Im an avid lover of military surplus weapons. have quite the collection myself. I really enjoy admiring, holding, messing around with pieces of history, but dont get out to shoot much and with the way ammo is, hard time to afford.

There are tons of parts kits for various machine guns floating around, and as long as you dont weld up the receiver into a working fashion, you can create a fun display piece out them usually.

I have the skills and equipment to re-assemble parts kits into something resembling their former selves, and in particular weld/recreate receivers and parts for weapons that have been demilled per ATF spec. Due to ATF ideas of what constitutes a firearm, I cant just reweld the receiver bits back together and reassemble the gun, since then it would be an unregistered machine gun. I have no desire to do anything illegal, so I'm thinking on how to accomplish a tight goal:

Assemble a parts kit into something that resembles and operates like its former self without being something readily converted to being a firearm, while also not irreperably destroying the parts kit and preventing future reactivation, if someone decides to put in the time and effort to reactivate it.

I think the short answer is that I can only accomplish part of my goal, assembling the parts into something that properly resembles its former self, but in the end I will have to make permanent changes to the parts to keep things legal.
I would like to make the guns have a reciprocating bolt and removable magazine, but I dont know how possible that is and keeping things within ATF spec.

With all that said, if I can figure out a way to properly create these display items without attracting the ire of the ATF, how interested would people be in buying these display items?
If I can get parts kits for $100-300 of machine guns people cant buy semi auto versions of, and then make a reasonable display of them, what would you pay for it, if anything? Would people enjoy having a display gun vs nothing at all but pictures online of said gun? Let me know what you think and what experience you have with this, if any! At the very least, I would enjoy creating display pieces for my own enjoyment, and would love to know how from people who have done it before.
No idea what the ATF specs are for display pieces but couldn't you replace select real parts with a frangible part to make it inactive? Fe a firing pin made of of paper, or whatever part is appropriate. It would look the part but could never fire a live bullet. Don't know anything about it just throwing out ideas.

As far as the market For display guns I have no idea. My guess is it would need to be a weapon that could not be obtained as a legal semi auto. I know you can buy things like uzi, mp5, mp40, pps in semi auto form. Often they are avail in original caliber, 22lr, and BB gun forms. I have an mp40 for example in BB gun machine gun form. Size, weight etc is very close to the original mp40. So how many people would go for a non-functional gun over a functional one? Speaking of usa only not countries where functional semi auto clones/replicas are not available maybe market is different in those countries I don't know.

Here is a pic of the mp40 fyi. Has clack clack clack action and functional stock.

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I had the same idea and just use a welded on fake barrel that cant chamber a round but the prices are over the top now . There used to be kits for $40-50 bucks but no more it is almost cheaper to buy a semi auto functioning one from Atlantic .
A homemade tank for display or for the next parade.

Start your viewing at 04:37

Aloha, Mark

PS.....I ran across this project today. Proof that not everything awesome needs to be "on display".

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