APR 3 1961
Browning Industries, Inc.
719 First Security Bank Building
Attention: Mr. John V. Browning
This refers to your letter of January 5, 1961, concerning changes
in design in order to remove your F. N. Browning light rifle,
caliber 7.62 mm, from the classification of a firearm as defined in
the National Firearms Act. A specimen of your rifle bearing serial
No. G 493 was submitted through our Salt Lake City, Utah office for
examination and testing by us.
It is our understanding that the rifle has been designed and made
in Belgium as follows to prevent full automatic fire:
1. The change lever is blocked in such a way that it cannot
be moved forwardly into full automatic position. The
change lever thus becomes a standard safety.
2. The trigger return spring plunger has been modified to
limit the rearward movement of the trigger, regardless of
the position of the change lever.
3. The automatic sear has been eliminated. As pointed out,
the automatic sear is essential to full automatic fire.
If, for example, the two modifications above had not been
made, the rifle still would not fire full automatic
without the automatic sear. The hammer has to develop
enough energy in its forward motion to give sufficient
indentation on the primer to fire the cartridge. When
the hammer simply follows the breech block and slide
forward as it would without the automatic sear, it does
not ever impart the necessary energy to the firing pin.
- 2 -
The F.N. Browning light rifle described above will not be
considered a firearm as defined by Section 5848 of the National
Firearms Act and therefore not subject to the provisions of said
In addition to the above alterations, the following changes in
design of the gun are suggested so that the conversion to full
automatic will be further discouraged:
1. The stud nearest the letter "A" indicating the position
of the change lever for full automatic fire and the
letter "A" should be completely removed from the left
side of the frame. In addition, the groove to the right
of the aforesaid stud for stopping the change lever
should also be eliminated.
2. The recess (cut out) on the top of the left side of the
hand grip should be eliminated so that the change lever
cannot be pushed forward any farther than the letter "R"
indicating regular fire because the recess indicates that
the change lever can be moved to another position.
We are returning the rifle submitted to the Investigator in Charge,
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax, 335 Federal Building, Salt Lake City,
Utah, for subsequent delivery to you.
Very truly yours,
Dwight D. Avis
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division