View Full Version : True value of autos ?

August 9, 2000, 08:17 PM
If I had a typical semi-automatic rifle, what is the cost in PARTS to convert it to full auto? Ignore the tax issues, the artificially restricted supply and everything else except the cost of parts manufacture, plus maybe a reasonable markup.

In other words, if we abolished the NFA '34, what would a full auto [insert gun here] cost me ?

All I would need is a different sear and disconnector, right ?

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Daren Thompson
August 9, 2000, 08:44 PM
If the NFA of 34, the GCA of 68 and the FOPA of 86 were all gone tomorrow, why convert a semi buy a full auto. The parts required to convert are a little different from one type of gun to another. In most cases you need more than a sear and a disconnector. Most need machine work to the lower along with the parts.

Hope this helps


August 9, 2000, 10:21 PM
Word is that full-auto is cheaper to build than semi-auto.

Most semi-autos are built so that it is not "easy" to convert to full auto. Federal law/BATF forbid easily convertable guns.

One way to answer your question is to find LEO-only prices on new machineguns. I recently saw an HK MP-5 somewhere around $1800. The way-cool-new FN P90 is around $2000.

Another way is to dig thru Shotgun News for something like "new transferable auto sears". They're cheap (what, $60? $160?) but the catch is if you use them, the cost is $250,000 and 10 years federal prison.

The parts difference is a couple hunks of metal. Not expensive at all.

Obligatory warning: Converting a firearm to full auto will get you $250,000 fine and 10 years in federal prison.

August 9, 2000, 10:37 PM
Thanks. Not trying to convert a weapon, trying to determine economic cost of poorly crafted public policy. Will probably cause me more grief than actually have full-auto weapons.

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Mulio Rex
August 10, 2000, 07:01 AM
The US navy price f0r an Mp5 is under $900.

Do a search for "unit replacement costs"

Big Guns again
No speakee well
But plain.

James K
August 11, 2000, 02:04 PM
Hi, guys,

As a practical matter, there is little or no difference in cost between a semi auto rifle and a full auto version. As an example, the M2 carbine cost only a few dollars more to make than the M1 carbine in mass production. The difference in manufacturing cost between the full auto (police version) AR-15 and the semi-auto (civilian) version was negligible.

Cost of all FA weapons is highly inflated, even to police, because the development and setup costs have to be spread over a relatively small market, and because the market will bear more. In true mass production and without gouging, I suspect factory cost of an MP5 would be under $50, with retail cost about $350. (A fair rule of thumb is that factory cost - not counting amortization of development and tooling costs - is about 1/7 of retail.

On the used market, pre-86 machineguns are sky high because of the cumulative effect of the transfer tax and dealer's fees, and also simply because of the law of supply and demand.

But I can't blame the sellers. If, for example, I had bought a deactivated TSMG for $79 in 1957, and reactivated it in the 1968 amnesty, why would I sell it for $100, even though that would be a profit? Unless I am an idiot, I would see what the market price is and sell at that price.


[This message has been edited by Jim Keenan (edited August 11, 2000).]

Rich Jone
August 12, 2000, 11:59 PM
I have to disagree with you on the cost of manufacturing an MP-5. Germany has one of the highest labor costs in the world. Even in the U.S., a machinist gets between $15.00 and $25.00 per hour (depending on his experience & whether the company is union or non-union). I would suspect that a machinist is Germany is easily making $30.00 (U.S.) per hour or approximately 60 Deutsch Marks/Hour.

I have also worked for 5 years in a machine shop making the spars for the F-15 & F-18.
Being an owner on a H&K SP-89 & an incoming MP-5, visual examination of the internals of both weapons leads me to believe the estimated cost of manufacture of the MP-5 to be around $600.00 to $1,000.00.

On the (2) weapons noted above, the bolt, bolt head , carrier assembly, and barrel are all machined. The rest of the parts that make up both weapons are either welded & stamped sheet metal or plastic.

Anyway, an SP-89 should not cost $3,200 & an MP-5 should never cost $7,500.00, but that's where the law of supply & demand come into effect. I heard from informed sources that there are approximately 4,500 converted MP-5's (from H&K-94's and SP-89's in existance).

August 13, 2000, 12:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rich Jone:
... leads me to believe the estimated cost of manufacture of the MP-5 to be around $600.00 to $1,000.00.

Just curious, are you assuming that the whole thing has to be hand-machined, or that the whole thing is being done in a fully-automated factory ? I don't even know enough about machining to understand the question I just asked, but am curious anyway. :)

Either way, the costs of semi-auto and full-auto would be about the same, correct ?

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[This message has been edited by galt (edited August 13, 2000).]

August 13, 2000, 03:25 AM
New Full-Auto milled Russian AK's fetch about $250US.

Dead [Black Ops]