Gun silencers are often pretty expensive. With a price tag of $900-$10000, these fancy firearms accessories are sure to burn a hole in your pocket.
So what are the other options? Can you make it at home?
Yes, you can, but it may not be a good idea. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a recipe for disaster. Gun silencers are illegal in many places, and even in the areas where they are legal, they are challenging to obtain.
Building your gun silencer may look and sound like a lot of fun, but you should consider the potential consequences and whether it’s worth the risk.
SD Tactical Arms call them to barrel shrouds, Hawk Innovative Tech calls them solvent filters, and Prepper’s Discount sells flashlight tubes.
However, after a bit of DIY to attach or add items to their products (like using aluminum adhesive tape, adding jam nuts and dowel rods), all of these items become the same thing, which is essentially a homemade gun silencer.
Suppressors, also known as silencers, are one of the most heavily-regulated gun accessories in the United States. Consumers can be punished up to 10 years in prison to purchase these items without a permit.
However, it is a federal crime to use a suppressor to commit another felony (such as murder-for-hire). Obtaining a permit is not easy. Aspiring owners must fill out an application and pay the required $200 fee to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
It takes more than a year to get approval most of the time. Meanwhile, eBay offers hundreds of parts that make it possible to build your silencer.
Are Homemade Silencers legal?
Building a suppressor in your own home is perfectly legal, and there’s no law against it, but laws regulate their use.
Suppressors are subject to the National Firearms Act, which requires them to be registered upon production with the ATF and requires a background check within three business days of purchase unless you have purchased the suppressor from a federal firearms licensee (FFL).
Frequently it’s just easier and faster to buy the finished product through an FFL (or licensed dealer) where the background check is already done, regardless of whether you built it yourself or bought it pre-made.
The manufacturing and sales of gun silencers (also known as sound suppressors) are regulated by federal law, just like other firearms. Retailers must check the background for every purchase and ship weapons to federally licensed dealers for pickup.
Consumers can sidestep these restrictions simply by buying parts online, which are not regulated like a typical firearm. The websites SolventTraps.com and QuietBoreProducts.com both sell do-it-yourself silencer design kits that include, among other things, a tube with a hole in the end.
The consumer then has all the pieces necessary to build their own gun silencer from home – no background check or licensed dealer required.
However, do NOT start building your suppressor until you have paid the $200 tax stamp and received the approved Form 1 back from the ATF.
Reasons to make a homemade silencer
According to interviews, former federal agents and gun retailers, the issue stems from two problems.
First of all, the length of time it would take to purchase a legal version of the product in question can motivate one to look for other ways that could be more efficient in getting what you want.
Solvent traps are easily converted to silencers thanks to the assistance from raw materials that may or may not involve illegal financing activities as part of the process.
Any attempt would likely affect your current plans based on how quickly you need results, which is one reason why some might consider looking for alternatives instead.
Secondarily but also a factor for concern is the ATF’s interpretation of their expectations for dealing with those attempting to procure a legal substance and perhaps looking highly into two parties involved with converting something illegal into something quite different without proper licensing involved.
There are plenty of reasons to make your own suppressor at home. No license, no registration, and other advantages come with making your own.
If you’re an American citizen, you may think it’s weird to want to make a silencer in the first place since they aren’t strictly illegal in all states, but even so, it’s usually cheaper to make your own than buy a pre-made one from the shelf.
Tools and materials needed
Building a suppressor at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. But don’t think you have to go out and buy expensive tools right away (which can cost quite a bit of money).
You can start with simple tools that are readily available in any hardware store, and you might even get away with using the devices around your house.
The essential tools, materials, and machinery required are a lathe or milling machine, a drill press, a tapa, drill, die set, a metal band saw. You will also require a MIG welder, a metal grinder, a sander, and a jigsaw. To make the silencer, you will need around 10 feet of 0.5-inch diameter metal tubing, woodblock, and a drill press.
You will absolutely need a good rechargeable or plugin drill, and a drill press is even better. Also, get a new set of bits that are suitable for metalwork.
You are going to need a hacksaw for trimming spacer material. A Dremel will also work. Round, flat, triangular files are required to clipping baffles and evening out spacers.
Grinders and a belt sander are nice to have. You will need a heavy-duty vice. A hydraulic shop press is preferred to form your own baffle cones. But with the right shop vice, it can be done. Keep some sandpaper handy for smoothing and polishing the parts and cutting oil for drilling and cutting titanium.
You will also need the Dremel to engrave the details of the silencer on its body upon its finished construction.
A homemade silencer is a device attached to your pistol’s barrel that absorbs or limits the report of a gun’s firing, making it quieter and preventing the sound from being heard – by slowing the sound waves. The faster the sound waves go, the less noise they make.
The first step in manufacturing a suppressor includes approval from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) by carefully filling out a Form 1 beforehand.
It will take approximately $200 to receive your tax stamp, which you must apply for before production. You have three months at most to receive the tax stamp after you have used it. Once you receive it, you are free to begin building your suppressor.
Depending on what route you want to take, there are different steps for many procedures that must be meticulously adhered to and carried out.
For example, if you buy one of the pre-made but undrilled solvent trap kits, now would be the time to use a drill press (if available) with the right size drill bits and carefully drill your own holes into each of the pieces that will become baffles.
It is imperative to use the correct sized bit as it is essential in preventing failure at the range when your improvised silencer malfunctions during use.
However, if you want to make it from scratch, here are the steps to make your own silencer:
- Step 1: Start with a solid round metal bar to make the baffle
- Step 2: Now cut the bar to length using a drill
- Step 3: Face both ends of the baffle on a lathe
- Step 4: Drill and tap one end of the baffle where the baffle will screw onto the threaded barrel
- Step 5: Drill the bullet path through the baffle
- Step 6: Drill/mill out the gas chambers in the baffle
- Step 7: Clean the bullet path with the bullet path drill bit
- Step 8: Cut the baffle cover tube to length
- Step 9: Face the ends of the baffle cover tube on the lathe
- Step 10: Finish the baffle cover tube on a lathe or simply polish it with steel wool
Insert the baffle into the baffle cover tube and seal. If you face difficulty knocking the baffle into the cover tube with a plastic mallet, reduce metal from the outer part of the baffle to adjust and resize its diameter, as mentioned above.
Make sure to fit the suppressor onto your firearm before permanently attaching it, if possible; otherwise, put something in place to hold it in place temporarily when firing test shots to ensure that everything is working out properly. The seal can be a press-fit, welded, epoxied, one or more small screws, or even duct tape.
As mentioned earlier, a suppressor designed for 22 caliber rifles may require a different mounting method than one intended for use on larger caliber firearms such as 30-06, for example.
Place washers around any screws or nuts that are used around either end of the suppressor to keep it from shifting position under fire and potentially causing harm or injury.
However, other than this, there are a lot of different methods for making your own silencer, but most of them differ in terms of safety and longevity. Even if you do not want to go through the ordeal of buying so many things, some sites offer you kits and set that you can use to DIY a silencer.
Do I still need a Silencer Tax Stamp?
The homemade silencer requires a $200 tax stamp because it is considered a destructive device. You will also need a permit for the construction of a homemade silencer.
If you want to make a homemade silencer, you need to get two copies of ATF Form 5220.20, one copy will be given back to you as a part of your records, and the second copy will be attached to your homemade silencer. If you don’t have a silencer tax stamp, you need to have it before you start manufacturing your homemade silencer.
Although it is possible to make your own homemade suppressor, you will need the proper paperwork for creating one. We advise that you not start building a silencer until you have paid your taxes and have received an approved Form 4 from the ATF.
Ordering the necessary parts and a kit before receiving approval from the government might cause some issues later due to laws about owning and making homemade suppressors.
Though other homemade gunsmith tools are more accessible since they require less paperwork, with DIY silencers being so powerfully excellent, people often want to start making them ASAP. However, that can be dangerous if you don’t have official permission from the ATF.
Without proper paperwork, the Federal guidelines call for a minimum sentence of 27 months in prison without the possibility of parole. It is more true if the individual was caught with a silencer while they had drugs in their possession.
Not only would they face a prison sentence, but they also are liable to pay up to $10,000 in fines. If found guilty at trial, the maximum sentence would be 30 years without parole and a fine of no more than $250,000.
Silencer owners generally fall into two categories when it comes down to building their own silencers.
The first group is the DIY group, and they’re tinkerers and inventors who enjoy creating something from scratch.
Then there’s the second group of users – people who don’t have the time, expertise, or interest in building their own silencer but still want a quality product for use at the shooting range or other purposes like noise reduction, for example, and so buying finished products is their best option.
If you’re an ardent follower of DIY projects and feel confident you have the know-how needed to build your own silencer, then, by all means, go for it!
If, however, you’re like most ordinary people who don’t possess the required knowledge or expertise to make this happen safely. Your best option is to buy a completed silencer from a reputable company.