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Conversion to auto fallacy or truth

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by browneu, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. browneu

    browneu Member

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    I've heard several anti-gun activists state that it's easy to a semi-auto into a full auto weapon. However, people choose not to do it because of NFA. (I believe they mean the criminal element when they see people.) The antis use this as an example of how gun laws work.

    I always thought it would be harder for the conversion than what people think. Is this another red herring given by the opposition?

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Depends on the weapon. Some are pretty easy. You may not get a SAFE or RELIABLE full auto using the shade-tree methods, but it's doable. I wouldn't do it, of course.

    Even so... full-autos aren't particularly accurate, as anyone who has shot full-autos will tell you. If you want to actually hit something, you go semi-auto. Particularly if we're talking about "regular" rifles in full auto (not a heavy belt fed machine gun or something).
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    It's not true. They say things like; "All you have to do is file the firing pin down."

    As I understand it, there used to be models of guns like the Mac-10 that fired from the open bolt and could be converted fairly easliy, but all guns currently manufactured are very difficult to convert if possible at all. It is easier to cut an illegal FA AR receiver than it is to try to convert a legal one.
     
  4. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Open bolt, semi auto guns were fairly simple to convert to full auto. That's us why their manufacture is restricted. Your AK or AR cannot be easily converted to full auto.

    ATF closed that door decades ago. There are no commonly available semi auto guns of any sort that can be readily converted to fully automatic. This is just another lie by the anti gun left. The only difference between this lie and most of their others is that this lie was true, a few decades ago.
     
  5. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    It depends upon the particular gun.
    In some guns, in fact, a simple broken part or an accumulation of dirt may induce a malfunction produced FA episode.
    It also depends on how smart the end user is. John Moses Browning took a 1873 Winchester, hit it with a hammer, said a prayer, and SHAZAM it was full auto. No, seriously he was a brilliant guy and knew how to do it right.
    Your average Joe probably wouldn't know how, and of course now with so many semi autos, no one would start with a repeater.
    This type of thing is very illegal. While I don't agree with these laws people get in serious trouble when they tinker. Due to an over eager BATF agency, even people with "broken" guns that go FA have wound up in trouble.
    DON'T DO IT.

    Why people don't do it????
    I think a lot of people are really not all that interested in FA guns. They're expensive to feed. People with $$$ can afford the tax stamps and the guns.
    The antigunners may be right to some extent that honest people don't because they realize it is against the law.
    But it's said that locks only keep away honest people.
    A criminal -- say a gang member or a drug courier, one who is truly ruthless, is not going to care about any law. He will acquire what he wants. He may not have the knowledge to tamper with a semi and make it FA but that only means he gets the FA on the black market.
    I'm sure there are tinkerers out there who will risk ATF raids. Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidians come to mind.
    But yeah .... laws work -- for the honest people.
     
  6. Mayvik

    Mayvik Member

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    I guess it depends on your definition of "easy" and if you're trying to make a rate-controlled select fire or just a mag-dumping bullet-hose. You can convert almost any semi to uncontrolled F/A by fixing the firing pin forward, but that's really a "malfunction" and not a design feature... It's not particularly hard on common platforms with the knowledge/plans, the no-no parts and simple tooling (like a hand drill/dremel for an AK)
     
  7. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Remember Bank of America shoot out? Converted AK's.
    A lightning link is little more than a flat piece of metal to convert any AR to FA.. I would think almost any semi auto could be converted with some knowledge.. Safe and reliable, not so much. But that's not the question.
     
  8. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Great answers. A pretty even mix of "yes","no",and"maybe". :rolleyes:
     
  9. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    The few criminals that use full auto guns will buy the real thing on the black market, not convert a gun.

    If a criminal has a lot of money, he can probably get real full auto AK's, G3's, and M16's from Mexico that are used down there in the drug wars. People already are crossing the border illegally with drugs and it wouldn't surprise me if people brought over military guns too.
     
  10. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    First of all, it isn't that easy. The ATF polices these things, and if a gun is found to be easy to convert, it gets pulled off the market. The exact parameters of convertibility have been established for decades, ever since the first semi AR-15's were approved for civilian sale.

    Secondly, the activists who are saying this are just showing their ignorance of the process. They're just repeating their internally-generated talking points.

    Lastly, this is playing into the public's demonization of full auto weapons. In reality, full auto weapons (as used in the military) have a fairly limited tactical use. If the object is to kill the maximum number of people at close range, semiautomatic fire is probably more effective.
     
  11. MErl

    MErl Member

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    the gun of choice for criminals is still the handgun. Not designed with FA initially, those are much harder to convert.

    Your AR & AK, if you know what to do, you can do it with a drill & dremel (and the xtra pieces). That is probably where the "it is easy to convert" comes from.

    It is another bad comparison which attacks rifles when they aren't the problem.
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    A bit off topic, or diverted, if a gun ban were enacted, I believe there would be a rise in full auto guns used in crimes.

    A ban would create a black market and full auto guns would then become marketable for the dealers. Presently, there are too many sources of semi-auto guns other than the black market so the full auto guns are too expensive for the common criminal and gang banger.

    Just capitalism at work at its best.

    Except for gang wars, the chance of a criminal encountering an armed adversary is probably low.
     
  13. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Keep in mind that any jury-rigged full-auto would either be a runaway mag dump or still be uncontrollable due to the absence of any rate reducer; it would cycle as fast as the bolt carrier can physically go. Even the AK normally has a rate reducer. It's illegal as hell and completely impractical.
     
  14. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Member

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    This is not true. Lightning links are not the only parts needed. You need a bolt that is specifically designed to work with the lightning link. They are near imposible to find. There are only 500 transferable lightning links in the US.
     
  15. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    This.

    A lot of people have filed down, removed or otherwise restrained from function the secondary sear, which will cause the gun to slam fire. On a blowback gun, this can work fairly well (depending on the exact set-up of hammer and firing pin). On a short recoil or gas operated gun, it will almost certainly turn it into a single shot. Most modern firearms have floating firing pins that depend on inertia to strike the primer with sufficient force; the hammer following the bolt home will not provide enough of said force.

    As mentioned, the open bolt guns were nixed from title 1 manufacture some time ago, because they really were converted very easily by you average idiot with a one-page picture tutorial.

    Converting most anything else would require new parts and receiver modification, and exact tolerances. Not exactly difficult if you're reasonable skilled with metalworking, but also not something your average street thug is capable of. In simplest form, it would involve making a piece that releases the secondary sear when the bolt full closes; this is how the lightning link works. It's a two-piece mechanism that sits between the upper & lower receivers, and requires only minor modification of the rear receiver pin block and bolt carrier:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But the lightning link and most drop-in auto sears do not allow select fire; they are full auto only. true select fire requires several parts, and also milling material out of and/or drilling additional holes in the receivers. This is why "3rd hole" AK receivers are considered MGs, even if they lack the internal parts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  16. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    easy for a machinist? very
    easy for some guy who flips burgers and owns a dremel and a hammer? not so much

    as was said above, there is a big difference in difficulty between modifying a gun to make a dangerously unpredictable bullet hose vs modifying it to make it more useful than it was previously.

    if you're making a gun from scratch, it's a lot easier to make an open bolt full auto than a closed bolt semi.
     
  17. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Full auto slam fire is easier to accomplish than a controlled select fire conversion.

    Dirt in the firing pin on an SKS can cause accidental full auto. Welding it forward does the same thing. But is uncontrolled full auto that takes the trigger, hammer and sear out of the equation.

    You can do the same thing by removing the sear spring on a Hi Point pistol (and possibly carbine).

    But uncontrolled slam fire full auto is simple pointless in 99% of shooting situations.
     
  18. browneu

    browneu Member

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    Its interesting. I knew of certain ways that would render the gun uncontrollable. I had a 1911 break and emptied the entire magazine before I realized what happened. Very scary and fixed by the manufacturer. It has a pony on the slide.

    The question comes from someone debating John Lott. Lott stated that a magazine ban would be inefective because the magazine is the easiest part to make since its a box with a spring. He also mentioned the ability of 3D printers to make one. (I thought to myself how reliable is the magazine but reliability never came up.)

    Lott's opponent, can't remember his name, stated it's easy to make a gun into full auto but no one does it because of NFA. That's where he mentioned how gun laws work. (This isn't the first time I heard this.)

    I was surprised Lott didn't counter this as a red herring which led to my question here. I doubted my own knowledge since Lott didn't counter something so obvious.

    For us gun enthusiasts, we know how a gun operates and the feasibility of making modifications. We also know the weak points of a firearm's reliability. However, the fence sitter or the anti doesn't have this knowledge and statements like Lott's opponent seem reasonable especially if the gun expert doesn't dismiss it.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Member

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    True select-fire conversion is not "easy" with any closed-bolt gun, at least for those who aren't experienced gunsmiths/machinists. There are certainly kits to make it easier but you have to go SOT2 to make it legal.

    The Glock "fun switch" and similar parts are available to those who want to go that route:

    http://www.jncmanufacturing.com/#!__glock-kits

    I personally don't see any practical use for these without a shoulder stock.
     
  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Don't forget the holier-than-thou eyeroll post. ;)
     
  21. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    The answer varies based on the make/model of the firearm being converted. With some it would be easier to start from scratch, others we've done with less than $1 in parts from a hardware store, with the conversion device registered on F2.

    See above.

    There are a myriad of reasons why "no one does it". The law-abiding don't because of NFA. The criminals don't because they buy whatever is available on the street, and that's typically not NFA. Tactically, the street thug won't want a machine pistol as a gun that empties itself in seconds and then becomes a rock isn't useful.
     
  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I think whats more telling is, the way they constantly portray anything that "looks" like it could be a machine gun, as being one. No messing with it at all, just its looks make it so.

    Whats even more annoying to me is, those who are supposed to be on our side and speaking for us, usually dont even bother to try and correct the BS thats being spewed. They just clam up and shrug.

    Its not that the full autos arent accurate, more that the person using it doesnt know how to shoot it. The other issue is knowing when its use is desirable/effective.

    The big problem with FA guns is, they have more or less become a rarity in general circulation, and many, if not most gun owners have very little experience with them. My kids had more trigger time on them at 8 than most adults I let shoot mine. A person with just minimal training, can be a very serious threat, someone who has no idea, can be too, but not likely the person he was trying to shoot.

    Back in the late 80's, early 90's, they were selling all sorts of open bolt parts kits (STEN's, MP40's, etc) that were easily restored to full function, with something as simple as a piece of muffler tube, a dremel, and little handiness. They used to sell tubes with the templates attached, and all you had to do was cut on the dotted lines.

    Dont forget all the HK kits that were being sold as well. I was always amazed at how they didnt ban the HK's outright, as they are very easy to convert, and they were selling G3 kits like there was no tomorrow.

    If you consider how many of each of those guns were actually in the registry, it makes you wonder what people were doing with all those kits, and where they are now. :)
     
  23. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    It's actually not easy at all to make a reliable sheet metal magazine. I can only think of a couple mags that truly are simple boxes; nearly all of them have tricky contours and indents that require more than a $500 sheet metal break to produce. The followers are tricky, too. I've machined them from ABS plastic, and it was a lot of trial and error to make one work correctly.

    For instance, to make an AR mag, you'd really need to do it in four pieces to get the contour, and then would have to weld in strips of steel to make the thinner portion of the inside, which is normally done with stamped channels.

    Perhaps I'll build an AR mag one evening and detail the process. It's certainly doable, but my guess is I'll have 4+ hours into an ugly magazine that will require several minor modifications to work reliably. And I have a vertical mill, acetylene torch, welders and a host of other tools, as well as years of metal fabrication and tinkering experience

    That technology is getting there, but as of right now, the materials required for a decently durable mag need an expensive commercial grade printer to be used.

    NFA works in regards to MGs because it was done so long ago, and there were relatively few machine guns in circulation at the time. Today, there are about 174,000 transferable machine guns. Magazines, on the other hand, literally number in the hundreds of millions. A magazine ban would eventually be effective to a large degree, but it will take generations. Neither you nor I, and most likely not even our great grand children, would see the day when standard capacity magazines are as hard to come by as machine guns.

    Furthermore, if this guy and others with his argument had any idea how many unregistered NFA guns are probably circulating in the black market or sitting in Billy Joe Bob's cellar, they'd poop themselves. I can't even recall how many people I've talked to who freely admitted to having a sawed off shotgun, even though they knew it was illegal. Why they confided in someone they barely knew I don't understand, but they did. My guess is that not one of them will ever be caught, because they are probably otherwise law abiding people who don't show up on the radar. I'm sure there are literally millions out there with unregistered SBRs, SBSs, AOWs and DDs. They even turn up on youtube at times, seemingly by people who may not realize they're violating the law. I know there channels through which I and most other people could acquire unregistered machine guns fairly quickly if we wanted and had the cash (brother of a friend of friend of an acquaintance in a motorcycle gang kind of thing). The stuff is out there.

    Most people just don't mess with MGs because legal ones are prohibitively expensive, illegal ones carry a hefty punishment, and they really aren't particularly useful in a normal person's life for anything other than wasting ammo. People who want to get that fix every now and then spend a couple hundred bucks at the MG shoot renting, and then go back to practical semi-autos.
     
  24. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    If I was asked this by an anti gunner, I could certainly ask them to bring their gun; show them to my machine shop and let them have at it, I will be calling the BATFE, but you go right ahead......I don't think however in this case I would have many takers.
    You see it isn't a logical responce this anti gunner has given you, it is a quip. It doesn't have to make sense and they dont have to exactly know how to accomplish this task. They have heard it used before and they want to see how it fits and if it makes them look like the smartest guy in the room.

    My responce would be one of two.
    1) If you want a full auto weapon simply save the money, do your paperwork and go buy one.
    2) If your purpose is to do some massive sort of mayhem with a full auto weapon, why dont you just go down to WalMart and buy enough Chemicals legally to make your own Blister Agent? That way you can do some wholesale mayhem on a bigger level than you ever could with a gun.

    Either way it isnt the gun, nor is it the chemicals. These are objects that can be used for good or evil purposes. If you cannot see the good purposes of guns or chemical, then you cannot see the good in mankind. If you cannot see the good in mankind, perhaps you need some counseling?

    But again, why would you someone who is such a pacifist that they not only dont want a gun, they dont want ME to have a gun, need such knowledge?
    Because they are a nutbag!
     
  25. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    You can convert one to full auto with a paper clip, a shoulder thing that goes up, and by filing down the firing pin. -every liberal politician ever
     
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