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Old August 26, 2013, 09:01 AM   #1
Sabre9mm
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BATFE Stamps and DIY Supressors

I have access to a machinist and his shop who is doing some trade out for computer work, and I would like to use that to experiment with some suppressors. I have located a lot of information on line, blueprints, etc...

The experiment is not so much to have one as it is to become ore familiar with their construction, function, design, etc... And save a hell of a lot of money perhaps if I do end up with a safe functional model.

I will be doing it of course as legal as possible, and I know that I will have to fill out a Form1 and get it approved *before* I begin construction.

That however raises an interesting question, since possession of even so much as some of the parts counts as possession of the suppressor, and the stamp is for the *one* suppressor...

How does one handle prototyping, logically there will be parts that get remade upgraded or swapped out, improvements and possibly even new units will get made.

Does the BATFE expect a stamp for each revision, or one final product?
Likewise what of the parts, if I chose to keep them for further research or templates for future builds, would each have to have their own stamp as well?

If I decide to move forward with this I want it to be by the book legal or at least 100% in the spirit of the law.

Certainly some of you guys have crossed this bridge before, and if you could cite the particular areas of more information that would be great.
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Old August 26, 2013, 03:05 PM   #2
James K
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IMHO, that is a question for BATFE, not for us "experts". But do not use e-mail or a phone call. Write a letter to BATFE HQ, not a field office, and ask those questions. The easiest, but initially more expensive route, would be to get a manufacturers license, but I don't know how even a manufacturer handles experimental work.

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Old August 26, 2013, 04:42 PM   #3
Sabre9mm
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I had already sent an email to the local office to see if they had some guidance on how to better proceed, have not received a response, will let you guys know if they do, what they say.

I even considered if I registered all the parts to (and stamped each) with a serial number of my creation, then technically all the parts are spare parts for the one, but is a full set of spare parts considered 2?

One would think there would be a pretty clear path for such things, but I know what they can make confusing gives room for interpretation and keeps the average guy scared out of trying.

I have read all the forms I can find on the matter and had time for, and this seems a very grey area. With that I believe a grey area will become another if done wrong, and the second grey area will have bars...
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Old August 26, 2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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In other areas, like M2 carbine kits, a set of "spares" is considered another "machinegun", but those rulings on suppressors are so bewildering that I am confused, though I confess I have never considered building a suppressor, so I have never explored the issue very much.

Jim
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:22 PM   #5
Sabre9mm
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Ok, thanks none the less.

I do not aspire to create some state of the art product, what I am more interested in is like the amateur radio operator that can build a radio vs buy one, they learn more about the device.

As I have no need for a suppressor, just an interest, I would be more likely to be interested in what is in it and HOW it works vs that it does indeed.

I have seen tons of information on the internet (only .01% of which I consider to be of any merit) but the concept of the suppressor is, advanced engineering aside, a very basic one, some very simple designs have yielded some impressive results...

I have the money to just buy it, but I have spent my life programming computers, and paying people to change my oil and fix my lawn mower. I have few tangible hands on skills outside digital land. Engineering and math skills combined with a hobby such as this should prove at the very least entertaining, perhaps one day practical.

Hey everyone needs a retirement plan, right? If I can pick up and develop in a new programming language in 30 days, certainly I can pick up a functional knowledge of these types of things in the next 5 years or so...
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:27 PM   #6
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"I have access to a machinist..."

One point you need to be aware of. If you get a Form 1 approved to make a suppressor, YOU must make it. You cannot hire it out, or have someone else do it for you unless he has a Type 7 FFL and a Class 2 SOT (manufacturer of NFA firearms); if he does, then the transfer to you is on a Form 4 with tax.

Your machinist could probably advise you as long as he took no substantial part in making the suppressor. (He could show you how to run a lathe, as long as he didn't demonstrate by making a part for the suppressor.)

Jim
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Old August 29, 2013, 08:56 PM   #7
Sabre9mm
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Oooo, that is very relevant, because I am no machinist, perhaps then I will take instruction on those tools instead, and if/when I make the leap to know more on this matter I will have more ability and perhaps some of the tools myself.

Very good to know before I wasted a lot of time and money, thank you very much.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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With rules like those, you'd think they don't want you to make your own
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:40 AM   #9
Sabre9mm
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I know right, personally I like the challenge aspect of it, but no the frustration and risk aspects.

Same reason I am a pretty decent lock picker as well, skills I *may* never need, but interest me none the less. I made my own picks and learned how long before ever purchasing a commercially available set.

I have much more of an interest in the ability to build something most often over the ability to buy one. I wish I could quit my full time job and tinker all day in the shop I am slowly building, but we all do right?

I guess it is just one more case of the bad guys making it a PIA for the good guys...
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Old August 30, 2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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Bad guys and the ATF for that matter
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Old August 30, 2013, 04:26 PM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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I am currently taking machinist training. A suppressor is a pretty simple item. If you know how to machine you could make one easily. My guess is it would take me a couple hours at most.

Also have to weld a little I think. Not sure how you could make one without doing any welding at all.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:29 PM   #12
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Personally I think I would just trade for training on a lathe, mill and welder. Those skills are invaluable if you are a tinkerer and they will put you in a whole new level of DIY'ing once you have those skills.
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