So my gun dealing SHTF Survival homeboy emails me the other day with “slide fire anyone?” in the subject line. The body of the email was simply:
I’ve got 1 to sell; $330 tax and all.
“Slide Fire?” you ask. Yes – THIS:
It’s a stock that makes the civilian version of the M16 or M4 fully automatic – legally! (It’s also available on Amazon by clicking here.)
“Impossible,” you say. “Not unless you go through the Class III federal tax stamp process and pay a boat load of money for one.”
Well, not exactly. It comes down to how you define “machine gun.” If I go thumbing through the ATF National Firearms Act Handbook I see that the ATF defines fully automatic as a firearm that discharges more than one round with a single pull of the trigger. That’s how the ATF defines it. I define machine gun as a rifle that can go “brrrrrip” firing a bunch of rounds in rapid succession. That’s what the Slide Fire allows, only instead of modifying the trigger for full auto, it allows for controlled bump firing. Slide Fire Solutions seems to have successfully circumvented the law with this stock. The ATF even issued a statement to the company stating that yes, in fact, the stock is legal.
Check this YouTube video for a full description of the the Slide Fire:
The first question that comes to my mind is – How long before the ATF’s definition of “machine gun” gets changed as a result of this? The intent with their legal definition of machine gun was to prevent exactly what the Slide Fire allows. I suspect it’ll take one news worthy incident with the Slide Fire before someone in Congress submits a bill that has traction. You’ll just need to see some freak out of his mind use the Slide Fire to mow people down before the general public gets clued in to what this thing can do. Or maybe it’d take these things showing up in large volume in Mexican drug wars. Once an incident like that happens you can bet that the Slide Fire will become unavailable as everyone will suddenly decide they “need” to get one of these before they’re banned.
The second questions that comes to my mind is – Does one really “need” a Slide Fire (or full auto)?
My first impression of the Slide Fire was “woah, that looks like a ton of fun.” Then I saw the $300+ price (way too high for a basic stock). I thought, “but this could be an investment once they’re banned.” Then I realized how many times I’ve used the “investment” argument to justify unnecessary purchases.
If I think about the Slide Fire and its cost from a SHTF preparedness perspective I’m faced with the how will this help improve preparedness debate. I’ve never served in the military, but if I think of a SHTF collapse environment as mirroring a societal collapse that includes war-like survival, I’d imagine a fully automatic rifle’s primary purpose is for suppressive fire, to keep the enemy pinned down while your comrades advance. No?
Of course, multiple rounds being fired in a survival situation is better than one round – or is it? What’s the shot placement accuracy rate of bullets fired from a fully automatic rifle? Is one well placed round better than a several randomly fired rounds? Yes. Much better.
Then again, with the Slide Fire, you could still fire one round at a time OR go fully automatic. You could have the best of both worlds.
But for $300+ price my mind starts wandering to other things I could do with that money. Winter is coming and I’d like to buy a decent pair of cross country skis. I wouldn’t mind replacing my sub-zero winter sleeping bag for winter hiking. Both of those items do not come cheap, and unlike the Slide Fire (which would cost even more through unnecessary “wasting” of expensive bullets), cross country skis and a winter sleeping bag would get much more use. They’d also work to improve my health during the winter months when it’s harder to be active outside.
If I was rich it wouldn’t be a question, give me a Slide Fire. But I’m not rich. Money isn’t falling off trees. So in the end, it’s no Slide Fire for me. If I need to fire rapid rounds, it’s not that hard to pull the trigger fast. I’ll save my money for something more … practical.
I’d like to try a Slide Fire, though. Maybe I shall, and if I do, will review here.
– Ranger Man