Frequently Asked Questions
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 9-12 months.
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.