getting a silencer


mister hankey
May 15, 2005, 03:21 PM
I live in IL so im not totaly sure if i can get one but could someone tell me the steps to buy one and what is a good brand for a .22lr silencer.

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May 15, 2005, 03:29 PM
Check to confirm, but I am pretty sure that owning a suppressor is illegal in IL and attaching it is probably a felony. Check to be sure.

If you can legally use a suppressor try for many many opinions and reviews on available commercial suppressors and do-it-yourself stuff.


May 15, 2005, 03:35 PM
Illinois is a non-suppressor state. Meaning you are SOL.

mister hankey
May 15, 2005, 05:12 PM
Could some one tell me the steps involed in getting one anyway I have benn wondering about it for awhile and even though i cant get one i can prove to my brother that they are legal in some places.

May 15, 2005, 05:24 PM
The steps, in non-banned states/cities/counties is:

Find suppressor

Fill out proper ATF form (usually ATF Form 4)

Submit form to Chief Law Enforcement Officer (Chief of Police/Sheriff/Judge/DA) for your area for them to sign off on it stating that they know of no reason you shouldn't be able to own said item and that you are not a known criminal.

Submit two copies of ATF form to ATF complete with signature of CLEO, two completed fingerprint cards, two recent "passport" photos and a check for $200 to cover the tax stamp.

Then all that is left is to wait for approval and once approval is given you return to your friendly neighborhood FFL and pick up your new toy.

At the moment, ATF approvals are coming down the line for suppressors between 60 and 90 days from reciept.

This is the same procedure for a machine gun, AOW or SBR. The tax on the AOW is only $5.00 though. Everything else is still $200.00.

States that do not allow suppressors for individual ownership: DE, DC, HI, IL, MS, NY, NJ, RI, CA, KS, MO, MN.

States that allow only Class 3 or 2 Dealers for sales samples to LEO/MIL: CA, KS, MO, MN., IL, NY.

May 15, 2005, 05:29 PM
small arms review magazine (found at finer bookstores everywhere)
lots of ads for civilian legal "cool stuff"

May 15, 2005, 05:35 PM
Unlike conventional firearms, each change of possession or ownership of a Title 2 weapon (silencer, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, pengun, etc.) must be approved in advance by BATF. This includes not only the sale of such a weapon, but also the act of giving or loaning it to another person. Failure to comply can result in a $250,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both. Although the weapon can be moved by its registered owner within the owner's state or residence, transportation across state lines requires prior BATF approval. These requirements were instituted by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and were incorporated into the Gun Control Act of 1968.

To the best of our knowledge, silencers are legal for private ownership in the following states: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY. Additionally, they maybe owned by Class 3 dealers and Class 2 manufacturers (but not individuals) in: CA, IA, KS, MA, MO, and MI. Territorial law prohibits possession in the Territories and Possessions of the United States. There are no known restrictions on governmental ownership. If your state is not listed, check with your local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms or your state's Attorney General. If they are not legal in your state of residence, we cannot sell to you. Please do not ask us to violate state or federal law.

As with any firearm, an individual owner must take possession through a licensed dealer in his state of residence. In the case of Title 2 weapons (silencers, machine guns, etc.), the dealer must be what is known as a class 3 dealer, meaning that he has paid an annual special occupational tax in conjunction with his firearms license to permit him to deal in Title 2 weapons without paying the individual $200 transfer tax on each weapon.

The $200 transfer tax is assessed each time a Title 2 weapon changes hands. The exceptions are to (or from) a governmental agency or a class 3 dealer. Interestingly, many class 3 dealers do not have a storefront and deal in these weapons as a sideline..

Each time a Title 2 weapon changes hands, the transfer must be approved in advance by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. It normally takes 4-5 weeks for BATF to approve the transfer between dealers or to law enforcement agencies, and the transfer to individuals requires 3-4 months.

The procedure for obtaining one of our suppressors is to order (and pay for) the unit. The weapon should be ordered through your class 3 dealer. Although you may order direct, it must be delivered through your dealer. We then transfer the weapon to your class 3 dealer. Your dealer will then assist you in completing the necessary paperwork to transfer the weapon to you. This will include your submitting fingerprints and two passport size photos on your application. In addition, your local chief law enforcement officer (sheriff or chief of police) will need to sign the application. Along with your $200 transfer tax, the application is sent to BATF. When the application is approved (and not before), your dealer turns over possession to you.

Your dealer will charge a fee for handling of the weapon. We are not in the business of being a sales tax collector for states other than Idaho, but we do not encourage your avoidance of sales or use taxes.

If you are eligible to own any conventional firearm, you are also eligible to own a Title 2 weapon provided that there are no state laws prohibiting such ownership. This means basically that you must be free of all felony convictions and be over 21 years of age.

Your dealer can usually help you find a suitable law enforcement signature in the rare instance where your sheriff is personally anti-gun and refuses to sign your application. Your other option is to form a corporation, which does not require a law enforcement signature.

Federal law prohibits exportation of silencers except to governmental agencies with an End User Certificate. Please contact us by telephone for further details if you represent a foreign government agency.

The Magnuson-Moss Act (Public Law 93-637) does not require any seller or manufacturer of a consumer product to give a written warranty. It does provide that if a written warranty is given, it must be designated at "full" or as "limited" and sets minimum standards for a "full" warranty. Gemtech has elected not to provide any written warranty, either "limited" or "full," rather than to attempt to comply with the provisions of the Magnuson-Moss Act and the regulations issued there under. There are certain implied warranties under state law with respect to sales of consumer goods. As the extent and interpretation of these implied warranties varies from state to state, you should refer to your state statutes. Gemtech certifies that all sound suppressors manufactured by them are free of defects in materials or workmanship, and that they meet manufacturing specifications at the time of manufacture. It is our intent that the customer be completely satisfied with the product.?

Certain Gemtech products may be classified as ordnance and/or implements of war and are sold by us with the specific understanding that Gemtech has taken every reasonable precaution in providing our customers with inherently safe merchandise, and that we assume no liability whatsoever for unsafe handling by the purchaser or his agents. Gemtech assumes no responsibility whatsoever and we will honor no claims for damages, regardless of nature, for physical injury or property damage resulting from careless and/or irresponsible handling, adjustments to equipment, neglect or abuse. Gemtech reserves the right to make changes at any time and without notice, in prices, to change specification or design, to add or remove accessory materials, and to add or delete items without incurring any obligation.

May 16, 2005, 01:55 PM
If the gun you would use the silencer on is a rifle, then it can be "suppressed" by using CB caps or CB longs. Out of my 10/22, a CB long does not sound as loud as my Sheridan 5mm pellet rifle, but has much more power. There is no flash either, BTW.

It will not cycle the action, but it doesn't jam it either. You just manually pull the bolt (it makes it a "bolt action"). Even in a handgun, the caps don't make a whole lot of noise.

May 16, 2005, 03:28 PM
Gemtech ( of Idaho makes some pretty outstanding suppressors. I had the pleasure of shooting several of them this past weekend at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club Machine Gun Shoot in Oregon. The Outback II ( is their latest .22LR suppressor. All you hear is the movement of the gun's action and the round hitting the target :) In full auto, it's a slight hiss.

May 16, 2005, 03:37 PM
Gemtech does make good suppressors. As does AWC.

We sell the hell out of both!

30 cal slob
May 16, 2005, 04:57 PM
2 liter soda bottle, sides covered with shaving cream. bottom bored out for bullet to pass through.

There, you just saved yourself $500 + $200 tax.

But, you'll be buying yourself a vaca to Club Fed if you get caught. :neener:

My suggestion: Move if you really want NFA toys.

May 16, 2005, 05:05 PM
"If the gun you would use the silencer on is a rifle, then it can be "suppressed" by using CB caps or CB longs. "

I am a big fan of suppressors and have purchased four of them including two of them in .22LR. One rifle and one pistol, both integral.
They are very cool and IMO they are well worth owning. However, It is interesting to note that different firearms in .22 LR seem to vary greatly in how loud they sound. In .22 LR, it is very possible to find gun/ammo combinations that are very close to the sound level of a suppressor. One of my shooting buddies has an Mossberg M44 that is very quiet, even when using long rifle ammo. When he is shooting on the bench next to you, I wonder why I spent the money on a suppressor.

There is a new suppressor, on-line forum that I am starting to read. It is
There seem to be a number of very knowlegable people on that board including people who work for some of the bigger suppressor manufacturers.

May 16, 2005, 05:43 PM
if you pay your tax stamp for a suppressor, do you need to have a stamp for every suppressed gun, or does one cover all?

ie, i'd like to suppress half a dozen guns or so... do i have to submit paperwork and money for each gun? or each can? or what??

May 16, 2005, 05:48 PM
You have to pay the tax on each individual suppressor.

So far as I know, it is therefore legal to have a number of firearms threaded, and you can share the suppressor among them. (Say, if you had several .22 handguns and rifles and had the barrels threaded for each.)

Of course, I have no idea how easy it is to have each firearm threaded the same.

Zach S
May 16, 2005, 05:55 PM
Pay it every time. The supressor is the registered part, and you can use it on any firearm that has a threaded barrel.

Heh, Justin beat me to it...

May 16, 2005, 06:07 PM
You pay the $200 tax on the suppressor. Each suppressor.
The gun, doesn't matter: it is just a gun. Providing of course that it isn't an NFA weapon. If you have a machine gun with a suppressor, you have to pay a tax stamp for the machine gun and another for the suppressor. If you have a short barreled rifle with a suppressor, you pay a tax on the SBR and another one on the suppressor.

You can buy one suppressor and use it on a variety of different firearms provided they are chambered for the same cartridge. As mentioned, you can buy a .22LR can and use it on all your .22 LR handguns and rifles if you provide some means of mounting it.
At some point in a thread such as this, someone will ask about buying one suppressor and using it on every gun they own regardless of caliber. While it is possible to use suppressors designed for a different caliber, it is usually less than optimal. For example, you can use your AR15 can with a .22LR conversion and it seems to work OK. But, as a general rule, you want a can specifically designed and built for the application your are using it on.

A couple good versitile suppressors that I would like to own are the Gemtech Seahunter: and the Gemtech Trinity:

The Seahunter uses a quick detachable mount that looks very similar to the connector used on an air hose or something like that. You have these mounts put on your various .22LR firearms and you can snap the can on and off at will. Having this quick detachable mount is a must if you are using a tube fed .22 rifle since you can't load the tube with the can on the end of the barrel. The Seahunter is the most expensive Gemtech .22lr suppressor, but the fact that I can easliy use it on all my .22s makes it worth the money to me.
The Trinity is also interesting since it seems that you can use it on all your 9mm stuff. I own several 9mm handguns, several 9mm carbines and a 9mm submachine gun. If I could use the same muzzle can on all of them, it would be a very nice addition.

May 16, 2005, 06:13 PM
If you have a short barreled rifle with a suppressor, you pay a tax on the SBR and another one on the suppressor.
Not all of the time. My HK MP5SD upper is registered as "SBR/Suppressor" on a single tax stamp.

May 16, 2005, 06:18 PM
It is my understanding that since the MP5 is a submachine gun, you can put any length barrel you want on it and you do not need a tax stamp as an SBR.

On the other hand, I own a Colt AR15 in 9mm. I bought an LRM suppressed upper for it. Since the barrel is shorter than 16" and the suppressor is removable, I had to register the AR as an SBR AND pay the tax on the suppressor.

Please explain

May 16, 2005, 06:31 PM
I think it is the "removable" part that is the defining factor. If the suppressor is integral to the barrel, you can do one stamp for the combination. If they come apart, you then have one of each. The way mine is registered, I can use a semi-auto trigger group without needing the MG exemption for the barrel. On the flip side, I have a short-barreled upper and detachable suppressor for my M16. While I can use the suppressor on my AR-15, I cannot use the short-barreled upper/suppressor combination without registering my AR as a SBR.

May 16, 2005, 06:35 PM
Ok, but if your MP5 suppressor is attached permenently, is it still shorter than legal length ?
I would think that if it was over 16", then the whole SBR thing wouldn't matter ?

May 16, 2005, 06:43 PM
The whole thing comes to 14".

May 16, 2005, 06:47 PM
Aw, well that explains it.
I never knew such a thing existed as an SBR/suppressor + one transfer tax. Interesting.

Spreadfire Arms
May 16, 2005, 07:05 PM
i have a factory post sample HK MP5SD2. it is on two Form 5's. one is the SMG, the other is for the suppressor. since it is a factory HK suppressor (imported) it is post-sample as well. it does unscrew from the weapon. so every factory MP5SD will be on two forms. hope this helps.

Ukraine Train
May 16, 2005, 08:08 PM
Is there a legal means to make your own suppressor for personal use? I bet I could make one for 10% of what they sell them for.

May 16, 2005, 09:04 PM
Sure, you can make your own.
And you may be able to make one for 10% of what "they" charge you for one. You can buy a .22LR Suppressor from one of the top manufacturers for less than $300, so I wonder what kind of suppressor you can put together for $30 ? Yeah, I am sure you can do something that will modify the sound. But it won't work nearly as well as a good commercial can. But, there is nothing wrong with trying.
Before you start, you need to complete a Form 1. You still have to pay the $200 tax. When you get your tax stamp back, you can go to town. The beautiful thing is that you can experiment with the innerds all you want for one low price.

Zach S
May 16, 2005, 09:08 PM
I guess you'd Form 1 it, like you would for an SBR.

Now that I think about it, I think there's a thread in the M16 forum at arfcom where someone is doing that.

Edit: Every time I answer a question in this thread, someone answers it better while I'm typing my reply. I give up.

444, are you using the M169 upper? I came across it while googling over the weekend, I was actually looking for the LRM website, which has exceeded bandwidth...

Ukraine Train
May 16, 2005, 09:20 PM
From howstuffworks: Several alert readers have written to point out that a bullet that travels at supersonic speeds cannot be silenced because the bullet creates its own little sonic boom as it travels. Many high-powered loads travel at supersonic speeds. The silencer can remove the "uncorking" sound, but not the sound of the bullet's flight.

Is this true? How much of a sound reduction can be expected from say a .308, quiet enough that you can shoot without ear muffs?

May 16, 2005, 09:26 PM
The reason that most people use the term suppressor is because the device is far from a silencer. Most people get their idea of what a suppressor sounds like from watching a movie. Real suppressors are not silent.

A suppressor on an AR15 sounds about like a .22 rifle. I have never personally fired a .308 that was suppressed but I have been told by a suppressor manufacturer that to most people's ears it is quieter than a .223 suppressor.

Yes, you can go without hearing protection. BUT, we are talking about good, state of the art suppressors and not something that was put together in someone's basement.

"444, are you using the M169 upper? "
I am not even close to getting it. I bought it off the equipment exchange on and the tax stamp process has only just begun. I figure it will be several more months before I ever actually see it. Maybe six ?

Most of these questions have been answered on that other forum I posted a link to earlier. You will even see a thread on there that I started asking if you can build your own suppressor on a form 1. Another good source of information on specific suppressor is the M16/Full Auto section of

Ukraine Train
May 16, 2005, 09:33 PM
Well, if I were to make one it would be far from cobbled together in my basement. I have access to a full machine shop with a CNC lathe and mill. A little research on baffling and I could have a good base to work from. Just seems like a waste to spend $300+ on a tin can, it'd be fun to make it yourself too.

May 16, 2005, 09:43 PM
I think you would have fun and would probably come up with something that would work fairly well.

The comment about the basement was mainly to point out that these $300 tin cans have about 100 years of research behind them and were made by people who were working on the project full time with access to state of the art equipment. Like anything else, the price of the product doesn't really pay just for the metal parts that make up the product.

May 16, 2005, 11:31 PM
ok, last question, i promise, until i have more questions!

how do i get the can...? do i pay for the can and let it sit while papers clear, or do i clear the papers, then find a can and take it home? just looking for the sequence of events that have to occur...

May 16, 2005, 11:45 PM
You buy the suppressor first. If it is out of state you have to find a local C3 dealer to receive the item. When your dealer gets the item you go visit him and he will help you fill out two Form 4s. They will need the serial number off the suppressor and the manufacturer's information. Plus your dealer's FFL and Special Occupational Taxpayer info.

You fill all that out in duplicate, get photos, finger prints, sheriff's signature and then write out a $200 check to BATF. Send it off and wait. Pray that they don't lose the forms or screw up in some other way.

After a couple months to 1+ years your dealer might receive one of the Form 4s back in the mail. When he gets it you can go and pick up the new toy.

May 16, 2005, 11:49 PM
#1) You buy and pay for the suppressor. The reason you buy it and let it sit at your dealer's for months is because they Form 4 requires the serial number, dimensions etc of the suppressor you are buying. Obviously, if you dont' have the suppressor, you don't have these details. One important note here: you don't have to pay retail for a suppressor. Check out on-line boards such as Equipment Exchange:NFA Firearms&Parts. You will see some deeply discounted suppressors. The first two suppressors I bought, I walked into my dealer's store and had him call the manufacturer and order them. As a result, I paid full retail and waited just about forever to get them. Buying on-line means paying far less, and maybe more importantly: the guy actually has the suppressor in stock. No waiting for the manufacturer to make it. That dealer has to transfer it to your dealer on a form 3. This takes time: a month or more. In this case, your local dealer is making money on the transfer and not on the suppressor. A fair price to pay is somewhere between $50 and $100 for the transfer. You make the deal with the out of state dealer, then have your dealer send him a copy of his FFL and his SOT (I write up the envelope, go to the dealer and ask him for a copy to send). Of course this is all a non-issue if you happen to have a local dealer who actually stocks suppressors and sells below retail.
As an example, I bought that LRM M-169 from Henry at TitleII Firearms in South Carolina. The price he gave me on it was about three hundred less than the retail price on LRM's website. I also bought my AAC M4-2000 suppressor from the same guy. It also was hundreds less than the retail price on AAC's website.
When your dealer gets the suppressor in, you can now do your Form 4. The Form 4 is very simple: it is shorter than a regular 4473 (yellow form). You can fill out the forms as an Adobe Acrobat document on then print out a nice, neat, professional form 4 (you need two copies). Next you need to get a sign-off from your local chief law enforcement officer. Here, that is the sheriff. On the way to his office, stop at somewhere like Sav-On drug and get passport photos taken. Glue two of the passport photos to the back of the form 4 in the spot marked for that purpose. At the sheriff's office you need two sets of fingerprints and his signature. Here where I live, you just drop the paperwork off and they call you to pick it up. When you get the paperwork back, you send it all in, along with a check for $200.
And you wait. And wait. And wait, AND WAIT.

Eventually, you will get back, one of the exact forms you sent to them only it will now have a $200 tax stamp on the upper right hand corner. It looks just like a big postage stamp and is marked for $200. ATF also filled out there little section saying this was all approved. You can now take home your suppressor/machine gun/make your SBR or whatever.

May 17, 2005, 04:44 AM
i've been kickin' around the idea of getting a can for a while now and what i'd like to know is wether a 5.56mm supressor like the aac m-4 2000 would work for .22 lr also. i know there is a slight dimensional difference, but .22 lr is so low powered anyway i thought it might still reduce the sound quite a bit. if this is the case, then i could suppress two ar's, two .22's and whatever other .22 rifle i purchase in the future for one low price. but wait, there's more, what about .22-250, .22mag, .22hornet or other .22 cal chamberings, maybe even .17. if the bullet flies straight trhough the suppressor, then it might even eat up some of the negligable amount of gasses coming from that round.

May 17, 2005, 06:16 AM
so every factory MP5SD will be on two forms. hope this helps.
My MP5SD came on two stamps. It's just that one was for the "machinegun" and the other was "SBR/Suppressor" instead of just suppressor. Kind of odd.

Randy in Arizona
May 17, 2005, 09:57 PM

The size and internals of a suppressor are tailored to the cartridge, barrel length, rate of fire and so on.

A suppressor designed for the M16 carbine would be much stronger and heavier than needed for a long barreled bolt action 22 rimfire rifle.

The rimfire suppressor can use aluminum baffles, aluminum screen and fiberglass pipe insulation wrap to good advantage. Put the same suppressor on a 22-250 and the internals are likely to go downrange with the first shot.
Aluminum baffles that would serve well in a suppressor for a bolt action .223 will deform and fail in a M16 during a 30 round mag dump, don't even think about dumping a Beta mag.

An M16 suppressor will usually not be as quiet as a rimfire suppressor when used on a 22 rimfire. It is designed to use the massive volumes of gas to create turbulence that slows the gasses exit from the suppressor. The rimfire suppressor works more by cooling and slowing the exiting gasses.

Keep asking questions, we will keep answering.

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