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Old February 17, 2000, 08:54 PM   #1
Join Date: February 15, 2000
Posts: 26
I have a question. Is there a difference between a silencer and a suppressor? Also, how does a silencer or suppressor work?

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Old February 17, 2000, 10:22 PM   #2
Jake 98c/11b
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Join Date: November 25, 1999
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A silencer doesn't exist, can't eliminate the sound of a shot just supress it. Supressors work in three ways, or any combination of three ways. Volume is used to contain the expanding gasses until they are released into the environment at a lower pressure. Turbulance holds the high pressure gasses in the supressor so the pressure can bleed off into the environment over a longer period of time. Cooling the hot propellent gasses will reduce the volume of gas, reducing the volume of gas lowers the pressure and sound intensity is directly related to the pressure. Hope this helps because anything more than explaining the principals involved might lead to legal problems, I have an attorney friend who shoots but I don't like to ask him legal questions. I am afraid that if I deal with him as an attorney I won't like him anymore.
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Old February 18, 2000, 01:12 AM   #3
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It is illegal to make a supressor unless you have BATF approval, paid the 200 NFA tax, jump through all the legal hoops. That is, IF suppresors are legal in your state.

[This message has been edited by jcoyoung (edited February 18, 2000).]
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Old February 18, 2000, 12:06 PM   #4
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The two previous responses are accurate. I just want to add a couple of things generally restating what has been said.

1. The terms 'suppressor' and 'silencer' are used interchangably. Suppressor is the correct term. Also called a 'can'.

2. The sound a firearm generates comes from 3 areas: 1) the cycling of the action, 2) the rapid, uncontrolled expansion, of hot gases from the round being fired, 3) the sonic boom of the slug if it exceeds about 1100 fps. To suppress the noise from a firearm you try to have as much of an effect as possible on these 3 areas. For action noise you can use a single shot or bolt action. Some semi-auto pistols have a slide locking device so the pistol becomes a single shot and the pistol must then be cycled manually. The sonic boom is easy to fixed by using sub-sonic ammo or, judging by your handle, as the MP5 does by bleeding off enough gas so super sonic ammo becomes sub-sonic. To quiet the 'explosion' requires slowing down, controlling direction, and cooling, the expanding gases. This is why when you look into a suppressor you will find, baffles, heat sinks, and expansion chambers. It is also why many suppressors become less effective when hot and less effective when used dry if they were designed to use wet. Also, the lower volume of gas a cartridge creates (ie. less gun powder) the easier it is to suppress. So a standard velocity .22 rimfire is easier to suppress than a .380 ACP, which is easier than a 147 gr 9mm, which is easier than a .45 ACP, which is easier than a .223, which is easier than a .308. Less rapidly expanding hot gases also mean that a suppressor can be made smaller.
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Old February 20, 2000, 12:05 AM   #5
Daniel Watters
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Join Date: February 7, 1999
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To be fair, the inventor of the firearm sound suppressor Hiram Percy Maxim dubbed his devices 'silencers'. Hence, the name stuck, even though the resulting discharge is by no means silent.

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