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Whats the real reason Class III is so expensive?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by KBintheSLC, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I just saw a fella selling a used MP5 for $18,000 and I got to thinking... why is this so expensive? How in the world did Class III guns get so artificially bloated on the civilian market? I understand that we have to pay the $200 tax for them, but what really made this MP5 cost $18K, when there is a semi-auto version selling for $1500 right next to it?

    This may be a dumb question but...

    Is there an underlying political force that I am not aware of? I find it impossible to believe that it costs an extra $16,500 to manufacture one with select fire options. Will you Class III guys enlighten me please?
     
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Any class 3 weapon must be made before 1987 if it is legal to sell to a civilian, as the registry was closed then. There's a very limited supply of these on the market, and that is what drives up the price.
     
  3. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    GCA '86 made it an artificially limited supply.

    If you really want to get sick, look at the cost of post '86 dealer sample prices. That's what we should be able to get the guns for.

    Wyman
     
  4. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    As stated, supply and demand, simple as that.
     
  5. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    Supply and demand. Due to breakage, supply is dwindling. Demand is slowly increasing. This causes price increases.

    A successful court challenge of 922(o) would bring down prices.
     
  6. Shung

    Shung Member

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    from a noob foreigner.. Is the 86 ban fully constitutional, and is there any way to cancel/change it ?

    To me it seems totally absurd to make a certain type of gun legal, but to make it virtually unnafordable by increasing its price artificially, forbiding new sellings...
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    That's sorta right.

    Any full automatic firearm entered into the registry before its closure in 1986 is legal to transfer. Suppressors, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, "AOWs", these are still transferable regardless of when manufactured.

    But anything full auto made after '86 can only be transferred to properly licensed dealers, and to military and law enforcement agencies.


    The 86 "ban" isn't really a ban, the ban happened in 1934 with the National Firearms Act (which made certain class of firearms illegal to own unless you register them with the Fed.Gov and pay your tax stamp).

    It would require an act of congress to get the registry opened up again. I don't know of a presidential order would be enough.
     
  8. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    No it's not constitutional but it's legal until it's challenged and overturned. I could be wrong but I don't think there is anything working its way through the courts right now with a serious chance of making it to the SCOTUS and getting this wrong righted. Anybody know of anything?
     
  9. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    In fact "post 86 dealer samples" tend to be cheaper than "market" price.
    That's because they have little use beyond being shot out to unservicability. That's because they can only go to another dealer, who then has to log them as having some sort of sales utility. They really can't go to LE or even to museum collections, either--that's how picky the rule is. So, they are nearly a "throw away" item. No profit in them at all, unless an agency buys up a batch of them from you.

    Worst part of M-V '86 which banned any future F/A manufacture is that there is no more experimentation permitted in the US. Used to be, you could get the Class II MFG license and pay the SOT and be good. Nowadays, that's just too much work unless you are a huge corporation anymore. And huge corporations tend to not be cutting edge, as that "risks" too many dollars on items that might not pay out at all. Knight's is about the last of the innovators out there. The Knights still being from the era where Gene Stoner and Mitch WerBel could make things in their garages before bringing them to big-time manufacturers.
     
  10. USAFNoDAk

    USAFNoDAk Member

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    With the current make up of the USSC, any challenge to the 86 ban is like one of the three Chance sisters. One is fat, one is slim and one is a "Nun".
     
  11. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    CapnMac brings up an excellent point...one which could help us.

    Firearms design involves a lot of experimentation. Without a commercial market, there is no way for a designer to pay for development other than charging high prices on the few Government contracts...usually on a cost-plus basis.

    Take MGs...few designers, little innovation. Contrast with suppressors - there is a small but healthy suppressor industry that is very innovative. Because if you don't innovate, your competitors will. The result is that when the military wants to buy suppressors, they can hold a shoot-off between eight or ten bids. Buy a MG? Far fewer bids, and you wind up buying not the best, but the least worst.
     
  12. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    In my opinion, it absolutely is not Constitutional, but my opinion doesn't matter on the subject.

    American jurisprudence is organized in a way that nearly everything is negotiable. Our First Amendment right to "the freedom of speech" and our Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" could be repealed at any time, although it would take the approval of three-quarters of the 50 states.

    Something like repealing the machine gun ban would be easier procedurally, but fighting the lies, stigma, and misconceptions associated with them would be the hard part in my opinion.
     
  13. rfurtkamp

    rfurtkamp Member

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    President can order the Secretary to declare an amnesty and re-open the registry that way, no act of Congress required.

    Fat chance it'll *ever* happen but it's there.
     
  14. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    That's like giving 19th century Mississippi slaves two days off in March. It's the Constitution, not an occasional stroke of good luck. It's supposed to be actualized 100% of the time.
     
  15. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    It's not that expensive if you think about it in proportions.

    Full Auto = expensive. Period. It's a simple case of inflation when purchasing the gun. They are also expensive to shoot.

    Destructive devices= expensive because they are rather rare and the ammo is rare too. Finding places to shoot them is difficult as well.

    DDs and FA are basically toys for rich boys.

    SBRs and SBSs aren't that bad. Think about it. You can basically get an SBR AR-15 today for the same (or sometimes less) than a standard AR, due to the Obama panic. SBSs aren't really that much if you Form 1 them and make them yourself. You can buy a Norinco double barrel, Form 1 it and hack it down yourself for ~$450-500, including the $200 tax

    Suppressors are a mixed bag. .22 suppressors, are relatively cheap $400-500, when including the NFA stamp. I just bought a AAC Pilot. It was ~$500 including the tax. I'm looking at 9mm suppressors next. I expect to pay about $1000 total for the can, the threaded barrel, and the tax stamp.

    Another reason class 3 items cost so much is because dealers can get away with charging whatever they want. Many people, including those on THR erroneously believe that there is some sort of exotic process to owning these. There's not. The paper work is stupidly simple. Anyone who says it is not, like unscrupulous dealers, is just trying to get you to buy into the "mystique". Many times, you are also at the mercy of whatever dealers in your area have in stock. Unlike regular FFLs, many Class 3 dealers charge enormous transfer fees, like $100-200 per weapon. You'll hear boogie-man stories about the ATF: "oh! Now they can enter your bathroom while you're showering and inspect your toilet tank for hidden short-barrels and vertical grips!" and other garbage too. It's all bull.

    So here's a summation of why class 3 is so expensive:

    1) Rarity
    2) Idiots in Congress
    3) Idiots who run gun shops
    4) Idiots who buy into the dictum of the above mentioned idiots.
     
  16. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Congress decided, according to the GCA of 1986, that only the wealthy can play.
     
  17. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    No it's because of supply and demand. Huge supply, low demand. Prices low.

    False. Transferring them to LE is perfectly fine. Any machine gun made after 5/19/86 can only be transferred to an SOT with demo letter, LE, or government.

    Wouldn't go that far. I've made and sold a one off machine gun for LE agencies. Made a few hundred dollars off it like a normal AR15, except these ones were full auto.

    False. I'm a home based 07/02 with a shop built off my garage. The FFL took 6 weeks to get and the SOT I paid was a 3 week turnaround from when I mailed the check to when the approved form was received in my mailbox. I think I spent about an hour doing all the paperwork required for the FFL and SOT. It was actually pretty painless.
     
  18. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    When they can't win the battle legally, they win it through manipulations of this nature.
     
  19. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    ... I wish Mark Twain had a THR account, but you get the point.
     
  20. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    As a deterrent. It is to punish you.
     
  21. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Honestly the 1934 NFA (which created the machine gun registry that was closed in 86) is not constitutional.


    ...SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED...
     
  22. Gord

    Gord Member

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    That brings me to a question I've had in my head for awhile now, but never felt was important enough to start a thread over:

    Why the heel is there such wild fluctuation in suppressor pricing? .22LR suppressors can be had for $200 - which is already a travesty, but I understand that economy of scale forces it so. What I don't understand is why a .223 (or any other centerfire caliber, rifle or pistol) suppressor then lists at $700-1000. I understand that it's trickier to suppress a 5.56 muzzle blast than a .22LR muzzle blast, but at the end of the day they're all just tubes with baffles in 'em. I'd expect them to all be within $100 or so of each other, even with whatever extra engineering/machining voodoo is required to suppress centerfires...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  23. ShadyScott999

    ShadyScott999 Member

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    It's not that bad until you get one. Try about $20 per second shooting one.
     
  24. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    My centerfire suppressor line is retailing for $400-450.

    Centerfire pressures are a lot more than rimfire pressures. It takes much more R&D than one would think to properly design and test from the ground up to production.
     
  25. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    There's a couple things that manufacturers will charge more for. I don't know how much this increases actual production cost but it enables the manufacturer to charge more. The first is the metal the gun is made out of. Some suppressors are made out of titanium, which is more expensive than steel or aluminum. Second, centerfire pistol suppressors for 9mm and above semi-autos require the assistance of a Nielson device, which is a fancy term for a glorified spring that adds from $50-200 to the overall price of the suppressor. A third thing that can add cost is the rarity of the suppressor. 50bmg suppressors are $1000+ because they're not very common. Not many people own 50bmg rifles. So, therefore the number of people buying 50bmg suppressors is even less. Hence, a manufacturer can charge what he wishes.

    Little of this is actual justification for the overall high prices of silencers though. Again, half of what you're being charged for is novelty. Which is something I complain about constantly. Class 3 should not be this huge "rich man's only" game. I also despise those that keep it that way.

    In the case of some companies, you are buying into an attitude or culture (specifically AAC). Advanced Armament is like the Harley Davidson of the suppressor world. There's a culture that surrounds it. Register on Silencer Talk, you'll see what I mean. The recently had a "tattoo yourself with one of our logos and get a free suppressor" promotion. Photos are on Silencer Talk. Pretty interesting. Note, though, I payed cash for my AAC Pilot... no tattoos for me :). Like Harleys, you'll often pay more than you would for a comparable product, but what you overpay in dollars, you make up for in attitude/corporate culture. For a price point: I could buy a Gemtech .22 can for ~$250 but I payed ~$350 for the AAC can. I figured the extra hundred was worth it for "bragging rights".
     
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