Electric Sear


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anomoly40
July 16, 2011, 10:01 AM
Before getting into guns I was heavy into paintball. In paintball there are guns that are operated by a solenoid and the trigger pulls are lighter than a mouse click. My question is what is the ATF's ruling on this type of operation?

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Jim Watson
July 16, 2011, 10:27 AM
If (in a firearm) it only fires one shot per pull, it doesn't matter how light the trigger pull is or how it works.

In fact there ARE electric trigger firearms. Pardini makes free pistol (.22 LR single shot), standard pistol (.22 LR semiauto), and rapid fire pistol (.22 Short semiauto) with electric triggers.

kingpin008
July 16, 2011, 07:23 PM
Yup. Manner of firing makes no difference. Only number of shots fired, as Jim said.

Zoogster
July 16, 2011, 08:45 PM
Manner of firing can matter when it comes to 'readily converted' as defined by the ATF.
A semi-auto 'readily converted' to fire more than one shot is itself a machinegun if the ATF says so, even though it is just a semi-auto.
Case in point would be semi-auto open bolt firearms, one of the easiest firearm actions to produce, and once common in semi-auto, determined to be too readily converted, and banned from production as machineguns.

If the ATF says it would be too easy to simply alter the electronics to fire continuously, which would obviously be quite simple in a semi-auto electronically fired firearm, then they would become machineguns.

Of course then you have numerous firearms on the market readily converted to go full auto. Companies even market some devices to convert mass produced firearms into full auto ones, and some of these devices are little more than a small piece of flat metal cut to shape. Yet the ATF does not consider those firearms machineguns even though they are so easily converted to full auto.
So what is 'readily converted' is entirely at the discretion of the ATF, and so what semi-autos are machineguns as a result is at their discretion.

barnetmill
July 16, 2011, 10:20 PM
IIRC a Gatling gun that is run by a manual crank is not NFA and one that is run by an electric motor is or at least so I understood.

Jim K
July 16, 2011, 11:28 PM
"Yet the ATF does not consider those firearms machineguns even though they are so easily converted to full auto."

Maybe. More things have to be done to the gun than just installing some piece of metal, and those things could be considered as manufacturing a machinegun. Plus the piece of metal (a DIAS) in many cases is itself considered a machinegun even if it is not installed on a gun at all and installing it is always considered making a machnegun.

It is not always cut and dried, but anyone who can read can easily see what is illegal; too many people really want to see how much they can get away with just for the heck of it. The problem is that when folks challenge the feds and dare them to do anything about it, they just might. And Club Fed is no luxury resort.

Jim

tannerga
July 23, 2011, 09:51 PM
My guess is he was referring to a Lightning Link, which is literally just a simple stamping that you could make in any high school metal shop (if those are allowed anymore) or really even a prison cell with enough patience. Of course they are also NFA items in their own right and aren't really the safest way to achieve full-auto, so most of your point stands

4thPointOfContact
July 23, 2011, 10:00 PM
Electric sear in a bolt action rifle, no problem
Electric sear in a muzzle loader, no problem

Electric sear in a semi-automatic where the electronics could be easily set to operate at 10Hz (600rpm) .... problem.

One might think that there was no way the ATF could object to a single-shot shotgun being produced... but they'd be wrong.

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