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The AWB and AR15s?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by american lockpicker, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Another thread got me thinking back in 94 when the AWB began did AR manufacturers drop certain features overnight or was it years before they figured out how to makes guns that complyed with the law? Also I can remember seeing lots of legal ARs and AKs in magazines like Guns&Ammo or Shotgun News yet they were scarce at gunshows until the ban ended then everyone had them for sale. Did people not know that there were legal version or what?
  2. B.Reid


    Jun 20, 2005
    I think that the fact that full capacity magazines were $100 kept people from wanting them, also most thought that they were illegal.

  3. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    They weren't exactly 'scarce' even in CA (before they pased the even dumber laws), but the magazine expense kept most from going crazy on buying them up.

    Thumbhole stock AKs and 'naked' (no flash suppressor/bayonet lug) ARs were still quite common throughout the ban up till 2000 in CA (when I left and they passed even dumber laws).
  4. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    The whole thing is a cat and mouse game. Loopholes and rule exceptions all around. Even the government doesn't know its own rules sometimes.
  5. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    As I recall, most manufacturers got busy producing AWB-compliant guns fairly quickly, given the circumstances. Some, like Colt, had already dropped certain features like the bayonet lug, so they didn't need to make as many changes to get the Sporter/Match Target models ready for market. There was a bit of a delay until the .GOV got the written guidelines in place and made a few rulings to clarify things (flash suppressor vs. compensator, for instance). Once several models were accepted, and it became more clear that there wasn't going to be any more changes/additions to the law(s), then the makers got into gear and products started to flow. High demand kept shelves from being re-stocked overnight, but the guns were being shipped.

    Some dealers and stores actually put hi-cap magazines on sale, fearing they might get "stuck" with unsaleable merchandise at some later date! I remember buying a bunch of 25/30/50 shot 10/22 mags from Midway -- cheap. I re-sold some of these 5-6 years later for quite a bit more than I paid for them, and no one complained at all, because I was STILL selling them far cheaper than anyone else! I can remember seeing $75-$100 Butler Creek 10/22 mags regularly at gunshows, and they were SELLING at those prices! I myself paid nearly $100 for a .357 Glock hi-cap mag to fit a new model I'd just bought.

    We knew there was a sunset clause, but didn't know if the ban would be renewed or not, so most folks acted as if it was permanent.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  6. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    WOW, where were you buying your mags. Glock mags yes, as well as some other guns, but I was buying USGI AR mags for $20-30 new. Brit SA80 steel were less. Same for B92/M9 mags. AK and FAL were in the $8-12 range all day long in SGN for Like new/surplus. $30+ for M1A. I never personally spent $100 on a standard mag, even Glocks, Maybe $65 tops.

    As far as guns. I don't recall any great delay. Not much to really to figure out once the rules were laid out. Drop the collapsible stock, flash hider, and bayo lug and they were good to go in the AR world. ARs wern't as popular as they are today and there were only a handful of (acceptable) manufactures. It was kind of stick to the AB&Cs( ArmaLite, Bushmaster, and Colt) then RR was added. Once the ban ended things caught on like wildfire.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  7. I remember the "ABCs" :) also AK mags were $10-14 here. Sten mags which no one used were like $4. :wow:
  8. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    N. Dallas
    I did. I spent $120 for a G23 magazine new in the minty plastic wrap back in 2002. I will never forget that... still have the mag. And that is why I buy my mags by the dozen.
  9. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Instructor #298

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lake Charles
    The "ban" did not affect any gun made before it's effective date. On that date, manufactures had to mark guns with certain features and mags that held more than 10 rounds "Law Enforcement Only". Most manufacturers changed features on popular guns to be sellable to citizens.

    The biggest long lasting impacts were the development of smaller pistols and the resurgence of the 1911 because ten round mags were prohibited.
  10. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Some dealers were stealing mags out of gun boxes and selling them for $75 each. Glocks came with 2 mags. The dealers took one out and only gave one to the customers and wolff the other one. I seen it with my own eyes. Before that, I remember buying them for $13.

    The practice spread nationwide and Para-Ordnance stepped in and printed ads that declared they were only going to ship guns with one mag and said customers can send in the proof of purchase and they will ship the other magazines directly to you. Then some dealers started sending in proofs of purchase and redeeming those mags and sold them anyway. The dealers I know that did it are or of business now.

    AR mags were sold in 55 gallon drums for $5 each before this whole deal too.

    Just another example of government interference in a free market messing things up beyond belief.
  11. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    There were so many AR mags (20 and 30 round) that even during the AWB, they never got terribly expensive. Certain brands of pistol mags OTOH, did get ridiculous. $80 Glock full-cap mags were not uncommon during the AWB.
  12. Novocaine


    Jun 10, 2004
    I’d say it took about a year before “neutered” ARs started to appear. Except for Colt that was already neutered. I don’t remember USGI mags ever being over $30. Around $15-20 all day before the Y2K craze.

    Manufacturers stopped shipping things with 2 mags pretty quickly. My USP bought few months into the ban came with one mag and a letter from HK explaining why there’s only one mag. My G20 came with one hi-cap and a certificate for a 10-rounder about a year into the ban. Customers wised up to dealer’s shenanigans in a hurry. PARA started rationing mags off the bat as high capacity was the main selling point of their guns. They still had them in stock long after most others run out. Mine came with 1 hi-cap and the offer to buy 2 more for $40 ea.
  13. Been there, done that and still do!! Going thru the ban was like going thru the depression and you don't forget. I paid $1100 for a shot out Olympic Arms CAR-15 just to have the evil features I wanted. I bought 20 or 30 Center Industries GI mags and still have (10) new in the wrapper that I haven't used. Even a few years back me and my wife bought a couple of M&Ps we told them we wanted a few extra mags too. When I said (10) for each gun the sales guy thought I was nuts.

    Mags, can't have too many...
  14. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    I buy at least 5-10 mags with each gun purchase. With the AR, I buy mags whenever I order something from a shop and I just tack it on. I lost count how many mags I have for the AR.
  15. B.Reid


    Jun 20, 2005
    Yeah, those of us that lived through that tyrany has learned our lesson.
  16. true story. I buy mags like wild, I'm sure next time though they won't exempt previously owned ones, so then i'll have to bury them in my backyard until the uprising.... :)
  17. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    I think if they won't exempt pre ban mags, they will also come after your guns. The next play will be a hail mary when the dems realize they will lose power.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  18. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    If the anti gun people had their way the whole country would have the laws of California. 10 rounds mags for ARs and you need a tool to remove the magazine. Don't comply with this, its a Felony.

    I highly doubt another nation wide AWB will happen, but just in case it does buy all the AR mags you have money to. Doesnt hurt.
  19. Novocaine


    Jun 10, 2004
    No. If antis had their way you would fantasize fondly about the current CA laws.
  20. Funny how they'd need gun toting, ahem "professional" still, to enforce their asinine laws.