If you’ve ever entertained the thought of acquiring a machine gun consider this first.

Since 1986 legally transferable full-auto/Class III firearms sold in the United States are like real estate; they aren’t making any more. However, unlike land, the limitation is artificial (and stupid.)

This can make owning transferable Class III firearms an investment, provided the bubble isn’t burst by relaxing or further restricting ownership.

You aren’t buying the gun so much as you buying to right to possess the serial number. A Class III-owning friend relayed an incident where a fellow full-auto enthusiast laid down $12,000 for a beat up M16A1. He took it to a manufacturer, had it destroyed and documented, and a new receiver built with the same serial number.

Stamped steel third generation submachine guns now run thousands of dollars. Another friend boasted of finding a legally transferable Uzi for $2300. That was a great going price! It is sad because any third generation sub gun such as this should retail for a few hundred dollars.

I’ve participated in a few NFA-style matches and attended an Uzi clinic at Front Sight, but I’m far from an expert on sub guns. I think they are under-rated compared to shotguns, but a Mossberg 500 with a shorty barrel can be had for around $300 at S-Mart and few will question owning one.

My interest in full auto is solely in gunnery skills, something that is all but lost in the military. Having witnessed the Knob Creek types in action it seems even civilian enthusiasts who spend tens of thousands of dollars to own such devices never bother to learn, either.

At one shoot I asked an MG34 owner about the T&E mech and how many mils could it traverse. He looked back confused and asked, “What’s a ‘mil’?”

My feeling is that $2300 will buy a complete outlay of fairly high-end gun(s) and accessories for any organized shooting discipline of your choice. Not only will you enjoy pride of ownership, but your shooting skills will benefit and you’ll have the company of the best marksmen in your community.