3D Printed Grenade Launcher

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The US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center recently announce the production of an all metal 3D printed grenade launcher and ammo. Meanwhile in congress, Senator Bill Nelson announced that he has filed legislation with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for a new law aimed to tighten current restrictions on 3D printed guns.

3D Printed Grenade Launcher

The US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center recently announced that they had 3d printed an all-metal grenade launcher.

RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance) was made using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printing technology along with other 3D printing methods.

3D printed Grenade launcher

Combined with a handful of off the shelf springs and fasteners, It took only 70 hours to 3D print, 5 hours to machine, and apply a type III anodized coating. Even though the metal power required for this type of print cost $100 a pound, the cost savings in labor and production are significant. The Army also tested a M781 40 mm training round.

The Army also successfully test fired the training rounds 15 times with no wear to the barrel of the launcher.

3D printing arms for soldiers can represent a massive cost savings, and can also lead to a new field of customizable weapons for special force soldiers in the future. 3D printing the ammo can also lead to more specialized rounds, or even possibly produce ammo on a base, which can shorten supply chains and lead to further transportation savings.

Tighten the requirements for the production of 3D printed guns

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., the US government is trying to push 3D gun legislation further then ever before.

Senator Bill Nelson announced this past Monday that he has filed legislation with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to tighten the requirements for the production of 3D printed guns.

3D printed Gun, 3D printed Grenade Launcher

The bill is written to modernize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988. It clears up some language in the original Undetectable firearms Act, but it also closes what many see as a critical loophole in the law.

In the original law, any 3D printed gun is required to have a 3.7 ounce chunk of steel in to be detectable by security metal detectors. The current law does not state that the metal in the gun has to serve as a critical part of the gun.

Many 3D printed guns designs comply with this law by creating a cavity in the grip of the gun, in which you can place any random hunk of metal like a bolt or even spare ammo.

I’ll admit that this requires the honor system for the 3D printer to comply with the law. It would not surprise me at all if someone is actually caught with a 3D printed gun that does not meet these requirements.

Under the new proposed amendment, any 3D printed gun will have to have a major component (barrel, slide, cylinder, frame or grip) made of detectable metal.

This defeats the whole purpose of 3D printing a firearm. 3D printed guns are designed to work without metal parts that have to be machined or registered.

The goal may have been to deter criminals from making an all plastic gun, but this change shows a lack of knowledge by Senators Nelson & Schumer. It is possible to make homemade guns with a drill press, so adding a homemade metal piece to a gun is not technical deterrent.

Please discuss this below in the comment section I would love to hear your views.



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  1. [email protected] says

    This is so cool. I want a 3D printer so bad.

  2. mperkins37 says

    interesting stuff, thanks

  3. jvastine says

    The fear surrounding 3D guns is crazy! Many types of guns can rather easily be made from items that can easily be found at any hardware or department store, home centers, etc. and done so with little or no skill using common hand tools. Plus with a little research, anyone could build or make a gun that would be undetectable by metal detectors out of materials like polycarbonate, carbon fiber, kevlar, etc. The real our issue is the erosion of our rights. Plus we need ah evolution of consciousness and a knowledge of natural law so that people would not use a gun or anything else to bring harm to another.

    1. Stan Baldwin says

      I agree, the issue is the loss of rights. Printing a gun is time consuming and a deterrent to its use in crime. The laws are a joke and have yet to be enforced in the US.

  4. Christopher says

    First off, I want that STL I’d luv to print that.

    Second, This is what pisses me off about parts of our government. They going to get too far, we’ll end up like that one guy in Australia who was arrested and prosecuted for 3D printed guns, or all together, they’ll go for outlawing 3D printers all together. I hope Trump administration can weed out some of this false motive bull crap.

    1. Daniel F says

      Haha We dont have the Stl or atleast I dont but I really dont think Stan does either.. 😀

      1. Stan Baldwin says

        While it would be cool to get the stl file, a. I have a day job that I like, and sharing a grenade launcher sounds like a bad idea, and b. after the hell I went through making the demo gun, I’d hate to see what kind of fresh makers hell a grenade launcher would be.
        Some of the parts like the foregrip and stock you could probably find already online. good luck to anyone who makes their own.

  5. aDopeDwarf says

    RAMBO- beautiful acronym for a beautiful attachment. I would think a mortar.

    1. Stan Baldwin says

      No, but a grenade launcher you can bolt to your rifle sounds just as cool.

  6. Juan Solis says

    It look badass! also I think suppressors should be fairly easy to print.

    1. Stan Baldwin says

      The issue with suppressors would be two fold. A. Legal, as suppresors are not looked kindly upon. B. engineering: the materials are probably not strong enough to withstand the high stress of being on the other end of the gun barrel. I suppose with a carbon fiber composite it could be possible to make a functioning suppressor.

  7. David Robert Pemberton says

    You need a $100,000+ 3D Printer to print anything that will withstand repeated shots, semi or full auto, you can’t use a home printer and hope to live after 1 or more shots, you may get lucky and only blow your hand off. But materials are on their way, soon it may be possible to buy a printer at a reasonable price where you can print weapons.

    1. Stan Baldwin says

      True, but I found when I tried printing my own it would just be easier to buy a black market gun or improvise your own. The Military can spend their money on 3D printed parts, but I just have not found it practical or expedient to 3D print a gun. Its a engineering excersise at best.

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