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.