View Full Version : Suppressor Questions

April 27, 2009, 10:27 PM
1. What the quietest calibers to suppress in order? I am thinking .22LR has to be the quietest but not sure where the other calibers fit it, 380, 9mm vs 40 and 45 stack up? (Referring to pistols here)

2. What's the reason to get one aside from fun? Does anyone use it for Home defense or is that just asking for some unnecessary scrutiny, or prosecution. My thought is that if god forbid, I have to fire a pistol in my home, I would not want to go deaf in the process?

3. I guess there is a decision one has to make regarding the degree of suppression vs the bullet effectiveness. Ie does a person get a .22 totally quite suppressor and just use it for fun, not HD and not protection? Or do some get one for the reduction in noise and also have something that is effective in protecting their lives? Seems to me if you are looking for just quite and fun, .22 is probably the way to go but if you are looking for protection and fun, maybe 9mm or 45acp are the way to go? But then again, how quite are they becuase they are much more powerful vs the .22?

4. Are subsonic rounds important, are they more quiet than non-sub sonic rounds?

5. What are some inexpensive manufactures of quality cans?

6. For the NFA legality, is a trust the preferred method or not? It's my understanding its the fastest route is this true? Are there any step by step guides out there to walk through each method?

7. What are the liabilities with owning a suppressor? When you register for one, do you escalate yourself on the old big brother watch list? Would there be ramifications if you had one?

8. WHat's this wet vs dry stuff all about, have no idea? You pour water into the can to make it quieter?

9. Does the length of the can make it more or less quite?

10. Can someone provide an overview on how to go about the process of getting one from A to Z? Either option trust vs non or both would be awesome. Thanks.

Willie Lowman
April 28, 2009, 10:33 AM
1. pretty much right on the order.

2. Suppressors are hearing protection that your gun wears for you. Unfortunately Americans see suppressors as assassin's tools. There are people who use a suppressor for HD, I have been legally advised to not do that. I think it would be a good idea but the lawyers I know say "don't." Do what you think is right but I would expect you to loose a civil suit if you use one for HD. BUT WE HAVE ALREADY HAD THIS ARGUMENT in another thread.

3. 9mm with subsonics can be very quiet. .22 done right sounds like a pellet gun. .45 is not as quiet as you would think it would be.

4. If you shoot a supersonic round there will be a 'crack' like a .22 rifle.

5. Define inexpensive. With a can you usually get what you pay for.

6. Talk to your CLEO and see if they will sign off on a suppressor. If not, go the trust route.

7. If you own a suppressor you will loose weight without dieting, women will want to meet you, men will want to be you.

8. Yes. A few ml of water helps cool the gasses in the can making it a few db quieter.

9. Yes. Volume is important, remember a suppressor is just a trap for the expanding hot gasses.

10. The search function is your friend, Google is your friend, Find a C3 dealer and make them your friend.

April 28, 2009, 10:47 AM
Wow, a book could be written with all your questions.

A silencer (suppressor, can, snuffer) will remove most or all of the muzzle blast from a gun. There are still many other noises a gun makes such as the action cycling, the bullet whizzing through the air, the bullet making impact, the bullet breaking the sound barrier, gas escaping from the ejection port, and the brass hitting the ground.

If you are trying to be stealthy (as opposed to just protecting your hearing or being cool) the sound barrier and bullet impact are the two most substantial noises you can expect. A supersonic .22 sounds like a whip cracking. A supersonic .223 sounds like a small firecracker. Subsonic rounds eliminate that problem but now you have to be concerned about the bullet impact. You can reduce that by shooting soft targets or padding your targets. I have a metal bullet trap I pad with a towel and a thick book.

.45 ACP sounds very good overall since you have no supersonic crack. However 230 grains of lead makes a hell of a racket on impact.

Regarding self defense, you could argue either way on that point. I tend to like to keep my most valuable and difficult to acquire guns near by which means I tend to have my suppressed weapons where I can see them. Which means in the event of a home invasion the suppressed AR will be closer than the Mossberg shotty. But I am going to hate to lose that gun to the evidence locker.

April 28, 2009, 10:59 AM
Water cools the gases faster resulting in better suppression. You can also use wire pulling gel or just about any other medium you can think of. I've personally used saliva when nothing else was available. Yes, just pour it down the tube and shake it out. You don't want it full of water like a water gun, you just want it to be wet. .45 ACP silencers are most commonly used wet. Be prepared for other people on the range to look at you like you are nuts (they will already think you are crazy for having a silencer, but now watching you wet your silencer will push some people over the edge). I just tell everyone it keeps the can cool since it heats up fast (which is true).

Don't buy a cheap can. You are going to own this thing for potentially the rest of your life and spend up to a year trying to acquire it. It's simply not worth it to try and save a few hundred bucks. Advanced Armament is considered the top of the line for most people and reasonably easy to buy. Knights Armament is the very best but extremely difficult to get.

April 28, 2009, 03:33 PM
Good answers. I can expand a bit.

4. Subsonic ammo is usually less noisy due to the smaller powder charge. The sonic boom from supersonic ammo is much less noisy than the muzzle blast. It is normally only noticeable from the shooter’s position when a silencer is used. The noise can be enough to make the difference between shooting with or without ear plugs. Even high powered rifles like the 308 and 338 magnums can be adequately suppressed to shoot without protection. If you shoot indoors or under weather protection, the silencer will not be effective enough unless it is something small like the 22lr.

5. Here is a list of some silencer manufacturers; http://www.silencertalk.com/links.htm . Much info and opinions are available on the http://www.silencertalk.com forum as well.

6. If you personally own the silencer, then you can not let others use it unless you are present. If you create a trust, then the trustees and beneficiaries can use it. There are several threads on http://www.silencertalk.com dealing with trusts. Lawyers want about $600 to create a trust, and most of the lawyers I have contacted will not do it due to lack of knowledge on their part, or they are too busy with bankruptcies. Some people use software like Quicken to create the trust. I am going to do that this soon.

7. Liabilities of silencer ownership include payment of the $200 tax when transferring and keeping your original copy of the ATF form 1 or 4 in a safe place as it is the only proof you legally own it. It is a good idea to have a copy of the ATF form with you when traveling with the silencer.

While only the ATF can demand that you produce this confidential tax document, some states make silencer possession illegal unless you can prove they are registered. Some private rifle ranges do not allow title 2 weapons use unless the form is shown to the range officer (I always show mine).

Never ever allow anyone to make or take a copy of the ATF form for any reason unless it is to avoid arrest in a place like Texas when silencers are illegal but proof of registration is an affirmative defense to possession.

You may also have to put up with the bigotry of those gun owners who claim silencers are illegal even when you tell them the steps you took to own them. There are people on this and other forums who believe that lying about silencer legalities or encouraging others to ban them is the key to protecting the second amendment.

8. Putting several ounces of water into the can lowers noise and maybe reduce first round pop. You will need to replenish the water after a few mags. Some manufacturers say not to use water, it is usually used in the smaller pistol silencers. If you use it in an aluminum or aluminum/steel silencer, the internals can quickly rust and stick together. If the silencer is made to be taken apart for cleaning, then it may be difficult after using it wet. This is based on my personal experience.

9. Volume and baffle design are the keys to good suppression. Long and skinny usually works better than short and fat given the same baffle shape. Longer also means alignment is more critical. Baffles strikes ruin accuracy at best, destroy the silencer at worst.

I have to agree that you get what you pay for. I can not afford to buy silencers, so I make them on the ATF from 1. While I have favorably compared (by noise level) my homemade cans with other popular makers, mine have an inferior finish, lack the inconel, titanium and other exotic metals for durability and have no warranty. While I can repair damage, I can not replace parts unless I pay another $200 tax.


April 28, 2009, 04:36 PM
the bullet whizzing through the air,

That makes for some disturbing mental images.

May 3, 2009, 09:47 PM
Owning a can is a cool thing. Folks want to see it, touch it, hear it,and shoot with it. When you go to a p-dog range you can shoot till you are out of ammo. Just buy a good one and enjoy it.