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Semi to Full Auto conversion

PathworxPathworx Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited March 2011 in Ask the Experts
I read the post on the Basic NFA FAQ and have a question. It says, "Special note about Machine guns. While it is still legal to build NFA items it is illegal to build new machine guns for non-government/export use."

Is it legal to purchase a semi-auto rifle (ex. AK-47) and convert it to a full auto?


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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That would be illegal. The only way you can have a full auto is to buy a legally registered one from someone who already owns it.

    There is a "subguns" forum that has classified ads.

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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1

    Hello, and welcome to the forums here on

    To answer your question(s), No, it would not be legal to build a full auto, from a semi-auto. All this stopped in 1968. There was an amnesty act in 1986, that allowed one to register things, that might have come back from conflicts across the pond(s).

    That said, it is legal if you are a Class II, and Class III FFL holder, to build the fully auto's for Law Enforcement agencies, and for Export...the export portion requires dealings with the state department too.

    I am sure that Mark Christian, CPERMD, and Nwcid will be along soon to add

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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,370 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think TSR has it backwards.
    The Gun Control Act of 1968 put a lot of restrictions on gun sales but did not single out full autos. There was a short amnesty in late 1968 when you could register full autos on hand from whatever source like war souvenirs or old company security armories.
    The Firearms Owner's Protection Act of 1986 banned the sale of new full autos to mere citizens and froze the registry. Prices took off after that, doubling in the first year and going up maybe five fold since because of the fixed supply and increasing demand.

    It has never been legal for Joe Public to convert a semi auto to full and moreso now; no matter what it looks like on Sons of a Gun on tv.
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    cpermdcpermd Member Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As said, not legal since May 1986.
    Before that it was legal as long as you paid the $200 and filled out the paperwork.

    If it was legal, don't you think a metric ton of folks would be making them.

    They are some of the better investments I have ever made though.

    I can remember paying $300 total for 2 Powder Springs MAC10s and 2 suppressors. Then $800 in transfer taxes. Even I thought I was crazy.[:D]

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    NwcidNwcid Member Posts: 10,674
    edited November -1
    Ok, so lets see here. And CP beat me to posting [;)]

    Converting = building. To make a semi auto into full auto IS building a full auto gun.

    Until 1986 it WAS 100% legal on the Federal level (need to still know your state and local laws) for "Joe Public" to build/convert or buy full auto guns AFTER completing the NFA paperwork.

    The 1968 GCA has almost nothing to do with NFA items. It basically dealt with Title 1 firearms and set up the FFL system, serial number, ect.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Pathworx
    Is it legal to purchase a semi-auto rifle (ex. AK-47) and convert it to a full auto?

    Not in the United States.

    There is one exception,. IF you have the appropriate manufacturing type 07 class FFL license and have paid the class II special occupational taxes, then you can legally build demo full auto guns for "research", guns for use by law enforcement (only), or for export.

    But even if you were willing to undergo the hassle and expense, I don't think you'd be able to obtain the necessary licenses to do it legally, if the only reason you were getting them was this purpose.
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