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Akins Accelerator Update

Update at their site. They’re asking the ATF to reconsider and have cited the ATF’s own rulings. They are also asking for you to write a letter (and they have a sample letter).

Background info here.

Update: BTW, I hope the ATF reconsiders. I really want one of these things.

Update 2: The law says single function of trigger makes a machine gun. The ATF has changed that to single function of trigger finger.

Also, if you write a letter, send a copy to your congressmonkey.

10 Responses to “Akins Accelerator Update”

  1. nk Says:

    Did you know that Hiram Maxim the inventor of the machine gun, converted a lever action Winchester into a bump fired semi-auto as his first experiment? He used a spring-loaded butt-plate and extra toggles on the lever for a shorter stroke.

  2. nk Says:

    I’m sorry. Not bump fired, bump cycled. The bump actuated the lever, not the trigger.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    Did not know that. I’d like to see how that works.

  4. Justin Buist Says:

    They can’t redefine it to be the trigger finger because that would outlaw any semi-auto that could be bump fired. I suspect, if anything, it’ll be redefined as a single function of the operator. That’d be the distinction between the Akins Accelerator and bump firing — the Akins product recycles the recoil energy while in bump firing energy is added to the system by the operator.

    Of course, I suppose one could construct a simple device that would hold the weapon steady, but free-floating along the bore axis, at a downward angle. Introduction of a finger and pull on the trigger would allow the entire weapon to climb upward and then gravity would push it back down onto the trigger finger, consequently firing it again.

    While practically useless, it would be doing the equivalent of the Akins Accelerator sans the spring that the ATF wants turned in.

  5. beerslurpy Says:

    There is no way for the ATF to ban the akins accelerator without banning semiautos but only applying the administrative rule extremely selectively to ban semiautos that they feel bump fire too easily.

    However, this creates two problems.

    1) it ignores the human element in all bump firing designs. Remember that when you fully depress the trigger on an akins accelerator, it doesnt fire full auto- you have to pull the trigger in just the right way to allow the receiver to recoil and the trigger to leave your finger and reset. This is different from a machine gun that simply repeats with nothing more than a trigger pull, regardless of how hard the trigger is depressed. It will only fire rapidly in the hands of a user that knows how to do more than pull the trigger. How do we determine if the user possesses that knowledge?

    2) Ignoring the human behavioral element in bumpfiring creates problems with the scienter requirement of 922(o). The crime of possessing machine guns (18 USC 922(o)) requires that one be aware of the characteristics that make it a machine gun. US v Staples 511 US 600 (1994) Possessing guns that can be bump-fired is a fundamentally innocent act, as this is a characteristic of nearly all legal semiautomatic weapons. Assuming that the ATF can adopt some sort of test that creates a threshhold beyond which a semiauto becomes to easy to bump-fire and thus a machine gun, how can an ordinary gun owner be aware of when a gun has crossed this line? Additionally, a bump-fireable “machine gun” only becomes a machine gun when its otherwise innocent functioning is combined with a certain mode of user operation- in other words, the gun appears to be a normal semiauto until the user picks it up and applies his special knowledge of bump firing to operating the weapon. Unless you catch the defendant bump-firing a gun that you have already declared to be a “bump firing machine gun” how can he be said to “knowingly possess” a machine gun? If he didnt know how to hold the gun or precisely how to press the trigger, how could he know it possessed the characteristics of a machine gun? And even if he possessed that knowledge, what differentiates something like an akins accelreator from any other 10/22 with a loose stock or a gun owner who holds the gun loosely?

  6. beerslurpy Says:

    They canít redefine it to be the trigger finger because

    they aren’t congress

  7. straightarrow Says:

    I suppose then they won’t mind if I display the finger next to the trigger finger. Consider it done.

  8. nk Says:


    Re Maxim-Winchester: I have in “The Book of Rifles” by Smith and Smith. If I can get my wife to scan it for me, I will e-mail it to you. Might take a couple of days.

  9. JP Says:

    What about those side by side shotguns with two triggers; one for each barrel? You could fire two rounds simulateously with one pull of the trigger finger, correct?

  10. triticale Says:

    I’m pretty sure most double barreled shotguns have a sequence interlock to prevent firing both at once.

    I’m also pretty sure that the Colt potato-digger machine gun was a gas operated conversion of a lever-action rifle.

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