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“At the NRA’s indoor gun range, reporters were advised to wear protective earplugs and protective earmuffs, and yes, a loud blast from the guns equipped with silencers was still audible and still sounded like gunfire.” – What shooting with the NRA revealed about silencers [via]

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    • “new light on the HPA?…..”

      Be careful what you wish for.

      I can easily foresee the Progressives, the next time they have control, sensing that SCOTUS will rule shall-issue the law of the land, that all new handguns must pass max-level sound regulations.

      It sure would be a way to drastically raise the price of new gun ownership and make them much harder to conceal in the bargain.

      Call it a modern take on the cheap “Saturday Night Special” pot-metal gun laws from days gone by…

      • I think the Supreme Court would overturn that law for a number of reasons. Most lower courts too.

  1. It’s still way loud, but let’s still call it a “silencer.”

    The death of reporting, part … I’ve lost count.

    • I noticed that too. Why bother noting the inaccuracy of “silencer” if you’re just gonna keep using it?

        • Yeah, well, the labeled and defined blacks as 3/5 of a person at one point, too. Reality says otherwise. Let’s not defer to legal wording, outside of specific legal context and purposes, to detriment of reality and public perception.

          “The inventor says…..”

          Good grief. That’s just his own marketing hyperbole, not dissimilar from penis extender herbal supplements. It’s hardly a fiction we need to perpetuate.

        • “Yeah, well, the labeled and defined blacks as 3/5 of a person at one point, too. Reality says otherwise.

          I don’t know if you missed history class, or are parroting some black mythology you’ve heard. Regardless, the Three-Fifths Compromise was strictly about representation and taxation, Free or slave, it was never the intent to characterize blacks as “3/5ths of a white man”, Rather, that their status as property was different for purposes of census and the resultant tax and representation requirements.

          Let’s not defer to legal wording, outside of specific legal context and purposes, to detriment of reality and public perception.

          So, we stick with the original nomenclature, unless it suits an agenda to change the name. Got it. “Michael Brown was an unarmed teenager who was killed by Darren Wilson”. You’re OK with that, since someone has an agenda to push, and perception to change, right?

          “The inventor says…..

          Yup. That’s what he called it. It’s function doesn’t agree with the legal definition of ‘silence’ being the absence of sound. Prairie dogs are rodents not canines, peanuts aren’t nuts they’re legumes, Turkish baths are Roman, bald eagles aren’t bald, lead pencils contain graphite, etc. And yet….

          “Good grief. That’s just his own marketing hyperbole, not dissimilar from penis extender herbal supplements. It’s hardly a fiction we need to perpetuate”.

          Good grief indeed. That’s the analogy? Hiram’s not using the most precise term to describe his invention is somehow the same as claiming something physically impossible?

        • 16V – Hiram Percy Maxim named his device “The Maxim Silencer”. It was merely a tradename.

          We don’t still insist on calling all cars/trucks “horseless carriages” as their inventor did, do we?

    • Silencer is the correct term. Inventor and US Code called it a silencer.

      Suppressor is a politically correct term made up by various gun writers.

      • Who wants to mess with a guy who carries a Glock 17, Glock 19, Glock 26, and Glock 43 all at the same time?

  2. All this means is that “so quiet bodies will drop everywhere and nobody will notice!!” will turn into “ineffective and do not function as advertised so what’s the point of having them?”

    • I read some comments on the linked piece. You will not be surprised to learn that it has already started.

  3. “I would hate for anyone who is not as informed as a gun expert … to misunderstand that they can fire a gun with just a silencer and not use hearing protection,” said Chipman, a former ATF special agent.

    Don’t pass it…for the uninformed idiots.


  4. Interesting reading the comments.

    Seems some people think that if the suppressor doesn’t do the whole job of protecting hearing, why bother with it at all? Well, if seat belts did the whole job of protecting passengers, why bother with air bags and space frames?

    Protective systems working in concert can be more effective than any of them alone. Why is this so hard to understand?

  5. Assuming passage: What provisions, if any, are they making for those who posses a stamp prior to the bills passing. Refund? SOL? Does the stamp list which NFA item it was acquired for? I heard this was one of the hurdles, albeit an administrative one, but a hurdle nonetheless. Just like the spineless politicos to be all supportive to achieve their NRA A rating while throwing their hands up when it comes to a point of revenue.

    • “Does the stamp list which NFA item it was acquired for?”

      Yes, very explicitly. You submit an application (Form 4) for a Tax Stamp with all the specifics. For example it’s not just a “SilencerCo Silencer” It’s a “SilencerCo Osprey, Type: silencer. Caliber: .45ACP. Model: 45OSPREY, Overall Length: 8.0625″. SN: OSP45-XXXX”

      If approved they affix a tax stamp to the form and, on the stamp, write the SN of the item and the date the form was approved. So, for example, one of mine says “OSP45-XXXX 10 Aug. 2013” on the stamp itself as well as on the application for said stamp.

      An “Authorized ATF Official” then signs the bottom of the form, checks the “approved” box, notes the stamp denomination and affixes another date of approval to the form.

      So again, yes. The form is absolutely explicit about exactly the item in question. Possession of an approved Form 4 for a NFA item approves you for that specific NFA item. If you get caught with the same make and model but a different SN, you’re in trouble.

  6. I love this line:

    “Gun-control groups say the bill puts gun manufacturers’ profits over safety and would allow dangerous people to buy silencers, just by finding an unlicensed seller. They say crimes with suppressors are rare because the current law works,…”

    Well, then, you’ll have no problem with re-opening the machine gun registry again since the law works so well, RIGHT???


  7. I love the graphic they use.
    Rather than say without a suppressor a shot will range from 140-180 decibels and with a suppressor a shot would range from 120-140 decibels they intentionally pair the largest number with the smallest number to incite that “OMG! the difference is yoouuuuuggggeeeeee!!!!” reaction from the largely moron population.

  8. In the picture of the indoor range, is that speckled gray on the overhead beams from bullet impacts? If so, scary stuff…

    • Any indoor range that has been around for a while looks like that. The scary marks are the ones behind the line.

      • Yes, I can remember my first visit at an indoor 10M club 20 years ago.. Upon arrival, my coach pointed out the pellet holes in the ceiling (hundreds if not thousands), and said “your muzzle should NEVER point above the target”.

        • When I was younger and revolvers were more prevalent, it was common to see people cock the hammer back with their shooting hand thumb which would then raise the muzzle. If their finger was still in the trigger guard you can guess what then often happened.

      • Just a couple days ago, a customer aimed at the target, fired, and quite by accident perfectly drilled the clip holding the target backer, sending it straight down the bullet trap.

    • They’ve probably got a few actual bullet hits, but I think it’s more the muzzle blast, lead particles, etc. over time wearing down the paint (especially if they allow centerfire rifles with muzzle brakes on the range).

  9. I expect some reporters to be honest about the issue. With the Marines using them in large numbers and their positive comments I think the Bill will pass the house. The millionaires in the Senate with armed government security I’m not so sure.

    • Oh, they’ll pass it, just as soon as they purchase stock in suppressor/silencer manufacturing companies.

      • That will be a mistake.

        Make ’em legal and every China and Pakistan machine shop will be cranking them out is mass quantities…

        • Since they are considered “firearms,” wouldn’t that still mean that sweatshop cans would be illegal to import? Also, I don’t know many gun people who are willing to put cheap shit on their guns. Unless that gun is a Hi-point I guess.

        • Importing firearms is legal, as long as the country in question isn’t on the State Department’s ‘shit list’ like Russia…

        • I thought the point of the HPA was to make them as heavily regulated as car mufflers?

        • “Make ’em legal and every China and Pakistan machine shop will be cranking them out is mass quantities…”

          So what? That doesn’t mean you’re forced to buy cheap junk. Sure overseas manufacturers might make some knock-offs of the real thing but that’s why you buy from reputable dealers or, post HPA, buy direct from the manufacturer. I doubt TBAC and GemTech are going to sell knock-offs of their own products.

          Arc’Teryx and Rab both deal with knockoffs of their gear. It’s not hard to avoid.

        • strych9, To build on Geoff’s point, I would offer that it becomes like tools are today. There are two choices, ultra-high priced domestic tools, and everything else. And once somebody comes up with truly excellent design, it’ll promptly be copied, and there is no recourse.

          If you can afford to put a $500-1000 can on every gun you own, good for you. The rest of the country will be buying $75 passably functional knock-offs at Harbor Freight.

        • 16V:

          I think that if the HPA passes the price on high end, US made silencers will come down dramatically. The price, at this point is really quite artificial due to government. I’ve been around guns all my life and didn’t even know silencers were legal until I was like 20. These days if I take a can to a square range the number one question I get is “Is that even legal!?” to which I reply “No, I flaunt my felonies at the local range that’s usually full of cops”. When they’re for sale at every FFL that perception will change and the profit margins will change, drastically lowering the per unit price.

          However, putting aside the issue of prices coming down for a moment, would you rather that folks of modest means have a legal “Harbor Freight” silencer or no silencer?

          Personally, I’d rather that people have cheaper suppressors, which are basically available to everyone, (even if they don’t last very long) than the current situation where due to the law and prices those people have no access to suppressors at all.

          I just don’t see the harm in any of it and “knock offs” will be pretty easy to avoid if you have the means to get a better muffler. If you don’t, well hey, at least you got something serviceable for awhile.

        • Strych9, I think you’ve pretty well illustrated why I hate gun control in all its forms. All it does is make it harder on law abiding people of modest means to get what they want/need and impossible for the law abiding poor. There isn’t much in the way of gun control anywhere in the country that one cannot get around by being rich and politically connected. How can you become politically connected? By being rich and bribing politicians.

          I’m sure I could build a machine gun if I didn’t care about breaking the law and was really interested in doing it.

        • strych9, Let’s assume it takes 2 man-hours to build a can. That means it’s $20-ish USD per hour, even at the minimum wage+mandated benes.

          Meanwhile, the Chinese slave-labor is around $1.50 per hour, and that’s assuming a 40 hour work week.

          Do you really think we can compete with that?

  10. The death merchant lobbyists must have tampered with the noise-capture-plates inside the silencer 😛

  11. I certainly hope the HPA passes. It’s probably THE ONLY safety device that’s restricted by law. STUPID, STUPID STUPID!!!

  12. First sentence in the article:

    “The instructor popped off a few rounds with a .22 semiautomatic rifle, first with a silencer and then without, before asking his loaded question.”

    But poisoning the well is perfectly fine. Honestly where do they grow these idiots?

    • Should have used a 3 inch 22 handgun with a good silencer and then asked the same question.

  13. It is a muffler or said Mr Maxim the inventor. Its on all cars why not our guns?? Same can different shape. Does the same thing. Reroutes gases. Nothing more nothing less.

    • I think the term muffler is much more acceptable to the masses. A little “rebranding” might help.

  14. The most absurd logic I’ve heard yet is “you actually WANT guns to be loud.”
    So I guess that means knives should have noise emitters for safety’s sake too?!

  15. Once I understood the 2A’s importance close to 9 years ago, a whole lot of other things started making more sense, too. This includes suppressors/silencers. Actually, these “silencers”–which is indeed how the NFA of ’34 refers to them–are really mor akin to “mufflers”. We refer to a car “muffler” here in this country. Guess what they call mufflers in the UK? SILENCERS.

    Yes, car mufflers in the UK are called, “silencers”.

    What’s the #1 killer in the United States? Either heart disease or car accidents, depending on the year. A car is a 2,000+ missile capable of traveling fast enough to kill people on contact. The terrorist who ran over people in New York Times Square reminded us all of that. But we put “silencers” on these dangerous devices, too, don’t we? Why? To protect our hearing…duh!

    Therefore, I’m all for legislation getting suppressors/silencers off of the Class 3 list. They never should’ve been on there in the first place, given that car “silencers” aren’t.

    – T

    • At what point in our relatively recent lifetime.
      Has logic or reason ever entered into anything our government handles???

    • While I agree with your general sentiment, car accidents have never been anywhere close to the #1 killer in the U.S. Heart disease kills 20 times as many people as car accidents (30k for cars, 600k for heart disease). More people die from the flu, or diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease, than cars.

    • A really interesting thing is this: Electric cars are so quiet that some are talking about finding ways to make them noisy enough to be heard easier.
      Trains (TRAINS!) are often so quiet pedestrians don’t hear them coming, and are hit. Yes that happens. Youtube has the videos that show it.
      Yet, no matter how many times it is demonstrated, ‘silencers’ on guns don’t make the guns silent enough for those around them, even when they are wearing hearing protection, to not hear them.
      Lesson: hoplophobes don’t care about reality. They only care about their fears.

      • Maybe people who refuse to look both ways before crossing the street or a rail line have it coming?

  16. I love that they have to dig very deep to find that one piece of SHIT!

    “They say crimes with suppressors are rare because the current law works, but the results are devastating when silencers are used. They say Christopher Dorner’s use of a suppressed firearm helped him avoid detection during a 10-day shooting spree in Los Angeles in 2013 that killed four people, including two police officers.”

    or could it be maybe? that he was one black man hiding in a city that has 8 million or so? And that the LAPD was acting like the keystone cops ???
    Example of LAPD doing their best job?
    Blasting over one hundred holes in a Blue truck with two women in it while looking for a larger BLACK truck with one black man in it? and the two ladies (Now very rich$$$) still lived because LUCKILY the LAPD can’t hit a barn with a nuke?

  17. Hmm, no mention that the decibel scale is not a linear scale, so a 20-40 decibel reduction from 160-180 decibels is greater than a reduction from 20-40 decibels to 0.

    But you can never trust journalists to tell the full story.

  18. Good, USA Today, sounds like we’re on the same page. Since the “safety feature” of noise is still present, you won’t mind if we go ahead boot that sucker out of the NFA, right?

    One more question: While you were there, did you also happen to notice that vertical foregrips do not make guns more lethal?

    On a side note, I went to the comments in the linked article and I have to say, I kind of want to spray fart on that “Rob Anderson” guy’s face. Too far? Ok, a wet willie then.

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