Recent weeks have brought two new developments in the realm of firearm technology, yet from two unlikely sources. In July, OutdoorHub reported on an independent designer’s efforts to create a single-shot .22 rifle constructed completely from a 3D printer. The rifle borrowed from the design of the “Liberator” pistol, which made news earlier this year as the first fully-printed handgun. Files for the Liberator were released online by its creator, gun rights advocate and design pioneer Cody Wilson, but were subsequently removed from the site following a request from the United States government. Now, other 3D-printing enthusiasts such as YouTube user “ThreeD Ukulele” are innovating where Wilson left off. ThreeD Ukulele’s “Grizzly” rifle was first test fired last month, but the inaugural shot split the barrel. Now armed with improvements, the plastic gunsmith tries the Grizzly a second time.
According to the video, 14 shots were fired but the last caused a crack in the chamber. The rounds used were Winchester Dynapoints.
On another front, Jason Murray of Delta-V Engineering recently released a video of what appears to be a functioning “Gauss rifle.” Otherwise known as coilguns, Gauss rifles are a type of projectile accelerator that use electromagnets to accelerate a piece of metal to high speeds. Coilguns or similar arms have long been in development by military forces around the world and are subject to much conjecture.
Murray’s rifle weighs roughly eight pounds and can switch between semi-automatic or fully automatic fire. Powered by two battery packs, the rifle is capable of shooting 6.5x50mm Caseless Steel Slugs, although at a velocity much below that of a traditional firearm. You can see the contraption in action below: