An Australian Made Semi-Auto AR-15, just $9000 USD

I never thought I would ever publish a blog post with the above title but an Australian prop supplier is manufacturing M4-style AR-15s in Australia. Warwicks, one of the Australia’s largest TV & movie prop makers and suppliers, is manufacturing the guns because any semi-automatic or fully automatic rifles imported must be destroyed after use. Making them locally allows them to circumvent that rule and reuse the guns for different projects.

The Warwick Firearms and Militaria WFM4 costs $9000 USD excluding optics! You Ozzies had better start saving if you want one for Christmas. The guns are only available to shooters able to obtain the appropriate license.

[ Many thanks to Nigel for the tip. ]

UPDATE: Images removed at the request of Acme Firearms who sell the rifle …

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Klaus von zum Hof

0412 219 138
Acme Firearms


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • jeh

    wonder how the quality stacks up against colt/smith & wesson/daniel defense/SIG……

    • Trev

      Gonna guess really low. Just based off the gas block and UTG rail covers. Thats never a good sign. Stay away from anyone marketing a rifle with UTG gear on it. If they don’t care to put quality stuff on the surface, I can only imagine whats under the hood.

  • Reverend Clint

    where there is a will there is a way

  • JT

    “The guns are only available to shooters able to obtain the appropriate license.” Which is pretty much nobody hahahaha

    • Alex-mac

      I’m pretty sure semi-auto rifle ownership is practically banned in australia, bolt action only. They must have got a special licsnse courtesy of the governor general to use them as props for films there only.

      • Gidge

        Correct. With the exception of very specific allowances (film prop use, primary producers) it’s near impossible to get a licence for them.

        Theoretically it’s possible to get an exemption from the police for anything provided you can demonstrate a legitimate need for it. But realistically unless you’re providing sexual favors (the really kinky shit) to very senior police officials you’ve got no chance.

  • Glenn B

    It’s all supply and demand and the supply in AU is low, very low.

  • Joseph C

    Such a dissappointment that they choose to use inexpensive UTG rails and the weird low rail height gas block. Also an spring washer and not a crush washer.

  • Joseph

    Workin’ with what they’ve got. Nice.

  • Urban

    They sell more full auto than semi, but still rather low total numbers:

    • Alex-mac

      Maybe there’s more of a market for a EF88/steyr aug bolt action replica.

      • Anonymoose

        Nah. The Austeyr is an Aussie grunt’s gun while the Colt M4A1 (designated “M4A5” in the Down Under) is the primary assault rifle in the Australian special forces, so it’s almost certainly held in higher regards in the film industry, and most likely in their civilian gun culture as well (kind of like how in the US, only special forces and some police SWAT teams actually use 1911s, while grunts use M9s, but in American civilian gun culture the 1911 is held in much higher regards).

      • Alex-mac

        Maybe but adf special forces use HK416’s and HK417’s now. Police still use AR’s though.

        Personally i think the new australian designed EF88 steyr aug would make a bolt action version quite popular. I was also thinking it could be designed to replicate the manual of arms of the EF88 including fake magazines, so ex and wannabe soldiers can practice their rifle skills, so they’ll be ready to defend their turf when australia is invaded.

  • Plumbadrumma

    How sad for the Auzies.
    The criminals are the armed where ever there is no right to arms for the lawful. I’ll take my 2nd Amendment and defend it to the death.

    • Adam

      Unfortunate truth. I’ve had this conversation with my parents many times about firearm ownership.
      If I want a legal firearm, I need to be a member of a club, and have spent something akin to 6 months there, and then I might get a low-calibre handgun and pay through the nose to get it.

      Alternatively, I could make a phone call, and own pretty much whatever I have the money for.

      Fortunately, Australia’s crime is pretty pathetic and most violent gun-related deaths, are between or amongst other criminals… At least in my experience.

      • noob

        I remember the day the crims and the ordinary people met outside flinders street station in a dispute over a damsel in distress.

        Christopher Hudson was a Fink motorcycle club member kicking his stripper girlfriend as she tried to escape in a taxi.

        Brendan Keilar asked him to stop.

        Christopher Hudson had a .40 s&w double star (Illegal due to barrel length restrictions in victoria).

        Brendan Keilar had just words and good intentions.

        RIP Brendan Keilar.

  • CaptainMorgan

    “I’m pretty sure semi-auto rifle ownership is practically banned in australia, bolt action only.” Sort of right. Sporting licences arn’t allowed semi auto rifles or shotguns or pump shotguns (they are allowed pump rifles”. “Primary producers” ie farmers are allowed semi/pump shotguns and semi auto 22lr’s in most states.

    To own a semi auto centerfire you need to be a professional pest contractor or own a very very large property (many thousand achres). They are only allowed to import 1 rifle ever, thus an 20 year old chinse rifle that would cost $300.00 new in Canada will sell for over $6000.00 AUD in OZ.

    Production companies can import full autos and semi’s for film/tv productions but the import conditions require that they be destroyed after the production is finished. That’s why this company is doing it.

  • Chris B

    I am underwhelmed with the UTG rail, the low rail gas block isnt military – but it works.
    Personally i wanted a gas piston but this is better than paying $10k for a crapped out AR-SP1. At least its a small pin upper.
    Since we will be reusing all the parts until the rifle falls apart – the spring washer was more appropriate as i can count on 1 hand how many AR gunsmiths we have here in Australia.
    The black nitrided finish is good, machining excellent.
    The sand coured ceracoated versions look fabulous but its not my thing.
    Problem still will be parts to keep it going, as there is now that United Nations ITAR’s II : what this means is US Department of State effectively makes it impossible to get spares for civilian use.
    Australian Federal customs is preventing imports of spares except for its own official use. Many of us stripped parts off our rifles before they made us surrender them, but parts wont last forever.
    You laugh at the price but they paid us $2000 each for them in 1989 for an SP1 : some of us went out and purchased “trailer loads” of crapped out AR’s and traded them for cash.
    My colt delta HB i full factory form fetched me $6k. $9k for this wasnt a hard ask

  • Nadnerbus

    US citizens that want to laugh at the outrageous price due to artificial supply restrictions only need to look at the price of a legal full auto firearm, or even a full auto sear. Bad laws know no continental boundaries.

  • Nigel

    This may be an expensive POS by US standards, but I’m just happy they went ahead and made them.
    I even made the effort to visit and thank them in person.
    CaptainMorgan- there are at least two Chinese and one Russian SKS’s available for under $1500 in Australia at the moment.

    • A. Hodges

      Do what?! I got my Norinco SKS for $50. Man, this article and the comments really reminds you of how well we have it here in the States. :-\

    • CaptainMorgan

      My $6000.00 comment was in regards to adds I’ve seen for semi auto norinco M14s on ozzy sites. In NZ a new one costs about $400 AUD including sales tax (15%)

      It makes sense that the sks would go for alot less as though they are a great gun for short range work there lack of accuracy, stopping power at extended ranges and being pain in the ass to scope (in a way that will hold zero) makes them a lot less dissirable. Regardless of cost I’d rather have a pump action remington 7600 with 10 round mag then an SKS.

      Any idea what they go for on the black market in ozz? Just currios as I understand 100,000’s of SKS ans SKK were imported into ozzy and that most were never handed in during the “buy back”

      • Chris B

        Yes you could buy a crate of SKK /SKS’s for $175 each – I saw one utility load 8 crates.

      • Nigel

        My Apologies I just assumed that you were referring to SKS’s rather than AR clones as they were the most common 20 year old Chinese rifles here.
        I have no idea about the black market, everything I own is legal, however media reports put it at around $2K and up for SKS’s $1K and up for Pistols.
        The total number of all Semi’s “bought back” was less than the number of Ruger 10/22’s imported ….. Obviously there are lots of illegal guns hidden away – how many is anyone’s guess. My guess would be over 250000.

  • JT

    It’s days like these I am so glad I was born on the other side of the Tasman Sea, new US/Canadian made AR’s for under $2000, though it hasn’t always been this way but I know I’m making the most of good times!

  • au

    there is legal requirement for guns to be destroyed after being used in production of a movie? why?? i can’t find words for it, this… this is sick.
    this is irrational hatred towards an object, a psychiatrist would have something to say about it.

    • I was told this was for imported guns. I presume the guns are banned from import by law but whatever government department gives them permission to import for a specific project only, and probably don’t allow restricted guns to be exported.

      ( I don’t know much about the Australian government, so I welcome any corrections)

  • David S

    I’m a licensed gun owner in Queensland, Australia and to give you a scope the number of people can legally own a semi auto centerfire rifle “cat D”. the area i lived in was primary producing country with a population of 64,000 only 48 could own a cat D firearm.

    • noob

      Wow! they actually issued a Cat D?

      Was it for a professional culler who had to shoot many small fast targets like rabbits?

      Most of the roo shooters have to make do with Cat B bolt guns.

      Try hitting a cigarette packet that hopps around randomly at 600 meters and that’s your typical headshot on a roo. (Which is the only humane way to take them. they don’t bleed out very easily and have very musclebound bums).

  • David S

    I’m a licensed gun owner in Queensland, Australia and to give you a scope of how many people can legally own a semi auto centerfire rifle “cat D”. the area i lived in was primary producing country with a population of 64,000 only 48 could own a Cat D firearm.

  • Chuck

    Holy crap! Full autos, the legal ones you can get in the US, cost about that much! I think I saw an UZI on gunbroker for 7k a few weeks ago… I thought California’s single shot AR-15 was a little nuts, but this is far worse! I wonder if my pump action 30.06 is legal?

  • Sian

    my first thought: At least it isn’t an M4 profile barrel!

  • alannon

    People need to stop knocking the construction. Sounds like our Aussie friends don’t really have a lot of choice in the matter, and based on the hostile environment I would hazard a considerable percentage of the cost is also some ridiculous licensing.

    • Chris B

      no not much licensing going on here. Many of the internal parts are straight COLT.
      Problem is those who own the CNC machinery tell us how much it will cost us.
      but at wholesale an SR25 is $2480.
      problem is you need the Justice Department and Dept of Defence permits to get it past customs.
      Once you can satisfy customs you then have to have a customer who has the correct licence in his state.
      The person could have the correct licence, but the state police might not issue a permit to purchase.

      If he gets a permit to purchase the rifle might be held in customs for 8 months……. at the dealers expense. so $$$$$$$$
      Once the person has it in his hot little hands he can sell it immediately for whatever price he can get, or he could use it.

      In this instance the $2480 rifle is now $10k-$13k

  • Denny

    Antigun fanatism in Royal Reserve Lands (Australia-Canada-New Zealand) does not surpprise me; it has been continually tightening rope around legal gun-owners neck.

    After reading the story on Cz83 market runout I went to local “Gun&Rod” shop to check on their availability in this country. I am interested in some reasonably priced .380 semiauto. Answer: NOT available, prohibited. Same about Bersa, Walther and many others. Reason? The gun barrel is less than 4.2″ long. Of course, most of compact hanguns barrels and probably all of .380ACPs are no more than 4″ long. In other words, this is effective way how to eliminate pistols from sales in Canada.

    So, our southern friends, ponder this and make sure that your rights to arm yourself are never taken away from you!

    • David/Sharpie

      It’s a pain in the a$$, and a huge hassle to get guns, but as for being banned, guns will never be completely outlawed in Canada.

      Oh, here’s a restricted .380. Ammo is expensive though…

    • JT

      We haven’t got it too bad down in New Zealand relatively speaking, there are a few hassles to deal with but you can get ahold of just about anything within reason. Also if you have the correct licence theres no magazine size limit on semi’s which is nice. Aussie really got the sh*t end of the stick.

    • W

      anti-gun fanaticism is pretty much bad EVERYWHERE. The outlook for future gun owners in the 21st century is pretty bleak.

  • John Doe

    The idiots that make gun laws don’t know the difference between keeping guns away from psychos and keeping guns away from law-abiding citizens.

  • Lance

    Very race/competition style weapon nice. Im skeptical I also loved the Aussi .308 imported 5 years ago. The Aussie’s government hates our gun ownership so they barred export of them and destroyed the rest. I hat to say watch Rebbecca Petters try to bar export to the US.

  • jamieb

    The. Most interesting thing about this story is how liberals ruined a fine riflemans culture in oz. They are done.

    • gusto

      The LIBERALS in Australia are a Conservative right leaning Party ,LABOUR is the left leaning party.The anti gun laws were brought in by one of the longest serving Conservative Prime Ministers in our history.All the major political parties supported it.

      The reason

      • noob

        It’s pretty confusing. Sorry Steve for dragging australian politics into this, but the strange state of our history needs a wikipedia article to bring it out.

        The bottom line is that the current Liberal Party in australia is only economically liberal, but socially conservative in every other way.

        • Shane Warne

          IT’s because Australia is more European when it comes to social reforms and agendas. That’s why we have one of the highest standards of living in the world (along with a few of the European countries such as Norway etc). That’s what makes Australia so great.

    • W

      its a story about statism. Britains former subjects inherited some traits from the mother country. I feel for the sensible Australian that just wants to legally own a firearm as a hobby or for self defense; im sure introducing such ideas like a human beings’ natural ability to defend itself is sacrilegious to “civilized, enlightened peoples”. I know from personal experience that America’s 2nd amendment is completely alien to somebody from Britain; answering a question about guns while visiting friends was like committing heresy.

  • Mike Knox

    $9000 tag? What do you expect, they’re Aussies..

  • Brandon

    Reminds me of the import scene in the 90’s, where it cost about 100 grand to import a USED Nissan Skyline GT-R. A company called Motorex was the only one who knew how to make them crash and emission complaint.

    I hate import restrictions…

    • W

      “I hate import restrictions…”

      YES!!! I do because I would love to have the option of buying a 1/4 ton diesel pickup. Toyota Hilux!!!

      Unfortunately, its not to be 🙁

      • Brandon

        I know, those things run forever. Top Gear couldn’t kill it!

    • C rai SA

      wow…. I almost forgot about that…
      that’s back when r-32, r-33, r-34 skylines were friggn awesome, now there available here, and thier just…. ahhhh. me, personally, am an insane rotor head, i love the whole mazda rx-series, especially the r-100, rx-2, rx-4, rx-5 cosmo, and of course, the
      rx-7. worlds most easiest engine to build, rebuild, modify, once you understand the wankel engine theory. sure, it’s tuff to maintain a seal on the apex of the tips of the rotors, but, there’s only 3 moving parts in the whole engine, itself. plus if you wanted too, you could add another rotor or two to the engine through additional rotor housings, intermediate housings, and front/rear housings and a longer eccentric shaft. but the import/domestic scene of today, like the scion brand (toyota) they have to be gaymericanized for all of us sterile, castrated sheep who don’t know how to drive a manual transmission, or forgot the lost art of reading a map, needs constant internet connectivity with some huge infotainment screen with voice assisted turn-by-turn gayvication system…….. i….i’m sorry, just ranting.. i would really like to say how sorry i feel for our aussie brothers, but you guys down under are made of a different cut than anyone will ever give you credit for… we had unrestricted use of firearms to help us tame the wild west….. y’all live at the cusp of god’s country, and tamed that with minimalistic resources. you guys truly are a brave and proud continent, and don’t really need semi-auto or full-auto fireworks down there. to quote a great and wise man, Paul Hogan, “You Call That A Knife?” firearms aren’t everything ya need to survive. they are fun, though.
      maybe those politics and laws will change one day, till then, i wish you the best of luck

  • Tony

    I think this is a typo

    • Nigel

      No Typo unfortunately.

  • FourString

    Wouldn’t it be far cheaper to rent domestic AUG’s/F88’s instead? If you’re not shooting a movie that includes the American military, then why use the AR-15? Quite curious about this…

    • Alex-mac

      Australian police and adf special forces use the AR.

    • Chris B

      there were fewer than 10 Aus steyrs sold to civilians before the government banned sales.. the cheapest i have seen a flat top 88 was $10K. Yes they made flat top AR’s for markman’s and civilian rifles……

    • Nigel

      Lots of international production was done in Australia.You have probably watched a movie set elsewhere but shot here without realizing.
      Most stories involving firearms would have opposing sides, these days probably AK variants on one side and AR on the other.

      • noob

        Stephen Speilberg’s The Pacific was shot in melbourne. The Matrix (1999) was shot in Sydney.

        Ghost Rider… well I’ll admit walking through one of the streets near my uni that was taken over for that show. I just wish that movie had been shot in the head in the Studio Exectuive’s office before it got a chance to be made.

    • FourString

      Thanks for the replies, guys, that was informative.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Australian ARs? Trevors in 5.45×39? OH NO! THE PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED! QUICK, TO THE BUNKER!!!!

  • Alex-mac

    Read on another site it’s completly CNC milled and to make it he had to reverse engineer an existing AR.

  • noob

    These are being used in a modified form for Patient 0 – the live action Laser Tag Roleplay game opening in melbourne Today and running until Dec 19th. After that it packs up to move to Sydney and then the world! muhahaha!

    I’m not affiliated with Patient 0 other than hoping to book a december spot to play 🙂

    I know the zombie thing is a little overdone in the firearms industry, but in the horror industry this game looks promising – a cast of 50 Non player characters and zombies, movie quality sets and an option to rent a helmet camera to document your descent into the gory guts of an abandoned medical research facility.

  • Nicks87

    $9000.00 AR-15s is what you get when you dont pay attention to politics.

    • noob

      weren’t paying much attention to firearms either 🙁

      general aussie public likes cricket, Aussie rules football and beer by the beach.

      Then-Prime Minister John Howard was even quoted in Interview with Philip Clark, Radio 2GB, 17 April 2002 saying “I did not want Australia to go down the American path. There are some things about America I admire and there are some things I don’t. And one of the things I don’t admire about America is their… slavish love of guns. They’re evil.”

      Aid anyone in Australia fight to keep their arms?

      I know of one man who pays AUD$2000 a year to maintain a firearms dealer’s licence to keep his father’s FAL-type full auto rifle. He submits to regular police inspections as part of the deal.

      I don’t think anyone did more than maybe hide a few newly-prohibited weapons and never shoot them again during the buybacks.

      We didn’t see any “from our cold dead hands” moments.

      For the most part Australians will abide by the law, no matter what the law is.

    • Nicks87

      My greatest fear is that the same thing will happen in America.

      I’m worried that if the govt legalizes marijauna many people will just give up their guns because they will be too stoned and apathetic to resist.

      Unfortunately when people live a relaxed care free life-style they tend to want to keep living that way regardless of the consequences.

      • David/Sharpie

        People don’t do that with alcohol…?

        Why do you think people would with Mary Jane?

      • Nicks87

        I’m sorry Mr. I-cant-decide-on-a-name-so-I-will-have-two but I cant respond to you without violating the comment policy so have a nice day.

      • David/Sharpie

        So you can’t grow up? Okay…

        Studies have shown that it’s no worse than alcohol, so why do you think people will do this with marijuana when people don’t do that with alcohol

        I have two because I’ve posted as “David” but there are other posters named “David” as well.

      • David/Sharpie

        Yeah, there is a guy on this page that has the same name and last initial as me.

        David S wrote on October 29th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        Next time think before you post and make yourself look like an idiot.

        “Have a nice day”

      • David S

        Hi mate, can you please not include myself into your pissing competition about taxable and nontaxable drugs… but while i’m here nick “Unfortunately when people live a relaxed care free life-style they tend to want to keep living that way regardless of the consequences” is a very uneducated comment about how the strict Australian gun laws came about.

        Australia has seven states and territories and the law needed all to agree and Queensland (the state i live in) and Tasmania was against the new laws.
        Than Australia had it worst shooting in Tasmania and so Taz made it choice to be for the laws so Queensland was the last state, so it was put up to the people in the state to and the majority was for the laws.

        Australia was not forged by war so we do not have the right to bear arms amendment, so long story short it was not because we are lazy and don’t care as you imply but because we live in a democracy that was rocked buy a tragedy and the people made a decision.

      • David/Sharpie

        I only brought you in because of your name.

        Dipsh!t above me started whining that I have 2 names, I include my nickname because it differentiates between myself and others named David, and in your case those named David with the same initial.

        Sorry bud.

      • Sam Suggs

        yeah becuase totally unregulated legal weed is totally gonna last. the health nuts will eventually pull their shit together and come up with studies relating to the carsinogenic nature of weed resulting in the same shit we saw in the 70s with tobacco which will beget the same shit we saw in the 80s making weed less popular more exspencenvie and so on. and to boot weed dosent change a persons politics it reduces motivation

  • William Burnham

    The vast majority of that has to be liability insurance and fees mandated by the govt. Parts normally only cost around $200 all together.