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the high price of suppressors?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by tahoe2, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

    I don't get it, pricing suppressors lately, they are priced higher than the firearms I want to suppress.
  2. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    ...and you have to wait at least 6 months to get it, plus fork over for a tax stamp.

    I feel your pain.
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    There are cheap ones, but you get what you pay for. One of my LGS has .22 cans for $229.
  4. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Since people are basically "married to" the suppressor, they tend to want to get a really good one. In Europe, silencers are a lot cheaper, in part because replacing them is no big deal.
  5. Ken70

    Ken70 Well-Known Member

    What, you're upset that less than $30 in parts and labor are costing you $800? It's the market price and they can get it, unless you tool up and make your own. It's a great business to be in at the moment, limited production and almost unlimited demand.
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    By all means if you can build a finished suppressor for $30 and sell it for $800, you should be in the silencer business. It'll only take less than a half dozen units to recoup the FFL, SOT, and ITAR fees.
  7. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    Lets see...rent on various business and government licenses just to operate, pay rent on the building, paying for compliance to various alphabet soup agency standards, paying rent on the machinery, pay for consumable tooling, pay for maintenance and upkeep services or costs for said machinery, pay various business taxes, pay various insurance policies, pay engineers for R&D, pay office staff, pay employees on the shop floor, taxes on employees, pay for raw materials from a steel mill, pay vendors for work that isn't done in-house, pay for cost of scrapped parts, pay for testing and associated consumables to test products, pay for marketing and advertising, pay sales staff to travel and establish a distributor network. Pay for promotional display and signage for dealers, and any cost eaten by your warranty.

    Iron ore is currently trading at $120.35 per metric ton. For a 16oz suppressor, that's 5.3 cents in raw materials. If someone wants to take me up on it, I'll mail you a pound of iron ore and a pinch of chromium (at my expense) and pay you $100 for a suppressor. I feel a $99.95 profit is more than fair.

    That's the market price. If someone can sneak in under the current going rate, feel free to do it. You're going to corner the market. You have to pay to play. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. If everyone stops buying because the perceived value for the dollar is too little, manufacturers will find ways to cut costs to offer a product at a lower price. That isn't the case.
  8. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    He's absolutely right. The fixed overhead of a manufacturing business is stunning, to say the least. I owned and operated a manufacturing business for the better part of 30 years, and the line of people standing there with their hand out just so you can open up your shop in the morning is unbelilevable. Then you have your employees and all their expense, and now you have Obamacare to contend with, cost of materials, and on and on.

    If you think you can make anything for less than someone else, go for it. If you succeed, I'll probably be at the front of the line to buy from you.

    There's an old saying: If it was easy, everyone would do it.
  9. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Well-Known Member

    Can you make a suppressor for $50 if you have the machinery and tooling ? yes.

    The difference in machinery needed to make one vs make many that are the same is a big expense.

    Factor in R&D as well as all the other stuff already mentioned... no way can you make one for the $30 in materials and labor. Unless you are paying your "machinist" $5/hr , if so , he is not a machinist. :)
  10. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    $30 won't even cover the salary of the machinist for the time he put in. That doesn't even touch on all the other stuff. If you think that making suppressors, or any product these days, in this country with all the BS imposed by external players to a business (gov't, organized labor, etc...) is rife with profit, go for it and find out for yourself. I suggest having a failsafe plan for when you come face-to-face with reality for paying your mortgage and feeding your family.
  11. Odd Job

    Odd Job Well-Known Member

    Can a person in the US import a suppressor? Seems like that may be the best of both worlds. For example my ASE Utra Rimfire suppressor was £80 (and that's after purchasing from a gunsmith who got it from a distributor who got it from ASE in Finland. I could have gone much cheaper by getting a Parker Hale for around £23 (a dealer at the club showed me a box full of new suppressors and said I could take my pick, as I have authority to purchase on my firearms certificate).

    I went with the ASE Utra on the recommendation of the gunsmith who threaded my R55 barrel. It is a quality suppressor, and it seems to me that even if you paid double that amount because of import duty (or whatever duties) you would still be getting it a lot cheaper than the US prices I see quoted on the boards.
  12. hq

    hq Well-Known Member

    Ase Utra (AU for short) suppressors are very nice, the same company also makes BR reflex suppressors nowadays. For about $250-300 you can buy an all-out milspec suppressor that carries a (limited) warranty for full auto applications. I've put thousands upon thousands of rounds through a number of them and they've systematically outlasted big brand "tactical" suppressors that cost 200-400% more.

    VAIME would get my recommendation for light duty, but their end-user serviceable construction isn't ideal with US legislation - you have to have (cheap) spare baffles at hand because they're designed to wear out and be replaced regularly. The suppressors themselves are extremely light and much more efficient than the likes of Parker Hale, Lynx and many other cheap suppressors.
  13. Odd Job

    Odd Job Well-Known Member

    Agree fully, I have used a number of suppressed rimfires at the club and the two best ones are ASE Utra. It's a quality suppressor, and I would be interested to know what obstruction there is for a guy in the US to acquire one.
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    You don't build suppressors do you?

    Even if you made them from aluminum the billet stock would cost more than that. Go with stainless, Titanium or Inconel and it gets much more expensive.

    The price of tooling you use up to machine the parts also goes up too.

    Unless you want to spend all day machining parts for one suppressor your going to need a CNC lathe and CNC mill for the mass produced parts, that could just cost more than your car or more than your house.

    Speaking of dwellings, you will have to have a place to run the business and collect taxes for the local Government not to mention kick in to the Fed every year for the FFL/SOT and such.

    A lot of the designs require welding, so you'll need a good TIG welder and rotary positioner. For all of the machines, you need operators or years of time learning how to use them.

    If you think it's a goose laying a golden egg, I say give it a shot.

    I have built them for free for .22's up to 458 socom myself but don't think I am getting hosed buying them when I do.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  15. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Well-Known Member

    I think if you can make an entire 1911 pistol with all of its machining and moving parts and assembly labor for under $500, then a silencer's costs are much less as demonstrated by our UK shooters who enjoy quality suppressor a for 70-80% less.
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Thoes are not made in the US.
  17. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Silencers cannot be imported to the US for other than government use.
  18. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    $30.00 in parts, you must be making expensive ones. $15.00 in parts is all you need.

  19. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    You'll be lucky to buy 9" of titanium tube for $15.
  20. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    Zak, try a plastic water bottle (almost free of cost). One of the reasons things cost so much is that everyone tries to over engineer everything. The real problem is attaching it to the muzzle, but you have that problem if you spend $1.50 or $900.00 on one.


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