Texas-based 3D printing firm Solid Concepts recently announced that it will be selling a limited run of one hundred 1911 handguns. Aside from the small production number, what makes the guns special is that nearly all of their metal parts are made with a 3D printer.
According to Alyssa Parkinson, Solid Concepts’ marketing and communications specialist, the company’s inaugural step into gunsmithing was prompted by doubts over the reliability of 3D-printed products. Engineers at the company’s Austin headquarters decided to build a functioning 3D-printed 1911 pistol in order to prove critics wrong. The end result was a handgun made of 33 37-4 stainless steel and Inconel 625 components. The only parts that were not 3D-printed were the springs and magazine. After post-processing work, the pieces were assembled into the familiar shape of a 1911 and test-fired for over 2,000 rounds. So far, the company has reported no malfunctions.
In light of their success, Solid Concepts is producing 100 serialized pistols for sale. As collectibles, these 1911 pistols come with a hefty price tag. Each handgun will be sold for $11,900, a price which will also include a tour of the Solid Concepts factory, a wooden display case, a 3D-printed plaque, and a certificate of authenticity.
“Each assembled pistol will undergo 100 rounds of test-firing by our project engineers,” Parkinson told OutdoorHub.
Buyers will also be able to choose the serial number they want, except for number one. Solid Concepts will not be selling its first “production” 3D-printed metal pistol, which the company claims is the first such thing ever made.
“Plans currently are to see if any museums are interested in it,” Parkinson added.
Although Solid Concepts has not announced any plans for other firearms, Parkinson stated that the company will be working with 3D design firm Sintercore to produce AR-15 muzzle brakes. Sintercore designed the “Auxetik” muzzlebrake, another first in the world of 3D printing.
Below is a video of the Solid Concepts 1911 being test-fired:
Image courtesy Solid Concepts