The era of the "Wiki Weapon" may be upon us, but so far, it's achieved mixed results at best. A few months after Cody Wilson of the Austin, Texas, based organization Defense Distributed revealed and successfully test-fired what he said was the world's first functional, fully 3D-printed gun, a pistol known as "The Liberator," someone else in Canada has now gone ahead and developed and shot a bullet out of what they claim is the world's first fully 3D-printed rifle. Nicknamed "the Grizzly," the rifle appears in a YouTube video posted online yesterday by username "ThreeD Ukulele." As the video creator explains in the title card, the weapon is a .22-caliber long rifle of the single shot variety, fabricated using a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D printer.
The Grizzly, which the video description also says in named in honor of the "Canadian built Sherman Tanks of WWII," can be seen resting on a clamp on the side of a table before someone attaches a barrel and pulls the trigger from a safe distance, thanks to a string attached to the gun. Only one shot can been seen in the video, and as the creator notes, it wasn't entirely a success: "In this first test it fired off a Winchester Dynapoint [round] but the barrel split along both sides for about 2" and the top of the receiver split the same amount," the video description reads.
The gun was reportedly incorporated the coiled springs used in the Liberator, and it was enough to get the attention of Defense Distributed, which posted the video on its Tumblr today. It's unclear whether the maker of the Grizzly will attempt to improve it. We've reached out for more information and will update when we hear back. But for now at least, the progress on developing working 3D-printed firearms, which could theoretically evade firearms restrictions and metal detectors, is occurring incrementally.
Update: The creator of the 3D-printed rifle and the video, who goes by the name Matthew, has explained more about the process in an email to The Verge. As he writes: "I'm in my late 20s and make tools related to the construction industry. I was inspired to undertake this project by what Cody Wilson & Defence Distributed did with AR15 lowers and the Liberator pistol."
Matthew says the Grizzly "took three days to design," and that he created the CAD file for printing it himself, from scratch, in Solidworks 2013. As for the the test firing, he explains that it occurred on "Tuesday night, July 23rd 2013 at a range in British Columbia, Canada." He adds: "I was shooting by myself, though there were other members using the range for their own purposes who went about their business."
As for his work to improve the weapon and his ultimate goals:
"I plan to increase the barrel diameter and alter the receiver on version 2.0, maybe a few other minor things. I don't really plan to use it, this whole venture is about challenging myself and seeing how far this technology can be pushed, it's not so much a political statement as the Liberator was."
We'll be sure to track his progress and keep you updated.