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Colt AR in AU: $9500 AU ($10452.19) (courtesy

AN writes:

I’ve recently made the move to the land down under.  I am definitely still getting used to the very different perspective on firearms held by the majority here. [Click here for Australian gun laws.] While searching some used gun ads I have come across what I find to be quite the Incendiary image. Colt .223  SEMI-AUTO AR15  AUS 9,500.00 ($10,452.19). That makes that Noveske look downright affordable. [ED: struth!]

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  1. The price and regs would make gun grabbers here scream with joy. Not tight enough for them though, but, very restrictive. Remind me to never move there. 🙂

  2. Hell, that’s just the way the aussie economy is. They are suffering from hyper-inflation. When I visited family there a few years ago, a dozen eggs was $17 and a 6 pack of beer cost me $28. And be sure, if big brother keeps printing money the way he is, our economy will get this way too.

    • As an Australian, I’m calling you a liar!

      The highest price for eggs is $7.50 for a 15 pack at Woolworths
      The price for a slab of XXXX (24 stubbies) is $35 from Dan Murphys. Nobody buys a sixpack!

    • No, they were (are?) suffering the dutch disease, not hyperinflation. The dollar has lost 50% against the aussie in the last 12-14 years and the relative prices you identify, if true, are a symptom of the problem.

  3. Hate to be the one to break it to you y’all but all semi-auto longguns were banned in 1996, this firearm is not legal even for $9500, all semi-auto long guns had to be handed in and were destroyed, whoever is attempting to sell it is either trying to run a very poorly though out sting or wants to get locked up, this is why I’m so glad I was able to move to the US.

    • If your job requires you to operate firearms (professional wildlife exterminator or something like that), there are exceptions.

      • Those folks are quasi “government agents” the 96 ban effected all rim-fire, center-fire long guns and all pump-action shotguns, you had a certain amount of time to hand them in, you were paid market value for them (thank you to the Australian tax payer), failure to do so carried a 14 year prison sentence. This very morning on the news in Sydney they were talking about a new law that would impose a 5 year prison sentence for anybody convicted of brining any “illegal” firearm into Australia. The 96 ban also effected spear guns (the fishing type) and paintball guns, air-soft etc. When I lived there paint ball guns had to be secured at the club. It took me 2 years to get together the paperwork to carry my own handgun on duty (that has also changed from when I lived there) I also had to have and keep up a government issued license for my body armor (this was NSW, other stated had different rules).

        Handgun ownership was possible, one had to be a member of a club and attend a minimum of 12 times a year, again government issues book one had to sign into each time. Again all this was in NSW, other Australian states may have changed things.

    • Could it be one of those “bolt action ARs” as we’ve already seen on sale in UK where they just block the gas tube?

  4. Hobbez
    Im not calling you a Liar but we have never ever paid that much for food, nor do we have hyper inflation infact we have a pretty damn strong economy at the moment. Not sure where you shop but obviously they saw you coming and ripped you off something shocking

    what you are seeing is the same thing that happened with pre 82 machine guns in the USA
    Limited market, harder to import, harder to obtain a license to own. so the price of them went up in an artificially controlled market

    No what happened was a licensing system where the ability to obtain a licecne to own a semi became much harder, if you are a primary producer, professional culler/shooter, professional clay target shooter etc then you can buy own and use a semi auto firearm,

    They were not banned, they were heavily restricted, there are dozens for sale on most gun sites, they are perfectly legal if you have the appropriate license its not a sting, many gunshops here have them for sale if you have the cash and the licence to buy one!

    Get your facts straight we can still shoot, we can still hunt, we can still own and use pistols and if you are fortunate enough to satisfy the requirements you can still own semi’s

    • Yep, you can still hunt, shoot, own and use pistols………………. but try putting that handgun on your hip and going on down to your local Woolworth’s to pick up a bag of pineapple lumps.

      • They gave us our own barracks with a fence to keep us safe, they feed us, they have work houses for us, and they gave us these nice arm bands to wear…

        Its like listening to a battered wife/husband trying to explain away the abuse their spouse is inflicting on them.

        • New Zealand and Australian gun owners seam to have the same comment … “look see, we can still own, hunt, shoot, it’s really not that bad mate” I still can’t get my head around the willingness of some folks to execpt defeat and play it off as something it’s not. I liven in both New Zealand and Australia durning their bans/licensing requirements and heard the same comments from gun shop owners.

  5. Doing some math in my head. Humming a ‘Men at Work’ song while hearing a cash register sound…
    Good grief. That’s expensive!

  6. As one of the few who can legally still own a semi-auto centerfire rifle in the land down under, let me explain.

    This has nothing to do with the firearm laws that (sadly) restrict access to semi-auto centerfire rifles, colloquially known as the ban, which are a collection of state firearm laws.

    This is related to federally regulated import controls on firearms, which require imports of certain firearms to meet certain conditions – in the case of semi-auto centerfire rifles, those conditions are that the only people that can get an import permit are people who derive most of their income from professional shooting – usually aerial culling. These people who can import these firearms however, only make up about 10% of the total people that are licenced to own this type of firearm, which are mostly farmers and collectors.

    So, it becomes just like the Class III market in the US – when demand for popular (read: tacticool) firearms – AR15’s, AR10’s, FN FAL’s, M1A’s – far outstrips supply, prices rise; for any of the firearms on that list in serviceable condition expect to pay $7k+. On the other hand, ugly ducklings that aren’t so hot right now, like SKS’s and M1 Carbines, of which literally more than a million of each were imported before the import ban – can be had for as little as $800 in serviceable condition.

    On the other hand is the fact that there is a limited firearms manufacturing base in Australia, basically extending to a couple of custom rifle makers, and one guy who is manufacturing boutique AR-15’s to cater to exactly this market. But the fact he’s only manufacturing a few dozen a year means he’s charging $8k+ for what basically amounts to a Colt 6920.

    • As an afterthought, compare that to what those who can get an import permit for those rifles – a professional shooter – will pay. A Colt 6920 will set you back about $2500.

      But outside of that, prices are inflated compared to the US due to economy of scale, import costs, and currency conversion, but relatively normal. American Eagle .223 will set you back about $19 a box; .308 $25 a box. A Rem 700 SPS is about $1000.

      • AB, aren’t there quite a few chinese rifles, especially rimfires, sold in Australia? I’ve heard that Norinco is a big supplier to Oz and New Zealand and that they’re a lot cheaper than American guns.

        • There are certainly more sold than in the US, but they aren’t terribly popular as the quality is not amazing. The most popular would be the Norinco clone of the CZ 452 – with a synthetic stock, can be had for as little as $250 new. The equivalent CZ model is about $550-600, and people would opt for the CZ 10 to one. Since semi auto rimfires are also verboten down here, a quality bolt action .22 is in everyone’s so called ‘golf bag’, and the CZ’s have a long held reputation for quality (while they only came to the US after the wall fell down, they’ve been available here since the 50’s).

          The Norinco NP29 9mm 1911 is also pretty popular because it is commonly less expensive than buying a frame alone from the US, and is rebuilt into an IPSC racegun with a US made top end.

          The shooting culture is quite different in NZ than Australia. There are a lot more casual hunters that buy inexpensive firearms and modify them for bush hunting at close ranges. So quite a lot of Norinco gear is sold over there – 10/22, AR and Rem870 clones are all very common there.

        • Thanks for the reply AB. My understanding about hunting in New Zealand, and it’s all from the interwebz, is that there are no native mammal species there. All the stuff there now, rabbits, goats, deer, moose are imports and considered invasive species. Hunting is a lot less restrictive there as to seasons and limits than other places.

        • New Zealanders buy a lot of Norinco rifles, including AR 15’s and M1A’s thanks to easier import laws and relatively easy gun laws.
          I found ads for NZ legal rifles made in China on Youtube.

    • Switzerland used to be much better, up to about 1998. Now it is not quite as good. It is under enormous pressure from the rest of Europe to become more restrictive.

      A good bit of the rest of the world is better on gun mufflers, though. In Finland, it is a constitutional right to make, buy, sell and use suppressors, silencers, gun mufflers, whatever you wish to call them.

  7. Speaking as a Kiwi, with a willingness to arm up as much as possible, on a limited budget I have acquired a couple of rimfire bolt actions (CZ 452 Super 29″ barrel, and a Norinco JW25 20″ barrel Mauser look alike), a Winchester 70 7mm 08, a Norinco SKS 16″ barrel, and a Maverick pump with 28″ and 18.5″ barrels.

    Both the centrefires have 5 round magazines, which sucks, but is all an A Category license allows, but both my rim fires also only have 5 round mags. If I went for an E Category license, I would need to buy a new safe and have many more questions asked about my character etc, but then I could have an AR15 or AK47, for club shooting purposes only. We are not allowed to buy pistols unless we join and regularly attend a pistol club, buy a pistol safe and so on.

    Unlike Australia, we don’t need separate licenses for each weapon, but only need the one license to buy as many firearms as we want (and can fit in our safe). I could have bought an old Lee Enfield (our WWII weapon) which has a 10 round mag (but could only load 5 legally) or a lever action (same restriction).
    I enjoy these firearms and don’t feel too limited, though extending to pistols for either club or black powder club action, would cost a lot more.

    I got into firearms later in life but always wanted to, my father was a farmer with hunting areas up in the hills on the farm, and I have long had an interest in such things. It just seems the type of thing a man should do.

    There is a lot of great hunting here in NZ, and bringing in your own guns is not difficult as our officials understand the needs of hunters. Our country is 1,000 miles long but narrow, and hunting areas are not hard to get to. Our thick bush gives the animals a healthy diet and wild pork just melts in the mouth. Our dollar is about $US0.81 at the moment, and I would encourage any Americans (I won’t call you Yanks as most real hunters are from the South or West…) to come over and bag a few.

    • As a fellow Kiwi I have to echo Martin B’s comments, great hunting and suppressors are totally un-regulated.

  8. Oh yeah, and silencers here are no problem, a lot of people use them for shooting rabbits, possums etc (our possums are the Aussie variety, which are protected there, but a pest here because our bush is so much more lush – the fur mixed with Merino wool is a fantastic fabric for clothing). The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular rimfire, but I hate them at the range as I get peppered with spent shells!

  9. I spent the first half of the year in Brisbane studying at UQ, and went shooting at my boss’ stag party. The amount it cost to shoot sporting clays floored me, even after i got used to paying $50 for a case of beer. It certainly made me thankful when i got home and was able to break my toys out of the safe for much less.

  10. Guys, in NSW I have one license for category A and B which covers me for repeating centre-fire rifles. I currently have about 15. Unfortunately self-loading rifles are strictly forbidden, but even if I could buy a self-loading service rifle for competition, I would probably buy a Russian SKS or a M1 Garand for the fun competitions, and keep my Lee-Enfields (especially the No4 .223 conversions) for the serious matches.

    I used to have a AR-15 SP1 for competition, and it was a fun rifle to shoot (although a pain in the butt to clean). I found the rifle to be very reliable with only 3 malfunctions in over 5000 rounds (cheap yellow-box Norinco) and those were due to dud primers in the cheap ammunition. The best yearly average I had in service competition with the Colt was 81. I found the sights were not good enough for the Figure 13 (black target, represents a machine-gunner and loader, and very hard to see against the green backstop in low light conditions) at 300 metres. I had a No4 converted to .223 because I still had several thousand rounds of .223 and lots of cases for reloading.

    Initially the No4 had the stock 1 minute back sight, and that caused me to jump two grades in a few months, and an average of about 93. My yearly averages on a good year can vary between 91-94. Using a Central or Rawson target sight on the No4 tightened the groups and made the adjustments more precise. I recently scored a 97 with 4 centres at 300 metres. The bullseye is 10″ across, with the inner centre or V-bull 6″ across. The 4 ring is about 24″ across, 3 ring is 36″, 2 ring is 48″. The corners are non-scoring zones (wash-out). Figure targets (11, 12, 13, and 14) are normally scored hits-only at 5 points each.

    When the score counts, I know which rifle I prefer to use.

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