Exclusive: FGC-9 MkII Sneak Peak With Designer JStark1809

Exclusive: FGC-9 MkII Sneak Peak With Designer JStark1809

European DIY firearm designer JStark1809 test fires a suppressed FGC-9 MkII in a basement somewhere in Europe

The FGC-9 MkII is a semi-automatic 9mm “ghost gun,” made from 3D printed components and hardware store parts. In early 2020, the original FGC-9 (“Fuck Gun Control 9mm”) was released to the public by European designer JStark1809, with contributions from his peers from 3D gun proliferation group Deterrence Dispensed. The heavily upgraded MkII is slated for release by the end of 2020.

The FGC-9 enables everyday people all around the world to build a 9mm semi-automatic firearm, from start to finish, using a 3D printer and commonly available, unregulated materials. It’s specifically designed to be accessible to folks with minimal gun building experience, and avoids using parts commonly or easily restricted by law in the US and Europe. Anyone can build it, and no one can stop it.

The FGC-9 Fulfills the Promise of 3D Printed Guns

The initial release of the FGC-9 was a hit. But as with most designs in the 3D printed and craft made firearm world, the gun was destined to be modified and improved. The FGC-9 Mark II will likely be released before the end of 2020 by JStark1809, and his now-massive online group of 3D printed gun enthusiasts, Deterrence Dispensed.

JStark1809, the pseudonymous European gun designer, was good enough to give En Bloc Press an interview about his FGC-9 MkII project and the forthcoming release. We discuss what’s new in the FGC-9 MkII, his influences, the origins of Deterrence Dispensed, and the backstory on the upgrade.


Beta Testing

“During the late stages of development for the original FGC-9, I decided to start a beta program. Basically invite people to test out the design,” explains JStark1809.

“So I invited the core group of guys from Deterrence Dispensed and I said ‘Hey come on, join the beta test.'”

He quickly realized that many of the other developers were busy with their own projects though.

“I thought to myself ‘How can I get guys to join up to the beta tests without opening it up to randoms who have no motivation?'”

He would end up requiring that collaborators prove their bona fides by demonstrating their ability to produce the homemade barrel that the FGC-9 uses. “My thinking was that people needed to prove themselves, that they weren’t just fucking around or something,” JStark1809 offers bluntly. “And that way I got a few good people, and still had some of the core guys, and guys who were cool with the core guys.”

One of the beta testers, Keybase user 3socksandcrocs, approached JStark1809 about making some upgrades. “A couple of weeks before the release of the FGC-9, [3socksandcrocs] had started to modify the gun already. That’s the one you saw floating around before the official release. It was amazing.

“He had no CAD experience at all before this, and he was already able to be making some modifications,” JStark1809 explains. “And so it became clear to me that I should work with 3socksandcrocs.”

The FGC-9 MkII was in development even before the official release of the first FGC-9. 

A pair of FGC-9 Mark II’s being fired

FGC-9 MkII Upgrades

“The beginning of May [2020] is really the time when the MkII became what it is.”

This is when JStark1809 and 3socksandcrocs had settled on the newly designed enclosed ejector arm and assembly.

Highligted Upgrades of the FGC-9 MkII

“After the original FGC-9, it was clear to me that to have a sling would be really good. To have a sling is basically essential if you want to be able to have your hands free for something or to transition to a pistol.” The FGC-9 MkII will feature an H&K G36-style sling mounting point.

Everyone loves the “H&K slap,” and the FGC-9 MkII will ship with an H&K style charging handle. “With the new charging handle, you have a manual bolt hold open. And the new charging handle is way simpler in terms of the construction and assembly process,” says JStark1809. 

Another major upgrade is the fact that the new charging handle is non-reciprocating. “If you have your hand near the bolt on the left side, the FGC-9 MkI could clip your hand. No longer is this a problem on the FGC-9 MkII. Overall, with the enclosed ejector arm and improved charging handle, no longer can it break or interfere with your shooting, and no longer can dirt get in the side. All those are a plus in regards to this new design.” 

The FGC-9 MkII adds MLOK mounting slots near the barrel retainer (handguard area) and a full-length picatinny top rail. This allows the shooter to attach popular accessories like a weapon light, laser, or optic. 

The buttstock is upgraded too. “Another thing that 3socksandcrocs did which was wonderful, is he modeled a really awesome looking new buttstock. And at the butt end of the stock, no longer is it perfectly flat. It has a bit of a curved geometry to it, so that it doesn’t slip off of your shoulder.”

“The new charging handle system, enclosed ejector system, new buttstock, full-length rail, MLOK slots, sling mount point,” JStark1809 lists, “are all really great upgrades.”

FGC-9 Magazine

The FGC-9 MkII ships with an updated “Extendez Magazine”. This 3D printed 25-round Glock magazine is based on IvanTheTroll’s “Extendez magazine,” and was modified by CtrlPew and 3socksandcrocs to serve as the dedicated 3D printed magazine option for the FGC-9 MkII. The new FGC-9 magazine offers cheaper build costs, easier maintenance, improved reliability, and a witness hole to verify capacity. To complete, the printed magazine simply needs a $1 spring from AliExpress.

The MkII Ships With an Updated "Menendez Mag"
The MkII Ships With an Updated “Extendez Mag”

Many fitment and tolerance issues are addressed in the Mark II upgrade too. “I fixed the tolerance of the fitment of pins for the fire control group in the lower receiver. I improved the feed ramp, and the dimensions of the shaft collar pocket. I did a ton of things to fix a lot of the small issues. A lot of quality of life improvements, a lot of functional fixes,” explains JStark1809.

IvanTheTroll, the designer of the Plastikov (and Twitter antagonist of the anti-gun community), helped 3socksandcrocs and JStark1809 with refining the new charging handle design, and also helped test the MkII in general to identify the last few kinks that needed fixing. Additionally, Ivan gave design suggestions based on his testing.

Documentation

The FGC-9 Mark II is slated for release later this year. “The issue is documentation,” says Jstark1809. “The design in terms of the CAD model is good to go. But without documentation, it doesn’t matter how awesome your design is. Nobody is going to build it. The average Joe will have no idea where to begin, and so documentation is absolutely key.”

Sneak peek video still of the FGC-9 MkII assembly guide video
Sneak peek video still of the FGC-9 MkII assembly guide video

“I’d say we’re going to look at a release, at the latest, sometime in Winter.” 

Inspiration

Sometimes people see the FGC-9 and wonder how much inspiration was drawn from earlier DIY/craft build firearm designs like Philip Luty’s SMG and Derwood’s Shuty AP-9.

Like the FGC-9, the Luty SMG and Shuty AP-9 are designed to be made at home. But unlike the FGC-9, the Luty SMG and AP-9 require either considerably more skill in metalworking (and access to a lathe) or access to factory gun parts like Glock barrels. (See footnote – Lee)

JStark1809 had the European user in mind when designing the FGC-9. Relying on access to factory gun components is an issue since they’re tightly regulated in most European countries. The FGC-9 is a gun that can be built by anyone, anywhere, simply and without requiring extensive access to metalworking tools or restricted parts.

“After taking a look at the AP-9 and seeing all the issues with it, the biggest influence for me to go from the AP-9 to the FGC-9, was P.A. Luty’s use of shaft collars around the barrel,” says JStark1809.

The FGC-9 relies on an DIY/craft made rifled barrel and a series of shaft collars to seat into the receiver. So Luty’s work was an inspiration in more ways than one.

The FGC-9 MkII in the video has a barrel made from a rifled barrel blank and has a muzzle thread for a suppressor

The barrel of the FGC-9 can be made in a number of ways. From a rifled barrel blank via lathe, as a smoothbore barrel from a common 9mm ID pipe via simple tools, or preferably, as a DIY rifled barrel via ECM-rifling. The easy to replicate ECM rifling method, pioneered by developer Jeffrod and brought to maturity by Ivan The Troll, offers excellent accuracy and strength and can be set up in a small space like an apartment bathroom.

An Ideological Blueprint

Philip Luty was a British gun designer, author, and gun rights advocate. Author of Expedient Homemade Firearms (ISBN 9780873649834), Luty was involved in several cases involving gun rights in the UK, and even did time in prison for his work.

“Luty was a huge major influence ideologically,” says JStark1809.

“The thing is, that if you’re a gun designer, or even a gun guy in general, in Europe it’s very hazardous. You can easily lose all your friends. People will think you’re a crazy gun nut or something. People always talk about guns in Europe with a bad taste in their mouths. If you out yourself, you’re going to lose a lot and risk a lot.

“And for Luty to have persevered regardless of the harsh gun laws imposed on him by the British government — that gave me the motivation to not give a fuck about gun laws and to not give a fuck about anybody else.”

JStark1809 is a long-time firearms enthusiast.

“From a very early age, I was fascinated with firearms. I actually got into sport shooting, air rifles,” he says. “And I wanted to join a shooting club, but in Europe, you have to either be a hunter or a sport shooter.”

“There is no second amendment in Europe. It’s extremely expensive and difficult to be a hunter or a sport shooter. In these clubs, if they don’t like you, you won’t be joining them. They’re private clubs. You have to beg them to get in practically.

“And in most of Europe, when you go through the legal process, the laws are so severe and strict that if you do anything wrong in the eyes of the government, you lose your privilege. So basically — trying to own firearms the legal way — it’s a very expensive, very difficult, very annoying, and very fickle matter. And on top of that, I do not accept that there is no right to own firearms. That it’s only a privilege to access firearms. That you have to have ‘a good reason’ in the eyes of the government. And so with all of that…you think I will go through the legal hoops of trying to own firearms? Fuck that. Fuck that, fuck that, fuck that! And so that is the reason I decided to go the route of DIY firearms.”

American Werewolf in [Redacted]

Like most people, JStark1809 got into 3D guns after seeing Cody Wilson’s Liberator pistol. Initially finding the technology impractical, JStark1809 would regain interest as the price of 3D printers came down and the viability of the technology improved in the years after the arrival of Wilson’s Liberator.

JStark1809 began exploring the CAD (computer-aided-design) models published by DEFCAD.

“I was convinced by Cody Wilson’s rhetoric, about ‘putting the AR-15 in the public domain’ and that you can download guns all that. And he was basically bullshitting, but I wanted to believe, so I downloaded the AR-15 model that was available.” 

On inspection of the DEFCAD AR-15 model, JStark1809 found the CAD assembly to be incomplete and out of spec.

Frustrated, JStark1808 tweeted directly to Cody Wilson about the problematic DEFCAD model. Ever the diplomat, Wilson replied simply with a challenge: “Fix it”.

JStark1809 went on the hunt for people who were interested in 3D printed guns and could help him with his goals. “I wanted to go on offense after DEFCAD was taken down,” JStark1809 says. “I thought ‘Fuck it, I’m going to build a community and I’m going to find like-minded people’, and so I went on a recruiting spree.”

“I felt alone,” he explains. “Do you know how much it fucking sucks to be on a continent where nobody believes in firearms ownership and none of your friends are interested in it?”

Ultimately, JStark1809 found Ivan The Troll on Twitter and recruited him to join in the effort of fixing the DEFCAD model. The pair of developers would spend days and nights working together in Discord chatrooms to deliver what would become their first release as “Deterrence Dispensed”: a properly spec’d AR-15 reference CAD assembly. It was the first of many ambitious projects to follow.

Deterrence Dispensed would quickly grow into today’s eccentric mix of developers, designers, gunsmiths, hobbyists, and second amendment advocates. And as Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed has been bogged down by lawsuit after lawsuit, the (mostly) anonymous and psuedonymous members of Deterrence Dispsensed have taken the ball and run with it.

The development teams at Deterrence Dispensed rely on encrypted chat rooms and form small, closed groups of developers and designers working to collaboratively design and test 3D printed and DIY firearms.

In addition to the FGC-9, Deterrence Dispensed has released models for dozens of popular 3D printed firearms and controversial accessories like “high-capacity” magazines and conversion parts to make standard firearms into machine guns.

In a very real way, Deterrence Dispensed has greatly compromised the efficacy of supply-side firearm regulation, especially in the strictest jurisdictions. It’s reported that 30% of all firearms recovered by law enforcement in California are “ghost guns”.

At the time of this writing, Deterrence Dispensed boasts over 15,000 members in their Keybase group. The group is mostly comprised of Americans, but there are many international users as well. Every day more people buy 3D printers and start making their own guns at home, with the print files furnished for free and courtesy of JStark1809 and the people like him in Deterrence Dispensed.

The FGC-9 Mark II is simply the latest iteration to live up to the “fuck gun control” acronym. The Mark II represents the latest and greatest in craft build / 3D printed guns. Keep an eye out for the forthcoming release. And maybe consider joining the fun.


If you’re interested in learning more about 3D printing or in getting started yourself, please visit our 3D Printing section and explore. There you’ll find the resources needed to get started. Message on Keybase (@en_bloc) if you get stuck or have any questions.

If this article was of value, please consider visiting the En Bloc Press store. This is an independent operation and we keep our servers going from proceeds in our store.

To support JStark1809’s efforts, contribute Bitcoin directly here: https://tinyurl.com/JStark1809. To visit his Keybase page, visit https://keybase.io/jstark1809.


Footnote
For a good deep-dive into the differences between the FGC-9 and the AP9, check Vinh Nguyen’s excellent blog post here.

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Lee Enfield
Lee writes about 3D printing, guns, politics, and opinion. E-mail at lee@enblocpress.com and on Twitter @enbloc_lee.