View Full Version : Where can you fire fully automatic?

March 5, 2011, 05:13 PM
Hey all, firearm newbie here. I am still planning to buy a .22 lever action as my first rifle. However I have seen lots of videos on youtube of guys firing full auto rifles like the AK47 and M16. Where can you go to use or even acquire a full auto rifle? I was under the impression that it's illegal for a civilian to own or use one in the US. Thanks guys.

Brian Pfleuger
March 5, 2011, 05:39 PM
The legality of full-auto weapons depends on your state law. There are no more full-auto weapons allowed to be added to the "registry" after 1986. As such, they are relatively rare and very, very expensive.

To be legal under federal law, you need only pay the ATF a $200 fee and do some paperwork.

However, the guns themselves start out roughly in the $5000 area and go WAY up from there.

Also, there are places where you can go to shoot them. A Google search will locate some ranges for you.

The preceding information is a general run down, an approximation if you will, and not intended to be legal advice. It may not be strictly, absolutely correct or absolutely precise.;)

March 5, 2011, 05:49 PM
I fire my full auto in my backyard, just like any other weapon.

Regulation of machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles, and "any other weapon" fall under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.


In the late 60's importation of machineguns was banned and in 1986 new production of transferable civilian machineguns was made illegal. The weapons themselves were never outlawed, but rather grandfathered. So, all we can do is trade the weapons that were in the registry in 1986. Supply is constant and demand goes up.

Some states have banned posession of machine guns and NFA Weapons, but in most places they're actually still legal, even in very liberal states. In my state machine guns are registered and can be in two places: at the registered location or in my posession away from the registered location, loaning it to a friend without me present would actually be a felony.

Prices vary, but are about $5k for a run-of-the-mill submachine gun, $15k-$25k for rifles, and usually $20k-$30k for belt fed weapons. Not to say that's set in stone, obviously you can find deals, something like a MAC is probably only $3,500. You can find many for sale online, of course.

March 5, 2011, 06:54 PM
Here ya go, found on google. third or fourth down looks helpful. Not being smarta**

March 5, 2011, 08:21 PM
lol, thanks. You're right I could have googled it. I have another question though. I have heard more than one person talk about filing down the pin in a semi-auto AK47 so that it fires full auto. How illegal is that? And is it a common practice?

Edit: Found this: "Federal law imposes harsh penalties for machine gun violations, including imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $ 250,000, or both for possessing an unregistered machine gun."

So it is quite illegal :D

March 5, 2011, 08:34 PM
I don't know what "pin" they're speaking of but converting an AK to full auto is a serious felony resulting, IIRC, in a potential 10 year prison term.

Lots of folks learn to "bump fire" their semi-autos which is legal but hitting anything more than 10' away is unlikely.

March 5, 2011, 08:35 PM
Not sure on that one but I would be willing to bet to modify a weapon without some sort of permits or license coud get you in a world of trouble. Damn that was a long sentence. I am sure someone will answer your question with fact. I am assuming.

March 6, 2011, 10:22 AM
The Feds really lose their sense of humor when it comes to automatic firearms. If you are already on their radar they will go after you for mechanical failures that cause a firearm got go full auto.

A local outdoor range has an annual machine gun shoot every fall where you can go rent time on a variety of machine-guns. It's a ton of fun but it sure can get expensive. A couple of years ago they even had a mini-gun out there. No way I could afford any time on that bad boy but it was fun to watch those that could.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 6, 2011, 10:25 AM
This an NFA question - so prepare to WARP!

chris in va
March 6, 2011, 05:26 PM
I am still planning to buy a .22 lever action as my first rifle

Fixed it for you.;)

David Hineline
March 6, 2011, 11:02 PM
Let us know the area where you live and we can probably guide you to the closest place to go shoot one.

March 7, 2011, 01:49 AM
Alright, I live near Puyallup, WA. Hopefully something viable exists around here...

David Hineline
March 7, 2011, 08:53 AM
WA is one of the less than unrestricted states. http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/2008/06/washington-wa-what-nfa-firearm-1.html

There is a bill pending in WA to remove the restrictions of using silencers on firearms.

David Hineline
March 7, 2011, 09:00 AM
Contact one of these Oregon dealers, they are likely in touch with any local shooting going on.

Bowers Group LLC

Attn: Tom Bowers, Manager
Specialties: Class 2, Suppressors
PO Box 430
Cornelius, OR 97113
Phone: (503) 992-8697 8-6 Monday through Friday, Saturday 10- 4 PM (Pacific)
Chaffee Arms - Erik Chaffee
Specialties: Class 2
Damascus, OR
Phone: (503) 658-8525
E-mail: [email protected]

Tom Denall - T.D. Manufacturing LLC
Specialties: Class 2
P.O.Box 7919
Bend, OR 97708
Phone: (541) 389-6054
E-mail: [email protected]
Homepage: N/A

Revelation Arms - Roger Loock
Specialties: Class 2 and Gunsmith
21210 SW Johnson Street
Aloha, OR 97006
Phone: (503) 642-9066
FAX: (503) 642-1868
E-mail: [email protected]

The Riddle of Steel - TROS - Mark McWillis
Specialties: Class 2, Suppressors & adapters, LE trade-ins and 3 lug barrels
PO Box 680
Clackamas, OR 97015-0680
Phone: (503) 358-3708
E-mail: [email protected]

Dick Thoma - D&D Sports
Specialties: Class 3
Lebanon, OR
Phone: (541) 258-6811
FAX: (541) 451-1906
Homepage: N/A

David Hineline
March 7, 2011, 09:03 AM
Next closest option to you would be Idaho. Someone will know. If you want to make a vacation out of it http://www.machinegunshoot.com is the largest in the country.

There is also a large shoot only no trade show in Arizona.


Specialties: Class 2
P.O. Box 3538
Boise, ID 83703
Phone: (208) 939-7222
E-mail: [email protected]

Kent Lomont
278 Sandy Creek Road
Salmon, ID 83467
Phone: (208) 756-6819
FAX: (208) 756-6824
Tactical Innovations Inc.
Attn: Craig Wheatley
Specialties: Class 2, M11/9 Sten Mag Conversions & .22 Suppressors
HCR 85 Box 8024
Bonner's Ferry, ID 83805
Phone: (208) 267-1585 Pacific
FAX: (208) 267-1597
E-mail: [email protected]

March 7, 2011, 09:37 AM
lol, thanks. You're right I could have googled it. I have another question though. I have heard more than one person talk about filing down the pin in a semi-auto AK47 so that it fires full auto. How illegal is that? And is it a common practice?

I think others have already pointed out that any modification like this would be illegal. But, regardless of that, whoever is giving you this information is way off on what it would take to make the weapon fire full-auto. There is no pin, or anything else, in a semi-auto AK that can be filed down to make it fire full auto. If someone attempted to simply file down part of the fire-control system, BATFE might be able to get it to "double" (2 rounds/1 trigger pull) before it jams using ammo with light primers, but that's about it - personally, I have doubts as to whether, even with light primers, whether it would double.

The bottom line is whoever is telling you this stuff really has no clue how a semi-auto or full-auto gun works. A full-auto AK works off of a closed-bolt, auto-sear type system, which means that there are about 5+/- parts that are completely different in Full-auto AK's from semi-auto AK's. Plus the receiver is different.

There were some semi-auto guns (not AK's or AR's) made in the late '70's - early '80's that were easy to convert to full-auto by filing down a part. Semi-auto versions of these guns have been illegal to manufacture since 1982 because BATFE felt they were too easy to convert to full-auto. So, when most people talk about how easy it is to convert a semi-auto to a machinegun, they are ignorantly referring to guns that haven't been manufactured in almost 30 years. Most likely the folks who are claiming that this or that firearm can be "converted" haven't ever even seen one of the old, rare types of guns that could be converted this way (still illegal to convert those guns as well).

The reason I am discussing this is because I believe there are a large number of folks new to guns, and then a huge number of anti-gun people who really believe that all you have to do is file down a part on an AK to make it into a machinegun. This is a huge misconception that folks unfamiliar with AK's seem to get stuck on.

Willie Lowman
March 7, 2011, 11:02 AM
Good explanation, Skans.

March 7, 2011, 03:58 PM
be sure to visit Knob Creek Range in Kentucky during the bi-annual (or is it semi-annual? They do it twice a year) Machine Gun Shoot. Bring the kids that are old enough to wear hearing protection too, it's a hoot. Don't miss the Saturday Night Shoot!

There may be something similar out where you are.


March 7, 2011, 04:22 PM
I can rent a couple of different guns with a fun switch at my local indoor range.......


$30.00 plus you have to buy the ammo....... spendy.

March 8, 2011, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the info guys. Like I said I am very new to guns so I am absorbing all of the knowledgeable info I can get my hands on. I very much appreciate the explanation of the semi-auto/auto stuff. Now I know :)

March 8, 2011, 05:04 PM
Found this: "Federal law imposes harsh penalties for machine gun violations, including imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $ 250,000, or both for possessing an unregistered machine gun."

The above is a fact.

20 or so years ago I knew of a guy that was a very good machinist and converted two rifles. I think they were Colt AR’s but I don’t remember now.
He was caught on his deer lease with them.
The judge gave him 20 years and a 500,000 fine plus another 5 years for hunting with them.
His family lost everything they owned over this.
I told him if he ever got caught he would go away for a very long time.
His attitude was “where I shoot no body will ever know”
I guess he never figured how far and how distinct full auto’s sound.

March 9, 2011, 01:05 AM
You can go to Wade's in Bellevue. They have it worked out as a business to rent full auto firearms out.

They have several to choose from. Basically you rent the gun and you buy the ammo from them. Project about $50-$75 for the gun and then all the ammo you will be shooting. Remember you'll go through a box in about 8 seconds (2 magazines). So bring a bank roll.

Full auto machineguns available by appointment - call for reservations.
Uzi 9mm: $50
M16 9mm: $50
MP5 9mm: $75

David Hineline
March 9, 2011, 01:10 AM
Only 40 minute drive away, if you are not in Bellevue this next weekend renting then you really should be.

March 9, 2011, 08:42 AM
That rental UZI for $50 really isn't a bad deal. Ammo is pretty cheap. And, since these things sell for about $7,000 +/-, you would have to shoot the thing over 140 times before you would have been better off just buying one.

I've owned a full-auto AC556 now for about 9 years - shoot it about 2-3 times a year. At best that's 27 times over almost 10 years. At this rate it will take me another 60 years or so to get my money out of it.:D

March 9, 2011, 09:11 PM
I have an M11, with an old can.

The full auto aspect is nice, but, the suppressor is what really makes me smile.

I find it as much fun to able to fire without earmuffs, as I do to rip off a full mag.

Hence, my attraction to going further down the suppressed weapons route.

Its good to see your state possibly allowing the use of them, because you can get in on the fun, for alot less than going full auto.

March 11, 2011, 10:54 PM
My gunsmith has his tax stamps paid for his full auto's.
He has a MAC 11 and another full auto that I think is a Sten. He's let me go out back behind the shop and empty a couple of magazines from the Sten before. I haven't hed the opprotunity to shoot the MAC 11 yet, but I'll take a box of ammo down with me next time I see him. Then I'll get the opportunity to shoot it too.
Of all the machine guns I've had the chance to shoot I still like the M-2 the best out of all. For hand held full auto rifles I prefer the M-16 over the AK-47. Machine guns are a whole bunch of fun to shoot, that's for sure.

March 11, 2011, 11:48 PM
There are events all over the country where you can shoot Machine Guns.

I run one here in South Dakota, and we are also a 07/02 Dealer, we sell any and everything Class 3 related. Find a local Dealer and talk with him Im sure there is a event your area, you just have to look around.

Alittle info on what we do:

400ft of firing line and 650 yards of down range fun.