In the world of rimfire rifles, the Ruger 10/22 lives in the equivalent mindspace of the AR-15 in Centerfire World: it’s the center of an entire ecosphere of modular customization. You can buy any component for a 1022 that you might like, except the receiver. Wait! Belay that: there are also aftermarket receivers1 and even “80%” receivers2. And then, there’s 3D printing.
There are several ways to 3DP a 10/22 receiver that’s a fair ringer for the pukka article.
For years a drawing and 3D model [IGES] of the receiver has been available online. (We downloaded it years ago from CNC Guns, where Justin Halford may have intended to mill it from billet). It was only natural that people would think of duplicating it on a 3D printer in PLA or ABS. And it’s definitely been done. Voilá:
Indeed, 3D printed guns pioneer Have Blue posted about success printing a 10/22 receiver over two years ago. He may have been overlooked because it was an aside to his experiments with AR lower receivers. Here’s what it looked like on the printer:
And here’s what one looks like with the support material removed. This one was printed on Veterans’ Day, 2013 (Remembrance Day for our British and Commonwealth cousins):
But there have been a bunch of new stories in 2015 addressing this3, and we have seen that a couple of the original gun-printers from way back have taken to the net again to point out their primacy, from 2013, and helpfully to organize it into a simple step-by-step process (but one, as you will see, that needs considerable machining tools and knowledge to correct for issues with the IGES file or the print). Most if not all of that detail was in Have Blue’s original post from St Patrick’s Day, 2013. But here’s the new iteration of that, from a new-ish site, Printed Firearm.
In comments to his post, Have Blue noted that
My hunch is that accuracy/precision will be pretty much the same with the printed receiver when using the factory iron sights (as both are mounted to the barrel itself). However, if using a receiver mounted scope or aftermarket rear iron sight, I expect to see very poor accuracy – given that the barrel would tip down with every turn of the clamp screws during the initial barrel mount, it’s not conducive to accuracy. The printed receiver is far more flexible than an an aluminum receiver, and is really quite impractical at this point (I wouldn’t want to do mag dumps in the summer due to heat concerns, to answer your other question).
But that’s where we were in 2013… “What is the use of a newborn baby?” as Franklin is said to have replied, when asked, what was the use of the Montgolfier Brothers’ balloon.
Since 2013’s initial reconnaissances of the 3D-printing world, we’ve seen printing evolve with new materials, vastly improved printers, and other individuals have solved some of the 10/22 printing problems Have Blue had to machine his way out of, by modifying the 3D file and printing the corrections (and adjustments for shrinkage, etc.) into the receiver. For example, the receiver can be printed in sections, oriented for accuracy and strength, and then epoxied together.
Here’s a pistol “Ruger Charger” version which was done just that way (in fact, the image is from this video) from 2014.
This is one cat that is just not susceptible to being rebagged. The authorities can’t issue the crackdown they’re dreaming of, without cracking down on a great deal of unrelated economic and technical growth and development.
Some European authorities have chosen to extend bans to other parts, perceiving that the manufacture of, say, bolts and especially barrels is beyond new technology or cottage industry in general. (They are very mistaken about this).
Pretty amazing stuff, but then, this is the twenty-first century.
- An incomplete list of 10/22 aftermarket receiver makers includes: KIDD (link is to a reseller), MOA Guns (review of their stainless 10/22 receiver), NoDak Spud, Tactical Machining (here’s a review), and Volquartsen Custom, each with some selling points or improvements built in.
- Makers include Select Fire LLC and Tactical Machining (uses this completion jig). Scare quotes because, while “80%” has some currency in gunners’ discussions, it means zilch to ATF Firearms Technology Branch. In their (legally binding) opinion, something is a receiver — and therefore a firearm — or it isn’t, and percentages don’t enter into it at all.
- The one that caught our eye was this one at Guns Save Lives.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.
7 thoughts on “Printed 10/22: Several Ways to Make Your Own Rimfire”
Some ideas here… I’ve always admired from afar the .44 Mag carbines but have never had the opportunity to fire one, much less own one. Is it just an upscale variant, as far as bolt group, guide rods and recoil springs go?
Or maybe a receiver built up to take 9×19, using Uzi barrels and magazines. You could put the barrel nut at the end of your printed stock and upper hand guard. Or PPS bolts, just to take advantage of the inexpensive parts kits and magazines.
Thanks Boss, now I’m yearning for one of these printers even worse.
I like the little 44 carbine too. Super handy and quick brush gun. You can hump one all day up and down ridge lines with ease. They sell for reasonable bucks on GB. Mine took quite awhile to settle in because I suspect the rifling was very rough. Not like the nice Marlin micro groove barrels. But one day it started giving me 4 inch off hand grouping at 100 yards. It is a one shot deer carbine for me since. Put an Interarms red dot from Lew Hortons back in 86 and never looked back, I bought it in high school, hunted with it for 32 years, kind of wore it out. The lifter mechanism gave up the ghost. Even Numeric Arms never had the components when I checked to repair it. But I had a Desert Eagle in 44, so on a hunch I grabbed a magazine and the carbine to see what it would entail to turn it into a mag fed carbine. Had to use an AR magazine catch, mill a slot in the mags, fabricated a mag well by tig welding 4130 .125″ thick stock, modify a portion of the forward section of the trigger group to accept the mag well, the tricky part was fabricating a shell ramp. Not much room and the ramp had to be fairly tiny, had to tig weld it to the upper as it was so small I had no viable alternative. but it works slick as can be. The rifle retains every OEM component but the lifter mechanism.
Wish I had a printer, could have made an entire trigger group housing. That would be the ticket,
“The authorities can’t issue the crackdown they’re dreaming of, without cracking down on a great deal of unrelated economic and technical growth and development.”
But of course, as I sure that you know, They. Will. Try.
All this home-printed gat stuff is nice and all, but the thing that stick in my craw is: “where is the home-printed ammo?”. Let’s get around to workable modern substitutes for a Girandoni air-rifle, where the motive power depends on the muscle power of the enthusiast, and the projectile is no more complicated than a re-purposed wheel weight; that’s a reliable fallback solution achievable under a number of domains, and can and should lead to worthier pursuits of reclaimed hard- and software….but one has to get there. Sooner or later, all those millions of guns are going to need millions of rounds….but then, it also depends on what direction they’re pointed in. Beware the “divide and conquer”….it’s worked well for a long time.
Wants me some Razor 22wmr!
Been giving some thought to that barrel droop on the printed 10-22 receiver. Why not thread the barrel stub and receiver? The extractor cut would either require timing or one could torque the barrel in, mark where the cut needs to be, disassemble and make your cut where the rotation is established.
What made me consider this came from wanting to modify an OEM 10-22 to accept the AR style 22 rimfire mags like from Black Dog. I find the rotary mags for the Ruger are not as reliable as I would prefer.
Some of the aftermarket 10/22s are set up with a threaded barrel receiver joint. It’s considered superior to the factory approach. That said, the principal problem seems to be the lack of rigidity and strength in FDM-printed ABS and especially PLA polymers. Our guess is a change to a more rigid and durable plastic like nylon will help. Another possibility is expenditure of the PLA printout in a lost-PLA casting approach. That would require attention to shrinkage factors and printing the PLA model (pattern) off-size as required.