Courtesy Ivan the Troll

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In a previous post, I briefly shared the story of the FGC-9, and its appearance in Burma’s ongoing conflict. Despite facing incredible brutality after a military coup, and living in a country that was already among the poorest on the planet, civilians have been able to construct effective weapons with which to fight back and hang on against a professional military with modern weapons from tanks to warplanes.

It’s an inspiring story that proves not only the inherent ineffectiveness of gun control, but the power and effectivness of gun rights (a natural, human right) as a bulwark against tyranny.

Preparation Is Preferable

Having to scrounge together the resources to build weapons and develop the skill to do it correctly is hard enough even in peaceful times. Trying to do it during a domestic conflict against a national military is several orders of magnitude more difficult. And that’s before you consider the need to train with improvised weapons to be truly effective with them. The fact that Burma’s rebels are doing all of this shows that they’re pretty tough and determined people.

The point isn’t to be tough, though. The goal of any kind of rebellion or resistance movement is to defeat tyrannical rulers and secure not only peace, but freedom for one’s children and future generations. To greatly increase the chances of accomplishing that, preparation is key.

One great historical precedent for this would be the UK’s Sten submachine gun program. Facing a Nazi invasion, and still in short supply after the evacuation of Dunkirk, they had to come up with a simple and cheap gun design that could be built in small workshops to keep the resistance supplied post-invasion.

Fortunately for Britain, Hitler made the fateful decision to invade the Soviet Union early the following year, and months later, the United States joined the war. The invasion that would have required the underground manufacture of Sten submachine guns never came.

In the United States, we’re generally blessed with a legal system that allows us to prepare for such a conflict. The Second Amendment, combined with a system of other interlocking rights in the Bill of Rights, keeps us from having to rely on anything as crude as a Sten or an FGC-9 in the event of such awful times.

But not all countries’ founders had the foresight the Founders did. And in some cases, even the leaders of countries facing great dangers are shockingly naive about how they’d handle a post-invasion resistance.

The FGC-9 And Its Variants Make Preparation Possible

Before I get to the ways this can happen, I want to remind readers that it’s their responsibility to research local laws and consult with a lawyer before building 3D-printed weapons. In some jurisdictions, it may be legal to have all of the materials and designs ready to go as long as the weapons are not actually constructed. But in other places, merely possessing the files and the materials would be enough to face prosecution.

Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. I’m only sharing ideas you might research further to see if they’d work for you and be legal where you live.

FGC-9 exploded view (courtesy Ivan the Troll)

To make all of this work, we’ll first need to work on the design of what I’ll call the “FGC-T”, or a training version of the FGC-9. Instead of building a metal bolt and barrel, one could instead build a plastic barrel that can hold a cheap low-power laser emitter (like you’d find in a laser pointer) and a self-resetting trigger that activates the laser. Weight of some kind should also be added to the design (possibly with a permanently plugged metal barrel) so that it feels like a real FGC-9 in your hands.

This would allow people to do dry-fire practice with a training gun that’s legal in most places that ban real guns. As Gabe Suarez points out in his book The Tactical Rifle, dry fire can produce very competent shooters.

Dave Westerhout of the Rhodesian Defense Force saw that his country was facing a shortage of ammunition not only from war, but also from international sanctions against the unrecognized country. To save ammunition, he set up a special unit that would train with dry fire practice. To everyone’s surprise, the dry-fire trained unit outperformed a live-fire unit when it came time to qualify.

Adding a laser to a training gun built exclusively for dry-fire practice adds the ability to not only get trigger control right, but to also have a friend check to see if the laser dot jerks away from the bullseye during dry-firing. It also allows the use of software to check shot placement and conduct more complex drills.

When The Fecal Matter Hits The Ventilation Device

In the even the rule of law collapses or a foreign power invades, the actual components can be constructed to convert FGC-T laser training carbines to real FGC-9 firearms. Or the FGC-Ts can be left as they are and additional live-fire FGC-9 weapons can be built.

FGC9 FGC-9 3d printed gun
 By JStark1809 / Deterrence Dispensed – Extracted from the CC-BY-4.0 licensed media package for the FGC-9 125 MB zip file linked from DEFCAD page, CC BY 4.0, Link

Obviously, this “dry-fire only until bad times comes” strategy is inferior to training with actual firearms, but it has the advantages of being both possible and likely even legal (again, please check on this yourself carefully…it’s YOU who could end up in prison if you’re wrong) in countries with strict gun control laws. It’s far better than starting from square one with completely untrained gun builders and entirely untrained shooters. It with the advance of affordable technology, it gets more accessible every single day.

For the basics on 3D firearm printing, see TTAG’s introductory series of posts here, here, and here.

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