3D Printing

Yes, 3D-Printed Semi-Automatic Firearms Are a Thing. Now Clutch Your Pearls.

Ruger 10/22? AR-10 lower receiver? Yep, it's been done.


It's beena while since I've checked in on the wacky, whiz-bang world of 3D-printed firearms. Hello! Anything going on around here?

Why yes, there is.

Just a few weeks ago, PrintedFirearm.com ran a step-by-step illustrated guide to 3D printing a Ruger 10/22 rifle. This is an all-time favorite semiautomatic rimfire rifle among shooters. It is, in fact, the same model that prompted my wife to announce that rifles are "boring" because they make it too easy to hit things. She became a dedicated wheelgun fan.


But the 10/22 carries on as a reliable and popular piece of firearms history. A receiver for one was also, apparently, first printed at least a year and a half ago. "These early prints were done in 2013," the site notes, "but with all the recent hype about 3d printed Ruger 10/22 Rifles being printed we wanted to confirm that yes its possible and we've done it before."

The process wasn't entirely effortless. A little toolwork was necessary to get some parts to fit together, in part because the design files needed some refining. But the end result was a working firearm.

Of more recent vintage is a successfully printed lower receiver for the bigger, older brother of the M-16/AR-15.


According to PrintedFirearm.com:

This is the FIRST EVER 3d Printed AR-10 (CM901/LE901) lower receiver by JT! OH YES WE DID!!!!!!! Yes people its pure awesome sauce and it has been tested, fired with little to no issues. JT and the gang continue to perfect this design and you are CRAZY not to expect MOAR AR-10 from fosscad on the reg.

While the brief announcement doesn't specify, the AR-10 fires the 7.62 x 51mm NATO round, which is larger and more powerful than the 5.56mm in current U.S. military usage.

Can you believe that it's only been two years since the original 3D-printed Liberator was unveiled? Yeah. Chuck Schumer can't believe it, either.

NEXT: Shiite Fighters Pull Out of Anti-ISIS Fight Over U.S. Participation

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  1. You’ll put your 3D eye out.

    1. “This is the FIRST EVER 3d Printed AR-10 (CM901/LE901) lower receiver by JT! OH YES WE DID!!!!!!! Yes people its pure awesome sauce and it has been tested, fired with little to no issues. JT and the gang continue to perfect this design and you are CRAZY not to expect MOAR AR-10 from fosscad on the reg.”

      Are these weapons as poorly made as the author implies?

  2. It’s legal to manufacture your own receivers with no license, provided you don’t give away or sell them, correct?

    1. A coworker told me that a friend of his who is a gifted gunsmith designed his own gun, don’t remember the specifics except that it was not fully automatic, and he went to show it off to some ATF guy. The ATF guy prompty stole it and threatened to arrest him if he bitched. So it appears that while it is technically legal, if a government goon finds out they’ll steal it from you, and if it’s not worth hiring a lawyer to get it back then you’re screwed.

      1. and he went to show it off to some ATF guy

        Just how retarded is this guy?

        1. I’m pretty sure he works for the federal government, so he naively figured that as long as he didn’t do anything illegal that nothing else would happen.

          1. Ah, so the answer is: incredibly retarded.

      2. And he just accepted that, you friend is both a fool and a pussy.

        Of course it is not financially profitable to sue this guy and his department, but he has a perfect case and that is what you do to maintain your rights.

        Tell you friend to get off his ass, contact one of the many legal organizations who specializes in this area and exist to help people like him, and sue the ATF.

        1. Damn auto correct “your friend”

    2. You CAN sell guns you manufacture yourself, you just can’t manufacture them to sell in order to make a living, if that makes any sense.

      So if you printed an AR-15 lower receiver and sold it after you got bored of it like any other gun in your collection, that’s OK.

      But if you printed them in quantity and sold them to pay your bills, you’re now a manufacturer.

      1. OK, interesting. But you have to put a serial number on any firearm that you sell, correct? And you don’t if you make it for yourself?

        1. Serial Number: 0001

      2. Speaking of which, anyone remember the time a Mother Jones writer attended an AK-47 build party to show how scary guns are and accidentally committed a bunch of felonies?

        Good times.

    3. Yes, provided that they are not for NFA-regulated firearms such as machine guns. It is legal to manufacture your own rifle, pistol or firearm for personal use.

      1. Well you pay the tax stamp. People build sbrs all the time.

  3. Yes, 3-D Printed Semi-Automatic Firearms Are a Thing.


  4. This is totally bad ass. Thanks for the update TwoChili,

  5. Liberty lovers will not be entirely out of the woods until you can 3-D print ammo components. I anxiously await the electronic firearm firing system where ammo is not reliant on primers, that weakest link in the ammo chain and most easily controlled.

    1. Reloading is easy. Imagine trying to get rid of all empty brass in the country…

      1. Imagine all your brass with no primers. There are 5 main primer producers. Close your eyes and imagine hazardous “dangerous materials” shipping regulations. Hell, imagine buying and shuttering two of these 5 companies, a mere rounding error for a Soros.

        Think out of business coal producers for a moment.

    1. My son and I built a gauss rifle with some strong (for a kid’s project) magnets. Pretty cool.

      1. Made short work of some Enclave goons with it too, i bet.

        1. Stand still while we place all of the ball bearings. . .there. Fire!

  6. To be clear, 7.62×51 is in use by the U.S. military. For example, the M110 is basically an AR-10.

  7. The AR-15 and AR-10 platforms are particularly adaptable to 3D printing because the serial numbered “receiver” part does little more than hold the trigger group and magazine in place, the most important high stress alloy steel parts, (where all the really critical things happen), are in the barrel/barrel extension,which is sold as one part generally and the bolt carrier group. If you have these 2 pieces and they are to spec, which even the cheapest surplus stuff I have seen has always been, then you have a functional arm. And most of the plastics used in 3D printers are capable of doing an acceptable job of this. Which is feature not bug. Otherwise the receiver components never could have been made of aluminum in the first place. The 10-22 design is similar in some aspects, but since it uses a low powered cartridge (the .22 LR) the over all stresses would be much lower in any case. There will never be a plastic 3D printed M1 Garand, M-14, 1903A3, or Colt 1911 Receiver that would work for these same reasons. Design Constraints and Material Constraints (plastics).

    1. BINGO!! Exactly what I said.

  8. Does that mean the barrel is 3D printed as well?

  9. At some future point “perhaps”; even a perfectly made 3d printed barrel, using state of the art powdered metal laser sintering technology, would be very rough and still need some type of lapping or polishing to finish it. In this country it is much simpler and cheaper to just buy a barrel legally, with no more hassle or paperwork than buying a camshaft.

  10. okay so the lower receiver is polymer, is this something new and revolutionary? Alot of guns have polymer receivers. The claim that set off the firestorm a couple of years ago was the entire gun was printed. If the upper receiver wad “printed” that would be a story. This is a “big whoop” kinda story.

  11. Txjack, perhaps you missed the point. This is very “big whoop”, because of the strange and arcane fact that in 98% of the world, the technology we are describing is strictly forbidden to any non government type humans. Also,in point of fact, the upper receiver in this design can be 3D printed.

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