A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm designed to fire bullets in rapid succession from an ammunition belt or magazine, typically at a rate of 300 rounds per minute or higher. Not all fully automatic firearms are machine guns. Submachine guns, rifles, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols or cannons may be capable of fully automatic fire, but are not designed for sustained fire. As a class of military rapid-fire guns, machine guns are fully automatic weapons designed to be used as support weapons and generally used when attached to a mount or fired from the ground on a bipod or tripod. Many (but not all) machine guns also use belt feeding and open bolt operation, features not normally found on rifles.
In United States gun law, "machine gun" is a legal term for any weapon able to fire more than one shot per trigger pull regardless of caliber, the receiver of any such weapon, any weapon convertible to such a state using normal tools, or any component or part that will modify an existing firearm such that it functions as a "machine gun" such as a drop-in auto sear. Civilian possession of such weapons is not prohibited by any Federal law and not illegal in many states, but they must be registered as Title II weapons under the National Firearms Act and have a tax stamp paid. The Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 banned new production of firearms classified as machine guns for most civilian applications, however, so only "grandfathered" weapons produced before this date are legally transferable.

View More On
  1. CountryGent

    Q&A 54: Machine Gun Questions w/ Msgt. (Ret) John Keene

    This month's Forgotten Weapons is all on machine-guns. Just passing it along.
  2. CountryGent

    Interview with Jonathan Babb: All About Post-86 Machine Guns

    Details on posties. Just passing it along.
  3. CountryGent

    Thinking of adding SOT to FFL

    So I, or rather the company I setup, has been 01FFL licensed for some years. As a side hustle it hasn't been bad, though I really had to scale it back during 2020 due to nightmare that year was for us. Anywho, back at it, and renewal is coming up soon and thinking about adding a SOT to the...
  4. CountryGent

    NFA Processing & Coronavirus

    From the American Suppressor Association: NFA Processing & Coronavirus
  5. CountryGent

    Transferrable? Pre-May? Post-86? Dewat? John Keene Explains

    For those interested in the terminology. Cheers. :)
  6. CountryGent

    Q&A 27: Machine Guns with John Keene

    I found this Q&A session interesting, so thought I'd pass it along. Cheers. :)
  7. CountryGent

    National  Upgrading to 07/02 FFL

    So, I, or rather on of the companies I've formed, is already 01FFL (dealer) licensed. The thought, for a variety of reasons, has crossed my mind to upgrade to type 07/02 (manufacturer) license. The price difference for the license is irrelevant. ITAR is a royal PITA, but I can still roll with...
  8. CountryGent

    Col Chinn's (Free) 5-Volume Opus on Machine Guns

    This appears to be an interesting set of reference material. The free PDF version he mentions can be found here or here.
  9. CountryGent

    Final Prices: James D. Julia Fall 2017 Auction

    Most of the items, pretty much the first half of the video, are transferable machine-guns and destructive devices. Anyway, I thought I'd pass it along in the event it is also interesting to others.
Back Top