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Mounting a MG on an airplane

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by NoAlibi, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Well-Known Member

    I'm retired and maybe I have too much time on my hands but...

    I love machine guns and airplanes and I thought I might combine the two.

    I build experimental aircraft and I have this Cassutt Racer. I didn't build this particular airplane, but FAA regulations allow me to modify it.


    I have a Ruger AC-556 that is very compact and it would be perfect to put into a streamlined pod and attach it to a wing using a pylon - much the same as rockets are attached to fighter aircraft.

    Our shooting club has a 40+ acre range in a sparsely populated area that is usually deserted and I'm sure that since machine guns are shot there no one outside of the range would be concerned.

    Would I be violating any BATFE rules? Thanks.....Doc

    Attached Files:

  2. kimbershot

    kimbershot Well-Known Member

    there are old pilots and bold pilots--you know the rest. :evil:
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    I know a warbird collector who wanted his F4F Wildcat to be as authentic as possible so he looked into putting real guns back in the thing.

    Several problems cropped up.

    1) Crossing state lines is pretty difficult because you have to get approval from ATF every time. A pod would probably be easily removed so that would be easier.

    2) How would you secure the gun at the destination? You can't walk away from the airplane really. Pod helps that I guess, if it comes off quick.

    3) It may not be legal to actually fire it from the air. Many states regulate than in their hunting laws. Also, depending on where you fired the guns, you might have to catch the brass which might be difficult.

    He abandoned the plan but I don't believe he ever found anything in gun laws or FAA regulations that would have actually prevented it. I wouldn't want to be your liability insurance carrier....

    That was all pre 9/11 too. I cannot imagine the attention you would get doing it today :)

    Seems like Mike Dillon has something mounted on his UH-1 if I remember.
  4. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Read an article years ago of a guy in South Africa who mounted a pair of Browning A-5s on his ultra light. Seems that some sort of goose was a pest species.

    He wanted to have aerial goose engagements. :cool:

  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    This sounds like a real bad idea!

    A 40+ acre range is awful dang small when your gun platform is whizzing by at 248 MPH!!

    Besides that, how do you know with absolute certainty the range is totally deserted?

    Some dude in cammo clothes might be hiding behind a tree taking a whiz when you get there.

  6. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Oh yeah, it's a really bad idea, he just asked if it was Legal :) I mean, it could be done safely I suppose but the risks are pretty high it seems.
  7. DWFan

    DWFan Well-Known Member

    I don't see much difference in what he wants to do and sending up a helicopter loaded with a group of individuals armed with semi-auto rifles.
    IMO neither is a good idea, but that's just me. Legal? No idea, but I'd expect the ATF and DHS to hassle you constantly. Neat looking plane though.
  8. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Well-Known Member

    I did the "bold" part as a Marine Corps pilot in Southeast Asia (mostly Cambodia and Laos) after mustering out of the Corps I had to turn my attention away from flying to more mundane things like completing school and making a career. Five years ago I rekindled the love of flying after a 35 year hiatus, so that's how I got the "old" part. Now it seems I'm hell bent on making that adage a myth for me! :D

    I modified my Cassutt for aerobatics by raising the the vertical stabilizer and rudder and bracing the horizontal stabilizer so it won't make the speeds of the Reno racers do in my class. Mine will do about 225 mph. I thought I'd keep the speed down around 150 mph and be descending steeply to avoid ricochets. My question to you is how did you know the speed specs on the Cassutt?

  9. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Sorry but that image looks like a model. :)
  10. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Well-Known Member

    Just rude and not High Road

    Not sorry, but you are totally wrong. I take offense to your statement without offering any proof other than giving your uninformed opinion.

    This is my airplane and if you look closely at the picture you should have noticed, since you are so knowledgable, that the vertical stabilizer and rudder are in fact higher than any model I know of and you should have noticed that the horizontal stabilizer has been braced with struts, again, unlike any model or other Cassutt Racer that I know of.

    Perhaps you can share your erudite opinion with some verifiable facts. Lacking that you should keep your rude opinions to yourself.....Doc
  11. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    I didn't intend to offend but it still looks like a model given the angle at which the photo was taken. Please forgive my unedumacated ignerntz. :)

    ETA: It's a darned pretty plane either way.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  12. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    I believe that Mike Dillon of Dillon reloading press fame has some aircraft with mounted machineguns on them.

    I don't know the legalities under which those aircraft are allowed to exist, however.

    For what it's worth, this is officially the most interesting thing that's been posted on THR.
  13. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Well-Known Member

    Doesn't Ronnie Barrett have a plane with some Ma Duces bounted to it? Maybe get in touch with him and ask about it.
  14. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    Are there any FAA Laws besides any ATF Laws that may be in place against this kind of thing?
  15. Sky

    Sky Well-Known Member

    OV-10s or A1s?

    Mike 1234567 don't feel bad a Cassutt Racer looks like a model when standing next to one. Neat fast fun airplane.
  16. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Sky... are these really that small/short???
  17. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Might need a beta mag for that AC-556, a 30 round mag will go FAST, with no way to reload without landing.
    I heard the same thing, that Mike Dillon has mounted aircraft NFA firearm, but lacking the funds to be allowed to merely LOOK at either aircraft or NFA, I haven't the foggiest clue how to do it. I would be interested to know how it might be done, if anyone has the answer?
  18. Sky

    Sky Well-Known Member

    For my 6'2" frame it was more snug than a June bug in a thimble but they are experimental and can be made to their owners specifications and size. The one I was familiar with was not made for me.
  19. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    So these are about 3-4 feet tall at the top of the canopy?
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I second the idea of asking those who may have done it. Also you will need to consult a lawyer with knowledge of both the FAR's and NFA who can clear the way. This is not something to do because nobody on THR can find a specific rule saying you can't do it. Security Aviation up here got busted big time for even leaving the mounts for rocket launchers on jets. I realize you are NFA OK right now, but the case does highlight the "ton of bricks" approach taken by the feds when firearms and aircraft come together.

    Insurance is another consideration.

    Aside from all these considerations, is it even possible to follow the four rules in an aircraft with a simple gun mount and trigger switch? It seems like there would need to be an additional safety feature to go hot before pushing the button fired the thing. Or are you literally reaching out the window to shoot it?

    Assuming this plan can be legally implemented, what about using the ocean as the range? It's less likely to upset nearby subdivisions ;-)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011

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