When Cody Wilson, late of Defense Distributed, began selling CAD plans to build an AR-15 rifle, he was lauded for daring to get around a judge’s order that enjoined him from distributing his files for free. For people in states that prevented electronic transmission of those files, he sent USB drives by snail mail.
But there was a problem. The files Defense Distributed was distributing — at least those for the AR-15 — had some bugs.
Some dedicated DefCad fans identified the problems with the CAD files and communicated them to Wilson.
They found problems with the upper.
The biggest headache by far caused by the @DefDist AR-15 assembly was the upper receiver. The issues were many: Abysmally modeled mag recess, incorrect track for the charging handle, incorrect geometry of the forward assist cavity and missing parts for it and the dust cover. pic.twitter.com/0pucgcNsQb
— Ivan (@IvanTheTroll12) February 20, 2019
And the magazine.
The next striking issue that we identified with the @DefDist AR15 was the magazine model dimensions. Other models found on the Internet were just as faulty. By using various blueprints we managed to model a blueprint accurate magazine necessary to check lower and carrier fitment. pic.twitter.com/Vw1KULixl4
— Ivan (@IvanTheTroll12) February 19, 2019
There were problems with the bolt, too. One of those fans who posts at Twitter under the name @IvanTheTroll12 (who says he’s an engineer), tells us that there were design problems with just about every part of the AR-15 design that Defense Distributed was sending out.
The faulty bolt in the original Defense Distributed files is what initiated the endeavor of making a new proper AR-15 assembly. The original bolt was not modeled on spec and the channel for the firing pin wouldn’t even let the pin hit the primer of the cartridge. pic.twitter.com/wk4MlF7wuI
— Ivan (@IvanTheTroll12) February 18, 2019
So, with Wilson’s blessing, they set to work fixing them. It took them months of work to arrive at a finished product. As IvanTheTroll12 tells TTAG, this is what they came up with:
It is a to-spec collection of 3d CAD files that detail every single part in an AR15A3 style rifle. Down to the pin and spring. It includes several CAD formats to allow the widest possible audience to look at the model.
It also includes the original M16A1/2 Technical data package – a PDF file of all the original Colt blueprints used to make the M16’s back in the day. This was obtained via FOIA from the Army.
To date, no AR-15 assembly is anywhere near this nice. People have suggested these parts were always on Grabcad, but when you have them assemble the parts, the errors show up clear as day. Parts just made wrong.
Not any more. Defense Distributed looked at their work and liked it. So much so that they planned to use them instead.
And then Wilson encountered…personal legal difficulties. IvanTheTroll12 and his partner then began to work with Defense Distributed’s new leadership to get the new and improved files out. And then the state of New Jersey targeted Defense Distributed. DefDist sued the state and that’s all still playing out in the courts.
In the mean time IvanTheTroll and his partner had a perfectly good set of precise CAD plans for every part of an AR-15 rifle. And on February 23 — yes, 223 — they released them.
It’s time. The AR-15. For you. For everyone. Forever.
Share it. Make this something the powers-that-be cannot undo. This project is yours now – each and every one of you.
— Ivan (@IvanTheTroll12) February 23, 2019
Will Twitter take the tweets down? Who knows. Just in case, you can access the files here.
We asked IvanTheTroll if he’s concerned that New Jersey litigious and hoplophobic Attorney General will go after him next. He told us . . .
Since there is no precedent for my actions, I don’t know if I am in violation of NJ law or not. Since I’m not in NJ, their AG can get the big middle finger and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. If they come after me, an individual, for sharing information that was FOIA’ed from the Army IN NEW JERSEY (the 2d files for the M16 were signed over from the AARDEC in NJ), that’s cool. I dare them.
Perhaps the best way to sum it up is: I am not in NJ, and am not subject to the purview of a blatantly unconstitutional law in NJ. If I was in NJ and did this, I would be breaking the law.
There you go. Download the files as you like. Do it because you want to build an AR. Do it because you want to support free speech. Or just do it because you know it will tick off petty statists like Gurbir Grewal who continue to think they can keep their finger in the hole in the electronic dike.