Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. In this weekly series, we explore, discuss, analyze, and review the various firearms inside the rimfire world. This week we have yet another submission from a TFB Patron/SubscribeStar Stubbs. Stubbs often has some pretty odd/disgusting looking creations. This week however I was pleasantly surprised to find that this build not only looks cool, but it is nearly 100% 3D printed aside from a few key parts. So let’s take a look at Stubbs’ 22LR Ghost Gun.
The Rimfire Report: The “Ludens” 3D Printed 22LR Ghost Gun
I’m not sure if it was on purpose or just dumb luck but Stubbs just happened to finish this build right around the beginning of October so I find it fitting that a Ghost gun is being brought to the fore in the month of Halloween. But let’s focus on what makes this gun most unique – the 3D printed aspects.
Ludens – Printing A Ghost
In case you didn’t know, Stubbs is a very talented 3D printer. While many of his projects are quite silly, (see this episode of TFBTV Mailroom in which he 3D printed a “pear jiggler”) he does often come out with high-quality functional prints. Stubbs was inspired to do this build because he came across a CMMG 22LR drop-in kit for an AR-15 pattern rifle. This in tandem with the ammunition shortages and pandemic spurred his motivation to make the build.
The naming of this gun is quite a peculiar story as well and I’ll let Stubbs explain the whole story for you here:
The total print took about 0.6kg or 2/3rds of a roll of clear PLA filament. Stubbs said the print took a total of 72 hours worth of print time with both the handguards and upper receiver both taking about 8 hours each with each of them turning out some defects.
After printing was finished Stubbs went over all of the parts with some 1,200 grit sandpaper to make the parts a bit more transparent. The infill he used on the receiver parts he said ran somewhere between 60% and 75%. The handguard itself was torch flame polished, he didn’t do this to the receiver to prevent any shrinkage of key components. The whole build fits inside a Vault large pistol case as pictured below.
The CMMG 22LR drop-in kit that Stubbs used goes for around $200 (he got his for $140) on the CMMG website. The kit itself is self-contained on both the front and back ends of the unit and thus does not transfer any energy to the upper receiver making it much safer to use a 3D printed upper receiver. Normally the upper receiver bears quite a bit of force during the cycling of a gun but the CCMG drop-in kit essentially lets you “make the lower out of glass if you wanted” to use Stubbs’s own words. The charging handle used is the CMMG 22LR proprietary charging handle. The kit works with a standard handle but you can occasionally get a 22LR shell stuck up inside the charging handle and the CMMG is solid to prevent that.
The fire control group is a pieced together mil-spec trigger and spring. Since there has been a massive parts shortage for the last couple of months, he was lucky enough to have enough spare parts laying around to piece together a working fire control group. The lower itself makes use of captive ring pins with their own ball detent that comes from the hardware store – these are the same pins that he used on his Dual AR-15 build aside from the length of the pins. Other items like the magazines are from Kriss with their Defiance 22LR magazines that are the same size as a standard AR-15 20 round magazine.
Another cool thing about the CMMG kit is that it negates the need for any sort of buffer. This allowed Stubbs to create a skeletonized arm for the SB Tactical Mini pistol brace at the back of the gun and reduced the overall cost of the build. The barrel is a 10.5″ standard 5.56 1:9 twist barrel with an FSB gas block that was tapped and plugged off since the gun relies on a blowback functionality.
The final touch of the build was the addition of a WADSN laser. Normally WADSN makes airsoft grade parts but they more recently got into making functional IR units. This brand new unit features a “Gameboy Advance” style clear shell and a matching dual pressure switch.
Stubbs further stated that the laser itself has a lot of bloom when viewed under night vision goggles. Despite the drawbacks, I do have to admit that the addition of the green laser gives the build a pretty cool look and it’s clear/skeletonized nature really rounds out the aesthetic. As a final note, Stubbs did mention that while the laser is quite cheap, it has no problem holding a zero when used on the relatively mild 22LR platform.
Keep on Printing
I think 3D printing has brought the firearms world a lot of great stuff over the years. As we move further and further away from needing to buy factory parts, I’m finding that a lot more people are starting to see the merit and fun that can be had using a 3D printing setup. In any case, that’s all we have for today on The Rimfire Report. We’ll see you next time!