Earlier this year we saw the first successful test firing of a 3D printed handgun, which was made with 15 pieces of plastic and one standard metal nail as a firing pin. Now a gunsmith in British Columbia going by the nicknames Maker Matthew, CanadianGunNut, and Koa Soprano has successfully fired a 3D printed rifle. It’s a bit of a divergence from his usual hobby of 3D printing ukeleles and running a message board about printing musical instruments.
You can see the successful test firing in the video below. Matt calls the 3D printed rifle “The Grizzly” after Canadian Sherman Tanks of WWII. The only metal piece in the entire build is a standard 1″ roofing nail. The rifle is a single shot smoothbore .22LR with an overall length of 670mm. The barrel split on both sides after one Winchester Dynapoint was fired.
As to the legality of the 3D printed rifle, Matt believes he’s within the bounds of Canadian law. He tells Ars Technica, “The stock is not removable once assembled (in theory) as per Canadian gun laws. [...] I have a valid Possession & Acquisition License as required by Canadian gun laws to own firearms. All that is required to build a firearm for personal use is the same license, selling requires a manufacturing license. I do not intend to sell any but will release the files once complete and let people build their own.”
In other words, expect politicians to flip out and try to draft new legislation to make 3D printers harder to access. Which would be a silly move. 3D printed guns aren’t going away. Neither are zip guns. So let’s not hold back access to all the cool, non-lethal stuff like 3D printed medical prosthetics, nifty toys like these, and eye-popping 3D printed dresses.