In California, it is pretty tough for one of the 13 million estimated legal gun owners to buy an AR-15 or similar gun deemed by local law since 1989 to be an “assault weapon” without seriously neutering the firearm itself to be compliant. Fast forward nearly 30 years, numbers of (non-compliant) ARs still pop up with regularity in gun crime. Recently, the ATF and LAPD busted a group associated with street gangs that were operating DIY gun mills from Hollywood area weekly-rent hotels that made ARs and Glocks from 80 percent lowers.
So, just regulate “ghost guns” right?
Here’s the funny part: under a bill, signed into law in 2016 by Gov. Jerry Brown, legal builders of homemade firearms have to first obtain a serial number through the state Department of Justice to complete their built and abide by a myriad of California laws.
More in my column at Guns.com
I have about dozen 80-percent aluminum AR and polymer Glock lowers on hand and about enough LPKs, extra barrels, slide and uppers to complete about half of those if/when I choose. The best thing is, as long as a follow NFA regs (no SBRs, no select fire, etc), and don’t move to sell them while “engaging in the business” it is all 100 percent legal to complete them to my heart’s content with no worries. I’ve even considered getting one of Cody Wilson’s Ghost Gunner desktop receiver mills, but am too cheap.
But then there is the Garden State.
Last week, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent letters to a number of gun parts manufacturers threatening legal action unless they halt future sales in New Jersey.
Grewal’s action targets unnamed “ghost gun makers” who he argues advertise 80 percent receivers, builds and kits to New Jersey residents. The AG is threatening them with a possible civil action under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, with as much as a $10,000 penalty for initial offenses. He holds that fraud is committed because the makers do not disclose that possessing a firearm classified under state law as an unregistered “assault weapon” in New Jersey is a crime.
Of course, we are talking about solid lumps of partially machined metal here, so there is that…
More in my column at Guns.com.
Blowback action, it uses a gas tube from a Saiga coupled with a bolt group, top cover and recoil spring from an 8mm Mauser Yugoslav M-76 rifle with a firing pin and locking piece from an HK91 modified with a Suomi bolt head and an AK-style ejector.
The fun thing is since it’s a featureless stock and the drum mag is welded to a 10-round limit, the gun is California compliant, earning it the name “Cali Commie Tommie gun.”
In all, the gun took three years to build, and once he field strips it out, the weirdness really starts to set in. Somewhere in the Khyber Pass, an assembly of artisanal gunsmiths in man dresses and pakol hats are getting ready to offer this guy a guild membership.
I talked to the guy behind it, V8 Merc, after I covered it at Guns.com and he was just flabbergasted that people dug it.
“It is humbling to see my build get well received by others out there. All I was doing when I made it was to create a unique rifle I envisioned 3 years ago,” he said.
Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for 2020.
With some 10th-grade metal trades skills, the guy over at Farm Craft brewed up an AR lower from 265 beer/soda cans.
Nothing really high-tech involved. He melts the cans down in his foundry furnace, first into muffin tin ingots and then pouring the molten recycled aluminum into a plywood and sand mold box.
Cutting off the sprue and machining out the billet, he threads and mills until he gets a relatively mil-spec receiver to which he drops in a LPK, attaches to an upper, and rips some rounds through.
Now if he could turn an AR lower into a can of beer, that would be magical.
Remember to recycle!
I’ve written extensively about the controversy with Cody Wilson and his Ghost Gunner device– a desktop CNC milling machine that you insert an 80 percent lower into and about four hours later have a finished lower ready to assemble. Well Wired managed to get their hands on one (I’m still on the waiting list 😦 ) and went about crafting one. Better yet, they compared the finished result to one they tried to make on a drill press and a second 3D printed lower made on a desktop replicator and took the lowers to a gunsmith for his inspection.
This is my ghost gun. To quote the rifleman’s creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s called a “ghost gun”—a term popularized by gun control advocates but increasingly adopted by gun lovers too—because it’s an untraceable semiautomatic rifle with no serial number, existing beyond law enforcement’s knowledge and control. And if I feel a strangely personal connection to this lethal, libertarian weapon, it’s because I made it myself, in a back room of WIRED’s downtown San Francisco office on a cloudy afternoon…
I covered this last week for Guns.com. Apparently Cody Wilson, the self-professed anarchist law student from Austin– you know, the guy who printed the first 3D gun which scared the ever loving shit out of folks when it came out even though it tends to
blow up self disassemble rapidly after the first shot– just came up with a device he calls the Ghost Gunner. It’s a $1K desktop CNC machine that will turn an 80 percent AR-15 blank into a functional lower in an hour. Well he debuted it Oct 1, by Oct 3 it had sold out with over 300 orders rushing in. You have to admit, you gotta love the overthetop quality of the video he put out: