Undetectable 3D Printed Gun

19 Dec

3D Printed Gun



Airport security uses low level x-rays and metal detection. But will it detect a plastic gun? Like one that can be printed using the 3D printing technology?


3D Printer

3D Printer



Such a gun was predicted many years ago in Frederick Forsyth’s classic The Day of the Jackal. The original 1973 movie version anyway. The Jackal not only had that cool rifle disguised as crutches, but also a double-barreled handgun that was plastic and fired plastic bullets, if I remember correctly. Been a while since I saw the movie.


day of jackal


4 responses to “Undetectable 3D Printed Gun

  1. Frank Karl

    December 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I think detection of plastic guns is a non-starter, at least for the time being.

    Printable guns have to big. I mean really big to withstand the pressure of expanding gases that propel the bullet. Even plastic has some x-ray density. If we modify the plastic with carbon black to make it stronger or incorporate short glass fibers in the plastic, the x-ray density will increase.

    These short barrels (the pressure drop to zero as soon as the bullet leaves the barrel even if power is still burning) aren’t rifled and shoot very inaccurately. You need to be close. If you can get that close, take another step and cut ‘em with a sharpened16 inch steel ruler!

    You could probable make a single-shot gun from parts from Home Depoe and the tools in your garage. Then hide the parts in several locations for your future assembly. Oh, heck. Just bribe someone to let you in with an ordinary gun……


  2. Cheryl B. Dale

    December 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Life often imitates art, doesn’t it?


  3. Gary

    December 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

    There was a plastic gun in the Clint Eastwood movie In the Line of Fire. I may be wrong, but I don’t remember a plastic gun in Day of the Jackal book or movie.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      December 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I might be wrong too–but I think I remember a little white plastic double-barreled pistol–either in the original movie or the Bruce Willis remake.



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