Dec 242016

There are a bunch of YouTube channels that I look at from time to time. I figured I might as well point them out… these channels will probably be of interest to a great many of the blog readers. Some are history, some aerospace, some humor, some politics.

First up: Forgotten Weapons. This channel is pretty much what it says on the box… videos are uploaded ever day or so that show some unusual and/or rare firearm. Often these videos are shot in an auction house where the firearm is soon to be sold, so, at least theoretically, if your pockets are deep enough you can end up owning them.

Some recent videos include this one of the M134 minigun (which, contrary to popular opinion, you *could* legally own, you just can’t afford it… much less afford to feed the thing):


And this one of an entirely odd “chain gun” (the Guycot chain pistol) I bet you’ve never heard of… I sure hadn’t. It’s very, very clever: a double-action “semi automatic” pistol from the 1870s with a built-in 40-round capacity. The downside was that it fired a round that would have had a hard time taking down a rabbit. Sometimes cleverness isn’t enough. Sometimes you need brute force.

 Posted by at 12:28 am
  • MrAnderson

    Wait, you can really own it? What about Assault Weapons Ban?

    • Scottlowther

      An American citizen can own a fully automatic weapon so long as they can pass a background check, can *afford* the thing and are willing to put up with a lot of intrusive bureaucracy. Class One automatic weapons can be had, but one of the irritating quirks in the law is that only guns that were manufactured and in the US prior to 1986 can be had. So an AK-47 built in the Soviet Union but imported into the US in 1985? You can buy it. An AK-47 built in 1987? You can’t legally buy it. It’s stupid, and serves only to drive the prices of such things through the roof.

      So an M134 built before 1986 can be legally purchased. But the price would be astonishing. You can build *your* *own* fully automatic weapon for your own use (assuming you *can* build your own firearm), but you cannot transfer it. You cannot sell it, and when you die you cannot pass it on to your kids.

      The law is stupid.

      • MrAnderson

        I heard something about guy who lives on selling Vietnam era M60s for 60000$…
        This bureucracy is still probably much less than trying to get any gun in most European countries. Good thing you can actually make a firearm by yourself

        • Scottlowther

          $60K might be a little high… there’s a shop down the road that had one for $30K. But that was only for sale to another dealer. They also had a SAW for the low, low price of $175K; it is one of only a handful that were in the US before ’86.

          > Good thing you can actually make a firearm by yourself

          Home-made firearms are becoming increasingly popular. This is aided by the fact that you can buy nearly every single part of, say, an AR-15 off the shelf… barrel, trigger, springs, etc. without any paperwork. The only part that the government keeps track of is the receiver housing, a single chunk of metal. This is the part that a manufacturer must stamp a serial number on and keep track of. However, a receiver casting that is *mostly* complete is not considered an actual firearm until a number of generally straightforward machining steps are done… some million, sole filing, some drilling. *THEN* it is considered a firearm. But these last steps can be done with simple tools by people with only a little training. So you can buy yourself an AR-15 for the cost of parts and some machining, and it’s off the books *and* perfectly legal… so long as you don’t try to sell it. They are called “ghost guns” by anti-gunners who think that the government should control everything.

          A few decades ago “Tupperware parties” were apparently popular among housewives. Now “AR-15 parties” and “AK-47 parties” are increasingly popular among guys (and, I imagine, some women) who want relatively inexpensive rifles without all the paperwork.

          • MrAnderson

            In Poland this would give you a few years in a prison (at least). Even if you find 70 years old gun, eaten by rust, you can be charged for illegal possession of firearm. Not long time ago there was a situation with WW2 veteran, who kept Sten SMG hidden through all years of communism. He was around 80 years old, and without fast reaction of some good people he would be at the court :p

      • FWIW: The transfer of imported machineguns was curtailed by the Gun Control Act of 1968. This was expanded to domestic production of machineguns by the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Action of 1986. What NFA firearm collectors call “Pre-Samples” are imported machineguns caught between GCA68 and FOPA86, while “Post-Samples” are all machineguns built after FOPA86. These “samples” can be transferred between Special Occupational Taxpayers (Class 1 Importers, Class 2 Manufacturers, and Class 3 Dealers), but not to Average Joe Citizen.

        Note that most of the transferable full-auto HK, AK, and other foreign types started life as imported semi-auto clones that were converted in the US by Class 2 Manufacturers.

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