MP5 machine gun
Courtesy YoutTube and Hickok45
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I was reminded recently of the time I decided to buy a machine gun. Yes, you can still buy one if you have a fat wallet and are willing to jump through all of the many required hoops.

This was many years ago, but what I learned still holds true today. I made some mistakes and will tell you about them so you don’t have to. Let’s start off with a brief primer on machine guns and the laws pertaining to the transactions involved in buying one.

Machine guns are fully automatic firearms and, contrary to what some politicians and ignorant media members may say, in most states, you can own them. But thanks to gun control acts passed in 1968 and 1986, they’re very expensive.

Still, if you have the funds, you too can own one. Like a suppressor, the transfer requires paying a $200 tax to the federal government.

The big difference between a machine gun and a regular firearm from a regulatory standpoint is that when you buy a regular gun, you usually (in most states) get it right away. When you buy a machine gun, you fork over a whole bunch of money and you’ve literally got nothing to show for it except a receipt until your purchase is approved.

There are good transactions and there are bad transactions. The good deals go off without a hitch. The bad deals get lawyers, cops and the ATF involved. I was fortunate enough to have a good transaction when I bought mine.

Let’s start with the gun. Machine guns aren’t easy items to shop for since you can’t typically hold one before you buy it most of the time, unless you happen to have friends who own them or dealers that have them in stock. That’s not something that’s easy to find, so your mileage may vary widely.

I happened to have friends always buying/selling guns and getting their opinion on what would be a good machine gun was valuable. Plus, they let me shoot some of theirs.

It’s good to have friends. It’s better to have friends with machine guns.

Much like boat ownership, I always thought the best machine gun was the one my friend owned. I was right for the most part, but after a while I decided I wanted to take the plunge myself. I played with a friend’s HK MP5 clone with a registered full auto pack and I really liked what I saw.

What I didn’t like much was the price. At that time, a sear was $10,000, packs were $13,000 and finding a host gun – like an SBR made from LSC flats from a good gunsmith, with the parts kit was about $4500. So all told, to get a similar setup I was looking at spending just shy of $18,000.

That leads me to lesson number one: Money is the easiest part. The selection, the choices, and navigating the paperwork are the hard parts.

I happened to have a good-size chunk of cash squirreled away in the rainy day fund and the stock market had been reasonably good to me, so I called my broker, sold a chunk of my portfolio and decided to jump into the world of machine gun ownership/stamp collecting.

The reason I wanted to sell before buying instead of selling after I found a gun I want was twofold. First, I wanted to make sure I had the money in case the market took a correction. Second, it takes a few days for the money to move over after you sell. So you don’t want to find the right gun, make a deal with someone and say “I AM WAITING ON A CHECK FROM UBS.”

In guns, cash is king and there’s been more than one deal that’s fallen apart because someone was “waiting on a check” that never came.

Another thing that I didn’t realize was all the different ways that I could be separated from my money when I went shopping.

I could spend money at dealers that are dedicated to selling nothing but machine guns and their prices are usually higher than other dealers selling the same gun. They seemed to be very anxious to take my money when I said I had cash ready to spend, and one dealer actually vetted my living situation before offering to sell me something.

They asked me about my residence, if I owned a safe, etc. and if I didn’t meet their exacting criteria…no gun for me, even if I paid cash. That was stranger than fiction.

Some smaller dealers in my area popped up, but only with sporadic results. The dealers that I ran across with one or two NFA items barely dealt with machine guns and didn’t seem that knowledgeable in running the Form 4 process. I didn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling from doing business with people who didn’t really know the process.

A few individual sellers popped up here and there. Some were willing to let you try their gun before committing, others not. One thing that was interesting to me was a 50/50 deal, 50% to start paperwork and 50% on paperwork approval. I suppose this is a good way to do business to keep things equitable, but what happens if someone just runs with your 50%?

I asked a few friends in law enforcement and the response I got from the economic crimes detective was that it’s grand theft, but it’s a civil matter and the agency wouldn’t really investigate things like that typically.

That was an eye-opener. When I started working in the pawn industry just out of high school, sweeping floors and tagging merchandise and carrying out large purchases for people, I’d always wonder about things like “Why is this guy dropping $8,000 on some sports memorabilia that could be fake?”

I asked a customer one day about that. He was a longtime collector of baseball tchotchkes, and he told me something elegant in its simplicity: “You ain’t buying a ball, you’re buying the seller” – meaning that he had done business with the shop on many occasions, and he trusted them sufficiently to do business there and not be sold something that wasn’t authentic.

So my choices were: buy from a big dealer and pay big money. Buy from small dealer and pay less – with mixed results on forms. Or buy from a machine gun collector and each deal is a little different.

I wasn’t sure what to do, so I waited things out and kept my eyes open for guns for sale from friends, their friends, and dealers both large and small nearby.

After about a year of looking, I had a dealer email me – we had corresponded a few months before about an item he had in stock and he (wisely) kept my contact info in case he had to sell something again later on down the road. He was an hour and a half away and had something he thought I might like.

I was sent photos of a “brand new HK” build with a registered receiver – not a registered pack – that he thought I might like. The price was $16,000 cash – no sales tax since it was coming out of his personal collection and not his business.

It was unfired since the conversion was done in May of 1986 and he would not let me try it lest he turn a PRISTINE UNFIRED gun into a USED SHOOTER.

I didn’t like the idea of not being able to make sure it worked, but it was being advertised as new and unfired. How bad could it be?

The weather was nice and I felt like taking a ride on my bike and the miles flew by until I pulled into the dealer’s parking lot. I looked at the gun and it looked just as advertised; new, unfired and shiny and black. I’ve always liked the look and the feel of HK sub-machineguns and this one just felt right.

I asked the dealer if a check drawn on my account at a local bank would suffice. He told me that he was going through a divorce and needed cash to pay some lawyers, so we worked out a deal. I’d pay him $10,000 in a check to him personally and $6,000 in a check to his law firm to put towards his legal fees.

He seemed satisfied with that arrangement. After shaking on the deal, he went to his PC and printer and asked me how I wanted the forms made up.

Registration isn’t something that just applies to cars and trucks, as I would learn. I had NO clue how I wanted to register it. I took a pass and said I would email him info after doing some research.

Back in the old days, prior to 41F, we had three ways to do things.

1. Individual registration with CLEO signature.

2. Trust registration without CLEO signature.

3. Corporation registration without CLEO signature.

To be honest – I really didn’t think that part through, but I should have. I live in a gun-friendly area, so I told the dealer to make up forms for me – individually registered to Hank.

I brought the forms down to the local PD after calling ahead and making an appointment with the chief’s secretary. I gave the forms over with a cover letter and my contact info. She said she’d send them to the chief.

After five weeks of no call, no reply, I called down to their office and asked if my paperwork was ready. No response. I guess this chief didn’t approve of civilian machine gun ownership.

That’s too bad. I liked supporting the FOP and the PD’s events and I heard him speak about individual rights and thought he talked a good game on law and order. Since the ATF’s list of people who are allowed signatories was rather long, my next call was to the county sheriff. I was in for a rude surprise.

After calling the administrative office and speaking to the secretary to the county’s top cop, I was told that I needed to get a packet of information to them. I was surprised, but I gave her my address.

Six days later, I got a large manila envelope in my mailbox. The cover letter instructed me to fill it out as comprehensively as possible and return it to the office of the sheriff. I turned the page to find a 28-sheet questionnaire binder-clipped to the cover letter. It encompassed:

Name, date and place of birth, last five addresses, driving history, employment history going back 10 years, any arrest history for any crime, any domestic violence injunctions, if I had ever been investigated for any crime, if I was involved in any civil litigation, financial judgments against me, any family law issues – divorce, separation, restraining orders, etc.

You think there’s an end to this, right? There isn’t. I kept flipping pages.

The next page encompassed a request to make a to-scale sketch of the floor plan of my current property, with an indication of where the proposed firearm was to be stored.

My eyes rolled and I turned the sheaf of paper over to reveal some more questions.

I was asked who my home insurer was, if I had a firearm policy with them, the modality of storage for said firearm, a description of the locking mechanism and whether it was UL-rated or not. I was asked if I had an alarm system and if my storage room or container would be equipped with alarm sensors, what kind of alarm (make and model that would be deployed at said residence).

The last page was an informational block that asked about my work schedule so that an investigator from the sheriff’s office could work around my schedule to meet me and verify that all the information on the document was correct, examine the residence floor plan to make sure the paper matched reality, examine the area it would be stored in, verify the presence of a working alarm system, etc.

They also wanted to personally size me up as part of the investigation and subsequent recommendation to the sheriff as to whether he should or should not sign my paperwork. How nice of them to work around my work schedule, after invading my privacy.

What on earth had I gotten myself into?

I called the sheriff’s office and asked why they wanted all this info and they said that’s what was necessary to determine my suitability to get the signing authority to approve my purchase.

This wasn’t working at all. I called every wills, trust and estates attorney in the phone book asking them to set up a gun trust for me. Nobody knew what a gun trust was, and those who didn’t hang up on me told me that they’d be happy to set up an irrevocable living trust for me for whatever estate planning purposes I had for the low, low price of $250/hour. That meant it would cost me about $500 to set up at trust to do something that would avoid the CLEO signature.

A corporation would be a dumb way to do it because the costs to keep a corporation active every year add up and a trust costs nothing in my state to maintain in perpetuity.

What should you do when you are stuck between a PD chief that didn’t want to return calls or sign paperwork, a sheriff who wants your life story and then some, and lawyers who don’t seem to know what you’re trying to accomplish because they’ve never seen any of these issues before?

I was confused, so I called up a few machine gun-owning friends and asked for advice. They all told me I needed to call down to a gun nut judge who loves the Second Amendment and see what he’d do for me. After all, it’s my tax dollars at work.

I went down to the courthouse in shirt and tie, went to the judge’s chambers and asked his secretary about his form 4 policy. She handed me a 28-page questionnaire…basically a copy of the one used by the county sheriff.

This wasn’t going well. I had spent $16,000 on a gun that wasn’t refundable and registering it was turning out to be a total pain in the rear end.

Finally, I said nuts to this – this is insanity. I stopped at a local OfficeMax, bought pre-packaged, prepared trust documents, had a teller at Bank of America notarize all the pertinent docs, called my dealer and said PARK THIS IN THE NAME OF THE HANK SMITH LIVING TRUST.

He mailed me form 4’s and I sent off all the paperwork to ATF as he instructed.

Three months after forking over $200 for the tax stamp, and $16,000 for the gun, I got a call from the dealer. The ATF had a problem with the submission. He mailed me the error letter.

I hadn’t sent in complete trust documents. I called ATF and informed them I would have that remedied right away and mailed them what they requested. A few weeks later, the dealer called me and said my paperwork was back and…I could pick up my gun!

Wasting no time, I jumped on my bike, went for a nice ride to the dealer, picked up my gun and got home to ogle my newest investment.

I toyed around with it and played with some dummy ammo/snap caps to check ejection and pretend I was shooting bad guys a la SEAL Team 6. All was good, and all I needed now was a place to shoot.

Thankfully, my local range allows full auto as long as you’re not being a total idiot. So I hauled my gun, some mags and a full case of Winchester White Box 9mm down to the range, anxious to finally pull the trigger as a newly-minted machine gun owner.

I got a lane, got settled in, set up an NRA B29 target, loaded up a magazine, did the HK slap and pulled the trigger. One round fired…and I found myself playing with a non-functioning gun. I cleared the gun, tried a different magazine…and same problem.

My machine gun was not a machine gun. In fact, it was barely a semi-automatic. In short, it didn’t work.

I called the dealer who had sold it to me. He had no idea what was wrong. It’s a new gun. Nobody knew if it really worked or not. Plus, as he reminded me – a bunch of guns were being registered and converted into the wee hours before the deadline in May of 1986, so QC wasn’t really a thing that existed as everyone was cobbling stuff together to beat the deadline.

Gee, thanks Billy. That was real helpful.

I shoved all my stuff into my range bag and went home, dejected and frustrated. Sure, I got a gun. And I got a tax stamp and the transfer went smoothly enough. Now all I needed was a gun that went bang more than once.

My machine gun-owning friends asked me how my gun was running and I told them about the issues I was having. Opinions, speculation, and conjecture abounded. The end result was me sending my gun out to a competent gunsmith to get running.

The only problem is that the gunsmith that was suggested to me was competent, cranky and more than a little buried with work. He told me it would be at least a month and a half before he could even LOOK at my gun to see what he could do.

I accepted the terms – what choice did I have? – enclosed a check for his first hour of labor and told him to call me as soon as he could with some information.

Sure enough, a month and a half went by and I got a call. The bolt carrier that was made into a full auto bolt carrier by being welded up in the conversion wasn’t done right. He would have to grind down the welded portion and re-do it. Four weeks until he could get to it. He gave me a price. I told him to go ahead and I put a check in the mail. The check got cashed and I waited for my gun.

When I didn’t hear anything after five weeks, I called the gunsmith and got the generic “working on it!” reply.

This repeated a few times.

Eight months later, I got a gun delivered by UPS with a note saying,”Sorry this took so long.”

Alas, redemption! There was light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn’t a train.

I took my gun to the range for the second time and cut a paper target in two right across the torso. A fantastic feeling.

Yes, that’s a long story. Here are a few things I learned along the way.

1. Cash is king. Having cash makes negotiating and putting deals together easier.

2. Have a plan as to how you want to register your NFA item. Post 41F, it’s a lot easier now, but you still need a plan.

3. TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT IF YOU CAN. I’m only buying used guns from now on. I know they run. New guns are for wallhangers and for looking cool. My guns are for shooting.

4. You’re not buying a gun, you’re buying the seller. After Billy sold me a gun that wouldn’t run and was useless to me, I wouldn’t spend money with him again. Nice guy, terrible gun dealer.

5. A machine gun a lot better with friends who own machine guns to help you and for you to play around/compete with. So is a competent gunsmith.

6. A machine gun is useless without a range to shoot it. Make sure you have a place near you to shoot that won’t change the range rules three days after you send in your Form 4.

7. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

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  1. Glad I have never wanted a machine Gun I have a hard enough problems feeding AKs and SKS shooting them as fast as I can they are more than enough gun for me and don,t cost near as much or the trouble to get one

      • I think if I could have any machine gun I’d go with the MP5, heavily based on expenses for feeding it. If feeding expenses were off the table, well, something belt fed would surely be in order.

    • Yep, having fired a few SMGs I quickly concluded that they’re nothing more than a “fun” way to blow a ton of money down range. Suppressors on the other hand are far more practical and easier to acquire.

  2. I cannot afford to buy a machine gunm. However I can certainly make an MAK go bra,a,a,a,a,a,p with a little piece of steel.

    • I imagine there are more machine guns out there in America than most people could imagine. I love guns, but I am happy with my semi-automatics. I can buy a lot of semi automatics with the money to buy one automatic. And to make an automatic is not worth the risk of prison and $250,000. But I bet there are thousands of outlaw automatics out there.

      • Many years ago I stumbled onto what I though was a garage full of moonshine. There were 12 pack cases of Mason jars stacked to the ceiling, but they looked to be full of oil. Well, they were, full of motor oil, to preserve the 10 excellent quality, home shop made M16 auto sears each one contained. There must have been a thousand of them or more.

        I obviously have no way of knowing, but I’d say the number of off the books full autos in the US are in the 10s of thousands at least, with as many more able to be converted on short notice with already available parts.

        The thing is, FA on a carbine or light rifle isn’t really all that big a deal in terms of its utility in combat, especially if you don’t have convoy or aerial resupply.

        The big deal is in squad automatic weapons, GP machine guns and heavy machine guns. These types of weapons, especially the latter two are game changers.

        Even at that though there are work arounds. Effective and fairly accurate home made mortars aren’t that hard to build and they can do most of what an MG can do, and a lot that it can’t. They do however suffer the same problem, it’s exceeding hard to keep them well fed without state sponsored support.

        If you just wanna have fun, FA in a rifle rocks, but if we’re talking combat effectiveness, I’m way more concerned about dedicated, crew served, belt fed guns than I am carbines and rifles.

        • If they were “safety sears,” they’re legal to possess if they were made before November 1981 and you don’t have either an AR-15, OR a M16’s BCG, sear, selector, hammer, and trigger. Either one is considered possession of an untaxed machine gun. This makes them practically useless except as a conversation piece or prep for the fall of society. The M16 parts are kind of funny since you don’t need an upper or lower receiver to get prosecuted, even though you couldn’t possibly fire a single round. Since they weren’t serialized when they were made, ATF can’t prove they’re post-81 unless they have materials or machining methods that didn’t exist in ’81. Pre-81 safety sears have been on sale in SGN pretty much since November 1981. I wonder if the guy has a really big stock, or if he sells barely enough to cover the ad.

  3. Many years ago when Machine guns were dirt cheap and the paperwork usually signed by our local Cleo I declined to buy one when my buddy was buying up as many as he could afford. Yes it proved to be a good investment for him but he would have made a ton more money in the stock market as a comparison. Even back when the guns were cheap the price of ammo, even your own hand loads, meant you could only shoot your full auto fun guns a couple of times a year.

    When speaking to WWII veterans most laughed at the idea of even owning one, not only were they too expensive to shoot for the working man but they told me that when they fought in WWII every one wanted to shoot a Thompson in training but when it came to real combat every one want an M1 Garand because of the limited range of a sub-gun as it was only good for close range blasting. I later in time spoke to some of the Morons I knew that went to Vietnam and the ones that still could speak coherently either due to brain damage from grenades or metal damage due to the horrors of war told me that they often kept their M16’s on semi-auto as they always feared running out of ammo and at full auto they knew the would likely miss what they were shooting at anyway. In other words the machine gun is a psychological weapon not a very practical one unless you are speaking of a crew served weapon and an unlimited supply of ammo.

    Its no accident the military went to a 3 round burst as a comprise on the problem of issuing full auto weapons to the average grunt who knows as much about marksmanship as Trump knows about running a country. Its actually that bad.

    PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IF YOU THINK OWNING A MACHINE GUN IS A GREAT IDEA.The other problem with owning full auto’s is no matter how much you try and make sure no one knows you own one the fact that you own one soon gets known to many people and there have been instances of people being murdered by gangsters just to get their machine guns. We had such an incident in my area back a few years go. If you still want a machine gun just be prepared to sleep at night with a pistol by your bedside as sooner or later you will need it some night when gangsters find out you have machine guns in your house and break down your door when they come to get them. Unless your fast on the draw they will make you an offer you cannot refuse.

    I never regretted my decision not to get into the full auto game as if you need the money just try selling one some time and see how long it takes to get your money. I might add once the novelty wears off when shooting full auto ( usually about 10 minutes) you wonder why you ever bothered to go through all the trouble and expense of even owning one.

    • Your story of WW2 vets not liking a Thompson is full of sht.

      • “To Possum”
        “Your story of WW2 vets not liking a Thompson is full of sht.”

        Unlike you I grew up with WWII veterans they were my uncles, father, and neighbors and fellow people at work. The Thompson was a hated machine gun. It was so heavy my Father said he saw some G.I.’s throw them into ditches because of their weight and then fight over trying to get a hold of an M1 Garand. I have fired the Thompson myself and it is a fking joke in .45acp as the recoil makes the gun quite uncontrollable except at point blank range. Yes if entering a room in a house I would have one if I did not have a good 9mm sub gun but for an overall weapon on the battle field I would stick with a rifle and some grenades and use the grenades when entering a house. Now lets put our thinking caps on. If you were in Europe and entering a town or crossing a farmers field how much chance would you have of taking out a sniper in a tall building or in a tree a couple of hundred yards away with a Thompson when you could do it easily with a rifle instead. Lets get real a Thompson in those circumstances would get you killed rather quickly if no other soldiers were around you with rifles. Now you know why the Thompson was a joke in real combat.

        • Vlad, every one knows you are a joke and no one takes you seriously. But, here goes. My Uncle Leland was at Schofield Barracks on December 7, 1941. Uncle Willie followed General Patton across N. Africa and Europe. Uncle Jeff was an anti-aircraft gunner on the Atlantic convoys. I spent four years in the army. MOS 11B1P. I talked to them at length. The idea of a combat soldier throwing their weapon, any weapon, in a ditch and fighting over an M-1 rifle is so stupid it barely worthy of reply. If weight is the issue there is not much difference between the M-1 rifle and the Thompson. Controllable? If shot the M1928A1 and the M1A1. One of the most controllable sub-machine guns if ever fired. In no small part because of the weight. I’ve also fired the MP-40 at length. The Thompson is a much more effective weapon. Now. Range. If that’s why they were throwing Thompsons away; why weren’t they throwing away M-1 carbines? And don’t forget, the .30 M-1 carbine was a much poorer man stopper than the .45 ACP. Also, the carbine was adopted to replace the 1911 and submachine guns. Neither of which it did. In fact, the M-3 was developed so more submachine guns could be issued. Vlad, we all know you’re full of shit because you keep proving it.

        • Vlad you’re so fake, I don’t even know where to begin. Gadsden hit it spot on. And unlike you, I’ve personally shot a Thompson. It has ZERO recoil and ZERO muzzle climb, and is LAZER accurate inside of 100 yards. That’s the facts. You have no clue what your going on about.

        • “I have fired the Thompson myself and it is a fking joke in .45acp as the recoil makes the gun quite uncontrollable except at point blank range.”
          The joke is on you. Or rather, the joke is you, Drac. Thompsons are pretty easily controllable. You just mustn’t be such a whiny little bitch.

      • Dear Vlad: I’m one of the morons who served in the infantry in Vietnam. For a time I carried a 60. Great gun. With a little practice and a deft touch I could fire 3 round bursts all day long. A very effective way to put rounds on target. I could also just put the hammer down and bring maximum grief. And Vlad, from someone who is among the initiated , go pound some salt up your ass.

        • Trolls like him come around once and awhile. Could be the same person. He/They all have the same agenda: trash gun rights, trash America, trash veterans, and trash rural people. Basically everyone liberals hate.

        • That’s what bloomberg pays him for. But for how long? Sooner or later he’ll be gone, when his ineffectiveness is noticed.

        • To Harv.

          Your reading comprehension is about zero. I did mention crew served weapons and since you were never in Nam or if you were you were you were either a cook or a supply clerk because you would have known that the M60 is a crew served weapon not a sub gun and not an M16 either. Try again.

        • Vlad, again you show your ignorance. You may have read it was crew served, but in practice it was usually just the gunner with everyone in the squad carrying an extra belt. Never saw one deployed on a tripod. Did see them pintle mounted on jeeps though. Rat Patrol style. After basic and AIT I never even saw a spare barrel or an asbestos glove.

    • Wow, what a total pile of steaming cow pies. All the WW2 and Vietnam vets I’ve talked with and listened to over the years, I’ve not heard a single one of them say what you claim is common thinking.

      If automatic firearms are so lustily sought after by criminals, why is it that they are not being used by criminals? The use of an automatic weapon is extremely rare in American crime.

      I would enjoy owning a machine gun, hell I’d like a variety of them. Different calibers and sizes, small and concealable and big and vehicle mounted. Why is because I enjoy owning firearms. Bummer of it is that just like so many other people my income is dwarfed by my desires. I cannot afford them things. Not the outright purchase nor the feed bill.

      • to Enuf

        I forgot to mention a Gun Dealer who rented machine guns in our area. He opened up shop one morning and lucky for his wife she had forgotten something and went back to their house this in turn saved her life. Some low life scum bags went into the shop when he opened up in the morning and shot him dead and stole his rental machine guns. The Morons took the guns to New York were they attempted to sell them to a street gang and the gang tired to steal them from them without giving any money for them. A gun battle ensued and all of them ended up being caught. Just another example of when owning machine guns can make you a target for the underworld.

    • You clearly do not have a clue about full-auto firearms. I have probably 750,000 to near a million rounds through them in the military and as a SWAT officer. Yes, it can get expensive to shoot when you do not have the financial support of a government job. Rest assured though, that an experienced shooter is fully capable of controlling the number of shots leaving his barrel with a single pull of the trigger. I could easily shoot 2 – 4 shots at a time with each pull and with extremely good control of where they went. And I am confident there are much better shooters out there than myself. MP5’s, M16s, M60s and numerous others in the hands of a trained shooter can be quite effective AND under control. You just don’t have that knowledge or experience to even talk about it. It is a topic out of your league.

      • Chiefton, you are pretty much spot on. Until recently I was issued a full auto weapon all of my adult life. In addition I have several friends with a wide variety of full auto weapons. They are fun, but after a few decades the new wears off. However, I did enjoy giving a new shooter a taste. I once gave a private CCW class to a retired NFL player and his wife. He’s from this area and well known, and with a Super Bowl ring, he told me celebrity can be a burden. Anyway, I always asked my students for a brief history of their firearms experience. He was not a hunter, but had done a little informal shooting. She said, “I’ve never heard a gun fired except on TV or in a movie.” I taught the class. Much to his consternation, she out shot him. You gotta love a blank canvas. No bad habits to break. After, I asked, “You want to shoot a machine gun?” They replied in the affirmative. I pulled out an Uzi and demonstrated proper technique. She mastered it right away. With 2-3 shot bursts she was ringing that Pepper Popper like a bell. After 32 rounds she looked a me with a smile that would light up a dark night and said, “That was fun! Can I do it again!?” I handed her another magazine.

        • Thanks Tom. Not the first time I did that. Nothing mysterious about shooting full auto. Just that too many people have seen Terminator.

      • “You just don’t have that knowledge or experience to even talk about it. It is a topic out of your league.”

        No you do not have any reading compression. I suggest you go back and read my post or have someone explain my post to you. You also mention crew served weapons , again go back and read my post. Its you who do not know what your are talking about.

      • to Chiefton.

        “Rest assured though, that an experienced shooter is fully capable of controlling the number of shots leaving his barrel with a single pull of the trigger. I could easily shoot 2 – 4 shots at a time with each pull and with extremely good control of where they went”

        Wrong again. Audi Murphy who probably saw more combat than most WWII Veterans did not even trust his own hard kicking uncontrollable Thompson. He had major input into the movie about his exploits in WWII and in the scene where there is a German Machine Gun nest in an old house did Murphy trust his control of his Thompson on full auto enough to walk into the room and hose down the Germans. Of course not. He used a grenade instead. Now that should tell even the most dense minded person that he knew that his survival was better by not using the Thompson that day. More real evidence for his complete lack of confidence in this weapon and his control over it in full auto fire.

        • Vlad, of course he tossed in a grenade first. Two would have been better. From what you say there was an MG 42 in there. Probably two or three of the enemy. That’s infantry 101. He would have done the same no matter what type of small arms he was carrying. And if think a Thompson kicks you would weep if you fired an M-1 rifle.

      • Why? If you don’t like my posts don’t read them. It’s still a mostly a free country. After this I’ve certainly stopped giving a shit about your opinion.

        • B.D., your post immediately followed mine and was not addressed. What was I to conclude? I withdraw my comment to you. And you are correct. Vlad is an imbicle. I’ll disregard your comment since it was a misunderstanding.

    • What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything even resembling a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having read it. May God have mercy on your soul.

      • Ardent, I’ll say it slow with small words. The point was that there is nothing mysterious (four syllables, work your way through it) full auto weapons. I taught a woman who had never heard a weapon fired to use one in a few minutes. Despite what the antis preach. I’ll tell you what I told B.D. You don’t like my posts? Don’t read them. Of course, I’ll probably loose…no I won’t loose any sleep tonight.

        • Additionally, the underlying point is that I believe that I recruited two new shooters to our side that day. If we all did that our opponents would soon be powerless. And despite what Vlad says, these were well educated, affluent, African Americans. Not the hayseeds he believes us to be. In fact I found my students to be mostly middle-class, college educated voting citizens. Others have been very affluent. Some poor. I’ve waved my fee more than once. We need to stop bickering among ourselves and present a united front.

      • Ardent, B.D. and I had a misunderstanding. If your post was not directed at me I apologize. These posts come in on my phone willy nilly. If they’re not addressed to the intended recipient it often difficult to know who they’re for.

    • Last time I checked, soldiers wanted the Thompsons because they were reliable and worked well. Most of the weapons issued at the time were grossly inferior.

    • I don’t know…..

      Many an hour spent down in the armsroom, voluntarily cleaning or servicing M2s, kept me (and one other lucky troop) from many an hour spent doing something else.

      I could never figure out why other NCOs were always so anxious to trade that detail away for something like CQ duty.

      For that reason alone, I wouldn’t mind a Browning sitting in my livingroom, if only as a reminder of all those times when I didn’t have to supervise a grass-cutting or track-washing detail.

      • Why weren’t the troops issued those weapons cleaning them? No one ever cleaned my M16 for me.

  4. @vlad

    “…If you still want a machine gun just be prepared to sleep at night with a pistol by your bedside…”

    I’m not seeing the issue here as I, and probably uncounted numbers, do this anyway.

    • This can be said about owning guns in general. For example, my buddy (a none gun person) has a neighbor who had a gun safe ripped out of his garage while gone on vacation, i’d say opsec was a factor, but I dont know the details. As proud as some gun owners are about their possessions, CYA and practice OPSEC specially around our best friends and fam that can’t seem to shut their pie hole about anything.

      • Well said. Nobody needs to know anything. Especially not the government. Do what you can to avoid the government at all costs. And there are ways, especially if you build.

  5. Wow, you really got a fast return on your full auto ‘stamp’. I sent in my $200 for an ‘easy consideration’ SBR stamp over 8 months ago and have not received anything back yet.

    • I’ve heard from a number of people with the means and desire to own machine guns that they got stamps on machine guns in about 8 weeks (in the Last 18 months). However sbrs and suppressors take a year. My dealer called me on day 365 on a stamp for a suppressor last month to let me know it was in. I responded “you’re f**king kidding?”).

      • The ATF told my dealer that if you think suppressors take a long time, machine guns take longer because they get extra scrutiny. Besides the check on the applicant, they also have to make sure they have a record of the machine gun being registered before May 1986.
        The only thing I’ve heard to speed things up is submitting several items for the same person, trust, or business. They get put on the top of the pile because they can clear several stamps with the same work as one and make their numbers look better.

  6. I think most people here are forgetting the value that comes with a weapon like a SAW. I also think that most people here associate machine guns as full auto M16 shoulder-fired can’t hit shit no matter how hard you aim types, and neglect vehicle mounted or squad weapons. I know the value in suppressing fire and bounding, and when it comes to the weapons that our government owns, we should probably start stocking up on them. I just can’t take anybody seriously that says something like “I have no desire to own a full auto…”. Personally, if I could own an m1 Abrams with a minigun attached to it, I’d have 10. If I could mount a minigun in my daily driver Id do it. Why? Because shall not be infringed. That’s why.

    • Love the second half of this post!
      Thinking now might be a decent time to buy a MG as the stock market seems to be at a relative high.

      • If u want to base the need for rebellion and self defense from tyrants on the stock market, then cool, buy em up. It’ll be high, right up until it’s not.

  7. Love to see the NFA pass into history. As a bonus we would get to listen to MG owners cry about their investment losing value.☺️

    • Most MG owners I know would love to see NFA go away so they could buy more MGs. They may have paid $400 for a M10 decades ago that is now worth $7000, but it’s an unrealized paper gain. If they sell, they don’t have a machine gun and will have to pay at least as much to get another one. I know a guy who got his M16 in 1994 because it was cheaper than a pre-AWB AR-15.
      Rare guns that weren’t commercially imported and only have a could samples that were war trophies or amnestied will retain part of their value. M10/11s, M16s, converted ARs, AKs, Uzis, sears, and MP5s would be a couple hundred.more than their non-FA brethren.

  8. Personal experience. I shot 30 caliber rifles in competition for many years, first a Winchester Garand, wish I had held on to it, later on with bolt action rifles. They were enjoyable, eventually I became reasonably competent, ending up with an NRA Expert Classification, would have been Master if I had even learned to shoot Offhand. Now and then, I had the opportunity to fire submachine guns, the Uzi, MP-5 and the Thompson. The experience, especially with the Thompson was “interesting”. Push coming to shove, I don’t believe that I would be willing to put up with all the baloney involved with owning, purchasing automatic weapons. To each their own though.

  9. Hardly seems worth the cost and trouble if you have a range nearby that rents FA guns.

    • If it floats, flies, or fucks, it’s usually cheaper to rent…

      • Ain’t that the FN truth. Full auto ownership is pretty much a non starter for most people. Due to Cost and Hassle. Outside of armed insurrection and over throw of the Government. Unregulated full auto is a pipe dream. Just ain’t gonna happen. Not saying it’s Right. It’s just one of those facts of life that everybody hates. Hell We can’t get unregulated EDC. Because those in Power keep everyone divided on so many issues. Agreement on any regulation is impossible. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  10. I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on another machine gun (pun intended).
    I’m at a good place in life, and have the money and resources. And I reload.
    Price seems right, and they ain’t getting any cheaper. A buddy of mine has a RDIAS for his properly milled AR. He paid an astounding one hundred dollars for it way back when.
    Last one I saw on gunbroker was over 20K!

      • WA is so odd. When we “legalized” SBR’s I thought for sure my dream of a cut down side by side ala Army of Darkness style would finally materialize. Imagine my disappointment when not only did they fuck up being able to assemble your own SBR at first (later fixed) but SBS was and is still verboten.

      • Yes Randy. All NFA stuff is legal here in Oregon. (For now).
        That the other reason I’m collecting another stamp.
        With a demo-commie state legislature and self avowed bisexual governor who is also a democrap.
        I’m getting while the getting is good. Before I am forced to move to Idaho.

        • So, if your Gov (and I’m assuming the legislative branch would also have to approve) decides to ‘outlaw’ full auto weapons, and you already had a registered gun that it would be grandfathered in as being legal in OR. When you then decided to sell it could it be sold in-state, or would it have to be sold to someone living in a state where they are legal?

        • To Randy:
          It’s only a guess, but I would either have to move tto o a free state, sell it off to someone in another state, or turn it in for destruction.
          I would choose to move.

  11. I had my fun firing select fire weapons during my decade in the military and unless you have deep pockets for ammo stick with semi-automatics. Uncle Sam is no longer going to supply you with an almost endless supply of ammo depending on what you do/did in the military.

    If the SHTF I am sure those still alive will be able to get their hands on select fire weapons from any downed soldier or unmanned armory so save your money and enjoy your semi-automatic firearms.

  12. They knew what they were doing by making machine guns so expensive the common man could NEVER afford one. This is also what the Left wants to do with all the other weapons just like they have done in the UK where only the RICH or well connected can own a firearm. The NFA needs to be repealed but I don’t see Trump doing anything about it since he thinks supporting the 2nd Amendment means banning guns he doesn’t like while telling the voters she is here to save them.

  13. To me, machine guns are like boats; it’s better to have a good friend that has ’em than to buy ’em yourself. Another thing both items have in common is that I can’t afford either one!

  14. He didn’t say what State he lives in, did he?
    Here in South Carolina you are good to go with no hassle if you have the money and and go through a NFA dealer. Form 4 and everything and just CLEO notification. And the usual ATF B.S.
    I think after all that hassle it would just simpler to find a registered M16 or AR15 lower receiver to use with any of your uppers. Multiple caliber fun guns!
    BTW, according to the Feb. 2018 ATF NFA report there are 10, 042 registered machine guns in South Carolina.
    Most likely more by now.

  15. Someone here might know, but what about registering parts? Sarco sells a CETME Model C kit that ships with a full auto trigger group. How would you legally attach that to the gun? Just pay the $200 and do the paperwork?

  16. I’ m glad the writer got his REAL machine gun. I can’t afford one So I got a Bump Stock instead. Cost $175 and well within my economic status. But it seems only rich people are allowed to have a rapid fire weapon. Rich people like the rich man who shot up Las Vegas for example.

    Again I say I’m glad for this rich author of this article that he was able to buy a REAL machine gun.

    • btw
      It’s interesting that you mentioned that older machine guns don’t function very well. Or guns that were quickly modified, registered, and then sold to unsuspecting customers. A brand new Bump Stock on a brand new AR-15 works very well indeed. Rifle and Bump Stock together cost less than $3000.

  17. What people (including law enforcement) never seem to realize is that when you buy an NFA item, it is your property regardless of the approval process. You can sell your property regardless of the NFA approval process as well.

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