Are Silencers Legal? Is it difficult to obtain the necessary paperwork (Form 4) to legally own a silencer? My local chief law enforcement officer won’t sign my Form 4. What can I do? Do I give up any rights by owning the silencer, such as search and seizure rights? Does owning a silencer put me on a government “list”? Can I sell my silencer after I buy it, or am I stuck with it forever? Can I take my silencer across state lines? How long does it take to do the paperwork? Do I have to have a class III to own a silencer? How much is the tax stamp? Are there any recurring fees?
How do silencers work? Does a modern suppressor (or silencer) decrease the effectiveness or range of the host firearm or cartridge? Does the suppressor change the point of impact of the projectile? Does the silencer affect accuracy? Why are silencers not really silent? They don’t actually perform as they do in the movies. How long does a silencer last? Do you have to “pack” a silencer? What is shooting wet, and can it be done with your suppressor? What is the difference between subsonic and supersonic ammunition, and will the ammunition make a difference in the sound?
22Sparrow and 22Sparrow S/S
Is the 22Sparrow a multi-caliber suppressor? Is the 22Sparrow full auto capable? Can I “dip” my aluminum 22Sparrow core? Can I shoot my 22Sparrow wet? Can I shoot my 22Sparrow on my .223 or 5.56x45 rifle? How quiet is the 22Sparrow?
Can I shoot different calibers through my Osprey? Can the Osprey disassemble like the 22Sparrow for cleaning? Can I shoot the Osprey on a pistol caliber carbine? Can I shoot the Osprey on a submachine gun full auto? Can I shoot my Osprey wet? Can I shoot Osprey on my rifles? Can I put a tactical light on my pistol with an Osprey attached?
Are Silencers Legal?
In most states, yes. Individuals, Corporations, and Trusts can legally own silencers in the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY.
Is it difficult to obtain the necessary paperwork (Form 4) to legally own a silencer?
No. It is a relatively simple process to submit Form 4 applications to own a silencer. Typically, it is no more involved than obtaining a concealed firearm permit in most U.S. states. The typical process includes submitting two simple forms, two sets of fingerprint cards, two passport photos, a citizenship declaration form, and a signature from a chief law enforcement officer in your home jurisdiction. Check with your local Silencerco dealer for more information or regional information.
My local chief law enforcement officer won’t sign my Form 4. What can I do?
You can process a Form 4 without a chief law enforcement officer’s signature by means of a Firearms Trust. There are many attorneys who have vast experience with this type of trust, and it is also a relatively simple legal process. Your local Silencerco dealer should be able to point you in the right direction. If not, you can always call us for assistance.
Do I give up any rights by owning the silencer, such as search and seizure rights?
No. You do not give up your guaranteed rights in any regard. You are simply the registered owner of an NFA item.
Does owning a silencer put me on a government “list”?
You will be the “registered owner” of that silencer, which is recorded on a “list.” But remember, you have a social security number, which is a “list”; you are registered to vote, which is a “list”; you pay your taxes, which is a controlled “list.” From your birth, the government has had ways of identifying you. So relax, take a deep breath, and exercise your right to buy a silencer.
Can I sell my silencer after I buy it, or am I stuck with it forever?
Yes. You can sell it, but the transfer must be done in accordance with all regulations.
Can I take my silencer across state lines?
Yes, if the state you are traveling through is a suppressor legal state. Other ATF regulations require a temporary permit for machine guns or short barrel rifles to travel across state lines.
How long does it take to do the paperwork?
It varies based on ATF NFA branch workload, but it can take as long as 90-120 days.
Do I have to have a class III to own a silencer?
No. A license is only required to be actively involved in the reselling of silencers for profit.
How much is the tax stamp?
$200 for each suppressor.
Are there any recurring fees?
No. You pay a one-time $200 Transfer tax.
How do silencers work?
Entire books have been written on this topic. A summarized explanation is that they slow and cool the expanding gases that propel bullets. This hot, high velocity, expanding gas is what causes the “boom” of a gunshot. Slowing and cooling this gas before it exits the muzzle greatly reduces the muzzle report of a gunshot.
Does a modern suppressor (or silencer) decrease the effectiveness or range of the host firearm or cartridge?
Only in video games. Modern dry sound suppressors do not contact the projectile in any way under normal conditions. They do not decrease the velocity but actually have a slight tendency to increase velocity. This phenomenon is generally referred to as “suppressor push,” but generally the increase is very small—so small that it is generally not a factor.
Does the suppressor change the point of impact of the projectile?
Yes. This effect can vary from host to host, but Silencerco strives to minimize point of impact shift. This point of impact shift is minimal and repeatable.
Does the silencer affect accuracy?
Generally speaking, accuracy is not affected enough to matter. If your host firearm shot well before it was suppressed, it will shoot just as well if not better with the silencer attached. If your gun shoots poorly, it will still shoot poorly. Barrel threading and the quality of those threads will affect the shot. If not threaded concentrically, the bullets can strike the baffles and cause accuracy problems and damage to the silencer.
Why are silencers not really silent? They don’t actually perform as they do in the movies.
In the real world, a firearm with a silencer does make noise, so it is not “silent.” However, the silencer will greatly reduce the muzzle report of a gunshot. Silencerco products reflect state-of-the-art technology in sound suppression; you will not find finer products for their intended design goals anywhere in the world.
How long does a silencer last?
With proper care and maintenance, your Silencerco sound suppressor should provide you a lifetime of shooting enjoyment. That’s why we offer a lifetime guarantee on all our sound suppressors.
Do you have to “pack” a silencer?
No. Silencerco sound suppressors are “dry” suppressors that utilize state-of-the-art proprietary baffle stacks meant to optimize sound reduction. They require nothing other than the most basic of maintenance. They are not “packed” with anything.
What is shooting wet, and can it be done with your suppressor?
Shooting “wet” is introducing an artificial medium (water, oil, grease, wire pulling gel) into the baffle stack of the suppressor to further reduce sound output levels. It works by further slowing and cooling hot gases before they exit the bore. Silencerco sound suppressors can be shot wet with a reasonable amount of coolant. Typically, 5CCs of coolant is the maximum that should be used.
What is the difference between subsonic and supersonic ammunition, and will the ammunition make a difference in the sound?
Subsonic ammunition keeps its projectile below the speed of sound. Supersonic ammo propels it faster than the speed of sound. When a bullet breaks the sound barrier, it creates a miniature sonic “boom” or sonic “crack” that is audible. The suppressor cannot reduce the sound of the sonic crack. Subsonic ammo will be quieter out of a suppressed firearm, but not necessarily out of one without a suppressor. The speed of sound changes based on many variables, but it is roughly 1100 fps @ sea level in standard conditions.
22Sparrow and 22Sparrow S/S
Learn more on the 22Sparrow Product Page
Is the 22Sparrow a multi-caliber suppressor?
Yes. The Aluminum Tube 22Sparrow can be fired with .22 WMR (Mag), .17 HMR, .22 S, L, LR and .17 Mach 2. The Sparrow S/S will fire all of the above and also 5.7x28 FN.
Is the 22Sparrow full auto capable?
Yes, in .22LR. We have done 275rnd continuous magazine dumps with no ill effects, although it is only full auto rated for .22 LR.
Can I “dip” my aluminum 22Sparrow core?
We do not recommend dipping the core in any acidic solvent. It could damage the aluminum. The 22Sparrow S/S should be fine for dipping with commonly used peroxide and vinegar solutions. Although this solution works very well to clean the stainless steel 22Sparrow, it is VERY toxic and is not recommended.
Can I shoot my 22Sparrow wet?
Yes, with a reasonable amount of coolant. Be cautious not to overfill.
Can I shoot my 22Sparrow on my .223 or 5.56x45 rifle?
No. 22Sparrow and 22Sparrow S/S are intended for use on lower pressure rimfire cartridges (and 5.7x28 in 22Sparrow S/S only). Rifle pressures will damage the suppressor and void your warranty.
How quiet is the 22Sparrow?
Very, very quiet. We have achieved up to 40 db of sound reduction. Often times, bullet impacts are louder than the muzzle report or port noise.
Learn more on the Osprey Series Product Page
Can I shoot different calibers through my Osprey?
Through the use of interchangeable pistons, the 45Osprey can be fired with 9mm and .40 S&W. The 40Osprey can be fired with 9mm. All Silencerco Osprey pistons are interchangeable, allowing the use of sub-diameter cartridges through the larger diameter suppressor. Please note, unless you would like to see your Osprey fly down range at 500 fps, do not shoot over bore calibers through your smaller diameter Osprey.
Can the Osprey disassemble like the 22Sparrow for cleaning?
The Osprey series pistons can be removed for cleaning and maintenance. Typically, this is all that requires cleaning. You can use a spray cleaner and air hose to clean the baffle stack, if so desired.
Can I shoot the Osprey on a pistol caliber carbine?
Yes. Silencerco manufactures a fixed barrel spacer for this. It is available for purchase from Silencerco Stocking Dealers or from our website.
Can I shoot the Osprey on a submachine gun full auto?
It depends. Some yes, but some no. Call our technical department for specifics on host weapons and calibers that we have tried.
Can I shoot my Osprey wet?
Yes. 5CCs of coolant works very well. Do not add more than 5CCs.
Can I shoot Osprey on my rifles?
The only rifles suitable would be rifles firing subsonic, low pressure cartridges. Examples would include .300 Whisper/.300-221 Fireball, and .308 Win with subsonic ammo. Please call our technical department for specific host weapon and caliber recommendations. Firing supersonic rifle ammo through your Osprey will damage the suppressor and void your warranty.
Can I put a tactical light on my pistol with an Osprey attached?
It depends on the host pistol and the manufacturer and model of light. In most cases, the answer is yes.