My first ever NFA (National Firearms Act) weapon was this nifty little MK-760 sub-machine gun that I bought almost immediately after moving to the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of many states where the citizens are still free enough to be able to own such things. (Nobody tell the Democrats or Rosie O'Donnell, but private citizens can and do own such things legally in most states.)
It was a handy little 9mm subgun, with a folding stock and a 36-round magazine. Essentially a reverse-engineered copy of the Smith and Wesson Model 76, which was itself a copy of the wonderful Swedish K submachinegun that our special forces troops in Vietnam preferred (until the Swedes barred further sale of those guns to the US due to their support for the Communists), it was a light, compact and simple gun with a high rate of fire, around 700 rounds per minute or so. It fired from an open bolt and it's light weight and high ROF gave it a tendency to climb, which, until I learned to control it, was pretty much hell on the target track system and ceiling baffles of the indoor range where I used to take it. (Sorry, Phil.)
It wasn't terribly reliable, however, even after sending it to Tim LaFrance twice for work. It only ran well on 147gr. military ball ammo, not the lighter civilian ammo commonly available at gunshops, so eventually I flipped it for a bit more than twice what I'd paid for it and bought this nifty M2 Carbine.
The M2, a conversion of the M1 carbine to select-fire, was a good idea on it's face, as I already had numerous M1 carbines and a boatload of ammo and spares for them. Also there's a lot to be said about a compact automatic weapon that fires a cartridge that at 100 yards still has the muzzle velocity of a .357 magnum.Alas, this weapon too was less-than-reliable unless it was being operated with actual USGI 30-round magazines, and this, combined with it's even higher rate of fire (750-850rpm) and it's relatively light, thin barrel gave me sufficient reason to look around for something else. I flipped it as well and made an almost even-up trade for an Uzi.
I seldom look back, as the Uzi is a quality weapon that digests literally any 9mm ammo that one cars to feed it, and parts and accessories are plentiful and cheap for it.
The moral of this story is for those who think that they cannot afford to but the machine gun of their dreams today. Notice that I didn't rush right out and buy an Uzi as my first subgun even though it's what I really wanted. I could not have afforded one even at the prices that they were selling for back when I was looking for my first NFA acquisition. Instead, I shopped around until I saw one that I could afford(The MK 760) and one that I knew was being offered at a low price because I'd been studying NFA prices for a while. I then contacted the seller and got it down even lower by negotiating. Conversely, when I sold it, I listed it for what I thought was a fairly high price and surprisingly enough, I got it quickly. This allowed me to walk right into the M2, which was also being offered at a below-market price when I saw it advertised. Selling that one gave me the cash I needed for the Uzi, even though all I had into the game was the money I'd paid for the first gun and a couple of transfer fees. Prices on these weapons are fluid to an extent, and sometimes sellers just want to move them quickly or buyers absolutely must have a particular model, so if you pay attention and are patient, you can often do well in the NFA market and if you start out with a firearm that you can afford, you can often flip it up to one that you want without too much trouble over the course of a little time.