The recent youtube video of a certain Canadian individual who successfully fired 14 shots from a 3D-printed rifle has definitely stirred a lot of minds into a frenzy. The video has since been removed by the creator, however, there are many re-uploads, such as this one:
Early models of this firearm, designed by Cody Wilson, have been known to backfire or fire only once and then breaking, the latest version seems quite viable. The Wilson himself says that he is “expecting some interesting decision from State Department soon regarding the legal status of the disclosures of the plans”.
The plans for the rifle called “The Liberator” were released by Wilson and his company Defense Distributed were released online last May. (The Canadian man in the footage above seems to have dubbed his version “The Grizzly 2.0”.) At the time, Defense Distributed were threatened with massive penalties if they didn’t stop what they were doing. “We’re private developers who shouldn’t have government interference,” said Wilson.
The State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs pointed out the comments of their spokesperson, Pat Ventrell, where it was said that plans being posted online are basically the same as unlicensed arms distribution. They do, however, state that they are in communication with the company.
As far as the gun maker from the video is concerned, he revealed his first name, Matthew, told The Verge about being confident enough not to even used the string to the trigger, but fire it by hand. He used a Stratasys Dimension 1200ES industrial 3D printer, which he normally uses to make parts for the construction industry. The printer costs upwards of $10,000, however, low-cost models can be found for far less.
“Matthew” stated in his e-mail that he was completely confident to hand fire and he will be taking it out for test runs again soon.
Wilson says that it’s no surprise the gun was made in Canada: “United States drew a line in the sand. The worlds doesn’t operate like that anymore… it’s sclerotic. The further the state is able to impose its 21st century view of how the world will operate, the more things will lag behind.”