March 7th, 2019

Hands On with SilencerCo Suppressors — Range Time in WA

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Our friend Gavin Gear of UlimateReloader.com recently visited a SilencerCo dealer in the state of Washington, The Range LLC in Yakima, WA. Gavin was able to test a number of suppressors (aka “moderators” or “silencers”) for both rifle and pistols. Gavin recently released a lengthy article covering his experiences. If you are in the market for a suppressor, we highly recommend you read Gavin’s SilencerCo Products Overview on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin was able to test three SilencerCo suppressors: the Omega 300, the Hybrid, and the Osprey 45. In addition Gavin was able to handle the Maxim 9, an integrally suppressed 9mm handgun.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Gavin reports the Omega 300, which is rated up to .300 Winchester Magnum, is a very popular “can”. According to Gavin, the Omega 300 has become the best-selling rifle suppressor in history for important reasons. First, it has an integral muzzle brake. Second, it can work for multiple calibers, from .223 up to .308. Third, “It is very tough — .300 Win Mag rated, and full-auto rated”.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound
SilencerCo lineup, from left: Omega 300, Hybrid, Osprey 45

Gavin says the Hybrid Suppressor is an interesting concept: “One suppressor that you can configure for multiple calibers, both rifle and pistol. This includes the ability to change out the threaded mount on the muzzle end, and you can also swap out end caps that will optimize sound suppression for different calibers. The Hybrid… is full-auto rated, and can handle rifle cartridges up to and including .338 Lapua Magnum! But this suppressor can also be used for pistol applications…from 9mm up to 44 ACP.”

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February 16th, 2017

ATF White Paper Recommends Changes in Suppressor Laws

ATF silencer suppressor white paper

In the near future, there could be changes in the way the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) treats sound suppressors (aka “moderators” or “silencers”). An official government White Paper, dated 1/20/17, was recently leaked to the press and revealed by the Washington Post.

CLICK HERE to READ FULL Text of ATF WHITE PAPER

ATF silencer suppressor white paper

The ATF White Paper makes some key points about suppressors:

1. 42 States currently allow silencers.
2. Silencers are not a threat to public safety, and are rarely used in criminal activities.
3. The inclusion of suppressors in the NFA is “archaic” and should be reevaluated.
4. The definition of regulated suppressor components should be narrowed, so that only key items are regulated as opposed to “any combination of [silencer] parts”.
5. A change in Federal law removing silencers from regulation under the NFA would save resources, allowing the ATF to focus on reducing actual gun-related crime.

ATF silencer suppressor white paper

Here is the operative text of the ATF White Paper:

Current Federal law requires ATF to regulate silencers under the NFA. This requires a Federal tax payment of $200 for transfers, ATF approval, and entry of the silencer into a national NFA database. In the past several years, opinions about silencers have changed across the United States. Their use to reduce noise at shooting ranges and applications within the sporting and hunting industry are now well recognized.

At present, 42 states generally allow silencers to be used for sporting purposes. The wide acceptance of silencers and corresponding changes in state laws have created substantial demand across the country. This surge in demand has caused ATF to have a significant backlog on silencer applications. ATF’s processing time is now approximately 8 months. ATF has devoted substantial resources in attempts to reduce processing times, spending over $1 million annually in overtime and temporary duty expenses, and dedicating over 33 additional full-time and contract positions since 2011 to support NFA processing. Despite these efforts, NFA processing times are widely viewed by applicants and the industry as far too long, resulting in numerous complaints to Congress. Since silencers account for the vast majority of NFA applications, the most direct way to reduce processing times is to reduce the number of silencer applications. In light of the expanding demand and acceptance of silencers, however, that volume is unlikely to diminish unless they are removed from the NFA. While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated.

ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past 10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the [Gun Control Act] (GCA].

If such a change were to be considered, a revision in the definition of a silencer would be important. The current definition of a silencer extends to “any combination of [silencer] parts”, as well as “any part intended only for use in” a silencer. Compared to the definition of a firearm, which specifies the frame or receiver is the key regulated part, any individual silencer part is generally regulated just as if it were a completed silencer. Revising the definition could eliminate many of the current issues encountered by silencer manufacturers and their parts suppliers. Specifically, clarifying when a part or combination of parts meets a minimum threshold requiring serialization would be useful.

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January 10th, 2017

Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 367) Introduced in Congress

hearing protection act Congress Duncan Carter

We may see a big change in how sound suppressors are regulated in the future, if new legislation from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) becomes law. On January 10, 2017, Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC) and Rep. John “Judge” Carter (TX) introduced H.R. 367, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA). This law would remove suppressors (aka “moderators”) from National Firearms Act (NFA) control, eliminating requirements of extensive paperwork, and purchase of a tax stamp. If the Hearing Protection Act becomes law, suppressors could be purchased through an FFL (after a NICS background check), just like a normal, non-NFA firearm. This would make suppressors more affordable in the 42 states where suppressors are legal to own. What’s more, the new legislation includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchased a suppressor after Oct. 22, 2015.

Suppressors function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle, allowing them to slowly cool in a baffled chamber. On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20-35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges.

“Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss after years of shooting, and yet the tool necessary to reduce such loss is onerously regulated and taxed. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act would allow people easier access to suppressors, which would help them to better protect their hearing.”

Guns.com explained how the Hearing Protection Act will change current law: “Since 1934, the federal government has treated devices designed to muffle or suppress the report of firearms as Title II devices that required registration under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and mandated transfers that included a $200 tax stamp. The Duncan-Carter bill would repeal this requirement and treat suppressors as firearms — which would allow them to be transferred through any regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.”

This video discusses an earlier version of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 3799:

“For the past five years, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has worked alongside the state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses in the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, the American Suppressor Association, and many other partners at the state level to normalize the use of suppressors throughout the nation,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. A similar bill was introduced last year by Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ) but that legislation never made it out of committee.

If you have purchased a suppressor in the last year, the HPA could put money back in your pocket. As drafted, the HPA also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchased a suppressor after October 22, 2015.

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December 2nd, 2016

Firearms Barrel Length and Overall Length — Know the Law

The Legal Brief is a feature of TheGuncollective.com that focuses on firearms rules and regulations. In this Legal Brief video, Attorney Adam Kraut explains key State and Federal regulations governing firearms, and explains how to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

This five-minute video explains barrel length rules for rifles and shotguns, and also explains the best (and most fool-proof) methods to measure your barrel. In addition, the video explains how to measure firearm overall length. A rifle or shotgun which is less than 26 inches overall can also be classified as a “Short-barreled” rifle/shotgun subject to the NFA. NOTE: Under federal law “If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock EXTENDED”.

short barrel barreled rifle shotgun NSA tax stamp ATF legal brief guncollective.com

Highlights of LEGAL BRIEF Discussion of Barrel Length and Firearm Overall Length

The ATF procedure to measure the length of a barrel is to measure from the closed bolt or breech face to the furthest end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. ATF considers a muzzle device that has been permanently attached to be part of the barrel and therefore counts towards the length.

How to Measure Barrel Length: Drop [a] dowel or rod into the barrel until it touches the bolt or breech face, which has to be closed. Mark the outside of the rod at the end of the muzzle crown (if you don’t have a permanently attached muzzle device) or at the end of the muzzle device if it is permanently attached. Remove the rod and measure from the mark to the end of the rod. That is your barrel length[.]

Remember, if the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is possible that the firearm could be a short barrel rifle (if you are building a rifle or it is already on a rifle) and if the barrel length is less than 18 inches, it is possible the firearm could be a short barrel shotgun (again if you are building a shotgun or it is already a shotgun). Both of these firearms would be subject to the purview of the National Firearms Act and would require the firearm to be registered accordingly.

How to Measure Overall Length:The overall length of your rifle or shotgun may also classify it as a Short Barrel Rifle or Short Barrel Shotgun. The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore. … If the rifle has a permanently attached muzzle device, that is part of the overall length. … If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock extended.

READ FULL ARTICLE on Ammoland.com.

Links for this episode:

ATF Method for Measuring Barrel Length and Overall Length:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-chapter-2/download
Firearm – 26 USC § 5845: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
Firearm – 27 CFR § 479.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.11
Short Barrel Rifle – 18 USC § 921(a)(8): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Rifle – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11
Short Barrel Shotgun – 18 USC § 921(a)(6): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Shotgun – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11

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June 12th, 2016

SilencerCo Leads Huge Growth in USA Suppressor Market

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

In this article, Gun Watch Editor Dean Weingarten interviews SilencerCo Founder/CEO Josh Waldron. Started in 2008, SilencerCo is an amazing success story. The company now sells 18,000 silencers a month. To put that in perspective, a decade ago, the entire domestic suppressor industry was selling 18,000 suppressors a YEAR. SilencerCo now controls 65% of the suppressor market in the USA, and its business is growing 100% a year.

This growth is remarkable considering that suppressors remain highly regulated and costly to acquire. The National Firearms Act (NFA), passed in 1934, imposes significant restrictions and requires a $200 tax to be paid on each silencer sold.

How Suppressors Work — The Science of Silencers

Interview with Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

At the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, I was able to talk to Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo. Josh is more than a visionary. He is a man who acted on his vision, and is changing the gun culture and the national culture.

I [visited] the SilencerCo booth during the NRA Annual Meeting. I was told that SilencerCo produces about 65% of the silencers in the United States. The company is growing so fast that it was hard to keep up with the number of employees, currently about 330 and rising quickly. There is no doubt that SilencerCo holds a dominant market share and is growing at an exceptionally fast rate. I asked Josh about the future of silencers and silencer legislation.

Q: Do you have a plan, and can you tell me about it?

“It starts as education. Ever since we started the company in 2008, we have had a focus on education and advocacy. When I first started the company… only 18,000 silencers were sold in the United States each year, and that was every manufacturer.”

“From the time we have started until now, there were 18,000 then, we are now selling about 18,000 silencers every month, just SilencerCo.”

“In the last five years, this has been the fastest growing segment of the firearms industry.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

When I first started the company… only 18,000 silencers were sold in the United States each YEAR [from] every manufacturer. We are now selling about 18,000 silencers every MONTH, just SilencerCo. — Josh Waldron

“People are just starting to understand. This is not a ‘cool accessory’ as much as it is a personal protection/personal safety device, just as you would consider any other device that keeps you safe while you shoot, such as safety glasses. It is really the only true way to hunt while you protect your hearing. As we continue to educate the market, it grows exponentially. A guy will get one who has never had one before, he brings it home, he shows his friends, and they say ‘Oh my gosh, I want to buy one!’ Every time we get suppressors out there, the snowball continues to grow and get bigger and bigger.”

Q: Your market share is dominant. Your sales growth is exponential, isn’t it?

“Yes … pretty amazing. We are growing 100% every year.”

WATCH X-Ray View of Shots Through Silencer (28,000 frames per second, 22 Sparrow)

Q: Do you fear that removal of suppressors from the NFA (National Firearms Act) will cut into your profit margin?

“I don’t think so. We don’t get to take full benefit of the economies of scale. We have to order materials on a small-batch basis. As we increase the number of suppressors going out the door we decrease the amount that it costs us. We haven’t pushed it to the level where are seeing those economies of scale.”

“We are always going to be a top-shelf brand. We are never going to discount our brand. We will be a leader in the industry, continually. I do believe there will be a lot of new entrants to the industry. I do not think that will hurt our brand or hurt our market.”

Q: I saw the Maxim 9, SilencerCo’s integrally-suppressed pistol, at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Is the Maxim 9 in production yet?

“It is not in production yet. Projects of this size take a lot of research and development. They take a lot of torture testing. We have to put it through a lot of standard testing. We use outside firms that come in and test and evaluate, so that we can hold our heads up high and say ‘This is a duty grade weapon’. We are not going to release it until it is.”

“I do not want to be marketing to our men and women in uniform, and saying this is a safe way to shoot until we can say this is a perfect firearm for them. The amount of testing is extremely rigorous. We are on schedule. We will release it, probably in December.”

Q: Is the Maxim 9 your entry into a future market of integrally-suppressed firearms?

“Yes. Our intention with the Maxim brand is to have integrally-suppressed firearms in that brand. We are talking everything from shotguns to rifles to pistols. The pistol is a good place to start because it is the holy grail of integrally suppressed guns that everyone has wanted. It is extremely difficult to do. People have tried it and failed, years and years, for decades, and this is the first time it has actually been viable and real. We are very excited about that, and very proud of that. We are going to move into new calibers as soon as this one starts shipping. We are very excited to expand that line.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

“Do I think the gun companies will compete? They can try. Number one, our IQ is amazing around this product. We spent a lot of time researching every firearm, every handgun that you can think of. How the mechanisms worked, and why. We had to be thorough. Which is why we designed the gun from the ground up. We went into every single style of this type of firearm, and other types of handguns as well, and really, truly understand how it needed to be designed. We had to take every mechanism, the guide rods, the springs, the things that are in front of the chamber in a conventional handgun, and move them behind the chamber. That was our biggest challenge. Do I think that some of those guys will start competing and get around our IQ? It will be a lot harder for them than for us. Because we are the ones who figured it out in the first place, and we have a lot of patents around that.”

Q: Rifles have had a lot of [suppressor] solutions … for a long time.

“We will get into those lines, the rifle lines. The difference is that we will design the gun, just the same way as we did for the Maxim 9. We will design the gun for the suppressor instead of putting on a suppressor designed for the gun, so our guns will be better.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

“There are about 400 million firearms in the U.S. right now. Most of those were not designed with a suppressor in mind. There is a huge market for retrofitted suppressors.”

“Which is what we have been doing for the last eight years, it is what we have done as a company which is providing solutions for firearms that already exist. The field is ready to harvest as far as creating a new platform. A new platform that has never been done before this, that was designed from the ground up with the intention of being suppressed, integrally suppressed.”

Q: You say you are going to stay on the high end. I looked at some of the markets. There is a lot of low end potential out there.

“There is. It is something that I am just not interested in. Number one, I do not know how to make something that is not the best.”

“It is impossible to know what the percentage of the market the high end will be. It is important to me to make the best product in the world. I am a brand guy. My brand is very important to me to so if I am making things that are less than the best, that is not ever something that I want. I always want to be top shelf.”

Q: Are you exporting much?

“We export, yes. We can’t export to the commercial market. Only to the military and law enforcement. It is a State Department thing.

“We have a bill right now, it is called the Suppressor Export Act. Congressman Jeff Stewart is the one that is sponsoring that bill for us. It would ensure that the State Department would have to allow us to take part in the world market, that is available, that we are not able to take part in right now. We can only export to law enforcement and military, but not to the commercial market. But with this bill, we would be able to export to everybody. If there is a country where it is legal to have suppressors, we would be allowed to export to them.”

“There are suppressor manufacturers all over the world, and they sell all over the world. The United States is the only place where they are this regulated. It is just crazy. You can go to the UK, where it is really hard to own a gun, and you can buy a suppressor over the counter, without a background check.”

“We are behind the curve when it comes to the rest of the world.”

Q: Can [one buy stock in Silencerco]?

“We are a private company.”

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

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December 11th, 2015

Major Increase in Sales of Suppressors and other NFA Items

Suppressor, Class III, ATF, tax stamp, maxim, silencerThis X-ray photograph reveals a variety of suppressor baffle configurations:

Report by NSSF
Apparently, today’s shooters like the sounds of silence. Americans are buying and licensing more suppressors and other NFA (National Firearms Act) items than ever before. The number of NFA applications filed with the NFA Branch at ATF continues to rise. With a greatly increased staff of 25 Legal Instrument Examiners, the backlog of NFA forms has been whittled down from more than 80,000 to about 36,000. Much of the intense increase in interest in NFA items is focused on silencers. According to ATF’s 2011 Commerce in Firearms Report, as of December 2010 there were 284,087 lawfully registered silencers in the United States. As of March 2014, there were 571,750. That’s means the number of registered suppressor more than doubled in three and a quarter years. And 2015 will probably be a record year for suppressor sales.

A Brief History of Suppressors (aka “Silencers”)
Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of Hiram Stevens Maxim (inventor of the Maxim machine gun) created the first firearm sound suppressors. An early advertisement for his Maxim Silencer Company explained that the hot propellant gases from discharging the firearm “are made to whirl around inside the Silencer,” and cannot leave the silencer until they have slowed down enough to not produce a loud noise. Initially, silencers were inexpensive and easy to obtain. Before the adoption of the National Firearms Act in 1934, Mr. Maxim sold a variety of silencer designs priced from $5.00 to $9.50. These were shipped in the U.S. Mail, without restrictions. Things are much different today — to own a suppressor, one must obtain federal approval and pay a special tax.

silencer, suppressor, maxim, NFA, Firearsm Act

Silencers consist of a few basic parts. The CTD Shooter’s Log explains: “The envelope is the cylindrical metal tube in which the other components are stuffed. Inside the envelope are the expansion chamber and baffles. The expansion chamber is a relatively big empty space surrounding the muzzle, and the baffles are like coffee cups stacked on top of each other with a hole drilled through the middle of them for the bullet to pass through. This is where most of the ‘magic’ happens within the silencer.”

To learn more about suppressors, read Silencer Terms and Tech in the CTD Shooter’s Log.

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August 9th, 2015

39% Increase in Suppressor Ownership in Past Year

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

There has been a huge growth in the number of registered suppressors in the USA. From 2014 to 2015, the number of NFA-registered suppressors rose from 571,150 to 792,282. That’s a 39% increase in just one year! It’s remarkable that there are nearly 800,000 suppressors now registered in the USA. These stats are based on data published in the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Firearms Commerce Report.

According to Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, “The suppressor market grew more [from 2014-2015] than it did in the previous two years combined. This unprecedented growth is in large part due to educational initiatives, and the passage of 11 pro-suppressor laws and regulations last year.” (Source: Guns.com.)

We expect suppressors (also known as “cans”, “silencers” or “sound moderators”) to become even more popular in the years to come. This trend will continue: “As more target shooters and hunters realize the many benefits suppressors provide, their popularity across the United States will continue to increase,” said NSSF Senior Vice president and General Counsel Larry Keane.

Texas Leads the Way in Suppressor Ownership
Currently, 41 states permit ownership of Federally-registered suppressors. While suppressor ownership rates are increasing in all those 41 states, forty percent (40%) of all registered suppressors are found in five key states: Texas (130,769), Georgia (59,942), Florida (50,422), Utah (50,291) and Oklahoma (27,874).

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

Suppressor CAD drawing by Reimo Soosaar, hosted on GrabCAD.com.
Silencer infographic by SilencerCo.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 12 Comments »
January 3rd, 2015

Silencer Shop Makes It Easy to Acquire and Register Suppressors

Many of us would like to outfit one (or more) of our rifles with a suppressor, but the cost and red tape involved can be daunting. Some states prohibit private individuals from owning suppressors. However, most U.S. states DO allow suppressor ownership. That’s the good news. On the other hand, suppressors are not inexpensive and the process of obtaining governmental approval is time-consuming. Then there is the cost of the tax stamp itself — $200.00 for each silencer you own.

Nonetheless, suppressors are fun, and they serve an important function. Along with protecting your hearing, suppressors can tame recoil and dramatically reduce muzzle flash. Noise reduction of up to 35 decibels is possible with a .223 Rem. When shooting any firearm, you should still wear hearing protection of course, but suppressors can help reduce the risk of permanent hearing damage.

Benefits of a Suppressor — Why Suppressors Make Sense:

Is It Legal For You To Own A Silencer?
The vast majority of the 50 states permit citizens to own silencers. Currently, the following states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, and WY. Even if you live in one of these states, you should verify that owning a suppressor is legal in your city/county.

If you live in a state where suppressor ownership is legal, and you can legally own a firearm, then you can buy a suppressor. However, you need to obtain ATF permission and pay a tax.

If you are interested in getting a suppressor, thankfully there is a source that can help you select the right product, and fill out all the paperwork required. The Silencer Shop specializes in sound moderators for pistols, rimfire rifles, centerfire rifles, and yes, even shotguns. The Silencer Shop maintains a large selection of suppressors for sale, and the shop can guide you through the NFA permitting process from start to finish.

How to Buy a Silencer, Part One:

Based on hundreds of successful applications for its customers, the Silencer Shop has streamlined the National Firearms Act (NFA) Registration process for suppressor ownership. Having submitted more silencer NFA Forms than any other dealer, these guys know the ropes: “We’re at the leading edge of making the NFA process as fast and easy as possible. From our famous ‘Black Packets’ to the latest electronic submissions and Silencer Shop Direct, we have a history of innovation in this area”. The Silencer Shop also works with knowledgeable attorneys who can help you set up an NFA trust to own suppressors and other NFA items. CLICK HERE to Learn How to Register a Suppressor to a Trust.

silencer shop direct NFA suppressor register registration Class III

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May 24th, 2014

Best and Worst States for Gun Owners Ranked

Guns and ammo magazine state survey gun rights

Guns & Ammo (G&A) recently ranked all the U.S. States (plus District of Columbia) in terms of their “gun-friendliness”. G&A looked at the freedoms available to gun owners in each jurisdication, as well as restrictions on specific types of firearms. States were ranked according to five categories: Right to Carry, Semi-Auto Rifles, NFA Rights, Castle Doctrine, and Miscellaneous. Each category has up to 10 points, for a maximum of 50 points. The NFA category relates to the availability of suppressors, short-barreled rifles/shotguns, and full-auto rifles, regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934. The Castle Doctrine is a legal principle that allows a person to use force in the defense of his home.

Arizona Was the Top-Rated State for Gun Owners
Guns and ammo magazine state survey gun rights

So which state came out on top as the most “gun-friendly” of all? The top-rated state was Arizona, with 49 points. Second-best was Alaska, followed by Georgia in third place. Not surprisingly, the worst jurisdiction was the District of Columbia. The worst actual state was New York, while neighboring New Jersey was the next worst. CLICK HERE to See All State Rankings.

Separately, Guns & Ammo interviewed dozens of gun owners at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting. You can hear what these folks had to say in the G&A Interview video below:

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September 5th, 2013

Silencer Facts: 39 States Now Allow Sound Suppressor Ownership

Approximately 27,000 suppressors, also called “silencers” or “sound moderators”, are sold in the United States every year. That may surprise you because the main-stream media often incorrectly report that suppressors are illegal. In fact, suppressors are legal to own in 39 states, provided that the devices are acquired in compliance with federal and state laws (which are explained below). In most of those 39 states, owners of legally-acquired suppressors may use their “cans” for hunting. The American Silencer Institute (ASA) has created a graphic showing where suppressors are legal to own, and where they may be used for hunting. Take a look:

Silencer Jurisdictions Hunting map

SILENCER LEGALITY AND OWNERSHIP
Silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, under the oversight of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). To legally purchase/possess a silencer you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age to purchase a silencer from a dealer.
  • Be at least 18 years of age to purchase a silencer from an individual on a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (contingent on state laws).
  • Be at least 18 years of age to possess a silencer as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws).
  • Be a resident of the United States.
  • Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
  • Pass a BATFE background check with a typical process time of 60-120 days.
  • Pay a one-time $200 Transfer Tax.
  • Reside in one of the 39 states that currently allows civilian ownership of silencers.

NOTE: In addition to these basic Federal rules regarding silencers, particular states may have additional registration requirements or other regulations. Check with a knowledgeable firearms attorney in your jurisdiction before beginning the process of buying a suppressor.

BENEFITS OF SILENCERS

NOISE REDUCTION
According to OSHA, the threshold for a hearing safe impulse noise is 140 dB. Without hearing protection, exposure to any impulse noise over 140dB causes varying degrees of permanent noise induced hearing loss, which can also lead to tinnitus. Most well-engineered silencers take the dB level of their host firearm well below 140 dB, making those silencers effective primary hearing safety devices. You should always still wear hearing protection (muffs or plugs) when using suppressors.

RECOIL REDUCTION
By containing the explosion at the muzzle, suppressors significantly reduce perceived recoil energy, reduce the rifle’s rearward movement on recoil, and reduce rifle torquing and muzzle flip. The reduction of recoil (and rifle torquing/hopping) lessens shooter fatigue and helps the shooter get his sight picture back on target rapidly after firing. With smaller calibers, a suppressor may enable the shooter to maintain a nearly-continuous sight picture, following the shot into the target. In addition, by reducing felt recoil (and muzzle blast), a suppressor can help inexperienced shooters avoid flinching.

Map Graphic by American Silencer Association.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 4 Comments »
August 30th, 2013

President Obama Issues Executive Orders Targeting Firearms

Barack President Obama Executive Order Gun Ban M1 Garand Machine Gun NFA Corporation Gun TrustOn August 29, 2013, the Obama administration announced two Executive Orders that will restrict the importation and domestic transfers of certain classes of firearms. These two Executive Orders operate as law by fiat, not subject to Congressional concurrence.

One Executive Order bans the re-importation of surplus U.S.-made rifles, including M1 Garands and M1 Carbines. Such rifles are used in Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) competitions. For decades the CMP has sold M1 Garands and M1 Carbines, many re-imported from arsenals overseas, to qualified American shooters. The White House stated: “Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums.”

Barack President Obama Executive Order Gun Ban M1 Garand Machine Gun NFA Corporation Gun Trust

It is unclear how this Executive Order will enhance public safety, since FBI crime statistics show that such vintage arms are virtually never employed in the commission of crimes. Professor John R. Lott Jr., former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission, observes: “Despite the scary rhetoric, the White House is leaving out one important point: it isn’t pointing to any cases where imported U.S.-made military weapons have been used in a crime. And the reason is obvious: there probably aren’t any.”

The second Executive Order changes the rules on acquisition and transfers of National Fireams Act (NFA) firearms (such as machine guns) and other NFA items (such as sound moderators) through Corporations and Firearms Trusts. When sold to individuals, such items do require background checks. However, the White House claimed: “At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run. ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.” It is the intent of this Executive Order to block a significant number of NFA transfers to Firearms Trusts and Corporations. Again, it is unclear how the new restrictions on NFA transfers will reduce crime. In fact, BearingArms.com asserts that: “Only two [registered] NFA machine guns — neither of which were acquired via gun trusts — have been used in murders in 79 years.”

Professor Lott challenges the need for changes to the NFA Laws as they pertain to corporations: “Again, the Obama administration doesn’t provide examples of people using a corporation to register handguns or semi-automatic rifles as a way to bypass criminal background checks. More importantly, it fails to point to any cases where such guns have been used in crimes. Yes, when registered to a corporation, any officer is allowed to possess the machine gun, but [the transfer] still requires a NICS check for the person actually picking up the gun.” READ Lott Commentary.

Thoughts On Executive Ordersby Tony Chow
Tony ChowIt’s important to realize that the anti-gun people aren’t interested in gun control as a practical measure to combat “gun violence” or achieve “gun safety”. They are animated above all by a reflexive dislike of guns, and an abhorrence of the very notion of an armed citizenry. Their motives are ideological, rather than practical. To them, it doesn’t matter whether a type of firearm is used in crimes or not; the only good gun is a banned gun. This explains why the efforts in the 70s and 80s to restrict handguns, which still account for the vast majority of gun crimes, were abandoned in favor of an assault on “assault weapons”, .50-caliber rifles, and now, vintage “military-style” rifles and already heavily-restricted NFA weapons — firearms that, though used infrequently or not at all in crimes, are easy to describe in scary terms to the general public.

Tony Chow is a target shooter who competes in smallbore and 300-meter disciplines.

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August 12th, 2013

GunTalk TV Focuses on National Firearms Act Guns This Week

This week on Gun Talk Television, it’s all about NFA firearms and accessories, including machine guns and silencers. In 1934, Congress passed the National Firearms Act, enacting a tax and registry on many different firearms and accessories, including machine guns, short barrel rifles, and silencers.

Gun Talk’s Tom Gresham goes on an NFA tour in this week’s episode and visits Sig Sauer Academy to view and shoot Sig’s new line of suppressors. Tom also checks out a suppressed Ruger 10/22 rifle, and takes Kel-Tec’s SU16-D9 short barrel rifle to an indoor range. Gresham also meets with gun collector John Long, who shows off his extensive collection of machine guns, sub-machine guns, and silencers.

Preview Gun Talk TV NFA Episode on YouTube

Gun Talk Television airs on the Pursuit Channel on Mondays at 8:00 a.m. ET, Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Fridays at 9:30 p.m. ET and Sundays at 1:00 a.m. ET. Check your local listings for additional broadcast times. Get the latest news and access Gun Talk’s video library at GunTalk.tv. You’ll also find a large selection of videos on GunTalk’s YouTube Page

NFA Class 3 III firearms

NFA (Title II) Firearms are guns and other items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA). These firearms or weapons are commonly referred to as “Class 3″ items, referring to the class of Federal Firearms License (FFL) a dealer must hold to sell or transfer these items. The NFA regulates the sale, use, possession, and transfer of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles (SBS and SBR), silencers, destructive devices, and any other weapon (AOW – any firearm that is not explicitly addressed by the NFA such as cane guns and pen guns and including, but not limited to, firearms such as smooth bore pistols and revolvers that fire shotgun shells and have barrels less than 18 inches long).

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March 25th, 2013

ATF Provides Answers to Top 10 Firearms Questions

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), receives hundreds of telephone and electronic inquiries every day. In an effort to provide individuals with the most up-to-date information, ATF has compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions. ATF has provided these questions, along with official ATF-sourced answers, in a 4-page PDF file you can download.

CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD ATF Top 10 Questions and Answers PDF file.

The #1 most commonly asked question is whether a person barred by law from possessing a “firearm” can legally own a black-powder muzzle-loading gun. The answer to that question is quite lengthy, so we can’t include it here. But we have reprinted below the second, third, and fourth most-asked questions, along with the ATF answers. Download the PDF file to read the remaining questions and answers.

2. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a friend who resides in a different State?
Under Federal law, an unlicensed individual is prohibited from transferring a firearm to an individual who does not reside in the State where the transferee resides. Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of State, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) within the recipient’s State of residence. He or she may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check. More information can be obtained on the ATF website at www.atf.gov and www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html. The GCA provides an exception from this prohibition for temporary loans or rentals of firearms for lawful sporting purposes. Thus, … a friend visiting you may borrow a firearm from you to go hunting. Another exception is provided for transfers of firearms to nonresidents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident who inherits a firearm under the will of a decedent. See 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5).

3. May I lawfully transfer a firearm to a resident of the same State in which I reside?
Any person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of the State where he resides as long as he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. There may be State laws that regulate interstate firearm transactions. Any person considering acquiring a firearm should contact his or her State Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible State or local restrictions. A list of State Attorney General contact numbers may be found at www.naag.org.

4. How do I register my firearm or remove my name from a firearms registration?
There is no Federal registration requirement for most conventional sporting firearms. Only those firearms subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA) (e.g., machineguns, short-barrel firearms, silencers, destructive devices, any other weapons) must be registered with ATF. For information on the registration and transfer provisions of the National Firearms Act, please refer to the ATF NFA Handbook at www.atf.gov/publications/firearms/nfa-handbook/ or contact the ATF NFA Branch at 304-616-4500. Firearms registration may be required by State or local law. Any person considering acquiring a firearm should contact his or her State Attorney General’s Office to inquire about the laws and possible State or local restrictions. A list of State Attorney General contact numbers may be found at www.naag.org.

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September 14th, 2012

Beyond .50 BMG — The Jumbo .950 JDJ

Are you bored with your “whimpy” .50 BMG? Looking for something with a little more punch? Well J.D. Jones and his team at SSK Industries have created a truly big boomer — the .950 JDJ. As its name implies, rifles chambered for the cartridge have a bore diameter of 0.950″ (24.13 mm). This would normally make such rifles “destructive devices” under the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA). However, SSK obtained a “Sporting Use” exemption allowing the rifles to be sold without special restrictions as destructive devices. CLICK HERE to watch .950 JDJ being fired.

.950 JDJ Specifications
Rifle Cost: $8000.00
Ammunition Cost: $40.00 per round
Projectile Weight: 3,600 grains (more than half a pound)
Rifle Weight: Between 80 and 120 pounds
Muzzle Energy: 38,685 ft/lbs (52,450 Joules)
Momentum: 154.1 Newton-seconds

As crafted by SSK Industries, .950 JDJ rifles use McMillan stocks and very large-diameter Krieger barrels fitted with a massive 18.2-lb muzzle brakes. The ammo produced by SSK features solid 3,600 grain bullets and CNC-machined cartridge brass. It is also possible (through a lot of work), to use a 20mm cannon casing shortened and necked-down.The primer pocket is swaged out to accept a .50 cal machine gun primer. That 3,600 grain bullet is just massive — it weighs more than half a pound. The cartridge propels its 3,600 grain bullet at approximately 2,200 fps. This yields a muzzle energy of 38,685 ft-lbs and a momentum of 154.1 Newton-seconds. The energy on target (knock-down power) is comparable to WWI-era tank rounds.

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