicon?

Respectfully, - Brian T.


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