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  1. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 8:24pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike321 View Post
    CNC machines improved greatly between the 1940 s and today. I think this technology will eventually change the debate. I think the technology will get close to what is needed and then design changes to adapt to the material limits will do the rest.
    How do you think CNC technology will change the debate? This can already be done with CNC technology...........if you have the machinery and the tooling and the know how. Are you saying you think CNC technology, machinery and tooling will be more affordable and commonplace in the future? More user friendly? Household equipment like a washing machine or refrigerator? I'm curious.
  2. mike321 is online now

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 8:56pm


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    Evolution of CNC was for reference of technical improvement over time. I would expect similar improvement for this technology over 50 years. Especially because there is already commercial applications for it. The other key part of this technology is the HUGE drop in skill needed to make it once someone has worked out the design. The material science issues will be tough. But material science evolution has not slowed down over the past decades. It just does not get big press like computers.
  3. mike321 is online now

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    8/26/2012 8:58pm


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    Now that I think about it. If barrels are the only issue, improvements in other machining technology could take care of te rest if the equation. Also, is swapping a barrel from a legal weapon a possibility. For instance a legal high pressure single shot rifle. Strip it's barrel download a design and you are done.
  4. Mr. Machette is offline

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    8/26/2012 9:26pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I don't know. Like I said, I won't say never. But honestly, in order for plastic to be a suitable material for a gun barrel it would have to be so far removed from what we know as plastic that it probably couldn't even be considered plastic anymore. Hell, even 1018 or 1020 cold rolled steel isn't a suitable gun metal.
    Absolutely. That's why I think by the time the materials catch up armies will arleady be fielding railguns and directed energy weapons.

    The way these things are now the best you could really do is use a very nice prototype to produce investment casting molds. Of course, one would have to already be a gun maker to properly cast the parts and machine them into anything worth a crap.


    So yeah. Cool trick, but like you said, absolutely pointless for production at this stage.
  5. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 9:28pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike321 View Post
    Now that I think about it. If barrels are the only issue, improvements in other machining technology could take care of te rest if the equation. Also, is swapping a barrel from a legal weapon a possibility. For instance a legal high pressure single shot rifle. Strip it's barrel download a design and you are done.
    Swapping barrels could always be a possibility but it's not for the uninitiated. Barrels are chambered for specific calibers and threaded for specific actions. Some barrels have extractor slots, some don't. There are a lot of variables. You would have to machine the barrel to fit your action. Plus, if you **** up your headspacing enough on the barrel installation the rifle won't fire. Or alternatively it will turn into a pipe bomb. So basically, no. It's not an option for Joe Six Pack. Unless you had the capability to scan the barrel tennon and machine your receiver threads to match.

    I can see CNC technology advancing to the point where all this is possible. User friendly software and soforth. But some things can't be overcome. First of all - by nature, a lot of this machinery has to be sturdy and rigid. Heavy is good. Parts need to be cooled during machining. Lots of tooling is required for machine work with multiple operations. This tooling wears out. Users have to be knolwedgeable enough to replace it. You're dealing with a big, heavy, oily hunk of machinery that most people will never have a place for in their home. And there will always be a certain level of knowledge required. Maybe it could all become easy and affordable enough for savvy do-it-yourselfers to have in their garage. I don't see it ever becoming easy or practical enough for everyone though.
  6. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 9:30pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Machette View Post
    Absolutely. That's why I think by the time the materials catch up armies will arleady be fielding railguns and directed energy weapons.
    I agree. The future is somewhere along these lines. Digital weaponry, guided projectiles, **** like that. It's already starting to happen.
  7. mike321 is online now

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 9:47pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I agree. The future is somewhere along these lines. Digital weaponry, guided projectiles, **** like that. It's already starting to happen.
    Totally agree here. The issues affected by this will be civilian and crime related not military.

    A note on the barrels: a genius will figure out a design based on a common legal barrel. Joe Six Pack just downloads the design. I don't know enough about machining to go deep into the technicals. But in most engineering/build applications the engineering is never enough. Skilled craftsmen have to do he build. Now unskilled craftsmen can build a design. This is the transformative part of this technology.
  8. battlefields is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 10:03pm

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    When they can print working bullets, then I'll be impressed.
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  9. Devil is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/26/2012 10:46pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike321 View Post
    A note on the barrels: a genius will figure out a design based on a common legal barrel.
    You're moving the goal posts. Your premise was that people could take a barrel off of say, a single shot and put it on a homemade action. This is not feasible for the reasons I stated above. By the way, just the act of removing a barrel requires special tools. It's not like opening a Pepsi.

    There's really no such thing as a common barrel. Barrel blanks come unthreaded with no chamber. You cut the threads to match the receiver and the chamber to match the cartridge. Some receiver/barrels aren't threaded, but it doesn't matter. If your plan is to scavenge barrels to put on this imaginary receiver, you're going to have to take what you can get. That means remachining the barrel to match the receiver.

    If you have all these barrels to scavenge, why would you not just use the gun you're taking them off instead? If you're scavenging, you're way more likely to come across perfectly good semiautomatic weapons than single shots. You'd be downgrading to take off the barrel and put it on your homemade action.

    Designing an action around a barrel is ass backwards. That's not how it works. Cartridge first, then action, then barrel.
  10. mike321 is online now

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    Posted On:
    8/27/2012 12:44am


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    Sorry, not trying to move goal posts, lots of speculating on my part and just started researching this. Obviously the technology already affects how AR 15 enforcement (the law remains the same) because they have a working receiver design already for 3d printers.

    I am not convinced the material science issues of making a barrel won't be overcome. Just have to wait and see.

    As for using a barrel from a different weapon I do think you are right about the obstacles. However, the 3d printer may allow some sort of conversion kit or selling barrels without the rest of the weapon. (I know moving goal post again, but this is mostly speculating as I post)
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