1919 A4 Forums banner

Chauchat Machine Rifle,

4933 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  blackrifles
I know it's christmas and probably not alot of people on the board today, but on one of my local classifieds sites a guy has a Chauchat Machine Rifle for sale, says it was his grandpas and is all greased up, the barrel is plugged to not allow operation. Serious inquiries only. What's the value of this thing, legality also. His price is good I think, but I don't know alot about this
1 - 2 of 19 Posts
If it belonged to a relative who brought it back from WWI chances are it is not registered. Machine guns were not controlled by federal law until 1934 and there was no registration in the WW1 era. During WWII the ATF allowed captured automaic weapons to be brought back as war trophies if they were welded in the chamber and registered. Many were welded but not papered. Some were papered but not welded or improperly welded. During the 1950/60's many gun companies imported machine guns and had them welded and papered (registered) and sold them to collectors. Then in about 1955/56 (I could look up the exact dates) the ATF decided that the process of supervising the dewating of thes guns was taking too much of their time. The decided to take a calculated risk and allow them to be sold witout registration and papers. That program was known as the DEWAT program and lasted only a few years as I recall. They then went back to the registration program and deactivated guns after that were classified as "unserviceable" rather than DEWAT. For many years unregistered deactivated machine guns existed legally along side registered ones. In 1968 the new National Firearms act amendment required all machine guns to be registered tho include all the previously unregistered DEWATs. An amnesty period of only about one month was instituted for this to take place. Many unregistered DEWATS were never registered and their current owners have no idea they were supposed to be. From everything I have heard the BATF has never allowed an unregistered gun to be registered after the amnesty period but I could be wrong.
See less See more
That 1968 law is a good example of how a person can go to bed one day a law abiding citizen and wake up the next day a criminal subject to 10 years in jail. Unfortunately it can happen again and be even worse next time.

By the way I had a DEWAT Chauchat back in 1968 and it was not registered. I did get it registeed under the amnesty and sold it a several years ago for a couple hundred bucks. I never thought that particular gun would be worth much more in a few years.
1 - 2 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.