DIY gun-making machine sells out in 36hrs
A milling machine that allows customers to make the body of an AR-15 rifle has sold out in 36 hours. Despite costing $1,200, there was no shortage of buyers as clients wanted to build part of their own gun - with no serial number - in their own homes.
Defense Distributed, owned by gun rights activist Cody Wilson, managed to sell over 200 computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) milling machines – called Ghost Gunner - with 175 sold within 24 hours of going on sale.
Wilson was surprised at just how quickly his product sold. He had only intended to sell 110 machines, but such is the demand he now intends to employ more staff to give the public what it wants.
“People want this machine,” Wilson said, speaking to Wired magazine. “People want the battle rifle and the comfort of replicability, and the privacy component. They want it, and they’re buying it.”
For those who missed out on the original batch, the good news is that Wilson is planning to release more milling machines onto the market. The bad news is, they will cost an extra $100, bringing the price up to $1,300. However, given how quickly the first 200 or so sold out, it is unlikely the price rise is going to put too many people off.
The Ghost Gunner is the PC-connected hardware for manufacturing the lower receiver of the popular AR-15 rifle.
The receiver is the control part of a firearm which houses the operating parts and serves as the frame of the gun. Without it, the weapon is inoperable. It is also where the manufacturer places the serial number, as required by law.
The US allows for creating a firearm from parts or kits, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which states: “[An] unlicensed individual may make a 'firearm' as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution.”
As a way to get around that law, manufacturers can make a semi-finished lower receiver that “isn’t technically a gun, but gets as close to the line as possible,” Ars Technica reported. The metal piece is usually 80 percent finished, and can be purchased from a variety of companies.