Machine guns, those requiring only one trigger pull to unleash countless loads of ammo, are illegal for civilian ownership with the exception of special licenses. But a Texas-based firearm manufacturer has created a semi-automatic weapon that delivers machine gun-like rapid fire.
Slide Fire Solutions is set to release a new rifle, said to sell for $6,000, using a technique called bumping. The belt-fed rifle, which could also be fed with a traditional magazine, according to KTVT-TV, could fire hundreds of rounds.
“It sprays like a fire hose,” Brandon Renner, sales and marketing manager for Slide Fire, told CNN Money. “We recommend no more than 30 rounds on the belt, but one person could make it as big as they want.”
The product is legal under Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations because it still requires a single pull for each bullet, although the trigger pull is facilitated by the momentum of the gun’s recoil moving the user’s finger.
Here’s how it fits within the law, according to CNN:
The key is that of the pieces that make up a gun, the ATF regulates only the “receiver.” It’s the only piece that has a serial number and the only one that requires a background check to purchase. Slide Fire modifies the trigger and the stock — the butt of the gun that sits against the shooter’s shoulder.
Slide Fire’s technology uses the recoil of the rifle shot to “bump” the gun, speeding up the rate of fire without changing the gun’s classification as a semiautomatic, which requires that only one round is fired each time the trigger is pulled.
Slide Fire states on its website that it “has not been notified by any individual state that our products conflict with any state laws.” CNN confirmed with ATF Spokesman Christopher Amon that the device is legal.
Still, some won’t carry the new Slide Fire rifle, it’s other products or allow it to be used on their ranges.
Tom Mannewitz, who owns TargetMaster store and indoor gun ranges, told KTVT they don’t allow weapons using bumping technology at the range.
“…one of our range rules is no uncontrolled rapid fire,” Mannewitz said. “When you’re bump’ firing a gun it is not under control.”
Mannewitz though acknowledged an understanding for some gun enthusiasts wanting to see how fast they could shoot. Still, he said for those licensed to own and fire machine guns, it can get old.
“I’m a class-3 dealer and most people that buy machine guns – once they’ve shot a couple or three thousand rounds through it, realize how expensive it is, then don’t shoot it anymore,” he told KTVT.
CNN reported James Hill, owner of Abilene Indoor Gun Range in Texas, saying he carries Slide Fire products but won’t carry the new rifle because he thinks there will be too much demand.
From a safety standpoint, Hill said the “poor man’s machine gun” is a little harder to shoot than a traditional automatic weapon, but with practice “it’s fairly idiot proof.”
Watch this footage with Guns & Ammo magazine showing how the Slide Fire product works:
“Unlike when bump firing from the hip; the SSAR-15 allows the shooter to properly aim the firearm. In addition, the shooter must push forward to discharge each round, as a result, the shooter corrects their point-of-aim for each shot discharged instead of allowing recoil to push the muzzle upward,” Slide Fire describes of its product.
CNN Money reported the SFS BFR should be available this fall.
Laura Shackelford, Chief Executive Manager of Slide Fire Solutions, in the spring during the heat of the gun control debate published a piece on TheBlaze’s Contributors section regarding the constitutional issues of proposed gun legislation.
TheBlaze reached out to Slide Fire for comment but has not heard back at the time of this posting.