TECH
14/11/2013 04:37 GMT

3D-Printed Gun Made By US Feds Blows Up (But They're Still Lethal)

Cody Wilson made it all look so easy - 3D print a gun, fire it and send the whole world into a frenzied panic.

But while American officials have confirmed the deadliness of the self-manufactured firearms, their attempts were a little less successful.

It blew up on them.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) produced its own version of the Liberator, a gun made of plastic that can be produced using a 3D printer and blueprints made available online earlier this year.

Then they tested it.

Earl Griffith, chief of ATF's firearms technology branch, said: "The bottom line is, the penetration results demonstrated that the Liberator is a lethal weapon.

"The .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull."

But not all the test went quite to plan as the video above shows. The gun is far from stable, completely blowing apart during one test.

Needless to say, officials a re still worried about the implications of the technology.

The design contains a small piece of metal which - in the US - makes it legal under the Undetectable Firearms Act but this component can easily be removed.

Richard Marianos, an assistant director at ATF, said: "It is something that we've never seen before. It can defeat metal detection, and that's something we're concerned about."

Things got even scarier this week with the first 3D-printed metal gun.

Yikes.

It's uncertain whether 3D-printed guns have made it to these shores yet as last month police back-tracked after claiming they had seized parts in Manchester.

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