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Decommissioned Sub Guns at local auction

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Flyboy73, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Well-Known Member

    I am going to a local auction and they have 4 decommissioned machine guns listed. Thompson, Sten, Vigneron and FBP I am not too familiar with the ATF laws and deactivated machine guns. Anything thing to look for to make sure these are properly deactivated and legal.

    http://www.rodbutler.com/pdfs/jan 6.pdf


  2. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Well-Known Member

    There is no such thing as a "decommissioned" machine gun. Those guns have the receivers intact. The receiver is the machine gun. Doesn't matter if the barrel is welded shut or other-wise.

    At one time, the ATF had a category called "DEWATS" or Deactivated War Trophies. These were machine guns that had the barrels welded shut or something similar. After 1968, they all had to be registered as actual machine guns.

    My guess is those guns are DEWATs and they are either papered on a Form 4, or they were never papered and are contraband.
  3. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    Most likely they are dummy guns built from parts kits and dummy receivers.
  4. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Well-Known Member

    So i guess unless they have dummy receivers, stay far far away.
  5. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    You can't tell from the pictures. Current ATF standards say that the receivers have to be torch-cut into four pieces. But previous standards said that saw cuts were OK. If a gun was demilled according to the previous standards, it's still a non-gun. Most likely, as someone else has said, those are parts kits assembled with dummy receivers. No problem there. I doubt that a reputable auction house would be handling unregistered live MG's.
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    I have one of thoes John Deere pedal tractors.
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    I have a dummy Sten gun made up mostly from a WWII Sten parts set, except the receiver and bolt are a one piece aluminum casting.

    There are a lot of dummy guns out there built on cast receivers incapable of accepting a bolt or other internal parts that are NOT regarded by the ATF as capable of being converted to shooting condition.

    You can even buy solid resin or solid dummy "background" guns used as movie props.

    DEWAT program was in effect 1955 until 1958, the source of the ad "Perfect Gift for Fathers Day; WWII Thompson only 49.95!" Usually a plug was welded in the barrel and the barrel welded to the receiver. A Saturday Evening Post article demonstated how easily the welds could be cut and a barrel installed making a live gun, so the DEWAT program was shut down. (CIA was also using dummy importers under the DEWAT program to remove imported machine guns from the arms control requirements, then supplying them to clients who sometimes resupplied them to embarrassing clients of their own, like IRA.)

    IF a legal DEWAT was not registered during the 1968 amnesty, when the 1934 NFA was incorporated in the 1968 GCA, DEWATS became contraband. Legally registered DEWATS can be reactivated since they are registered as machineguns with the NFA registry.
  8. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    There's a wide variety of "dummy" MG receivers on the market. Some are basic castings that accept the barrel, etc., simply with a press fit. Others, like those from Philadelpia Ordnance, are real receivers that are only partially completed (so-called "80%" receivers). Actually, "80%" is a legally meaningless term. There's a "rule of thumb" that a dummy receiver crosses the line and becomes a regulated item if it can be completed into a working MG in 8 hours or less in a well-equipped machine shop. When you consider that any AR-15 lower can be converted into an automatic M-16 within 8 hours in a fully-equipped machine shop, this is a murky area at best. The problem, from ATF's point of view, is that it disallowed thousands of partially-completed receivers, in the hands of manufacturers, from being registered after the 1986 Hughes Amendment registry freeze. If these were not yet guns, and therefore couldn't be registered, then they were non-guns and were not subject to regulation at all.
  9. smkummer

    smkummer Well-Known Member

    Flyboy, it is well worth the call to the auction house to see if the owner or executor of the estate may have some paper work on the guns. It is possible that the Thompson and Sten may be registered dewats. I don't believe the others were ever dewatted in the timeframe. My guess is that all have dummy recievers but one never knows. Good luck
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    A college classmate registered a DEWAT Maxim gun, MG08/15, in the 1968 amnesty in hopes that he could find the bits to REWAT it.
    I wonder what the dormitory cleaning lady thought the first time she came in to find a machine gun in the floor.
  11. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Well-Known Member

    This, is all you need to know, nothing else follows.
  12. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Well-Known Member

    Didn't get a chance to call them and ask about the guns. But will check them over real good tomorrow at the auction.

  13. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Well-Known Member


    OK went to the auction today. I got there just as the Thompson was being sold and the Sten went right after that, so didn't a chance to check them out. The Vigneron and FBP had dummy sold receivers though, No bolts. Dummy guns looked really good.

    Thompson went for $700ish
    Sten went for $450
    FBP $150
    Vigneron $200 (went home with me)

    I thought the Thompson and Sten would go alot higher then the other two.


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