We've seen plenty of stories about 3-D-printed guns, but what about accessories, like suppressors?
The Truth About Guns, a blog that "[explores] the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns," recently got its hands on a 3-D-printed, metal suppressor, also commonly known as a silencer, for a test run.
Describing the design of traditionally made silencers as "something of a black art and extremely complex," Nick Leghorn for blog tested out this version made with a 3-D printer and wrote:
Running the can side-by-side with a Liberty Mystic-X, the 3D printed model is slightly louder but still well within the realm of “hearing safe” with subsonic 300 AAC Blackout ammunition. With a little tweaking that could probably be improved, and given the efficiencies of 3D printing, that shouldn’t take too long.
The only real concern I had with the can is durability. A circumferentially welded titanium can will stand up to an insane level of stress before it finally bursts or wears out. But with a 3D printed suppressor I have no idea about how short the barrel can be on a rifle or how many rounds it can go before it starts to fail. If this were to be commercially available, I’d want to see some serious testing before I bought one, and even then I might hold off for a couple years to see how things went.
Leghorn said that the company who created the 3-D-printed silencer asked to remain anonymous because "they’re a parts manufacturer and don’t want to be in the gun business." He added that they only made the suppressor, which is not for sale, as "an example of what’s possible with 3D printing."
Overall, Leghorn said that the benefit using 3-D printer technology to produce gun parts like this is that it can facilitate a faster testing process for new designs.
"Instead of needing an entire machine shop dedicated to R&D just to produce the testing versions of new cans, they can spring forth fully-formed and ready for action from a metal 3D printer instead and go straight to testing," he wrote on the Truth About Guns.
Read Leghorn's full review on the blog.
Front page image via Shutterstock.