Silencers and suppressors


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rangerman
April 9, 2011, 06:06 PM
:confused:

What is the defining line between what is silenced and what is not?
When is a silenced gun not considered a silencer-equipped gun?

Is using a quieter ammo, such as a 22LR with adapter in an AR 15 rifle tantamount to using a silencer in that gun?
Is a BATF application required when using a quiter ammo, therefore "silenced", in a gun that normally uses a louder and more powerful ammo?
There are double-caliber guns, are they not "silenced" whenever the less powerful caliber is used?

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o Unforgiven o
April 9, 2011, 06:42 PM
No, using quiet ammo does not a silencer make.

kingpin008
April 9, 2011, 07:33 PM
There is a set reduction of dB an add-on has to make to be legally called a silencer, which I think is 7.5 dB but I could be wrong.

I've never heard of any such decibel level that constitutes "suppressed" or not. Not saying that there isn't one, but it's news to me.

When is a silenced gun not considered a silencer-equipped gun?

It's not. You can use any type of ammo in a gun suited for it (local laws allowing, of course). The ATF becomes involved when there is a device either attached to or built into a firearm which serves as a sound suppressor.

Is using a quieter ammo, such as a 22LR with adapter in an AR 15 rifle tantamount to using a silencer in that gun?

No.

Is a BATF application required when using a quiter ammo, therefore "silenced", in a gun that normally uses a louder and more powerful ammo?

No.

There are double-caliber guns, are they not "silenced" whenever the less powerful caliber is used?

No. Once again, it has nothing to do with the type, caliber or sound characteristics of ammo used.

kingpin008
April 9, 2011, 07:39 PM
For an even more specific explanation, here is the ATF definition of a silencer:

Silencer

26 U.S.C. § 5845(a)(7)

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act the term Silencer is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(24)

The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

Found here: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/importation-verification/firearms-verification-nfa-silencer.html

o Unforgiven o
April 10, 2011, 03:31 AM
I've never heard of any such decibel level that constitutes "suppressed" or not. Not saying that there isn't one, but it's news to me.

I believe you are correct, I was mistaken.

rangerman
April 10, 2011, 04:36 AM
Thanks for all the responses and the ATF definition of the silencer.

However, something fuzzy in the law needs definite clarification for safety sake.
What exactly is a "device" as defined in the ATF rule pertaining to a silencer? Does a device necessarily have to be a separate part removable from the gun itself, or could it also be an integral part of the gun itself? Previous posters already stated that the silenced ammo through less power is not included, so what makes it not a possible device as per definition in the regulation when other gun parts seem to be included as devices? How about if the device is not even attached to the gun but nevertheless intended to muffle the report of the gun like shooting an outside target from inside a sound-proofed box enclosing both the shooter and the gun?
This can cause a very tricky and vague legal situation if the "device" mentioned could either be an integral part of the gun itself, a design modification, or an accessory specially designed and separable add-on intended to reduce sound for an outside observer to sense.

It is generally understood for a gun to have a barrel even with some old design of revolvers where the cylinder also act as the barrel.
Is it not true that for a particular given ammo a relatively louder report could be expected if fired in a shorter barrel than in comparatively longer barrel? It's not practically impossible that there would be at least a change in loudness even if small, is it?
Based on the law, provided a "device" could also be an integral design or a design on a removable part for a gun, what would prevent a prosecutor from saying that the longer barrel installed in a gun is an attempt to "silence" the gun, however minimal, thus legally restricted without a BATF permit?

After all, the amount of silence or reduction of the sound intensity is a relative thing but the law does not seem to give a clear quantitative base measurement on the amount of the reduction in loudness of the gun report in order for it to be considered not "silenced" enough as opposed to being illegally muffled.


I want to make it clear that I don't agree with the silencer restrictions and I wish we don't have such a ridiculous and unnecessary burden in our gun ownership right. Unfortunately, for now, we still have that law in the book to legally abide by. I do not think however that the law is already very clear without any way for an anti-gun authority to arbitrarily abuse based on fuzzy and ambiguous definition or perception.

I believe the silencer regulation is one of those things that needs to be seriously challenged in court.

o Unforgiven o
April 10, 2011, 09:32 AM
You don't seem to be getting it, let me try to be clear.

You can shoot into a sound proofed box all day long, make your barrel 1/4 mile long, and use such watered down rounds that gun merely coughs out the bullet with a faint puff of smoke. None of those things are illegal. A silencer is understood to be a device (i.e. something added to the weapon itself) to reduce the report of that weapon, not the inherently quiet nature of the gun, shooting conditions or ammo.

danez71
April 10, 2011, 10:10 AM
I think you're over thinking this.


What exactly is a "device" as defined in the ATF rule pertaining to a silencer?

Already given.

Does a device necessarily have to be a separate part removable from the gun itself, or could it also be an integral part of the gun itself?

No. That require isnt needed to fit the definition.


Previous posters already stated that the silenced ammo through less power is not included, so what makes it not a possible device as per definition in the regulation when other gun parts seem to be included as devices?

Ammo isnt part of the gun. Just as gas isnt part of a car motor. Ammo has its own regulations such as not armor piercing.

How about if the device is not even attached to the gun but nevertheless intended to muffle the report of the gun like shooting an outside target from inside a sound-proofed box enclosing both the shooter and the gun?

Again, its not part of the gun... modification of the gun, etc. Thats a building; such as an indoor shooting range. Also, remember the ddfinition mentions 'portable firearm'. The building just confined the gun. Building a portable building such as a sound proof pope-mobile isnt practical.


Is it not true that for a particular given ammo a relatively louder report could be expected if fired in a shorter barrel than in comparatively longer barrel?

The length of the barrel is a design of the gun (such as rifle or hand gun) and is NOT designed to muffle the sound. If the barrel is designed to muffle the sound, and there are those barrels out there, it would fit the definition and are regulated because of that.


Based on the law, provided a "device" could also be an integral design or a design on a removable part for a gun, what would prevent a prosecutor from saying that the longer barrel installed in a gun is an attempt to "silence" the gun, however minimal, thus legally restricted without a BATF permit?

Mfg's submit their product to the Govt for approval - such as the Taurus Judge, and Mares leg. Or they base it of of case law. Thats what prevents a prosecutor from doing that.


After all, the amount of silence or reduction of the sound intensity is a relative thing but the law does not seem to give a clear quantitative base measurement on the amount of the reduction in loudness of the gun report in order for it to be considered not "silenced" enough as opposed to being illegally muffled.


Right. From their prospective, they dont want the sound muffled... period. In their mind, its not about how much its muffled, its about they dont want people creating "devices" that muffle the sound.... period.

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