Monday, November 02, 2015

CT: Improvised Weapons Design Used for Simple Homemade Pistol

Two years ago, the simple pistol shown above was confiscated in Connecticut.  A minor was making them and selling them on the black market for $200 each.  Good money for a pre-teen.  The police say that he started making the pistols when he was 7 years old.  From
Police said the teen is highly intelligent. Officers believe he's been building them since he was 7, and is fascinated by the mechanics of the manufacturing process. They don't think the teen ever used them himself, but the boy is known to police.

Police said they have the same impact as a shotgun blast and can cause problems for those pulling the trigger too, because of the risk of backfiring.
Such manufacture is a very good performance for a seven year old, but he did not have to come up with the design himself.  I thought it looked familiar.

I was looking through a copy of TM 31-210, published in 1969.  There it was, the same design, almost picture perfect.  The homemade single shot pistol is based on the improvised weapons design from the TM 31-210, published in1969.

There are problems with the design for hobbyists.  It uses common water pipe for a barrel.  Water pipe is plenty strong enough for low pressure pistol cartridges and shotgun shells.  Do not use it for 9mm or the magnums.  The problem is not strength, but federal law.  It is not against the law to make guns,  but there are restrictions.  On this design, the difficulty is not making it work, but cutting rifling in the barrel.  Without rifling, it is a "short barrelled shotgun", and falls under the National Firearms Act.  It is a crime to make one without paying the $200 federal tax.

It would not be difficult to put some rifling in the barrel, and I might make one someday just for fun.  Very likely, the improvised pistol uses .410 ammunition, which is easily available.  With the buckshot loads, it becomes a formidable weapon at ranges to 10 yards.

While I was looking up the data on the Internet, I was surprised by the calls for censorship.   This technology is mostly 15th century stuff.  It is not the plans for how to make nuclear weapons.  Here are comments from the first site I found that showed the TM 31-210 plans.   From
Reviewer: AGV - - September 5, 2014
Subject: Art16
TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions Handbook 1969 is an official Army TM that is widely available on the internet, mostly as a free download. Whoever saw the need for such a TM clearly threw caution to the wind, or, more impolitely, was a stupid idiot. It is way far to late to do anything about it, unfortunately.

Reviewer: Emogowl - - August 4, 2014
Subject: Dangerous and irresponsible
This kind of information should not be available to the public. Please bear in mind that it can be read anywhere and by anyone with access to the internet ... from the homegrown terrorist to the intellectually curious schoolchild.

Reviewer: CMX10 - - April 6, 2014
Subject: WTH!!!
Why would this kind of stuff be on here? This should not be for public view without proper clearance.
I was shocked that reviewers thought this simple information should be kept from the general public.  Yet there it is.  Before WWII, there were formularies in every library on how to make explosives, fireworks, and gunpowder from common materials.

It is not as if firearms are difficult to come by.  We have about 360 million plus in the United States.  I do not anticipate having to make crude pistols out of necessity, but I am fascinated with the ability to do so.  Using the pipe/barrel breech system, a much nicer version could be made with a real trigger and safety system, on a 3D printer.

Such items serve a useful purpose.  They show disarmists the futility of their aspirations.

Definition of  disarmist

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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Wireless.Phil said...

I've seen better homemade ones on YouTube.

Texas TopCat said...

A visit to Harbor Freight would allow purchase of a small metal lathe for about $150 that would deal with the barrel issue with not much work at all.

Dean Weingarten said...

I wish I could get a Harbor freight lathe for $150! Last I saw, they were nearly $500!