Semi-auto rifles in NJ


September 1, 2004, 09:32 AM
I've been doing some digging on this topic and thought I'd throw it out there.

Hypothetical situation (because I'm not ready to make any such purchases yet). You have a person who lives in NJ and wants to secure two semi-auto rifles, one .223 and one 7.62x39. An AR and AK are out of the question due to NJ's AWB which will still be in effect after the federal one sunsets.

Neither rifle will be used for "serious" target competition. They'll be used for informal paper-punching, plinking and of course if the SHTF they'll be available. They don't have to be super accurate, but should be reliable.

Here are the criteria:

Moving out of NJ is not an option. I know someone will suggest that, let's stick with the mind-game as it's presented.

The rifles have to be legal in NJ without the registration and associated baloney that "assault rifles" require. Our hypothetical shooter wants to be able to take his rifles to the range without worrying about some slimeball turning him in.

Replacement parts and such should be available, and finding a smith to work on it shouldn't be a hassle either. In other words they should be commonly available guns.

My digging has turned up the SKS with fixed magazine for the 7.62 and a Mini-14 for the .223 (if I read the law correctly there are some versions of the Mini-14 that are legal in NJ).


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Sam Adams
September 1, 2004, 11:46 AM
Any semi-auto that accepts detachable mags, including an AR clone, is NOT illegal in NJ - as long as it doesn't have more than 2 of the following "evil" features
1. A folding or telescoping stock
2. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
3. A bayonet mount
4. A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
5. A grenade launcher

IOW, you can buy an AR if it is a federal only will have the pistol grip, thus preventing it from being "substantially identical" to the Colt AR-15 that IS banned in NJ. Just don't buy any mags that are >15 rounds (there are many old 15 rounders from the time before the federal AWB, but I'm sure that they're expensive - best to stick with 10-rounders, which should get cheap after 9/13). Check out the following website to confirm all of this:

Ruger also makes the Mini-30, chambered in 7.62x39. My understanding is that it is about as sloppy a gun (accuracy-wise) as the Mini-14, but it is OK for plinking. The accuracy problems of either gun can be fixed (for a price) at Accuracy Rifle Systems

There are other semi-autos that fire the .223 and the 7.62 Russian, but they fall under the same "substantially identical" restriction as the AR. I don't know what the VEPR has, but check it out (it is a very accurate gun based on the AK action and firing the 7.62 R round).

September 1, 2004, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the link.

Silly me, I thought "substantially identical" to an AR-15 or whatever meant looked/worked the same and didn't realize that if it didn't have the bayonet lug etc it wasn't "substantially identical".

September 1, 2004, 03:03 PM
Any semi-auto that is not BY NAME on the NJAWB is legal in NJ as long as it meets 922r and post ban compliance. Romainan SAR 1,2 & 3 ( AK'S ) are all legal. Century FAL type and G3 type are also legal. FAL type rifles are also legal as long as the receiver is not stamped FN-FAL-FNC. I could go on and on.
Also 20 & 30 round magazines are legal too but must have a block in them so you can't load more than 15 rounds. This rule may change in the near future though.
Hope this undoes so of the confusion.

September 1, 2004, 04:14 PM
i wish cali was like that

September 1, 2004, 04:19 PM
Could you please give me some detail on how the G3 is legal?

BTW, the Saiga series is also legal in NJ and so is the H&K SL8.


September 1, 2004, 05:48 PM
Loch, the Century G91 Sporter is legal as it's not named on the NJAWB list. I own one. It has only a pistol grip. It also has a muzzle brake and no bayonet lug. Also the PTR-91 is legal too. Sarco has them in stock.

September 1, 2004, 09:03 PM
i wish cali was like that
I'm glad Georgia will not be like that in 3 weeks :)

September 1, 2004, 09:44 PM
Hmm, I gotta look into one of those non-G3's I guess. Another legal .223 is the AR180B, for the original poster.


September 1, 2004, 11:46 PM
Another legal .223 is the AR180B, for the original poster.

Actually the AR180 is specifically listed on the "bad gun" list. Not that I can see why anyone would want to own one anyway......damn that thing is ugly. :barf: :neener:

September 2, 2004, 01:18 AM
He specifically said:


I owned both Sterling and Howa made versions of the AR180.

The AR180 B is not the same as the AR180

September 2, 2004, 05:50 AM
Your are 100% correct. The AR180B is LEGAL in NJ while the AR180 is specifically NAMED and ILLEGAL.

September 2, 2004, 11:18 AM
Wow I stand corrected.......I must be slipping. Never even knew of the 180B. :eek:

So now by my estimations an MP5 knockoff such as an SW5 would be legal. Would that be correct as well?

September 2, 2004, 11:52 AM
You are correct this time but I would look at the Vector clones rather than the Special Weapons. As long as it's not SPECIFICALLY mentioned by name on the NJAWB and meets 922r and post ban compliance, it's legal.

September 2, 2004, 12:11 PM
I'm really surprised that more gun stores around here do not explain this better. Most of the ones around my area only have post ban AR's and M1A's. I've never seen a post ban AK, PTR-91, or anything else. So annoying.

September 2, 2004, 12:12 PM
On another note do you know of any rifle that's the simillar to an M1 Carbine that's jersey legal? That one I'm pretty sure will be tough since the list states "M1 Carbine type".

September 2, 2004, 12:34 PM
The new "Thompson" M1 Carbine is NOT marked M1. It is stamped ML. I saw one this past Saturday at the show at the Phila. Armory. I doubt if you could find a dealer in NJ to sell you one though. They are all scared.

September 2, 2004, 12:50 PM
But do you think since the list says "M1 carbine TYPE" that the Thompson would be considered substantially identical since there really is no difference?

September 2, 2004, 12:54 PM
The Thompson has no bayonet lug, no flashider and no pistol grip, so no "evil" features at all. It should be perfectly legal as I understand the law. But as I mentioned before, good luck convinceing your local FFL guy to transfer one to you.

September 2, 2004, 01:01 PM
And therein lies the problem. :banghead:

Hell I could just imagine having to get an FFL transfer me an SW5 or a PTR-91!

September 2, 2004, 01:15 PM
Sarco sells the PTR-91. And yes they will sell them to NJ residents. I got my Century G91 Sporter (HK91 Clone ) from a show in Pa. The dealer even had a sign on his table announcing "NJ LEGAL" over the rifle. That was last Dec. at the Valley Forge PA. show. This past Saturday my shooting buddy bought the exact same rifle at the Phila. Armory show and the guy gave him 7 - 20 round HK mags with his rifle purchase.
Of course the first thing he did was take them apart for the ride home and then put wood blocks in them to make them Jersey legal.
So I say screw the NJ dealers, just go to Pa and buy all the post ban legal stuff you want.

September 2, 2004, 01:19 PM
How much did you pay for that G91 and how is it in the accuracy dept? I've wanted an HK91 style rifle for a long time, but the PTR-91 is a bit pricey when you can get a CETME for like 300. :(

September 2, 2004, 01:27 PM
I paid $399.99 for mine last Dec. My buddy just paid $499.00 for his with the 7 mags. Mine works flawlessly and at 100 yards off a sand bag I can hit a 2 liter plastic soda bottle filled with water 9 out of 10 times. I'm very happy with it. Back in 1988 my HK91 was $650.00. Too bad I had to sell it in 1990 when the NJAWB took effect. I did make a handsome profit though.

September 2, 2004, 01:29 PM
Man that's not what I needed to I really need to spend more money on another rifle!! :D But if I WERE inclined to make such a purchase what dealer in PA did you go through? I looked on gunbroker and couldn't find any results for a Century G91.

September 2, 2004, 01:37 PM
I don't use any certain dealer in PA. I just go to the gun shows and look are to see what strikes my fancy. The next big show at the Valley Forge Convention Center in PA. is the weekend of Sept. 18-19th. I'll be there stalking the tables.

September 2, 2004, 01:38 PM
I haven't been to that show in years. I didn't realize it was coming up this soon. Might just have to take a little saunter over there. ;)

September 2, 2004, 01:42 PM
You won't be disappointed, I never am!!!!!!

September 2, 2004, 01:48 PM
Yeah I remember the first time I went to that show when I was like 15 or so with my dad I thought I died and went to heaven. All kinds of goodies everywhere and me with no money and not old enough to buy any!!

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