View Full Version : Did my friend break the law?

February 3, 2002, 11:24 PM
My friend and I took his Colt AR-15 out to the range last weekend. This is the first time he shot it since installing a Jewell trigger. He had it set VERY light. At first we were only loading one round at a time and everything was cool. You pull the trigger, it went bang.
When he loaded up 3 rounds in a mag, he pulled the trigger and bang-bang! This was very repeatable. We didn't try it, but I'm sure he could of ripped of a whole mag with one pull.
He didn't think that this was illegal since it was unintentional, but I made him readjust the trigger to stop this (we were at my range.)
Since the trigger did enable him to fire multiple times per trigger pull, I say this was illegal. Was it?

Also, why aren't Jewell triggers illegal since they enable you to convert a gun to automatic?

February 4, 2002, 12:41 AM
Sounds like your friend simply lowered the trigger pull to the point where recoil was moving the trigger enough to fire the gun. It happened fast and so seem like going full auto. This is what trigger adapters like the "Hellfire" do. The gun is still firing one shot per trigger pull, just doesn't take very much trigger movement. Technically, it is not classified a machinegun and therefore legal.

Badger Arms
February 4, 2002, 01:35 AM
I've seen lots of target automatics double. It's common with 1911 type pistols. I've seen Garands do it on a few occasions. No, it's not illegal but very unsafe to have a trigger this light. More than a firepower issue, this also damages the contacting surfaces.

February 4, 2002, 09:21 AM
Ok, if this is the so called "Hellfire" effect, I feel alot better about it. I would hate to see him get in trouble with the law. This sounds familiar to "bump" firing. And, we were firing from sandbags, so the gun wasn't being held tight.

If it was recoil firing the gun, if he pulls and HOLDS the trigger, it shouldn't keep firing because the trigger cannot move right? This sounds like a good way to test this theroy.

I suppose at this point it is moot. He's trying to build an accuracy gun, and double taps tend to open up the groups quite a bit.

4V50 Gary
February 4, 2002, 05:18 PM
While it is easy to attain full auto fire, the trick is to do it both safely and legally. The purpose of the full auto sear and trip lever is to ensure that the gun is safely locked up prior to the gun discharging. Never having experienced it, I don't think a face full of brass belching out of a burst barrel or receiver is something to look forward to. By having the trip lever and full auto sear, you're ensuring that the timing (drop of the hammer) follows after the gun is locked up.

James K
February 5, 2002, 12:47 AM
No, a temporary failure like that is not illegal but the gun should be fixed to fire the proper way. But if someone were to deliberately fix a gun so it fired that way regularly, it would be illegal.

As noted, doubling is very common in target semi-auto rifles and pistols. I have seen a Ruger .22 auto rip off a whole magazine when the bolt going home jarred the sear off. Actually had to try it a couple of times just to make sure it was bad.

Actually, that AR-15 was probably being fired with a pull of the trigger (as mentioned) rather than the hammer following down, which usually won't fire a round. With the FA version, the gun can't fire until the bolt is closed and locked because it is the bottom of the bolt carrier in its final forward movement that trips the auto sear.


February 6, 2002, 09:08 PM
He didn't think that this was illegal since it was unintentional

sorry officer, i didn't see the speed limit sign...

just because something is unintentional won't be an excuse. but i have no idea as to whether this would be illegal or not. all i know is that i would fix the trigger back to normal, pronto. you never know who is watching.

Badger Arms
February 7, 2002, 12:32 AM
The wording is a single function of the trigger IIRC. Therefore, to have the trigger go through two more motions every time the gun fires does not qualify it as "Fully Automatic"