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So I've been watching the boards for a few weeks, but am still pretty new to all of this. I've seen several posts on JC Devine - none were kind - what's so bad about their auctions? I see they have 15% "buyers premium" which might be somewhat excessive, but is that all? It seems they have some good stuff. Am I missing something here?


On a related note, the previews for this upcoming auction show several DEWATs that transfer tax free on a form 5. Does this mean that they are in the NFA registery? If so, can they be reactivated, pay the tax and be put back into circulation, or would they be considered post samples at that point? Just curious.




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Aside from the commission the auction house makes from the seller and the buyer, and the fact that the phone bidding seems to be as reliable and coordinated as a Boulder, Police murder investigation, there is nothing different about a JC Devine auction from any other firearm/NFA auction.


Perhaps the most flagrant sign of abuse by Devine concerned the last big TSMG auction. Some board members attempted to bid on several examples, but were frozen out of contention by the people operating the Devine phone line bidding. They just stopped taking bids when there was still active interest in the TSMG's. To further the confusion, Robert Silvers, a phone bidder, and recent large investor in Class III items, managed to successfully bid on three of the ten TSMG', including one or two of the guns that board members were more than happy to continue bidding on.


Reactivating a Dewat is considered a no-no by ATF.

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Dig deep in the posts. Many are upset on what happened during bidding at the last auction. It seems some bids may have not been tabled for some while others did get a bid in for a lower price. Also there is a 20% sellers premium so the seller gets that taken off of the bid price, not much an issue for a buyer but for a seller it of course would be something to be aware of.


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In my view auctions of any kind can be messy affairs. I have been involved with a number of them both buying and selling. (mostly land) They count on people getting caught up in the moment. Phone bidding can be particularly messy. If I were to bit at a Devine auction I would submit my highest bid in advance. This way you don't end up bidding more than you wanted to and you don't risk the confusion of phone bidding.


My .02

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best advice find somebody selling what you want,and buy it............then you never have to worry about all the b.s.


but as always with current pricing just watch out,and search....for the best deal... take care,ron

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QUOTE (guy1074 @ Jul 9 2004, 01:10 PM)
On a related note, the previews for this upcoming auction show several DEWATs that transfer tax free on a form 5.  Does this mean that they are in the NFA registery?  If so, can they be reactivated, pay the tax and be put back into circulation, or would they be considered post samples at that point?

As long as they are in the registry (transfer via a Form 5 suggests this), you can pay the tax, wait for the form to be approved by BATF, and rewat them. Unregistered dewats are a problem and I assume that's what Arthur was referring to.

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Here is more information on DEWAT'. Cut and pasted this from subguns.com - James Bardwell FAQ's.

Yes you can reactivate them according to this if they are registered.


James Bardwell's FAQ's




A DEWAT is an unserviceable gun that has an intact receiver,

thus, as the GCA of 1968 is construed, it is a machine gun. In

1955 the ATT decided that a gun that was a registered war souvenir

(or for a time, a contraband unregistered gun) could be removed

from the coverage of the NFA if it was rendered unserviceable by

steel welding the breech closed, and steel welding the barrel to

the frame. All this was to be done under the supervision of an ATT

inspector. See Revenue Ruling 55-590. The gun became a wall

hanger, ornament, like parts sets now. This was not the same as an

unserviceable gun, which was still subject to the NFA, but exempt

from the transfer tax. These steel welded guns were DEWAT's.

DEWAT stands for DEactivated WAr Trophy; it was regularly done for

servicemen who wished to bring home NFA weapons as war souvenirs.

It was also done to WWI and WWII era guns imported as surplus by

companies like ARMEX International, and Interarmco, and then sold

through the mail in ads in gun magazines. The glory days before

1968. A DEWAT must now be registered to be legal, there is no

longer a legal difference between a DEWAT and an unserviceable

weapon. A few states only allow individuals to own DEWAT machine

guns, Iowa and Kansas come to mind.


A DEWAT machine gun transfers tax free, as a "curio or

ornament", on a Form 5. To be a DEWAT, a gun should have a steel

weld in the chamber, and have the plugged barrel steel welded to

the frame or receiver. Having said that, a gun may be registered

as unserviceable and not be de-activated in this manner. It may

have cement or lead in the barrel, or a piece of rod welded,

soldered or brazed in the barrel. Despite the repeated warnings

from ATT, apparently DEWATs were made or imported that did not have

steel welds. And a weapon registered as "unserviceable" before

1968 was not held to these standards. One (ostensible) reason

machine gun receivers were redefined as machine guns in 1968, thus

bringing DEWATs under the NFA regulation, was that folks were

regularly and easily making their DEWATs live guns w/o complying

with the law. Some barrel plugs were so poor they would fall out

with little coaxing.


To re-activate the gun, ATF requires you file a fully completed

Form 1 (ie you get the gun on a Form 5, including the law

enforcement certification, photo and fingerprints. You have to do

all that again for the Form 1), and pay the $200 tax the gun was

exempt from before. Then when that is returned approved you can

install a replacement barrel, or get the weld out of the barrel, if

possible. In the alternative, a Class 2 manufacturer may

re-activate the gun, and file a Form 2 reflecting the gun is now

live. ATF considers re-activating to be manufacturing, and

requires the re-activator to mark the gun with his name and

address, whether done on a Form 1 or Form 2. If you sent your

DEWAT to a Class 2 to make live he would have to transfer it back

to you on a fully completed Form 4, as a tax paid transfer. These

procedures are not in the NFA law nor the regulations. They are

apparently based in part on the Revenue Rulings that created the

DEWAT program in the 1950's. As a DEWAT was not a NFA firearm,

before 1968, requiring the making tax made sense then as you were

making a machine gun out of something that was the equivalent of a

door stop, legally. Now that is not true, the DEWAT is a machine

gun, and no making tax should attach, as you are not "making"

anything, merely changing the gun from unserviceable to



Folks who are around NFA guns for very long will find there are

still a lot of DEWAT guns that were never registered during the

Amnesty, and are now contraband unregistered machine guns. Folks

have them in closets, up over the mantle... The only safe course

is to abandon an unregistered NFA weapon to law enforcement.


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I`m in the process of rewatting a Savage 28 right now and it was registered during the amnesty,also dewatted during the amnesty...doh...doesn`t seem to be that difficult a process so far...I`ll keep you all posted with info and pics if anyone is interested... http://www.machinegunbooks.com/forums/invboard1_1_2/upload/html/emoticons/wink.gif
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