I’m putting away some money for a machine gun in the next year or two, but am having trouble deciding which one I should end up getting. I’m looking at either subguns or automatic rifles, as most rifle-caliber MGs (M1919, M2, etc.) are expensive to buy and expensive to feed. No miniguns for me.
Here’s my current list:
- Uzi. 9mm is relatively inexpensive. Can fire both semi- and full-auto. Simple operating mechanism (less to go wrong). Parts and magazines are widely available and inexpensive. Only downside: controls are not ambidextrous/lefty-friendly, but not a big problem (I’ve fired Uzis, and it works pretty well even though I’m a lefty.) Cost: between $6,000 and $8,000.
- Ruger AC-556. Factory chambering in .223, but one can also fire .22LR easily with a simple conversion kit. Parts are widely available. Ruger still provides free warranty service. Can fire semi-auto, full-auto, or three round burst. Uses Garand-style operating mechanism for strength and reliability. Available in both stainless or blued steel. It also doesn’t look terribly scary, and so wouldn’t stand out much unless I switch it to one of the “fun” positions. Cost: between $6,000 and $8,000. Lefty-friendly.
- M16. Chambered in .223, but one can equip any number of uppers, conversion kits, etc. to change calibers to just about anything. Truly the “lego set” of guns. I’d probably get a DIAS, as I’d be afraid of damaging a registered receiver. Lightning links are also an option, but their fragility troubles me. Cost: around $12,000. Lefty-friendly.
- MP5. Everyone wants one, so prices are crazy — about $15,000. Registered sears can be easily moved to other HK guns, giving one some flexibility. Long-term durability is somewhat iffy (they’re not as durable as, say, Uzis). Parts and mags are widely available, but not the cheapest thing around. Pretty lefty-friendly.
The warranty service on the AC-556 is a perk, but the relatively thin barrel does heat up fast, so lots of full-mag dumps probably won’t be a good thing. It’s non-scary appearance may be handy in some situations.
M16s are expensive, but have wide industry support. The potential for a future “assault weapons ban” not including machine guns could still affect me, as it would freeze the supply of magazines and possibly other stuff (uppers, barrels, etc.). Troubling.
The MP5 is a fine subgun, but everyone seems to want one, so prices are stupidly high. The Uzi has a much more “crude” appearance (but is perfectly functional), and is about half the price.
I’m not looking for a “safe queen”, so “new in box” guns are probably not a good idea. I intend to shoot such a gun on a regular basis and keep it in good repair, rather than keep it as an investment or collector’s item.
Any thoughts or input?