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Old December 29, 2011, 12:59 PM   #1
TXAZ
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NFA Machine Gun language

I was looking over the ATF website on the definition of a machine gun and ran across:

2.1.6 Machinegun. "Firearms within the definition of machinegun include weapons that shoot, are designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading by a single function of the trigger."

So a former life of engineering systems to defeat or seriously degrade other systems and requirements started me to wonder...

Would a weapon be classified as machine gun if the weapon had multiple triggers, attached mechanical, electronic, remotely or otherwise, where squeezing "N" number of fingers (or toes or other people or other environmental conditions) would result in "N" number of bullets being discharged? In this scenario, only 1 shot would be discharged per trigger activation. For instance the movement of a finger forward or backwards would each be an individual activation, and moving all 4 fingers forward and backwards would result in 8 shots being discharged.

How about a trigger that was activated once based upon detection of an external condition: Sound, heartbeat, whatever.


I have to believe this has been addressed before, but didn't see anything related on this or other sites.
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Old December 29, 2011, 02:48 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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One pull of a trigger, one shot. Not a machine gun. Like pulling both triggers on a double barrel shotgun. One pull one shot.

Now if you have a device to actuate multiple triggers with one pull the ATF may frown on that. However it is not for us to say what they would think of such a device, it is up to the great guys over in Tech Branch.

Now a device that fires on a trigger pull and the trigger release has been presented to the ATF and they ruled that it is not a machinegun. They determined that releasing the trigger is a single and separate function and not full auto fire. I think people modify Mini 14s to fire this way.
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Old December 29, 2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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There was a fairly popular lower grip made for a paintball application that fired when squeezed and fired when released. You could also do a single shot if you wish, which depended simply upon the length of your pull. You could fire insanely fast with this setup. Downside was, length of pull, and a pull weight of about a metric ton. There were also some very very creative electronic firing systems, some of them made specifically for getting around full auto (paintgun) restrictions.

I'm somewhat surprised that the regular firearms industry has not taken a look at some of the innovations in the paintball world. I know they aren't real firearms, but it doesn't change the fact there were some very ingenious and robust firing solutions. Some of which you'd think uncle sam might be interested in since he doesn't have the legal limitations us civies do.

A lot of the electronic triggers were multi function in that they could be fired semi auto, full auto, 2,3,4 shot burst, or some even had a "ramp" mode. This was like the mentioned pull fire/release fire, but if you maintained the pull/release cycle at a specific rate the gun would begin to fire in a full auto like fashion, with an rpm of your choosing. Most of this could be programmed via a series of trigger presses while in "safe" mode.

Anyway, point is I'm surprised there haven't been more innovation in the civilian industries efforts to skirt the full auto issue.
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Old December 29, 2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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Maybe make an AR with three very thin triggers placed right next to each over so that they feel like one. This way you can simulate three shot burst.
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Old December 29, 2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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But FYI electronic or remote control triggers are also illegal.
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Old December 29, 2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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I came up with the idea of an attachable "pump" (like the pump on a pump shotgun) that when slid back and forth would depress the trigger multiple times. You could control the rate of fire by how fast you slide the pump back and forth. It would be legal - no different than a gat trigger, just more effective.
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Old December 29, 2011, 06:32 PM   #7
tgreening
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Quote:
But FYI electronic or remote control triggers are also illegal.

Really? I'd be curious to see the exact verbiage on this if you can cite it or link it. I don't doubt what you're saying, I'd just like to see how they have it worded.
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Old December 29, 2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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The ATF has closed perceived loopholes as soon as they have been exploited for the last 25 years.

The purpose of the Hughes Amendment was to fix the supply of transferable machine guns to what it was on May 19, 1986, at about 183,000. The ATF lives and breathes by that intention. Machine guns were not easy to get pre-86. The ATF did not accept Revocable Living Trusts at that time and many CLEOs would not sign for cheap machine guns. Many of those transferables were created in 1985-86.

The $200 tax was about $400 in today's money, not too bad, but enough to keep people away. You could get a semi-auto AR for about $425. With taxes, if you could get approval without an extremely large donation to a police charity, you would pay about $800 for a good converted receiver AR or $1600 in today's dollars. Cheap bulk ammo wasn't really widely available back then either. Feeding the beast was really expensive. Reselling was a problem, too, as you would have to eat the $200 tax you paid. For these reasons, demand was not really very high.

Last edited by mboylan; December 29, 2011 at 07:05 PM.
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Old December 29, 2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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In order to understand the ATF you need to be a lawyer... or understand complete gibberish. It's kind of like trying to understand any sort of law/government document.

But I think this may start you on your way. http://nerdbastards.com/2011/12/27/w...e-now-you-can/
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Old December 29, 2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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ATF put out a letter in the past, and I've seen it, in which they state that an electronic trigger actuation is classified as a machine gun, since a single activation of the electronic device results in multiple actuations of the firearm. In other words, push a button once, get multiple rounds fired, machine gun. Crank fire triggers require the crank to be activated for each and every round fired, so they are legal. Electronic actuation of a crank fire device is a machine gun (single activation of a button to turn the crank). Think of a mini gun where an electric motor turns the barrel and results in multiple firings of the gun with a single depression of the trigger.
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Old December 29, 2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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I have to love the various and devious ways folks keep trying to come up with "something" that will fire like a machinegun but won't be a machinegun.

Why does the term "jailhouse lawyer" keep coming to mind?

Jim
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:51 AM   #12
Flapjack23
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Quote:
Quote:
But FYI electronic or remote control triggers are also illegal.

Really? I'd be curious to see the exact verbiage on this if you can cite it or link it. I don't doubt what you're saying, I'd just like to see how they have it worded.
http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ng-2004-5.html
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Old January 1, 2012, 04:18 PM   #13
tgreening
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
But FYI electronic or remote control triggers are also illegal.
Really? I'd be curious to see the exact verbiage on this if you can cite it or link it. I don't doubt what you're saying, I'd just like to see how they have it worded.
http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ng-2004-5.html

I think I missed the part about electronic triggers. All I saw there was the definition of "machine gun". Of course, reading comprehension might be down a bit. It IS the day after New Years Eve after all.


Based ONLY on the info in the link above it would seem an electronic trigger could be made to work. In the above link it says if the trigger WHILE BEING HELD DEPRESSED allows the weapon to continue to fire until empty, it is a machine gun.

I mentioned earlier an E trigger that could be made to fire in a machine gun like fashion, but the shooter had to continuously pull and release the trigger at a certain rate to maintain the rate of fire. That doesn't quite fit the definition.


To me all this is just a mental exercise. While I'm sure shooting an automatic weapon is just as much fun today as it was when I was in the Corp, it would also be considerably more expensive since I'd be footing the bill, and as a civilian shooter I don't see much of a practical use for it.

Last edited by tgreening; January 1, 2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old January 1, 2012, 06:47 PM   #14
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I think my link was for something else...mini-gun, not remote operated trigger system....sorry.
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:43 PM   #15
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I have limited experience with BATFE and other "Feds" but I know that like most cops they don't like wiseguys. If someone gets caught with an unregistered machinegun and has not committed, or had the intent to commit, any other crime, the odds are that he will get a good lecture, his "project" will be confiscated, and he will be sent home to think about the error of his ways. But the guy who tries to outsmart them by claiming that his bright idea is really not a law violation, and that they are mentally deficient for even thinking about interfering with his fun, is going to be in line for a lot of interesting discussion, some of which might be with a cellmate.

Those regulations were written by lawyers, with the help of the BATFE Tech Division, guys who have handled and fired more machineguns than most of us have ever seen, including kinds you never even read about. Believe it or not, they really do know what they are talking about, and anyone planning to outsmart them better have some second thoughts.

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Old February 16, 2012, 01:56 AM   #16
jersey_emt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgreening
Based ONLY on the info in the link above it would seem an electronic trigger could be made to work. In the above link it says if the trigger WHILE BEING HELD DEPRESSED allows the weapon to continue to fire until empty, it is a machine gun.

I mentioned earlier an E trigger that could be made to fire in a machine gun like fashion, but the shooter had to continuously pull and release the trigger at a certain rate to maintain the rate of fire. That doesn't quite fit the definition.
The law says nothing about continuing to fire while the trigger is depressed. If a gun fires more than one round per individual trigger "action", it is a machine gun. This is why a 3-round burst system is still considered a machine gun. You pull the trigger and hold it back, the gun will fire 3 rounds then stop. You then need to release the trigger to start another burst.

So if you had an electronic system that fired 600 rounds per minute (10 per second) if you manually pulled the trigger 4 times a second, it would be classified as a machine gun. You are only pulling the trigger 4 times a second but 10 rounds per second are fired. More than 1 round per trigger pull equals machine gun.
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Old February 17, 2012, 08:30 AM   #17
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An electronic button that operates multiple triggers is considered "the trigger" - think drill that causes a trigger to be depressed multiple times; the drill is the machine gun - ATF has already addressed this, before paintball was popular.

Devices that permit a gun to fire on the press and on the release of a trigger were invented many years ago - google "staple Mini-14" or read this: http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i...p/t-62411.html

People have tried to come up with many ways to get around what does and does not constitute a machine gun. The bottom line is that most are illegal or simply don't work. Every now and then something actually works. The only three things that I know of that simulate full-auto fire that are legal are: Bump-fire stock; gattling gun set-ups; "staple" thingy on a mini-14.
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Old February 17, 2012, 08:48 PM   #18
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I might as well as hit two birds with one stone, here. Use a rubber band.

http://www.poormansmachinegun.com/PMMG5.htm

With a little practice, you can get really good at it. If anything, you can switch between single-shot and "fully auto" more effectively than a select-fire
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Old February 19, 2012, 12:23 PM   #19
chasep255
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What if instead of putting the triggers far apart like on a double barrel shotgun you were to put them right next to each over so that one finger could pull multiple triggers. Essentially it would feel like pulling a single trigger when in reality you would be pulling two or more.
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I have mostly non-sporting firearms
In NJ, technically speaking, ALL guns are illegal
Also in my state there is such thing as a Class III BB gun :barf:
Happy to say that despite the NJ AWB I still manage to make my guns look scary
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