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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I wanted to see if I could get some down to earth advice on machine gun purchasing.


Backstory: I live in SC, and for awhile, it looked like hurricane Irma was going to hit us. In preparedness, I began packing up my firearm collection to get the heck out of there. Thankfully, the hurricane didn't hit me with any more than some light rain. The experience did however open my eyes. My gun collection had gotten way out of control for me. I have about 15~20 firearms, and there would be no way I could save all of them if I had a catastrophe. This led me to decide that I want to sell most of my collection, excluding 4 or 5 for sentimental reasons.


My goal is to put that fund into purchasing an actual machine gun. I've wanted to own a complete machine gun since I was a teenager, and I saw it as a "peak of the mountain" concept in collecting firearms. My dream machine gun is a Vietnam War era M16, but I know for sure that's a top ticket item. My collection is a hodgepodge of guns between varying 300 and 1500 dollars. I don't think I can expect more than between $8000-$10000 dollars when its all said and done.


I know the basics about the machine gun market. I have no Class III license, nor do I plan to jump through that hoop. It would strictly be a form 4 transfer gun. So my basic question is, could anyone give me some down to earth advise on the machine gun buying world? What kind of cost are hidden behind the guns sticker price? What's a good machine gun for a beginner automatic buyer? What can I expect walking into this market?


My dad and I have always been able to bond over firearms, and we've been debating about this. I would love to own an M16 one day, but I am looking to a compromising gun like the Ruger AC 556. I've also seen a very cool rifle called the FN FNC, but most say they don't have a 3 round burst installed, and I'm not entirely sure if that means they're even automatic. My father is staunchly in the camp that I should get a more affordable M2 fully automatic Carbine.


I would love if someone could help with some guiding light.
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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You're not going to like what I have to say, but here goes .......

Even at a $10000 budget, you don't have enough money except for the well-worn, needing parts type of firearm and frankly they are not worth the money, They waste ammo, are hard to keep on target and difficult to get parts for. Most of us can go to our shooting range and take an afternoon to run through $50-100 worth of ammo. With an full automatic, you'll blow through that in the first minute or so. And hauling enough ammo to feed one any length of time is a pain in the backside ....... literally.

If you have your ego set on one, try a bump fire stock instead. They simulate a full auto fire at a slightly slower rate of fire and you don't have to jump through loops or rob the kid's college fund to buy one.



BTW, if you prepare you can easily move 15-20 firearms in 15 minutes. Get yourself Pelican cases for what firearms you have. And have them ready to load and go. I have one Pelican case I can load four handguns, insert a piece of foam, load another four handguns, insert another piece of foam, load four more handguns, close the lid and haul twelve pistols to my truck. All in a 21x16x10 inch case. And I can do that in less than five minutes. Rifles are a little slower, but it can be done. It simply takes a little preparation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Even at a $10000 budget, you don't have enough money except for the well-worn, needing parts type of firearm and frankly they are not worth the money, They waste ammo, are hard to keep on target and difficult to get parts for. Most of us can go to our shooting range and take an afternoon to run through $50-100 worth of ammo. With an full automatic, you'll blow through that in the first minute or so. And hauling enough ammo to feed one any length of time is a pain in the backside ....... literally.


If you have your ego set on one, try a bump fire stock instead. They simulate a full auto fire at a slightly slower rate of fire and you don't have to jump through loops or rob the kid's college fund to buy one.



BTW, if you prepare you can easily move 15-20 firearms in 15 minutes. Get yourself Pelican cases for what firearms you have. And have them ready to load and go. I have one Pelican case I can load four handguns, insert a piece of foam, load another four handguns, insert another piece of foam, load four more handguns, close the lid and haul twelve pistols to my truck. All in a 21x16x10 inch case. And I can do that in less than five minutes. Rifles are a little slower, but it can be done. It simply takes a little preparation.
I can see were you're coming from. I would say that it would probably take a while to sell all my guns, so I'd hopefully be looking at more of a $12K to $15K if I kept a strict budget goal. When it comes to the ammo, I'm not a range regular. I go about every other month, maybe once a month if I can make time for it. Auto shooters do very much dump in a matter of seconds, but I'd be happy with storing up a hundred rounds once a week. Then I'd have the biggest grin spitting them out at once with a fun auto range toy.

I've contemplated the slide fires in the past, but I think it would just be a band aid to my itch. What stuck with me, was once I heard, America is the only first world country were it's citizens can legally own automatic weapons. It's something I can't let go of, and I really do want to enjoy that right before I die. It's an experience no other civilian in a civilized country can have. (I might be wrong on the facts of that, so I will admit I am regurgitating what I heard years ago)

You have a point on the firearms condition. The low end prices could mean low end quality. However, the way I see it is, there are only something around 186,000 (I might be a little off) transferable guns in America. All of those guns can only be swapped within the transferable market, and those numbers theoretically get smaller every year. The only way I could see hopping on that train is to set my mind to it and accept the quality and availability that's out there for me.

The pelican case is a good idea, but I should have reiterated my mind set better. I saw the hassle of all my firearms, and realized the work I put into each of them. I realized that I should be looking for quality over quantity. Some of my firearms hadn't been shot in close to a year. It just clicked that I'd rather have one gun that I love to death, over 15 guns that I merely have the ability to shoot.

Automatics are expensive ammo hogs, but they're the ultimate range toy to me. I'm a stubborn dude lol, when I set my mind to it. I've always wanted those extravagant mag dumps, and I can't help wanting to join that club. Get to go to the range and unpack that machine gun I call mine, ya know.

You make some good points, Mad Scientist. I just think it's time I stepped into the world of the automatic collector. (Before anyone says, yes I have a range that rents out machine guns, and yes I've partaken in it. It's just like seeing puppies at a pound. You want to be able to come home to your own)
 

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George,

What the Doctor says and good luck trying to get Fed approval. A $200 dollar tax stamp can be hard enough for a simple stock on a pistol.

Let's go to plan B here.
Sell everything and get yourself a revolver chamber in .38 special /.357 magnum and a carbine in the same caliber to reach far out if the SHTF, now you are covered and only need one caliber, but don't get a boutique caliber. .357 magnum in a long gun is awesome.
No crap like springs or mags to ever worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
George is gettin upset! lol

Correct, getting the tax stamp is difficult, but not impossible. You might as well start somewhere right. An SBR alone takes about a year to get approved. If it would take a year, I might as well begin the climb up the mountain.

Plan B really doesn't coincide with me personally. I have a 38 snub nose Smith and Wesson as my carry gun, and the carbine I choose personally is my ar-15.

I'm looking for range fun. There's nothing wrong with shooting a smooth gun like a 38/357 rifled gun, but I've been through that kind of shooting for years now. I'm looking to carry a 38, practice shooting with an ar-15, and find enjoyment in cranking out rounds down the range with the fun switch guns.
 

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I understand and I would never say otherwise even if it doesn't appeal to me personally.


I belong to a private gun club and we are set-up for everything including full-auto (complete with all permits) although to go full auto needs prior approval as we clear the other ranges.
But still the only members who do it have deep pockets real deep if you understand that.

Get in line and let your journey begin.
Have fun.:thumbsup:
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Full automatic firearms are a rich man's game.

Plan on spending on $50.000 to purchase one that does not need major work (read $) to function properly and reliably. OR.. you can purchase one for $20,000 and spend $30,000 getting it to work correctly.

Full automatic firearms break, regularly. Their effective lifetime is relatively short. Timely maintenance (read as rebuild) is necessary. Depending on the weapon purchased, parts can be difficult to find and expensive to purchase.

Ammunition. It can become a major expense, as mentioned above.

The 'new' wears off after a couple of range trips.

I'm a retired Master machinist and gunsmith. I own in excess of 500 firearms. Not one of them is full automatic. They don't interest me due to the above reasons. Plus, I got my fill of them in Nam.
 
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Speaking as someone who owns two Full Auto weapons, I can say it is more of a pain than it is worth and, as pointed out by Popeye and Mad Scientist, VERY VERY expensive. I load my own .45 ammo for my Thompson and even still can barely afford to shoot it more than twice a year. I have HK Full Auto in 5.56 that has maybe 1,500 rounds through it due to ammo prices. It is very difficult to go shooting Full Auto and make 500 rounds last. If you go with a few friends, which is almost always the case as everyone wants to try it, you could go through a couple thousand rounds pretty fast.

I do not regret buying the Thompson one bit because it is an original and gains value by the day. It is fun to shoot and is somewhat a piece of history. The HK was a huge impulse order. Although I don't regret it, I would not do it again if I could go back in time and "Unbuy" it.

If you have an unlimited budget, a Full Auto is a lot of fun. But where the original post mentions $800 to $1,000 you could burn that up in ammo on one range trip depending on what caliber Auto you buy. They really serve no purpose but having fun and it is very expensive fun. If you are buying as an investment, you will always make money owning a full auto and you can't take your 401K portfolio out to have fun with your friends at the range.
 
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15-20 guns is out of control? Most of us think that's a good start!
 
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There are places around the country where you can rent a full auto firearm for a day (or an hour) and scratch that itch. Do that. You'll save a ton of money and frustration. I have yet to meet anyone with a full auto who was really glad they did it and they almost NEVER take the dang things out to shoot 'em.

I kinda had to giggle about the idea of spending $10,000 on a full auto. Popeye is right. Thinking in the neighborhood of $50,000 or more just to get off the ground is more realistic.

--Wag--
 

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^^Exactly. Unless you have a private range it becomes even more limited. Most ranges either dislike them or prohibit them. And if the range you belong to that allows them is indoors, you will grow tired of that setting quick, as will your range mates.
 

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people have made some very good points on some of these posts. to legally own a class 3 full-auto, is actually more trouble than it's worth. that's the way the government wants it to be. (and I'm not advocating an illegal one. that is just plain out of the question. it's not worth it.) they are extremely expensive, they can be expensive from a maintenance prospective, and they can be closely monitored by Uncle Sam. if you do ever decide to sell it, you could end up sitting on it for quite a while trying to find a buyer. one last point... if you ever decide to travel with it, you have to have the paperwork with it at all times. if you want to carry it across state lines, you first have to notify the ATF and make them aware of your intentions. you may also have to notify authorities in the states you would be traveling to or through. I could be wrong on some of these points. I'm quite certain someone on here will correct me if I am. all of this being said... if a full-auto firearm is what you want, you have the money, and you're legal to own one. I say go for it. you only live once. don't be swayed by what others think you should or shouldn't do. just use your best judgment, and make sure you do everything within the limits of the law. good luck!
 
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