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It seems like every silencer manufacturer has their own silencer mount/flash hider thing. AAC has their 51-tooth adapter, Gemtech has their lug-based mount and Surefire has their odd smooth muzzle brake. It’s a necessity in a world where silencers are expensive and the regulatory rigmarole surrounding them is so tedious as to make babies cry, where people generally buy one silencer and use it on all of their guns. But that’s not the world that Kevin Brittingham, founder of AAC and new head of SIG’s R&D envisions . . .

To Kevin, there’s no reason to ever take a silencer off a gun. In his vision of the future, guns and silencers would be two components of the same system — designed to work with each other, not tacked on like an afterthought. Integrally-suppressed firearms are something that Kevin has been pushing for ever since the early days at AAC, as evidenced by such attempts as their integrally-suppressed 10/22 rifle that they tried to market shortly after being bought by Freedom Group.

Tack onto that the benefits of direct thread attachment and things get pretty serious. “When you have a mount” Kevin says, “that’s one more thing you need to worry about, one more thing to align. With a direct thread attachment, everything lines up so we can make the bore diameter smaller.” And when everything lines up, the gun is more accurate and the silencer more efficient.

As he tells it, one of his German engineers had just finished testing the two-chamber silencer for the new MPX and finally saw the light, “Every gun should have one of these,” he said. He didn’t understand why anyone would want this to be restricted, instead of mandatory.

To further his dream of eliminating QD mounts, Kevin has been advocating streamlining of the NFA paperwork process for years. His vision has always been that silencers would be the next “big thing” in firearms. And from the volume of NFA paperwork these days it looks like his predictions are finally coming true. The last barrier to Kevin’s plans for integrally suppressed guns everywhere is the snail-like pace of ATF approval process, but with the NFA branch making promises of hiring more staff and re-coding their website we might be inching closer to making that dream a reality.

Until the wait times for NFA items are measured in weeks rather than months, Kevin admits that there might still be a place for the quick-attach mount. “I can understand if you have only one silencer that you move between guns,” he allowed, and has been developing a new quick-attach mounting system for SIG SAUER’s silencers to fill exactly that role. But to him it’s a flawed concept from the start — direct thread really is the way to go.

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  1. We should be able to purchase a firearm with an integral suppressor as easily as we buy (at least in Florida) one without a suppressor.

    Also, buying a suppressor itself should be as easy as buying a cleaning kit from your LGS.

    “A big can of CLP, and one suppressor…nice doing business with you, sir…”

      • Why? That is not unusual in some parts. Here in Norway when you buy a rifle you get a reduced price for threading and the silencer if you buy it as a package.

        • I’ve read up on that concept. The firearm itself is a restricted item, but the safety device (suppressor) anyone can buy.

  2. Sure, a company that wants to sell suppressors says that every gun should have its own suppressor.

    Sounds dandy and does seem like there are advantages, but adding $800 to every gun gets expensive.

    Kevin can “advocating streamlining of the NFA paperwork process” all he wants, but I see it getting worse not better-right up until suppressors are banned for law-abiding subjects.

    • It wouldnt be $800 per gun if it weren’t for the NFA and the headache of the process. The more produced, the more the cost comes down.

      • Exactly! All the guys poo-pooing this article know that Brittingham is on the right track. The silencer/supressor should be as standard as the muffler on a car.

        • You make a point here – all that mufflers do is make cars quieter so that when a car wants to kill someone, the muffler makes it less likely it will be heard. I think that mufflers on cars should be optional equipment, subject to registration and tax stamps. The National Highway Administration should immediately get this process started. So many people are killed by cars each day who could otherwise have been saved if only they heard that evil car coming…

      • Not only will the prices drop, but the effectiveness will go up and the size will shrink.

        If you look inside 80% of the silencers on the market, they are primitive. Like stone-axe primitive. They work to a point, but they are miles from what they could and should be. Once there’s some cubic dollars in the equation, the mass-market will receive a much more scientific design process. Not to mention manufacture, material, and optimization options.

        • You are probably right to a point, but don’t expect miracles. Today’s silencers are way more advanced than the ones from a few decades ago that used wipes that needed to be replaced every few shots. The problem is that you are dealing with physics and there are just so many things you can do to attenuate the sound of a gunshot. I’m sure silencers can be made more quiet, but I’d be really surprised to see that much improvement. There are a fair number of companies with decent R&D budgets and if one were to come up with a design that was head and shoulders above the rest, it would make a lot of money. The fact that most manufacturers are roughly on par with each other suggests that silencers can’t get that much better – at least with current manufacturing processes. On the other hand, they can get a lot cheaper. The designs are not that complex and only the fact that they are generally made in small scale machines rather than on massive production lines with what keeps prices high.

        • No miracles, just a vast improvement over what’s currently state-of-the-shelf. I agree today’s silencers are far better that they were 2 decades ago, but being honest, there’s still a lot on the table.

          The size of one’s R&D budget no longer matters quite so much as how it is deployed. The fact that most of the current crop of cans is still 10+ years behind the readily available design tech, tells me that the people charged with spending those R&D budgets are either not that well funded, or not that well informed. Judging by the fact that I’ve spoken to precisely *one* over the decades who even understands that air is a fluid, I’m gonna lean toward the latter.

          When I can talk to a can manufacturer who even knows what CFD is, let alone actually uses it instead of dismissing it as “voodoo” or “too complicated”, then I’ll buy the argument that there are no serious gains to be made – because there have been in every other field where CFD has been applied. The truly odd part is that there are dozens of published papers on the very subject of CFD and silencers, yet no one in the industry seems to read them.

          I realize the firearms industry is not terribly competitive, nor innovative. Maybe they’re all playing dumb because they’re afraid I’m gonna steal their mojo, and the next generation of really well-designed cans is just around the corner. But I doubt it.

        • Would the gentleman who is many times more intelligent than the folks currently producing suppressors please start improving them?

        • Matt, I’d be more than happy to. Got your checkbook handy? Initial investment will be around $600K – which will cover computing, minimal offices, R&D and testing, lawyers, licensing, accountants, minimal facilities, overhead. Most of the cash allotted for R&D, followed by patent lawyering. Patents are very important.

          I know that science is not something we teach very well, and if one isn’t a bit of a geek, Computational Fluid Dynamics is all mumbo-jumbo. If you aren’t involved in a field, one tends to assume the major players know their tech and what they’re talking about – funny thing, they often don’t. I’ve seen cutaways of the major-players’ products, they’re mixes of old theory and new guesswork. Some are obviously derived from decent empirical data, but it’s miles from what can be accomplished through proper computer modelling.

          Anytime people are seriously suggesting using one can on more than one firearm, that’s like suggesting using one exhaust system on three engines. Sure it’ll work. No, it won’t be great. Or likely even that good.

          It’s OK, I’m used to being the crazy one in the room. I’ve been cryo treating gun and car parts for the better part of 25 years, and using a variety of friction and heat coatings for well over a decade. Cryo is already finally happening for top-end firearms, it’ll dribble down. You’ll eventually see the coatings on your retail guns over the next decade or two.

          So, If you want to do it, now is the time. Eventually, what I typed here will hit the desk of someone important, they’ll talk about it at lunch with a techie, and then they’ll talk to someone at a local Uni with some CFD skills. They’ll learn how CFD is critical to optimizing any machine with a fluid flow and then it’ll be game on.

  3. I am confused.
    OK, if they wish to regulate suppressors , fine.
    But why don’t we have a “4474” form, fill it out, have Gander call it in for NICS, get a denied, delayed or proceed, have Gander remit the $200 to ATF and walk out.
    What is inherently so different that the gun is easier to buy than the suppressor.
    Why would you research the background of a suppressor buyer more than his purchase of a gun?
    This is not a complaint, but a question. I don’t care how faulty their reasoning is, I am wondering what their reasoning is.
    If their background check for a gun is not good enough for the suppressor why is it good enough for the gun?
    Can anyone explain?

    • The original reasoning was to keep NFA items out of the hands of mobsters in post-prohibition America. Oddly enough, much like today, gangsters don’t care much about firearm laws.

      • The original idea was to tax the hell out of something that was in wide distribution and use up until the NFA was passed in 1934. That, and to create jobs for out-of-work revenuers.

        • Prohibition just ended- The ATF had a bunch of guys with nothing to do and $200 tax stamps made some money to boot. What else is morally ambiguous enough to demonize? Firearms…

        • Yes, those are the reasons for which they did it. But he asked for their reasoning, and the mobster deal is the way they sold the NFA. “We want this because taxes” hasn’t historically proven itself to be an effective political strategy.

        • Jason, seeing as the ATF did not exist then, I am sure they had nothing to do.

          The NFA was part of a gun control push that started at least 20 years prior. It also included handguns in its original form, but the NRA stopped that. Handguns, machine guns, etc already were banned from mail order in 1928.

    • Your critical mistake is imagining that there was reasoning. Above is one explanation, what I heard many years ago was that mobsters were the excuse, the actual reason (look at the timing) was to provide a job for the tens of thousands of agents (jack booted thugs) just made obsolete by the end of Prohibition. “We can’t just FIRE them!”

    • There’s no reasoning- only history.

      Before 1934, anyone in the US could own any piece of artillery or armament they could afford – machine guns, mortars, cannon, whatever. Then, the NFA was passed and lots of things, including suppressors, got a huge tax levied against them (the $200 tax was today’s equivalent of $3500!!). There was NO background check, only a prohibitively high tax. Regular old rifles, pistols, and shotguns remained virtually unregulated except for arbitrary barrel length provisions.

      Fast forward, and other unrelated firearms laws (1968 GCA, et al) were passed that required background checks for NFA items. This was not an evolution of the NFA, just a different set of laws to also govern firearms ownership.

      • Your history is sadly inaccurate. The movement that led to the NFA goes back decades before and had gotten many laws passed in many states. New Hampshire, California and North Dakota all passed a Model Penal Code law in 1923 to regulate, but also protect, the use, carrying and ownership of weapons concealable upon a person. It had a waiting period, registration (DROS) and may issue CCW…New Hampshire and North Dakota repealed some or all of those provisions later on, CA simply built on it (but it explains why I can CCW without a permit in California while fishing, hunting at home, my business, etc)

        Many states had already restricted or even outlawed what would become NFA items. Just as in the 70’s, the gun control crowd was mostly focused on handguns and the NRA defended handguns, but threw other things under the bus.

        • There’s no reason to be sad about it, especially when it’s not inaccurate.
          Many states passed all kinds of laws, but none of those laws required a federal tax on suppressors or a federal background check. Those are the two things the adults were talking about. Mixing state laws into a ‘what’s the logic of the ATF system’ discussion is totally useless, unless your goal is to come off as pedantic.

  4. When suppressors cost what they’re actually worth and no longer require an extra $200 on top of the aluminum tube with a hole in it premium and no longer take 12 months of waiting to acquire I’d be happy to have one for every gun.

    In the meantime it costs $400 for five inches of aluminum with a rimfire hole in it plus $200 federal rape fee plus at least a year of thumb twiddling all on top of the cost for the firearm in the first place so yeah, this isn’t practical by any means.

    • QD systems should be dead, claims Kevin Brittingham, partly because he’s aligning his business to capture that new market. I agree, we should have the option of integrally suppressed firearms and have them as available as normal firearms now. QD suppressors should be more available as well. Suppressors are safety gear, they help protect against hearing loss for operators and those around them and reduces noise pollution in populated areas.

      I think Everytown for Gun Safety should drop some of their $50mil into speeding up the suppressor application process and reforming suppressor laws to make them more available. For the children. Europe, and even the UK, greatly favors suppressors (or mufflers), so obviously we should have them as standard gear that is readily available.

      • Be careful with that. If we give them an inch and say we want silencer laws that mimic the UK they’ll take the mile and say we should have matching firearms laws as well.

      • Going by Everytown’s demonstrated knowledge of how guns work, they’ll put out a poster of a giant, evil silencer being shot from the gun at the speed of a speeding bullet……..

  5. so, when i shoot out the barrel I have to buy a new silencer? on a .223 this would take a while due to cost of ammo, but with .22 down to normal prices (hopefully soon) why would I put money/time/work into something that is more or less a consumable on a rifle?

    • Hahaha not the first time Ive seen this comic linked, but a first in terms of being related to firearms. Kind of seems like a case of “Not Invented Here”.

  6. The integrated suppressor sounds like a nice idea, especially if it only adds a nominal amount to the gun’s retail price… unless of course it is going to be your CCW and you’re not seven feet tall.

    It recently took me less than two months to get my C&R FFL, now I can have SKS’s and semi-auto handguns shipped to my front door… but it still takes twelve months and jumping through a ridiculous number of hoops for me to own a suppressor or a rifle with a barrel two inches shorter than my rifle’s current barrel. Brilliant.

    • Until suppressors in America lose their cultural stigma of being ” bad guy gear”, having one attached to a carry pistol would be unwise. Imagine the national s—tstorm if George Zimmermans gun had a suppressor?He’d probably be doing life right now.

      IMO-what Kevin and Co.should be doing is getting suppressed weapons into the hands of the police. The Glock pistol was a “xray defeating terrorist weapon” until most police agencies started using them. Now they’re the picture definition of “generic bullet launching appliance”.

      Once the sheeple see cops carrying suppressed duty guns , the stigma will slowly erode and we stand a chance of getting them as ordinary gun owners.

      • This brings up the question of why don’t all police use suppressors on their rifles? Its only beneficial to them. Why needlessly risk ear damage. Perhaps pistols would be problematic with the extra length but certainly all their rifles should have them equipped.

        • For the simple reason that even without the tax stamp, a decent centerfire suppressor is going to run you $700 – $800. Most PDs don’t have the free cash to add that on top of an officer’s equipment loadout. Until manufacturers are able to scale and substantially bring the price down, suppressors in the U.S. will remain the province of people with lots of disposable income and patience.

      • Zimmerman had to draw while on his back with a broken nose with his head being bashed into the concrete, then get the firearm between himself and his attacker. If his arm had an integral suppressor, he would be dead now, not in prison.

  7. Is there political currency for changing the NFA?

    I hate to be “that guy”, but I can’t see the Suzy Suburbs out there supporting it. That variety of soccer moms and their girly men husbands would soil themselves at the thought of easily available suppressors.

    Given that the White House will soon become a Democrat-only office, that’s not an option available to us either.

    • “Given that the White House will soon has become a Democrat-only office, that’s not an option available to us either.”

      There, fixed that for you.

    • There is also the matter of the $200 the Feds collect every time a suppressor changes hands. No way they are going to give up that source of revenue without a fight.

  8. This might be a fantastic story … however I have no idea how a quick disconnect suppressor is different from an integral suppressor nor do I understand the significance of any difference.

    I imagine a quick disconnect suppressor screws onto a threaded muzzle and you would be able to use it on any firearm of the same caliber. And I imagine an integral suppressor is manufactured onto the muzzle of a barrel. Great. So what is the significance of that? Are quick disconnect (threaded) suppressors much more expensive to manufacture? Does a quick disconnect suppressor significantly affect accuracy? Does an integral suppressor not affect accuracy?

    • It makes for more suppressors to sell. If I buy a can to shoot all of my existing rifle calibers (.308-.22) then Kevin is out on sales for the 10+ rifles I’d be using it on. IS rifles would guarantee the massive boost of production he is seeking. Read: Self enrichment.

  9. Use a new oil filter, just adapt a thd. change and go bang, I mean swish. Most any filter will work, try to shrink the dia. Keep on your tip toes and move very quietly.

    • Yep and you are good so long as you do it where no LEO can see you. Get caught using any kind of unlicensed sound suppression and you are looking at a stay in Club Fed.

  10. QD will never go away, if only to make cleaning and maintenance easier.

    I have a question for Kevin: If threads are so superior and quick-detach is so convenient, why isn’t he taking his design cues from naval gun breeches – the best of both worlds?

  11. OK so are threaded silencers ‘quick detach’? Doesn’t seem to me that one could have a silencer with a given company’s proprietary mount unless all of one’s firearms that one would wish to use it with had that same mount. The threaded mount is a more common standard. Is this what Kevin is talking about? I’m confused here.

    • No. Quick Detach (QD) silencers attach to a special mount that generally looks like a muzzle brake or flash suppressor. In fact, a number of companies (AAC, Surefire, etc.) make muzzle brakes that accept their company’s suppressors. The theory is that you purchase a mount for each gun you own (at around $100 a pop), put them on all of your guns, and then you can quickly move your suppressor between them. While a screw on suppressor can move from gun to gun, the threading/unthreading takes time and is not really a quick change operation.

      • OK, now I see. For pistols I see the conventional threaded barrel being the easiest to live with, but for rifles the proprietary muzzle end easiest. Overall though, I don’t see the ability to pull it off and put it on quickly as being extremely necessary. So if I were into the suppressed shooting hobby, I would just go for a screw-on and declare victory.

    • You and me both. Living in a state of intolerance, I have no idea what these guys are talking about. butt then again, unless I move, I guess I don’t really need to know for any reason other than curiosity.

    • There’s always a chance. Just not a good one. While the anti’s may not have the votes to impose more gun control, they certainly have enough to prevent the elimination of gun controls. Given how little these organizations really understand how guns work, the mere suggestion that silencers could become commonplace where every “gun toting idiot” could get one, would certainly make them pee in their panties. Add to this the amount of revenue the Feds get from the $200 a pop tax stamps and I don’t see much hope for change.

      The best we could really hope for would be to retain the tax stamp, but allow suppressors to be bought with a standard 4473 and eliminate the wait period.

  12. This is one thing that I truly don’t understand. It seems to me that those advocating for “gunsafety” should be pushing for a silencer as a piece of safety equipment, not a tactical accessory. And what has prevented firearm manufacturers from designing firearms that reduce decible to safe levels without a can? Does the NFA specify that a gun must be above a certain decible?

    • I’m with you on that. Are they worried that the bulk of us will become assassins if silencers are readily available and easy to use? Me, I like the idea of saving my hearing and that of people around me. I also like the idea of being able to target practice without drawing attention to myself. If I wanted to become an assassin, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care if it was legal or not to attach a silencer. It’s another image issue. They think silencer, they picture James Bond villains taking people out in parks and dark alleys. Silly gun control people.

    • Because the prohibition nutters want guns eliminated, not used safely despite what they claim. The fact is that a suppressor makes guns more comfortable and easier to use, so they are viewed in a negative light by gun control fascists. These people want the experience of shooting a gun to be as unpleasant as possible so as to discourage too many of their fellow citizens from jumping on the gun bandwagon.

      As for noise suppression, not the feds don’t specify a decibel level, but they do say that designs that attempt to reduce the sound signature require registration. Any design that had a meaningful sound reduction effect would likely run afoul of the NFA.

  13. As one who has a suppressor awaiting approval and an SBR to put it on, I have to ask someone to provide a link to where I can see a 4″ Kimber 1911 .45 with a suppressor and the cc holster to go with it. ‘Cuz I don’t think it’s possible. Same gun with a suppressor which can be quickly added (for practice/fun) or removed (for carry), there’s a zillion of them. SOME guns with integral suppressors, fine. ALL, no way.

    • I wouldn’t say “quickly”. When you remove a suppressor from a handgun, you will want to screw on a thread protector, unless you are a fan of buying barrels frequently.

  14. I’ve never fired a suppressed firearm, so I’ve got a dumb question: how difficult is it to clean a suppressor? Would an integral suppressor be harder or easier to clean?

    • Some are easier than others. Rifle suppressors are not designed to be taken apart due to the high pressures they have to contend with, so cleaning is relatively limited. Ideally, if you have a sonic cleaning tank, you can drop your suppressor into that and it will do a decent job. Otherwise, your options are limited. The good news though is that unless you are using really dirty ammo, it will take a very long time for anything to build up in the suppressor.

      Pistol suppressors are often made to be taken apart, particularly .22 ones which tend to get a lot of carbon fouling. The ease with which this can be done will vary from one suppressor to the next, but some manufacturers like Silencerco have designed their .22 suppressors to be easy to disassemble and use that fact as a marketing point

      • Gemtech tells it’s users to never clean their .22 cans. Odd considering .22 is pretty dirty to shoot in the first place. I wonder if this is to drum up more sales, or if there’s something different in their design.

  15. Not practical until suppressors are no longer NFA items. Until then, not even remotely interesting in the US.

  16. In Illinois we can’t have suppressors because it makes us assassins… Oh well maybe it’s time to move and watch the state collapse on itself.

  17. Out of curiosity, does anyone see a benefit in having a full volume gun for defensive purposes? As far as possibly having someone call 911 before your are able to, maybe.

  18. I agree with him, never understood the “mount” system. Thread it on and take it off when cleaning the gun.

    • One advantage of the mount system is if you plan to use a single suppressor over multiple guns – for example during a range session. I have a number of .30 rifles and my suppressor gets passed around a lot. There is some small risk when attaching a screw on suppressor that you could cross thread it and screw up the threading on the rifle, suppressor, or both. It’s great if you could simply leave the suppressor attached, but my 26 inch barreled .300 Win barely fits in my gun case now, and I really would not want a case any larger than the one I have now. I would need to add and remove the suppressor each time I went to the range. That is a pain in the butt and creates a slight cross threading risk every time I use it.

      • Using a single silencer over multiple bullets and loads, let alone multiple platforms and barrel lengths just illuminates the bronze-age state of the forearms industry.

        Nobody in their right mind would put a 3.5 Audi V6 intake/exhaust on a Ford 3.5 V6 and expect it to work worth a good flyin’. Multiply that by 10 and you’re getting close to running the same can on a bunch of .30 rifles with a bunch of different barrels and projectiles…

  19. I think this needs to be the next big push for the NRA. Repeal the state and federal laws for safety and health reason. First, a huge educational push is needed to show the public and legislators that it doesn’t turn a bang into a whisper. I think *wish* that could be the first step in dismantling the federal monster choke hold on NFA’s.

  20. My company, The Armoury Guns/ARMTAC Suppressors, has been manufacturing our “Reaver” series of integrally suppressed barrels like this since early 2011. While ours are centerfire, specifically the 300 Blk/WSP caliber, the benefits are obvious. There’s ZERO chances of misalignment, harmonic imbalance, or variable growth/shrinkage between dissimilar materials. You are literally using the barrel’s own bore (albeit reamed in the baffle stack).
    -J. Burnett, VP
    ARMTAC Suppressors

  21. If you look at jurisdictions where silencers are uncontrolled i.e. places like Finland and NewZealand, the average level of technology applied to silencers is very low. Sure prices are low because there is a lot of competition but low prices end up with low tech and thus low performance as well.

    The high prices of silencers in the US market has bred some of the highest tech silencers on the planet.

  22. I have a PCP airgun in .22 cal. and it has a internal suppressor, the laws for airguns is if it is internal (non-removeable), it is legal….. If it attaches to a threaded barrel (like a standard suppressor) , you pay the tax. same $200.00, same background check, just for your pellet rifle..
    Maybe the ATFE could apply the same fundamentals on firearms too.

  23. I want quality and I want to support the industry/this company, but sending actual dollar$ to ATF is just simply not going to happen, with my ideological perspective(s)…

  24. Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges – The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws (Tacitus, Annals)

  25. Did that twenty years ago 🙂 Expect a letter from my lawyer! Its a smart system. Slick and solid and easy to maintain and less vulnerable to knocks. Good job fella. Another option is having a one piece baffle stack screw into the top of a bull barrel turned down after the can. Looks like its wearing a screw on system but super strong.


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