3D Printing Shotgun Slugs with bronzeFill PLA Filament

Share this Article

Cody Wilson and his 3D Printed Liberator pistol.

Cody Wilson and his 3D Printed Liberator pistol.

There has been an ongoing debate over how to deal with 3D printable firearms raging for years now. Granted, it is only simmering for the moment, but depending on the outcome of Cody Wilson’s ongoing lawsuit, and the fact that guns are likely to be a hot topic of debate in next year’s Presidential election, a new political battle could be brewing. While the government and the general public continues to misunderstand the technology, the 3D printing industry continues to brace for the worst; legislation that asks them to do the impossible and prevent guns from being printed. The desire to ban 3D printed guns seems to be based on a lot of inaccurate information about what an entirely 3D printed gun can actually do, which is not much.

The Liberator for instance, the 3D printed gun created by Wilson, certainly isn’t harmless, but it is by no means an especially deadly weapon and probably won’t be for years to come. At the moment it can typically only fire a single shot, and even then is at risk of blowing up the gun rather than successfully firing a bullet. But whatever the final outcome of the debate, it is probably all going to be for nothing, as the real threat, if it could be called one, probably isn’t going to be a 3D printed gun but 3D printed ammunition.

3dp_bronzebullet_closeOne of the more popular regulation proposals currently making the rounds is targeting ammunition rather than actual firearms. The idea of heavily monitoring the sale of bullets, and throwing a significant tax onto them as well, while still controversial, still seems more popular than specific firearm restrictions. But that isn’t going to be very effective when bullets can simply be 3D printed at home. We are realistically more than a decade away from a 3D printable firearm that is going to be as useful and deadly as a traditionally manufactured firearm, however 3D printable bullets are just around the corner.

3dp_bronzebullet_loadingOver the weekend the guys from YouTube channel Taofledermaus tested out some 3D printed shotgun slugs, and they ended up being surprisingly effective. Taofledermaus is a channel that makes videos of a wide variety of weird and oddball rounds being shot from firearms just to see what happens, so they were probably the perfect choice to test out 3D printed bullets. The shotgun slugs were 3D printed for them by a fellow YouTube channel printed them in a bronze filament, which is PLA infused with actual metal powder.

3dp_bronzebullet_waterbottleWhile there have been several attempts to 3D print rounds before, most plastic bullets aren’t very reliable or dangerous, mainly because PLA or ABS are relatively lightweight and fragile. But that isn’t really a problem for bronzeFill 3D printer filament, which is considerably heavier thanks to the metal powder the PLA is mixed with. While the guys from Taofledermaus didn’t expect much, the added weight of the slugs seemed to work and they found themselves more than surprised by the results.

Each 70 caliber slug is about two inches long, weighs about 21 grams, and was loaded into a standard shotgun shell. The guys set up a series of objects to shoot their bronze rounds at, including a jug of water and a large piece of scrap metal. The slugs ended up firing extremely straight and as you can see from the video, they did actually do a fair amount of damage to the targets.

You can see the test firing of the 3D printed bronze shotgun slugs here:

The Taofledermaus guys seemed to be having a lot of fun with their 3D printed ammunition, and it would certainly suck to be hit with one. However I wouldn’t expect 3D printed ammunition to be anything worth worrying about for a few years, especially while traditionally manufactured ammo is still inexpensive and readily available. For now 3D printed guns remain what they have always been, a novelty reserved for gun hobbyists. But this video proves that 3D printed ammunition is a lot more viable as an actual usable product than a 3D printed gun, so if the price ends up rising do to regulation and taxes, this is something that could easily happen now.

What do you think about these shells?  Discuss in the 3D Printed Bronze Shotgun Shell forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

University of Mississippi: How to Trace 3D Printed Guns for Forensic Analysis

Gantri Designers Continue Elevating Style with 3D Printed Lamps



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs: November 3, 2018

In this month’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting again with news about formnext, before moving on to other business news, a medical story, and a case...

Misinformation, Panic, and 3D Printed Guns

In June 2018, Cody Wilson’s non-profit Defense Distributed and the U.S. State Department settled their long-running lawsuit over whether the government can block the Internet distribution of Defense Distributed’s digital...

Will a 25% Tariff on Chinese 3D Printing Filament Affect 3D Printing?

The always excellent Hackaday pointed out that tariffs may be put on 3D printing filament. They looked at the Tariff List of the Second Tranche of Tariffs that will be implemented...

3D Printing News Briefs: August 10, 2018

We’ve got some business news to start things off with in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by a little research and a really cool 3D printed costume. The Department...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!