Because some folks just want belt feds, man
Folks have been making semi-auto belt-fed machine gun clones for years. Why? Well, I guess, why not, right?
I mean, if you always wanted, say, an M1919, M60, or M249 but live in a state where it is unlawful for a “civilian” to own such hardware– even if it is transferrable and you pay the average $30K going rate for it– or just don’t want to jump through the NFA hoops, which can leave your family in an odd legal space should you pass without having it in a trust, these semi-autos make a certain sense.
These days, FN sells the M249S, a semi-automatic version of the SAW light machine gun, for $8,499.
Plus, if you are really into historical reenacting, such a piece can instantly catapult the user into a key player at the next event. For instance, I have a buddy that does WWII living history at Fort Morgan/Gaines/Battleship Alabama and has a fairly correct firing NFA-compliant MG42/M53 that always gets lots of attention.
Along that vein, Ohio Ordnance Works– a company that makes full-up M2 .50 cals for Mil/Gov customers as well as the semi-auto M1918A3 BAR for the rest of us– now has a “no stamps required” Ma Deuce, the M2 SLR .50 cal.
More in my column at Guns.com.