The 3D-Printed Semi-Automatic Gun Is Almost Here

95 percent 3D-printed, 5 percent other

Shuty MP-1 3D Printed Gun

Shuty MP-1 3D Printed Gun

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

All 3D-printed guns are young guns. The weapon as a distinct category didn't exist before May 2013, when Defense Distributed's single-shot Liberator blasted them into existence. Before the Liberator, people printed parts and incorporated them into existing guns.

After the Liberator, designers expanded beyond its single-shot design. Now, a YouTube user with the handle Derwood is showing of a 3D printed semi-automatic weapon dubbed the Shuty-MP1.

Evolving from single-shot pistols to semi-automatics the first time took roughly 600 years, though with the existence of bullets and modern gun-making know how, it's not terribly surprising people were able to make the transition for printing guns in just two and a half years. That means Derwood’s gun, made mostly of 3D-printed plastic parts, can fire an entire magazine of 9 mm bullets, ejecting spent bullet casings as it advances the next round into the chamber.

Still, in some ways, Derwood's gun isn't quite as impressive as the revolvers we've seen before. As Wired reports:

But unlike other 3-D printed weapons that have spooked gun control advocates and raised thorny First and Second Amendment questions, the Shuty-MP1 is far from a fully printed firearm. Derwood’s “95 percent printed” description may apply to the overall material that makes up the gun. But unlike some other 3-D printed guns, he didn’t attempt to build the most complex moving parts or stress-absorbing elements from plastic; its store-bought Glock barrel, hammer, firing pin, bolts, and springs are all metal.

That makes the Shuty-MP1 in many ways like the partially 3D-printed guns that predate it, where a printer makes some of the parts and combines them with off-the-shelf models. And even then, this is more proof-of-concept, and not a weapon someone would actually want to use. According to Derwood, the plastic holding the barrel starts to melt after about 18 shots.

Watch Derwood assemble the gun below: