What is on your NFA wish list?
The rush is on to buy silencers, short rifles, and other National Firearms Act firearms. The popularity of this sector of the firearms market has been growing continuously as inflation has diminished the real value of the $200 tax stamp. Applications numbers have already been on a marked uptick since the beginning of the year, and the NFA Tracker trend line is getting to be downright intimidating. Now the ATF’s newly proposed regulations have been published, and they do not look good. As a result, even more first-time NFA buyers are finally taking the plunge and getting things moving on gear that they’ve been drooling over for a while.
The new proposed regulations published on September 9th will make the registration process more of a pain for folks using trusts. Basically, it will be all the trouble associated with filing as an individual times however many “responsible persons” are empowered by the trust instrument to possess the NFA firearms registered to the trust. Many people in jurisdictions with unfriendly CLEOs will no longer be able to acquire new NFA items at all because they won’t be able to get the Chief Law Enforcement Official sign-off.
With this “now or never” time preference in mind, what should be on the NFA newbie’s shopping list? Check out my suggested shopping cart after the jump.
- Rimfire silencer: Whether fired through pistol or rifle, rimfire rounds are the cheapest way to chuck a lot of rounds downrange while honing your shooting fundamentals or just having fun. But rimfire firearms also make the best teaching tools for new shooters, and throwing a can on the end makes for a more user-friendly learning experience. What’s more, rimfire cans are the most affordable way to get into firearms silencers, with many models starting at $200 before tax.
- Large caliber centerfire pistol silencer: As discussed previously, firearms silencers are not just range toys or for enhancing your bragging rights. They are safety devices that preserve your hearing and night vision, and those factors can make the difference between life or death in a home defense scenario. Getting into a .45 bore pistol suppressor like the SilencerCo Osprey makes a lot of sense. The abundance of subsonic .45 ACP loads means that it is a natural caliber for suppression. But even if you don’t have a host firearm in that caliber, .45 may still be the way to go. Since you can swap out pistons to adapt the can to subcaliber use, why not buy up and get a can that allows you to suppress 9mm and .40S&W, too?
- Centerfire rifle silencer: Your rifle is your sword, and other weapons are compromises that you make when carrying a rifle just isn’t an option. As Clint Smith said, your pistol is for fighting your way back to your rifle. If that is the case, it makes good sense to set up your rifle to be as useful as possible, and that means making it hearing safe. Not everyone is convinced that user serviceable cans are a good idea for centerfire rifle. But remember that serviceability means that your suppressor can pull double duty by quieting down both your centerfire guns and your dirtier rimfire firearms, too.
- Short-barreled rifle: Not every rifle application requires a rifle with a 16-inch or longer bullet runway, and shorter is better for shooter mobility. (Plus, if you are this far down the shopping list, you have a little darling hanging off the muzzle and adding six inches or more in length to your weapon.) You can get NFA paperwork submitted on an SBR without having to plunk down all the cash for a complete weapon system up front by registering a lower and then building up your rifle from there once your stamp arrives. After a convincing sales pitch from one of my local NFA dealers, my choice for a pay-as-you-go, one-size-fits-all SBR is the MGI MARCK-15 modular lower receiver. MGI’s design allows you to swap out magazine wells so that you can use the same serialized lower for a number of different configurations, and all on one tax stamp. If you aren’t sure whether you want to stick with 5.56mm, .300 BLK, and other cartridge types that will readily feed from STANAG magazines, consider the MGI modular lower so you can transition to 7.62x39mm (using common AK magazines), .308 Win, or even pistol calibers like 9mm or .45ACP feeding from readily available stick magazines.
What new items are you planning to add to your NFA collection over the next couple of months?