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Reports are coming into TTAG headquarters that there has been a round of layoffs at SilencerCo with around a hundred employees impacted. The layoffs alone are news, but the reason being cited by some who are now in search of a new job is more interesting: flagging sales due to the pending Hearing Protection Act.

One thing holding up most people from adding a can to their collection is the paperwork and the wait involved with the current National Firearms Act regulations surrounding those items. It’s a gigantic pain in the rear end, taking over six months.

The pending Hearing Protection Act would, by any reasonable expectation, be a huge boon to suppressor sales. But while the bill’s prospects appear to be good, it has buyers waiting to see what happens. According to people I’ve spoken to, customers seem content to wait a few months to see how the process shakes out, hopeful that it will mean much less pain time consuming if the hoped for changes come to pass.

While they wait, though, silencer sales wait with them. It sounds like SilencerCo has finally been hit hard enough by the unwillingness of the American public to shell out for new cans with this level of uncertainty that they can’t support their current staffing levels and are throttling back.

We reached out to SilencerCo for comment, but have not received a response.

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  1. You can’t really blame the consumer.

    Even if there is a refund of the tax, there’s still another slug of paperwork at ATF with your name on it, in perpetuity. I can see people not wanting to have that there. Apart from that, why go to the expense of time and treasure, especially if you’re setting up a trust, if there’s a good chance it will all become unnecessary? You might get the tax stamp back, but you’ll never get the time back, even if it is only a few hours.

    • It costs more than $200.

      The last SBR I built cost me $200 for the tax, $15 for the engraving, and under an hour for the Form 1 website.
      This time I spent three hours filling out paperwork to mail in, making sure I had the right data on the right form. I spent $10 on the passport photos, and $30 on the fingerprint cards. And I still haven’t paid the $200 for the stamp, or gotten the engraving yet. If SBRs get de-NFAd while my paperwork is in progress, I won’t get that $55 back, just the $200.

      • i hear ya Jason. I had to add the cost of threading two barrels to the mix as well.

        But deer hunting with a silencer is a beautiful thing. Should be the law.

    • Exactly. And you have to pay for your silencer up front, a not insignificant chunk of change for most people, which means you won’t see this investment for months. Why not keep the money available and growing interest on your behalf, and be able to spend it on more immediate needs?

    • Silencer is not something I just absolutely have to have today, even though I want one. Hence, I wait. B/s if it passes, the price will collapse in a year or two.

        • ‘Supply and demand’. If HPA passes and you think prices won’t go down faster than a plane flown by John Denver, you need a fundamental refresher in economics.

        • The immediate price of silencers will drop as soon as the NFA is cancelled on silencers. The reason for this will be many more companies and machinist all across the United States will start developing designing and building suppressors there will be a mass flux of inventory on the market to choose from. This may take anywhere from 12 months to 3 years but it will happen. The supply will be sure at first but once these companies are turning out cans the supply will be off the charts once all these cottage industry starts producing them. Plus the fact that silencers have not really changed too much in the years that they’ve been in existence. Most of them screw onto the end of a muzzle buy threads or a quick detach apparatus have a core that’s been elated with baffles to catch and cool the air before it escapes. Basically the maxim design just refined a little bit more. It’s not rocket science designing and Manufacturing these things they want you to think that so they can justify $1,200 cost which is absolutely ridiculous. You can get a top-of-the-line silencer in Europe right now for around 200 pounds. Little over $200 U.S.

        • “Price won’t collapse. That’s now supply and demand works.”

          Pricing will initially rise due to increased demand, but as competitors move in there will be a shift to the right in the supply curve, which will reduce overall pricing. That’s how supply and demand works.

        • Cheap silencers already exist. It ain’t gonna get cheaper than solvent traps. Material cost will go up as inconel, stellite, and titanium see increased competition for that supply.

        • This will have little effect on the demand for titanium and exotic stainless. It will have a tiny (relatively speaking) effect on demand for aluminum. The vast majority of the new demand will be for the Harbor Freight level of can – cheap, works well enough if you don’t use it every day. That will be aluminum, and can retail (even made in ‘Murica) for ~$100.

          If you didn’t need a license and a ton of paperwork, I know a dozen companies that would be running them off by the hundreds/thousands everyday.

  2. I doubt this is the whole reason behind the layoffs. Did orders drop that precipitously? Maybe SilencerCo ramped up and staffed up too optimistically. And you all laugh at KelTec for their cautious business model.

    • I was down there in October and got to tour the shop. It’s huge, and they run shifts around the clock. Before 41F went through, they were pumping 12,000 cans a month to meet demand. At my shop we’ve maybe sold 3 suppressors since Trump got it, pre-Trump is was 10+ a month. Pre-41F we were selling 25+ a month. The industry is going to die because every customer is saying, “I’ll just wait til HPA goes through.” I really think SiCo is just curtailing operations to run leaner after Trump and 41F.

    • I don’t think you can compare the two. To most people, Kel-Tec is a myth. The demand is clearly there, but then nobody ever sees the product. Plenty of people wanted to buy an M43 when it was revealed, yet literally years later, it still doesn’t exist.

  3. People bought a bunch of NFA stuff before the rules changed last year, and again before the election, now they are holding out until the HPA passes (or doesn’t). Because of all that, demand is way down right at this moment.

    Boom and bust, baby.

    • Well, my demand is non-existent because manufacturers charge TOO MUCH for suppressors. Something is wrong when a simple tube with baffles costs as much as three times the cost of the far more complex firearm to which it attaches.

      When suppressors cost between $50 and $250, demand will take off … with or without the Hearing Protection Act.

      • 1000 times this.
        I understand that the NFA prevents silencers from being popular enough to benefit from economies of scale, and thus not only does the individual manufacture cost go up, but rolling all the R&D costs into it make it soar even more. Gotit; can’t sell them for cheap…. but… if the HPA is coming, why would anyone buy one prior to it, when after it and a bit of ramp up all of that is no longer true and you can get them as a commodity good, rather than as a pseudo-custom good? The price is going to go way down, and, over time, everyone is going to have them. It is uncomfortable and sorta rude not to, after all.
        That’s not even to mention all the sunk costs that other posters have brought up.

        • Not only would the price bottom out, but you could probably buy them from overseas if domestic production can’t get moving.

      • Fully agree. Yes, R&D costs money. Yes, regulatory compliance is expensive. But at the end of the day, we live in a world with 3-D printing and CNC machines that have plunged in price and greatly expanded availability. Standard baffle suppressors are not terribly complicated from a machining standpoint. They’re certainly not $500 to $1,000 pieces of metal before a $200 tax stamp. The basic design is 100 years old and prices in other countries where they are common are far, far lower than here.

        • Considering there’s videos of people making them for like $20 in spare parts from Home Depot or Lowe’s…..

      • Suppressors cost so much BECAUSE of all the trouble and $200 stamp. These realities force users to bias towards higher-end cans made from premium materials with tight engineering to be easily maintained and last a lifetime.

        You’re not going to wait 9 months and pay a $200 tax on a $40 disposable, unserviceable can. If HPA passes, we’ll get to enjoy cheap unregulated cans like the rest of the world has.

      • ” … manufacturers charge TOO MUCH for suppressors.”

        Completely agree with this. I understand the research that goes into it has to be recouped somehow, but $700-1200 or more is absolutely ridiculous for a metal tube with threads and baffles. Even with machining costs etc., unless the entire can is made from titanium or some other exotic metal, no can should exceed $500, period.

    • People bought guns by the thousands before the election, fearing Clinton would correct what Obama saw as his greatest failure: lack of more gun control.
      Californians bought MSMs to the point many retailers ran out before January 1st, because of more gun control on that date.
      Now, people are waiting to see what the HPA will do.
      This is just nothing more than customers responding to outside forces on the economy.

  4. And should the HPA actually pass, companies like SilencerCo will charge out the door, getting so rich, so fast, all will be forgiven. And that surge will go on for years.

    • Not likely. If HPA passes, there might be a brief initial period where prices stay high due to flood of demand and limited supply. But if silencers become easily attainable thanks to the new law, more companies will want to cash in. Which leads to more competition and lower prices. Once the market has enough supply and demand subsides, I’m guessing good cans will cost on average between $300 and $400. Some brands probably even less. And it probably won’t take as long as you think.

      • Good cans rely on exotic materials. Inconel, stellite, and titanium isn’t going to get cheaper because there are more people buying them.

        • Yes I agree with you on the price of the Exotic materials but what you fail to understand is the fact that they’re not that more expensive than stainless steel or aluminum. There is an increase and cost of material and an increase on the Machinery cost to cut these harder lighter metals but you’re talking Pennies on the dollar when you’re talking at bar stock level. There is no way on the face of the planet that a titanium can cost $1,200 to manufacture that is absolutely absurd sounds like you’re just trying to justify all the money you spent on cans that will not be worth half of what you paid if this hearing protection act passes but don’t feel bad everybody else is in the same boat as you we all paid too much for these items which will be available for around $400 even titanium when this act passes. It’s not like titanium is only found on the moon or something there’s a large resources of that material as well as the other two that you mentioned it’s not unatanium. Lol the cost of the actual silencer as far as material goes is probably anywhere from steel cans costing about $30 in material all the way up to Titanium which is probably a little over a hundred for the actual bar stock that you need to turn out the actual product with all this extra expense is just mirror silencer company putting it to you for all the pain in the ass paperwork they have to file and keep on hand it’s a full-time job even the owner of a AC that now owns Q had issues when he first sold the company to Freedom group they were supposed to supply him with a full-time bookkeeper to straighten up his ATF paperwork which is one of the reasons why he won the lawsuit against Freedom group AKA Remington Outdoors. The bottom line is I don’t care if the can is made out of gold well maybe gold would cost $1,200 a piece but that would be about it.

        • The NFA causes U.S. suppressors to be designed to last forever because of the time and expense of getting the stamp, and replacement parts are regulated the same as suppressors themselves. Our designs use rugged materials and don’t have consumables, which lead designs that require a lot of machining. In other countries, you’ll find .22 K baffles made of plastic that get replaced if they wear out. There are still designs that use wipes because the wipes can be easily replaced. Not here. We get monocores that never touch the bullet and baffle strikes are a nightmare.

  5. Frankly, I have to wonder what TTAG’s near-obsession with silencers is all about and why anyone would want to share it. Going to the range to sight in a firearm or just out to the back forty to do a bit of plinking? You surely can put a pair of “silencers” in or over your ears for a lot less of a cash outlay than you would for a big can on the end of your firearm to attenuate the noise. Worried that a DGU will harm your hearing if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in one? Again, there’s that big can which makes a mockery of “concealed carry”. (“Is that a silencer on your Glock or are you glad to see me?”)

    I don’t get it.

    • You sound like someone who hasn’t played with suppressors at all. I suggest you put playing with suppressors on your bucket list, even if it’s just a buddy handing you a suppressed firearm to shoot a few rounds through at the range.

      • A buddy hands you a suppressed firearm…

        That’s how it starts. That’s how the demon gets you.

        Friends don’t let friends shoot suppressed unless they know the other person can afford it. It’s just… mean.

        • So many times this. I went to the Texas Firearms Festival. I was hooked forever after the first suppressed shot.

        • Absolutely!
          You hand a friend a gun to try (any gun), and chances are that friend will never have the money to buy drugs again! 🙂

    • That’s like people without children saying “I don’t understand why you want kids.. i don’t get it.”
      And YES, I just compared an NFA item to having a child.. you’ll understand when you fully embrace the 2A in you.

      • Life Lesson #1: NEVER accept someone’s unfalsifiable argument for/against anything.

        These are people who tell kids “trust me, you’ll agree when you’re older”, or tell people without kids “well, if you had kids, you’d agree” and similar. At that moment, you’re a kid or you’re without children, so there’s no way to refute what they’re claiming, even if they’re wrong. It’s just their own little self-styled trump card.

        You hear this out of so-called experts in whatever field, too, who use it to shut down debate. “As a doctor/lawyer/engineer/tow truck driver/etc, I say…..such and such. You’re not what I am, so I win and you’re wrong.”

        In fairness, professionals or others with substantial knowledge and experience with something often do know what they’re talking about, but not always. Ever hear two experts disagree on a point? How can that be if expertise guarantees you’re right? Exactly.

        Sometimes they play their trump card and let the unfalsifiability do the work for them that an actual discussion should.

        Bottom line, if someone has the facts, then make them make the case and convince you. Don’t just accept their unfalsifiable assertions.

        • Extremely valid point. How many victims of a crime (particularly if a gun was used in the crime) are deified by the gun controllers because, “Only a gun-crime victim can understand gun violence!”

          Or, more recently, “Only a woman should be dealing with women’s issues in politics.”

    • Mike- it’s the hot topic right now. The HPA stands a pretty decent chance of being enacted, so silencers are “trending” in the gun world now. It’s just not your cup of tea.

    • @Mike Betts
      What a self centered, egotistical, arrogant “I don’t want them/understand them, so neither should anyone else” attitude.

      Suppressors are civilized, just like mufflers are on a car.

      I personally have nothing at all against Harley Davidsons or vehicles with chopped off tail pipes, I just find them obnoxious. As are muzzle breaks on a 5.56 rifle. However, I refuse project my feelings on you – if you want to use a muzzle break because the recoil of your rifle is too much, that’s your decision, not mine.

    • Mike Betts,

      I want a suppressor in case I have to shoot inside my home. That will reduce permanent hearing loss.

      I also want a suppressor because they reduce felt recoil by a substantial margin, which makes shooting more pleasant and enables faster follow-up shots in a self-defense situation.

      Finally, I want a suppressor when I shoot outdoors so that I don’t aggravate the neighbors.

      With which of those three points do you disagree?

      • This fellow obviously doesn’t have property to shoot on or doesn’t have neighbors that phone the police when you do. A lot of people move in two areas that were once very rule roll and they complain about an outdoor range facility that they moved near go figure. Even in Europe they require you to use a suppressor it is considered ungentlemanly like not to do this. Silencers make shooting Firearms safer because the gun is quiet enough to where you do not need to hear it hearing protection or need hearing protection rather so that you can communicate to the shooter without having to scream or use electronic ear muffs which seem to always go dead right when you need them the most or they’re too too too big to even shoulder a rifle or shotgun correctly there’s a lot of reasons to use a suppressor. And I’d say one of them is just this just the fact that you should be able to do that with the constitutional right that you have it shouldn’t include suppressors or any National Firearms Act whether the one in the thirties or an 86 they’re both infringement on our 2nd Amendment rights. And let’s not forget about the best point they’re absolutely cool as hell and fun to use. I mean this is a free country still isn’t it?

  6. I know it may take a couple more years or more of constant trying to get the HPA passed into law, but with how long it takes to get a stamp the wait for this bill to pass is almost moot anyway. Not to mention the $200 that won’t have to be used on a stamp can go a long way. This is why I am one of many who have been waiting to buy cans.

  7. I’m waiting for the HPA not for the dropping of the tax stamp but for a plunge in the price of the suppressors themselves. It’s insane that two Glocks can be bought for the price of the average suppressor. Once the wait and stamp are removed volume will go through the roof and the prices will plummet.

    • Demand will go through the roof instantly and probably last a year or two. Places will be sold out and prices won’t drop until the rush slows down. The only advantage to waiting will be no tax stamp.

      • The REAL advantage will be rolling your own without all the BS. Once the average schmo (like Mike above) realizes A) how cool suppressors are and B) how easy they are to make it will be ON. Oil filters, maglites, solvent trap kits galore.

        I own two commercial cans and have nothing against them, but making your own is cheaper and fun. Deduct the stamp and red tape (form 1) and it will be a freaking pleasure.

      • That demand spike will be satiated in a matter of months by the (remaining) thousands of machine shops across the country. Pricing on domestic cans will quickly drop to around a c-note-for-a-decent-one in no time.

        If HPA passes, I’ve got friends who can manufacture, and designs on flash drives ready to go. $20-30 in COGs, wholesale $60-70 (in volume), retail $110.

        • The supply will have to catch up to instant demand. Hoping it’s as fast as you think but I doubt it as shops will still need an FFL to sell the silencers, which takes time to acquire. Quality and branding will have to be there. If past firearm and ammo rushes are any indication, I still see “Out Of Stock, this item is currently on back order” in our future.

          • What are you talking about an FFL takes time to get 30 days is a long time? It only takes one month in Florida to get an FFL as long as you have all the requirements such as a shop and a couple other things tax ID number business license someone and so on but you can get all of that done in one month. All these machinist will have to do is apply for an FFL and they will receive one. That means big machine shops like Mega machine shop Mega Arms will be able to produce them and have them out the door Within 90 days from design to AutoCAD to CNC to the public 90 days tops maybe a hundred and twenty if you don’t have an FFL yet but that’s not very long at all brother.

    • Eventually.

      But first you’ll have a massive shortage where the entire stock of suppressors will sell out nearly instantly, and every new can will be snatched up the instant it hits the shelf. During that time, expect prices to surge, a lot.

    • I don’t think it will take that long for prices to go down. Cans aren’t that difficult to manufacture so I’m sure prices will go back down fairly quickly. I’d imagine a 300-400 dollar can, out the door, will be a reality within a year of the HPA being implemented.

  8. I’m in that boat.

    I’d love a can for one of my .243’s but why go through all the work if you can just wait a few months and not do all that work?

  9. I’m playing the waiting game. Just built a blackout upper for one. If it doesn’t pass will just go the long route. But if it does pass I’ll be getting more than one. Would like one for my FNX-45.

      • We just added a second to the family, a “his” to go with “hers” that Mrs. C. already owned.

        We thought it through and in the unlilely event of a serious emergency we decided we wanted “his” and “her” go-to guns to have the same controls and magazines etc. Grabbing an FNX-45 pistol and an XDm 45 magazine from the safe’s ready rack would be “bad.” In a crisis, less chance of that, the better. So….

        Next up, some testing with various brands of self-defense ammo for function and accuracy. It’s such a chore, but it has to get done… 🙂

    • I went the opposite direction. Bought a omega for my 300 blackout sbr I’m building that I can also use for my ar10. Initially was between it and the Hybrid. Figured I’d play the NFA game and if the act passes get a can for my pistols and my .22

      I don’t honestly see the HPA passing this year, and if it does we’ll see a rush similar to the ammo shortage.

  10. Even if the HPA doesn’t pass, we should be able to change the Reg back so no prints/pic/CLEO for Trusts. I will wait for that.

  11. My $0.10 worth is I feel a lot of people are also thinking that the prices are going to drop once they are not an NFA item which they should there’s no reason to charge $1,200 for a silencer or suppressor that is more less some baffles with the surrounding can and an inner core with holes drilled in it. I think that wants these items are off the NFA list you’ll see a lot more machinist turning out cans that are much more realistically priced. That’s what I think a lot of people are waiting for as low as well as not having to jump through hoops and pay two hundred bucks plus wait 6 months really 6 months that’s absolutely ridiculous for a muffler for your gun.

    • I think you’re absolutely right.

      The up-front fixed cost to start making high quality cans is high and that’s not going to change but the real issue is that companies really can’t sell them in the numbers they need to bring the price down and that lack of sales isn’t due to bad products or poor QC, it’s due to the regulations.

      Well that and 9 out of 10 people, even at a gun range probably 7/10, don’t think they’re legal.

      • Yeah I agree with you I also know a lot of people that don’t want to fill out all that information and in the past you had to have your chief law enforcement officer sign off on it. Finally got removed now have to do is inform your chief chief law enforcement officer that you have possession of a class 3 item and explain what it is. But I think once the NFA goes away LOL they’ll be a lot more suppressors on the market for under $500 one case in point Yankee Hill machine Inc I’ll answer called the turbo 5.56 NATO and MSRP on it is just under $500 and it comes with the quick detach muzzle device so that you can put the silencer on and off with just like I think of three quarter inch turn or something to that effect. I hope that the demand goes up once it all gets taken off the NFA list that would help out people that have been laid off from work giving them their jobs back and also causing an explosion in the entire Market causing people to compete with each other with prices and quality of product. Competition is capitalism at its finest. I’m waiting for a $400 titanium can and I’ll be in heaven when I can just order it and have it delivered to my house that would be awesome.

    • Cost is dependent on a number of factors.. supply and demand being one of them.

      A titanium suppressor is still going to cost more due to the materials and technical skill required. Unless you believe that everyone will just ditch the lightweight, zero POI shift items for a makeshift freeze plug and MagLite suppressor.

      Will they be $1200? Probably not. It’s still going to be expensive to get something that uses quality materials. Aluminium is light, but susceptible to heat and corrosion. To me, it’s still in the ‘buy cheap, buy twice” category.

      • Ok, but isn’t the reason for the exotic materials longevity? How many $100.00 aluminum and/or freeze-plug models can one “shoot out” and throw away before that $1,200.00 titanium core pays for itself?

        • Longevity and weight.

          You wouldn’t necessarily think that putting 14.1oz on the end of a 16″ barreled AR that weighs 8lbs would make a huge difference but it does. It’s got a long lever to pull on so it doesn’t need a lot of weight to completely change how the gun feels and handles.

          Titanium and stainless are what you see in a lot of rifle cans. Part of this is yield strength (more on that in a second) and part of it is because of the ductility and malleability of aluminum. Aluminum can handle pistol type pressures but a rifle… I would highly doubt unless it was very thick. IIRC aluminum is the 2nd or 3rd most ductile metal known to man. It’s malleable and ductile which means it’s very resistant to fracture from most types of stress but it will deform. We’re also talking about something, a suppressor, that basically can’t be made as a solid piece which means welds. Those welds would be prone to catastrophic failure when you start pumping 60K+ PSI shock-waves through them.

          So you need something with high tensile strength that won’t deform under shock and pressure.

          For comparison sake:

          The yield strength for ASTM Grade 5 titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) is 120,000 psi with a density of 282 lb/ft^3

          For 6061-T6 aluminum the yield strength is 39,900 psi and has a density of 169 lb/ft^3.

          Compare both of those to A36 steel which has a yield strength of 36,000 psi and a density of 487 lb/ft^3

          Another reason is heat. Welding aluminum is kind of a pain but titanium is more so. The reason has to do with the temperatures needed and the properties of the weld created. I won’t bother getting into “cleaning” the metals to remove oxide layers and the sacrifices that involves because that’s farther into how TIG welding works than we need to go. The long and the short of it is this: Aluminum melts at about 1200F and stainless melts between 1400F-1900F depending on alloy but titanium melts at over 3000F. Titanium will also “sugar” at higher temperatures than stainless. So you can can take more lickin’ from your flame dragon than other materials before it fails.

          On top of this, titanium, if properly welded forms a weld that has a strength equal to or approaching that of the base metal (titanium), aluminum has properties that prevent this from happening and therefore the welds are weaker than the base metal. Some of that can be gotten around with re-heat treating the aluminum but again, too far for this discussion to say anything past the fact that heat treating aluminum is done at about 400F and welding it is done at three times that temperature. This results in a weld with 30-40% less strength than the base metal. Re-heat treating aluminum can get you back some of that strength but, as far as I know, getting back to 100% isn’t known to be possible and if it is it’s so expensive no one does it.

          So yes, titanium has the longevity. It resists acids, bases, salts and heat better than anything else you can use. That’s great, but it also makes it a real PITA to work with comparatively and it is therefore very expensive to deal with. It’s much lighter than steel or stainless as well. It gives you a lot of good properties but you pay cash money for them.

          Sorry to nerd out about metals.

        • Nice geek out. Just a couple of salient points…

          Mainly, pressure waves are nowhere near case pressure. Once the projectile leaves the case, that barrel pressure dissipates rapidly. Not to mention what happens when it expands into the first baffle, let alone 3rd, or 10th, or 20th. So, in other countries, aluminum is used quite frequently, especially in non-semi-auto centerfire apps. That, and silencers are generally cheap, and viewed as an expendable. So despite all aluminum’s drawbacks (many), it’s used for silencers. Especially ChingChong-DingDong $30 retail stuff. FWIW, One can make a (~) functional multi-round silencer out of paper-mache. Or so I’ve been ‘told’ anyway. Won’t last long, but won’t explode like a cartoon gun either.

          S/S comes in a variety of alloys, many of which would outlast the steel barrel of a belt-fed autogun with unlimited belts. 316 and 321 are used in racing applications where they glow red-hot for minutes at a time, only to slightly cool and do it again, for the entirety of a race. Way more stress in a few minutes than a firearm will get in 2 lifetimes. There’s hundreds of S/S alloys, there’s several good ones for cans.

          Titanium is great if you need the ne plus ultra of lightness, but be prepared to pay. As you noted, working it is a bitch and makes you almost wish you were just fabbing monel.

          Regardless, the future is composites in combination with DMLS matrices.

        • 16V:

          When I said 60K+ PSI I was thinking of a graph I’ve seen of the pressure at the muzzle of a .300 Win Mag. I probably should have said that.

          The other issue with aluminium cans here in the US is liability. The rule in welding is “If the weld fails people die”. Is that always the case? No, but that’s how welders think because of lawsuits. Over engineering stuff is the result of this kind of thinking. While I agree that for many applications an aluminum can can be made if properly designed it won’t be very available in the US until the threat of bankrupting lawsuits goes away. Personally under a lot of circumstances I wouldn’t trust an aluminum can, mainly because I’ve seen the work lazy welders do.

          It’s also true that a lot of these companies are looking for government and military contracts so longevity is a selling point, especially when from the buyers point of view, cost is no object. “It’s freaking titanium!” sells things when the buyer isn’t using their own money.

          All that said, your point stands. When you can buy it over the counter and replace it at will, who cares if it lasts very long?

          Stainless OTOH is an odd duck. Yes, it comes in a lot of flavors and they’re all different. This is the main metal I used to weld for work. I won’t nerd out about it like above, and I’d have to check the spec sheets on the various alloys to refresh my memory about the specifics but the properties of this stuff run the gambit. What is good for one application is not good for another. Some forms of stainless are brittle, or more often, prone to embrittlement and cracking in the heat affected zone around a weld if the welder doesn’t have his shit screwed on tight. Others are more ductile, others are very hard and resist cracking but are prone to stress fractures at certain angles. These cracks and other imperfections can be internal which is why on high end stuff like what I used to do it’s 100% X-Ray inspection. Some alloys resist heat better than others and that said, “red hot” and the temperature at which stainless will sugar are two different things and can depend on a lot of variables including the specific alloy.

          I’m not sure exactly what circumstances you’re referring to in their usage so it’s impossible for me to comment on the potential to destroy the alloy with heat alone other than to say that “red hot” doesn’t mean you’re going to sugar the metal and you can go to melting stainless without a problem if you keep it away from oxygen. Cars produce a lot of CO and CO2 which will both shield stainless from oxidation.

          What I do know is that most gas engines produce exhaust at between with a maximum temperature of 1400F. Stainless 3xx alloys generally are good to 1400F or a little less. You get up into the high 1400’s and into the 1500’s with the 4xx alloys. So, generally, if you’re cooling a part made of 3xx with moving air (exhaust heads say) or with the coolant of the engine the chances of harming the metal are pretty darn small even if the metal does get to be red hot. Just keeping it 20-50F below what it can take… you can keep it there for… well I imagine forever.

          Titanium is the bees knees for the suppressor application and a lot of others. It’s hands down the best material. The barrier is price and like a lot of other things, you can pay less. The question is what you want and what you’re willing to pay to get it. In the US market that’s a different question than it is elsewhere in the world because in the US, as the article points out, resale is very difficult and due to the laws and regulations most people don’t just buy a muffler as a life long thing, they buy it as an heirloom the way people used to buy a good knife.

        • strych9,

          Here would be my larger question, which I guess I should have asked initially – why the assumption that welding will be involved at all? From readily available DOM, to spinning if you need something weird, there are ways to get the tube without stitching a seam. Dropping stamped disks into a tube and sealing the ends with threaded caps is perhaps the most rote of machining exercises. Which is all I’m talking about when we’re talking about silencers for the masses.

  12. “[…] and other potential changes to the NFA process […]”

    What other potential changes are specifically meant here? Did I miss something that’s in the offing right now?

      • Citation Nick, or else you’re just teasing us.

        41F already eliminated LEO signoff. Can you clarify what might be rolled back:
        LEO notification (please eliminate)
        Trustee fingerprinting/photo (please eliminate)

        And I wish that SBRs and SBS were treated the same way as pistols WRT ‘conceal carry’, since that was, as I understand it, the primary concern for the government WRT those weapons.

    • Seriously. An article posted here a few months ago said that Silencer Shop submits more than half of all Form 4’s that the ATF receives. Think about that for a second. Now consider that doesn’t even include direct-to-dealer sales, law enforcement, etc.

  13. It does not follow that suppressors will be taken out of the NFA just because we have a President who will sign the bill. Congress is not the President. Congress is statist, indifferent to any interests besides their own, and anti gun.

  14. Currently silencers are a niche market. The prices are high because supply and demand are out of whack due to artificial barriers (NFA) when the barrier is removed in theory supply and demand will level out and prices will stabilize.

    People talk about demand through the roof and supply not keeping up but that’s pretty much hogwash. There will be lots of AR contract manufacturers and machinists with excess capacity (PCC craze can’t last forever), not to mention Sig, Ruger have already dipped toes in the water.

    The prices have been artificially high and SilencerCo has rung the register. No one can blame them and now it’s only fitting that as the barriers become more and more probable to be removed they trim their expenses to stay profitable as the supply demand pendulum swings back.

  15. The total price issue is my main concern of not jumping into the NFA game. $800+ Tax, finger print cards, passport photos, time, hassle, gas to get those extras, and then all the time waiting to take home the pistol can I already paid that money for is worth me waiting to see if they become easier to obtain. SBR/S’s are a huge burden. All of that previously mentioned cost, just to chop off a few inches of metal is mind numbing.

    Yes, I want ALL of the cool stuff, but currently, the cost up front for a can plus $200 extra dollars is not feasible, considering most purchases I make are done via layaway.

  16. Sorry to see my prediction is coming true:
    The small guys slimming down or going under altogether. Look for many of the recently-popped-into-existence AR makers from the past few years follow suit. Buy stock in Ruger; last I heard it was still the only publicly traded company producing suppressors as well as anything else.

  17. 6 months for a stamp, 7 months for a eFiled Form 1, 8 months plus how ever long it takes to get out of ATF’s building into USPS. I’ve seen 2 stamps dated 26 days a part arrive at the FFL on the same day. They say they try to get them in the mail within 10 days.

    They are approving mid to late May 2016 Form 4’s currently.

  18. HPA has nothing to do with my reluctance to buy another can. It is the glacial pace of the approval process.
    My latest purchase took two months for the NFA Branch to process and approve a Form 3 for the dealer-to-dealer transfer, and is STILL sitting in NFA jail more than eight months after that.
    If HPA passes, I will buy more cans since I wouldn’t have to wait 10 months (or more) for an accessory.

  19. I welcome everyone else sitting on their hands, waiting for the HPA to pass and not buying silencers.

    It just means the paperwork on my recent silencer purchase will clear the ATF all that much faster….

    If SilencerCo has flagging sales, they could always offer a significant discount on the purchase of a new suppressor. I might even buy another one, if that were the case.

  20. TTAG isn’t furthering the cause by using “silencer” in every headline. How about using suppressor instead unless it is a brand name?

  21. What I heard was that distributors at SHOT were illiquid due to stocking up on EBRs prior to the election.

  22. Well that sucks for them, but I’m not going to cry about the monetary affects of having a right restored.

  23. 1) If there has been a reduction in supressor sales in anticipation of the HPA, that reduction would not have been limited to SilencerCo. Have other companies announced similar issues?

    2) If there had been a significant reduction in sales, wouldn’t the ATF be able to verify/debunk that theory?

    3) If the ATF is getting significantly fewer forms, shouldn’t wait times start to tumble for pending Apps?

  24. Silencerco will rule the day when HPA passes because the high quality high cost suppressor market will take a beating. It will still exist, but it will be half the size or less of the entire suppressor market today. Most guys will buy some $200-$300 no name can and call it done. Since they go to the range twice a year, it will be plenty for them.

    The only chance for the suppressor market to still charge a premium will be integrals such as those that allow you to run a 16″ barrel with the suppressor built and avoid the tax for an SBR. If HPA passes, the number of 22 rimfire guns being SBRd each year will probably drop to the low double digits.

    If Silencerco is still thriving post 5 years after the HPA passes, it will be because of guns like the Maxim.

  25. Prices for cans are ridiculous. Competition is good for the consumer, bad for the over priced manufacturer. Not saying these guys are over priced. I haven’t shopped around that much but 40 years ago as a manufacturer’s rep, we classified products as no tech, low tech and high tech. Guess which one the suppressor would be.

  26. For me it’s not just the cost of the NFA stamp, but also the cost and hassle of setting up a trust. A suppressor would be my first NFA item, so I still have to jump through that hoop as well.

    • Trust isn’t required anymore. You can still use one, but you don’t have to have one setup to buy suppressors

  27. Saving the $200 would be a nice bonus but it’s the wait that kills me. Nothing should ever take six to nine months.
    I think the Maxim 9 will be the saving grace for the suppressor titan, at least one would hope.

  28. Sad. 🙁 Hope all those people can move on. Or even better, hopefully the HPA goes through quick and they can all get picked back up in the surge.

  29. $1000 for a piece of pipe with some washers and bushings in it? That’s really what I meant to say earlier. I’ve seen some production designs and prototype designs on single piece cores that were done on CNC. There still ain’t $1000 there. Prices have to come down. $200 sounds about right.

  30. wow so much flawed speculation in this thread…. typical consumers , speaking gospel on things they know nothing about.

    • How exactly are they reporting this story incorrectly? From what was said apparently they received emails and some phone calls from employee stating exactly what happened at silencerco.

    • Other than those who don’t understand a market economy, the majority of posters seem to understand pretty well. Deregulate them, and we drop down to $15 (rimfire) to ~$110 for a decent centerfire can. We know this because it’s been the state-of-the-shelf in countries where cans aren’t regulated for years.

      Sure there’s upscale product, that’s more like $400, not the egregious profit $1200 nonsense peddled by the hustlers, with fantasy image lapped up by the naifs.

  31. And if you’re talking about people saying when the hearing protection act passes the price on these outrageous cans that run 1200 bucks will drop to a more affordable price range because of the competition that will spring up out of the woodwork in machine shops all across the nation. And that’s probably what will happen these big-name brand silent sore shops will either have to drop their prices or go out of business. They act like their designs are worth $1,200 when they’re just modified designs from the original Maxim silencer. No way are these things worth $1,200. I can buy a custom mandrel bent stainless steel exhaust system for my Corvette for $1,400 and there’s 25 times more work and material in an exhaust system than in a silencer so you do the math and tell me. When you can get in the UK right now a titanium silencer professionally manufactured top of the line 4 round 300 pounds. Right around $400 American just about. I know this seems to be a sore subject to some people me including that have spent a ton of money on products that won’t be worth half of what we paid because of the hearing protection act passing. But that’s just the way it goes I support the hearing protection act and think it will benefit the shooting World especially new shooters that might be a little uneasy around firearms for the first time because of the loud report that they put off during firing. And also the recoil reduction and the safety issues along with instructing a new shooter it’s just a win all the way across the board. Just my $0.10 worth.

  32. I’ve been wanting a can for a long time, but I’m only buying if the HPA passes. Just too much trouble and $$$ right now. I’d rather not deal with asking permission to take my property across state lines. I live really close to state lines, and regular errands can take me across them.

    • Yeah I have to agree with you the NFA laws are absolutely ridiculous. It’s almost like you have another child when you have an NFA item if you want to go and see your relatives in another state you have to make travel arrangements for yourself and for your NFA item. It’s basically gun control at its most. And all this trouble for a muffler for your gun. You would think by the way the ATF treats these items that people are using them daily to commit violent crime with. Which is absolutely not true at all statistics prove that class 3 items are hardly ever used in commission with a felony. I really hope this hearing protection act passes remember everybody sign that petition.

    • Get yo know your laws. As long as the state you travel to (end destination) is suppressor friendly then you don’t need to “ask permission” to take a suppressor across state line. permission required for SBR/SBS and full auto fire arms.
      Per ATF regulations

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