Why?

Now, I enjoy shooting all kinds of guns from hand guns to rifles.  I understand all of their uses from home protection to hunting.  I have questioned the necessity for some guns, such as the Barrett M82A1, in the civilian society, but I understand how some people read the 2nd Amendment as a guaranteed protection of their ability to manufacture, purchase, and/or operate such a rifle.

I have a little knowledge on modifying guns to change their operating characteristics too.  Most modifications are made by law-abiding people who enjoy tinkering with things.  Other modifications are made by serious gun enthusiasts in order to get the optimum performance from their tool of choice.  You can Google “how to convert a semi-auto gun to full auto” and get pages upon pages of hits on how to convert your gun of choice.  Contrary to what most people believe, fully automatic guns are not illegal to own in the United States.  There is simply a much more stringent set of rules to abide by in order to own one.

That said, when I saw the story about the current gun modification to make the news, I simply asked myself “Why?”

Slide Fire, based in Moran, Texas, plans to sell a semiautomatic rifle that mimics the rapid fire of a machine gun and is also fed bullets from a belt, which provides a huge capacity for ammunition — potentially thousands of rounds.

Brandon Renner, sales and marketing manager for Slide Fire, says the belt-fed rifle, called the SFS BFR, will be available this fall and sell for $6,000.

“It sprays like a fire hose,” said Renner. “We recommend no more than 30 rounds on the belt, but one person could make it as big as they want.”

*Not the actual rifle in the story, but something using the same technology

What purpose does this technology serve for the average citizen?  Why would someone need such a weapon for home protection?  Does the thought of overpenetration or killing the family next door come to mind when someone purchases such a rifle?  What type of game requires a belt fed rifle to bring it down?

This isn’t an anti-gun rant, so don’t think I’m saying nobody should have one.  I’m questioning the necessity for owning one.  If you just like target shooting, then you’ll likely enjoy owning this rifle.  If you’re buying it for hunting, I’m guessing you have a desire to save money on processing and grind your game up on the spot.  A rifle like this should be a non-starter for home protection, but there will undoubtedly be someone who will disagree with that statement as well.

Looking at the video at the link, I don’t see very many people owning such a rifle though.  Given the cost of ammo, burning through a 30 round or larger belt will not be very cheap.  The technology for bump-guns has been around for years, so this isn’t really anything new.  I guess it’s just another 2nd Amendment remedy available for those who see fit to buy it.  The manufactures will undoubtedly love the impending cash flow headed their way as the gun enthusiasts run out and buy them just because they can.  Happy shopping folks.  I have much better uses for 6 grand.

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9 thoughts on “Why?

  1. “Contrary to what most people believe, fully automatic guns are not illegal to own in the United States. There is simply a much more stringent set of rules to abide by in order to own one.”

    It depends on the state. Federal law allows possession of licensed weapons but some states still ban them at the state level.

    These weapons are extremely expensive and therefore are owned almost exclusively by fairly well to to do collectors who enjoy shooting them (and can afford to). These have absolutely zilch presence in crime statistics. Zilch. Nada.

    .50 caliber rifles, like the Barrett, although not specifically licensed like machine guns are, also don’t have a presence in crime statistics. People that own them are into very long range target shooting for the most part. Serious gun nuts with deep pockets.

    A gun that costs $6,000 and uses “slam fire” is a tinker toy for an idiot. “Slam fire” devices are good for blowing away expensive ammo, but hardly any good for anything else, like for example, accurately deploying accurate fire on an actual target. If they actually are useful the BATFE will probably classify them as real machine guns eventually and that will be that.

    Now a really useful machine gun is the M240B which my son shoots in the Marine Corps.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

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    • Don’t disagree with anything you said. My primary question about this and other guns like it is why would anybody need it? I seriously doubt (seriously hope as well) we’ll ever see anybody go on a rampage with a .50 rifle, but I guess those who have money to burn have to have stupid stuff to burn it on.

      I don’t think the BATFE will change their minds on this gun because politicians are scared as hell of the gun lobby. The BATFE may not be political in and of itself, but it answers to politicians at the end of the day. When you have people who are more concerned with being re-elected than passing sensible legislation, such as Missouri’s nullification law, then you know there’s nobody steering the ship anymore. It’s all about money.

      That said, if someone had one at a range and gave me an offer to shoot it, I probably would just as long as it’s not my money being burned. 🙂

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  2. Pretty much agree with you that nobody “needs” one of these but people buy stuff they don’t need everyday. That’s the reason for marketing, after all, to get people to buy stuff they don’t need. I think it will be a minuscule amount of people who get one of these for any reason other than they just want to say they have one or they enjoy “blowing stuff up”. As long as they aren’t directing it toward anybody else, they have a right to piss away whatever money they want to. And most folks can’t afford one, anyway.

    I used to know a guy who had a Ferrarri like the one on Magnum. He didn’t need that but his Daddy bought it for him, so what you gonna do? It would’ve been nice if he’d gotten caught the day he was running 160 MPH down the Interstate but that’s another story for another day.

    So people can do stupid stuff, as long as nobody else suffers for it. Me, I’ll just stick to .22s and shotguns for the most part (for self defense I prefer medium/large caliber revolvers). The ammo is cheaper and I tend to try to make one shot count, rather than shooting a box of shells as fast as I can. I have a right to be a cheapskate, just like they have a right to blow their money.
    😆

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    • I’m with you on the home defense. The scariest sound in the world is a pump shotgun being racked in the dark. I have a few handguns from .22s to .40s around as protection. I can’t make up my mind on which shotgun I want.

      If I had the money to do so, I’d probably get the S&W 500 with the 8″ barrel. It’s fun to shoot, and it definitely has stopping power. The look alone is quite intimidating before you even hear a shot go off. I LOLed about the Ferrari. I know people who are sometimes stupid with money like that, but not to that expense level yet.

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    • I once had a friend who, like me, was into reloading ammunition and shooting various guns. He lived in Chicago and owned a 460 Weatherby Magnum. Now you can go check on the Weatherby site and see those are pretty expensive rifles and that cartridge has some serious recoil, even in that rifle which if I remember was 10-11 lbs.

      To the best of my knowledge at the time, and this was decades ago, he had never hunted anything, ever (I have). So we go to the range one day and set up. He takes the 460 over to an area where he is allowed to shoot standing up (as opposed from a bench rest – guaranteed way to hurt yourself with this rifle). He puts out a half dozen cartridges, huge things, so everyone can see them. Then he goes down the line to “inform” everyone they need to have their hearing protection on because he is going to shoot the 460 WEATHERBY MAGNUM and doesn want to hurt them. 🙂

      Of course this draws some spectators. He mounts the rifle, works the bolt to put that big cartridge in, and eventually lets off. I think he might have something, but not sure what. He invites me to shoot it. What the heck, he is paying for. I don’t think I hit anything either, but it sure was a rush to pull the trigger. 🙂

      Haven’t talked to him in quite a while. Who knows, maybe he eventually made a trip to Africa and shot an elephant with one of those? Or not, more than likely. He just like shooting and reloading that big thumper. He didn’t mind a little attention when he did it.

      In one of the Dirty Harry movies the Clint Eastwood character shoots the same rifle (460), I guess to stay true to the theme of Dirty Harry only liking to shoot the biggest and most powerful weapon. Was a really silly scene in an otherwise fairy decent B movie.

      I imagine there are a lot of people like that guy. Owns a gun like that, or some other gun that appeals to them for whatever reason. They take them to the range from time to time. Some like me might be into reloading and getting obsessed with finding the most accurate load for a rifle. But they aren’t dangerous to society and when they buy this stuff it creates jobs for lots of people.

      I don’t have an issue with that.

      In Texas there are people who own fully automatic licensed machine guns. Some years ago I was at a gun shop in Austin selling a beat up old M16 (kind of like our Vietnam vintage model). If I remember back then they were asking over $20,000 for it and I bet it is a lot more today. Again some guy will buy it, put it a gun safe, and maybe shoot it sometime if he can find a place to do that (a lot of ranges don’t allow that).

      As to the BATFE, I do think they will pretty much do what the think they can get away with. Strict legality from what I’ve read isn’t their strong suite, and I would imagine the current administration would back them to the hilt if they came up with a ruling and enforced it.

      lwk

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      • Gotta choose my words carefully for this one, but the current administration has the spine of a gummi worm when it comes to the BATFE. They left that agency high and dry with the whole Fast and Furious issue when the fault for that operation was more with the AUSAs in Arizona than the BATFE. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any actions from the BATFE or the administration in regards to this weapon. The technology has been around and used for decades. If it didn’t get axed with the assault rifle ban in the 1990s, then it’s not going anywhere.

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        • “I wouldn’t hold my breath for any actions from the BATFE or the administration in regards to this weapon. The technology has been around and used for decades. If it didn’t get axed with the assault rifle ban in the 1990s, then it’s not going anywhere.”

          You are probably right that they won’t. You are absolutely right about some forms of this technology being around for a long time. Have seen various kinds advertised at gun shows for a long time. I have some experience with fully automatic weapons from M16s to AK47s to a Thompson submachine gun. Those really work. But I have serious doubts about the practicality of these bump or slam fire type devices. Guess I ought to try one sometime just to be sure, but I would feel like such an idiot buying one! 🙂 My Colt AR-15 carbine does all I need to do.

          BTW, you didn’t have to choose your words too carefully. I largely agree with most of what you said. I really don’t understand why the BATFE hasn’t done something on this before, and I take your explanation under advisement although I am not a 100% convinced. 🙂

          lwk

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          • The reason I have to choose my words wisely is based upon the old adage, “One does not speak ill of the hand that pays you.” I have a family to support, and I can’t afford to have something I say come back and bite me in the ass. That’s why you will not see much of anything personal here from me. I am a firm believer in the CYA defense technique. 🙂

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    • “(for self defense I prefer medium/large caliber revolvers).”

      For home defense you should take what sort of ammunition you use. You should look for something “frangible” if you live in you average modern home with walls that won’t stop much of anything.

      Personally I think an AR-15 carbine with a collapsible stock is by far the best weapon for home defense and one of the safest. If that sounds odd to your ears I defend those statements in detail here:

      Who Needs An Assault Rifle?
      free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-needs-an-assault-rifle/

      My son was home from the Marines a while back and he gave me a long lesson in how to use it as he had been taught and showed me the best angles in my house. That is what I call “male bonding!” 🙂

      I used to be a revolver guy for decades. Actually from 1970 or so. Recently switched to a Glock 19. Like a revolver in that it has no external safety that you have to deliberately disengage before firing (safety is built into the trigger). First semi-auto centerfire pistol I have ever owned and – to use an old naval expression of approval – it is “tits.”

      lwk

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