What part of a suppressor is the suppressor?


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evan price
October 15, 2010, 03:39 AM
Silly questions- I'm getting my Form 4 done with the intent on getting a suppressor, and I thought, if the receiver is the firearm for a Title II arm, what part of a suppressor is the suppressor?

For example, if you strip the end plate with the screw threads, damage a baffle, whatever- can you buy replacement parts?

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1911Tuner
October 15, 2010, 08:47 AM
The supressor operates like the muffler on an automobile, with a series of baffles that bleed off and contain the expanding gasses...so technically, the baffles make the supressor. Legally, the tube is the supressor because that's the part that has the serial number.

A supressor isn't a supressor until it's assembled, even though it's illegal to possess all the parts needed to assemble one unless you've jumped through the hoops and bought the tax stamp. Replacement parts can be bought without hassle, and as long as you're legally able to own and possess the device, you're good to go. If you haven't, having all the parts necessary to assemble a working supressor is illegal, even if you don't have a gun to attach it to.

Bubbles
October 15, 2010, 09:10 AM
The supressor operates like the muffler on an automobile, with a series of baffles that bleed off and contain the expanding gasses...so technically, the baffles make the supressor. Legally, the tube is the supressor because that's the part that has the serial number.

Correct. Having said that, we contracted out the manufacture of baffles to a machine shop earlier this year. The shop didn't have an FFL/SOT and had to get one to stay legal - never mind that they didn't have tubing for the suppressors on the premises. So, I wouldn't keep baffles around without an appropriate Form 1 or Form 4 either.

As for the OP's questions:
For example, if you strip the end plate with the screw threads, damage a baffle, whatever- can you buy replacement parts?
This will depend on the design of the suppressor. Some designs have a baffle stack, so if a baffle gets damaged it's easily replaced. With other suppressors the internals may have been machined from one solid block of metal, so repairing damage means replacing everything inside.

Some suppressors can be opened for cleaning by the end user, others are sealed units and you don't want anyone except the original manufacturer messing with it.

Fortunately suppressors are pretty durable and don't require a whole lot of maintenance to give you years of service.

1911Tuner
October 15, 2010, 09:28 AM
I guess things have changed a lot since those days when I was a foolish lad.

I remember gun show vendors selling the old Sionics units. One guy had the tubes, and another guy across the aisle had the guts. "Repair Parts" said the sign. Of course, they didn't know one another!
*wink wink*

And it was perfectly legal. If one guy bought tubes and guts, he was in violation. So, the parts were bought in teams, and of course...nobody knew anybody else. *wink wink*

I guess the feds were wise to that, after all. Who woulda thunkit?

Of course in those days, one could also possess all parts needed to convert an AR15 to select fire, as long as they didn't own a rifle. Then, it changed. If all 6 parts were owned by one guy, he was busted...with or without the rifle. Then, it was the drop-in auto sear that became the machinegun. Last I heard, if one is caught in possession of any 2 of the remaining parts...he's busted...with or without a rifle.

Such goings on!

jmorris
October 15, 2010, 11:11 AM
even though it's illegal to possess all the parts needed to assemble one

In the BATF’s eyes every part of a suppressor is a suppressor. If you apply for a form 1 you can’t make ANY part until it comes back approved. Including baffles, end caps or tube.

1911Tuner
October 15, 2010, 12:24 PM
In the BATF’s eyes every part of a suppressor is a suppressor.

Things have changed in the last 25 years, then...

Bubbles
October 15, 2010, 12:34 PM
Things have changed in the last 25 years, then...
And in many cases, not for the better.

zoom6zoom
October 15, 2010, 12:39 PM
Yes. Possession of rubber washers could be interpreted as having suppressor parts.

jmorris
October 15, 2010, 03:40 PM
Actually they will let you have extra "wipes" for cans like the Sionics.

Remember they turned the GSG5 into NFA because it COULD be turned into a silencer. Kind of the same thing as a shoelace being a machine gun.

Ranb
October 15, 2010, 07:01 PM
Legally, the tube is the supressor because that's the part that has the serial number.

A supressor isn't a supressor until it's assembled, even though it's illegal to possess all the parts needed to assemble one unless you've jumped through the hoops and bought the tax stamp. Replacement parts can be bought without hassle, and as long as you're legally able to own and possess the device, you're good to go. If you haven't, having all the parts necessary to assemble a working supressor is illegal, even if you don't have a gun to attach it to.

All parts intended for use as a suppressor are all by themselves a silencer. A silencer is always a silencer. As soon as I make a part (on an ATF form 1) or a manufacturer makes a part on his SOT, the part is a silencer.

I (as a form 1 maker) can only buy replacement parts if I pay another $200 tax and submit an ATF form 4 to buy them, or the ATF form 1 to make them; unless I have an FFL/SOT and buy them from another class 2. Whether or not this is a hassle is up to the person doing it.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00000921----000-.html
(24) The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication

An unlicensed person is never allowed to have extra wipes. New wipes can be made by the unlicensed silencer owner only after the old ones are destroyed. I have an ATF letter telling me this.

Ranb

jmorris
October 15, 2010, 07:30 PM
I should have said "make" instead of "have". Thanks Ranb. I knew you couldn't make new "other" parts though.

Ranb
October 15, 2010, 08:53 PM
Welcome. I have come to think that the ATF letters are only worth the paper they are written on. I think everytime someone writes to the ATF it just gives them another idea of what to prohibit. So I do not write anymore. Every ATF agent I have come into contact with has been professional, but the ones making the desicions at the top are real ********** ******** *******!

Ranb

springwalk
October 16, 2010, 12:17 AM
The fact that the BATF ruled the Glock handgun back in the 80s as a double action pistol(not even), goes to show they are a tool of who's in power. :uhoh:. So interpretations of the law will vary by decade and mood, generally. So the only real part of the silencer is the outer serialized tube in their mind as its the only part that cannot be replaced if damage. That became official when Gemtech petitoned the ATF to make a ruling as they were blissed off at AAC for taking their cans apart and refurbishing them with AAC parts. Thats why you hear people say "Gemtax" which is not to be confused with Gemtechs taxday special where they pay the $200 tax stamp. Nevertheless, the ATF still considers all parts of a silencer a silencer and you cannot possess with intent to build such, despite all parts of a silencer can be replaced if damaged, except serialized tube of course.:rolleyes:

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