Letter Re: 3D Printing Rifle Magazines

Thursday, Jan 3, 2013

Hello, James.
I was wondering about something. If it is possible to build an entire lower assembly for an AR-15 (though a bit more fragile than what most people are aware of) using a 3D printer, wouldn't it also be possible to program that same printer to make composite construction 30 magazines (or larger) for AR series rifles. All that you would need to do then is buy the springs. Everything else can be produced using the printer. Sincerely, - Gerald H.
JWR Replies:
Unfortunately, with current technology I don't think that the plastics used have the requisite tensile strength, especially in the feed lips.  A  fully-loaded magazine exerts a lot of force on both the feed lips and the floorplate retainer. But in a few years, I expect 3D printing technology to mature substantially. So it could then become a viable option for fabricating magazines.

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