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Old February 24, 2015, 09:06 AM   #1
Ruark
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How does NFA work when it's a DIY conversion?

All the forms and information I've read on getting a trust or tax stamp refer to purchasing NFA items. How does it work when you're creating the item yourself? Say, for example, I wanted to make a Lightning Link or suppressor in my shop. How does it work then? I've often read people making comments like, "oh, just buy a stamp and make one," as if it were as simple as buying a loaf of bread. I'm sure it's not quite that simple....

Last edited by Ruark; February 24, 2015 at 09:28 AM.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:29 AM   #2
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I'm not an NFA expert, but you can't make a lightning link without a special license, and even then I believe only government agencies can purchase them. No government agency is going to purchase a lightning link. Basically, no new machine guns that can be owned by and transferred to ordinary people (even with CLEO sign-off and/or Trust) after 1986. Post-86 machine guns are strictly forbidden. [I'm sure some NFA expert will clarify what I've said here.]

Silencers are different, as are AOW's, SBR's and SBS's. I believe anyone can make them as long as you do a form 1.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:32 AM   #3
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I see "Form 1" mentioned as required BEFORE starting any building or conversion.
Suppressors have to be serial numbered before assembly???????????
All I can say is BATFE is holding US citizens hostage to their "approval".
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Old February 24, 2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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My limited understanding:

Individuals can make their own suppressors, Short Barreled Rifles, and Short Barreled Shotguns by filing a Form 1 first and getting approval.

The law (FOPA '86) curtailed production of full auto stuff for ownership or transfer to individuals. There are some things out there that can be held by and transferred between class III dealers (Post 86 dealer's samples), but other than those, all full auto stuff made after 1986 is restricted to LEA/Military.

Building anything subject to NFA with commercial intent requires a special license, and even with that building full auto stuff will probably not be approved unless you can show that a LEA/Military group wants to evaluate it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 11:07 AM   #5
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Readymade lightning links (assuming you can buy one) sell for $5000-$10000, insane for a little 10-cent piece of metal you could make in an hour. Cripes.
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Old February 24, 2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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Since the law made the full auto supply fixed, the prices have gone through the roof.

In 1985, M16s could be had for about $1000, auto sears were cheap (less than $30) back then too... time machines would be nice.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Ruark ....How does it work when you're creating the item yourself? Say, for example, I wanted to make a Lightning Link or suppressor in my shop. How does it work then? I've often read people making comments like, "oh, just buy a stamp and make one,"
1. Unless you are an 07/02 (manufacturer w/SOT) you can't manufacture machine guns.....so forget Lightening Links, auto sears, etc.
2. You can only Form 1 SBR's, SBS's, AOW's and silencers. This means you have tax stamp in hand PRIOR to making the firearm. Once ATF has approved your application they will mail you a tax stamp.....then build away.


Quote:
Skans I'm not an NFA expert, but you can't make a lightning link without a special license, and even then I believe only government agencies can purchase them. No government agency is going to purchase a lightning link. Basically, no new machine guns that can be owned by and transferred to ordinary people (even with CLEO sign-off and/or Trust) after 1986. Post-86 machine guns are strictly forbidden. [I'm sure some NFA expert will clarify what I've said here.]
Nailed it.

Quote:
Mobuck ....All I can say is BATFE is holding US citizens hostage to their "approval".
Horsehockey.
ATF is only enforcing the onerous requirements of the National Firearms Act of 1934.......passed by Congress. It's a tax, no different than the taxes collected on tobacco and alcohol.....just more paperwork and waiting.
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:12 PM   #8
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Registered LL go for about $12,000+. The days of $5,000-$10,000 are gone.

And yes, prices will continue to climb. $29,000 for a RDIAS? To some guys, that's pocket change, and when things get to that sphere of exclusivity, people start buying that stuff just as status symbols. More and more people are going to want these things, myself included.
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:31 PM   #9
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Interesting information. Do a Google Images search for "lightning link." They're all over the place. I wonder how many illegal full autos are out there... you can see how it would be tempting, since it's just a little part you can drop in - takes about 2 seconds. Then another 2 seconds to remove it. If somebody heard you going full auto and questions were asked, you could just say "oh, yeah, haha, I was just bump firing..."
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:43 PM   #10
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takes about 2 seconds. Then another 2 seconds to remove it. If somebody heard you going full auto and questions were asked, you could just say "oh, yeah, haha, I was just bump firing..."
Sure, until someone who heeds that irresponsible advice ends up shooting next to an LEO who decides to inspect the weapon, then ends up being prosecuted for unlicensed manufacture of a machine gun. Are you going to contribute to his legal defense?

We do not advocate such things here, even in jest.
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:49 PM   #11
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Its not a question of "can it be done?" Its a question of "can it be done LEGALLY?"

The answer is no.

SBR, SBS, AOW, Suppressor, these can all be made on a form 1 with a $200 tax. Anything full-auto had to be in existence AND registered prior to 1986. Otherwise you have an illegal machinegun.. Go directly to jail.. Have unlimited carnal relations in the showers...Are now a felon and can no longer own any firearms.

Its not worth it just to turn ammo into brass quickly. A semi-auto AR is more efficient anyhow. More hits on tgt faster then full auto will provide.
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Old February 24, 2015, 04:14 PM   #12
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Sure, until someone who heeds that irresponsible advice ends up shooting next to an LEO ... We do not advocate such things here, even in jest.
Sorry, I didn't mean to advocate it. Living out here on a central Texas ranch, I guess I'm just accustomed to people (including myself) living out of sight of the highway and half an hour from the nearest LEO, and who in general don't cotton to anybody telling them what to do, and the 8 year old girl who bags a deer with her dad's .243 gets her picture on the front page of the local paper. Don't worry about that explosion that moves the pictures on your wall; it's just the neighbor's 10 year old kid playing with Tannerite again.

I can easily see a lot of people out here dropping an LL into their AR, blasting away for a couple of minutes, then removing it and tossing it into the dresser without a second thought.

Well, this is getting off-topic, but I just wanted to clarify where I was coming from. By no means do I want to "advise" anybody to do anything illegal.
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Old February 24, 2015, 06:20 PM   #13
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Way back in 1984/85 I was stationed in San Antonio, where one of the local outdoor range managers liked full auto stuff but didn't like the $200 tax, so skipped it on a few.

He and his buddies would get together after the range closed to the public and "light em up"... People who lived nearby complained about the noise, and the ATF compliance folks showed up a week later.

He's now a convicted felon who was allowed to sell his guns to pay legal costs... and that was when MGs were still affordable.

It simply isn't worth the pain, to me, to skirt the law.
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Old February 24, 2015, 06:35 PM   #14
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I shoot my MGs at this range that is near a house with a woman who complains about my guns, twice to my face. Now with my M60 shortie making a regular appearance, I expect the anger factor to be even higher. That sucker is loud! I am surprised that ATF hasn't shown up. But if they do...I have all my stamps ready. Peace of mind is worth way more than a $200 stamp.

And we owe it to all our NFA brothers and sisters, and to the public, to be good upstanding citizens who obey they law. We just can't afford to look bad.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:45 PM   #15
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Lightning links do not work with modern ARs. You need an old school SP1 bolt carrier group or machine your BCG so that the lightning link will trip. You also need to time it by changing paddle thickness.

Illegal machine guns that actually run are very rare, but not quite as rare as legal machine guns. If you are caught with an illegal machine gun, you will go to Federal prison for 10 years. You will be a felon. You will lose your right to vote. You will lose your right to even touch a firearm for the rest of your life.
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Old February 25, 2015, 03:25 PM   #16
Ruark
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I appreciate all the replies; they've been very educational (a great benefit of this forum). I wasn't aware that there are different requirements for suppressors than for automatic weapons. I have no intention of spending 10 years in a federal pen.... |-:

The moderators are free to close the thread.
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Old February 25, 2015, 04:01 PM   #17
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Maybe when I get a chance, I could post up a thread, and describe in detail the procedures for making and transferring nfa items. The question is asked often, it seems.
I do have at the shop a printed copy of the latest version of the nfa handbook put out by the atf.
I could cover making, what is required, when you can start, what constitutes constructive possession, things like that. I could also cover the definitions of the various firearm types from a federal standpoint.
Might even qualify to be a sticky. Would be a place where most nfa questions could probably be answered with just a read.
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Old February 25, 2015, 05:47 PM   #18
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That would be a good resource, and thanks in advance.
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Old February 25, 2015, 07:14 PM   #19
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Ok. Might take a week or so. I'm posting with the phone, from my dad's hospital room. He will be here the next several days. I will be home time to time, as long as things go well. As soon as I am home long enough, I'll put it up with the computer.
Long posts on the phone are a pita.
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Old February 26, 2015, 04:52 AM   #20
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Best wishes for your Dad's recovery... and he's more important.
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Old February 26, 2015, 09:18 PM   #21
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There's a pretty good explanation of how to fill out a Form 1 already done here: http://www.silencertalk.com/forum/vi...p?f=10&t=87943
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Old February 26, 2015, 09:36 PM   #22
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Speedy recovery to your dad, Gunfixr.
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Old February 27, 2015, 11:54 AM   #23
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I have a question then. I have gone to a place in Oregon that lets you shoot fully automatic firearms. I even shot an AA12. I am fairly sure that no AA12s where made before 1984. How is that a legal business? Im sure its legal cause Its very large and advertises letting people shoot fully automatics.

I just did a google search and with in 10 seconds found a place that will let you shoot a fully auto FN P90. Those a pretty new too right?

Can they make them but just not sell them?
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Old February 27, 2015, 01:12 PM   #24
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Any machine gun made after may of 1986 is non transferable, therefore, not available for purchase by the general population.
The only groups who can possess them are: the federal government, law enforcement agencies, firearms manufacturers who also have a special occupational tax (sot) paid, and firearms dealers who have an sot paid and a demonstration letter from a law enforcement agency.
Manufacturers can make as many as they want, but they can only be sold to, and possessed by, these groups.
Renting a machine gun is an entirely different matter, as the business never relinquishes "possession".
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Old February 27, 2015, 01:18 PM   #25
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For instance, we have, at the shop, a full auto 10/22 that I converted 2 yrs ago. That makes it a "post sample" the common term in the industry for machine guns made after '86.
The business owns it, as a manufacturer (07) with sot.
I cannot sell it to you.
I cannot buy it myself.
I can let you shoot it, or rent it to you here on the property. I can bring it to your property and let you shoot it. I cannot leave it from my immediate presence.
If the business is dissolved, it must either be: sold to one of the groups mentioned above, given to batfe, or destroyed and proof given of its destruction to batfe.
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