Just a few days after revealing its 3D-printed "Liberator" handgun, said to be a world first, Defense Distributed now claims to have successfully fired the prototype weapon. Forbes documented the test firing, which took place in the prairies of Texas and involved multiple practice runs where the trigger was remotely operated by string, with varying levels of success. Finally, Defense Distributed's provocative founder, Cody R. Wilson, fired the Liberator by hand himself. There was reportedly no damage to either Wilson or the gun itself, aside from a crack in a pin used to secure the barrel.
Non-functional metal part helps gun comply with Undetectable Firearms Act
Forbes reports that one secret behind the gun's structural integrity may be that the barrel has been treated with "a jar of acetone vaporized with a pan of water and a camp stove," which is said to reduce friction by slightly smoothing the bore. The Liberator is made from 16 parts, 15 of which were fabricated with a Stratasys 3D printer, and one non-functional metal part helps the gun comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act.
The test shooting is briefly shown at the beginning of the video above, which also claims that the Liberator's 3D blueprints will be made available for download today. As of yet, however, the files do not appear to have been uploaded to DEFCAD, the repository operated by Defense Distributed.
"I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people."
Wilson's stated goal with the Liberator is to highlight how technology can render laws and governments all but irrelevant. "I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people. That’s what it is — it’s a gun," he tells Forbes. "But I don’t think that’s a reason to not put it out there. I think that liberty in the end is a better interest."
Update: The files in question have now been made available.