Ghost Gunner Machines Your AR-15

Defense Distributed and founder [Cody Wilson] have released Ghost Gunner. Defense Distributed entered the public eye a couple of years ago with The Liberator, the world’s first 3D printed gun. Since anyone with a 3D printer can print a Liberator, it is effectively untraceable. This raised a lot of questions in the media and public eye.

Ghost Gunner is a variation on the untraceable theme. Essentially, Ghost Gunner is a CNC designed for one purpose: final drilling and milling steps for AR-15 lower receivers. The reason for this has to do with federal gun laws in the United States. According to US law, the lower receiver is the actual firearm, and is regulated. But when does a block of aluminum become a lower receiver? Here, US law states that the metal becomes a regulated receiver when the machining operations are more than 80% complete.

ghostgunnergunAnyone can legally buy a barrel, trigger, stock, upper receiver, and various other parts to build an AR-15. To complete the weapon, they only need to buy an 80% lower receiver and perform the last 20% of the metal work. This work can be performed with everything from a drill press to a milling machine to hand tools. Ghost Gunner partially automates this process, making it easier and faster to complete lower receivers and build weapons.

Defense Distributed calls Ghost Gunner an open source hardware project, though we were unable to find the files available for download at this time. It appears that the slides are made up of MakerSlide or a similar aluminum extrusion. The steppers appear to be standard Nema 17 size.

Defense Distributed says that they’ve been having a hard time keeping up with the Ghost Gunner pre-orders. At $1300 each though, we think a general purpose mill or small CNC would be a better deal.

193 thoughts on “Ghost Gunner Machines Your AR-15

          1. $1300 might buy a decent shape used Bridgeport, actually. No DRO, no CNC, and it would need cleanup and transport and tooling. Closer to $2,000 to $2,500 to get a used J head Bridgeport through eBay or Craigslist.

          2. $1300 gets a G0704 from grizzly shipped to your front door. Don’t need no stinking DROs, learn to use the hand wheel dials. Not nearly as capable when compared to a Bridgeport but more than this little thing (ie, can mill the rear take down well…). Also has a huge online community with well documented CNC conversions and other modifications.
            They mention 0.1″ DOC w/ a 100x slower feed rate but I am a bit skeptical. Unless they have some serious gear reduction on the spindle reducing a slow feed rate w/ too high of an RPM is just as bad as running a super shallow DOC.

          1. You got that mixed up there. People with average to high IQs are rightfully scared that very very low IQ types seem to grasp almost nothing of value but do somehow have a clue how brain dead easy it is to make a gun.

          2. Starting from a solid block of 7075 takes way more time than starting from an 80%. And I don’t have an EDM machine for the magwell. So, I would still just buy an 80% lower and go from there.

          3. Most lowers are cast, then milled to the 80%. Not entirely sure why you would waste your time milling a lower out of a block. melt and pour (or pump if you have the equipment) is much more cost effective…

    1. 1. Bring Cody e-fame / money.
      2. Prove a point*.
      3. Because he can.
      4. If he didn’t do it, somebody else would.
      5. Because he supports the 2nd Amendment.
      6. To draw more media attention and unfounded statements from both sides of the argument.
      7. Because he believes in what he’s doing.
      8. None of the above or some combination of the above.

      Take your pick.

      *Actual point subject to debate.

        1. Prices went up from the billions of rounds being bought by US law enforcement and SWAT teams for bookkeeping agencies. Not military though. LE buys the nasty ammo that is not Geneva Convention.

  1. A “30 cal. clip”? What a moron.
    “If someone is turning one of these into one of these, it’s my job to stop them”. Another moron. Building a rifle from an 80-percenter and parts is legal in every state in the union (including the People’s Republic of California).

    1. I might be wrong, so please don’t jump on me for it if I am. I thought if you can *purchase* the 80% recievers, but if you finished them, then you needed to have a firearms license? It was simply a necessity to somehow *define* when a Piece of alu becomes a firearm, so they (whoever) said 80%, because beyond that it is clearly identifiable for ist purpose.
      Again, I’d be very receptive to polite correction.

        1. Also, the BATFE firearms technology branch determines what can be called a firearm. They have a definition of when a partial AR15 lower receiver (or any other gun receiver), is actually considered “a gun”. They have detailed descriptions of thousands of guns, and they are quite helpful at answering questions you may have. If you email them a question they will usually say ” please submit the question in writing”. They often take 3 months to respond to a letter.

          1. But for an M-16 the “firearm” is considered to be the part which makes it operate in full auto.

            Before the 1986 gun law, the AR-15 lowers had all the spaces to insert the disconnector, the three position fire selector and other components to make it an M-16 with full auto capability.

            After that, the AR-15 lower was redesigned so the M-16 specific components won’t fit, and unless you have a Class III FFL you’d better not be doing any modifications on 1986 and later AR-15 lowers to install the M-16 parts.

  2. In before the “nobody needs to be able to own a gun except agents of the state” crowd.

    I used to be a member of a TechShop, and there were always people making lowers for various guns. I already had to AR’s, so I didn’t do one, but I wanted to do a lower for a 1911 pistol. However, the shop closed before I could get around to it.

    So, yeah, this mill is of interest to me, and despite the description, it’s not a single-purpose device.

      1. It wasn’t that surprising though. 10,000 – 20,000 feet of space to rent. Multiple employees to monitor things, teach classes. Equipment to buy and maintain. They were not selling an end product and you have to reach a critical number of members just to break even. In certain places, I can see the idea working out (and from the latest investment request email they sent out), *some* people are willing to continue to put money into such an idea. I still think the numbers don’t make sense though for most locations as much as I love the concept and what it brings to the community. Maybe things will change over time? What you actually get for the price is a bargain, even though it is more than the $50 to $70 per month for other “gym, etc” type memberships.

  3. The main purpose of this is to get people talking, and it has.

    You can finished an 80% lower with simple hand tools and a vice or drill press.

    The best part of the conversations brought forth by this machine, is the people clamoring about how all these criminals and gang members will be using these to mass produce “untraceable” weapons. What a joke, the ignorance surrounding gun control is second to only politics and religion.

    I hope they sell a million of these.

    1. ” is the people clamoring about how all these criminals and gang members will be using these to mass produce “untraceable” weapons”

      Why is that so difficult to believe? Criminals in general are getting extremely tech savvy, why would they take a chance buying illegal weapons from an illegal weapons dealer when they could buy a dozen of these and build their own firearms with no serial numbers? All other parts of the firearm can be bought easily without the need for background checks or other nonsense, hell, they could buy all those other parts in bulk directly from factories… We’re not talking about the gangbanger with his pants sagging down to his knees living next door, but the more organized and well funded criminal organizations out there in every major city (and beyond)… And who says no one will offer this service to street level thugs as well, it’s not only for the AR15 platform, they can also mill 1911 and AR10 lowers as well…

      1. Because any one with a medium amount of machining skills and a mill have been able to make do this for a long time. Hell look at how hard it is to turn a ar15 into a fully automatic, all it takes is a bent piece of metal and the right trigger (if you want semi auto too), is there a huge number of criminals with full auto weapons no.

        1. Given that a large number of criminals actually do make or assemble their own guns, especially criminals with the intent of selling guns and this make it even easier to do that it is an objective fact that this will make it easier for some criminals to make guns, just as it makes it easier for some non criminals to make guns. The debate is over whether making it easier to build untraceable guns is better for people who want to stop criminals or people who are criminals. I think the value of an untraceable gun for self defense purposes is basically zero.

          1. The gangs can bring in truckloads of weapons of all sorts from Central America to Mexico and the US – weapons supplied by the Soviets and the US during conflicts 30 years ago, and more recently purchases from the Middle East by the government sized gangs that now run some of those countries. I have never heard of the gangs making their own semi-auto firearms. Besides, they can bring in real machine guns. The politicians are afraid to talk about this or even mention the gang names.

      2. Although its ruthless, I do like the quote from Far Cry 2 from the weapons dealer. People die and decompose, but guns stay eternal. Which is so true. Once a gun is manufactured, it always exists. Now there are exceptions, you can melt them down, with the massive amount of manufacturing for war since WWII, there are so many guns in the world, there is no way to take them away. If you want a gun, its way easier to buy one illegally than, make it yourself. Just like people can make their own car, laptop, sofas, beds, etc, etc, etc, people will just buy it. People only care about money now days, and drugs and cartels definitely have enough money. If you want to get ride of the cartels and organized crime, then get ride of their money, the drugs. Just as the legalization of alcohol got ride of the mafia and organized crime, legalization of drugs would get ride of organized crime. But then the worst? The government becomes the organized crime. One can’t destroy nor be rid of sin.

        1. It says a lot about the “war on drugs” that the U.S. never just bought the entire opium and coca leaf crops direct from the growers. At grower prices, it would be trivial compared to the cost of the “war”.

    1. That’s one of my favorite conspiracy theories, there was a similar one thought of regarding the DJI phantoms. Basic idea was that the government was subsidizing cheap drones that flew off/crashed randomly so that people would treat them like a toy and cause damage, and random flyoffs would further cause public opinion of hobby multicopters to drop, leading to regulation.

      Conspiracy theories are fun.

      1. I like conspiracy theories too. I just designed a CNC machine to make custom fitted aluminum hats to protect me from the governments mind control rays. They work better than my aluminum foil hats. It will only cost you $1300 to buy one. It is totally worth it.

        1. Can’t fool us, Mr NSA-man. We know that metal hats concentrate the mind-control rays, not block them.

          I’m hatless, and a free man!

          “The free man err suspect is hatless, I repeat hatless.” See how Chief Wiggum pointed that out? If he was wearing his mind-control hat he’d have been easy to catch!

          Fox Media wants us to wear the hats (Rupert Murdock is a Reptilian), notice how none of the reporters wear hats, but all the viewers do? There’s yer proof right there!

          That’s what the hate for Obama is, he’s not a hat-wearer like GW Bush was. The evidence is right there in front of you, how can you not see it?

          Stick it to the man! No hats!

          No hat!

          No hat!

          No hat!

          Whew, I need a nap.

    2. If things will go that way, we’ll have to mill weapons to keep the state from seizing our CNC rigs. I can understand the controversy about weapons themselves, but nobody, repeat NOBODY, will tell me what I can not have in my shop.

  4. And the award for the most pointless cnc AND most likely tool to make you lose faith in humanity goes to….

    (P.S. Hi from the other countries where owning a firearm without a license is illegal)

      1. I think a lot of People (especially form other countries) see guns as weapons that are used to kill (mostly People?). The idea is that you no one really Needs a gun, in so much as no one really Needs chemical weapons.

          1. Acetylcholinesterase antagonists based on organophosphates are often found in insecticides, and will also effect mammals. Sarin and VX are of this chemical family. So, yes, the active compound in a bug spray could be used as a weapon against humans to some effectiveness, and possession of large quantities of that chemical would cause some suspicion.

          2. Yes it can, but under federal it is illegal to use it for any purpose it was not designed, ie cannot spray people bothering you with bug spray unless that “person” is some horrible human-insect hybrid, even that may fall into a murky grey area…

      2. Analogy time! Imagine lead paint was used to make baby bottles. Obviously, this hurts babies. Governments around the world ban lead paint from being used in baby bottles. American citizens, however, value their lead paint, and paint their own baby bottles with lead paint, because screw government control.

        It’s always interesting how, at mass shootings at schools, someone says “This tragedy could not be prevented”. Especially given that it happened in the only fucking western country where that sort of thing happens so regularly.

        Compare and contrast Australia. After the Port Arthur massacre, Aussies made guns illegal. An assault rifle can cost tens of thousands of dollars. There was a severe drop in mass shootings.

        1. That’s improper reasoning based on only looking at one statistic. People commit mass shooting because they are mentally unbalanced and/or want media attention, which they are guaranteed to get because the media doesn’t want us to have guns. BANNING THINGS DOESN’T STOP THE PROBLEM!!!!! Murder has been illegal forever, and yet people kill all the time! If not guns then something else. Pipe bombs are easy to make, and one can kill a whole crowd without getting caught. Those are illegal, btw. Should we ban water, it can be electrolysed to make a building into a hydrogen/oxygen combustion bomb? Silly little bans do nothing but hurt law-followers. We need to stop putting bandaids on problems and fix the root causes.

    1. “(P.S. Hi from the other countries where owning a firearm without a license is illegal)”
      If you valued your freedom, you would have moved long ago. So, why make comments about “los[ing] faith in humanity”? Latent envy of others’ freedom?

      Excuse me, I need to go shoot some semi-automatic rifles and pistols.

      1. Hi! Ever fired an l98-A2? Bloody awesome! Shame that my squadron range is not in operation, I really could do with perfecting my marksmanship… (hello again from british forces germany!)

        1. Got a friend with an L1-A1 with really great wood. I tried it in a high power match. I think it would have done well if I wasn’t going cheap and using old NATO stuff. It dings the cases pretty badly. Not to mention flinging hot brass about five lanes to the right! But cool. I see the Indian forces still carry them in the “disputed” Pakistan border regions.

  5. I know that not all states are this way, but in my home state, face-to-face transfers are legal and require no paperwork. You only have to believe that the person you are selling to is not a felon. $1300 will go a long way towards a very nice, very complete AR.

    If you insist on doing things the hard way/learning/retaining a tool for your capital investment/etc, as noted in the article, a good general purpose machine would be a much wiser investment, as would learning how to use one. Then, you have a diverse, marketable, repeatable skill.

    For $100 less, this is a much more capable machine:
    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Drill-Mill-with-Stand/G0704

    And here is a great instructional manual for finishing an 80% lower, laid out step-by-step:
    http://www.lecreg.com/P4x4/ARblank.pdf

      1. Agree completely. I have a degree in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing with a specialty in CNC Machining and another degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Looking at this, there are two possibilities…it is plug-and-play and therefore the tooling and workholding mechanisms are so specialized that it would be less than useless for other work. Or, it’s not much better than a regular CNC mill and therefore not worth $1300. Either way, it’d be hard for me to spend that much money on such a specialized piece of machining equipment, especially when I know more than one person who have finished 80% lowers with a drill press, a couple files, and some patience…

          1. He said it can also mill AR10 and 1911 lowers, so no, it’s not designed exclusively for the AR15 platform… So long as you’re able to get an 80% lower, able to 3D print (or access someone who can do it for you) the holders and that the lower actually fits in the machine, this will probably be able to finish the lower of many other firearms as well…

    1. In your State, you can NOT do a face to face sale of an unserialized firearm made by you. You must apply for a serial number and permit, mark the action appropriately – essentially become a gun manufacturer. This machine is made for groups of people who each want to build their own. The person building from an 80% lower has to do the work themselves, so if ten folks want to buy a batch of lowers, they have to each do the work. A milling machine owner can tell you what to do, but can not help with the actual work. This way they don’t have to each become a machinist. BTW, technically you can not even let someone else handle or fire your personally built rifle unless you serialize and register ($200 I think). And if you plan to do that, don’t even start building until you get the papers back.

      1. I’m not sure where you got your information from, but it’s nearly all incorrect. It is true that a homemade firearm does need to be serialized if you decide to sell it, but the serial number doesn’t have to be “applied for” and you don’t need a permit to mark the receiver with it. The guidelines are pretty simple to follow- the receiver needs to be marked with the caliber(s), the city of manufacture, and a serial number (that you can make up). There’s no guidelines whatsoever about letting someone else handle or fire a homemade rifle (besides the obvious… felons, etc), and there’s certainly no $200 fee involved at any point. The ATF guidelines for all of this are posted online… maybe you should read through them before spouting off a bunch of bull.

        1. Not entirely bull, but I was thinking about NFA firearms, which doesn’t apply to these semi-autos. I was thinking of someone who makes his own suppressors, being that they should be about $60 and are more like $600 to $1800 due to NFA.

          TITLE 26 > Subtitle E > CHAPTER 53 > Subchapter A > PART III > 5822
          No person shall make a firearm unless he has
          (a) filed with the Secretary a written application, in duplicate, to make and register the firearm on the form prescribed by the Secretary;
          (b) paid any tax payable on the making and such payment is evidenced by the proper stamp affixed to the original application form;
          (c) identified the firearm to be made in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe;
          (d) identified himself in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, except that, if such person is an individual, the identification must include his fingerprints and his photograph; and
          (e) obtained the approval of the Secretary to make and register the firearm and the application form shows such approval. Applications shall be denied if the making or possession of the firearm would place the person making the firearm in violation of law.

          In many States, including mine, the lack of a serial number is considered prima facia evidence that the possessor has removed the serial number and committed a felony. Regarding letting someone use it, it is up to prosecutors. If you have an anti-gun prosecutor they can say the person illegally has possession of a firearm made by you. They can say you sold it illegally if another person has possession of it. The war on drugs has produced myriad laws and ways to interpret innocent activity as criminal. You might win in the end, but you will be bankrupt.

          1. That particular section of tax law only applies to “qualified manufacturers”- those who properly permitted to manufacturer and sell firearms as a business. There’s another whole section to determine whether you’re a manufacturer or not, but a single person building a gun by themselves and not intent on selling it is exempt from these parts of federal tax code.

            Suppressors are a different beast, dealing with the NFA and all, but yeah- at the bare minimum, you’re paying for the $200 registration tax stamp.

            I realize there’s a gray area when it comes to transferring the gun, but it would be an insane stretch for even the most anti-gun prosecutor to go after someone who let another person fire their homemade rifle (unless there was money changing hands somewhere in there). I get where you’re coming from, but I feel like being polite and not being a dirtbag would be enough to keep you out of trouble if you’re asked why your gun isn’t serialized (even if there’s no actual legal issue with that). I could also see it being some add-on charge if you were already up to no good in an attempt to get you to plead out.

          2. Generally being a good guy is certainly advisable. In Tacoma, Washington – near me – the county prosecutor went full throttle against a 70 year old guy who came through the courthouse metal detector with an heirloom penknife in his pocket. It dragged on for ages and cost a fortune, for the guy and the County. You can imagine what a prosecutor like that will do given any excuse. So, don’t give them any excuses.

            I will bet we get drone laws like this before long and we will need the same kind of caution. Drug war laws, terror war laws, everything above the ground will be federal air space – violators will be prosecuted. Tarbaby.

    1. It’s a tech blog. Home CNC is new tech and deserves coverage regardless of if it makes guns, the perfect cookie, or sex toys.
      They also have a responsibility to the owners to generate revenue through ads, nothing like a controversial topic to generate traffic/revenue.

      1. Except HaD posts seemingly almost all gun hacks and what, two sex toy posts, over pretty much in the last 10 years? One steam powered vibrator and one Arduino vibrator, IIRC. And both were by female makers. I have seen adult posts taken down for being adult and “off topic” or not up to standards or some other excuse.

        1. You’re missing the point on the quantity of ‘sex’ vs ‘guns’ posts – the frequency of each. There simply aren’t that many builds involving vibrators and such compared to guns.

          You’re simply incorrect about all the ‘sex’ posts being from females; I remember one post that was just a MOSFET shield for an arduino, intended to be used for vibrators. That was a dude.

          I’m not going to say you’re wrong about ‘adult’ posts being taken down, because I can’t remember tens of thousands of posts. I don’t recall any being taken down, so unless you have some evidence in the wayback machine format…

          And as a reply to OpenglMan, we will support these things. It’s a CNC machine, after all, and if there’s ever a law coming up that would ban CNC machines, you can expect us to oppose that. How Defense Distributed is going about their PR is another story entirely, but we’re just talking about a CNC machine here.

          1. So you are saying it’s just a demand issue and if more sex toy hacks were made, you would post them?

            Ani Niow is female. The Pen15 shield (that’s who I think you were referencing) is male. The touchless vibe egg was Beth, a female.

            https://hackaday.com/2009/05/03/steampunk-vibrator/
            https://hackaday.com/2011/10/16/join-the-pen15-club-with-a-vibrator-shield/
            https://hackaday.com/2012/11/25/making-a-touchless-vibrator-with-reverse-engineering/

            Ok so of the three that I can recall, two were women. Where are the sex bot or sex machine posts? Entire books have been written on sex machines but I don’t recall a single post about one, aside from those two and none that are Arduino powered.

          2. > So you are saying it’s just a demand issue and if more sex toy hacks were made, you would post them?

            Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty fair. Obviously we need to balance everything about not getting people browsing hackaday at work in trouble, and web filtering software labeling us as pornographic, but there’s no real editorial problem I have with a good sex toy hack.

            > Entire books have been written on sex machines but I don’t recall a single post about one

            I’m releasing my autobiography in 2015, we’ll do a post about it then.

          3. Given what I know about makerspace/TechShop/etc members, many of them are somewhat kinky or sex positive or at least YKINMKBYKIOK but most are also in a public place and not exactly excited about a lack of discretion for various reasons. So you either need a business devoted to creating kink projects (unlikely) or an 18+ only, private, kink focused makerspace (unlikely) or a fully equipped home shop (unlikely) and when you combine that with the fact that most people will not post adult projects to their personal blogs, you generally only see a few hacks here and there. Note, those 3 above posts all got about 100 comments each.

            Agreed, they need to be good hacks or modifications or projects to get the nod.

            Looking forward to your sex robot referencing autobiography in 2015. *Raises eyebrow*.

    2. We have entered an age of pestilence and vast roving bands of killers. Welcome to the Middle Ages. Do you want to be the only one who is unarmed? They call them “equalizers” for a reason.

  6. This helps if the weapon gets confiscated, but I wonder if the rifling of the projectile gets altered enough to trace it back to the original owner, presumably from whom supplied the parts OTHER than the one with the serial number, are there records of the rifling pattern on file before they are sold? are sales of OTHER parts tracked, if not, they are about to be. before too long, they are going to require licensing of cnc machines and 3d printers that can do that. There is a reference to that in book Android’s Dream by John Scalzi. If you want to see where this is headed, that would be a good place to start looking. Any good Ideas on how to avoid it? other than not making them or voting these doomsayers out of office?

        1. Except it’s really, really easy to change the “fingerprint” of a barrel with simple hand tools. Besides, most the firearms used in homicides don’t legally belong to the killer — they’re either stolen or “borrowed” from someone else.

          1. Nearly all firearms used in crime are pistols. Rifles account for something like 1%. Maybe less. Numbers vary. Some US crime statistics are totaled based on number of victims, some by the number of perpetrators. Some assaults are elevated to gun crimes if a gun is found in the house later or in a car. Various advocacy groups play with the numbers. It is hard to get good data from Dr. Google.

            There are no serial numbers on “uppers” and none required on a personally made lower unless you try to sell it or lend it.

    1. Barrel manufacturers are not required by federal law to keep test fired projectiles for forensic testing. Modern methods of barrel mass production (like button rifling) make keeping the projectile pointless, as the rifling variation is very small. Differences in cleaning procedures and firing the finished weapon produce a larger variation in rifling from weapon to weapon.

      1. nice try but this argument doesn’t hold water. Because so many states do require test fires on all firearms they do it anyway. Look at glock you even get a spent round with your firearm because of this. Not sure how many others do it but I do know your argument holds no water

        1. All barrel manufacturers proof test the weapon to ensure safety. The projectile is not kept on file. It just collects with the rest in the water tank, and eventually gets re-cycled.

    2. Most good pistols, you can change the barrel in 60 seconds, making “rifling fimgerprinting” 100% useless. The reality is criminals are stupid and dont think of this stuff, so they get caught. The police work on the principle that 99% of all criminals are complete morons and make a lot of mistakes or are brash and get caught easily. The Unibomber would have never been caught if he was not a nutjob that kept going and got sloppy. Look at the FBI’s most wanted list, Fischer is still on the to 10 wanted list 14 years later.

      If the police have to do any real hard work, the chances of them actually getting any useable information is zero. Even the US’s best the Marshalls and the FBI will fail completely in catching a suspect, or even finding a suspect to begin with.

      So rifling and all that junk is in reality useless in solving crimes, If it’s used, it is when they already have an air tight case and want to add yet another nail into the coffin to make sure the jury will be “beyond a shadow of a doubt”

      1. Look back the the murder of Jessica Simpson and Ron Brown. A major deciding factor in the case was the fact the police only “found” the socks and gloves with blood at O.J.s house. They never found any other bloody clothes despite a wide search of the area between the two houses. I *assume* the police searched, but perhaps they figured a pair of socks and a pair of rather obviously far too small gloves would be the clincher and didn’t bother to search, like they didn’t bother to interview a witness who said she saw four men dressed head to toe in black, running down the street away from Nicole’s house.

        A criminal capable of disposing of pants, shirt, underclothes, shoes and anything else he was wearing would not then drop bloody socks in the middle of his bedroom floor. The socks and gloves would have gone into the same place as everything else and never have been found.

        A few criminals are very smart people, they’re the ones who never get caught.

        They also often get some help from police and prosecutors who tend to jump to the conclusion that it’s always a spouse/fiancee, family member, friend, co-worker or other fairly close acquaintance who is the killer, kidnapper or abuser. See the case of Jaycee Dugard, held captive for 18 years because police flat out refused to investigate any witness reports on the car the kidnappers drove. 18 years later when she was found, the kidnappers still had the same car, with the same plate that the witnesses reported. All they would do was harass and persecute her father, claiming he’d killed her and made up the kidnapping story.

      2. Ted Kaczynski didn’t get caught from being crazy or sloppy…

        He got caught because he had a “spoap box to stand on”. He had been spouting his ideas forever, and sharing them pretty openly. It was his writing that caught the eye of his sister-in-law, who read his published manifesto in the newspaper and realized that whoever wrote it “sounds a lot like Ted!”. It didn’t take long to put two and two together…

        If the investigators had released his letters and got more information out to the public sooner, they would have caught him much, much sooner. But they got all caught up in wanting to crack the case with “profiling” (they were dead wrong there) and detective pissing matches of “my methods are better than your methods” and trying to keep things secret, not only from the public, but each other. Being the person that busted him “first” seemed more important than saving lives I guess.

        They were also afraid of the public “liking” his stance and copy cats, which there were some people who did and sadly saw him as a hero of sorts.

        I cringe when I see detectives or investigator types discount the “writings of a madman” as not note worthy or worth any attention, because these types of crazies often tell you a great amount of detail of how and why and when they are going to do something, and people do have a tendency to ignore warning signs. But I guess if crimes were prevented before they happened, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of work for the detectives.

        But anyway, it really wasn’t the nut job that got sloppy in this case.

    3. I have a friend that bores and rifles his own barrels. All of the components of his machines are hand made. Most of the basic parts were sourced from scrapped machinery that he got from his job.

      There are people out and about doing all kinds of interesting things. If only you knew how much simpler a Full auto Sten gun is to make than an AR-15!

      Ignorance is bliss

      1. +1 on that. “Tube” type open bolt blow-back operated guns are the easiest to build. The Belgian Vigneron is one of my favorites. De-milled parts kits for some of these sub-machine gun models are pretty easy to get, and then you just make a new receiver, a few welds, and you’re ready to shoot.

        1. Yup, Sten type full auto guns would be far easier to produce than a Semi-Auto AR-15. That’s why they were made in the first place! There was a military need for an inexpensive machinegun that would be very quick to produce in large numbers.

          The Sten design fit the bill, being even simpler and cheaper than other open bolt blowback designs.

          If you have a Class III FFL it is legal to buy a demilled Sten (most have been cut through the receiver tube with a torch) then make a new receiver tube. There is (or used to be) a legal process where you could apply for a federally registered serial number to stamp on the tube so the rebuilt Sten could be sold.

          1. Yes, but when you are done you have a spray & pray sten. The bolt to barrel lock of the AR design is brilliantly precise, repeatable, and accurate – and weighs less. The platform took over all the hi-power competitions and is better than most bolt action varmint rifles. The non-shooters and metros posting probably have no idea of the popularity of back guns (or MSR – Modern Sporting Rifles) in the long range and precision shooting fields.

    4. ” if the rifling of the projectile gets altered enough to trace it back to the original owner, ”

      HAHAHA! You’ve been watching too much TV! In real life, “ballistics” cannot be used to “trace” a gun “back to the original owner” in America, because most states do not have total gun registration! I know, imagine that!

      Plus, I can have 14 different barrels shipped to my house, no serial numbers on the barrels, because BATFE only considers the lower receiver “the gun”. So, the Hollywood “gun trace” is BULL.

  7. This might do the job, but it’s also a very slow cutting machine. They don’t show the actual cutting tool or material cutting. Milling with NEMA 17 motors means very light cuts. Just take a look at the cutting chips, they’re almost as small as craft glitter. A normal sized mill would be making far bigger chips.

    1. Wait this thing makes craft glitter :D

      Seriously tho I sorta wish the “Make guns on things” people would stop egging the “Outlaw things that make guns” people on when I’m just starting to look into a market. All I want is to make some PCBs in peace and maybe mill some small scale hydraulic systems T___T

      1. First they came for the guns, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a gun owner.

        Then they came for the milling machines, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a machinist.

        Then they came for my glitter —and there was no one left to speak for me.

      2. This is what worries me.
        I dont want any tool useful for creation banned.
        I also dont want push-button access to deadly weapons. Regardless of gun rights, I think its a pretty solid absolute kids,drunks and the mentally ill shouldn’t have them.(Ideally you should be trained – but thats a pipe dream in the US.)

        Unfortunately the way tech is progressing we will have push-button no-skill-needed access to anom weapons. Its easy to ban things “just” for making guns, but some of the coolest things. The things closest to the sci-fi “replicator” dream will be able to make all sorts of wonderful things….and guns.
        I want my cake and to eat it. I want those wonderful things without letting literally everyone have weapons whenever they like. Yet that seems impossible.

          1. Pointy sticks are also found in forests and beaches with driftwood. We should cut down all the trees so people cant make pointy sticks. And lets not forget about the most dangerous handheld weapon of all: a board with a nail in it!

  8. Just wait till they find out what you can buy at Horrible Freight for under $600 or Home Depot for less than $20. (wait, that would invoke reality) Cnet or one of the “used to be respectable” webpages had a hissy fit over this about a week ago too.

      1. I actually like the harbor freight “Mini mill” – You just have to consider it a kit, and go from there. Mine has served me well for years. Sure, If I had the space I’d get a bridgeport, or even a heavier table top mill.

        1. Try a proper mill if your use patterns and needs dictate the necessity of one. It’s seriously night and day. Rigidity, repeatability, tolerance…. every single component is just, well, better.

  9. What awful, harmful use of technology. The U.S. is far out of step with the rest of the world and empirical research on minimizing gun deaths. Time for much stricter gun laws as a step to outright bans. No civilian need own a firearm at all. The “freedom talk” cannot justify the number of humans, including minors who are bystanders, who are killed by the current wide gun distribution.

      1. I like where your going with that argument, but I must point out that the sugar in an apple is no different than the sugar in soda. Both are bad if consumed in huge quantities. ‘Proceeded sugar’ is one of those hype terms.

          1. To clarify the trace mercury from process catalyzing HFCS does make it much different than the fructose in an apple. Also natural sugar soda (sucrose) seems to be slightly less damaging than HFCS.

        1. Not to be too terribly pedantic but fructose in apples is digested differently than chemically bleached sugar (sucrose). And apples contain both fructose and sucrose (I haven’t checked but probably about 50/50ish of each)? Apples also contain fiber though – it’s not the same as eating pure, refined sugar.

      2. Relax with the pedantry everyone. Yeah it is fun and important and we are all technical people here. The point is that there are far, far worse things than guns and nobody blinks an eye about those. I was just pointing out the irrationality and inefficiency of worrying about guns.

        Another example: If breast cancer is a subtype of the number two cause of women dying, why does researching it get more funding then the number one killer of women (all people really)?

        My final one, and my favorite: There is a staggering 32,000 deaths per year in the US due to gun violence. Surely we should regulate the crap out of them and work on moving towards a ban right? Alcohol kills 88,000 people a year in the US and we celebrate it. The death rate in Europe is 200,000 per year and rising. Between American guns and European Alcohol, Europe’s drinking habits are six times as deadly. Why didn’t they ban alcohol and keep the guns? It would have saved millions of lives.

          1. Do you think gun violence is rational? Do you think rationally when you drink? The truth is emotions do not hold sway over facts. Alcohol is shockingly more dangerous than bullets.

        1. So Dune, you advocate taking those gun violence deaths and turning them into stabbings? Banning guns will only stop lawful citizens from defending themselves. It will not have a noticable effect on the real problem: violence.

      3. I’m all for taxing sugar and sugared products more. Apples are all in all good nutrition wise so get a pass. Tax and restrict alcohol more too, in a smart way. With alcohol a big part of the solution is better universal welfare and health care programs that are preventative of addiction and curb the harms from addiction. So the voiced objections here have no bite. Gun fans can get some less harmful hobby.

    1. ‘No one needs’ is a terrible argument. No one needs alchohol, that kills lots of people. No one needs tobacco, that kills tons of people. No one needs cell phones, yet thousands die from texting and driving. Try banning alcoholic beverages once, and see how people react.

      Freedom is the crux of the argument. I understand that you don’t understand my hobbies. I know that you don’t get how I safely shoot firearms for sport and liesure. But my freedom to do those things is no different than your freedom to have a beer. Its only easy to call for a ban when it’s someone else’s freedoms and not your own.

      1. I’d argue that no one needs this not because guns are necessarily something people need but because this guy is massively marking up cheap equipment by playing in on people’s gun-banning paranoia in a fundamentally dishonest way.

        1. If you know someone who can afford to manufacture an atom bomb, they don’t need one. Though I don’t mind if they try as long as they use good safety methods – don’t use the safety manual the Iranians got from ???.

      2. We have restrictions on guns,cars and drinks.

        Very very very few people want a “ban” on guns is US. But some believe not having universal access to guns for all people all the time is sensible thing – yet the tech might reach that point soon.
        It is about freedom, and the balance of. But its not about taking away toys, as how best to keep them out of unsafe hands.

        That said, guns cars and drinks can all kill other people. Thats why they should be restricted in some ways. Drinking yourself to death isnt so bad if you dont get in a car along the way.

    2. ‘Out of step’ with the rest of the world? That’s not a loaded term at all.

      Change this to 100 AD:

      Why are the Picts so out of step with the civilized world? When will they finally accept the empirical evidence on Roman clothing?

      No Roman citizen needs a gladius to defend his home! Are we to believe you’d take on the legion of the mighty Caesar himself?

    3. “Out of step with the rest of the world”, “minimizing gun deaths”. Tom you lack any sense of reality. Obviously you haven’t heard of ISIS or Africa, or Drug cartels. And guns are not the only thing that causes death. Anti-gun people are ignorant fools who deserve to be gunned down by a robber, just because of the irony of their foolish stance on guns.

      1. Well Joe,
        I think the thing here is that you and Tom have different perceptions of the world around you which is probably based on where you live as opposed to where he lives.

        Tom probably lives somewhere where there are laws restricting the ownership and use of firearms. In societies where gun ownership is restricted, the laws have an impact on the society as a whole where individuals like Tom can be reasonably assured that not everyone he crosses paths with on a daily basis is packing a weapon, looking to do him and his loved ones harm. In Canada I can attest to the fact that this does indeed ease the burden of needing to carry a weapon to protect yourself. Up here, we don’t carry firearms and don’t think about it. It’s not something that makes up the fabric of our society so it becomes a non-issue. Sure, there are some criminals who do have weapons but you can look at our crime statistics and you’ll see that firearm related crime is a fraction of a percent of firearm related crime in the US so the likelihood of us needing that kind of protection is pretty much nil.

        That’s not to say that you aren’t well advised to have a firearm in the US. There are more guns than citizens in the US so I can understand why you might figure it’s a good idea for you to be one of those who owns one. I’ve got friends in the US who feel strongly about owning firearms and I have others who are quite against it; I figure, to each their own.

        Not sure what to make of your wishes for people who don’t share your views on gun ownership to be violently gunned down. That seems a bit extreme and maybe counterproductive to bringing anyone over to your way of thinking.

  10. What would be a good home CNC machine for milling aluminium? I’m located in europe, and have no idea what such a thing would cost. But making custom aluminium parts is something I’d like to do. I see quite a few of you here that know a lot more than me ;)

    1. Roland makes decent but expensive hobbyist grade machines (MDX series). You will not be doing steel but some aluminum work is possible. Also check Kickstarter and eBay. You can also build your own, if you want to put the effort in. As much as build it all yourself to use open source controllers and you supply the physical axis to complete kits.

    1. “Precision” single point cut rifled, hand lapped barrels often do have serial numbers. But federal law does not require them. The manufacturer simply puts them on the barrel for their own tracking purposes, and keeps them on file. They would give the ATF the serial number if they are asked to do so by the ATF. Barrels wear with use, so it does little to help with the investigation, unless the the barrel is found, then it could be traced to the owner.
      Mass produced barrels for civilian use usually don’t have a serial number.
      And, the Gun Control Act of 1968 defines what a gun is. A barrel alone is not considered a firearm.

      1. Would it really? “Just” make a law, so that every Firm selling a barrel has to file the credentials of the buyer at a central register. An online database isn’t that hard to handle.

        1. “Would it really? “Just” make a law, so that every Firm selling a barrel has to file the credentials of the buyer at a central register. An online database isn’t that hard to handle.”

          It is ILLEGAL to assemble such an “online database” of firearms or firearms parts in the US. Doesn’t keep the BATFE or tyrannical states like NY, NJ, CA, etc from trying, but it is in fact illegal.

    2. It’s not difficult at all. The technology has been around for over 100 years to make accurately rifled barrels. you may not be shooting 2km shots with it but most people can’t do that anyways. Except for the custom crowd it only takes a few minutes to rifle a barrel.
      Anyone with a hydraulic press and the know how to make a broach or button could easily rifle dozens of barrels a day. If you had the patience, cut rifling could also be done in slightly lower volumes.
      The limiting factor here isn’t the machinery, it’s people who know how to use it.

  11. Purely on reply numbers alone, and a completely unscientific comparison of “Making a touchless vibrator with reverse engineering” 135 replies with “Ghost gunner machines your AR…” 73 replies, sex toys are more popular than guns… so there is some hope for the world after all }:¬)

  12. Please, just please, for god’s sake, stop posting weapon hacks.
    This is just a little personal request from myself. You can post whatever you want.

    A Desktop CNC is something i really would like to have, all these beautiful things you can make!
    But why make weapons? An AR-15 is a tool made to kill people, why would i wanna do that? Why use all your ingenuity and creativity in your free time to make something so destructive? This misuse of a fantastic technology makes me sad.

    I don’t like seeing weapon hacks here at HaD. Hacking just for the sake of it, absolute uselessness, i don’t care. But this, an AR-15, wtf?!
    How can someone like Adam Fabio publish (and hereby also promote) a small weapons factory and have a clear conscience?
    The only explanation i have for all these above questions is:
    People in the USA must be really scared like shit. Its pure angst.

    If i was in the HaD staff, i would strongly oppose to such posts, also would i try to establish some kind ethical code all the authors should abide by. Not everything you CAN do should be done.

    1. One of the reasons I frequent HaD is 1) because they didn’t sell out to AOL and 2) because they have enough of a spine to actually post legitimately interesting news. If they didn’t post a CNC mill that can be used to LEGALLY mill a gun lower because they thought they should censor it (not withstanding the fact that it is all over the internet anyway) then my opinion of them as a site would actually drop. You can’t please everybody all of the time and there are limits to what they actually post. While it might toe the light a bit more from time to time compared to other ultra conservative news sites, it’s actually refreshing to see a site that is actually in line with the “think outside the box” ethos that many in the maker community not just hold near and dear to themselves but is actually an integral part of what makes them who they are.

      1. Not promoting != censorship
        Censorship only really applies if there is submitted content (like, say, youtube) and the host bans certain things.
        A news site can publish what they want, what they dont want to publish is not “censored”

    2. It’s not a weapons hack, it’s a desktop CNC hack. Like any piece of tech, just because the manufacturer ships it with a certain tool set doesn’t mean you can’t take out the jigs and send different g-code to the controller.
      If we shied away from technologies just because the initial research came from military and defense minded researchers we’d be missing out on a lot of progress(a short list to get you thinking http://mentalfloss.com/article/31510/9-things-invented-military-use-you-now-encounter-everyday-life). The same gun you are afraid of may be putting food on the table in rural communities, or confidence in a young person after they win a target match.

      Technology and tools are amoral.

    3. I would also like to see this as well as the sextoys dropped from HAD. It means that I can not recommend the site to kids.
      But their are other uses for an AR-15 than destruction. I have several friends that use them for just target shooting. No hunting or killing people. It is no different than people that are into archery. While it is not a sport I like that does not mean that that they are evil or have a fetish over it.

    4. “People in the USA must be really scared like shit. ”

      They are in specific ways. Despite it being politically, geographically and legally impossible large numbers genuinely think any new gun regulation whatsoever = their guns are being taken!

  13. Eh, a little expensive for what it is. I mean, it’s interesting if someone made it for personal use, but, you’d have to use it a lot to make it worth it.

    Also, sad to say, it’s best use seems to be troll bait.

  14. To all the babies complaining, you really did fall for the troll bait article!
    Really you should go elsewhere if you feel like you can’t handle articles like this and have to complain, it’s not impressive in the first place.

  15. I can see the appeal of the bench top nature of the machine. I really can’t see this becoming popular without affordable sources for the other components needed to assemble a functioning gun. Unless the number of those who have fear mongered themselves and each other they need guns of untraceable origin is higher than I’d think it to be.

  16. Hackaday… please don’t give them any more press. They simply don’t deserve it. This is not an interesting application of existing tech, this is not new tech, this is not even making tech more accessible to the general public.
    The so-called “liberator” and its like will help statistically nobody.

    1. They near enough do already.

      A simple shotgun is incredibly easy to make. You just need the right size steel tube, a nail, some springs and a few more pieces of bent metal to hold it all together.
      I could put something like that together in a couple of hours, much faster than this CNC machine will probably machine the gun parts.
      This CNC isn’t going to change anything.

      The big issue with guns is not really restriction on ownership or construction, but massively improving restrictions on ammo purchases. That’s what your “child, drunk, or mentally ill” should and mostly are, restricted from buying.

      After all, a gun without ammo is just a big metal club.

      1. Yes, then control charcoal, sulfur, and salt-peter. Oh, then fertilizer and lead. Oh, then copper. Dang, also hair spray and piezo igniters. Right, also any fireworks. Not enough room. This is going to be a long list….

    2. The “traceable gun” is myth that goes back to some movies, books, and TV shows that relied on certain cities having handgun registrations, which plenty of people didn’t bother with. In 50 year old Perry Mason episodes, the police invariable trace a revolver to an owner within hours. It has become a mainstay for TV crime writers. In truth NICS records are erased after a period. The only place to find sales records are in the paper files of individual FFL dealers.

  17. I love the fit and finish this machine does for you. I tried to order the Grizzly but they cancelled my order when they figured out I did not have a loading dock. It is a heavy piece of equipoment. My $100 drill press has too much movement in the x y and z axis to leave a good clean line. The receivers I make work nonetheless but I am also a collector and would like a cleaner finish.

    I am not going to get into the gun ownership argument. Gun control was over long ago. The drawing of the AR15 receiver is all over the place and people have hoarded unserialized 80% receivers like a squirel hoards nuts. This product just takes machining tolerances to a whole new level. Admit it – The Genie is out of the bottle folks and the bottle is broken to insure the Genie will never return. What Cody did is just show the politians just how silly their argument is and how controlling they are. The folks that ran for re-election here usually win by a landslide. Both folks nearly lost their seats with one almost too close to call. I expect it is because they both voted along with Obama on the gun control issues like the good puppets they are. They did not get my vote this time nor many others. They will either wake up or lose next time around. I feel like Cody and am not a subscriber to needing big government to tell me what I can and cannot do so voting has just become a usless exercise in futility. It does not get us where freedom lover want to go. I cannot belive the number of people that need to be directed and hate freedom here in the USA. It is really sad.

    I am going to get on the waiting list and support Cody 100%.

  18. $250.00 Deposit AND $1250.00 to complete Order. Plus $100.00 Flat Shipping Fee. That’s $1600.00 Total. Placed Deposit last August $250.00
    Paid $1250.00 final payment and $100.00 Shipping Fee. It’s the GG2, does AR-10’s, AR-15 lowers and with New code Colt 1911’s basically any small piece you’ll ever need for any firearm all you need is code. Mill spec also, not some half assed drill press crap. I wont take the chance of any of my firearms screwing up, ever. I’m Mill challenged But a Monkey could run the DD. Fits me and my wallet just fine. Loading up the bunker.

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