Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Cutaway Silencers


Kevin Brittingham has quite the selection of silencers in his collection. Every silencer company in the world looks at their competitors’ products to see what they’re up to and while some are happy with simply having x-ray images of the internals, Kevin likes to actually saw the cans in half to examine their guts. Make the jump to get a closer look at some of the autopsy photos . . .

Cutaway Silencers, c Nick Leghorn




  1. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    Surprise suprise. A lot of those are AAC cans.

    On an NFA forum I’m on, we have a thread devoted to silencer internals pictures (be it X-ray, take apart cans, oopsies that get cut up, etc). Great thread.

  2. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …I had no idea!

  3. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Painful conspicuous consumption.

    That second photo equals 12 years of cumulative ATF wait time @ 9 mos per tax stamp.

    1. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

      No it shows 9months of wait time.

      And a single $3200 check made payable to the BATFE as well as 32 form 4s and one copy of my NFATrust. 😉

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Cumulative. Like man-hours. One man working 2000 hours or 2000 men working one hour.

        And don’t forget the $8000 for the silencers themselves. (I used $500/ea. Some might be less, some might be significantly more. Adjust accordingly.)

    2. avatar charlie Taylor says:

      For Kevin, who i presume still holds his own FFL with the appropriate SOT, the wait from the ATF is probably more like a few weeks.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I suppose I should have said “for the average person.”

        1. avatar jjKayd says:

          I understood exactly what you were trying to say Matt.

      2. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

        Form 3s are taking 30 days or more for e-forms. paper forms are almost 120days now.

        not to mention, you have to find the can in stock. alot of them are still catching up to the great gunpocalypse.

  4. avatar charlie Taylor says:

    Not surprisingly most of those look like AAC suppressors, with possibly one surefire and two cans i can’t identify for the life of me.

  5. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well it really shows the science behind the silencer to me at least. Thank you for this, now I understand what people are talking about.

  6. avatar Adam says:

    What I want to know is, who keeps Makers Mark handy while cutting open silencers?

    Doesn’t seem very safe.

    You could easily slip and break that bottle thereby wasting the whiskey.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      It’s just Maker’s. No big loss.

      1. avatar Todd S says:

        Doesn’t matter. Alcohol abuse is alcohol abuse 😉

      2. avatar Texheim says:

        Bingo, not like it’s Pappy Van Winkle (where bourbon is concerned)…

        1. avatar Jay Dunn says:

          I actually knew Pappy Van Winkle. When I was a child my mother was his secretary at Stitzel-Weller distillery. He always played Santa at the family Christmas party and handed out the presents. He was a fine example of a southern gentleman.

  7. avatar ensitue says:

    expensive mufflers

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    No wonder Kevin can’t afford better whisky.

    1. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

      Would it make you feel better if it were Jim Beam? I’m a Buffalo Trace guy personally, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at some Maker’s…like sex, whiskey is good, even when it isn’t.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Jim Beam? Nah. For an everyday bourbon, I’d choose Wild Turkey. I enjoy Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden’s, and there are plenty of other really great bourbons out there. Too bad that Maker’s dripped the green, gold and black wax bourbons. They were beyond compare.

        1. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

          Ha ha, +1 for Woodford Reserve when I can afford it. More expensive doesn’t always mean better though 🙂

        2. avatar Joe Grine says:

          Loves me some Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. Good stuff!

  9. avatar Marty the Lett says:

    I’m trying to figure out which one is the Fram oil filter:)

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I have a tear in my eye.

  11. avatar GMan says:

    Love the L.A.W.S. rocket tube in the background…

  12. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    Nice baffle strike on that one on the far-right of the last photo. Ouch. It’s not clear what happened there, but it sure as heck wasn’t originally made that way.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I thought it might have just been caused when it was being sawed in half.

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        I thought that at first, but upon closer examination it appears that the damage is consistent all the way around the baffle, not just at the cut edge.

        I could be wrong, of course. The only way to know would be to examine several photos taken from different angles in better lighting.

  13. avatar pc_load_letter says:

    Off topic but was that scene in “The American” where George Clooney’s character makes a supressor have any validity at all?

  14. avatar Nicks87 says:

    Where is Kevin Brittingham working now?

  15. avatar CG-23 Sailor says:

    Never having dealt with Silencers before yet understanding the basic ideas behind them, I have a question about two of them shown.

    The 9th and 11th silencers, (from left to right)
    This is the bright solid one in the center but for the bullet channel and ROUND gas expansion chambers. And the one two over from it with the diagonal zig-zagging baffles.

    It seems to me that those two designs would cause off-center forces to act on the bullet as it passes through each of those baffles potentially causing abnormal wear, accuracy troubles, and potentially a disastrous failure.

    All the others would keep the gas expansion evenly distributed. and the bullet centered. Even then, baffle strikes happen as shown in the very far right silencer.

    As the bullet clears the baffles in question on those two, the gasses would expand first to one side then the other as the baffle is cleared on one side of the bullet before the other.

    Anyone have any training, knowledge or experience with these two or know the science behind it better?

    1. avatar fallman says:

      In general, I’ve heard the baffle orifice is oversized to the bullet to decrease the likelihood of baffle strikes. I’ve also heard some of the reason for the design (asymmetric or symmetric) is to redirect the flow of high pressure gas away from the silencer/suppressor/can’s muzzle. This, combined with the compartmentalized volumes and black magic, attempts to change change the sudden release of pressure into a more gradual release of pressure which in turn changes the perceived sound.

      The cross-flow of gas has a chance of inducing drag and a Magnus effect (if the bullet is spinning) which would result in lateral displacement and/or rotation. As the bullet is only briefly exposed to any one rogue flow and has more inertia than the cross-flowing gas, it is unlikely the bullet will deviate significantly.

  16. avatar Arod529 says:


  17. avatar Nick says:

    Can we get a legend? Having not gotten any of my ordered suppressors yet, I can’t tell the model of the various cut aways.

  18. avatar Diego says:

    Hy, anyone have a pict of i ternal drawing of aac 762 sdn 6?

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