Virtual Symposium: A Century of Homemade Arms

Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion examining the past, present, and future of craft-produced small arms and light weapons!

ARES is excited to announce the launch of the A Century of Homemade Arms virtual symposium, which will bring together some of the foremost international specialists in craft-produced firearms for a series of presentations open to the public.

The craft-production of small arms and light weapons (SALW) by enthusiasts, non-state actors, and criminals is not a new phenomenon, but technological advancements have made the practice more effective—and accessible—than ever before. Once an involved process that required considerable technical expertise, emergent technology now permits anyone with minimal mechanical competency to produce effective small arms from the comfort of their home. Indeed, it is now possible to manufacture self-loading firearms without any regulated components which are beginning to rival factory-made weapons in performance. As manufacturing techniques such as 3D-printing and electrochemical machining continue to improve, the craft-production of firearms will become increasingly simple, and understanding these technologies will become increasingly relevant for policymakers, law-enforcement officials, armed forces, and civilian enthusiasts.

Despite their importance, the coverage of craft-produced SALW has been steeped in misinformation. Armament Research Services (ARES) is pleased to present a symposium providing a policy-neutral, technically grounded assessment of the phenomenon. A multidisciplinary panel of experts will discuss the historical, technical, and operational dimensions of craft-produced SALW. The symposium also includes testimony from leading members of the growing online community designing and sharing the next generation of craft-produced guns. Topics that will be examined during the course of the symposium include the history of craft-produced weaponry; how and why these weapons are made; who has used them; the challenges craft-produced firearms pose to forensic examiners; and emergent developments in craft-produced SALW.

This one-day, virtual symposium will be hosted online by Armament Research Services, beginning at :
1000 hrs U.S. Central Time on 15 December 2021.

The event is open to the public, but pre-registration is essential. Register to attend here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ELHw9MRUSomXLMQ9dtc6zA

List of Presentations

Piecing it Together: A History of Parts-kit Builds in the USA
Danny Michael
Curator, Cody Firearms Museum

Square Peg, Round Hole: Craft-Produced Firearms of The Irish Troubles
Jonathan Ferguson
Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, Royal Armouries
Technical Specialist, Armament Research Services (ARES)

Craft Production: Challenges for Forensic Firearm Investigations
Rachel Bolton-King
Associate Professor, Staffordshire University

Luty Sub-Machine Guns: Past, Present & Future
Chloe Tousignant
Associate Researcher, Armament Research Services (ARES)

Liberator to FGC-9: A Brief History of 3D-printed Firearms, 2013–2021
N.R. Jenzen-Jones
Director, Armament Research Services (ARES)
Editor, Armax: The Journal of Contemporary Arms

Developing the FGC-9: Pushing the Boundaries of 3D-printed Firearms
Ivan T.
Contributor, Deterrence Dispensed
Co-designer, FGC-9

Criminals and Combatants: Known Operational Usage of 3D-printed Firearms
Jack Shanley
Associate Researcher, Armament Research Services (ARES)

Producability Profiling of 3D-printed Firearms: A Source Printer Identification Methodology
Steve Pavlovich
Independent Researcher
Former Forensic Firearms Examiner, Western Australia Police Force (WAPOL)

Register to attend by clicking here!

If you want to brush up on some background information before the symposium, we recommend these reports:

Beyond State Control: Improvised and Craft-produced Small Arms and Light Weapons
G. Hays and N.R. Jenzen-Jones
Small Arms Survey (2018)

Desktop Firearms: Emergent Small Arms Craft Production Technologies
G. Hays, Ivan T. & N.R. Jenzen-Jones
Armament Research Services (2020)

Weapons Identification: Other Small Arms and Light Weapons
in An Introductory Guide to the Identification of Small Arms, Light Weapons, and Associated Ammunition
N.R. Jenzen-Jones & Jonathan Ferguson
Small Arms Survey (2018)