An innovative 3D-printed hybrid revolver design is being worked on as tribute to 3D printing’s first martyr, Yoshito Imura. Imura was arrested for printing some plastic, blank-firing guns in Japan. The new design would fire from the bottom of the cylinder, as did the original blank-firing plastic gun. The new revolver has hybrid features, including a steel barrel liner and chamber sleeves . . .
As seen in this computer image of the developing design, the revolver is meant to be double action; that is, one pull of the trigger will rotate the cylinder, cock the striker and release it, firing the charge, whether it’s cap and ball, blank cartridge, or conventional round.
It is an ambitious design. Here is a link to tweets on its development by WarFairy, Frostbyte, et al. Double action revolvers are more complex than single action models such as the original Imura design. I see one weakness that the designers have probably noticed. There is very little tensile strength in the proposed design.
Conventional revolvers use a metal frame to contain the forces generated by firing a charge. The chambers contain the pressure at right angles to the barrel, but the frame, chamber, and case – if one is used – must contain the rearward pressure. The projectile contains the pressure to the front, where the force is used to propel it out the end of the barrel.
If I were designing this revolver, I would consider the use of a bolt as a center pin for the cylinder to turn on. A simple backplate of steel could be made to screw the bolt into, adding tensile strength. It would not need to be circular, as long as it supported the rear of the chamber being fired. Removal of the bolt would allow the cylinder to be removed from the side of the design, so as to facilitate loading. Many conventional revolvers use this design feature.
While development is still in progress, at least one prototype cylinder has been produced. Looking at the surface of the cylinder, it appears that a hobby-type printer was used. More images are available here.
Hybrid designs such as this offer unique advantages for the production of inexpensive firearms outside of normal channels of commerce.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.