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Old April 24, 2006, 07:46 PM   #1
TonyM1
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Newbie questions;

Hi all, I'm trying to find out info on owning something like an Ak 47 and I can't seem to find any specific answers on what is and is not legal. The way I understand it, a fully automatic pre 1986 version is legal? but are not the one's being sold for $400-$1000? As far as the ammo, is the 7.62 x 39mm still easily obtained and legal to posses?

I'm guessing that the plethora of AK's now available are semi-auto and are available because of the expiration of the ban in 2004?

Here's the question to tiptoe around; I've heard (and rumors are always plentiful) that these can be converted to full auto quite easily, but the penalties for being found with one are quite severe? So I guess converting one and showing up at the local shooting range for target practice would be pretty dumb?

Thanks for any input on this, I'm sure this is real basic stuff for a lot of you, and that's why I'm here asking.
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Old April 24, 2006, 10:00 PM   #2
Jguy101
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Convert, and the ATF kicks your butt if they find out. Not a good idea, although if it was legal to own the parts, it might be handy to keep them around in the case of a foreign invasion so the odds against enemy troops are a little better.
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Old April 25, 2006, 09:27 PM   #3
MisterPX
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If you want a real Ak, it'll run you about $15K. The semi's have always been around, ban or not. As for illegal mods, let's just say you'll be sitting as long as the AWB lasted.
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Old April 25, 2006, 10:04 PM   #4
TonyM1
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Sounds like I'll be buying a semi auto legal AK and staying a free man. Any other suggestions on choice of weapon, I'm really only interested in it for that "what if" civil unrest type scenario and I like the reliability of the AK in adverse conditions. How's the cost of ammo compared to some alternative weapons?
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Old April 25, 2006, 10:26 PM   #5
44 AMP
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Illegal conversion

Converting a weapon to full automatic (including selective fire) without PRIOR ATFe approval can get you 10 years, and a $10,000 (or more) fine. Plus of course, loss of your ability to legally own a firearm, for the rest of your life. You could petition a court to restore your firearms rights after serving your sentance, but this is a difficult and expensive legal process, and is seldom granted.

Discussing HOW to convert a weapon to full auto CAN, and HAS been considered "Conspiracy to violate Federal Firearms law", and carries a rather stiff penalty in and of itself. BATFE HAS prosecuted individuals for this. I don't personally know how these cases have turned out, but BATFE brags it has a 96% (or better) conviction rate on firearms law violation overall.

I would strongly suggest you avoid anything that might be construed, or misconstrued as "conspiring to violate Federal firearms law". The conspiracy statutes are rather vague, and a sharp prosecutor can get a conviction almost out of thin air.

Stick with the semi-autos that just LOOK like their full auto cousins, and have fun.
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Old April 25, 2006, 11:39 PM   #6
Chaingunner
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let us not forget that in addition to being illegal/expensive, full auto is just a good way to waste ammo. Even though 7.62x39 is dirt cheap, shoot it enough and your wallet will probably beg you for mercy..
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Old May 3, 2006, 12:11 AM   #7
MatthewVanitas
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Even during the 1994-2004 "Assault Weapon Ban", semi-auto AK-47s were readily available.

Only difference: during the ban, said semi-auto AKs could only be produced with no flash-suppressor, no folding stock, and no bayonet lug.

With the expiration of the AWB, you can now have all those "evil" features on your AK.

Use the TFL Search Engine to look up our many, many past discussion of the AK-47s on the market currently. Rough summary: the WASR series is the most affordable, as low as $350 or so, but some suffer from misalignment, trigger slap, etc. Not a dealbreaker, but an example of "you gets what you pay for".

If I were buying a semi-auto AK, I'd go for Armory/Global Trades out of Houston. They sell their base models at local gunshows (Austin) for $470. Other popular models/sellers are the VEPR, Arsenal, Atlantic Arms, etc. Run a Search on any of those for a wealth of info.

7.62x39mm ammo is usually inexpensive and readily available. Often around 12c/round or less. There's currently some hinks in the market causing patchy availability at times, but that's a short-term issue. In the long run the 7.62x39mm will continue to be one of the most common and affordable military cartridges in the U.S. for years to come.

-MV
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Old May 3, 2006, 07:15 PM   #8
gunslinger555
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if thair is an invasion trust me thair will be plenty of full auto's just laying on the ground
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