Pop Bottle Silencer... Fact or Fiction?


July 21, 2007, 11:38 PM
My parents were watching Lawlessness & Disorder the other night, and the episode was about a murder that had been committed with a silenced firearm.

The unusual thing was that the silencer was fabricated with a 2- liter pop (soda) bottle. Is this even possible? I know that L&O is hardly a gun- friendly show...

I have NO INTENTIONS of making one, just wanted to know if this is for real or more anti crap.

BTW, I'm in San Fransisco right now... that's why I'm not posting much...

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July 21, 2007, 11:42 PM
it works. only for a shot or two, but w/ a 22, it will work w/ a 20 oz pop bottle.

its more hassle than it is worth, though.

July 21, 2007, 11:45 PM
I have to say fiction as I have never actually seen one work to any extent of a suppressor.

July 21, 2007, 11:50 PM
There are metal threaded adapters available (illegally) for pop bottle suppressors. They work.

Jason F
July 21, 2007, 11:53 PM
Yeah, the guy in "Shooter" did it for what, 6-8 rounds... but then again, that was Hollywood.

Wondered the same thing how and if that was possible. Guess so.

July 21, 2007, 11:57 PM
I saw a video, I think on YouTube, and it didn't work. Can't remember what kind of guns they used, but it was more than one. In a ghetto movie I saw a loooong time ago, the guy jabbed a pistol into a potato, and used it as a silencer:confused:.

July 22, 2007, 12:00 AM
There are little things you must do to make them work, in the name of prudence I will hold my tongue.

July 22, 2007, 12:01 AM
Yeah, all they did in the video they pretty much held it on there.

July 22, 2007, 12:02 AM
Here's the vid.......


July 22, 2007, 12:07 AM
It works I saw it in a movie once!:p

I've always wondered about this myself, never really had any desire to try it though.

July 22, 2007, 12:12 AM
Yeah, the guy in "Shooter" did it for what, 6-8 rounds... but then again, that was Hollywood.3 shots--three dead guys, marine sniper, etc. etc. It IS hollywood, after all...:P

July 22, 2007, 12:26 PM
Actually the adaptors could be purchased and taxed as the registerd part just as the outer can is generally the serial numbered part on a more traditional suppressor.

A 2 liter bottle on a MAC 10 firing a single shot seni auto sounded much like a car door slamming rather than a gun going off.

These were featured many moons ago (1980's?) in a couple of gun or survival zines.

My manufacturer friend considered building some for his business but decided it wouldnot sell well enough to justify the effort or paper work. Think about it, a maybe two inch long mwtal fitting with threads to fit whatever firearm on one end and threads to fit a plastic bottle on the other and right away there is a $200 tax stamp that has to be qualified for and bought by a potentual customer on top of yor fee.

Supposedly some of the adaptors were made to fit other size threads and barrrel/mount diameters.

John Ringo the SF&F author has a character use one in a story published by Baen books and the topic came up on one of his fan boards as well.

-Bob Hollingsworth

Jim Watson
July 22, 2007, 12:30 PM
They work to some degree. They do not muffle the shot as well as a real silencer but they change the tone to where it is not obviously a gunshot. One pop for an assassination would probably be ignored.

July 22, 2007, 02:54 PM
Around here, if I ever needed to assassinate somebody, I'd just wait for a rainy day and thunderstorm, could then use any gun you fancy :)


Carl N. Brown
July 22, 2007, 03:02 PM
A pop bottle silencer was used in one of the horror
movies featuring rednecks in the woods--so it worked
in the movie!!!

How something like that works depends also on the
ammunition used. A friend had a legal, papered
properly supressed .22 Ruger that was quiet with
standard velocity .22 and real quiet with subsonic
.22 but I made it loud with the right (or wrong)
choice of ammo. But that was being contrarian.

July 22, 2007, 03:06 PM
Well we know from the YouTube vid that it won't work on an AK-47. :)

I think it would work on a small caliber like .22 since I've dropped firecrackers in pop cans/bottles and that really quiets them down. Outside a pop can a firecracker has a sharp "BANG!" but inside it's more of a "POP!".

If the PRSF lets Chinatown sell firecrackers I guess you can do a little experimenting. Please do it at 3 AM so we can find out if the neighbors hear, OK? :D

July 22, 2007, 03:35 PM
It works for the first 1-2 rounds for a .22LR.

July 22, 2007, 04:52 PM
It's sort of like the potato silencer myth. from what I heard, it only works on things like .22lr, and only for one or two shots.

Oleg Volk
July 22, 2007, 07:20 PM
My guess is that some packing material (such as wire mesh) would be needed - and that 22 subsonic would be max chambering for it.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 22, 2007, 11:52 PM
You should write Mythbusters with this one. It would be a good show. Heck, they could do real suppressors as well and people could see what they really sound like.

July 23, 2007, 01:18 AM
Shaving cream as a filler is reported to work well.

July 23, 2007, 01:58 AM
On .22s, they work pretty decently, good for about half a box, depending on the ammo and how it's attached. Of course, accuracy is degraded as you are shooting through the plastic. I seem to remember trying it on a .22 magnum, and it not being nearly as effective.

Ranger 40
July 23, 2007, 02:02 AM
Well of course this works all special Ops use them. They have a secret shop at the Dr.Pepper plant that threads the barrels for them. The word is out that the Diet Coke bottles work the best. They will not thread on to the Dr. Pepper adapters. I know for a fact that Brownells is working on this project and will have it ready for the market in early 08'. Yes, you are going to see more pop bottles screwed on rifle barrels its coming.:D

July 23, 2007, 02:05 AM
If the bottle is filled with plastic bags, fitted on a .22 rifle and used with Aguilla SSS bullets, it will work for a hundered rounds or so.

It makes a sort of cross between a soft pop and a long hiss and the added backpressure will allow a blowback semi auto .22LR to actually cycle semi auto even with the reduced powder load ammunition.

The end of the bottle will get chewed up but the plastic bag will tend to seal up the holes and slow the venting of the gasses.

of course I'm not basing this on any empirical evidence, just on hollywood films ;) however if, in while in the middle of the desert you happened to be finished with a soda and you accidentally stuck your ruger into a hole in the cap, I'm prety sure that it would be nice and quiet with the right ammo.

And while it may have been cool to do when you were 18 and were just looking for fun things to do with a rifle, the risk of getting caught 'accidentaly' doing it is REALLY not worth it.

pay your tax stamp and do it legit if you're going to do it at all.

July 23, 2007, 03:43 AM
Easier, and more lawful to just buy a box of these:


Carl N. Brown
July 23, 2007, 12:15 PM
Some guy was busted for doing the potato silencer thing.
Remember, to be legal, you must file a Form 1 to make a
silencer, put a serial number on it and pay a $200 tax,
and that's for your own use only.

Putting serial numbers on a potato is an interesting
technical problem.

To make and sell potato or pop bottle silencers, you
must be a Special Occupation Taxpayer or Class III
licensed NFA manufacturer and you and the purchaser must
complete a Form 4 with the $200 transfer tax.

Given eighteen potatoes in a five pound bag, that
would be $3600 taxes on a three-dollar sack of potatoes.
The government ought to love that.

Personally I don't see it. Literally. The potato and soda
bottle silencers obscure the sight picture.

Then there is the silencer from the book and movie
Echoes in the Darkness which I believe was made from
an automotive oil filter. That was supposedly a real case.

Geoffery Boothroyd, who advised Ian Fleming on firearms
starting with the novel Doctor No, once checked into a
hotel room and fired a round into a log in the fireplace to
see if anyone would notice. Nobody noticed. The fictional
use of silencers is vastly overrated.

Sonora Rebel
July 23, 2007, 12:27 PM
Popcorn inna plastic milk jug works quite well (on anything) . Dunno about coke bottles.

Ghost Tracker
July 23, 2007, 12:47 PM
Buy the $200 Tax Stamp or go Federal Prison. I'll be glad to wager that any / everyone who's been convicted would now be ONLY TOO HAPPY to unravel their legal / financial mess for $200.

I've got a close friend who bought a .22 silencer via the Internet from Germany (completely legal) and had it shipped directly to his home here in the States (completely illegal). He not only was convicted of illegal owning a silencer but, because it's a felony, was forced to sell ALL HIS DOZENS OF GUNS because, as a convicted felon, he can't legally OWN them anymore. For the cost of one long day's ammo shooting at the range, he lost his favorite hobby. Quite a bargain, huh?

July 23, 2007, 01:58 PM
you fellas crack me up.
I'm not going to say I tried this in my youth with a .40cal taurus and an ar15 because I'm not sure if it were legal.

My best guess would be that the .40cal would be very very mildly muffled and the ar15 would blow the bottle off no matter how much duct tape you put on it. My best guess would also be that it's a waste of time and that you and your friends would get a good laugh.

Again, I wouldn't say I've tried it.

Carl N. Brown
July 23, 2007, 02:01 PM
And he could have got it legal stateside for about $200 tax
and about a 90 day wait with CLEO sign-off (not that hard
to do, at least around here).

Illegal, the court costs alone average $5000 before the
fine, loss of property and loss of rights kicks in. And there
is no expunging federal felonies to regain rights.

Average Joe
July 23, 2007, 02:17 PM
Did you ever see the old westerns, where the guy shoots a 6 shot revolver about a hundred times, and never reloads?

The Lone Haranguer
July 28, 2007, 11:28 PM
I saw a Steven Seagal movie in which he used a soda bottle for a suppressor. I think it was only duct taped on and that it was good for only one shot, but of course Seagal only needs one shot. ;) I'm sure it would attenuate the noise or change its pitch at least a little.

:uhoh: Wait, did I just say I watched a Steven Seagal movie? Um, I heard about it from somebody else who did. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

The character in several Stephen Hunter novels - Bob Lee Swagger, upon whom the "Shooter" movie character is based - used a taped-on binocular or spotting scope case - or the spotting scope itself after smashing out the lenses, I don't remember - as a flash hider in one of the novels. This is a bit more believable.

July 30, 2007, 03:05 AM
You can get about 6-8 rounds off with a 22. Sounds just like a real can, almost.

Carl N. Brown
July 30, 2007, 12:27 PM
Steven Seagal did make a watchable movie, the first Under Siege
on board the USS Missouri (actually filmed on USS Alabama).
I doubt if a pop bottle would have suppressed the sound level
of his microwave oven though.

The Lone Haranguer
July 30, 2007, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Carl N. Brown:
Steven Seagal did make a watchable movie, the first Under Siege ...

I liked that one too ... but that wasn't it. ;)

July 30, 2007, 08:26 PM
It does work for one shot on centerfire rifles. Water bottles are a perfect fit on AR15 flash suppressors.

August 1, 2007, 09:17 PM
Potato on the end of a barrel - I think in a Richard Roundtree movie
the BG at the beginning of the movie uses it from a hi-rise building on
the end of a scoped rifle for the killing shot.

I always thought of the above as hollywood but ???

Also, is this an old wives tale: - put a baby nipple on the end of the
barrel, secure with bubber rands or duct tape cut the tip with
a cross hatch and it will work once.


August 1, 2007, 09:59 PM
In all honesty a pop bottle silencer works. You must pack it with packing peanuts, water, sponges, or similar for maximum effectiveness. Accuracy is reduced due to the bullet impacting and piercing the bottle. Sound is reduced to a stunning point considering materials used.

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