New 3D printed revolver dedicated to Yoshitomo Imura in development
Support it or loathe it, but it is happening once again: Members of the FOSSCAD community, which is short for Free Open Source Software & Computer Aided Design, are working on another 3D printable firearm. The anti-gun control blog thethruthaboutguns.com reported that the FOSSCAD members in question – who go by the usernames Warfairy and Frostbyte – are working on a .38-caliber Zig-Zag Revolver.
Some of you will recall that in May, a 27-year-old Japanese student named Yoshitomo Imura was arrested in Kawasaki, Japan, for producing and owning five 3D printed firearms. Imura's creations were 'Zig-Zag' Revolvers as well, which refers to the grooves in the barrel. His arrest followed the posting of video that proved that at least two of Imura's guns could actually fire rounds, though the writers behind thetruthaboutguns.com are adamant in their belief that he only fired blanks.
His arrest has sparked outrage in the pro-gun communities online, and it apparently inspired these FOSSCAD members to develop this new Imura revolver, named after the man thetruthaboutguns.com call a martyr. Like their namesake's guns, their Imura revolver works on the Zig-Zag principle, though they have added several other features like a steel barrel liner and chamber sleeves. Furthermore, it's a one-touch-only gun, meaning that one pull of the trigger will do everything: it will rotate the cylinder, cock and release the striker, and thus also fire the weapon. Worryingly, this means the Imura gun can fire very rapidly.
Of course, the revolver is still in its developmental phase, though the various images illustrate that several parts have already been printed. Various twitter updates
also reflect the progress the designers are making. Supposedly, all this was done with a simple desktop 3D printer.If, however, we can believe the guys over at thetruthaboutguns.com about the functioning of guns (and at least in that respect, we can probably take their word), there are still some flaws in the design.
There is very little tensile strength in the proposed design. Convention 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 pressure to the rear. The projectile contains the pressure to the front, where the force is used to propel it out the end of the barrel.We will therefore have to wait and see if a workable Imura revolver will ever see the light of day. But even if it doesn't, it will surely reignite the heated controversy over 3D printable guns. More will therefore doubtlessly follow.