I would like to thank Mr. Sandheger for pointing out the shortage of technical information contained in my previous letter. Space and word count limit full disclosure, and I hope the following will clarify some of the misconceptions that Mr. Sandheger has pointed out.
The AR-15 as made by Colt Industries is manufactured as a semi-auto rifle. It can be made into a full-auto weapon by the substitution of an M-16 hammer, trigger, disconnector, selector, and bolt carrier. The use of what is called a "full-auto sear," as an assembly, which consists of a sear mounting body, sear, return spring, and pivot pin, is also needed.
For the later receivers that were made without provision for the sear pivot pin, there is a drilling template available to fabricate the receiver to accept the full-auto sear. All of these parts are available from several advertisers in the "Shotgun News."
AK, AKM, AKS, MAC-90, AKU-94, MAADI, SLR-95-96, SSG-97, WVM-1, NHM-91, AK-74 (5.45ZX39 mm), MISR-90, and variations of the Dragonov rifle are all model numbers that have two things in common. They're all AK-47s and are imported from Egypt, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and China. They are sold in this country by arms dealers licensed by the BATF. (A company in California) sells the parts needed to convert to full-auto. If you are a mechanical klutz, they also sell a video that explains and instructs.
The 5.56 mm Nato (223 Remington) has a muzzle velocity of over 3,300 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 1,300 foot pounds. The 7.62x39 Russ. has a muzzle velocity of 2,400 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 1,445 pounds.
The most potent .44-Magnum you can buy has a muzzle velocity of 1,610 feet per second and a muzzle energ of 1,035 pounds. A .44-Magnum will seriously disrupt an engine block, so I'll let you do the numbers and guesstimate the potential of these "low-energy" rounds.
The only effectively accurate full-auto weapon is one that is fired with a tripod, which is why the M-16 was modified to fire a three-round burst. Too many rounds were leaving the barrels of accurate rifles in an indiscriminate direction. This is fine on a battlefield because these rounds are being sent in the general direction of the enemy, but totally unacceptable in an area populated by your neighbors.
Frank Fader, Payson