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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I've always thought having some kind of legally-owned registered machine gun (any kind, doesn't matter) would be the "ultimate" firearm to own. Not only for the fun of shooting it, but for the fact that they're getting so expensive it seems like a good investment.

Are any of you owners? Can you tell me, is it worth the hassle and the expense?

They are legal in my state, and I don't think I'd have a problem getting the LEO sign-off for it here in my area.

Now, this isn't something I could afford for awhile, but I could afford something like a MAC in the near future.

Opinions?

Matt C
 

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I guess only you can decide if it's worthwhile.

I have a couple. I seldom shoot them now, mostly due to current ammo and component prices. But I'm still glad I have my SMGs, and really glad I got them when I did (and people who buy them now will say the same thing in later years). I would never be able to buy any had I waited until now.

Some look at them and say there are easier ways of turning money into noise. OK, yes, they are expensive to buy and they eat up ammo. But let's look at the last one I bought: It cost $2500, and nine years later is worth around $6000. Even if I sold it for $5500 today, that would be $3000 gain over that time.
You could almost say they pay for their own ammunition.

There are several investments you can make that might get you that kind of return, but all you have is some paper, and it might be sitting in someone else's safe. You can actually look at, touch, and shoot an MG while it's making you money.
There is the risk of damaging the gun while using it, but anything is fixable for a relatively small amount of money unless you just completely destroy the receiver.

So that's the money end of it.
The "hassle" isn't as bad as it's often made out to be. If you have a cooperative chief LEO, it's nothing. You pick the gun, fill out the forms, get fingerprinted at the same time you are getting the CLEO signature, attach two passport pictures you can get taken in a lot of places, and send it in with $200. I've had more aggravation at the license branch registering a car.
Sure, there's a wait, but you will be keeping the gun a while, right? When you look back on owning the MG after ten years or so, that wait time will be almost forgotten.
I've always heard "they" have to right to come to your home and make sure you actually have that gun in your posession at any time, which scares some. But really- Can't that happen by owning any gun?
 

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Hello BarryinIN,

I appreciate the candidness of your reply and helping to dispell some of the "myths and concerns" of full auto ownership.

If you have the cash and the interest, than it definately sounds like pursuing.

Best,

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, thanks for the opinions guys.

I'm thinking that it's something I'll definitely do, as soon as finances are in order.

I'm leaning at buying something in .223, or anything that is .22lr or will take and operate with a .22lr conversion kit in FA mode. Is there such a thing?

It would be nice to have the option of shooting cheaper .22lr in a full-auto. Talk about fun!
 

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This is only my opinion but I think that most handheld fully automatic fire is a waste of ammo. Now, don't get me wrong, it is one whale of a lot of fun as long as you are not serious. And, I know that there are certain tactical applications for sub-guns but unless you are looking for suppressive fire, they are only a toy. Even with a bipod!

But tripod mounted GPMGs are the Devil's paintbrush! Proper employment of these items are a lost art and should be studied. I have a friend who owns a WWI vintage .303 Vickers gun. Wow and not as expensive to shoot as you would thing using bulk foreign surplus corrosive ammo. It that worth the crap? You bet!

I have other friends who own MP5, Beretta M12s, Thompson's and M16s. All are very, very expensive to shoot and reloads are not recommended. The hit probability is low at any distance. Fun? You bet! But only a toy. And the hassle? There is apparently lots of it driven by the personality of the sheriff or chief.

There was the AR-180 (?) in the 70's as I recall a drum fed 22LR that was a hoot. I don't remember if they are still in production. Leading could be a problem.

Still, they are a barrel of monkeys bit of fun. I loved doing it when my rich Uncle Sam was willing to have the taxpayer pony up. The whole Class III thing is very, very expensive.
 

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There are the .22 conversions for AR15/M16s.

And they exist for the Ruger Mini-14, but I don't know if they work in the AC556 select-fire. The Ruger AC556s are usually one of the more "affordable" NFA guns, by the way. The short ones, the AC556Ks, are noisy little monsters. My worry would be breaking a full-auto-specific part. Ruger has always been fairly restrictive about those, and that, combined with low Mil/LE sales doesn't make for a large supply of AC556-specific parts floating around.

Some .22 conversions have been made for Macs, but I don't know if they were one-of-a-kind deals or a production item.

There was a gun called the American 180 that was a .22 MG and fed from drums of varying size up to 177 rounds. I've heard that some could be problematic, but when they run are a lot of fun.

One of the neatest FA guns out there (and not just in my opinion apparently) are the 10-22 conversions. There were a couple of conversions, but the Norrell "trigger pack" is about the slickest. It replaces the trigger group on any 10-22. The trigger pack itself is the registered part, so can be swapped from gun to gun. Like anything in the Class 3 world that is versatile, they are in demand, and bring a lot of money.

The dealer I bought my last MG from had a nice setup- tall and long backstop built right behind the shop, and he had anything and everything to shoot up to and including belt-fed and small cannon- but the last time I was there, he was shooting a full auto and suppressed 10-22 and having the most fun I've seen him have.

HK made .22 conversions for the G3/HK91, but I don't know if they made them for anything else. Like many things HK (and NFA), they are expensive.

I know some people look at MGs and sneer, calling them expensive toys. But big deal, so are a lot of guns. Nothing against them (since I'd like to have one) but I've known people who spent more and waited longer to get a custom made Sharps or Hi-Wall in a big ol'buffalo chambering, or a .50 BMG rifle...then wish they had a place to shoot them. Is it silly? Not to them if it's what they want.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had been eying those Ruger AC556's; the price was attractive on those, especially considering that they're .223. If they do work in FA with the .22 conversion kit, that is the one I'd set my sights on.

The 10/22 conversion sounds ideal for my wants, but I don't know that I'd want to spend as much money on just conversion parts as I would on a registered-receiver gun. It would be the perfect solution of me though, as all I want a FA for is to "burn up ammo and make noise"


A company called Lakeside Machine is making a belt-fed .22 upper for the AR-15/M-16 and it supposedly works in FA with a registered receiver M-16.
http://www.lakesideguns.com/title1/upper.html

If I could pony up the dough for an M-16, that would be the ticket!
 

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I have other friends who own MP5, Beretta M12s, Thompson's and M16s. All are very, very expensive to shoot and reloads are not recommended. The hit probability is low at any distance.
Last time I fired any MP5's the hit probability was higher than some .223s. The MP5 has been a 100 yd. capable subgun since they came out way back when. Hell, you can put two rds. in very close groups in full-auto out to about 25 yds. which a subgun was designed for anyway. Now a MAC/Ingram/SWD is a little bit harder to keep on target from what limited round count I have experience with them.
 

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I've seen ads in SGN about 22cal conversions Ruger Mini 14/ AC 5.56 and other subguns. I saw them when I was looking at the 22cal conversions or my HP. I think they are made or the AR15 andM16, some AK type and even the Thompsons. Not very exspensive. I think it was the Jonathan Aurther Ceiner Company. I hope this helps

As or being worth it I can not answer that. I have enjoyed shooting full auto guns from time to time but I just rented them at ranges. I really liked the Colt 9mm sub gun. The HK MP5 was BIG FUN too. The MAC's I've shot are fun but I can't hit with them as well as the others I've mentioned.
 

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Forget the 22's, 380's, and 9mm's. If you're gonna be a bear, you might as well be a grizzly.Go with at least 223 minimum. You can always add a 9mm conversion later.
 

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Automatic guns are not legal for civilians in my country. There are no championships, so I do not find a valid reason other than just having a machine gun except for Self defense.
 

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Have any of you given thought to a Gatling as a possible alternative? Still expensive as all get out, but are not considered Class III by BATF as far as I know.
 

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I thought about them, but they cost more than a lot of Class 3 stuff back then.
Now I think Class 3 guns have caught and passed at least some Gatlings.

Storage would be a problem for many.
Portability too.
If you want to shoot it anywhere than at home, you would have to haul it in a pickup at least, if not trailer it.

I was really wanting a belt fed when I got my second SMG, but the SMG had the advantages of being able to toss it in a range bag with ammo and mags, and be able to shoot in the woods behind our house.
A belt fed- I would have to load it all up (and I wanted something of around WWI vintage and water-cooled like a Maxim, M1917, or Vickers, so there would be a lot to load up) haul it to a rifle range that allowed it, drag it all out, set it up...and take a break.
I still wish I had got one sometimes, but I also know it would have spent a lot of time just sitting, where I've got to shoot the more portable SMG a lot more.

I'd stll like to have one, though.
Gatling too.
A Gatling might be pretty enough it could sit in the living room. I might have to be selective on what wood it's carriage was made from so it matched the house trim. I might get away with this yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not opposed to a Gatling either.

Although, I really like the idea of hand-held full auto; it might actually be useful at some point.

You know, I think I need one of everything. That's the ticket! ;)
(I better start making CRAZY money to do that though!)


A Gatling might be pretty enough it could sit in the living room. I might have to be selective on what wood it's carriage was made from so it matched the house trim. I might get away with this yet.
Now that's the best idea I've heard yet! That will make the wife happy! "But honey, the machine gun has to sit in the middle of the living room, it matches the trim!"
 

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Nothing wrong with hardwood and polished brass for home furnishings.

I did find a couple of Gatling gun sites.
Aside from the 10-22 and AK47 so-called Gatling conversions, it looks like they are still more than many MGs.

Here is a .22 caliber replica for $9,000: http://www.bwefirearms.com/gatling.html

Here is a .45-70 copy.
http://www.gatlingguns.net/pricelist.htm
Their products range from a blueprint set at under $60, to a "semi-finished" kit for $6,300, and a completely finished gun for $10,900.
They also have the curiously named "Complete Materials Package" (without all the materials) for $719. I'm not sure, but I gather that all the raw materials are there to make just the gun proper. It looks like something most of us would never get beyond 95% UNfinished.
 
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