Benson Firearms in Oklahoma City





Below is some more detailed information about the National Firearms Act of 1934, (NFA) which is the body of federal law that regulates ownership and transfer of machine guns and silencers etc.

THE NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT OF 1934 (NFA 34 ): This law placed certain classes of firearms into a registered ownership category. Private individuals can possess a functional machine gun, suppressor (silencer), short-barreled rifle or shotgun, smooth-bore pistol, cane gun, destructive device (certain shotguns, grenade launchers, hand grenades, bazookas, mortars, cannon, etc..) only after first paying a Federal Transfer Tax of either $5 or $200 per firearm / device. The $5 tax applies to pen guns, cane guns, smoothbore pistols, or any other such firearm that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms classifies as "ANY OTHER WEAPON" (AOW). All other functional guns or devices in the NFA registry require payment of a $200 federal tax for each private transfer. This is not an annual tax. It only is paid each time a functional NFA firearm is being transferred to or from a private owner (excepting inheritance).

THE GUN CONTROL ACT OF 1968 ( GCA 68 ): Largely modeled after the 1938 Gun Control of Nazi Germany, a section of this law updated the National Firearms Act of 1934 by restricting the transfer of newly imported machine guns to only the military, law enforcement, and certain Special Occupational Tax (SOT) payers (class III dealers/class II manufacturers). In addition, a short amnesty period was provided before the law went into effect. Persons who had machine guns that were not registered could be legally possessed by notifying ATF of their existence. Many WWI and WWII veteran "bring backs" were registered during this one month period and are now quite valuable.

THE FIREARMS OWNERS PROTECTION ACT OF 1986 ( FOPA 86 ): A last minute amendment was added to this bill that prohibited machine guns registered after enactment (May 19, 1986) can be built and sold to private individuals. BATF further concluded that SOT payers cannot receive "Post-May" guns without first presenting a letter from a qualifying government agency that has requested to see the firearm (known as a demonstration letter). These rulings do not apply to other types of NFA firearms, such as silencers or SBR’s/SBS’s. Transfers to government agencies having law enforcement or military functions are allowed. SOT payers who are also licensed as manufacturers are allowed to make machine guns from kits or by means of conversion. They cannot transfer them to private individuals. They can be transferred to other SOT payers or government agencies only as described above. Post-May guns cannot be retained by a SOT payer who fails to renew his SOT annually. They must either be sold to other dealers, law enforcement agencies or destroyed.

THE VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT OR 1994 ( VCCLEA 94 ): This law banned the public sale of new detachable magazines with more than a ten round capacity, and invented a new term - assault weapon , the future manufacture of which were also banned from public sale. NOTE , the law applies only to firearms manufactured after enactment of the law. Specifically, it limits certain features on certain types of firearms. Semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines may possess no more than one of the following features: pistol grip protruding conspicuously beneath the action, telescoping or folding stock, threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor, grenade launcher, bayonet mount. Semiautomatic pistols with detachable magazines may possess no more than one of the following features : magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip, threaded barrel, shrouded, unloaded weight of 50 ounces or more, a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm. Semiautomatic shotguns may possess no more than one of the following features: folding or telescoping stock, pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously below the action, fix magazine capacity over 5 rounds, ability to accept detachable magazines. Thankfully, this Bill Clinton law expired on September of 2004 and the Republican Congress did not renew this useless law.

SOT DEALER TRANSFERS: The SOT ( Special Occupational Tax ) is an annual fee paid to the U.S. Treasury Department by dealers, manufacturers, or importers of certain products including alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. In the case of firearms, the SOT is broken down between NFA dealers, manufacturers, and importers ( A separate SOT applies to destructive devices ). For our purposes the term "SOT payer" refers to any currently licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer who also has paid the SOT for dealing in NFA firearms. SOT payers have the advantage of being able to transfer functional NFA firearms to or from other SOT payers and government agencies, with BATF approval, but without having to pay a transfer tax. SOT payers also can acquire registered NFA firearms from any regular gun dealer or private citizen, but only after paying the applicable transfer tax and receiving BATF approval. SOT payers can transfer certain functional NFA firearms to in-state residents and to both in-state and out-state regular gun dealers, but only after they have paid the appropriate transfer tax and received approval from BATF. SOT taxpayers must pay the $200 transfer tax if they purchase a class III item from an individual even though they have already paid their occupational tax.The Special Occupational Tax costs dealers/manufacturers either $500 or $1000 each year, depending in the amount of business they conduct.

HOW TO PAY THE TAX: If you are acquiring an NFA firearm from Benson Firearms, we will provide you with copies of the required paperwork for each firearm being transferred to you. The federal paperwork involves two forms that are completed in duplicate (ATF form 4 and two fingerprint cards). The front of the ATF form 4 are filled and signed by the seller. On the back of the form 4 are placed recent photographs of the purchaser. The purchaser also signs the block under his photograph. The back of the form 4 is endorsed by the purchaser's sheriff, chief judge, police chief, etc.. The second set of forms are FBI fingerprint cards. Lastly, a citizenship compliance form requires only a date and signature if you are a resident of the USA.The seller then mails the paperwork and check for the transfer tax to BATF in Atlanta, Georgia. On the average it takes about 4-5 months for approval. The seller will receive back one of the form 4s with a Federal Transfer Tax Stamp attached to it. This is given to the purchaser when he picks up the NFA firearm. NO Further tax is due unless the item is sold/transferred.

CORPORATE OWNERSHIP: In some areas it is difficult to get a law enforcement signature on the ATF form 4. To circumvent this problem, some people purchase the gun through a corporation. If you are a SOT payer acquiring a firearm from a private source, or if you are a private individual who is incorporated or is a senior officer in a corporation, you can acquire an NFA firearm on an ATF form 4 without the need for a law enforcement endorsement, photograph, or a fingerprint card. You still must pay the Federal Transfer Tax. If the gun is transferred to a corporation, it must be retained by the corporation until it is dissolved. At that time, the gun must be sold on a tax paid transfer, transferredto someone on a tax paid transfer, or surrendered to the BATF.

TRUSTS:The ATF currently allows NFA items to be transferred to a trust.Many of my customers who have difficulty getting a CLEO sign-off utilize this method.It is very easy to create a trust in Oklahoma.Machineguns Plus will refer buyers to create their own trust with  software readily available at numerous retail outlets such as Office Depot, Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Staples.

TRAVEL AND USE: Do not take NFA firearms out of state without first checking with BATF. For machine guns, short barrel rifles, and short barrel shotguns, you will need prior approval from BATF on a form 5320.20 to travel interstate or to permanently move NFA firearms to another state. This protects you from accidentally going some place where they are banned. If the state you are traveling to allows possession of the type of NFA firearm you own, and you have received prior approval on a form 5320.20 ( if applicable ), then you can transport the firearm through any state just like any other firearm. That means it must be unloaded and readily inaccessible (in a locked case or trunk of the car ). While in travel status you are afforded the same protection as any other gun owner under the GOPA 86 law. You cannot be legally arrested for simply passing through a state, county, or a township where the guns are banned unless you violate the procedures just described or stop in that state for an extended period of rest. Necessary stops for food, gas, repairs, etc.., are allowed. Stopping to site-see, visit friends, or even spend the night, might be construed as an unnecessary delay and place you at risk. Check your state and local laws for other restrictions that may apply regarding hunting, concealed carry, or self-defense with an NFA firearm.

TEMPORARY TRANSFERS: NFA firearms may be left for repair with an authorized person (gunsmith, manufacturer ) with out filing any federal paperwork ( check your state and local laws for any restrictions ). BATF suggests but does not require owners to first file a form 5 before doing this. The form 5 was designed for the purposes of inheritance, government acquisition, or to transfer a deactivated firearm. It looks very similar to the form 4, the main difference being that no tax is paid. However, law enforcement endorsements and fingerprint cards are required ( unless waived by BATF ). As a result, the form 5 is a bit awkward for purposes of repair. If you are taking the firearm to someone local and reputable, and the repair won't take very long time, then a form 5 may seem pointless. If you are shipping the firearm to someone you don't know, it might be best to use the form 5 as an audit trail. Indeed, some companies won't accept NFA firearms without an approved form 5. Ask the receiver is they require a form 5 prior to shipping your NFA item is your best bet.

TRANSFERABLE FIREARMS: NFA firearms that can be transferred to private citizens on a form 4 are the most desirable, and therefore most expensive ones to acquire. They are often referred to as "FULLY TRANSFERABLE". Nearly all NFA suppressors, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns, and AOWs are transferable. The number of registered machine guns that are transferable was frozen in 1986. Included in this category are the following machine guns:

Original or converted machine guns, whether foreign or domestic, if added to the Federal Registry prior to enactment of the GCA 68.

Deactivated war trophies ( DEWAT )that were registered prior to enactment of the GCA 68 . DEWATs can be reactivated after payment of the $200 Federal Transfer Tax and approval by BATF.

Domestically manufactured or remanufactured guns that were registered after the GCA 68 enactment, but prior to the GOPA 86 ( May 19,1986 ). This includes registered receivers, sears, bolts, or other parts accepted by BATF.

Imported guns that were remanufactured into machine guns prior to the FOPA ( May 19,1986 ). This includes registered receivers, sears, bolts, or other parts accepted by BATF.

CURIOS AND RELICS: Some states allow private ownership of machine guns only if they are listed as Curios and Relics by the Federal Government. Examples would include original Thompson 1921 or 1928 submachine guns, very early production M16 rifles. The Curios and Relics list is periodically updated and you can petition for a particular gun to be added. Normally a gun is accepted to the list if the Federal Government determines it is of some historic value or of such an age or rarity that it is unlikely to see criminal use. Collectors who possess a Curios and Relic license ( FFL ) can purchase these guns out of state, with prior payment of the applicable transfer tax and approval by BATF.ATF generally states a firearm 50 years or older is eligible for addition to the C&R list.Even though the firearm is 50 years or older, if it is not on the C&R list; it is NOT a C&R gun.Refer to ATF’s list of C&R firearms to be certain.

PRE-MAY DEALER SAMPLE: Machine guns imported after 1968 and prior to May 19,1986, are transferable to FFL dealers ( 01 ) and manufacturers ( 07 ) who may have paid the Special Occupational Tax ( SOT ) for the current year. A dealer who acquires a pre-May dealer sample then fails to pay the SOT in succeeding years may retain the gun in his private collection. This is only true if the dealer/manufacturer is a sole proprietor.It only can be transferred to someone holding a SOT or to an approved government agency, usually military or law enforcement. An exception is made sometimes if the gun is being inherited from the dealer's estate by a family member. The guns that fall into this classification generally are valued at approximately 50% of its civilian legal counterpart.

POST-MAY DEALER SAMPLE: Any machine gun manufactured or imported after May 19,1986, can be transferred between SOT payers only if they first provide a letter on agency letterhead showing that a legitimate government organization has requested to see it. This usually means a law enforcement agency. The gun can be retained by the dealer/manufacturer only so long as he pays his annual SOT. If he drops the SOT, BATF expects him to first dispose of, surrender, or destroy the gun. It can be transferred only to another SOT payer or approved government agency, as previously described.Benson Firearms is a licensed manufacturer and can make and register any post ’86 machine guns for other class III dealers or law enforcement agencies.


Can You Suppress Supersonic Ammo?

When people first start learning about suppressors, one of the first ‘facts’ they learn is typically that you can’t suppress supersonic ammunition.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

What Is The Supersonic Crack?

After a bullet is fired, it creates pressure waves as air is displaced along its path.  Essentially, the air has to move out of the way so rapidly that it’s forced to be temporarily compressed.

Suppressing Supersonic AmmoWhile this pressure wave is created at any speed, it becomes noticeable as a ‘crack’ once the bullet surpasses the speed of sound (which is approximately 1125 feet per second).  At that speed, the pressure waves can’t get out of the way fast enough – and they merge together as a ‘crack’ that travels away from the bullet at the speed of sound.

Unlike the report of the firearm, which has a very specific origination point, the supersonic crack actually originates along the entire path of the bullet – as long as it’s traveling faster than the speed of sound.

Because the supersonic crack is traveling with the bullet, it can’t be localized the same way a typical gun shot can.  Many hog hunters will point out that; although the hogs can definitely hear the crack, they don’t know where to run when using a suppressor.

How Loud Is The Supersonic Crack?

There are lots of factors that impact how loud the supersonic crack is; but, in most of our testing we’ve found it isn’t very loud compared to the report of the firearm.

When shooting a suppressed .22, for example, the difference between subsonic and supersonic ammunition is typically only a couple of decibels.  There’s actually a bigger difference when going from a low-end to a high-end model.  (We did this testing with a .22 because it’s easy to get ammo that runs just under or over the speed of sound – so we could eliminate other variables.)

Having said that, the decibel level doesn’t tell the whole story for a couple of reasons:

  1. The supersonic crack is a sharp sound that’s typically less comfortable than the ‘thud’ of a suppressed round.  As a result, it often sounds like it’s louder than it really is – which has a real impact on whether the shooter feels like they need additional hearing protection.
  2. Every shooter has a different comfort level when it comes to sound; and, if you’re already close to you maximum level the supersonic crack will probably push you over it.

In other words, even though it isn’t that loud in the grand scheme of things, the supersonic crack can make a real difference to how much you enjoy shooting.

Why Is It A Bad Idea To Always Shoot Subsonic Ammo?

While it’s true that shooting subsonic ammunition is going to be quieter, it isn’t always a good idea for a variety of reasons:

  1. With semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-15, they typically won’t operate correctly unless they have enough blowback.  Subsonic ammunition just doesn’t have enough pressure to make the rifle run correctly.
  2. Most barrels are designed with twist rates that are optimized for a specific caliber of bullet travelling at a standard velocity for that caliber.  When using subsonic ammunition, the bullet is going far slower – and often won’t be stabilized correctly.  This has a real impact on accuracy, even at shorter distances.
  3. Aside from the loss of accuracy, you’ll also lose significant range simply because the bullet is traveling slower.
  4. For hunting or home defense applications, most people prefer to use high-power ammunition that’s specifically suited to their purpose.  When using a suppressor, you should still use your preferred ammunition so you don’t get substandard results – and you’ll still be protecting your hearing & situational awareness in the process.

Can Supersonic Ammunition Be Suppressed?

Absolutely, yes!  Some of the most enjoyable rounds to shoot suppressed are supersonic.

In those cases, the supersonic crack is still far below the ‘comfort threshold’ – so it’s possible to enjoy hunting or shooting without hearing protection.

For example, shooting a full-power .270 or .308 is completely comfortable for most people when using a bolt action rifle.  It’s amazing how quiet a good suppressor really is!  Even high-power rounds like .338 Lapua become extremely comfortable to shoot with a good suppressor.

On top of that, you’ll see reduced recoil, better accuracy, and increased velocity/range when using a suppressor – so there isn’t much downside.

On the other hand, there are some weapons that ride the line of what’s comfortable – like a 9mm pistol.  In those cases, a supersonic round is still hearing safe for home defense scenarios – but it’s just a little to loud to be comfortable for most people at the range.  Subsonic 9mm ammo, on the other hand, sounds significantly better because that sharp crack is eliminated.

Another thing I, personally, recommend is to try a suppressed .22 with supersonic ammunition.  It’s completely comfortable; and, in the right conditions the echo of the supersonic crack will make it sound like you’re being shot at since you won’t hear the report of the gun you’re firing.  I’ve seen multiple people put the rifle down, thinking something was broken – and it’s actually kind of funny.


At the end of the day, using  a suppressor will benefit pretty much any firearm.

When you get your first silencer, don’t feel like you can only shoot with subsonic ammo (unless the model is only rated for that).  Be sure to at least try it with supersonic ammunition, and I suspect you’ll be impressed with the results!


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