A Canadian tinkerer who previously claimed to have created the world's first 3D-printed rifle, only to see the barrel crack upon its first videotaped test firing, has now created an updated version of the gun that was able to fire 14 rounds before suffering damage. The riflemaker, who goes by the name "Matthew," posted a new series of videos on YouTube this weekend showing off his latest creation in action at a firing range in British Columbia. For the final three test shots, Matthew can be seen abandoning his safety precaution of pulling the gun's trigger at a distance using a string, and shooting it instead by hand. "I was completely confident to hand fire and will be taking it out again with a friend with a new barrel this week," he told The Verge in an email. Matthew said he would post the blueprints for the gun online later this summer, for anyone to download and make on their own.
"I was completely confident to hand fire."
But the weapon, .22-caliber long rifle made out of ABS+ plastic dubbed "the Grizzly 2.0," still ended up developing a crack after the 14th and final shot. It's also quite cumbersome compared to modern automatic firearms, as it requires reloading after every shot. Matthew further noted that the spent bullet cases were difficult to remove, requiring him to unscrew the barrel and shove a stick into it in order to get them out. Nonetheless, it's clear he's making rapid improvements on the project. He previously told The Verge that he's in his late 20s, and his primary job is making tools for the construction industry, where he has access to a Stratasys Dimension 1200ES industrial 3D printer which he used to print the gun's parts.
Matthew said he improved upon his first design of the Grizzly by making the barrel 50 percent larger, increasing the size of the receiver (the main portion that holds the firing mechanism), and adding groves to the inside of the barrel. He previously told The Verge he was inspired by the world's first 3D-printed gun, a pistol unveiled and successfully test fired in May by Defense Distributed, an Austin, Texas-based anarchist group. While they still lag far behind their manufactured counterparts when it comes to reliability, these first generation 3D-printed guns have some lawmakers worried about the possibility of evading firearms restrictions And as the latest test-firing of the Grizzly shows, 3D-printed guns are catching up to their predecessors shot by shot.