Let’s say the NFA went away. You can now purchase a fully-automatic firearm without a rectal exam. The prices for a modern rifle or pistol with a giggle switch go WAY down. Call it a 50 percent premium over a semi-automatic version. Would you? Or would the ammo cost and lack of practical utility lead you in another ballistic direction, or keep you where you are? [NB: the Texas Firearms Festival now offers Full Auto Friday. Click here for info and tickets.]

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155 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Would You Buy A Machine Gun?

    • I agree with you, it would have to be something relatively cheap to shoot on full auto. I’d probably only really be buying it to based on the possibility it would become more difficult to get one again in the future.

      • 30-odd years ago there was a .22LR conversion which, on a select fire AR, was also select fire. There is no reason there could not be again. However, with an AR, there is no drawback and precious different parts callout between semi- and select-fire, I would expect that there would be no semis produced in the future, *all* production would be select fire, costs remaining unchanged. Don’t wanna pay for the ammo? The “semi” position is still on the safety, and its function is unchanged.

        IOW, not only yes, but HELL yes!

    • I thought so at first, then I came up with why somebody might say no.
      I’d just buy full-auto trigger groups to convert my existing guns. And maybe pay somebody to engrave a happy face in that blank spot that the safety can’t currently reach.

      • I’d upgrade an existing rifle to selective-fire for 2-3 round burst capability. Otherwise, for periodic full-auto giggles, I’d probably just borrow / rent.

      • There’s a bit more to the conversion than just dropping in a full auto trigger group. You need me to drill a hole in the receiver for the auto sear. Also, with most modern AR’s, you need to remove metal from the inside of the lower to make space for the full auto group. Modern AR lowers don’t have this material removed per ATF guidelines to make conversion harder.

        In the end, it would probable be cheaper to jusr buy the full auto lower.

    • “Is this a trick question?”

      Heh. My thought as well. Though mostly I’d want to install auto FCGs in a few of my existing rifles (with appropriate modifications to allow for the FCGs, of course).

      Why not all? I’d like to keep the nice FCGs in several.

      Not if we are talking just chucking the NFA out the window, I’d have to buy a new safe just for suppressors. ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. I would buy suppressor a for every firearm I own before I spent a dime towards an automatic weapon. But after that, absolutely.

  2. Belt fed, anything! If the USG stocked the CMP store they would make a fat pile of cash! If I had a M60 I could make the “O” face all day long. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Not unless I needed to dispose of extra income weighing down my bank account.

    I got my fill in the military, it would just be a frivolous expense for me now.

    But still, abolish the NFA and let us have them!

  4. Um, a billion times YES.

    In fact I would convert 76% of my collection to full-auto’s and finally be able to justify buying belt feds and subguns.

  5. Eh, hit and miss.

    Would an M60 be nice, yea, would the cost still prohibit it, probably.

    Would I run out and buy full auto AK’s and AR’s? No.
    Would I drop a trigger in an AR lower? probably.

    Agree though, in 22 LR, that would be neat, with tracers. Other than that, not very practical.

    Banning full auto weapons for most gun owners is like banning the use of mustard gas, even if I could get it and use it, I probably wouldn’t because its impractical unless you’re knees deep in a war and everyone around you is the enemy.

  6. No. I would not pay the extra money for select fire which I cannot afford to use. And in a civilian environment full auto, include 3-round burst capability is less effective than semiautomatic fire and far more likely to cause colateral damage. I think a lot of people who like the idea of having a full auto weapon would decide against it after they do their due diligence.

    • You and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I’m with you on this one.

      When you’re paying the ammo bills, for the average joe, full auto gets old very quickly.

      • Even when somebody else is buying the ammo! I made 2 trips to our local excuse for a range in Vietnam, where each person had a 800+ round can of uncle sugar’s 5.56 and his own dream machine of a rifle (they managed to give us whatever we wished). Mine was an XM177E2, other guys had barrel lengths from 10.5 with a flash hider to the full 20″ and everything in between. I think that each time I ran off little more than 2-3 20-rd mags on full auto, you had to rip off one right off the bat, and then another 700+ rds later, to see how the cyclic rate changed due to fouling. Otherwise, most all were fired semiauto, so you could aim at something. But when you buy your next AR and it turns out it is select fire, because it raises the costs to have two separate versions, are you going to send it back?

    • “And in a civilian environment full auto, include 3-round burst capability is less effective than semiautomatic fire …”

      How do you figure that? If three violent home invaders breach my door and are advancing toward me rapidly, I have to believe that full auto would definitely be more effective than semi-auto.

      • Full auto on a BG busting through the front door of the average suburban home sounds like bad idea to me…

        Sounds like a receipe for manslaughter charges from a stray around to me.

        • I am not suggesting that everyone should use full auto for self-defense in all situations.

          I AM suggesting that I would want full auto for self-defense in my situation where the odds of a stray round harming someone is extremely low.

        • You better be planning on some serious practicing with full-auto. You’ll be out of ammo in less than 3 seconds, ready for harvest. I’ll shoot the first 3 with 3-4 rounds, see if there are more. Combat full-auto is generally stupid, I think that was proven many times over in Vietnam, where everybody attempted to run out of ammo before the enemy was in range. To counter a human wave attack, fine! When have we seen those recently?

    • “And in a civilian environment full auto, include 3-round burst capability is … far more likely to cause colateral damage.”

      That is a gun-grabber argument that should never see the light of day because anyone could be unskilled and irresponsible with anything and harm/kill innocent bystanders. Prohibiting something wholesale because some people could be irresponsible is REALLY BAD policy.

      • No,, it is an effectiveness argument. There are only a few situations in a military environment where automatic fire is useful. In an environment where you are accountable for every round fired, auto fire has no place because unlike the movies, most of your rounds miss. Spray and pray in your average suburban neighborhood is going to have a high probability of collateral damage. As one instructor I had used to say “there are no misses in a DGU”

        • What evidence do you have that everyone will “spray and pray”? Making our right to keep and bear arms — as well as which arms we can bear — based on arguments of social utility is a gun-grabber favorite.

          More to the point, whether or not full-auto is sensible for home self-defense, it could be crucial for applications involving large scale aggression. For that reason alone, I want the option to have full auto. And remember, pretty much every full-auto firearm offers a choice between semi-auto and full auto. Why not have the option even if it was unwise to use it in many situations?

        • Where did I say that civilians should not be allowed to own automatic weapons? I said based on utility and ammo cost it is a capability that you aren’t going use very often and almost certainly never use in a DGU, I think if the NFA were repealed most people who say they would by a full auto weapon in the abstract would decide against when it was time to make a purchase decision. But if you want to spend the extra money, be my guest.

        • Screw all those utility questions, we have called it a giggle switch for a generation now, for a reason. How about a new game, you only get to squeeze the trigger one time, with a whole range full of targets from 20 feet to 250 yards. How many can you hit? Jeez, the smiles would light up the hemisphere. Look, I have a 60-rd mag! Piss off, I have belt fed. When it jams, my plain jane 30-rd will rule!

    • I’m with tdi on this one. Wouldn’t bother with it, myself. Just a waste of money for no practical benefit. If had money to burn, then as a fun range toy, maybe. But I don’t and never will, so no. There’s just no point.

    • It’s a lot more fun if Uncle Sam buys the ammo. Similarly, I’d love to have a surplus Abrams, but I couldn’t afford to fuel or maintain it.

    • Not an expert, but I don’t think it works that way. I think additional holes in the lower are required, ie machine work.

  7. Only accurate rifles are interesting. Therefore I don’t bemoan my inability to own full auto. But, maybe just one Belt fed gun might be fun to……

      • All reviews I have seen say 3-rd sucks, reason being, the 3-rd cam is introduced into the firing mechanism, resulting in one trigger pull out of 3 is good, the others are really screwy (in semi mode, obviously). With semi or full, no such cam is in the mechanism, in semi each trigger pull is the same. Watch what you wish for.

  8. Ammo is pretty expensive, so I’d certainly have no recreational reason to own one. Unless the SHTF and that would probably mean an incident equal to war, I then could see the need for one. Ammo is always scarce during heightened skirmishes and wasting it makes no sense. Even if my AR was equipped to fire “auto,” I’d probably never use the setting. But it sure is fun to run a few mags through a rental at the range! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. If I could afford one I would buy a machine gun because it is my right to do so.
    The Deacons For Defense and Justice used them to great effect against corrupt local government.
    The returning GIs of Athens Tennessee also used machine guns to defeat government corruption.

    So living in a free state I will purchase a slide fire accessory and train with it at a local out door range.
    I hope I never have to use a weapon as the Deacons or the Athens GIs did.

  10. Not even a question. I would love the option. Doesn’t even take much to turn your average glock into full auto fun. I’d never really use it, though. Who could afford to!? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I would not pay a 50% premium over a semi-automatic version because there is no significant increase in manufacturing costs.

    If I could purchase a full-auto firearm for the same price as a semi-auto only, of course I would purchase it … er, several.

  12. I’d buy a few full auto kits or trigger sears, but a full Machine gun is not likely. Other than a fun (and I mean very fun) range toy I have no need to lay down suppression fire.

    Now a suppressor would be in my gun safe so fast my wife’s head would spin if the NFA went away ๐Ÿ™‚

    Respectfully Submitted

  13. yes*

    * as long as ammo was $0.01 a round so I didn’t have to file bankruptcy after a day at the range

    A suppressor would be my first purchase if the NFA went away

  14. If the NFA were to vanish tomorrow, absolutely. The Mg-34 and ’42 would be first on my list, but feeding them with today’s 8mm prices would be torture. The M16A4, FAL, and Yugo Krinkov would satisfy my giggle-switch shooting needs for a good long while.

      • Ehhhhh 8mm Mauser is my all time fave caliber, and the MG3 has rollers on the bolt that drop the ROF down to 950. Wouldn’t mind owning one, but as a collector snob the ’34 and ’42 are still at the top of the list.

  15. Probably not full auto, only really good for wasting bullets as a civil.

    But, I’d be all over some short barrel long guns in a hot second.

  16. Why? Bumpfire is perfectly legal and a tad easier to control, with respectfully similar results, now supressors are a definate go!

    • I would respectfully suggest that with things in congress and the states *finally* going our way for a change, this is not the time to “trade” anything. “Shall not be infringed” does not tolerate trades since the other side has nothing to bargain with. No NFA already eliminates all those restrictions, why give away half of it for no reason?

  17. Possibly, but only for .22 LR and 9mm. I see no practical use for a full auto gun outside of dumb fun and certain combat situations in the military.

  18. I’d immediately start converting a number of my projects from paper and CAD to reality. The number of ideas I have that I am legally unable to test…

  19. I have fired fully automatic firearms. They are fun, but I can’t see a purpose for them outside of suppressive fire (their original military purpose). A suppressor? Absolutely! These serve a purpose of saving hearing and, if needed, shooting inside building structures. There are definite advantages to a suppressed firearm.

  20. Um… HELL YES!

    If we went back to before 1986 I’d even pay the $200 to manufacture a new machine gun. If you are building yourself an AK variant then the giggle switch bits wouldn’t be that much harder to install. At least it doesn’t look too hard. I have a CZ scorpion evo that sounds great with my suppressor and another HELL YES to converting that one if it was legal option.

    The machine gun thing goes way beyond buying new ones. If we could convert any firearm like a common AR lower ourselves even with the tax stamp, it could be a budget option. Not that keeping it fed would be cheap, but even a 9mm or 22lr MG would be a good time.

    • Yeah, even if I am correct about modification requiring a new hole in the lower, machine shops could quickly be geared up to modify several hundred a day. Every AR ever made would likely be converted in a year.

  21. I’d be more interested in silencers, SBR/SBS if there were no NFA. That said, I’d definitely buy full auto. Yea it’s expensive but you don’t have to use it in full auto. Sure, it may be impractical or expensive as a civilian, but it is a nice option to have, so why not have it?

  22. Realistically, I find it silly, beyond the fun factor. I am extremely unlikely to ever need to lay down suppression fire, and beyond that, what is it good for? Maybe three round bursts, but full auto? If you ever need to use your firearms, full auto would just result in blowing through magazines in 2-3 seconds, to almost no effect, except to, maybe, innocent bystanders.

  23. It’s the shady-ass Hughes Amendment to FOPA ’86 that makes them so expensive. Get that out of here, get the prices back down, and I’ll start buying full-auto right away. Even seems like it would be easier to repeal than the NFA.

    Not that I wouldn’t also like to see the NFA repealed.

    • Juice, that is an excellent point, I could definitely get along with that to begin, although repealing NFA takes all that crap with it. And I would be ordering instantly.

  24. I’d have to think about it. Eventually I probably would but like other commentators here I would invest in more gun mufflers first.

    If mufflers were OTC and 20% cheaper than today then over time I would suppress my entire collection.

    • Hey, repeal NFA and mufflers, select-fire, SBR, SBS, AOW, *ALL* are OTC, costs will crater, and somebody better be tooling up some ammo factories.

      • That’s not the problem. The problem is going through ammo at 650+ RPM.

        For giggles on occasion? Great. Real use? Is my position being overrun by hostile infantry?

  25. An AR with 3 round burst most definitely. A .22 FA most definitely. Maybe a belt fed .308 in FA as well. Other then that, a surpressor for all the calibers I regularly shoot, and SBR an AR with a 10 1/2 inch barrel, and SBR a pistol grip shotgun. Maybe a SBR AK as well, probably FA it as well. Just for giggles.

  26. Absolutely not. There are so many other types of firearms and accouterments that I’d rather have. Suppressors, scopes, thermal devices, etc., I’m much more interested in.

    I pretty much love the collection I have, I don’t need or really want more…

  27. Yes, I would like to be able to get machine guns and parts that are less than 30 years of age or worse. Add in some import restrictions revisions to sporting purposes “assault weapons” bans, barrel bans, and we would have a lot more options on how a weapon could be designed or purchased. A swing down trigger group is a machine gun just for that feature? Open bolt means machine gun? I would like to be able to get a complete mp5, mp7, g36, uzi, AK, belt feds, whatever, without having to get chopped up parts kits.

  28. If the NFA went away does anybody think companies would still make only semi-auto ARs? Everything would be full auto. They wouldn’t want to have to make a semi-auto group and a full auto trugger group.

  29. I’d sell all my current pieces and buy a 240G and all the links I could afford. Then, every day after work I’d pull her out, give her a nice rub down…..

    Excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk…

  30. If nothing else without a NFA law to hold me back everything would would have a can on it. And I’d probably build or buy a STEN gun or some other cheap to feed lead hose. Just for fun and possibly civil unrest.

  31. He’ll yes. I’d convert all my semi-autos, and all future self loaders I’d buy would have a giggle switch. With ammo prices the way they are, I’d rarely use it, but it’d be nice to have the option.

  32. Even if the NFA were to be lifted, such items would still be illegal under California state law, and the odds of that law changing are pretty close to a massive 9+ earthquake along the entire length of the San Andreas Fault from Eureka to San Diego shearing off everything to the west of it and dumping it in the ocean.

  33. I’d buy a bunch of suppressors, SBR’s and SBS’s right off the bat. The only thing fullauto I’d consider buying is a belt-fed .308.

  34. Yes. In addition to swaping out a trigger on an AR, I would get a subgun in 45 ACP. My priority would be supressors for my existing guns, and a legit stock on my AR pistol.

  35. In my mind every pistol and rifle I own is already one but its just missing a part because the government is stupid. If they got rid of the NFA I would be buying the appropriate $30 sears. But its not worth the giggles with an insane government who thinks possessing a piece of metal is worse then raping someone.

  36. Even if you found a pile of milsurp ammo for 20 cents a round, at 700 rounds per minute that would translate to $8,400 per hour.

    I can think of better ways to piss away that much money, that fast.

  37. Nope! belt fed weapons are only fun on the Uncle Sam’s dime. Too expensive…..then again those baztards made us hump the weapons AND clean em all night. Few can comprehend just how dirty an M249 or and M2 can get.

  38. Yes. Because they are fun. And they make the anti-gunners, anti-2nd Amendment statists lose their minds. And I bet you can design a controllable burst fire or even full auto gun. Especially if the private market is let loose to do so.

  39. I doubt it. I have enough friends that would buy one. I’d probably just shoot theirs when I got a chance. Of course there was a time that I really didn’t want an AR-15 either, but now I shoot mine more than any other rifle except my bolt action .22.

  40. No, not practical & i am cheap–need suppressors legalized instead–it is unbelievable that you can buy cans in Europe off the shelf

    • That’s only partially true.

      Norway, cans are over-the-counter items. However, they will spank you hardcore if you use one in a crime. I’d actually take that as a compromise here in the US. Cans are no worse than a Magpul grip, but if you use one in a crime, you go down for a long time.

      UK, you can get a can easily, but it is treated like a firearm and you have to have a matching gun for it before it will be sold to you. A number of other European countries treat it this way too.

      Still others ban them outright.

  41. Realistic pricing of select-fire versions of our favorite semi-auto guns isn’t much different. By realistic I mean what the dealers charge when they sell them to a qualifying organization. Last time I looked, a select-fire M4 is comparably priced to a semi-auto only LE6920. A 50 percent premium wouldn’t pan out in the real world if MGs were suddenly Title I firearms.

    A GLOCK 18 machine pistol is under $600, actually.

    Now, at a premium f**k-you markup of nearly 50 percent (let’s say it was a sin tax or something…) for an MG versus it’s semi-auto brethren? I’d grudgingly go along with that since it’d be peanuts compared to how it is now under NFA regs. M4A1 for $1500 is better than a beat-up M16 lower for $22,000 …

    I’d have it just to have the option.

  42. YES.

    A Polish RAK, because, who cares why.

    I look at the argument (discussion) this way [and this way only] the 2nd Amendment is there to permit the citizenry to overthrow their government should it become too secretive and tyrannical. At such time, it would not be practicable, nor plausible to then allow the citizenry to obtain the means to prosecute such actions. So they must have unlimited access (according to their means, which should not be unduly hindered without incurring personal injury to the offending person’s privates) to arms, and their accessories, ammunition, storage, transportation. AMERICA IS NOT ANY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT, AND WILL NEVER RISE TO THE LEVEL OF BEING WORTH MORE THAN IT’S PROTECTION OF THAT.

    Taken another way, let’s say we were overrun by China, or ISIS. The U.S. government was in bed with them and a globalist agenda, and just let it happen, or aided it. It would be nearly impossible, at that time, to THEN obtain the arms needed to kill, skin, puree, and burn such parties, their families, their homes, their livestock, their stores and dry goods, their water supply, and anyone who even remotely thought their agenda was a “tolerable” thing. THEREFORE, access to arms should not be impeded by the government in any way, or else the Constitution, and more specifically the Declaration of Independence would be wasted.

    WHO DO YOU HAVE TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM TO DECLARE CIVIL WAR ? IF (AS A U.S. CITIZEN) THE ANSWER IS NOT “NO ONE, EVER”, THEN YOU ARE BEING OPPRESSED BY YOUR STUPID NEIGHBORS.
    IF YOU NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION
    FOR
    THE MEANS TO PROSECUTE SUCH ACTION
    FROM
    THE PEOPLE WHO YOU WOULD BE PROSECUTING THE ACTION AGAINST
    THEN YOU ARE BEING OPPRESSED.

  43. If I’m spending that kind of money, I’m going PDW. P90 and Kriss in 45. G18/17 conversion. If I felt the need for something heavy, 240B/L would be on the list.

  44. I might buy a Thompson, just because it’s a classic piece of engineering and one of the very few guns to use the Blish effect to retard the blowback.

    Other than that, I’d buy silencers before I’d buy a full auto.

  45. Maybe? I can’t help but wonder if a large part of the reason I want a machine gun is that I can’t have one.

    Still, a modern Sig SMG in .40 could be a great deal of fun.

  46. Yes, of course. It is another tool in the toolbox.
    But I would also get a belt fed and mount it in the bed of my truck technical style. That would definitely deter tailgaters.

  47. Yes but it takes some steps more to make the ownership accesable and comfortable

    1.) Repeal Import Restriction of “non sportive” firearms in nfa branch 68 (would nice white remove the felony flatrate ban together)
    2,) Remove the atf notice at travel for all nfa weapons (at moment only aow and suppressors can free travel)
    3.) Remove the mandatory federal sentence enhancing
    4.) Free travel to international sea / water on boat for all nfa items
    5.) Other people can regulary used your nfa weapons / sharing allowed whiteout trust

  48. “Would You Buy A Machine Gun?”

    Even with the NFA gone it would mean quite a chunk of cash to fork out.

    Still, if I were to consider it would be only if the (ex)NFA head honchos were given a very thorough and invasive rectal exam, which was filmed and the DOJ (starting with ex-AG Eric Holder) made to watch it while they received their own daily rectal exams.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  49. I’d buy one. In fact, I’d buy several. Select fire would allow me to burn ammo when I wanted and save it when needed. I’d probably buy tracers, too.

    I’d also want a suppressor so I don’t wake up the neighbors.

  50. Why would you NOT want full auto capability? Yes, ammo is expensive and may become harder to get but just because you have the switch doesn’t mean you have to engage it.

    MP40 (I have shot one in full auto, sweetest shooting subgun ever made) and a 1919 for me.

  51. If nothing else, this thread makes it easy to see who has experience on automatic weapons and who doesn’t. Anyone who thinks full auto is uncontrollable at self defense distances, or that it’s less effective than semi auto demonstrates a marked lack of experience.

    Ammo consumption is definitely an issue , economic and operational, but as has been said, most offerings would be select fire, and those that weren’t would mostly be crew served weapons anyway.

    A better question, especially since and as others have said, virtually all MSRs started as select fire and would likely only be offered that way under the circumstances, is what practical reason would there be to purchase an AR or AK that wasn’t select fire?

    That is, what reason would there be not to have that option available? The only one I can think of is safety for newer shooters who may accidentally select automatic and be unprepared for the result.

    We might see “training rifles” in semi only, but that should be about it.

    Admittedly, I can’t think of many practical uses for having an auto option either, but why not have it?

  52. I’m thinking something in 9mm that’s cheap to shoot – maybe an MP-40. A Tommy gun would always be fun but I’m afraid that I’d go through all of my .45 rounds pretty fast. It would be the ultimate “get off my lawn” gun. For more fun I’d like one of the classic water cooled medium guns like a .30-06 Browning 1917 or .303 Vickers. They are complex and heavy but when they’re set up correctly they shoot forever.

    And there’s always the Mauser 712 to lust after. Just because.

  53. Absolutely would, the high cost is a de facto ban on those types of guns for me, as it was planned to be originally.
    There are many historical and modern guns that I would like to to have to use at the range for the sport of shooting them, and be able to have first hand experience to study the mechanisms and keep for collecting and historical interests.

  54. A full auto AK-47, AK-74, MP-5 and that’s it.

    Oh wait…add a Brugger & Thomet MP-9 and a Kriss vector.

    Throw in a Glock 18, Colt Commando clone, B&T TP-380, P26 and APC9 for extra credit.

    But that’s absolutely it!!!

  55. Yes. 50% is still unreasonable. I’d just convert my own homebrew style…. not like it’s THAT hard.
    FA is a VERY useful feature in the right situation.

  56. I would want an actual machine gun for fun, because crew served weapons are cool. Also I could see a real market for a suppressed pdw for home defense. Personally I would also want a standard special vz. 58 too.

  57. I always said machinegun registration was ridiculous. It costs so much money to shoot for a minute or five they are self regulating from a criminal standpoint by cost alone

  58. Do you see typical criminal / improvised weapons? – not exactly made by FN (not discoqunting all the stolen “real” guns but…….)

  59. OH HELL YES !
    MP-40 first. 2)Thompson, not a military one.
    3) Something in a .22lr for savings.
    4) Belt fed American MG.
    5) MG 3
    Fantasy, oh yes……….

  60. Personally, full auto in an urban setting isn’t much use. But if the NFA ‘went away’, I’d get one. having a selector for 2-3 shot bursts would be a better option IMO. Save on ammo, and still have more than single rounds for any intruder. More holes to bleed out from. I’d look at the Kriss Vector if I go that route. 2 shot bursts have very accurate groupings.

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