Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rapid Prototyped Modular Rifle: You Can't Stop The Signal 4

George Washington is long attributed (perhaps wrongly) with the quote that firearms are the teeth of liberty.  Whether the quote is actually GW's, or not, I have long believed that the use of firearms by free people for self-defense and self-determination is a human right. 

Let's look at some rapid-prototyped "teeth."

Some beautiful work has happened since the last time I put up a "You Can't Stop The Signal" blog update

Rapid prototyping technology has advanced, and become more affordable to the masses.  From small businesses, to classrooms, to open-source prosthetics for kids, the democratization of 3d printing is wondrous to behold.

FossCAD is a neat little website, a decentralized meeting place for makers and fabricators whose focus is on weapons.

Why weapons?  Why not?  They're just tools, and you and I are part of a tool-using species.  Don't be scared.

If you're interested, they have downloads of files that bloodthirsty tyrants, busybodies, Bolsheviks, and bureaucrats would rather you not have.

That alone is reason to download them.  ;)

JT (click on the link for his twitter feed) debuted his Colt 901-compatible lower receiver recently on a page called

The Colt 901 is an advanced (and expensive) piece of hardware that is capable of firing the 7.62 NATO cartridge, and, with a special adapter, any AR-15 upper receiver, as you can see above.  An ingeniously modular design.

JT found a way to emulate the best traits of the 901 lower receiver,  refine it for 3D printing, and has successfully substituted his printed lower for the original that came from the factory. 

It has held up to the test-firing of a hundred rounds or so with minimal wear and tear.  Here's the lower receiver being printed on a common $500 extruder printer.

The lower fits well on an already-manufactured aluminum and steel upper receiver, collapsible stock, and other internal fire control parts.

 Loaded up and ready to go.  Magnificent.

The 7.62 NATO cartridge, the same round used in the M-14, G-3, and L1A1/SLR/FAL, is a significant step up in power from the 5.56 NATO round.

Both rounds, of course, are inferior in power and range to the 30-06s and 8mm Mausers our great-grandfathers used in World War 1 and World War 2 (and every deer hunting season ever since), so don't soil yourself just yet.

This new application of 3d printing is a notable accomplishment.  The world is becoming more and more malleable.  Welcome to the future.

Congrats to JT, the folks at, and the crew at FossCAD.  For more, follow the links.

This reminds me...I need to get my CNC machine running...hmm...

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