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Thread: Questions about NFA HKs

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    Questions about NFA HKs

    Hi, folks.

    I've been looking at getting a 7.62 NATO MG and was originally looking at Valmet M78s and Springfield SAR48s (heavy barreled version), but after some input from fellow UziTalkers I thought that going the registered sear/pack HK route would be better in the long run. But I've got lots of questions, being pretty new to the NFA world (just one Reising in the collection).

    Registered packs... what do I need to know about them, as far as manufacturers? I've seen Fleming and S&H the most. Are they pretty much the same? Anything to stay away from? It seems that it's easiest to find a pack that's being sold with a host gun... but if it's an SBR and I remove the pack to put in another host, I'd need to register the previous host as an SBR, right? Unless it's already registered as one, which would entail another tax stamp?

    I've seen Vollmer, RTDS, Vector, and some other conversions... are some better than others? Anything to stay away from?

    Someone in another thread posted a link to an article that talked about the various HK conversions and what they entailed, but I'm looking for tips on good conversions and things like that. I'd prefer to buy something locally so I could check it out, but since there are so many more options available online I'm simply trying to learn as much as I can so I don't get stuck with a lemon... not like these transfered weapons are all that easy to return, I suppose.

    Where does a newbie to the HK NFA world start? I don't want to get stuck with a sear pack that's married to one weapon... I'd like to be able to buy other host guns and move it around, but I don't want to run afoul of the laws by doing so.

    I don't even know where to start... but I'm also assuming many others have had these same questions/concerns, so I'm hoping there's a good resource out there that I just don't know about. But I'm also looking forward to any input you fine folks might have.

    Thanks in advance, all!

    ~ Greg ~
    "Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 July 1848

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    First read the "The Complete Reference on the Legal NFA Conversion of HK Firearms" period. That is just a starting place. There is so much information. IMHO I would not buy any register receiver with an unaltered semi auto (still has the self welded over where the push pin would go on the front of the trigger pack) receiver that was converted with an unregistered sear. There "could" be legal issues with a RR in this configuration. Some RR have started out life in this configuration, then had the receiver altered for a PP. The NFA Branch issued a cut off date for this modification. If the modification was done after that date there can be legal "issues". So just because a RR currently has a PP doesn't mean there "could not" be legal issues with the RR down the road.

    I'm sure it would be easy to make a several hundred page book covering what you have asked above. My brother started out with an Uzi. The Uzi is a simple and effective open bolt gun. Because of how light the Uzi is compared to the weight of the bolt, to me, shooting a single round in "AUTO" feels like shooting a double (two rounds). There is a slight jerk when the bolt is released from the sear and moves forward. Then there is the movement of the bolt firing the round and recoiling back.

    I started with a Colt "M16" RR. To compete in subgun matches I set up a Colt 9mm subgun upper. I had some issues with the drop in magwell block. It was frustrating. It seemed every run, I'd have some "problem" with the Colt gun. It might be one little double feed or it could be a major jam. But it was always something.

    My brother transitioned to a MP5 sear gun. It seemed that the only problems he had, were problems he made for himself. I have to say after shooting his MP5 sear gun and the reliability he had, I started thinking about getting one. I happened to find a local deal on a Vollmer converted 94 that was "married" to a Fleming sear. I must say that for a subgun it is hard to beat a HK style roller locked gun. The delayed roller blow back makes the bolt group very light. It seems to me that the lower the amount of mass (the bolt/carrier group) moving around in the gun, the lower the movement of the gun.

    I'm still a AR guy. I found a deal on a DIAS. I sold the Colt M16 RR to help fund the MP5 sear gun. The AR platform is much easier to work on. A work bench with a vice and some specialty tools and I can do most anything I want with the AR platform. The DIAS gives me almost as many options as my HK sear. The HK can do .308 and the DIAS can't, at least right now. If you want to do anything major with a roller locked gun, you'll need at least a 12 ton press and a welder. I can get two or three different uppers in different calibers plus mags for what it would cost for one roller locked clone. If you want real HK hosts they start around $4,000 and go quickly to $6,000+. A MM23E host will run $12,000 unless you put in a deposit five years ago.

    I did nothing with my Vollmer/Fleming sear gun for a year and a half. I filed a Form 1 and made the Vollmer converted 94 into a SBR. It was another six or eight months before I bought some clones from Coharie Arms. I didn't receive the fourth one six months after I ordered them. I'm still working on a couple of them to get them 100% reliable.

    Have you shot a full sized .308 rifle in full auto? IMHO it is not fun. A full size FAL or a M14 (the two I've shot) are heavy to shoot off hand. Once you pull the trigger in "AUTO" you must try to transition from pushing up under the fore end, to pulling down because the muzzle wants to climb. I've seen guys that have mastered it. It is not a skill I have a big desire to learn. My sure a G3 type of rifle would be the same. With the lower recoil and half the price of the ammo, 5.56X45/.223 is so much more fun in "AUTO" to me than 7.62X51/.308.

    If you have your heart set on a HK roller locked style full auto firearm, a good source I've found is HK Pro. I've been a member there since 2003 and started to learn the basics. I didn't really try to learn the finer points until I was ready to buy in 2007. I'm still learning. It can be a complicated an very expensive NFA system. With a registered sear and/or sear in a pack, in the +/-$12,000 range, a registered trigger frame in the +/- $14,000 range, that is a lot of money without a firearm to shoot. A US made clone host would be in the $1,200-$1,500 range. A pistol host with a US made receiver and a HK parts kit would be around $2,000-$2,300 to start in a pistol caliber. An all HK host $4,000 and up. That is a pretty big step up from a Reising. It doesn't mean you can't do it, but I got very well educated before I put that kind of money into something. My brother won't have anything to do with a clone. He is HK or nothing. My original host is the only all HK host I'm ever planning to buy. As far as this conversion verses that conversion, some of it is more of a "Ford verses Chevy" debate to me. Good luck with your search.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8




    Registered packs... what do I need to know about them, as far as manufacturers? I've seen Fleming and S&H the most. Are they pretty much the same? Anything to stay away from? It seems that it's easiest to find a pack that's being sold with a host gun... but if it's an SBR and I remove the pack to put in another host, I'd need to register the previous host as an SBR, right? Unless it's already registered as one, which would entail another tax stamp?
    S&H, Qualified and Fleming are all good sears. Stay away from Hard Times Armory registered sears. They are rare, but if you can find a registered trigger box grab it. You can then use all factory internals and that box will be the last thing to break. Btw, even though they are called "registered sears" the part is actually a sear catch that is usually registered, not the sear itself.

    If you have the three common HK semi auto host guns (HK 91, HK 93 and HK94) and a single registered sear pack, most folks usually only cut and crown the HK94 to MP5 length. So in that scenario only the HK94 would need to be registered as a SBR. If you move the sear pack to your HK91 you would have to have justification for your short HK94 barrel. Also by registering the 94 as a SBR you could install the original factory trigger group and run it as a semi while the registered sear pack is installed in your 91 or 93.

    In addition to the registered sear pack you would need to get full auto bolt carriers for each weapon, or have the carriers welded up to trip the sear lever. Personally I'd recommend getting HK G3, 33 and MP5 bolt groups so that you have the original semi auto parts should you ever decide to sell them. Also when you move the registered pack from host gun to host gun, you will of course have to change the ejector lever to the correct one for each caliber so you will want a spare ejection lever for each firearm.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8

    I've seen Vollmer, RTDS, Vector, and some other conversions... are some better than others? Anything to stay away from?
    Vollmer, Dyer, Urbach, RDTS and S&H conversions should all be fine. Avoid Vector as they deal mostly with clones.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8

    Someone in another thread posted a link to an article that talked about the various HK conversions and what they entailed, but I'm looking for tips on good conversions and things like that. I'd prefer to buy something locally so I could check it out, but since there are so many more options available online I'm simply trying to learn as much as I can so I don't get stuck with a lemon... not like these transfered weapons are all that easy to return, I suppose.

    Where does a newbie to the HK NFA world start? I don't want to get stuck with a sear pack that's married to one weapon... I'd like to be able to buy other host guns and move it around, but I don't want to run afoul of the laws by doing so.

    I don't even know where to start... but I'm also assuming many others have had these same questions/concerns, so I'm hoping there's a good resource out there that I just don't know about. But I'm also looking forward to any input you fine folks might have.

    Thanks in advance, all!

    ~ Greg ~
    And that is why you want to deal with a reputable established dealer. Sending a check for $15k and waiting a few months requires a LOT of trust. You want somebody who has been in business for several years and has a track record of taking care of customers, especially when it comes to resolving a problem where the customer didn't get exactly what he was expecting to get.

    Find a dealer you can trust and ask every question you think is important. It might cost a little more than the "deal" you saw on the internet that looks like a better buy from a guy you don't know much about but remember you are also buying peace of mind and the security of dealing with a reputable individual.

    I once had a customer who found a "screaming deal" on a registered S&H HK sear and wanted me to receive it for him. What showed up wasn't like any S&H sear I'd ever seen (despite what the Form 4 said) and even worse it had obviously once broken and been re-welded. So much for the "screaming deal" price. Even worse was when the customer tried to get out of the deal. Long story short, the seller found another buyer and my guy was able to get out from under it and it became the next guys problem. But he might not have been so lucky. And even at $2,500 less than the going rate, it's still a lot of money to pay for a broken and re welded piece of metal.

    A good place to start is the subguns.com classifieds and ask around who is local to you that is a known and respected NFA dealer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG
    S&H, Qualified and Fleming are all good sears.
    Oh... Qualified is the name of the company. LOL I had seen those around, but thought it meant it was "qualified" to be NFA or something. Funny.
    And that is why you want to deal with a reputable established dealer. Sending a check for $15k and waiting a few months requires a LOT of trust.
    That's definitely a good call. The one local C3 dealer I have doesn't have a huge selection and I'm definitely wary about sending a complete stranger a check that big. In addition to Sturmgewehr and Subguns, here's a list of some of the online sites I've been perusing recently:

    http://www.davidspiwak.com/
    http://www.dealernfa.com/
    http://www.impactguns.com/store/
    http://www.autoweapons.com/home.html
    http://www.onlythebestfirearms.com/index.html
    http://www.westernfirearms.com/wfc

    Are there any other major ones I should have in my favorites? Or are any of those sites in my list actuallt places I might want to avoid?

    Thanks again for the info, folks!

    ~ Greg ~
    "Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 July 1848

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8
    Oh... Qualified is the name of the company. LOL I had seen those around, but thought it meant it was "qualified" to be NFA or something. Funny.


    That's definitely a good call. The one local C3 dealer I have doesn't have a huge selection and I'm definitely wary about sending a complete stranger a check that big. In addition to Sturmgewehr and Subguns, here's a list of some of the online sites I've been perusing recently:

    http://www.davidspiwak.com/
    http://www.dealernfa.com/
    http://www.impactguns.com/store/
    http://www.autoweapons.com/home.html
    http://www.onlythebestfirearms.com/index.html
    http://www.westernfirearms.com/wfc

    Are there any other major ones I should have in my favorites? Or are any of those sites in my list actuallt places I might want to avoid?

    Thanks again for the info, folks!

    ~ Greg ~

    Ruben Mendiola (dealernfa) is a good guy with an excellent reputation.

    Autoweapons seems needlessly expensive and I'm not sure they are associated with a known and respected dealer like Ruben. Same goes for OnlyTheBest, it's not that Vito is a bad guy or anything, just that he is an average dealer with higher than average prices. Not really impressed with Impact Guns either. Gordon Miller is a well respected HK dealer (HKSpecialists).

    Like I said, I'd ask around at Subguns on their message boards who the A+ rated dealers are. Just because somebody has a listing on Subguns or Sturm doesn't make them a recommended dealer.

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    FWIW, I have spent many dollars on a couple machine-guns from Ruben Mediola (dealernfa.com). I trust him completely and would not hesitate to recommend him. He answers the phone when you call, keeps his commitments and delivers the weapon without surprises. I can't personally speak for the others although I have a friend who had business dealings with David Spiwak and it was a very positive transaction too. Happy hunting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billman
    FWIW, I have spent many dollars on a couple machine-guns from Ruben Mediola (dealernfa.com). I trust him completely and would not hesitate to recommend him. He answers the phone when you call, keeps his commitments and delivers the weapon without surprises. I can't personally speak for the others although I have a friend who had business dealings with David Spiwak and it was a very positive transaction too. Happy hunting!
    I've been impressed with Ruben so far. He's been quick to respond to a couple of emails I've sent him. I do like the customer service. The folks at autoweapons.com have been really responsive, too, so I'll give them props for their customer service as well. I do see their prices are pretty high... I mean, Reisings for $6-7K? That's pretty whacked.

    It's just really hard to find a place you're comfortable spending this kind of money. I'm going to do what I can to be patient... but that can be an epic effort when you're talking about weapons with fun switches.

    Thanks again for the info, guys!

    ~ Greg ~
    "Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 July 1848

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8
    I've been impressed with Ruben so far. He's been quick to respond to a couple of emails I've sent him. I do like the customer service. The folks at autoweapons.com have been really responsive, too, so I'll give them props for their customer service as well. I do see their prices are pretty high... I mean, Reisings for $6-7K? That's pretty whacked.

    It's just really hard to find a place you're comfortable spending this kind of money. I'm going to do what I can to be patient... but that can be an epic effort when you're talking about weapons with fun switches.

    Thanks again for the info, guys!

    ~ Greg ~

    I've been a FFL/SOT for going on 12 years now and in all that time I have never heard anyone with anything bad to say about Ruben. That is probably where you want to make your first purchase.

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    I mean no offense to any dealer but relying on the dealer instead of doing your own due diligence seems like a bad idea to me. It is still your money not the dealer's money. I would highly suggest you get very well educated before considering handing over $12,000, $14,000, or maybe even $18,000 on an NFA firearm you aren't very familiar with. Your mileage may varie.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother_Evil
    I mean no offense to any dealer but relying on the dealer instead of doing your own due diligence seems like a bad idea to me. It is still your money not the dealer's money. I would highly suggest you get very well educated before considering handing over $12,000, $14,000, or maybe even $18,000 on an NFA firearm you aren't very familiar with. Your mileage may varie.

    Scott

    That goes without saying. But an honest and reputable dealer will also be a helpful source of information in many cases. And more importantly, regardless of what you know, being able to TRUST somebody to describe items accurately and trust them with your 12-14k for several months is really important.

    I don't think anyone here is suggesting a person not research items or take time to educate themselves. In fact that seems to be the purpose of this topic is to cover the main points they need to know.

    But using my earlier example, my customer was extremely well researched and believed he had found exactly what he was looking for, a quality sear at a good price. He was expecting a S&H sear. But because he purchased from an unknown dealer, what he got was a broken and re-welded piece of metal. Buying from reputable dealers usually spares you these kinds of experiences.

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    Ruben is good to go,if he gets on a role about someone he doesnt like its great listening to him swear and it WILL make you laugh. Hes pretty cool to talk to.
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    Okay... another question I've run into as I've been looking at the various options. I see a number of RR guns with the four-position trigger packs (safe-semi-burst-auto). I've not seen any standalone packs yet of any variety - everything I've seen for sale thus far has been with a host gun, too. But I've not seen any registered four position packs with host guns, only RR guns. So... were any of the four position packs registered? Or only the SEF packs?

    I definitely like the idea of bursts... always wanted a weapon with that option. But I'm more interested in going the registered pack route rather than getting a registered receiver so I have more options down the road.

    Thanks again, folks!

    ~ Greg ~
    "Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 July 1848

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptrthgr8
    Okay... another question I've run into as I've been looking at the various options. I see a number of RR guns with the four-position trigger packs (safe-semi-burst-auto). I've not seen any standalone packs yet of any variety - everything I've seen for sale thus far has been with a host gun, too. But I've not seen any registered four position packs with host guns, only RR guns. So... were any of the four position packs registered? Or only the SEF packs?

    I definitely like the idea of bursts... always wanted a weapon with that option. But I'm more interested in going the registered pack route rather than getting a registered receiver so I have more options down the road.

    Thanks again, folks!

    ~ Greg ~
    OK, with a registered receiver, especially if it is a push pin / swing down you can install any configuration HK trigger group without issues.

    On a registered sear gun (usually a registered sear catch)you would have to move it from the current trigger group (usually a SEF configuration) and have it installed in the 4 position trigger group and have it modified accordingly. So there would be some gunsmithing involved and that is why it isn't very common to see. But to the best of my knowledge, it would work in a 4 position trigger group.

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    My brother bought a sear not installed in a pack. He had TSC install the sear into a four position three rd burst pack. Between buying the four position three rd burst trigger group and the gun smithing involved in converting the pack for registered sear use, he spent almost $1,000. It is my understanding that it would be around $500 to have a registered sear installed into a SEF trigger group.

    As a registered sear owner you'd only be allow to own one modified pack that was "sear ready". For a registered sear to be installed into a pack, that pack would need to be modified. That modification would entail welding, drilling, and grinding. It is not a "drop in" type of installation. A pack that has been modified for use with a registered sear would have the disconnector function inactive in the third (and fourth) position. If that "sear ready" pack was installed on a semi auto gun and the selector placed in the burst or auto position, there would be noting to hold the hammer back. So the hammer would follow the bolt group back into battery. It is possible that with the hammer pushing on the firing pin, that the next rd in the chamber could go off. If it did, that would meet the definition of machinegun. So a "sear ready" pack would meet the definition of machinegun "conversion device", I.E. a machinegun. Since the "sear ready" pack is not in the NFA Registry, it would be considered an unregistered machinegun.

    Most recreational shooters that have a four position two or three rd burst pack say they very rarely use the burst feature. There is a big difference between casual shooting at a match or machinegun shoot and using a full auto firearm in a life or death situation. My brother said he usually uses the burst position when he is showing a first time shooter how to use full auto. I usually start with five rds in the mag. By going a little deeper into the trigger and using the second pad of my trigger finger, I can get singles fairly consistently in the "AUTO" position of my SEF pack with a registered sear. If I want a two or three rd burst, I hold the trigger a little longer than for a single.

    The trigger frames that were registered would have been SEF packs. It is possible to have the registered frame modified to the ambidextrous style of pack. It would not be a easy modification. By the same token, it might be hard to find someone that would do the work depending on where the manufacturer's information is on the registered pack. And also someone willing to take on the risk. To risk modifying a $14,000 trigger frame for a couple of hundred dollars profit sounds might not be that appealing to most HK smiths. So if there are any registered trigger frames that are ambidextrous/burst capable, there would not be many of them. So like any item in the registry where there is only a few of them, that item would not come up for sale very often.

    Scott

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    HK burst option trigger packs contains 57 parts. All 57 parts has to be assembled in order for it to work. You can reassemble in an incorrect order and it will fit together but will not function. The complicated design will allow adjustable burst within burst mode. If you fire less than three rounds and then reengage the trigger the HK burst system will automatically reset to allow for three round burst per pull of the trigger compared to the M16 burst control trigger group. If you fire less than three rounds with the M16 burst control and you pull the trigger again all you will get is the remaining count to three.

    HK originally designed the 3 burst trigger packs for the U.S. Navy requirements only. HK doesn’t promote 3 burst as standard issue nor do they use in the German: Military, Elite Squads, and/or Law Enforcement. HK engineers have always expressed the prosition that the 3 burst feature was unnecessary for professional use.

    The HK burst trigger packs remains popular only in the U.S. civilian market. However if you choose the burst option HK would be the best choice until it’s time to completely disassemble for a detail cleaning. I recommend organize parts on a matt as disassembled from the trigger group to ease correct reassembly of parts order for reliable function.
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    I agree that there is no need for a burst pack. Needless complication. I have had an SEF with fleming sear for about 5 years. One of my favorite platforms.

    If you get a sear, go ahead and purchase a 22 conversion kit for the G3. I think it is the best 22 converstion that I have ever played with.

    You will likely end up spending more on other host guns, mags, kits, etc than you have in the sear over time. I know that sounds crazy, but you likely will.

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    if you haven't found it yet... www.sturmgewehr.com Many good deals on there. i wouldn't hesitate to offer $11k in the current market for a sear in a pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infoseeker456 View Post
    You will likely end up spending more on other host guns, mags, kits, etc than you have in the sear over time. I know that sounds crazy, but you likely will.
    This.
    Last edited by trek45; 09-08-2013 at 12:21 PM.

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