Some bright young boffins calling themselves Defense Distributed have created a project that aims to provide, over the internet, all the necessary files needed to print a gun in a 3-D printer.


Their stated goal is to demonstrate how existing government structures are losing relevance in today’s increasingly High Tech world. I believe their stated goal is a worthwhile endeavour in and of itself, but I also think the actual technology is going to change our economy in ways we can’t even begin to fathom..

Historically, liberty follows empowering technology, not just the sexy stuff like long bows and gunpowder, but also the mundane things like food preservation, and sanitation. There are still tyrants and police states, who use a monopoly on the technology of force to repress and enslave the people. But a machine sophisticated enough to ‘print’ a gun, should have no problems ‘printing’ filters for water purification, or vermin and pest proof storage containers. I recalled a story about a prosthetic being printed for a little girl,


and looking for her story turned up a score of others about medical tech this 3 D printing device is making available.

But this post is about guns, printable guns in fact, a subject I have thought much on since Neal Stephenson introduced me to the concept in his novel Cryptonomicon and I found out about 3D printers.

My HEAP gun idea is a shotgun

Before the 3D printer I was working on a shotgun made up largely from plumbing hardware

Doesn’t need a rifled barrel

Shotgun hulls/casings can be made of cardboard if need be, at present they are made from plastic and much easier to construct than metal cartridges.

Traditionally the head is made of brass, but it might be possible to make them out of plastic, if not then a brass head is reusable in that it can be mated with a new hull/casing many times before needing to be scrapped.

Primers are harder to make, but small enough to ease logistical limitations smuggling automatically entails.

A big plus is the ease with which alternative and/or improvised loads can be manufactured, allowing different loads for different uses.

Using a pump design allows rapid fire and is easier to construct than an semi auto design which should translate to a more robust device.

Although aimed fire is more effective than people may realize, a shotgun is more forgiving than a rifle or pistol in scoring a hit on a target.

Although barrel length contributes to both accuracy and range, smaller designs (room brooms) are useful in a close range combat environment.

Last, shotgun pistols are feasible, research 4-10 / 45 Long Colt revolvers as well as shotgun derringer’s.

Anyway just some thoughts about a 3D Printer H.E.A.P gun.

Other printable items, eyeglasses, goggles, tools like screwdrivers and wrenches, utensils; forks, spoons, knives, plates, bowels, cups, boxes, gears, cogs, wheels, bicycles, belts, pulleys, books, checkers, chess, board games, and on and on and on

I suspect that showing people that their lives can be upgraded, that they don’t have to live in the misery that the poverty caused by tyranny brings, will do more in the long run in empowering people to choose their own destiny and reclaiming their own lives than all the printed guns combined