DEFCAD Newsletter - Printable Rifles, Pistols, Parts, Launchers
August 01, 2022
Welcome back to the DEFCAD newsletter, where we keep you up to date on the latest and greatest in guncad designs! The last two weeks has provided several new designs, which provide a rather interesting cross-section of guncad as a whole: we have new printed pistols, new printed rifles and new printed parts! In addition, the Summer of Launchers continues with a look back on some earlier designs that are well worth reviewing.
Starting off, we have two recently released rifle designs - an AR and an AK! PrintYour2A brings us the AR, specifically an AR-9 design with a last-round bolt hold open function. This is the first DIY AR-9 design we are aware of with this important functionality! The AK design is, of course, IvanTheTroll’s Plastikov - still the only DIY AK available. The Plastikov is now in its v3 release, which among other improvements adds support for several common AK parts kits.
The PY2AR-9 LRBHO is a modification of the original PY2AR-9. Like the original, this model is reinforced using PrintYour2A’s DIY reinforcement plates, which can be purchased from printyour2a.com or fabricated at home using printable press jigs. These printable press jigs have always been one of the most interesting aspects of PrintYour2A’s designs; the LRBHO uses a metal arm to provide the bolt-hold-open functionality, and this too can be cut and bent at home using the provided tooling. Congratulations to PrintYour2A for continuing to explore this new avenue in guncad!
The Plastikov by IvanTheTroll was first released in 2020, and since that time Ivan has released new iterations on the platform. It is now on its third version. The most notable new feature of v3 is wider compatibility with common AK parts kits - RPK kits, AK100 kits and stamped Yugo kits can all now be used. Also included in v3 are reliability tweaks and changes to make the Plastikov easier to build.
Looking for something more concealable? Try one of these new printed pistol designs! First up is the long-awaited Gnaver Blaster by DBFirearms, a monolithic pistol design using 10/22 parts. Reviews indicate that this is a design that has been meticulously perfected and is very much worth checking out! From AWCY comes the Mustela Plastico, a Beretta 950B(s) parts kit conversion; finally, AnonAnarchist brings us the AA13FA, a pistol frame meant for G43L builds.
The Gnaver Blaster is a “monolithic” pistol design. This term refers to the fact that, unlike a standard semiautomatic pistol like a Glock or 1911, the Gnaver Blaster has no exposed slide - all moving parts (in this case, the 10/22 bolt) are contained inside the main frame. Said bolt, and a few other 10/22 parts are the only true firearms parts required for this design - as with most new .22 releases, this is designed to be used with a barrel liner. The design is simple, easy to build and is well documented, so go check it out!
The Mustela Plastico is the newest parts kit conversion release from AWCY, allowing you to 3D print the frame for a Beretta 950B (early model) or BS (late model) pocket pistol. This is a fascinating little vest gun first manufactured in 1952, chambered in either .22 short (the “Minx” model) or .25ACP (the “Jetfire” model). At time of writing, the release supports only the former parts kits, but a frame that supports the latter is currently in beta. To really get in the mood for this one, check out the sick trailer (too hot for Youtube!)
Finally, for those who want to stick with the tried-and-true Glock, the AnonAnarchist AA13FA 43L is a remix of the AWCY E43, designed specifically to be used in a 43L configuration. The “43L” appellate is not an “official” Glock term, but refers to the aftermarket pairing of a smaller 43 frame with a longer Glock 48 slide. AnonAnarchist’s 43L frame is still sized like a standard 43, but has been lengthened to fully enclose the 48 slide, making it a dedicated 43L platform. This frame is meant to use SS80 rails, and comes in several different stipple patterns!
Not to be overlooked among the many complete firearm designs are the printed firearms parts! Stubbs / Gun Foogle brings us a very cool spade grip design for AR-15s that attaches to the receiver instead of the buffer tube. Hoffman Tactical has released a new stock system for his printable ARs, and GlenTheTimeless provides a crosshair-style set of sights for Glocks.
Spade grip designs for AR-15s have been available for quite a while, and have always been positioned as a way to convert your AR into a mounted-style platform. Traditionally these have attached directly to the buffer tube - the new DSMG design from The Gun Foogle / Stubbs instead attaches to the receiver itself - the top attaches to the top rail, while the bottom appears to slot into the bottom of an A2-style grip, and the buffer tube extends “through” the spade grip. This is a creative way to approach the problem, and allows your AR to fill an interesting niche!
There are many different printable stock designs for ARs out there, but the Hoffman Gen 3 stock is truly deserving of being called a “system”. It is deeply configurable to allow for you to specify your desired length of pull down to a fraction of an inch, and it uses a positive retention system to attach to a milspec buffer tube for a very solid fit. For those interested: this system uses several advanced printing techniques to assist in assembly. For the buttpad on the stock, the print is paused to insert square nuts in the middle, which will then be printed over - this is a technique that has long been around, but is rarely used. Even more interesting, “modifiers” are used in the slicer to do things like specify a part’s length at time of slicing, and to introduce areas of denser infill. Hoffman continues to truly push the envelope with his guncad work, and these techniques should definitely be examined by other devs for use in their own projects.
For our final part: GlenTheTimeless’ Ring Sight system provides some new sight options for Glock pistols. These are, as the name implies, sight rings, larger than normal pistol sights, which he suggests may be useful for braced setups, or for other scenarios where larger sights are useful.
The Summer of Launchers is upon us! 37mm signal launchers first hit the scene in 2021, but have really taken off in 2022. You can now learn all about these launchers and their ammunition from AWCY’s recently released 37mm guide. In addition, DEFCAD recently made two launcher designs live: the BFGL from Mussy and Zipdic, and the M203-esque Pipe Hitter from Stubbs / Gun Foogle. Print either and launch the signal!
One of the coolest aspects of a signal launcher is that in addition to being able to DIY the launcher, you can also DIY shells for it. Information on various shell builds have been around for a while, but generally these have either not been recorded, or they have been hidden away in subfolders of launcher release packages. Fortunately, AWCY has consolidated this information into a single document, volume 1 of which was recently released. This document covers the basics of building launcher shells and describes the construction for a few different DIY options, including chalk rounds, LED balloon rounds and more. If you’re just now getting into launchers, this would be a great place to start!
The two launchers we are featuring in this newsletter are not new designs - both were released in 2021 - but both deserve a bit more attention, and so we are featuring them here. The BFGL is a classic break-action launcher design by Mussy and Zipdic, which was released roughly contemporaneously with the original Thump n’ Grind. For a long time this build had no documentation, but a document was created by AWCY and has been added to the release package, so you can get building!
The Pipe Hitter is a M203-inspired 37mm launcher by Stubbs / Gun Foogle. Featured on TFB, this launcher design is quite compact and features a swing-out cylinder loading mechanism. It can run as a standalone platform if desired, but can also mount to an AR-style handguard. DLC for this design was also recently released to extend your options with this design.
Usually our “latest in guncad” issues tend to trend towards one focus or another - rarely do they give as clean a cross-section of the hobby as we have today! This is a fine reminder that guncad still continues to advance on all fronts. Despite legal threats and challenges we are not slowing down - in fact, quite the opposite. Keep up with these developments by following this newsletter, and find all these files and more at DEFCAD!