1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Any ATF rulings on MG3 tripod w/ Semi Auto?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Trent, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Looking for a tripod for my semi auto MG34 and MG42, and I ran across a guy selling an MG3 on Gunbroker.

    Those have a "recoil reduction" spring system that is designed to smooth the recoil when fired full auto. From what I read the firearm can travel as much as a half inch when shot - rearward, then forward.. which leads to some obvious implications with bump firing.

    Are there any ATF rulings pertaining to that tripod when used in conjunction with a semi-auto belt fed that I should be aware of before purchasing said tripod?

    I haven't been able to run across anything conclusive in my web searches, after an hour and a half. I don't want to inadvertently walk in to a "constructive possession" situation, particularly since I live in a gun-unfriendly state.
  2. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of any ATF ruling on them. However, if you have any doubts as to the legality, send a letter to ATF before you buy.

    It would suck to lose all your toys because they didn't like it.
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Still 1 trigger pull = 1 shot.

    So long as slide fire stocks and other bump firing helpers are legal, I cannot imagine this thing being restricted.
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Well-Known Member

    With the spring system I could see an issue. As Phish said, I would contact the ATF directly on this one.
  5. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    Those don't use springs; see the Akins Accelerator and what happened to that.
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    The AW Sim was a spring assist bump fire kit for the 1919 that the BATFE haulted the production of. Get rid of the springs and you will be OK. However, myself, I would have a written and signed letter in hand if I thought there was any question.
  7. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    What I'm concerned about is the firearm is allowed to recoil freely while the remote trigger does NOT. It remains fixed in place on the frame. These were the standard design (Lafette) tripods for these weapons. I would imagine the springs could be removed and the mechanism welded so it wouldn't move.

    I only found one video of an MG42 semi being used on the tripod, seemed to work OK but the guy was just "tapping" the remote firing lever; he didn't hold it down. The video was also 5 years old...

    I'd like to get a tripod for the MG-xx's but I also want to make sure I'm safe about it....
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    In that case i wouldn't do it without an "OK" letter first.
  9. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    I would tend to agree. I guess I can write the FTB and see what they say.

    There seems to be a lot of "wink wink" / "nudge nudge" innuendo on various boards, comments, and threads I've read on this so far; particularly from the 1919 folks.

    While that may call out to my "inner giggling school boy", it makes the "household-provider-of-8" in me a lot nervous.


    (And what is up with shoelaces? One post I read mentioned them in reference as a point of comparison, and I didn't "get it").
  10. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    At one point, the ATF ruled that a shoelace was a machine gun. Their reasoning was that if the shoelace was tied to the charging handle of something like a Mini-14, then wrapped behind the trigger guard and around the trigger, it would cause the rifle to fire like a machine gun when the lace was pulled.

    An amusing side-effect was that the wording of the ruling made ALL existing shoelaces unregistered MGs until the ATF corrected it.

    An image of the MG-lace (demonstrated with twine), taken from everydaynodaysoff.com:

    You can see a "serial number" on the little bit of metal attached to the lace. :D
  11. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    HAHAHA .. HAHA ... OH MAN.

    What the hell.

    "Everyone in America is a Felon today after the US Government's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms made the possession of shoelaces a violation of the National Firearms Act..."

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    At least with that setup, you could make a lot of firearms "automatic" and it would be legal!
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    The above photo is most certainly a machinegun in the eyes of the NFA branch and illegal without the right paperwork.
  14. billphoto

    billphoto Member

    Never heard of any objections to the weapon (semi auto) and the tripod.
  15. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy


    I bought the tripod (well, two of them.) :)

    The mechanism that actually pulls the trigger travels WITH the firearm when it moves under recoil. There's a nifty design; the lever that you work is linked in so that it allows the piece which activates the trigger to move with the firearm.

    The firearm still operates in semi-auto mode; you have to release the lever for the trigger to move forward and reset.

    Although, you can sure tap that lever a LOT faster than you can pull the trigger, you have to make a separate and deliberate motion each time you want the weapon to fire.

    My son has faster hands than I do, I'm betting he can hit 15 rounds per second with the dang thing. I'm probably good for 10.

    Yet another way to spend money faster... sigh.

    BTW - this is decidedly the "coolest" tripod I've ever seen - those German engineers are smart dudes!
  16. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member


    Do we get pics and/or video? :D
  17. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Yeah I can do both (although video will need to wait until the next range trip).

    I'll go take a few pics. :)
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Left side view


    Closeup of periscope adjustment ring and illuminator attachment point


    Right side close up of trigger activator linkage


    Top view


    Full left view


    Full right view

  19. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Right view (can still change the barrel while mounted.)

    Notice the odd dip on the right rail (far left in photo), behind the gun?

    It allows the stock to clear when you rotate it; so you can use the sights while mounted to the tripod. (Otherwise the stock covers the sight picture when you're sitting behind it.)

    Thoughtful, those germans. They knew someone might put one of these on in a hurry and allow for the stock to be removed after the fact without dismounting the weapon. :)


    Close-up of actual trigger activator


    Full view of periscope. This allows you to shoot the weapon while you are fully behind cover, with only the weapon protruding above cover. :)


    View of traverse and elevation controls.

    There are "coarse" and "fine" controls in both directions. Range of motion (arc) can be restricted in either direction. In addition, both elevation and traverse can be locked hard in to position while retaining fine adjustment capability while locked.


    Close up of the elevation and traverse controls

  20. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Also, the MG34 (sitting next to it) is SUCH a close fit... but unlike horse shoes and hand grenades, "close don't count".

    The front attachment point on the MG34 is in the right place, but it's the wrong configuration. The attachment point on the 34 appears to be modular, it IS removable by two screws... so I'm thinking there MIGHT be a replacement mount available. Somewhere. (gun design is almost 80 years old... parts are expensive and some are very scarce.)

    The RPD and PKM sitting there were just from a "thought exercise". The PKM has a great lightweight tripod, but there's no comparison to this Lafette tripod. It's astonishingly well thought out and put together. I think I can get something rigged up for it. :)

Share This Page