How Do They Work?
So what is a Suppressor / Silencer and can I buy one? This is really what what everyone is asking-well, at least me. A suppressor basically makes a gun shot a whole lot quieter below 140db or hearing safe. Some are definitely better than others. When a gun is fired it produces a high pressure pulse of hot gas. When this gas escapes into the environment it cause such an extreme change that it creates the loud bang associated with a gun blast. This is the same principle when you uncork a champagne bottle.
Inside a suppressor tube there are several baffles separating expansion chambers that allow the gases to expand, cool, and funnel the gases reaching the outside so that it’s a little easier on the ears. Some other benefits are reduced recoil, smaller muzzle flash, and better accuracy. To fully utilize the benefits of a suppressor you need to use subsonic rounds. Hearing the crack of a sonic boom does defeat the purpose a little.
Can I Buy One?
The next question is “Can I own this awesome miracle of science?” If you are lucky enough to live in one of the 42 non asshole states you can buy one from a dealer without a permit. There are huge benefits to setting up a trust to own the silencer such as allowing multiple users with one tax stamp and easy transfer upon death. You can see about setting up a trust here. To legally purchase a silencer or any item falling under the purview of the NFA, you must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the United States, and have no felony record. The first step is to locate a Class 3 dealer in your state who either has or will order the item you are interested in. Once a product and price have been settled on, the Class 3 dealer will provide the prospective purchaser with duplicate ATF Form 4s and two sets of fingerprint cards. The Form 4s must be filled out on both sides, with passport photos of the prospective buyer affixed to the backside of the form. The buyer then has the Chief Law-Enforcement officer sign the rear of the Form 4s attesting that the prospective purchaser does not possess a criminal record and is not wanted. The two fingerprint cards must be completed and signed by a Law Enforcement agency. The completed paperwork is then sent to the Department of the Treasury with a check or money order for $200.00. The $200.00 is known as a “transfer tax” because it must be paid whenever ownership of the silencer is “transferred” (in this case, the dealer to the prospective purchaser). As long as ownership remains with the same person, the tax need not be paid again. Only if the owner sells it will a new transfer tax need to be paid. An owner may will his silencer to a lawful heir with no tax incurred.
Once the paper work is submitted, it normally takes 90 to 180 days to receive the approved, stamped paperwork from the NFA Branch. It is only upon the return of the approved paperwork that the dealer can allow the prospective purchaser to take possession of their new silencer. A copy of the approved paperwork must accompany the silencer at all times (the original should be stored in a safe deposit box). Silencers can be transported to other states that allow their ownership, but to transport a silencer into one of the states which prohibit private ownership can subject the owner to serious state felony charges.
Can I build my own?
Yes The only down side is you have to go through the same nonsense as to purchase one. (see ATF Form 1) Some more info on filling out ATF form 1 and the legal process can be found here. To buy one already made is between $150 and $600 . I think it is easier to just buy one and know it will work
Building Your Own Suppressor
After you fill out ATF form 1 and receive approval it is time to build your own suppressor. There are a lot of videos on Youtube and Books on Amazon that will be very helpful. I recommend a little more research than this article before you get started. With that said check out the links below to get started on your journey of owning a legal silencer.
Some Great links I found to get started.
Start Here SilencerCo.com (this is where I stole that awesome gif. above)