Let’s start with a word of warning. Don’t try this at home. Unless you are a card-carrying redneck, or otherwise skilled in the metallurgic arts, I’d advise against crude homemade firearms. Still, you can watch the video and see something that will make gun control advocates wet their pants.
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This dude here is demonstrating something that many have done before. And that’s the main evidence for my argument. In order to make a working shotgun, all you really need is a tube that can withstand the pressure of the shot-shell and a way to detonate the primer.
That and a pair of brass knockers. It must take a certain amount of courage to slam these together and place your faith in the strength of common, run of the mill pipe.
In this case, he takes two lengths of pipe, one 3/4″ length that will slide inside a shorter cap. In the cap piece, you fix some sort of rudimentary firing pin. A 12 gauge shell will fit in the 3/4″ pipe, and the rim of the brass case will prevent it from sliding down.
Different sized pipes will fit different shells, but the 12 gauge is really the best option and the most commonly available shell.
When you slide the improvised end-cap over the improvised barrel, and jam the two together, the improvised pin will puncture the primer and the gun will go boom.
If everything goes as it should, the projectiles will exit the end of the improvised barrel, just like it would on a shotgun. A shotgun is, at its most basic, just a smooth tube. If you want to get more fancy, you can add some wooden furniture to the gun–though I would note that this puts the tube closer to your face.
There’s less pressure out of the open end of the barrel, so the explosion should take the path of least resistance. They’re called slap guns, or slam guns.
If you make them short enough, they’re very easily concealed. And a simple trigger mechanism will allow you to screw on the end-cap.
Is this inherently dangerous? Of course. There’s a chance that the tube won’t support the pressure. It may not happen the first time, or the 100th–but it will eventually fail. And then you’re holding the explosion in your hands. And there are other obvious dangers–like no safety, etc.
That misses the point, though, by about a mile. The point here is anyone can make a functional gun with a simple visit to a scrap yard. And it isn’t illegal.
As the image below shows, a box of shells could be enough to arm several people.
If you are up on your firearm laws, you’ll know that any individual (who can legally own a gun) can build a gun for their own personal use without breaking any laws. And those guns aren’t registered, serialized, reported…. You just can’t sell it to someone else.
This is where 3-D printing comes in. When people began making single-shot guns on their 3-D printers, gun control advocates panicked. It was too easy, they thought. But look at this. This home-brew shotgun is much, much easier than a 3-D printed pistol.
And the gun itself is effective for many applications we typically associate with shotguns. While you won’t be shooting skeet at an Olympic level, you can defend yourself. You could even hunt.
And this is exactly why you’ll never take guns from the hands of Americans. If you try, you will have to take away all of the materials that anyone could use to build their own. Pipes. Printers. Files. Drills. The possibilities are endless and human ingenuity is boundless.