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Question about transferable colt M16s

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So correct me if i'm wrong but from what i've been able to gather, other than ww2 and registered bring backs, the only factory made (not a registered conversion from a semi auto) transferable assault rifles are Colt m16s correct? Why did colt sell and register these initially? were they mainly intended for LE sales?

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No, there are quite a few other transferable MGs available that were factory made.  The Ruger AC556 series and the Smith M76 are examples and the family of MAC M10/M11/M11/9 guns are another.   The cut-off for manufacturing a transferable MG was May 19. 1986 and the cut-off for importation was 1968, so anything available before those dates was a potentially transferable firearm.  There was an amnesty in 1968 and a lot of hidden guns got brought out into the light and became transferable.  The problem was that there wasn't much of a market for new MGs then so it was very difficult to make a go of manufacturing them.

Colt did not allow sales to civilians, but a lot of transfers happened in spite of their company policy.  I bought my M16 from a crazy SOB of a dealer who flat-out lied to Colt every time he sold what he had in stock and laughed about it.  He told them he had sold it to LE and they took his word for it and send him another one.  It's hard to imagine now, but prior to 1986 there really wasn't that much interest in MGs.  The internet was just getting started and information on NFA devices was hard to find unless you lucked out and stumbled across a guy or group of guys who were already in the "secret club".  Most people just assumed that they were illegal and didn't think about it.

I got started when I was introduced to that same crazy dealer.  He had an M2 Carbine that he had turned into a pistol by whacking the barrel off with a hacksaw and chopping off the stock behind the pistol grip.  He tried it, didn't like it, and offered it to me for the price of the tax stamp.  Yeah- my first taste was free, but it has cost me many thousands of dollars since.  Good thing crack hadn't been invented yet.

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yeah I know about the rugers and the MACs, I'm mostly interested in factory originals. I think it was the 1994 AWB that really brought in all this stuff into the limelight and thats why people want to hoard as much as possible. Seems to me as far as factory OG post ww2 MGs, colt m16s and MACs are the most common.

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Posted (edited)

If I may. Ruger and MAC were certainly factory built guns. Colt m16’s are the most common because they were so popular. Colt didn’t want to sell to civilians because they were always chasing military contracts that were exempt from the dingell-Johnson excise tax on civilian arms sales and had never bothered to pay it.   It would have cost them millions in back taxes to comply.  Bushmaster and PAWS did “factory like conversions” on others receivers. Other American companies made machine guns that are transferable. Like Armalite and the AR18. The American 180, S&W 76, reising m50... 

Foreign made Nfa items were restricted to military and le only by the sporting purposes clause of the GCA of 1968.  There are factory built European guns that were in country prior to 1968, or war trophies and contraband that was registered in the amnesty registries, but they command a premium due to there very limited supply  


 

 

Edited by Wolffie

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Also, the Hughes amendment of 86 screwed over a small group of collectors. The 94 AWB screwed over a much larger group of gun owners. And it did help bring this stuff to a broader audience. But really it wasn’t until internet gun forums around 99-2000 that prices built steam. The marketing of suppressor manufacturers really brought the Nfa world out of the shadows.  

 

in 2003 I remember a local gun shop wouldn’t transfer a stripped ar15 lower for me. It made them nervous. My last trip there two years ago they were selling suppressors and SBRs...  

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The Ruger AC-556 and the MAC 10's are factory built MG's. Also the ArmaLite AR-18.

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