3d Printed 1911 ( in .22LR Caliber)

It’s been a long time since we’ve done any kind of 3d Printed Guns update, and things are still proceeding at a staggering rate, with lots of interesting gun designs and also a real explosion of accessories.

However, here’s something everyone seems to have been anticipating: a working 3DP M1911. Except… it’s only working in .22, so far, it’s not working 100%, and as we’ll see it took several iterations to get there.  The developer goes by the name MBA Firearms. This is the current iteration:

In an Imgur album, the poster says this:

Here it is, the FIRST EVER 3D-printed 22lr semiautomatic pistol. These 1911 models were printed, assembled and test-fired by MBA. There are many firsts with this gun. This design is still in development but improvements are being made.

It’s not a very high round-count gun yet.

95rounds of .22lr through the latest model. Getting light primer strikes about 1/3rd of the time because I lightened up the mainspring too much.

Several different materials were used on developmental frames.  The upper is a .22 Kimber conversion kit. 

Changing to 910 reduced warping of the rails. The warping was partly due to the weight of the mainspring. Tests with 15# spring worked well but was obviously to light leading to light primer strikes. More testing will be done with 16# and 17# spring later which are ready to go.

The reference to 910 is to Taulman 910 nylon filament (the spool is visible). It’s strong stuff, but needs to be kept dry aggressively as possible, and may need higher temps that some printers prefer.

This image above shows the characteristic layering of 3D printing on consumer printers. The next picture shows four of the test frames. The one that’s built up into the gun is made of Taulman 910.  The white one is made of ABS. The ones that have “attached” grips actually had the grips molded in as part of the pistol.

This is the first functioning 1911 we’re aware of, to have been built on a consumer 3D printer. As such, it is a milestone of considerable significance.

Here’s the initial design and test-firing video.

And here’s a follow-up with more test firing. Better, but still not reliable.

10 thoughts on “3d Printed 1911 ( in .22LR Caliber)

  1. Clarence Chen

    Can’t stop the signal. Hopefully once we get Direct-Metal Laser sintering printers into consumer production, we can actually “print” actual metal parts, because while polymers are amazing materials, sometimes you just need some good ‘ol metal in your gun.

  2. 10x25mm

    The best way to dry materials of all sorts is a vacuum chamber. A 5 inch (Hg) pressure, which is easily maintained by simple (inexpensive) diaphragm pumps, reduces absolute humidity surrounding materials to about zero. Cheap diaphragm pumps are actually preferred because they tolerate a lot of humidity in the extracted air. Time required to dehumidify depends upon the diffusion rate of water from the core in the specific material. Heat is unnecessary unless the material is so wet that frosting (refrigeration) occurs.

  3. James

    I like the tech is moving forward in regards to firearms,horse out of the barn/genie out of the bottle what have you.
    I like also the solar panels seem to improve almost daily,getting more affordable for folks to consider as at least emergency source for well ect. at a reasonable price.
    I really look forward to the day of bio printing,new hearts and other organs for ill folks,replacement limbs for accident victims ect.As with all tech realize could be used for nefarious purposes but feel the bio 3d of the future has too much promise of doing good to ignore,and,like all the tech will get out one way or another.

    Still waiting for the “Marvin The Martian” Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator to be printed!

    1. Hognose Post author

      Quite a few of the articles in the 3DP journals refer to biological printing technology. One of the neater things was printing a bioabsorbable scaffold that tissue would then grow on.

  4. Keith

    I imagine the FBI and ATF are (secretly) actively hunting that guy to find some tiny little federal violation buried in one line (of the millions of lines) in the federal code and go bust down his door.

    I don’t doubt that as soon as it becomes possible to completely build a pistol in 9mm or .45 ACP or a revolver in .38 or .44 special it will get hit with taxes, fees, education and registration requirements and licenses costing, in sum, more than the equipment and materials thus securing the technology to the elite and the wealthy.

    1. John M.

      Only in California and similar Cubas. I don’t see any kind of gun control like this getting through Congress anytime soon, nor getting through many state houses.

      -John M.

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