“This Is My Rifle”
2016, Jessen Jurado
PLA Filament 3D print at 1.25 scale, based on an Armalite design and Defense Distributed file
This is a homemade lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle. A lower receiver is the regulated part of a firearm and usually carries a traceable serial number. All other rifle components needed for a complete rifle, including the barrel, stock and chamber are available for purchase online legally in the U.S. without a background check.
The AR-15 has a large community of enthusiasts who build, customize, and modify it to their liking with aftermarket parts. Parts for this and other types of rifles and handguns have long been fashioned or finished out of plastic or aluminum by amateur gunsmiths with knowledge of metalworking and access to specialized tools. This lower receiver was created with no prior knowledge of 3D printing or gunsmithing, however. Instead, it was created using resources available to all Internet-connected citizens: instant access to suppressed information, the ubiquity of manufacturing tools, and an online industry of work-for-hire fabricators. The file originated with Texas-based arms rights advocacy group Defense Distributed, and was available on their Web site until ordered removed by the U.S. State Department in 2013. The file is still accessible online, however, and once obtained, a freelance 3D printer was hired via email to create the 3D print. The intent was to create a custom firearm component as easily as one might remix a song or create a mashup video–using Internet accessible files, readily available fabrication tools and human resources.