The Space Carbine By Booligan Shooting Sports

Booligan Shooting Sports Space Carbine

I love the little Heritage revolvers. Their affordability is tough to beat, and their design makes them a ton of fun to shoot. I purchased a Rancher a while back, which is the Rough Rider turned into a rifle. While fun, I wanted to have a scope mount for a red dot. That’s what started this entire journey. In researching that, I came across the Booligan Shooting Sports Space Carbine and immediately knew I wanted more than a scope mount. I wanted a Space Carbine Kit.

Booligan Shooting Sports is a fella who designs a variety of 3D prints for guns. This includes frames for various Glock designs, MACs, and more. There are numerous Space Cowboy dress-up kits for the Ruger Wrangler and Heritage Rough Rider. The original Space Carbine was designed around the massive and ultimately silly Heritage Rough Rider pistol With the 16-inch barrel. The complete Space Carbine features a stock for the Rough Rider. I didn’t have the Rough Rider, but I did have the Rancher.

At the end of the day, this is just a dress-up kit. It certainly adds a new edge to the Rancher, and yes, it made it possible for me to mount my red dot. Would it have been cheaper and easier to just purchase a Tactical Rancher? Yes, but where is the fun in that?

Printing the Space Carbine

The Space Carbine print job took several hours. Booligan Shooting Sports does all the drops for his prints for free, but he does accept donations and subscriptions to keep things running. Prior to printing the three-piece Space Carbine design, I printed my kids some keychains, a Cali Cat, and a little tugboat.

Once I realized how easily the 3D printer went “burrr,” I hit the go button and slowly printed each part of the kit. I’m not sure how long it took in total since I slept for one print and attended basketball games with the kids for another. I know it took several hours, but it didn’t take much of my attention. The Space Carbine consists of two barrel shrouds and a handguard. I also printed a small section of the rail for the red dot.

The shroud portions do pack a small set of fixed iron sights, so you don’t need an optic, but what’s the point of not having a red dot on a Space Carbine?

Installing the Kit

Putting it all together wasn’t too difficult. Keep in mind this kit was made for the long Rough Rider, not the Rancher. The Rancher has Buckhorn sights, a sling swivel, and a taller front sight. Removing the sling swivel and buckhorn sight wasn’t tough. However, I figured out the taller front sight would be a hassle. A hand file was needed to shave it down to produce a short front sight that would lock into the shroud.

You have to remove the ejector rod housing. The rear portion of the shroud has a slot where you install the ejection rod and the spring. The same screw that holds the ejector rod housing connects to the gun. Once installed, everything is quite tight. The front shroud is secured by the front sight, and the rear portion by the screw used by the ejector rod housing. The use of a good plastic poxy to tie the front and rear together adds even more rigidity.

The final portion is the optional handguard, which covers the seam in the shroud. It also moves a fair bit and creates a ton of noise. I’m almost convinced to epoxy it down. The rail attaches to two screw points on the top shroud and is easy to install.

To The Range With the Space Carbine

With a Burris Fastfire 4 installed, I went about zeroing the rifle. It took no time at all to get a good 25-yard zero in place. The handguard and shroud provided no issues with zeroing, and I went about plinking and having as much fun as I could. It admittedly makes the gun a ton of fun. There are optional blast shields to reduce the blast that occurs between the cylinder and barrel, but I don’t find them necessary.

The worst part about the Rancher is how slow it is to reload because I really wanted to keep shooting. Have you ever tried to do a fast single-action double tap on two targets? It’s a ton of fun. The Space Carbine kit gives you something to hold onto, and the red dot makes fast shooting a breeze.

I shot a lot, probably two hundred rounds, on the first day, and there were no detectable problems with the kit or how it interacted with the rifle. In the next few days, several friends checked it out, and we fired plenty of problem-free rounds. It held zero fine and without fail.

The handguard can act as a pump to hit the ejector rod. It works, I guess, but it is slower than actually just using the rod. Booligan has mentioned producing an attachment to make the pump function as a way to cock the hammer in the future, and that’s the only reason I haven’t poxyed the part down. I think that would be absolutely awesome, and I look forward to the possibility of a pump-action Space Carbine.

3D Printing & Firearms

The Space Carbine kit brought new life to a gun I haven’t shot in quite some time. I look forward to exploring other realms of 3D printing and firearms, and I’m even considering buying a normal Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider to produce a space cowboy sidearm to work with my carbine.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.