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Assault Weapons and Accessories in America


Not only do these publications supply information, but they also contain advertisements for various catalogs and products. The Survival Systems book catalog describes itself as offering "the most unusual and controversial books you've ever seen in your life."[71] In a disclaimer, the company notes, "Certain of the books in this catalog deal with activities and items which could be in violation of various laws if actually performed or constructed. We do not advocate the breaking of any law. Our books are sold for entertainment purposes only and only to adults!"[72] With a toll-free number for credit-card orders, the catalog contains books on revenge, fraud, dirty tricks, firearms conversion, home construction of firearms and explosives, and murder techniques.

Books offered by Survival Systems include:

  • How to Build Silencers: An Illustrated Manual. "A complete manual for the construction of silencers at home with simple tools. Build in less than one hour. $5.95."[73]

  • Improvised Weapons of the American Underground. "This book makes other 'cookbooks' things for Sunday School picnics. This collection of original articles covers: Making of Nitroglycerin; Plastic Explosives; Detonators and Primers; Fuses; Impact Ignition Incendiary Devices; and Construction of Various Types of Silencers; and complete Plans for a Home Made Machine Gun which can be built for less than $20.00. An absolutely incredible manual. $7.50."[74]

  • Full Auto. "A completely illustrated modification manual on selective fire conversions for the following weapons: Mini-14; AR-15; HK-91-93; MAC 10-11; and the M1 Carbine. With this new edition, you can convert all five weapons into their full-automatic configurations with ease, as all procedures are thoroughly explained in an easily understood, fully illustrated, step-by-step manner. Without a doubt, this is the finest conversion manual on the market. $12.00."[75]

Robert K. Brown's Paladin Press offers a 47-page, glossy catalog that includes sections on sniping, revenge and humor, survival, weapons, explosives and demolitions, guerrilla warfare, silencers, new ID and personal freedom, locksmithing, and terrorism. In an essay entitled "New Age Survival," readers are reassured that "We don't want to alarm you into heading for the hills today—but will help you become prepared to do so tomorrow."[76]

Books offered in the catalog include:

  • Anarchist Handbook. "For the modern anarchist, all you need to know to construct an impressive selection of improvised weapons," including "an expedient silencer; a pipe hand grenade; plastic explosive; and a rocket launcher. For each weapon, the author supplies a list of materials easily acquired from drug or hardware stores, hobby shops, supermarkets or even junk piles; step-by-step procedures; simple diagrams and how-to-use instruction for certain weapons. $7.00"[77]

  • The Mini-14 Exotic Weapons System. "Convert your Mini into a full-auto, silenced, SWAT-type weapon that is capable of field clearing firepower. Note that this conversion process requires no machining or special tools. Once completed it takes just five minutes to drop in the Automatic Connector (the book's secret!) or remove it as needed. It's that simple! $15.00"[78]

  • Improvised Explosives—How to Make Your Own. "Ten simple but powerful formulas for explosives and incendiaries" that gives the reader the ability "to construct actual bombs, booby traps and mines. Learn how to obtain or make all the necessary chemicals or get acceptable substitutes. Various fuses, detonators, and chemical and electrical timers are covered, as are pipe bombs, plastic bottle bombs, jerry can bombs and tamperproof bombs. With ease, you can construct such devices as a package bomb, booby-trapped door, auto trap, sound-detonated bomb, or pressure mine—to name just a few. $10.00"[79]

  • How to Kill (volumes one through six). "[M]akes no moral judgements, but merely describes what has been known for years by the professionals who are part of the shadowy world of international espionage and intrigue. As the author states in his preface, 'My only premise is that there are times when one must attack with complete ruthlessness and fight with lethal fury. This fury and ruthlessness must be harnessed and directed to the gravest possible damage—to kill.'" Priced at $8 per volume, the catalog notes that no book in the How to Kill series is available in Canada due to legislation by the Canadian solicitor general.[80]

In addition to operating a 24-hour-a-day, toll-free order line and offering a "no questions asked" money-back guarantee, Paladin Press also offers gift certificates, which "make excellent gifts for you to send to friends and relatives."[81]

Firepower's Everett Moore also runs a mail-order publications house. Moore's Desert Publications offers many of the same publications as his competitors under headings that include: weapons and firearms, specialized warfare, police science, survival, self-defense, full-auto, suppressors, and improvised munitions.[82] Moore, who sells between 2,000 and 5,000 copies of specific titles a year, refers to the publications as "big boy toys," adding, "I haven't known a man yet who didn't like [to know how] to pick a lock."[83]

The catalog of Phoenix Systems, Inc., located in Evergreen, Colorado, offers its buyers "The Right Stuff," which includes:

  • U.S. Military Practice Grenades "with ALL the mechanical parts IN THE FUSE ASSEMBLY!!! —NO EXPLOSIVES." The ad warns that "ACTIVATION OF THESE DEVICES REQUIRES PRIOR BATF APPROVAL. $19.95 each."[84]

  • Booby Trap Firing Device (M-1), "Standard U.S. Military PRESSURE RELEASE firing device used to initiate detonation of explosive charges in BOOBY TRAP applications or remote firing of Claymore mines. EXCELLENT training device because it is RELOADABLE with new primer caps (when not coupled DIRECTLY TO AN EXPLOSIVE CHARGE). Hundreds of applications—can be screwed directly into an explosive charge for instantaneous detonation or coupled to detonator cord for remote firing. $14.95 each."[85]

  • The Ballistic Knife—The Knife That Shoots. "CONGRESS OUTLAWED THE SPRINGS—BUT YOU CAN STILL BUY THE KNIFE!" The knife "can be fired up to an effective range of 30 feet. The typical penetration of this knife is about three times that of a manual stab. Extra blades and flight stabilizer available. $79.95 each." Under the heading "ATTENTION COLLECTORS AND SPORTSMEN," the ad notes, "Due to recent Federal regulation, the Ballistic Knife may no longer be sold with the projection spring. The Ballistic Knife, IN LEGAL KIT FORM, that we are now able to sell, is identical to the original knife without the spring included." The ad adds, "WE SELL NO SPRINGS."[86]

  • FULL AUTOMATIC FIRE FOR YOUR AR-15. The drop-in auto sear is the KEY component in converting an AR-15 to M-16 selective fire capability (semi or full automatic) and is the ONLY part for this conversion that is now required to be registered if CURRENTLY manufactured. OUR auto sears were manufactured prior to 11/1/81 when it was NOT required to have a serial number stamped on this part. COMPLETELY LEGAL TO PURCHASE." With the purchase of "five other commonly available M-16 replacement parts," the conversion can be made "in SECONDS without tools." The ad urges readers to "Act now while it is still legal to purchase these auto sears. When existing supplies are exhausted, THERE WILL BE NO MORE!! $175.00 each."[87]

The recommended reading list of the catalog includes books on silencers; on UZI, MAC-10, and AR-15 conversions; and on home munitions. Other products available through ads placed in these magazines include:

  • The BMF Activator, a hand crank that can be attached to a rifle, boasts the "newest crank-operated rapid fire capability since the gatling gun!! Legally fire up to 1200 rounds per minute on your semi-automatic .22 rifle. Imagine the sensation of firing a truly rapid fire rifle. Since each turn of the crank handle fires the rifle four times, it is capable of pulling the trigger many times faster than you can." The advertising flyer for the activator includes a copy of a letter from ATF stating that "a manually operated device of this type is not subject to any of the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968."[88]

  • The Tri Burst Trigger Activator, distributed by Orpheus Industries, offers "legal firepower." It "allows a 3—round burst from your AR-15...mounts in seconds" and fits "all makes" of AR-15 rifles. It sells for a "special introductory price" of only $34.95.[89]

  • "The Ultimate" trigger activator derides its competitors as "the rapid fire plastic gizmo and the sheet metal device." With models available for the AR-15, Mini-14 and 30, M-1 Carbine, and AK models, The Ultimate allows the user to "fire individual rounds, 3 shot bursts or 50 round bursts at your instant discretion." The ad notes that "all federal laws (if any) will apply. The ATF has ruled this device is not regulated by federal law." It retails for $129.95.[90]

  • The API Predator Laser Target Designator is equipped with "helium neon lasers" that "project an intense narrow beam of red light" with "an effective range" of up to 500 meters. Laser sights give their users point-and-shoot assassination capability. "Generally, the only visible element of the laser beam is a spot on a solid object that reflects light back to the operator. The beam itself is invisible in clear air." Priced at $495, the API laser sight is only one of the many laser sights on the market, with some costing hundreds of dollars less.[91]

  • An ad for Kephart Publications offers plans for such exotic weapons as: hand, rifle, and shotgun grenades; L.A.W., RPG-7, Bazooka, Pod, Pocket, Shotgun, and T.O.W. rockets; claymore and land mines; flame throwers; and others. The ad guarantees "these plans are legal to own and make according to BATF provisions" and promises that the "basic information is complete and all WILL work. All devices are simple to make and very inexpensive. Only common material and hand tools required. NO MACHINE SHOP WORK." The ad offers any 10 plans for $55.00.[92]

  • The "Deadly Weapons—Firearms & Firepower" video tape advertisement features an assassination kit of a silenced MAC-10 in a briefcase. The ad asks, "Do you know which bullets will penetrate a car door? A windshield? Just how quiet is a real silencer? How effective is full auto fire?" Purchasers of the tape can "SEE & Learn the Answers to these questions and much more!" The tape sells for $49.95.[93]

  • The "Ninety Rounder" is a circular "assault magazine" that can hold 90 rounds of ammunition "for people who want real firepower!" Offered by the MWG Company, it promises "LMG [light machine gun] Type Firepower From a Semi Auto Rifle." It retails for $49.95.[94]

  • For the leisure hours, "Rock N' Roll #3—Sexy Girls and Sexy Guns, The Video" offers "14 outrageous, southern California beauties...firing some of the sexiest machine guns ever produced. And you're probably wondering about the girls. What can I tell you? They're hot. 14 different girls in string bikinis and high heels blasting UZIs, MAC-10s, M-16s, MP-5s, AK-47s, M-14s and more. It's something you just have to see."[95]

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