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Thread: Legal "full auto" idea?

  1. #1
    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Default Legal "full auto" idea?

    I was reading an ATFE approval letter for one of those rigs that mounts 2 ruger 10/22s on a tripod when an idea suddenly occured to me. This particular rig uses a hand crank that turns a couple cams. The cams rock a bar back and forth, firing each rifle in turn rapidly. The letter stated that as long as it was hand cranked the setup was semi-auto. It further stated that adding a motor to the setup would make it an illegal full auto. The reason given was the switch for the motor then became the trigger and fed law states that a machine gun is: "Any weapon which shoots, is 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."

    Many other hand cranked rapid fire devices exist and most of them have an approval letter stating the same thing. Add a motor, switch becomes trigger, device becomes a machine gun. The key words here are "single function of the trigger". Say one connected a stepper motor to a trigger actuater on a semi automatic firearm. A small built in circuit would limit the action so that one pull of the trigger switch equals a single step of the motor and a single round fired. Pull 3 times slowly, 3 shots fire. Now, this circuit could also have a rapid fire mode. Pull the trigger twice in say a half second or so (think double mouse click) and the circuit continues to fire the gun until the trigger switch is released. Or let the circuit "store up" the pulls. If you rapidly pull the trigger it counts how many pulls were made then waits to activate the motor until the pulls stop. Say you rapidly pulled the trigger 20 times then stopped. A second later 20 shots are fired in about a half second. 20 shots, 20 pulls. Neither situation involves more than one shot for a single function of the trigger.

    Now, I'm sure ATFE is gonna come up with some way of saying this is illegal, the timer circuit itself becomes the trigger, etc. But it would be an interesting project for an SOT to play with, who knows it just might pass.

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    Gunco Regular Tailgunner's Avatar
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    My first though it they would deny it out of hand as it uses a motor, which as you posted when attached to a trigger device they concider a machinegun.

    Can a stepper motor be wired so that it runs while ignoring it's controller signal? If so, it's no different than a normal motor and they would deny the application. That "rapid fire" feature you mentioned would definately get it denied, or if it was possible to modify the controller circuit to accomplish that they would turn it down. The "stored trigger pulls" mode is iffy, but I'd tend to think they would rule against it.

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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    "Modifying" the setup would be discouraged by making the electronics integral to the welded/sealed unit. No externally accessable components would allow one switch activation = 2 or more rounds fired. Cutting it apart to modify it would require much work. "Modifying" a hand cranked system by simply sticking an electric screwdriver on the bolt holding the crank on would convert it in one second flat and those systems are legal. Most legal semi autos can be converted to full auto with less effort than would be required to modify this setup.

    The motor itself is not what makes the setup illegal, the original trigger is still being activated by the motor. They are saying the switch that activates the motor becomes the trigger and on a normal setup holding the switch closed ( a single function) would cause more than one shot to be fired. The federal regs define a machine gun based on trigger function. Nothing is said about motorized guns at all.

    They may classify it as a machine gun, but they have to come up with a reason why it is, based on the regs. Those regs say "One trigger function and more than one round fired, machine gun". ATF has previously ruled that devices which cause a round to be fired when the trigger is pulled and another when released are not machine guns because TWO functions of the trigger are involved, pull AND release. This setup requires at least 3 functions to fire more than one round. Notice the reg doesn't say one function = one shot = not a machine gun, it says one function = 2 or more shots = machine gun.

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    Gunco Regular Tailgunner's Avatar
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    The question is what would be concidered the trigger, the switch or the controller.

    If you're serious about it, type it up and send it to the tech branch. Worst that can happen is they say no, they might give you permission to at least make a sample to send them for a ruling.

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    Gunco Member mtdew69's Avatar
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    sorry but no way is this gonna fly. you cant store enegry. you cant even use a solenoid on an semiauto. you must constantly be doing a action "pulling the trigger or turning the crank" if you could just store trigger pulls you could just use a wind up spring or a giant flywheel... but you cant. a motor or a solenoid on a S/A gun is a good way to meet "bubba" in jail. dont forget that a shoelace is a MG and cranks arent legal in every state

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    Self-Proclaimed Armorer bloodsport2885's Avatar
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    As much as I wish.....They use the same thing on paintball guns. A single selenoid works the trigger in pulses as the weapon cycles. Unfortunately as mtdew69 stated, even a frigging shoe lace can be considered a machine gun by these JBT's so good luck. and God help us all.
    Hold Mah Beer and watch this sh*t.

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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Tailgunner "gets it", the key is what constitutes the trigger. The regs state trigger action and results from a single function of same determine if it is full auto or not. "Storing energy" is not mentioned anywhere in the regs. Paintball guns do not work like I am proposing. You hold the trigger down in full auto mode and one function of the trigger creates the multiple pulses of the firing mechanism.

    The "shoestring is a trigger and a machine gun" nonsense is not a reg or a law, it is ATF's interpretation of the regs. Thompson/Center got a ruling they didn't like regarding SBRs and did something about it. They created something ATF said was an SBR, registered one, then sued for a tax refund based on their assertion that it was not an SBR. The Supreme Court agreed with TC and now we can all have those neat little pistol/carbine kits several manufacturers produce.

    If a legal manufacturer of machine guns were to register a shoelace as a post sample machine gun and start a similar suit, we might get a similar result. Same with my idea if it were to be classified an MG.



    Remember the assault weapon ban and the import weapon ban? The government clearly wanted to eliminate military looking weapons such as the AR15 and AK47. And they did, for a short time. Then someone actually read the laws and regs, found the legal ways to modify their product to satisfy those regs, and we all had what we wanted again, for the most part.

    Here's another idea. Hook a pulsed electric current to the proper nerve in your forearm to make your trigger finger convulse at a precise 600 rpm rate. Do you now have to register your arm as a conversion device?

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    Gunco Regular Tailgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink
    Here's another idea. Hook a pulsed electric current to the proper nerve in your forearm to make your trigger finger convulse at a precise 600 rpm rate. Do you now have to register your arm as a conversion device?

    Hmmm, I have a TENS unit somewhere...

  9. #9
    Gunco Member mtdew69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink

    The "shoestring is a trigger and a machine gun" nonsense is not a reg or a law, it is ATF's interpretation of the regs. Thompson/Center got a ruling they didn't like regarding SBRs and did something about it. They created something ATF said was an SBR, registered one, then sued for a tax refund based on their assertion that it was not an SBR. The Supreme Court agreed with TC and now we can all have those neat little pistol/carbine kits several manufacturers produce.

    If a legal manufacturer of machine guns were to register a shoelace as a post sample machine gun and start a similar suit, we might get a similar result. Same with my idea if it were to be classified an MG.
    as stupid as the shoelace ruling is it would hold up.. the loop at the end of the lace becomes the new "trigger" and the old trigger becomes the autosear so one pull of the new trigger results in mutiple shots. remember the atf defines any conversion device as a machine gun be it a bolt or sear or lace...lets also not forget the new minigun ruling that even w/o the motor it's a machine gun due to it not following the gatiling design closely enough.

    whats to stop someone from just powering the motor on your design directly there by creating a mg... or just create a varible pulsing circut on a relay to pulse the current to the motor.. see it is really easy to make it go bang mutiple times.. yes some guns are even easier than that to convert but thats not the point....

    you must be continoulsy doing a action when you stop the action, the gun needs to quit going bang

    let me state again you cant put a solenoid in a s/a gun EVEN if it only actuates the trigger once per flip of the switch it's deemed too easy to convert

    as you stated the atf will interpret the law as they see fit.

  10. #10
    Gunco Veteran tony's Avatar
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    Shoestrings?

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