TORONTO – A Canadian man may be the next to stir up the next controversy in 3D printing.
The B.C. native – who wishes to identify himself as only “Matt” – says he has been testing a fully-functioning 3D-printed rifle through a series of YouTube videos.
Dubbed “The Grizzly” after the Canadian-built Sherman tanks used in World War II, the gun is a single shot .22 calibre rifle that Matt says he designed himself. The only metal component used in the gun in a one-inch roofing nail – all other pieces can be printed on a consumer-grade 3D printer.
In his first YouTube video, Matt demonstrated that The Grizzly was able to successfully fire a single round; however the barrel and receiver of the gun cracked.
Matt told Global News via email last week that he had planned on improving a number of features of the firearm in order to enhance its firing capability.
The RCMP said told Global News in May that it was aware of the technology of 3D-printed guns, and was “monitoring the developments.”
“It is illegal to manufacture or possess a firearm without appropriate licenses and applicable registrations. If law enforcement found an individual in possession of a 3D printer-manufactured firearm or parts of a firearm (e.g, magazines, barrels), without appropriate licences and registration, the firearm could be seized and the individual charged,” said Greg Cox, media relations officer for the RCMP, in a statement.
“I am increasing the barrel diameter as well as the receiver, everything else worked well enough,” Matt told Global News via email.
“If I can get it to work the next step is to extend the barrel beyond 18.5″ and test out a semi-automatic function.”
But, in a YouTube video uploaded Friday, The Grizzly 2.0 – a second design of the rifle – lasted 14 rounds before the barrel cracked.
Matt said that the inspiration to create the gun stemmed from the controversy surrounding Cody Wilson’s 3D-printed gun – the first firearm believed to be created on a consumer-level 3D printer.
Wilson’s gun – called the ‘Liberator’ – is reportedly capable of firing eight to nine rounds for only $60, provided you had access to a 3D printer, and – like Matt’s design – required only one metal part.
Wilson later released the blueprints to the gun online, stirring up controversy over the easy access to arms. The gun’s blueprints have since been removed from the website Defcad.org at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense Trade Controls.
Matt has the same plans.
“Once the current version works properly I plan to release the plans on the Internet,” he said via email.