3D-printed rifle, dubbed 'The Grizzly,' fires its first shot

A new YouTube video shows the first 3D-printed rifle, born and bred in Canada, taking its first round and then cracking along the barrel and receiver.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Screenshot from a video of a 3D-printed rifle firing its first round. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

It appears that spinoffs of the well-known 3D-printed Liberator handgun have already begun.

In a new YouTube video (see below), a user that goes by the name ThreeD Ukulele claims to have designed and 3D-printed a single shot .22-caliber rifle.

Dubbing the gun "The Grizzly," ThreeD Ukulele says he followed the designs of the Liberator by incorporating coiled mainsprings and keeping the gun entirely plastic except for the 1" metal roofing nail. He says the rifle was printed on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D-printer.

The video shows the white plastic rifle clamped to an outdoor table. The person operating the gun has a string attached to the trigger; he steps back, pulls the string, and fires the gun.

"The barrel split along both sides and the receiver split along the top," the video says, "but it did fire the round."

The Liberator 3D-printed handgun, made by Defense Distributed, has gotten a lot of press over the past few months. The Liberator debuted in May as the world's first 3D-printed gun. It is capable of firing standard handgun rounds and is made entirely of plastic, except for a nail used as a firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel designed solely to allow the gun to be detected by metal detectors.

The Liberator can be instantly downloaded and anonymously printed by anyone who has access to 3D-printing technology, which is has been a concern for lawmakers and gun-control advocates.

New York Reps. Steve Israel and Chuck Schumer have sponsored legislation that aims to add a 3D-printing provision to the U.S. Undetectable Firearms Act. And state senators and assembly members in California and New York have introduced legislation to either regulate or ban the manufacture of 3D-printed guns.

It appears, however, that The Grizzly was born and bred in Canada. On the Defcad user forum, a member who goes by the name "CanadianGunNut" posted the design and a series of photos of the same 3D-printed rifle seen in the ThreeD Ukulele YouTube video. Presumably CanadianGunNut and ThreeD Ukulele are the same person.

In the Defcad forum post, CanadianGunNut says he created the 3D-printed rifle in three days and borrowed from the Liberator model.

"I was originally going to copy and modify the Liberator, but it may be considered a variant of a prohibited weapon up here," CanadianGunNut wrote, "so I went with what we Canadian gun owners call a non-restricted rifle of my own design, which means a lot less paperwork and BS to deal with."

Here's the YouTube video: