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Deactivated MP40

Article about: I have been offered a deactivated MP40. I am in the United States and I was reading some mixed information on them regarding legal possession of one. Does anyone have any insight on it?

  1. #21


    A Hell of a shame-it looks like a beauty, but Wayyyyy too much worries....

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  2. #22


    It sounds like the seller doesn't know what it is, i.e. a dummy or dewat so it does make you wonder. If he knew what it was I'm pretty sure he would be telling you. I think I'd be explaining to him that you suspect it is illegal and that unless he can prove otherwise you are walking away and that he should consider having it checked him self as it appears he's not an expert and can't confirm either way.

  3. #23


    Quote by relicz View Post
    Found this a while back - 4 to 6 years ago at any rate.

    Here’s the Reader’s Digest version with machineguns in the US (and bear in mind, I’m speaking federal law only…not state law(s.)) By the way, it’s still a long read…
    Wow, that was a long time ago when I wrote that! ( Machine gun legality in the US - MISCELLANEOUS - U.S. Militaria Forum )
    It's still valid though.

  4. #24


    Quote by BillinVA View Post
    Wow, that was a long time ago when I wrote that! ( Machine gun legality in the US - MISCELLANEOUS - U.S. Militaria Forum )
    It's still valid though.
    It is the best explanation I have ever come across on the web! I appreciate you posting it, it is extremely useful and very well written - kudos.

  5. #25


    Quote by relicz View Post
    It is the best explanation I have ever come across on the web! I appreciate you posting it, it is extremely useful and very well written - kudos.
    Thank you for the kind words, relicz. Having an FFL and being active in the NFA "club" for quite some time now kind of behooves one to pay close attention to the intricacies of the law and the vagaries of government bureaucracy. (This also reminds me, my FFL is up for renewal and I need to get it off my coffee table and in the mail.) Going back to the original thread and re-reading all the way through it might also give some help to the OP as well as anyone else who runs across a potentially-unregistered NFA device.

    Another good "read" on the National Firearms Act is James Bardwell's FAQ. It's a bit dated (mostly in regards to the 1994 assault weapons ban vis a vis short-barreled rifles and shotguns), but it;'s still an excellent write-up. It can be found at: FAQ On National Firearms Act Weapons

    I have lost count over the years how many unpapered guns I've run across in my "travels" to gun shows, reenactments, yard sales and flea markets, estate sales, jug shoots, etc... Similarly, there are also quite a lot of NFA devices that are "in the system" (i.e., registered in the NFRTR) but for which paperwork has disappeared so it definitely pays to do one's due diligence.

    Consider, for example, just how many machine guns were registered in the 1968, but for which no record of transfer exists. If a 35 year old man registered a machine gun in the '68 amnesty, he'd be 81 today...right at the typical life expectancy for the average American these days. IIRC, around 55000 firearms were registered in the 1968 amnesty, and roughly a quarter of that number were machine guns...about the same amount registered in the first four or five years after WWII, and approximately 13 times the typical number of annual registrations in the decade leading up to the amnesty. Many of those guns have never been transferred. Granted, not all of those guys are dead (I have a very good friend who served with the 505 PIR in WWII who has an absolutely superb machine gun collection, most of which he either sneaked home, or were DEWATs he purchased after the war and then illegally re-activated. When the 1968 amnesty came, he told me how he and his wife spent two full days at the local sheriff's office registering everything he had. He still refers to November 2, 1968 as "the day all my sins were forgiven" ha ha.) On the other hand, I've run across a fair number of machine guns over the years wherein grandpa brought it back from the war with his capture papers. Perhaps he registered it prior to/during the amnesty, perhaps he didn't. (A brief aside: as the Ken Crane demonstrates, even War Dept. "capture papers" can serve as proof of registration and lawful compliance with the 1934 NFA.) But grandpa is dead now, his wife kept his guns never actually transferring them into her name, and now Junior has found them while settling grandma's estate. It's still possible to keep those guns legal and restore their pedigree if the process is approached properly.

    I've rambled on too long and digressed a bit, but the bottom line to the OP, and others who find themselves in the same boat, is to not automatically assume "that old Nazi burp gun" is illegal. Do the research first, and even if it turns out to be unregistered, the parts kits (i.e., everything but the receiver) have significant monetary value. Those folks with registered live guns still need repair/replacement parts to keep their guns running. BTW, anyone got a bolt for a MAT49???

    Edit: a few pics of my recreation time, with apologies to the OP
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