— 9News Perth (@9NewsPerth) June 13, 2022
Police in the state of Western Australia has seized a fully functional 9mm semi-automatic carbine, made, apparently by an 18-year-old hobbyist, using a simple 3D printer, basic tools, and plans readily available online.
The Australian police have mistakenly called the firearm a “semi-automatic assault rifle,” although it fires the 9mm pistol cartridge. More accurately, it is a pistol-caliber carbine. The carbine uses 3D printed copies of the common Glock pistol magazines.
The short-barreled carbine has been identified a an FGC-9 variant (F*ck Gun Control Nine) by Armaments Research Services, which did an extensive write-up on the firearm.
The firearm in question is an FGC-9 with a non-standard fore-end. From the available images, the weapon in question appears to be an FGC Mk II model. The stock and grip are both of the Mk II style, as is the enclosed ejector on the left-hand side (visible briefly in some of the available video footage). The FGC-9 Mk I (see Figure 2) and Mk II (see Figure 3) differ only slightly. The FGC-9 (‘F**k Gun Control 9mm’) is a semi-automatic hybrid 3D-printed self-loading rifle (of a type often called a ‘pistol-calibre carbine’), chambered for the 9 × 19 mm cartridge, and designed by Deterrence Dispensed—an online 3D-printing community focusing on firearms design development. The FGC-9 is arguably the most capable craft-produced firearm one can procure at the time of publication. FGC-9 model firearms have recently been documented in Australia, Burma (Myanmar), Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, numerous countries across mainland Europe, and elsewhere.
Testing of the FGC-9 is reported to show good accuracy, of 2.5 inches at 25 yards. One specimen, described as “not particularly well built” is said to have fired more than 2,000 rounds without catastrophic failure.
Complete tooling and materials to build an FGC-9 are quoted as costing less than $1,000. If a small production facility is put together, as reportedly occurred in Finland, costs can be reduced to about $200 per firearm.
A conference on combating 3D printed firearms was held on May 24-25 hosted by Dutch Police and Europol.
— Patrick Senft (@SenftPatrick) May 25, 2022
The FGC-9 may be the most effective hybrid design yet created for the home manufacture of firearms. It uses existing metal shapes which are easily modified with simple tools. The barrel is a simple high-pressure pipe, chambered and rifled with electrochemical machining, easily done at home with little risk or cost.
The relatively complex feed mechanism and fire control shapes are either commercially available and unregulated or produced on inexpensive 3D printers, where the software is readily available on the Internet.
Thus, the necessary strength is obtained with simple, commercially available steel shapes. The necessary complexity is obtained with 3D printers and software.
The resulting pistol caliber carbine is as effective as some commercially available products. It appears to be on par with a Tech-9 pistol, for example.
The easily added optics, stock, and suppressor may give the FGC-9 the advantage.
9mm cartridges are one of the most common cartridges in the world. They can usually be obtained in the grey and black markets. Manufacture in home workshops is a bit more difficult but not out of the reach of hobbyists.
Even primers for reloading 9mm brass have been recharged with simple techniques.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.