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How Would a 3D-Printed Shotgun Slug Hold Up? Here's the Test


"I didn’t think it would go through the first piece of wood at all..."

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

The trend -- and controversy -- of DIY firearms made using a 3D printer has gotten a new partner: 3D-printed shotgun slugs.

Although much of the 3D-printed gun controversy has surrounded the company Defense Distributed and its founder Cody Wilson, the new plastic shotgun slugs were designed by 50-year-old Tony Griffy of Tennessee and tested on 48-year-old Jeff Heeszel's YouTube channel Taofledermaus.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

Why make the 3D-printed slugs? Griffy told Wired's Danger Room “I might be a redneck from Tennessee, but I love the technology.” He printed the slugs for pure enjoyment. For this reason, he asked Heeszel to test them out on his channel, which Wired describes as "Nickelodeon-style entertainment with firearms."

"You have to spend six hours printing a barrel that you’re going to use one time, and it’s not as much fun. It’s more about the enjoyment and the sport. And if you’re having to labor that much, then the enjoyment goes away," Griffy told Wired.

The slugs were made using a $300 Solidoodle 3 3-D printer and take between 30 minutes to an hour to print, depending on size. A metal ball was put on the tip of the slugs to add weight. The slug is used with a standard shotgun shell.

How did it perform? Heeszel and the sharp shooter who helped him out tested the slugs on a dart board, plank of wood and a mannequin.

Here are a few screenshots showing how the materials and the slug itself held up.

Here's the leftover slug after going through the dart board and the plastic container behind it. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

This is what the slug looked like after going through the wood board. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

Damage to the board. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

The slug design used to shoot the mannequin resulted in only the wadding hitting the head. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

“I didn’t think it would go through the first piece of wood at all, much less hit anything,” Heeszel told Wired.

In general though, he called the slugs "kind of crappy little rounds" and more of a novelty than anything else.

Watch the tests:

Unlike the statements made with 3D-printed firearms, which to Defense Distributed/Wiki-Weapons founder Cody Wilson said have both First and Second Amendment  implications, those involved with the 3D-printed slugs said they don't have a political message with them.

After Wilson demonstrated earlier this month the first fully functional 3D-printed firearm, the lawmakers were quick to call for bans on 3D-printed guns and the federal government within days sent him a notice that resulted in the take down all 3D printable gun designs for now while legal issues are worked out.

Wilson was recently featured on the Glenn Beck Program to discuss his innovation and how government is controlling technology.



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