OutdoorHub previously reported on a 3D-printed hybrid AR-15/FN P90 lower receiver known as the “Charon” when it made its debut last week. The prototype design is meant to be produced through the use of a 3D printer, much like the now well-known “Liberator” pistol created by printable firearm pioneer Cody Wilson. What made the Liberator unique is the fact that it was the first firearm to be completely produced through a 3D printer, save for a metal firing pin. When Wilson released the files for the pistol to be downloaded earlier this month, government officials temporarily retained control of his website and the files were removed. Still, the buzz generated by this accomplishment had some lawmakers concerned over the future of printable firearms and garnered further attention on independent firearm designers.
One of these innovators decided to combine the best of both worlds with a strange looking amalgamation. The Charon takes advantage of the potential inherent in 3D printers to explore new avenues in design. Its creator–known interchangeably as “WarFairy” and “Shanrilivan”–posted on reddit that the design came about as a labor of love and is the result of a lifetime using firearms.
“The point is that we don’t have to settle for the same designs decade after decade with only repaints and rehashes with more rails,” Shanrilivan wrote. “I’m tired of seeing countless companies beating the same design into the ground. I want to see movement. I want to see evolution. If it takes independent designers like me to make that happen, so be it.”
Recently the designer released plans for several new models to his original Charon design, which consisted of an AR-15 lower receiver with borrowed elements from the structure of a FN P90. According to Shanrilivan, the Charon reinforces every stress-bearing area of the lower receiver–which is the greatest weakness in a printed lower–and survived a seven-round test firing of .50 Beowulf.
Shanrilivan has hopes that the design will inspire others to make their own innovations. Currently there are no copyrights on the Charon design.
“I’d love to make money doing what I love, but realistically, that isn’t gonna happen any time soon,” the creator wrote. “No matter what, though, I will always share my designs. Patent and copyright law have strangled innovation and sharing so much in the last few decades. Information should know no bounds, borders or nationalities. If someone can take my design and improve it, all the better! If one of you enterprising people out there can make money from it, do it!”
More information is available here.