silencer

Booth after booth here at IWA has companies showing off their latest modular silencers. Skytesport had this model on display, one of their newer designs that has been adapted for everything from .22LR rimfire cartridges to .300 Win Mag. And while the concept is brilliant, there’s no way in hell that we’ll see them in the United States anytime soon . . .

The idea behind the modular silencer is pretty easy to grasp: it allows the end user to decide how much can they want for that day. If you’re shooting off a bench and want something super quiet, slide a couple more baffles in the suppressor and you’re good to go. If you value weight savings more that day, remove a couple of baffles and head out into the woods. And while the cans are durable (they last about as long as the barrel) and cheap ($400 for the model shown), there are two very good reasons why they won’t work in the US.

First, the design has a fundamental flaw. While I was looking at the silencers, I heard Kevin Brittingham’s voice in the back of my head chanting, “pressure and heat” over and over again. Pressure and heat are the two things that will kill a silencer, and these cans aren’t designed to take much of either. They’re intended for slow fire from a bolt action rifle, giving the suppressor time to cool down and de-pressurize after each round. Start double-tapping with one of these babies and they’ll make like a banana after a few rounds.

Then there’s the regulatory issue. The ATF has a long and colorful history of proclaiming that common household items like washers and steel wool are “silencer parts” and owning those items in conjunction with a silencer is illegal. Their position is that only a licensed manufacturer should be allowed to have spare silencer parts, even if you legally own the silencer in question. So imagine the hissy fit that the ATF would throw if people started selling silencers along with spare baffles.

Still, despite the technical and legal issues, I really want one. Because I’m a guy that likes to customize his guns, and the modularity allows the shooter to control things on a nicely granular level that I’d love to tinker with. Oh well. Maybe one day….

35 Responses to IWA: A Euro-Fad You’ll Never See in the US – Modular Silencers

  1. Modular silencers not durable? Then you must have tried some shitty ones or those ultralight ones intended for slow-fire. The regular ones are as durable as a regular silencers (doubt they are full auto rated, though). They are a quite practical design. You use one with few baffles when hunting (less snagging) and use all the baffles for target shooting/assassinations.

    • Ah! So, how often do you perform these assassinations? Just curious.

      Posts like these make the Feds go crazy.

      /joking

        • Soda cans, comrade.

          0.33 liter, cylindrical aluminum construction, pull tab mechanism for opening.

          *puts on sunglasses*

          NOTE TO NSA: No I am not an assassin, there is this thing we humans like to do that is called joking and being sarcastic. This usualy involves saying or doing (non-harmful) things that are uncharacteristic of you in hopes of soliciting laughter from people (AKA making them laugh or at the very least chuckle).
          Laughter as you know is an involuntary, physical reaction in humans, consisting typically of rhytmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It is a response to certain external or internal stimuli. Laughter can arise from such activities as being tickled,[1] or from humorous stories or thoughts.[2] Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief, etc.

        • Soda cans, comrade.

          0.33 liter, cylindrical aluminum construction, pull tab mechanism for opening. Usualy contains carbonized sugary drinks.

          *puts on sunglasses*

          NOTE TO NSA: No I am not an assassin, there is this thing we humans like to do that is called joking and being sarcastic. This usualy involves saying or doing (non-harmful) things that are uncharacteristic of you in hopes of soliciting laughter from people (AKA making them laugh or at the very least chuckle).
          Laughter as you know is an involuntary, physical reaction in humans, consisting typically of rhytmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It is a response to certain external or internal stimuli. Laughter can arise from such activities as being tickled, or from humorous stories or thoughts. Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief, etc.

        • *tears in eyes*

          I would like to thank my family, my friends and most importantly my neighbour who has unsecured wifi. Thanks you everybody!

          I didn’t know that I adapted a movie line, Hollywood here I come.

  2. Piecemeal repealing of NFA might not be as satisfying, but smaller victories are still victories, and require debates on specific merits & dangers. It’s much easier to dwell on the value of prevention of ear injury, without letting the arguments slide into genuine Assault Rifles.
    There’s also this thing called ‘compromise’, which needn’t be permanent.

    • I like it. Its what the antis have been doing to us since the NFA was drafted, and we know it works. Let’s give it a shot, what do we have to lose?

      • I agree. Why not? It seems like we are always on the defensive, let’s take the fight to them. My young’n threw the salt shaker off the table, and it smacked my wife…lol My youngest declares it A SALT WEAPON!

  3. So I read about folks wanting to repeal the NFA. The idea of piecemealing it has a LOT of merit, to be honest. Does anyone have a PLAN for a way to go about it?

    I’d LOVE to have a couple of cans – I find ear-pro to be a serious pita when I’m the only guy at the range! I’d also love to have several of my scary black rifles, even the ones with the shoulder thing that goes up, have barrels that are more in keeping with the rest of their furniture, just for aesthetic reasons if nothing else – they just LOOK right with shorter barrels! I dislike the whole idea of registering and paying a tax on either of those simply because way back in ’34 (or whenever) some dimwit figured that’d be the best way to keep “bad guys” from having them?!?! Yeah, right! LOL (not to mention the fact that if you ARE one of the folks with a tax stamp, rest assured YOU are on a “list” somewhere, and if it ever does come to SHTF, they’ll be knocking on YOUR door before they get to mine!) I’m unsure if I’d want an FA, simply because I find it difficult enough at present keeping my menagerie fed! But I’d love to at least have the OPTION!

    So I’ll ask again – does anyone have a PLAN on piecemealing this, or do we just sit around and wring our hands and go “if only?!?!”?

    • The problem with trying to remove suppressors from the NFA is that the public education on them is largely non-existent. They’re viewed as ‘wetwork’ items — stuff that makes the gun’s report nearly imperceptible. This is thanks to movies, TV, and video games. Anyone who has actually handled a suppressor, and shot a gun with one, or been near one, knows it’s nothing like that.

      Trying to educate a lot of people on that fact would be nigh-impossible.

      • Never say never on that front. Not everyone in the media is gun stupid, and as (to name one example) first person shooters edge more and more into the realism camp, realistic portrayal of silencers could help de mystify them.

    • “I’d LOVE to have a couple of cans – I find ear-pro to be a serious pita when I’m the only guy at the range!”

      Where. Is. This. Range?

    • Don’t worry, you’re on a list somewhere yourself. Just your activity here, an IP address, and perhaps a credit card purchase or two for ammo or gun parts will suffice.

  4. Nick,

    Silencerco has been making modular cans in the USA for years now. The outer sleeve is the serialized part. The baffles are what usually needs to be replaced. Much easier when it comes to cleaning from I am told.

  5. I keep preaching it. If gun owners come together, we all got the power to do something big about NFA. We just need to get the word around and do it outside of a big gun group like the NRA.

    • Why don’t we get the NRA involved? That’s like going elk hunting and leaving your rifle at home in favor of a .22

    • The NRA and a couple of gun rights groups were getting ready for a big push on the NFA but then Newtown happened.

  6. I’ll admit I haven’t owned a suppressor yet. I’d like to see them off the NFA and might even jump through the hoops to own one some day, but not yet.

    Having said that, this looks like a solution in search of a problem. I can’t imagine a situation where I personally would want something to be even more complicated. It’s about all I can do to keep track of five or six 10/22 magazines. I don’t need three extra suppressor baffles getting lost in my “miscellaneous gun stuff” box. So personally, I’d pass.

    But I do see the appeal of having it be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance.

  7. get silencers off the NFA. shouldn’t be too hard to get people who live near shooting ranges to give support.

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