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3D Printed metal gun hitting the market

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By Elwood Shelton, Gun Digest

Solid Concepts has been on a meteoric rise when it comes to cutting-edge firearms manufacturing.

Around two months ago the multi-state based manufacturer announced it had produced the world’s first 3D printed metal gun. Now the company has plans on putting its take on the M1911 on the market.

Solid Concepts announced it will sell 100 limited editions of the handgun, manufactured using the same process as the prototype. But being one of the first to own a piece of the future won’t come cheap.

The company has the 1911’s priced at $11,900. Spendy, but history always demands top dollar.

The guns are made of Inconel 625 (a nickel-chromium alloy) and stainless steel through a process known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering. The procedure fuses layers of metal onto each other, until the end product comes to fruition.

Outside of some final polishing, the manufacturing process requires no tooling. For Solid Concept’s 1911, this even includes the barrel’s rifling. The lands and grooves are “grown” during the barrel’s manufacture.

Solid Concept’s prototype has faired well, according to the company. The handgun is nearing 2,000 rounds without malfunctioning once. And, as Eric Mutchler points out, the gun’s first iteration was not produced in its strongest possible form.

“The 17-4 Stainless Steel has not been post heat treated because that would further strengthen it and we wanted to test our least strong option first,” the project engineer at Solid Concepts said.

The 100 guns set to be sold come with a wooden showcase box with a 3D printed metal plaque and a certificate of authenticity. The company is also offering buyers the chance to tour their Texas facility to see their gun being printed, and to join their lead additive manufacturing engineers on the range for the first test firing of their limited 1911 gun.

1911 3D Printed Metal Gun Technical Specifications:

Weight: 2.25 pounds empty, no magazine

Width: 1.3 inches
Trigger Pull: 5 pounds
Sight Radius: 6.4 inches

Sights: Standard GI with square notch rear.
Twist: 1:15.8; 6=Lands 6=Grooves

Source: Gun Digest

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