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Semi Auto Thompson From Parts Kit


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#1 lawman

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:08 AM

I don't remember if i've asked this before, so I apologize if I did...

1) Is it possible, in the eyes of the Feds, to make a M1A1 parts kit into a SEMI auto gun (aside from the short barrel issue) provided the selector switch is disabled?

2) Is it possible to disable the selector switch?

3) The purpose of this gun would be to fire BLANKS ONLY. There would be no way for a real round to pass through the barrel. (plug welded, barrel welded to receiver)

4) I ask these questions here because I can find NOTHING in the law relating to blank only guns. I've called the BATF field office in my area and THEY DIDNT HAVE AN ANSWER! I've written to the BATF counsel, but have heard nothing back.

All I want is a Thompson that makes noise.


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#2 Lancer

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (lawman @ Dec 6 2004, 11:08 AM)
1) Is it possible, in the eyes of the Feds, to make a M1A1 parts kit into a SEMI auto gun (aside from the short barrel issue) provided the selector switch is disabled?

2) Is it possible to disable the selector switch?

3) The purpose of this gun would be to fire BLANKS ONLY. There would be no way for a real round to pass through the barrel. (plug welded, barrel welded to receiver)

Short answer is:

1) NO

2)Yes (still considered a MG)

3) purpose means nothing to the BATF
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#3 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:23 AM

Been discussed a lot....there is a guy who is in the process of trying to get a blank firing MP40 passed by the BATF and will do more different types.

Here's a link to some info...from here...

http://www.machinegu...hl=blank firing
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#4 Norm

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:42 AM

Lawman,

Your best bet is to find an MGC Thompson (Model Guns Corp.)

They are about the closest blank firing gun you can get before buying an actual machinegun and converting it to shoot blanks.

Norm

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#5 Bill in VA

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:19 PM

Welcome lawman, glad you found us. I'm afraid though that the answer to your question (as was pointed out on several other boards) is that it just isn't viable. Using the bolt, barrel, and lower receiver/trigger group to build either a blank-only MG or a semi-auto is impraticable at best, and danger-close to manufacturing an illegal MG at worst. Remember, don't look for any rhyme or reason within America's firearms' laws or BATF rulings.

Building a semi-auto from a parts kit is going to require an awful lot of reengineering. Simply using a new receiver and an existing parts kit is the same as manufacturing an MG. Even if the selector is welded, in the eyes of the BATF, it is still an MG. (Remember, an MG is not only an MG receiver, but also a collection of parts designed/intended to create an MG.)

A blank-only MG? The way the BATF sees it, using an SMG parts kit is pretty much the same as building a live SMG, even if it's set up to fire only blanks. You'd most likely have to reengineer your parts kit so that it wouldn't fire from an open bolt and could never chamber live ammunition. If it was able to utilize the bolt or bbl I believe it'd most likely be classified as an MG.

As far as trying to build a semi-auto from the parts kit, there are very few parts which will interchange between the TSMG and semi-auto rifle. (sights, barrels, stocks/forearms, grip mounts, sling swivels, etc... The lower will not fit without mill work. Bolts will not interchange at all.) FWIW, the semi-auto rifles and TSMGs have almost nothing in common other than their external appearance. Their internals are far too different from one another. Bolts, actuators, lowers, lower internals, etc... simply won't interchange. Aside from a completely different fire-control system, the semi-auto receiver is approximately 1/10 of an inch shorter in height than the full-auto receiver (notice the oblong magazine catch hole on the semi-auto magazines vs the round hole on the unmodified/full-auto TSMG magazines.)

Your best bet is to sell the parts kit and use the money to finance: A) a WH or Kahr semi-auto and then Form 1 it as an SBR; B) find a Hudson or MGC TSMG; C) use your parts kit and a solid receiver to cobble together a dummy TSMG; D) pony up the money for a registered TSMG, or; E) choose another impression for reenacting that doesn't require a TSMG.

Not a flame, but every board you've posted this question on has pretty much given you the same answer, and continuing to ask this question will still give you the same answers, no matter how many times you ask it. If you're really and truely serious about using a TSMG parts kit to cobble together a blank-only gun, I'd strongly suggest contacting the BATF Tech. Branch. Most likely, they'll ask you to submit a working model for their consideration and examination. If they approve your design, you'll get your prototype back and will likely be able to make a boat-load of cash selling these to reeanctors. If they disapprove your design, they'll keep your prototype and send you back to the drawing board. Either way, you'll need to have access to a good machine shop and a fair amount of spare time and money. OTOH, you can always build your own illegal MG of SBR (I've seen quite a number of them at reenactments) and hope you don't get caught. If you do, you could lose not only your gun, but your freedom, most of your money in legal fees and fines, and even your ability to ever be in possession of a firearm for the rest of your life. Sorry to pop your bubble, but that's the way it is.
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#6 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:24 PM

Do what Bill says. As the lawyers say, machine gun laws are "strict liability" laws.

Good luck with your endeavors and stay out of jail.
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#7 Sgt

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 06:05 PM

Forget blank gun, why they won't even let you build a dummy gun with a moveable cocking knob. I asked ATF if I could build an inert moveable knob on an otherwise solid receiver. Their answer was no. Good luck in your quest, but the blank Thompson is the elusive Holy Grail.
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#8 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 06:52 PM

These are the guys working on the blank firing guns. Keep an eye on their site. Maybe they can get something done.. Who knows ?? At least they seem to be hard at work on the situation. They are trying to get passed a BFO (Blank Fire Only) MP40 and a PPSH41.

http://www.ssroom.com/
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#9 lawman

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for the info guys...Apparently, i'm somewhat well know for asking this question..lol. I was hoping though that someone would have that elusive blank-only answer....You dont know until you ask.
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#10 Bill in VA

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:08 PM

No problem, lawman. That's what the board is for...if you don't ask, you won't know. Rest assured, you're not the first (and doubtful will be the last) to ask about a TSMG parts kit and some sort of non-MG build. Like SGT. said, it's the "holy grail" of blank guns. If you're ever in sw VA, look me up and we'll take my TSMG out for a spin. (I'm not taking it to the Gap this year...I'm of the opinion it'd be too much trouble to try and keep an eye on there, plus, I haven't found an effective way blank-adapt it (at least, a way that suits me.)
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#11 Sgt

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 03:18 AM

Phil--
What? Doesn't everyone believe our officials behind those government cubicals? Just kidding! Yea, I know about those cocking guns you referred to. What I was specifically questioning the ATF was whether a person could mill a slot through those commercially available 80% receivers, and install a dummy action cocking knob. My other question to them was whether receiver parts from actual partkits could be reassembled to accommodate such an action. Apparently, the feds get kind of nervous whenever you want to do anything to receivers with the same dimensions as the real thing.
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#12 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 07:25 AM

Remember, these are the same people that gave the opinion that a 14" string with a loop at each end was a machine gun.

Until you take it to court, you'll never know and who wants to risk 10 years at Ft. Levenworth to find out.

Not me.

MP
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#13 lawman

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the offer Bill.
I thought I had this figured out when I started this..in theory, the way I planned on doing it would work no problem, but its the sketchy laws laws that make it a no-no apparently. When and If I get a response from BATF Division Counsel, I'll post his reply. Guess it's the M1 at the GAP again.
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#14 Jay Baker

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 05:17 PM

Hey Lawman,
Welcome to the forum. I saw in your last post you mentioned the Gap. Would that be Fort Indiantown Gap in PA for the 60th Anniversary of Battle of the Bulge?
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#15 LIONHART

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 06:57 PM

Never mind...The hell with it
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#16 lawman

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 11:14 AM

Hey Jay,
Yeah, a bunch of us are going down on that thursday. You?
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#17 Bill in VA

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 12:03 PM

lawman, Jay, what units are you guys with? Me and a few other guys will be arriving up there on Thursday as well. We're all with D Coy 502PIR
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#18 Jay Baker

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 12:12 PM

Bill in VA, Lawman,
I'm with the 3rd Armored Division. I don't know our arrival time yet, but we plan to bring a halftrack and at least one jeep.
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#19 lawman

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 12:58 PM

Jay, Bill,
Were with the 2nd Rangers. We may be bringing a halftrack...had it there last year.
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