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What's the diff btwn Full-A and Semi-A??

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Ughh, Feb 14, 2010.

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  1. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    Hey guys, my friend whose an e4 armorer in the army has been trying to convince me that anyone could easily convert a civ AR-15 into a full auto M16. :scrutiny::scrutiny:

    I argued to him that that's not true.
    He says that he's an armorer and he would know, but I told him that just cause he's an armorer in the military doesn't mean he's familiar with civy weapons.

    I mean, aren't there several differences, especially after the whole Waco, TX thing? :eek:

    I thought many of these opposites included the auto sear, also the bcg i think is different underneath. The selector switch is obviously different as well, but aren't there much more differences??
     
  2. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    To all, i understand that this is only meant as a educational, not-to-do thing as it is highly illegal to possess or own a automatic weapon ofter some year that i forgot, in which, even if you did own a title II auto weapon before this aforementioned year, you would require a license from which you pay to receive... yada, yada, yada....
     
  3. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    I don't think this is a good subject for discussion on a public forum.
     
  4. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    I'll let others handle the meat of your question, but I just wanted to say - Waco had no effect on firearms design/availability/etc.
     
  5. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Not anyone can do this. Only FFL with SOT and a demo letter can.

    Waco has nothing to do with it.

    And you are correct some of the fire control parts are not the same. BCG from the AR will not run a full auto. AR has no auto sear, etc etc etc.
     
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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  7. ShadyScott999

    ShadyScott999 Member

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    Never mind. Not very HR. The phrase "Curiosity killed the cat" comes to mind.
     
  8. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    Yea, everyone should know that it is a high level felony to own a full auto weapon

    But even though if this is a touchy subject the fact is that knowledge is not a crime, it's when someone takes that action that's deemed unlawful or against the law that is the evil.

    is this subject to be answered?
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    though nitpicky, converting an AR15 to full-auto doesn't make it an M16.

    The brady bunch would like everyone to think that it is trivially easy to make any AR15 full-auto.
    The NRA would like everyone to think it's nigh impossible to make an AR15 full-auto.
    The truth is somewhere in between.

    There are in fact, several fairly simple methods to make one technically full-auto. However, almost all the methods of doing this make it fairly uncontrollable, and unreliable, and potentially dangerous, such that for practical purposes, the semi-auto is more useful.

    A competent gunsmith/machinist could of course modify or make (or buy) the dozen or so parts to convert an AR15 to full-auto safely and legally (as a type 2 mfg, with the proper paperwork)
     
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...convert a civ AR-15 into a full auto M16..." Your weapons tech buddy is right. Not by just anybody though. It wouldn't be an M16 or have an auto sear or selector switch though. It'd be an illegal firearm. Any semi-auto can be made FA. Lots of improperly done trigger jobs on semi-auto rifles and pistols will go FA. Wouldn't necessarily be controllable. Most illegally made FA firearms empty the whole mag with one pull of the trigger.
    Used to shoot with a guy, long ago, who bought a real semi'd Uzi. It'd go FA with light target loads. Semi-auto only with factory ball. Friggin' thing shot well too. Had the wooden shoulder stock. We all told him to take it back because it would go FA with light ammo.
    "...it is a high level felony to own a full auto weapon...as it is highly illegal to possess or own a automatic weapon..." Nonsense. Class 3 firearms are perfectly legal in a lot of States. You can't make one, import one or register one, but if your State allows Class 3 and you pay the $200 Federal transfer tax, there's nothing illegal about 'em. Nothing inexpensive about 'em either. Especially feeding 'em these days. A real M16 runs around 20 grand.
    "...whose..." Possessive case of who; possessive case of which. 'Who's' contraction of 'who is'.
     
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    "Assuming you can legally do the following" (my disclaimer):

    The difference between semi-only and auto ARs resides mostly in the lower. The carrier is different between an auto, and what is put in many semi ARs, but there is nothing illegal about putting an auto carrier in a semi-only rifle, and in fact many come from the factory this way. So assuming you are starting with a semi rifle with auto carrier, to do a conversion correctly, I believe you really would only need the following:

    -"low shelf" semi lower: Some semi lowers have the "shelf" behind the trigger inside the lower raised up from where they are on an auto lower, in order to prevent installation of an autosear. Some don't. You'd either have to start with one that has a low shelf, or machine it down.

    -Drill press to drill a correct hole for 3rd pin for autosear. If using a RDIAS, this step is not required.

    -Select fire trigger group; about $75 from BCM last I saw. All the trigger parts are different (trigger, selector, disconnector, hammer, plus the addition of the autosear), however, they use the same pin placement as in a semi lower, plus the autosear pin hole above the selector, depending on the kind of autosear used.

    So, for a properly credentialed dealer to do it, their gunsmith needs a few bucks worth of parts and some slight machine skill. Would be pretty easy for a pro gunsmith or machinist; maybe not so much for a complete amateur with hand tools.

    Don't try it unless you can do it legally.
     
  12. BruM

    BruM Member

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    Have we already reached the point where folks are afraid to exercise their former first amendment rights?
     
  13. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    I think it's a perfectly legitimate question to ask.

    So, while not going too much into the how, your friend is correct. It would not be particularly difficult to convert a semi-only AR into a select-fire version: and extra hole here, the right parts, etc.

    However, nobody ever said that committing a crime necessarily had to be difficult. So, you could do it, but you wouldn't be able to shoot it anywhere, and when you get caught with it, you'll pay as much in lawyer's fees as you would for a registered automatic AR and you'll do jail time.
     
  14. Tully M. Pick

    Tully M. Pick Member

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    Yes.
     
  15. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Yup, and to the point that is pretty sickening to have to listen to 3rd grade "teacher, teacher" comments too.
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Despite all the legal ramifications, it is not nearly as easy to do as people think.

    It takes a good bit of machine work to make the pieces and modify the parts to get it done correctly and safely.

    As for making a Lightning Link, that isn't as easy as it sounds either.

    I have a legally owned RLL and anyone who thinks you can just drop that piece of crap into an AR and go to town is in for a rude awakening :)

    It takes a LOT of fiddling around to get it working in a specific gun, and it takes some specific parts to work as well, bolt carrier etc.
     
  17. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Yeah, making a semi-reliable, probably-dangerous slamfire rig without a switch is EASY. Making a good, reliable, actual full-auto with selector is not easy, but to a competent machinist with the correct plans, not overly HARD either.

    In any event, in the USA, it's pretty much an irrelevant point, since you can't do it anymore (legally) - they closed the registry to import OR manufacture new machine guns in 1986. I think the only exception is dealer samples.
     
  18. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    Thank you!

    And Sunray, i thought there is no such thing as class 3 weapons. i believe it's called title ii weapons that only class 3 ffl dealers can distribute.

    i could be wrong
     
  19. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    Yes, i agree with Tex. That was what i was trying say to my dummy e4 friend. He says its simple. i think, from what little is posted so far, that it is clear that you can't make just 1, 2, or even 3 little mods to get your civ AR-15 to go FA.

    I'm already convinced and next time he's on leave, i'll start arguing my position again. :D:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  20. Ughh

    Ughh Member

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    Ok so let me ask you guys this in a purely SHTF situation. Well when sh*t goes down, we all would want that FA option right?

    So provided I had a auto BCG in my upper, could i pick up a FA lower and slap it on my own upper and bam! get it to work safely and correctly??
     
  21. Zane

    Zane Member

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    Not really, believe it or not.

    As much as I would like a full auto (BCIC), it probably doesn't add all that much in a truly SHTF situation:

    In a CQB situation, such as my house, with all the chaos, I would be concerned about spray and control issues. Plus I would need ready access to multiple magazines on me. I haven't sewn any magazine holders to my underwear.

    If I need to be armed beyond basic home defense, access to ammunition becomes an issue. While a full auto option would be nice there, potentially wasted rounds are a problem. I wouldn't really expect my Uncle to give me more if I ran out.

    Frankly, I'd see a lot more use for a suppressor that full auto.
     
  22. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    10 years in Club Fed, $250,000 fine.

    Your Army parts replacer friend needs to read some federal law.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  23. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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  24. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Post-1986 civilian AR-15's are designed to be very difficult to convert to full auto. M16 fire-control parts won't fit.

    Under the National Firearms Act as amended in 1986, any gun easily convertible to full auto IS a full auto for the purposes of the law, even if not actually converted. Your friend is incorrect at least with regard to post-1986 civilian AR's; you CANNOT just drill a couple of holes and drop M16 parts in there.

    Where in the world would you find a Title 2 full-auto lower that didn't already have an upper on it? That doesn't make sense to me.
     
  25. Rosstradamus

    Rosstradamus Member

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    I knew an E-4 armorer once too. He was assigned to that job because he was such a fool. The commander put him in the arms room by himself to get him out of everyone's hair. I learned to ignore him pretty quickly. I suggest you do the same with that fellow you know.

    I think it's funny that people here will engage in the most fantastic hair splitting and nitpicking when it comes to the proper dimensions for this or that part or the correct nomenclature for some obscure item yet they don't think correct English is worth their time. You know of course that the people at work are laughing behind your back at your every memo and email, right? Or maybe you're like one man I work with who is expressly forbidden to write to anyone outside the building.
     
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