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Old August 10, 2008, 03:47 PM   #1
W. C. Quantrill
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BATF requirements for Silencers

I am wanting to suppress a couple of rifles, and there seems to constantly be questions on paperwork and permits and what we must do to get a legal muffler for a rifle. I would hope that some good advice comes to this question and perhaps it could be placed as a sticky so we have some roadmap to follow until we get one done so we understand the process.


So, the question is,,,,,,,what do I have to do to get a legal silencer?
What form is first required? Is this a Form #1?

Then a $200 fee has to be attached?

Then fingerprints and background check?

So we pass all this and then we have to have the permission of the local law enforcement?

So lets say we get that done and BATF issues the permit, then I can make or buy a suppressor........? If I buy it, do I have to pay an additional $200 transfer fee?

What is it going to cost for me to get a can on the end of my barrel?

I am looking for answers from those who have silencers or who have the licences.

Thanks
WC
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Old August 10, 2008, 04:12 PM   #2
Legion2600
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What is it going to cost for me to get a can on the end of my barrel?
At the very least 200.00. That is if you manufacture it yourself on a Form 1. AFTER ATF approval. Silencers really aren't worth the hassle of doing it that way. Otherwise to buy you will pay the 200.00 on top of the price of the silencer. If you buy the silencer using a corporation or trust you do not need the photos, prints or permission from the cops. If you buy as an individual you need all of those things. Corp. or individual purchases are done on a form 4.

When you buy one from a dealer he holds onto it while you submit the paperwork & 200.oo to the ATF. Once they approve it - it is then transferred to and you can take possession.
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Old August 10, 2008, 05:40 PM   #3
David Hineline
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Unless you have expert machining skills and really think you can build a top notch product, your item will have to go through a local in state NFA dealer. So your best advice the first time is to contact them and buy something and let the profesional walk you through the process. He will know if the CLEO allows it in your area or not, etc.

Since your profile shows nothing we don't even know if silencer are legal where you live so it's pretty hard to give advice.

Once you have done it once, then it will be easier to do something on your own without help next time.
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Old August 10, 2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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I have many friends that have built their own suppressor. Many of those have built more than one. The requirements that have already been stated are what's required. I just got mine after a 65 day wait (from sent). That was the hardest part. If you decide to buy one rather than build then it's best to forget all about the whole thing after you send your packet in. You'll need a Certification of compliance with 18 U.S.C.922(g)(5)(B) regardless of whether you buy or build. All the forms that you'll need are available for order via the BATFE's website located at http://www.atf.treas.gov/dcof/index.htm . You can order all the paperwork there. I would order more than you need simply because once you are bitten by the bug you'll need them. Before you send your forms in make copies. I sent mine with a tracking number just incase it got lost or misplaced. If I can be of any further help, feel free to contact me.
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Old August 10, 2008, 07:29 PM   #5
W. C. Quantrill
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It gets confusing to say the least. Yes, I live between two states, both of which are legal. Of course my profile shows something, you just have to do a little searching, but No Mans Land is a place. Previous to 1900, it was so noted on US maps. So that is one hurdle out of the way. I could probably avoid a lot of brain damage by running it through my business corporation.

Now let me clarify a couple things. Lets say I do a Form 4 and get a permit back from the BATF'ers. Then I am free to obtain a silencer, or to make one. If I select to purchase one, then do I have to pay a $200 transfer fee on it in addition to the $200 Permit fee? Or does the original $200 cover it?

I have numerous sets of plans for silencers, and the tools and ability to construct, so that isnt even an issue. I just checked the BATF site and Form #1's are not available at this time. I didnt check on #4's. Perhaps I will just phone them and see if I get any cooperation on the other end.

WC
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Old August 10, 2008, 07:59 PM   #6
74_sharps
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You'll need to go pick out you silencer first and your dealer will give you some of the paperwork. Take that to your CLEO, Get him to sign off on it and get finger printed. You'll need two finger print cards. Get two passport type pictures and your payment. Send all that off to the BATFE.

The paperwork that your dealer gives you will have all the info. on your suppressor (Serial number, description, caliber & such).

Hope that helps.
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Old August 10, 2008, 08:49 PM   #7
W. C. Quantrill
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I suspect that I will elect to construct my silencers, as I dont see paying $700 for one, when I can whip one out pretty quickly with $50 worth of materials and have fun doing it. I sure do appreciate the info here. I'll check back in on this as time goes by this fall. Thanks again.
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Old August 10, 2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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What weapon are you building it for? I might be able topoint you in the right direction to save you the trouble of making the parts yourself. Whatever you do don't forget that one baffle is a silencer according to the BATFE. Also, before you put the baffles in the tube make sure the tube is engraved with your info..
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Old August 10, 2008, 10:32 PM   #9
David Hineline
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Ok

The form 1 is for building, the form 4 is for buying. Since you want to form 1 as an individual, you need the form a set of ATF fingerprint cards and the form 5330.20 citizenship form, fill it out with photos and take to your CLEO he signs it sent to BATF with your check for $200 and wait for 3-4 months then they will send back a copy to you approved and you can start to build 1 silencer at that time.

This one time build it form is not for prototyping and future design changes or repairs, you are not a manuf. or licensed to replace any parts once you build it.

If you go the corporation route then there are no fingerprints, or photos or cleo permission but it remains an asset of the corporation and it transfers with the corporation or dissolves with the corporation.

Sof if you build a silencer you do it on a form 1 when you sell it most likely it will go form 4.
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Old August 10, 2008, 10:49 PM   #10
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Good info. David. I wasn't sure about the corp. option.
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Old August 11, 2008, 01:54 AM   #11
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I can expand a bit on Hineline's excellent post. It is very important that you finalize your design before you build as you can not make replacement parts or replace parts for any reason. There is one exception to the "no replacement" rule. The ATF allows you to replace wipes after cutting up or burning the originals. While wipes suppress very well for pistols, they last only a few rounds, so they are not worth messing with on a rifle.

Check out http://www.subguns.com for forms and advice, and http://www.silencertests.com for advice and drawings. I feel that it does not take an expert to make a good silencer. I bought a 12x36 grizzle lathe, grinder, welder and hand held band saw solely for making silencers. About a $2000 investment for 7 silencers so far. It does not take much time to learn how to make parts to within one thousandth of an inch for silencer parts on a lathe. Learning to weld is harder, it definitely is an art.

You can use all aluminum for pistol and lower pressure (22lr, 22 hornet, whisper cartridges) rifle cartridges, but it is a good idea to use stainless steel for the first (blast) baffle as it is subject to much erosion from the un-burnt gun powder particles. You are asking for trouble if you use aluminum in any silencer intended for use on a 223 or 308 and higher. The softer stainless steels such as 304 are just fine unless you intend to use them on a machine gun. There is information available on the net for anodizing your silencers. I just paint mine; if they get so hot they blister the paint, I can just sand and re-paint. I use a small hand engraver instead of bringing the tube to a someone else. It looks rough, but then I only care how well they sound and last.

If you decide to sell your silencer, you will probably not get much for it compared to those made by nationally known manufacturers. It can be transferred to a person in your state using a form 4 and the $200 tax, or to a person in another state through a dealer with two $200 taxes. It can go to your heirs after your death tax free on a form 5.

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Old August 11, 2008, 09:58 AM   #12
74_sharps
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ranb, You said that you paint yours and then indicated that the paint (sometimes?) blisters. Have you ever tried using engine paint? I think it might take care of that happening. I'm not sure if it's available in any color you'd want, it might work as a base coat though. The only problem that I can see with it is how to avoid covering up the information that you've engraved. On that note, what if instead of using a hand held engraver you put the tube over a smaller piece of pipe than used a stamp to make your lettering? You could use some pitch to hold the tube in place if it must needs be. I got the ideal from working as a jeweler over the past 10+ years and how sometimes when stamping a design (stipple) or putting a Kt. mark on a piece this has worked. Thanks for helping to point WC in the right direction.
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Old August 11, 2008, 12:20 PM   #13
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I have some woodstove paint that is supposed to endure up to 1200 F. It seems to be less scratch resistant than ordinary enamel. I have only heated my 223 silencer up too much once, so it is not much of a problem. I just cover the engraving with tape to avoid painting over it. I have heard about the method of stamping that you refer to, but do not own a set of stamps.

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Old August 11, 2008, 08:15 PM   #14
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I got a set from Harbor Freight about 2+ years ago for under $15. I've used them for stamping other things and they seem to hold up well. Even if they only were to withstand use on 4 or 5 tubes it's still worth it to me. If there's not a Harbor Freight near you they can be had at http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...o?itemid=35121 . It doesn't show a price.
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Old October 18, 2011, 03:14 PM   #15
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Just wanted to point out something interesting that is happening.

Corporations and trusts that are applying for supressors are having the Form 4 returned with instructions that it now must now only be held for "research and dvelopment" purposes. Evidently, the traditional purposes are no longer valid reasons for possession under new internal review regs within the BATF.

So, my question is thus: if submitted with the "research and development" as the purpose, as now required, is the BATF going to require proof of research and dvelopment? I have posed such question to BATF but have not received an intelligent response thereto.

Do any of you guys know anything about this issue?
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:06 PM   #16
74_sharps
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Noting the way that the BATFE does things it may very well spell that out. Or it could be that they forget what they have said about it and change their minds. It is hard to tell at this point.
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:40 PM   #17
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Corporations and trusts that are applying for supressors are having the Form 4 returned with instructions that it now must now only be held for "research and dvelopment" purposes. Evidently, the traditional purposes are no longer valid reasons for possession under new internal review regs within the BATF.
Source?
This sounds like ATF enforcing a state or local law on a trust, just as they normally would for a personal transfer. IIRC, one or more states (NC perhaps?) require certain title II firearms to state "R&D" as their use.
I doubt that's happening nationwide, or I'd have seen a great uproar on the NFA sections of various weapons sites.
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Old October 20, 2011, 06:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JBriggs
Just wanted to point out something interesting that is happening.

Corporations and trusts that are applying for supressors are having the Form 4 returned with instructions that it now must now only be held for "research and dvelopment" purposes. Evidently, the traditional purposes are no longer valid reasons for possession under new internal review regs within the BATF.

So, my question is thus: if submitted with the "research and development" as the purpose, as now required, is the BATF going to require proof of research and dvelopment? I have posed such question to BATF but have not received an intelligent response thereto.

Do any of you guys know anything about this issue?
This is a state issue. Some states only allow ownership of silencers for "scientific research." In those states, your "purpose" needs to reflect that.

For instance, here in Ohio, "All Legal Purposes" does just FINE.
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Old October 25, 2011, 08:14 AM   #19
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Thanks for the postings guys. Considering getting a can for my High Standard Military model.

This NFA stuff is for the birds. What is the ATF's reasoning for the $200 fee? Just seems so eloborate for something so simple.
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Old October 25, 2011, 11:09 AM   #20
Don H
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Originally Posted by Beentown71
What is the ATF's reasoning for the $200 fee?
This specific fee is mandated by an Act of Congress:
Quote:
§ 5811. Transfer tax

(a) Rate
There shall be levied, collected, and paid on firearms transferred a tax at the rate of $200 for each firearm transferred, except, the transfer tax on any firearm classified as any other weapon under section 5845 (e) shall be at the rate of $5 for each such firearm transferred.

(b) By whom paid
The tax imposed by subsection (a) of this section shall be paid by the transferor.

(c) Payment
The tax imposed by subsection (a) of this section shall be payable by the appropriate stamps prescribed for payment by the Secretary.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/us...1----000-.html
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Old October 25, 2011, 11:40 AM   #21
Indi
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W. C Quantrill

I ordered mine here, they are very helpful and gave me a killer price, way below msrp. I bet anyone who is selling silencers/ supressors is very knowledable. But this guy gave me a killer price, and helped me with the paperwork all the way through.

www.major-malfunction.com


Also you kind of have to buy the silencer first then do the paperwork. They need the serial number on your form 4. I dont know anything about making your own so i wont say anything besides i dont know. But i do know you need to give them the description and serial number plus the $200.00 for the stamp. After your paperwork comes back they will transfer the silencer to you. Im from oklahoma and alot of places that sell them help you go through the process. One gun shop even has a lawyer who does trust for them free of cost.

Last edited by Indi; October 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM.
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