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The guys from JK Armament sat down and interviewed industry legend, Dr. Phil Dater, MD, about the origins of his shift from radiology to becoming the modern day godfather of the firearm suppressor industry. They like to say “Dater did it first,” and in the video interview and JK Armament blog post, both of which follow below, you’ll see precisely why . . .

JK Armament was honored to sit down with Dr. Phil Dater, MD, founder of Gemtech and suppressor innovator with nearly fifty years of experience designing, manufacturing, and testing firearm suppressors for military and commercial use alike. Dr. Dater is still at it, in fact, teaching classes for three-letter agencies and working within the firearm industry.

At 86 years of age, Dr. Dater is still sharp as a tack! Don’t miss the video interview embedded above to learn how he got his start, what he thinks of suppressor decibel metering processes, what he’s currently doing with his expertise, and so much more.

In this blog post we summarize some of our discussion with Dr. Dater, but we’d highly suggest checking out the video for the much more extensive interview!

Hiram Percy Maxim invented the firearm silencer in approximately 1902, but many of us in the industry still say “Dater did it first.” Instrumental in developing silencer designs that were appealing and functional for the consumer market, Dr. Dater brought a niche product into practical, common use after nearly a century of obscurity. He is truly the modern day godfather of silencers.

Freshly divorced and looking to buy himself a bit of a present, Dr. Dater found his interest piqued by John Wayne’s suppressed Ingram MAC-11 in the 1974 film McQ. So, naturally, he popped on down to Sir Sydney’s Submachine Gun Sales and bought himself one.

Back in those days, his ATF Form 4 approval took just four weeks even though only three people ran the registry. A registry which, Dater notes, consisted of 3×5 cards in shoe boxes.

As we know all too well, NFA purchases are addictive, and Dr. Dater found himself back at Sydney’s shortly thereafter. This time, he purchased a Military Armament Corporation Ruger Mk1 .22 pistol with integral suppressor. 

Unlike a modular, user-serviceable JK Armament silencer, after about 400 rounds of shooting in the backyard, Dr. Dater’s new toy was no longer quiet. Military Armament Corp explained to him that the silencer he purchased is effectively a perishable product, designed for very limited practice followed by a military mission or two, but not intended for recreational shooting. Furthermore, it wasn’t serviceable by the end user or the manufacturer. Its life was simply done.

Dr. Dater’s life in the silencer world, however, was just getting started. He figured out how to take the silencer apart and repack the “baffle stack,” which was nothing more than a series of washers spaced along a ported barrel with, effectively, steel wool packed in-between.

This was the moment when a long, innovative career in silencer design began, as Dater was certain he could improve upon the technology and design of the day. 

From early prototypes made on a lathe in the basement of the hospital at which he worked as a radiologist to his first silencer company, Automatic Weapons Company, to the founding of Gemini Technologies, AKA “Gemtech,” in 1993, we learned all about Dr. Dater’s career during our interview. 

• Where did Gemtech’s name come from? 
• What does Dr. Dater think about various methods of measuring silencer performance?
• How does a microphone’s diaphragm affect dB measurement?
• How do military and consumer requirements from a silencer differ?

Hear it all direct from Dr. Phil Dater in our video interview HERE.



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  1. “Dr. Dater is still at it, in fact, teaching classes for three-letter agencies…”

    I hope the first ten minutes of any of those classes includes a discussion – complete with sample photos for clarity – of what pet dogs look like and how to avoid shooting them.

    • My neighbors dog has a hard on for bike riders, I solved that problem with a slice of fully loaded pizza.
      Now we r friends

  2. After renting a 22 caliber suppressor I want one even more now. They work even better than I thought they would. Amazing!!!

        • There is no point other then pointing out if gunm is to loud for you you dont have to spend so much money and so much effort to not hear the gunm.
          When I can walk in and buy a silencer like you do any other gunm assesory then yes. Putting yourself on a registry ,$$$ , forms and waiting , when ear muffs or plugs serve the same purpose doesn’t seem logical to me.

        • Gosh. Ok, possum. I guess you’re clearly the master of all things rational. Let’s do whatever you say from now on.

  3. besides the 3 letter agency bickering this is an awesome interview. it goes into details of measuring quite a bit and variables that affect results.


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