Need info for class: How easy to convert a gun to full auto?


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TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 03:14 PM
First, I am NOT looking to convert a semi-auto gun to full auto, and I do NOT want detailed information on how to do that.

I am reading a case for law school involving a the possession of an unregistered automatic ar-15 (Staples v. US, 114 SCT 1793). BATF and local police executed a search warrant on Mr. Staples (the case didn't say what the warrant was for, as that is not the point of law we are studying right now - it is understood to be valid). They discovered an AR-15 that had apparently been converted to fire under full auto. (The Defendant insisted that the gune had operated only semiautomatically, "and even then imperfectly, often requireing manual ejection of the spent casing and chambering of the next round" :evil:)

The editor noted that AR-15s have a metal stop on the receiver that prevents the selector switch from a full auto M-16 from being rotated into the full auto position if installed. The editor notes that "the metal stop ... had been filed away, and the rifle had been assembled with an M-16 selector switch and several other M-16 internal parts, including a hammer, disconnector, and trigger."

From that language, it would seem that you simply file something down, replace a few parts, and voila! full auto mayhem everywhere! :what: I'm at law school in Boston, and I bet my fellow classmates will be shocked and up in arms that it is even possible to own a full auto firearm, let alone how "easy" it is to convert a semi-auto gun into full auto. I doubt the issue of full auto conversions will come up, but, if it does, I'd like to have some facts to throw into the discussion.

So, just how easy is it to convert to full auto?

(In case you are curious, the case revolved around whether there is strict liability for owning a machine gun. Staples argued that the gov't had to prove that he new it was capable of full auto, rather than that he merely possessed a full auto gun. The Supreme Court ruled that there did have to be knowledge, given the severity of the punishment for the crime.

I don't know of this precedent has been overturned since it was set in 1994, so don't go try anything rash based on this post ;) )

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Baba Louie
September 9, 2007, 03:21 PM
Just in case you're wondering, discussions of the nature you are requesting could be construed to be a conspiracy or something eeevil by those who like to prosecute such things.
You might want to ask the ATF their procedures for converting such things to do as you describe (for your school homework assignment of course) and see what kernals of wisdom they can provide. Also ask them about prosecution for conspiracy to do the same while you're at it.

Just trying to keep you and Oleg and Derek out of any hot water

SigfanUSAF
September 9, 2007, 03:24 PM
Yeah, I would advise against discussing that one

:)

desert_fox
September 9, 2007, 03:26 PM
what has the world come to when we cant even talk about something...
if I knew I would tell you...

TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 03:27 PM
Fair enough. Mods, if you feel this is over the line or something that should not be discussed, feel free to close and/or delete this thread.

Geronimo45
September 9, 2007, 03:27 PM
Hmmm... well, here's an illustration.

This is the FN FNC.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=79879749
In that configuration, it is a semi-automatic-only weapon. Cannot fire full auto. Price is because the few guns that were brought into the US (as far as I know).

This is the highly intricate, super-complicated piece that is needed to make the FNC above fully automatic.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=79842318

No criminal could ever figure out how to make that piece of metal in a machine show. Far too complex. :p

mnrivrat
September 9, 2007, 03:29 PM
I will say that it is NOT easy by most standards to modify a firearm to make it shoot in full auto.

Besides having the know how, there are a number of parts involved, as well as modification to the receiver itself on most firearms. Anything can be done with the proper knowledge, tools, etc. That doesn't make it easy, and in this case, makes it illegal to do as well.

TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 03:29 PM
what has the world come to when we cant even talk about something...

Agreed, but this is a fight I don't want to have with the ATF.

desert_fox
September 9, 2007, 03:31 PM
This is the FN FNC.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=79879749
In that configuration, it is a semi-automatic-only weapon. Cannot fire full auto. Price is because the few guns that were brought into the US (as far as I know).

This is the highly intricate, super-complicated piece that is needed to make the FNC above fully automatic.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=79842318
Almost $4,000 for a little piece of metal just because of this garbage NFA registry

TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 03:33 PM
I will say that it is NOT easy by most standards to modify a firearm to make it shoot in full auto.

Besides having the know how, there are a number of parts involved, as well as modification to the receiver itself on most firearms. Anything can be done with the proper knowledge, tools, etc. That doesn't make it easy, and in this case, makes it illegal to do as well.

This was my general understanding, and is the depth of the replies I was looking for (for any BATF agents reading this, note how I am NOT interested in the specifics, since I don't plan to do any illegal conversions :) )

From the case I read, a full auto conversion sounds as simple as changing your sparkplugs, which didn't seem right to me.

MaterDei
September 9, 2007, 03:40 PM
It really depends on the gun. Some are relatively easy to convert others are not. When I say convert I mean converting to shoot full auto INSTEAD of semi. Converting to a select fire configuration would be much more difficult.

Some guns convert themselves for some reason. My cousin had a Ruger 10/22 that would randomly decide to shoot several round bursts from time to time. He had it fixed.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 03:42 PM
So, just how easy is it to convert to full auto? With some semi auto guns all it takes is a shoestring to make it full auto. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=163966&highlight=shoestring+full+auto
With some turn bolt actions all it takes is a machine shop to make them full auto. http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d184/MLArthur/Charlton.jpg

Yes, that is a full auto .303 Enfield SMLE using a Bren mag.

brentn
September 9, 2007, 03:43 PM
I would think a modification to any disconnector could turn a semi-auto into a full auto. All you have to do is allow the sear to not 'disconnect' from the trigger after a cycle. It would not be a select fire mod though, and all you would have is full auto.

Anyone who understands how that particular semi auto trigger group works, could indeed make it full auto.

Geronimo45
September 9, 2007, 03:47 PM
Yes, that is a full auto .303 Enfield SMLE using a Bren mag.
Where can I get one?

GunTech
September 9, 2007, 03:52 PM
I'll be happy to answer this one, as you are all being pretty paranoid. A casual search of the internet will tell you all you need to know.

All semi-automatic versions of the M-16 (AR-15) are manufactured so that an autosear cannot be easily installed. The difference between and M16 and an AR-15 is the bolt carrier, trigger, hammer and selector. In addition, the M-16 has an autosear situated behind the hammer, and retained by a thirs cross pin through the receiver. in order to convert an AR-15, you must have all the requisite parts. You also have to mill out the area for the auto-sear (not file) adn drill the hole for the sear pin. It's not something you can 'accidentally' do, and there is no reason to mill out the receiver of an AR in that manner except to convert it to a select fire or automatic weapon.

Other weapons are easier or harder to convert. Almost all require modifications to the receiver, and not just a sinple drop in part. There are so called 'drop in autosears' which will convert a weapon to auttomatic fire, but these in themselves are classed as machineguns and require a tax stamp to own.

At one time, there were a number of siple open bolt gubns that were notortiously easy to conver to full auto fire. Mosty of these are now classed as machineguns, and the designs have been altered so that they are much harder to convert. An example of this is the MAC-10. Eary versions were open bolt, and could be modified to full auto by simply breaking a single part in the gun with a pair of pliers.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 03:52 PM
Geronimo45,

I actually got that picture from a sight that was selling one a few years ago, but I think it was overseas and you probably couldn't have imported it since it was not registered here before 1984.
It is called the Charlton light machine gun and it is what New Zealand used (converted in Australia) in WWII for home defense until they got shipments of Brens.
There was also a prototype model in WWI, but I am not sure if it was issued. The Charlton was issued WWII though and I think a few thousand SMLE were converted to LMGs. They did the conversions in a vacuum cleaner factory or repair facility IIRC.

GunTech
September 9, 2007, 03:56 PM
I would think a modification to any disconnector could turn a semi-auto into a full auto. All you have to do is allow the sear to not 'disconnect' from the trigger after a cycle. It would not be a select fire mod though, and all you would have is full auto.

This usually workd badly, that is makes for a poor auto. The hammer will followo the slide or bolt forward (in a closed bolt gun). You ideally want the hammer to fall after the bolt or slide is closed, which is why a 'trip' is typically used. In an open bolt gun, removing the disconnectoer is all it takes.

brentn
September 9, 2007, 04:01 PM
Yep :D I never said it would be a good full auto, but full auto non-theless.

I have a feeling that if you did it the way I explained, you would have random FTF's would you not?

DoubleTapDrew
September 9, 2007, 04:01 PM
"the metal stop ... had been filed away, and the rifle had been assembled with an M-16 selector switch and several other M-16 internal parts, including a hammer, disconnector, and trigger."

I think an auto sear is required (and is the part with the serial # and it's own little entry in the NFA registry as that little hunk of metal is considered a machinegun). The other parts or filing down the selector stop, etc. don't make it fire full auto.
*However*, I think posession of those parts (minus the sear) or putting them in the rifle can be considered "constructive posession" and land you in hot water. Considering the penalties, it's SOOO not worth it!
This page shows you the difference between M-16 and AR-15 internals as well as noting those parts don't make it full auto but can get you in trouble just the same: http://www.ar15.com/content/legal/AR15-M16Parts/

geekWithA.45
September 9, 2007, 04:01 PM
Gun designs have been scrutinized, and approved (or not) by the ATF for decades, specifically on the point of determining whether semi-autos are "easily" convertible to full-auto.

The long story short, it's fairly difficult for an unskilled person to safely and effectively convert a semi. The level of skill required approaches that needed to make a gun at all in the first place.

If you happen to be such a skilled person, you also know that it is easier and safer to make a full auto gun from scratch than to covert an existing semi.

And that's simply the way it is.

CleverNickname
September 9, 2007, 04:03 PM
You need to specify whether you mean "convert a semi-auto gun so it's functionally identical to the equivalent factory full-auto gun", or whether you mean "modify something on the gun so that it may or may not fire in full-auto, but will get the BAFTE on your case".

Referring to the aforementioned AR15 conversion, correctly milling the lower receiver so there was space for the auto sear, and drilling the autosear pin hole in exactly the right location so that the autosear would trip at the correct time is more difficult than removing the disconnector. Of course, the correct method of conversion has much less chance of the gun blowing up in the shooter's face because the bolt wasn't locked before the round went off.

The editor noted that AR-15s have a metal stop on the receiver that prevents the selector switch from a full auto M-16 from being rotated into the full auto position if installed.
Also, this is incorrect. The AR15's selector doesn't rotate to the third position like an M16 because the lower receivers are different. The M16 selector rotates further because the AR15 and M16 selectors are different. Of course, the lower receivers are different, just not in any area that would affect how the selector functions.

benEzra
September 9, 2007, 04:08 PM
I would think a modification to any disconnector could turn a semi-auto into a full auto. All you have to do is allow the sear to not 'disconnect' from the trigger after a cycle.
AFAIK, if you did that, the result would be a nonfunctioning firearm, not a full auto, because the hammer would merely ride the bolt down. To fire a cartridge, you have to hold the hammer back until the bolt is locked, then trip the firing mechanism independent of the trigger.

As I understand it, the Title 2/Class III provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934 as amended by the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986 specifies that any gun that is easily converted to full auto IS a full auto in the eyes of the law, even if not actually converted. That's why there are no civilian semiautomatic pistols or rifles that fire from an open bolt, because such guns are easily modified to full auto, and are therefore considered machineguns even if not actually converted.

AFAIK, any post-early-'80s AR-15 is no easier to convert to full auto than any other civilian semiautomatic firearm; it is designed to make it difficult. A skilled machinist with a well-equipped machine shop could do it, but he/she could also make a machinegun from scratch. And no, it's not something you could "accidentally" do, any more than you could "accidentally" put a nitrous kit on your car.

It IS possible for someone with skills and a machine shop to design a mechanism that will drop into a particular semiautomatic firearm and trip the firing mechanism, but such "drop in auto sears" are generally complicated and would require a skilled machinist and specialized equipment to produce. Such mechanisms are themselves classified as machineguns under Federal law, and are as tightly controlled as machineguns themselves.

Some info on the National Firearms Act here:

http://www.titleii.com/BardwellOLD/nfa_faq.txt
http://www.titleii.com/BardwellOLD/

CNYCacher
September 9, 2007, 04:12 PM
full-auto mayhem

:rolleyes:

jefnvk
September 9, 2007, 04:15 PM
The long story short, it's fairly difficult for an unskilled person to safely and effectively convert a semi. The level of skill required approaches that needed to make a gun at all in the first place.

And there is the big difference. It would be real easy to jam up a SKS firing pin, making it full auto with no way of stoping it until the ammo ran out, from the time you let the charging handle go forward. BUT, in no way would that be a good or safe idea, and even if completely legal, would still be such a horribly bad idea I would never attempt it.

Glockfan.45
September 9, 2007, 04:16 PM
AR15 to M16 conversions are not difficult at all (as long as its not a Colt being converted). Really it takes little more than the swapping of a few parts that can be had with a little looking around (I will not go into detail here). AK47 conversions are rather simple as well with a basic understanding of how the gun operates. The really easy conversions are on the few semi guns out there that fire from an open bolt. Some of these conversions can be dangerous and unreliable (open bolt conversions). Others are just as safe and reliable as factory auto guns (AR and AK conversions). All of them are illegal if not a SOT.

Sometimes semi guns can become autos due to a malfunction without the owner being aware of it. For instance if the disconector in a AR were to become worn down enough it could allow for random burst or even full auto fire. I have seen 1911s with broken sears that went full auto as well.

TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 04:17 PM
You need to specify whether you mean "convert a semi-auto gun so it's functionally identical to the equivalent factory full-auto gun", or whether you mean "modify something on the gun so that it may or may not fire in full-auto, but will get the BAFTE on your case".

That is a good point, CleverNickname (and a clever nickname). The ATF, and I presume my classmates, are concerned simply that a gun can be fired in full auto at all. Reliability is irrelevant.

So, that is probably the angle my class discussion would take.

TargetTerror
September 9, 2007, 04:21 PM
Sometimes semi guns can become autos due to a malfunction without the owner being aware of it. For instance if the disconector in a AR were to become worn down enough it could allow for random burst or even full auto fire. I have seen 1911s with broken sears that went full auto as well.

This is an interesting and important point in the strict liability test the Supreme Court used in the case. My interpretation is that they held that if you are in possession of such a gun, you are not guilty of owning a non-registered machinegun.

But then the question is, say your gun does this once. Are you now in possession of a non-registered machinegun? Is there a grace period of ownership if you make an effort to get it to a gunsmith? I'll be curious to see what my prof says on that one.

Zen21Tao
September 9, 2007, 04:23 PM
CleverNickname makes a great point, there is a bid difference between modifying a semi-auto so that fires as a full auto is intended and modifying it so that it malfunctions in such a way that produces full-auto. This distinction isn't made by the law, but is extremely important from a safety standard.

It is my understanding that simply altering a disconnecter (such as filing it down so that seer no longer engages it) causes the weapon to fire "out of battery" such that a single trigger pull will often make the weapon fire until the magazine is empty. Often this continues even when the trigger had been disengaged. The dangers include uncontrollability, unable to stop firing until weapon is empty, and possibility of ammo destination when chamber is unsupported (kaboom).

I agree that we do not need to post information showing how to modify weapons to fire full-auto, but it always a good idea to explain the dangers related with trying to do this and why this should NEVER be attempted.

As for the legal issues, i would much rather save the money and spend the thousands of dollars to legally purchase a legal registered full-auto than to have my right to own any firearm taken away and be put in prison for illegally manufacturing an illegal full-auto weapon.

4v50 Gary
September 9, 2007, 04:25 PM
Converting a semiautotic firearm to fire fully automatic is one thing. Do it safely such that it won't damage the gun or injure the shooter is another. Sure a kitchen job can be done, but it's not something your average enthusiast can do.

rbernie
September 9, 2007, 04:28 PM
For instance if the disconector in a AR were to become worn down enough it could allow for random burst or even full auto fire.Didn't we have a thread here not too long ago in the Rifle forum about how this really didn't work?

ETA: here it is, about removing the disconnector altogether: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=285756

jlbraun
September 9, 2007, 04:29 PM
I would submit that according to the LAPD Chief, none of the 40,000 firearms they confiscated in the last decade was a full auto conversion of a semi-auto weapon. Though it is possible, the full auto conversions simply are never done in real life.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 04:33 PM
I would submit that according to the LAPD Chief, none of the 40,000 firearms they confiscated in the last decade was a full auto conversion of a semi-auto weapon. Though it is possible, the full auto conversions simply are never done in real life.That is incorrect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

revjen45
September 9, 2007, 04:50 PM
IIRC, merely posessing the wrong collection of parts violates NFA and having certain M-16 fire control parts in an AR-15 is also illegal even if the gun operates in the semi-auto mode only.

Average Joe
September 9, 2007, 05:15 PM
I'm surprised this hasn't been locked yet.

brentn
September 9, 2007, 05:16 PM
Does someone here have a parts diagram for the M15 and the M16 for the lower so we can compare size of parts, number of parts and the way they are orientated?
I always thought the M16 was just one with an adjustable disconnector, I seem to be very wrong.

Glockfan.45
September 9, 2007, 05:31 PM
Does someone here have a parts diagram for the M15 and the M16 for the lower so we can compare size of parts, number of parts and the way they are orientated?
I always thought the M16 was just one with an adjustable disconnector, I seem to be very wrong.


The M16 only has one extra part over the AR15 (unless your talking about M16s with a burst setting). The internal parts are all the same size and very similar in looks. The parts that vary in a M16 vs an AR15 are the hammer, trigger, selector, disconector, and bolt carrier. The AR15 also lacks the auto sear which the M16 requires for full auto fire.

I see no reason for a thread lock on this one. Nothing illegal is being discussed the OP asked a legitimate question regarding the difference between the two rifles.

Vern Humphrey
September 9, 2007, 05:38 PM
There is a way to convert ordinary fertilizer -- the same fertilizer I use on my pasture -- to a powerful explosive. If you can't figure out how to do it, there is a book published by the United States Goverment that tells you how.

And that method was used to make the explosives that were used in the first attack against the World Trade Center (when they drove a van full of explosives into the parking facility) and to blow up the Murraugh building in Oklahoma City.

There is also a method that can be used to turn an ordinary passenger jet into a lethal cruise missle that can kill thousands of people -- that method was used on 9/11 of 2001.

McKnife
September 9, 2007, 05:46 PM
This thread makes me so angry. I want to own something fully automatic for the pure joy of having one.

I have no criminal record... in fact, I'm more of a hermit. I like to shoot, simply put. WHY CAN'T I OWN ONE WITHOUT PAYING THOUSANDS for little pieces of worthless metal.

Freedom? Pshhh.. We need to get this changed immideitally.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 9, 2007, 06:14 PM
Staples is still good law. It basically says that it isn't enough that you possess a machinegun, the government has to show that you knew what you possessed was a machinegun.

In the case of an AR15 (the rifle used in Staples), you first need M16 parts instead of AR15 parts (http://www.ar15.com/content/legal/AR15-M16Parts/). In the early 90s, these parts were easier to acquire without a tax stamp than they are now.

The second thing is you would need to mill out the lower receiver block if it was a Colt or some other brands. However, many modern brands do not include the receiver block because it limits what type of match triggers you can use in the rifle and the only real purpose it serves is to make an already difficult task more difficult.

Finally, you would need to drill the pin for the autosear in the proper location. As long as you have a good template, this isn't real hard; but people do make mistakes on this even with a good template.

As I recall in Staples, he had purchased the rifle from a private seller and was unaware of the modifications made to the rifle since he didn't know much about ARs. This was also pre-Internet where he could have easily determined the difference. One thing I would be curious about now is whether the knowledge requirement would be easier to prove simply by the sheer availability of firearms knowledge on the Internet. If he had visited AR15.com, could the state have argued that he should have known he had a machinegun based on some of the content there?

jpcampbell
September 9, 2007, 06:25 PM
The gun in question is firing as a slam fire. it is unreliable and unsafe, it works if using hand loaded ammo because of the softer primmer.
Many years ago a company in Washington state OLY ARMS made a AR-15 that had all M-16 parts, the lower was also m-16 they just didn't include the auto sear or a hole for the pin. they also added a pin so the selector couldn't go to the full auto mode. If the pin was removed and the selector placed on auto it would go full auto because the play in the firing pin would allow the firing pin to slam into the primmer and set off the round.
In the late 70's they recalled all of their guns to replace the M-16 parts with AR-15 parts at no cost to the owner of the firearm. The state made it a felony to posses any of the parts of the M-16.
The M-16 hammer has a protrusion on its top the AR-15 dose not, the disconnecter of the M-16 has a tail, the AR-15 has no tail. The selector switch has an extra cam for auto. the trigger of the M-16 is open on the end the AR-15 has a solid back, The bolt carrier on the M-16 is also different with more metal in it.
When the selector is placed on Auto the disconnecter tail is forced down and the disconnecter hook will now miss the hook on the hammer when it comes back during cocking, when you pull the trigger the hammer goes forward hits the firing pin which hits the primmer firing the round the gas from the round along with the recoil unlocks the bolt and forces back the bolt carrier this pushes back the hammer which engages the auto sear and is held there until the bolt carrier moves forward and hits the auto sear releasing the hammer just as the bolt locks in the chamber.
Just having any one part of the M-16 internal parts is a felony even if not in a gun.
I have heard that slam firing has caused guns to self destruct on more then one case.

cnorman18
September 10, 2007, 02:41 PM
It is possible to convert an AR-7 (or an old Charter Explorer pistol, built on the same action) to full-auto ONLY with a Dremel tool, a piece of saw blade, and a spring from a ballpoint pen. Takes a few hours, and the resulting weapon is totally useless--and prone to frequent jams. It will also frequently fire when you chamber a round, with or without a finger on the trigger. Even if it were legal, a dumber or more dangerous weapon would be hard to imagine.

I have seen such a gun. The owner was a world-class bonehead who, with a little assistance, grew enough brains to destroy the weapon before anyone was hurt or arrested.

Bubbles
September 10, 2007, 03:27 PM
Len Savage's expert witness testimony (http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/USA%20V.%20KWAN%20-%20SAVAGE%20TESTIMONY.pdf) from June 19, 2007 describes the steps that the ATF agents took to convert Ernie Wrenn's semi-auto M14 to full-auto.

FWIW Wrenn was found not guilty on that charge.

SSN Vet
September 10, 2007, 03:48 PM
given that there is no shortage of people out there that lack good judgement (aka stupid)...

and...

that there is also no shortage of people out there who have no regard for the law or potential consequences of breaking it (drug users being a ready example)...

I can't help but think that if it was really that easy, there would be a lot of full auto's out there for the getting.

Either it's not as easy (or cheap) as some think, or legal gun owners are much more law abiding than some think. (or both)

But then again, in the world of gun grabbing politics, neither reason or truth matter much....it's all about hype, fear and exploitation of ignorance.

GunTech
September 10, 2007, 03:51 PM
It's worth noting that you can convert an AK to full auto with nothing more than a shoelace. You can also get burst fire using a belt loop.

cnorman18
September 10, 2007, 04:07 PM
On firing "full auto" via shoelace or belt loop: there's a thread around here someplace on "bump firing". Unless you do something to alter the gun for it, it's perfectly legal and does not make the weapon "full auto". It's fun for entertainment, but not particularly practical. You can't hit a barn with bump fire unless you're standing inside it.

If you're aching to burn a couple hundred bucks' worth of ammo in half an hour, it'll do that, though.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 04:13 PM
Bump firing is legal, but the shoestring method is not except for SOT manufacturers and if the shoestring is registered I think. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=163966&highlight=shoestring+full+auto

Tim Burke
September 10, 2007, 04:38 PM
The ATF has claimed that a shoestring is a machine gun, but we're paranoid to worry about describing to some unknown person (no offense intended to the OP) how to convert a gun to full auto...

When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is adaptive.

novaDAK
September 10, 2007, 05:25 PM
I just still don't get how the ATF can classify an internal part of the gun a machinegun. I mean, they consider the receiver (or frame) of the firearm with the serial number to be the actual firearm (if you build a 1911, the only part you need an FFL for is the frame).

But I gave up trying to figure out how laws were made a long time ago :)

dave_pro2a
September 10, 2007, 05:42 PM
I saw the rubberband method on utube recently

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVfwFP_RwTQ

http://poormansmachinegun.com

The whole idea of outlawed machine guns is a joke. They aren't outlawed, just controlled by a tax stamp.

Up till fairly recently anyone could buy a brand new one, and yet they were NOT used to commit crimes in any significant number. There was no problem that needed solving, and yet they were 'controlled' in a way that eventually private ownership of them will all but disappear.

WuzYoungOnceToo
September 10, 2007, 05:48 PM
From the case I read, a full auto conversion sounds as simple as changing your sparkplugs, which didn't seem right to me.
Simple? You've never tried to change the spark plugs on a modern U.S.-made car, have you? ;-)

romma
September 10, 2007, 05:51 PM
The whole idea of outlawed machine guns is a joke.

New ones are outlawed because you can't get the stamp... Hence, outlawed...

Open up that check book if you want one of those too!

Victor Romen
September 10, 2007, 06:43 PM
For informational purposes:

http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/index.html

Note the Lightning Link

M2 Carbine
September 10, 2007, 06:52 PM
It's easy to make most semi autos fire "full auto".

It's harder and requires some knowledge to convert a semi auto to SAFELY fire full auto or select fire and usually requires some machine work and parts.

It also makes a lot of difference which semi auto gun it is.
Some semi autos can be converted to factory quality full auto/select fire in less than ten minutes. I've done it (legally) back in the early 1980's. Some guns might take a couple hours to convert.


NOTE:
There's a good lesson here.
A quality "machine gun" is easy to make.
Which means that if criminals couldn't obtain factory machine guns (which they can) they could easily make them.

This goes to show that for the most part criminals aren't interested in machine guns. Using machine guns would bring VERY MUCH unwanted heat down on the criminal that was foolish enough to use them.
So no matter what the anti gun people say, machine guns aren't a problem.

Fletchette
September 10, 2007, 07:27 PM
Whatever you do, please DO NOT give some teacher (most likely a gun-hating liberal) any information on "why we should ban all guns for the children!!!".

Please just change the topic of your report. Example: how firearms in the hands of civillians formed the basis of the partisan groups that fought the Nazis. Or how firearms in the hands of civilians kept rioters at bay during the LA riots.

damien
September 10, 2007, 07:32 PM
I once had a Garand that had a trigger group part installed backwards - got it from the dealer that way. It fired a shot with every trigger pull and another one when the trigger was released. It was, legally speaking, a machine gun (2 round burst) until we fixed that situation with that part. Assuming all Garands work the same, you have can have yourself a machine gun by reversing one part.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 07:46 PM
Whatever you do, please DO NOT give some teacher (most likely a gun-hating liberal) any information on "why we should ban all guns for the children!!!". Ban all legally owned semi auto guns to "save the children", and criminals will just make their own.....and full auto is easier to make from scratch than semi-auto. That is what I tell the antis when they try that tact, and this is the proof I show them of just how easy it is for criminals to make completely untracable full auto from scratch using handtools and a hundred dollars or so of hardware store parts.
http://www.thehomegunsmith.com/introduction.shtml

That usually shuts them up. The gun cannot be uninvented be it semi auto or full auto.

Glockfan.45
September 10, 2007, 10:50 PM
The ATF has claimed that a shoestring is a machine gun, but we're paranoid to worry about describing to some unknown person (no offense intended to the OP) how to convert a gun to full auto...

When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is adaptive.

The last time I looked sharing information wasn't illegal.

benEzra
September 10, 2007, 11:31 PM
It fired a shot with every trigger pull and another one when the trigger was released. It was, legally speaking, a machine gun (2 round burst) until we fixed that situation with that part. Assuming all Garands work the same, you have can have yourself a machine gun by reversing one part.
Not the case. Since the second shot requires a second motion of the trigger (in the opposite direction), BATFE has ruled that such a modification is not a machinegun; it's still one shot per one operation of the trigger. I have seen people discussing mini-14's to work that way, and it is NOT converting them to automatic fire, either legally or practically.

(IMHO, triggers that fire on release are abysmally stupid, idiotic, and make Happy Bunny look like a frigging genius, but they are not machineguns per the BATFE.)

yesit'sloaded
September 10, 2007, 11:47 PM
Hmm...It may be breaking the spirit of the law in half but....if black powder guns are not recognized as firearms, couldn't you make a full auto blackpowder gun legally?

TargetTerror
September 10, 2007, 11:56 PM
Simple? You've never tried to change the spark plugs on a modern U.S.-made car, have you? ;-)

Nope. I'll stick to my Miata, thank you very much :neener:

TargetTerror
September 11, 2007, 12:19 AM
So I had my class today. Things stayed mostly on topic, though a few anti-gun comments and naivety trickled out. I was very impressed with my Professor though. She cut right through the anti-gun crap and brought the topic right back to the specific legal concept in question. Since she effectively kept things on track and didn't let any anti-gun comments go without justification, I opted not to "correct" anything that was said. My Professor obviously wanted things to be related to discussion of the law rather than gun control (as it should be) so I thought it would be out of place to add a pro-gun interjection.

Some pearls of Wisdom from my class:

The issue came up of whether a gun is something dangerous/out of the ordinary to the affect that a reasonable should suspect that they might have to register it. (Here we got into how in most parts of the US it is commonplace to just walk into Walmart and buy a gun, and how registration is a relatively new phenomenon) One guy argued that because the AR-15 that this guy bought was derived from a military rifle rather than a sporting/hunting gun, that fact should have alerted Staples that it probably needed to be registered :banghead: I was really close to telling him that my "sporting" 30-06 was almost twice as powerful as the relatively feeble .223 round, but I restrained myself.

On the issue of whether Staples knew that the gun was capable of firing fully auto, another guy asserted that it was clearly indicated on the gun/fire selector that there was a full auto mode. He reasoned that Staples was therefore either lying about not knowing the gun was full auto or an idiot. (My prof kept this one on track by saying that whether he was an "idiot" was irrelevant so long as did not in fact know - he could be an idiot and free) I could have corrected him that the only parts of that gun that are visually indicative of the ability to fire full auto are internal, since the receiver was originally for a semi-auto AR. But, that would be off topic and didn't further the legal discussion, so I resisted.

One girl started her comment by saying that she was from Massachusetts, had never handled a gun, and of course would never own a gun. My prof cut her off and said, basically, "thats nice, you don't have to tell us that."

My prof then asked if we thought the court got the legal aspect of strict liability correct. One lady said that she hated guns, thought they should be HEAVILY regulated, yada yada. My prof cut her off and said that she needed to bring all of that to the legislature - it was irrelevant to the courts decision. I lost all respect for this lady tonight.

TargetTerror
September 11, 2007, 12:22 AM
I also thought of an interesting legal question as I was walking back from class. I have seen guns with countless thousands of rounds through them wear out to where they will fire automatically for brief bursts. If you have a gun that was not designed or intended to fire automatically, and it is clearly a malfunction that causes it to do so (eg, I saw a Ruger Mkii fire full auto), does that gun now meet the definition of a "machinegun" per the ATF regs? What if it never does it again? Are you required to turn it in? What if a gunsmith fixes it?

I think I'm going to run this one by my prof. I'm curious what she will say.

Novus Collectus
September 11, 2007, 01:24 AM
I would say that if one can show they acted in good faith in order to follow the law and attempted to get it fixed, they have a defensible position. But if they know it fires full auto and don't attempt to correct it in a reasonable amount of time, it may show knowledgible intent to own an unregulated NFA firearm.
I guess one could try a defense that it was not intended to be used in such a manner and is dangerous to use as such so that no reasonable person would intend to use it as a machine gun since it could blow up in the hand, but I wouldn't trust a jury on that one if it was me.

yesit'sloaded
September 11, 2007, 01:55 AM
I could see how this could come up. Some SKS rifles will double or even go full auto when loaded with soft commercial primed ammo. For instance: you could run wolf and surplus ammo through it and never have it miss a beat, but as soon as Remington is loaded it fires off the whole mag with one pull. Noone would want to do this because of the risk of out of battery fire as well as uncontrollable full auto. But if it happened to happen in front of the ATF you could be in just a hint of trouble.

GigaBuist
September 11, 2007, 02:26 AM
If you have a gun that was not designed or intended to fire automatically, and it is clearly a malfunction that causes it to do so (eg, I saw a Ruger Mkii fire full auto), does that gun now meet the definition of a "machinegun" per the ATF regs?I believe the operative word in the law would be that it has to be "designed" for full-auto fire to be a machine gun.

This video from the JPFO (http://shop.jpfo.org/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=38) is worth a look. In it an ATF agent is demonstratin the full-auto capabilities of a seized FAL. It's malfunctioning, but he still thinks it's a machine gun. He can't actually take the rifle apart, but he can get it to slam fire on soft primers. Len Savage is in the video and explains to the agent what he should have already known.

Can't remember what happened to the case.

General Geoff
September 11, 2007, 02:40 AM
The last time I looked sharing information wasn't illegal.

According to BATFE, it is. Tread carefully, comrade.

Noxx
September 11, 2007, 02:44 AM
I could see how this could come up. Some SKS rifles will double or even go full auto when loaded with soft commercial primed ammo. For instance: you could run wolf and surplus ammo through it and never have it miss a beat, but as soon as Remington is loaded it fires off the whole mag with one pull.

My newly purchased Russian pulled this stunt with Wolf on its second trip to the range. I haven't figured out why yet but it's in pieces all over my garage atm.

Invalid
September 11, 2007, 03:04 AM
Damn, I wanted to make a joke about the SKS going full-auto on it's own accord sometimes, but I'm too late :(

yesit'sloaded
September 11, 2007, 03:10 AM
I bet there might be some cosmoline in the firing pin channel. This allows the firing pin to protrude forward and hit the primer when the bolt closes. Take your firing pin out and clean the channel very well. I think Surplusrifle.com has a step by step.

Novus Collectus
September 11, 2007, 06:56 AM
According to BATFE, it is. Tread carefully, comrade.The ATF does not trump the First Amendment.

TargetTerror
September 11, 2007, 09:14 AM
The ATF does not trump the First Amendment.

Courts have, for better or for worse, recognized reasonable limits on our rights (the classic example is not being allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater). Whether or not discussing how to modify a gun to become full-auto is a reasonable limitation on the First and Second Amendments is something for the courts to decide. Hopefully, reason will prevail and any case from the BATF on those grounds would be thrown out, but I don't want to be the test case.

Tim Burke
September 11, 2007, 09:38 AM
The last time I looked sharing information wasn't illegal.The last time I looked, a shoe string wasn't a machine gun, either, but the ATF didn't always share that view. If the 1st Amendment were the final word in all communication, there would never be any cases brought solely for conspiracy. Yet, many cases are brought solely for conspiracy, and many times convictions are obtained. I'm not saying it's right or that it's Constitutional, just that it happens. If someone in the ATF decides to bring charges, maybe the accused will be acquited. You don't win by being acquited. Once you are charged, you've already lost; you just lose less when you are acquited.

Novus Collectus
September 11, 2007, 09:43 AM
Courts have, for better or for worse, recognized reasonable limits on our rights (the classic example is not being allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater). Whether or not discussing how to modify a gun to become full-auto is a reasonable limitation on the First and Second Amendments is something for the courts to decide. Hopefully, reason will prevail and any case from the BATF on those grounds would be thrown out, but I don't want to be the test case.
The ATF would never even try to prosecute someone on a First amendment issue, so there is no risk.
If there is some illegal activity in association with the speech like conspiracy to commit a crime, fomenting rebellion or even possibly suggesting someone commit an illegal act, then that it is possible what someone says can be prosecutable, but NOT talking about something for informational purposes alone. This kind of speech is protected under the First Amendement plain and simple.


I hate when people use the yelling fire in a crowded theater analogy when claiming our rights can be restricted because the only reason yelling fire in a crowded theater can be prosecutable is when it violates other people's rights not to be hurt by the ensuing panic that may result. If yelling fire in a crowded theater is political free speech under the First Amendment and there is no intent to cause panic and no panic resulted, then no one's rights were violated and so both the right to not be hurt and the speaker's right to free speech are both protected.
With speech here in this medium, it not only doesn't even come close to yelling fire in a crowded theater and the ATF would never get a judge to see it as such or even try, but the ATF would also have to show that much of this information that is also available publicly on their own websight isn't also illegal and a threat to public safety somehow.

Novus Collectus
September 11, 2007, 09:48 AM
The last time I looked, a shoe string wasn't a machine gun, either, but the ATF didn't always share that view. If the 1st Amendment were the final word in all communication, there would never be any cases brought solely for conspiracy. Yet, many cases are brought solely for conspiracy, and many times convictions are obtained. I'm not saying it's right or that it's Constitutional, just that it happens. If someone in the ATF decides to bring charges, maybe the accused will be acquited. You don't win by being acquited. Once you are charged, you've already lost; you just lose less when you are acquited.Ok, the courts have said the ATF has the power given by Congress to regulate arms which comes under the Second Amendment and that issue is Constitutionally debateable. But Congress never gave any power or even imlplied any power for the ATF to regulate the First Amendment or Free Speech and so the ATF has no power to decide on their own what is allowable free speech. You can rest easy on that one.
No one here has conspired to do anything illegal. It takes a conspiracy to commit an illegal act in order for a law to be broken and so here too there is no worry.
No crimes have been broken here.
Like I said before, much of this information is available on the ATF websight in their decisions....including, and especially the shoestring method!!!!

rdhood
September 11, 2007, 09:57 AM
NOTE:
There's a good lesson here.
A quality "machine gun" is easy to make.
Which means that if criminals couldn't obtain factory machine guns (which they can) they could easily make them.

This goes to show that for the most part criminals aren't interested in machine guns. Using machine guns would bring VERY MUCH unwanted heat down on the criminal that was foolish enough to use them.
So no matter what the anti gun people say, machine guns aren't a problem.

absolutely. A full auto Romy AK47 built from a kit might only cost $200 (parts only). Thats about a third the cost of a nice Glock handgun. As to "easy"... for a competent builder (i.e. nearly anyone with the time and patience), building a kit can be done in about 8-10 hours with typical tooling and a couple specialized jigs. So if gang bangers or other criminals really wanted to utilize automatic weapons, they would, and it would be (relatively) inexpensive for them to do so.

TexasRifleman
September 11, 2007, 10:34 AM
For informational purposes:

http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/index.html

Note the Lightning Link

Ehh, don't get too excited by that thing. I had one of those for years, they are very hard to tune up and get running reliably.

Sad thing is I paid $450 for a piece of bent tin. Happy thing is I sold it for $4000 :)

Kevin108
September 11, 2007, 11:46 AM
Also I would consider the different between controlled full auto and uncontrolled full auto. It's easy to make some common models uncontrollably run through the rest of the mag with intentional damage to certain parts, but it works like a domino effect in that you can't stop it once it's started.

obxned
September 11, 2007, 12:33 PM
Step 1: Go to Jail

Step 2: directly to jail

Step 3: Do not pass GO!

jlbraun
September 11, 2007, 12:45 PM
@novus Collectus:

The "we haven't confiscated any fullauto conversions" was made by the Chief of the LAPD in 1994, so before the BoA robbery.

Novus Collectus
September 11, 2007, 11:18 PM
@novus Collectus:

The "we haven't confiscated any fullauto conversions" was made by the Chief of the LAPD in 1994, so before the BoA robbery. Though I did not know that particular detail (and thanks for the info by the way) the statement the poster made generally is still disproven. He said "the full auto conversions simply are never done in real life. ".

I LIKE IT!
September 11, 2007, 11:31 PM
Full Auto?

Seems it's been become so taboo.

Step One: Firearm

Knowledge Part: Blueprint/Manual

Quality Tooling: Expensive Manual Mill

For braking a stupid law: JAIL (the touchy part TEOTW)

Makes me wonder where those now burning in hell folks that commited the North Hollywood shootout popped up with full autos?

Mexico, self coverted, anyone know?

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