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I knew Bob to be a truly decent man who was very dedicated to the firearms industry and to doing the right thing. Gem of a man.I had the full auto integrally suppressed version of this. Due to the volume of the can and the Sterling lineage, it was quiet, controllable and accurate, like scary accurate (in semi mode). Like a fool I sold it. Well actually I needed to get my truck repaired & needed the money, AND it was 25 years ago. Who knew!
I met Bob several times. Great guy. Very "old school" to say the least! He was responsible for a lot of conversations as well, many of which I got to shoot while working as an RSO at the ARPC full auto shoots (sadly no longer happening).
Interesting story (though not really a story because sadly it's true)-
Prior to the 1986 deadline, manufacturers knew it was coming, so they all went into overdrive making the registered part(s)- receivers, bolts, sears. In Bobs case it was receivers for both his 9mm and .45ACP versions of the Sterling.
Bob made 1200 receivers to what he considered to be more than 80% . At some point he was visited by ATF. They inspected the receivers and told him they were NOT past the 80% threshold and could not be registered as transferable. Bob replied that he would then make them into semi auto only guns (which he had been doing along with the full autos). ATF told him he could not do that because they were too far along to being full auto!
Bob of course protested, but ATF's response was "go ahead and sue us".
I visited Bob at his shop after this all went down. Sure enough I saw 1200 receivers neatly stacked like firewood under a long workbench.
The ATF had cheated Bob out of his retirement. What is really sad is that all of these receivers were going to be leagally registered, transferable NFA registered guns only sold to people with squeaky clean backgrounds willing to go through the Form 4 process.
What a shame........