I mentioned earlier that I am working on a “ghost gun”: you know, the super-scary DIY AR15. Let’s recap, shall we?
- To date, it has cost as much money as a decent budget AR. Maybe a little more if you count shipping.
- After weeks of on-off fiddling, I’m getting close to seeing if it’ll work.
- It might end up starting as an 80% lower to 80% of it chucked in the bin.
Here it is. AN ACTUAL GHOST GUN:
(Not pictured: a boring, stock AR15 upper and the standard M16A2-style stock. I loathe collapsible stocks; I’m not getting in and out of a friggin LAV, I don’t need compactness.)
I have been carefully Dremeling the trigger well for literal hours after roughly milling it out with a drill press. Still can’t get the trigger quite seated correctly. Also, once it is, I have NO IDEA if it’ll work. (Same goes for the hammer assembly.)
Also, for reasons I do not understand, the bolt hold-open and buffer tube retaining pin don’t quite fit. Without a really nice machine shop I’m not sure how I’m going resolve this. The geometry and form are something that you just … you can’t just lark down to Home Depot and pick up the precise set of tools needed to resolve this.
Lastly, the takedown pins have somewhat wonky fit; I’m almost 100% sure it is functional and safe, but not pleasant to use, at least until I figure it out.
I understand the concern about 80% lowers. I really do. That said, when it comes to serious fears about these things: You are wrong.
No one intending to commit mass murder is first going to spend 3 hours carefully Dremeling so maybe, after 5 or 6 more hours of careful complex work, they might have a functional AR15. 80% lowers are not a giant, looming vector to the gun violence problem. No one will go through this when the firearm version of rubber-hose cryptanalysis – straw purchases or plain ol’ theft – is just simpler, cheaper, and easier.
“If we have a proper assault rifle ban in place, criminals will resort to using these to commit crimes.” Well, OK, I get it, but as I have endeavored to show with actual examples, these things are not a quick 1-hour jam-up. Yes, a criminal with enough money to eg have someone do a straw purchase and a nice machine shop and lots of spare time can have an “off the books” gun. You got me.
“Other people are better at doing machine tool work than you”. Yeah, um, ok you’re not wrong, but is there an actual correlation between mass shooters or bank robbers and people with machinist certifications?
At some point, this goes from “caution” to necessitating the rise of The Union Of Evil Machinists, a dastardly group of law-breaking machine-tool makers, dedicated to milling out trigger wells of 80% lowers, so armies of criminals can go forth and crime.