No, not the outrageous Austrian fashionista… The other Bruno.
I’ll start with a massive thank you to Bruno, it’s very rare that I approach a business to see if they’ll send something out to the blog for review. I feel a little weird approaching a business and saying “Hey, I’m a guy who reviews stuff… Can I possibly have a look at what you do?”
I feel half-way between Ron Burgundy and a cringe lord 12 year old YouTube Airsoft sniper “influencer” when asking for handouts, and therefore its something I almost never do. It’s to Bruno’s credit (and confidence in his products) that he was willing to send these out to a guy he barely knows on the off chance it might result in a positive review and more sales.
So, fast-forwards a couple of weeks after my chat with Bruno, A medium sized package arrived along with cryptic instructions to not just throw away the packaging. Upon arriving, it was clear that Bruno had sent not just one, but a couple of suppressors, a replica LEAF sight for the G&P DBAL, A faux ambidextrous Colt Canada type selector and also one of his sticker sets for the UKSF spec LA-5 laser unit… Hence the warning.
This package was more a showcase of his abilities than merely a single item for review and to be perfectly honest, it’s a very good way to demonstrate the effectiveness of a 3D printing business. 3D printing is all about rapidly prototyping and manufacturing items that your customers don’t want to wait weeks for, having a few different examples of what he can make has given me an idea of how varied his skills are and also indicative of what his future products might be.
I’ll be talking about 3D printing in general at a later date, but rest assured that by the time I’ve published it, there will be more products available. The beauty of Bruno’s little box of goodies is that it’s allowed me to look through a number of designs, different techniques and get an idea of what’s possible with different materials. So if you’ve got an idea for a project, it’s always worth letting your printer/designer know so that they can see if it’s possible.
Starting with the two suppressors, the first was my personally requested tan or “FDE” Surefire FA556SA clone. This suppressor being one of the latest seen on the L119A2 rifle, it’s also the model thats been relatively difficult to get a good copy of until recently, something that the 3D printing community has jumped on.
Bruno’s suppressors are made using a traditional Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) process, this is the most common type of printing available to the general public. Made from PLA, the suppressors are rigid, detailed and also relatively hard wearing. PLA isn’t the toughest of materials though, and given the wrong circumstances (over-tightening the threads, smacking the suppressor against a door frame, leaning the rifle against the suppressor) you might find that you damage the suppressor easier than say you would with a fabricated metal version.
PLA prints are still pretty strong though, I’ve used this same materials and forming process to make a number of structural components in the past with no issues. The weakness compared to other, more expensive components of your rifle should also be seen as a positive. You can be far rougher with a 3D printed suppressor and not have to worry about permanent damage to your barrel or even upper receiver. If the suppressor breaks, it’ll cost another £30 or so to replace, an upper or barrel for your NGRS or PTW? Far more.
The detailing on Bruno’s suppressors are good overall and although there is evidence of the 3D printing process such as the layer lines and a touch of stringing internally, it’s certainly nothing that is cause for concern. The suppressors also feel incredibly light, not in a bad way though… Adding one of these to the end of your build will not have any noticeable impact to the handling of your rifle.
The colour on the tan FA556SA is a dark peanut butter, almost coyote tan in colour. Whilst the UKSF suppressors have only been seen in black, I wanted something that would work on my SBR build and would be a little unique. The colour is also a lot less forgiving when looking at material and design quality, however, Bruno’s show no weaknesses and it actually highlights some of the fantastic details such as the pressure weld dimple and the faux welding around the front cap.
The second suppressor, A welcome surprise, is the older Surefire FA556 212 Can. Still a popular option for those making a L119A1 build and indeed a commercial “off the shelf” product that is a popular option on many builds.
The same level of detail is present on both suppressors, the only differences being cosmetic. One key detail that is only apparent when looking very close, is that both suppressors are of a baffled design inside. This might not make much difference to most airsoft replicas, but it’s something that I feel adds a little class to the overall design, plus… I have noticed it subtly changes the sound signature on my Recoil Shock Block 2.
The other exciting part of the package came in the form of the mock ambi selector, this being designed for those AEGs that cannot Mount such a design but where it’s needed to complete the overall aesthetic of the build. This one is based upon the Colt Canada design which is seen on the UKSF L119A2 Rifle, there’s a running theme with Bruno’s designs and it’s that the UKSF community is not only one of his main interests but also his key customer base.
The selector is actually made from an SLA (StereoLithography Apparatus) resin forming process, this allows a much higher degree of detail and a smoother overall finish. With much of 3D printing, it’s about choosing the right tool for the right jobs, some parts work better in resin, others are better with PLA or ABS.
The final printed piece I received, and arguably my favourite, is the mock LEAF type iron sight for the G&P DBAL A2. This slips on under the battery cover and allows the user to remove any irons in place on the rifle and move the DBAL right to the front.
The detailing is spot on, even down to the trademarks and the sloped rear face of the two wings and front sight blade. I don’t know how much he’s charging, but I’d seriously recommending grabbing one for your DBAL if buying a suppressor anyway as it does help with aiming, by providing a good and clear reference point each time you bring the weapon to your shoulder.
Finally, the UKSF sticker pack for the LA-5 laser illuminator/designator. A bit niche for me, but I do happen to have a beaten up old element LA-5 which I’ve ripped the gold stickers off. These fit on very well, besides a couple of small areas I’ve had to trip off with a scalpel, the stickers fit in place as they should.
So overall, can I recommend Bruno’s designs to my readers? Well I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I can. The design and manufacturing are well thought out and it shows in the end product. Whilst 3D printing can’t replace all other areas for the making of custom parts, designers such as Bruno are consistently pushing further forward and making parts that up until now, had to be made using relatively expensive milling or moulding processes.
For more information on what he has available or to place an order, you can contact Bruno by email or WhatsApp. There is a website in the works, but for now it’s either of the two below options:
Email – email@example.com
whatsapp – +351916501076