Before heading to SHOT Show this year, I consulted with a few other female shooters that I know to ask what they were hoping to see new this year. In general, I was surprised to find that they were actually in the same KISS school of thought that I am: something that works well, works consistently, and is not difficult to understand how it works. One thing that did surprise me was more interest in fully automatic firearms than I had expected. I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to shoot automatic weapons. If you have not experienced full-auto mag dumps yourself, to be completely honest, it is even more fun than it looks.
Fully-automatic weapons, or machine guns, are regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The law basically says that the only legal machine guns for civilians are the ones that were lawfully possessed prior to May 19, 1986 and those require payment of a $200 transfer tax, lengthy approval process, and federal registration in the NFRTR. This makes for a very limited supply of weapons that are in circulation, which – as we learned about supply and demand in Economics 101 – drives the price sky high – often into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless you either join the military or have some pretty cool friends, you may not get the opportunity to shoot a machine gun.
However, a shooter and their ammo (ergo, their money) are easily parted and the firearms industry has come up with some innovative ways to turn a pocket full of money into a hot, smoking pile of spent brass. Thanks to that innovation, there are some legal ways to simulate full-auto firing power. Continue reading