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Thread: supressor versus sound box

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    supressor versus sound box

    can anyone actually tell me, or show me, official government definitions that differentiate between a suprressor and a sound box?

    every photo and patent for a suppressor always has baffles and one enclosed end that screws onto a gun, and an opposite end with a hole for bullets to exit.

    A sound box is just that, a box with the small ends cut off, and lined with carpet padding and other types of foam to create directional control of the muzzle blast. in a straight line with the box. just fire the gun with the muzzle inside.

    What id like to know is if the sound box has the option of being attached to the fancy free floated handguard and still be legal if the ends are kept open and none of that baffle **** is used.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Just look up the legal definition of a suppressor/silencer, I think you’ll find that having baffles is not the defining criteria. The definition is poorly written, but it is what it is. When in doubt it’s free to ask ATF for their opinion.

  3. #3
    a suppressor system is defined as anything that is designed to reduce or eliminates the perceived sound of a weapon system.. back in the day of the OSS they had a suppressor system that was a package or box. it looked every bit like a package that a delivery guy would deliver but had a hole in which to put your hand to fire a pistol... was used for assassinations and other clandestine operations.. there was also a briefcase version that had a solenoid operated gun in it with a push button on the handle.. none of these really had baffles in them but was a box or case that was packed with insulation material with a small path that the bullets exited.. most were built in the field with a normal pistol and other components. and a lot of them didn't even really suppress the gun. what it did do is reduce the sound and change it to sound like something other than a gunshot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master reed1911's Avatar
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    My only addendum to the definition is that it is intended to be attached to a firearm.
    That may sound like a stupid note to make, however, when you work in a firearm lab and have to test weapons, using a device to muffle to sound is very helpful and in some cases a must. Being a non-portable non-attached design removes it from the ATF classification.
    Ron Reed
    Oklahoma City, OK
    info@reedsammo.com

  5. #5
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    "attached" and "portable" are the ones that allow "sound chambers".

    If not shooting around anything that reduces the report would be a silencer. Like shooting on one side of a privacy fence then walking to the other side or shooting in the woods vs out in an open field. An indoor gun range for that matter...

    I have a copy of a letter where the ATF is addressing the use of barrels at the firing line that says they are OK. Easy enough for you to call them though. The number to the NFA branch is 304-616-4500, they are nice and its not going to put you on any kind of "list", if you are the kind of guy that likes to be sure vs taking someones word off the internet.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Im on the fence about getting a suppressor, but the American companies have no interest in anything but selling me one, and there explanation of "we have a letter from the ATF saying our product is a suppressor" and no actual definition of why doesn't help.

    I have never seen anything where the sound box was ever intended to reduce noise levels of a discharged firearm. merely to keep the sound wave from going perpendicular to the direction of bullet travel.

    there is at least 1 or 2 companies that make a "muzzle break" that has a steel tube wrapped around it to make the sound go forward, but that style increases felt recoil according to most users.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    How about if you fire a handgun from inside your car? That's not illegal if you're in a safe area where shooting is allowed. In other words don't do it in your residential as firing a firearm is illegal altogether. In a sense that box that had the hole for the barrel and a hole for the bullet to exit, to me in a sense is affixed to the barrel.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    First you have to look at the ATF definition.

    18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(24)

    The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for the use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.



    In reading that I don't see any requirement to attach to barrel or firearm in any way. Note that the the definition specifically states that it is any device for diminishing the report. If someone wanted to they could decide the so called "sound box" you are contemplating could fall under that as well. I think it is a very grey area.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I would look at the words "portable firearm" and would suspect attaching to the firearm would be considered to fit. The Ster TMP and it's offspring, the B&T TP9/MP9 use a system whereby the suppressor attaches to the barrel jacket, allowing the barrel to rotate without needing a goofy booster.


    Edit: I'm an idiot for forgetting that ATF considers suppressor components to be a suppressor, so if you had what was effectively a suppressor, but just not threaded to screw onto the barrel, it would absolutely be considered a suppressor. For precedent, look at the Sig "muzzle brake" that was a suppressor core welded to the barrel of the MPX and threaded to accept the tube and endcap.
    Last edited by mcdaniel.mac; 11-09-2017 at 05:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    This is a joke right ? Nobody really thinks 10 tires lined up to muffle sound will merit the US Marshalls kicking in your door ? I suppose that Barnes's underground range would qualify as a suppressor since you can't hear the sound above ground ? There are plans all over the net for STAND ALONE, EXTERNAL noise reducing things you can make. They are not "suppressors" anymore than are your earmuffs !

    BTW, real suppressors do not "silence" except on subsonic ammo. They REDUCE noise and recoil and are just wonderful.

    Here's a link will all the info you need to build your "suppressor" ----- chuckle.

    https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbth...0/jim-in-idaho

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    Don't be foolish to think the ATF won't change their mind and do something in a snit. Look how they have wavered back and forth on shouldering a AR pistol and how it irrevocably changes it. The laws are just loosely written that it could include this, would they do something? Doubtful. But you would regret being the case they sought to teach a lesson with. Stand alone and external make no difference the way the law is written.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  12. #12
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Here you go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    This is the one I use at home for unsuppressed rifles. Not as effective especially for the shooter but the noise doesn’t bother my wife anymore so I am still able to play, in the mornings without another $200 stamp.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Here you go.

    As nice as that is it is only good till they change their mind. I'd rather stay out of the grey areas.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    It's not gray area. Yes, they may change their mind in the future. But at this point they're perfectly legal. A stationary device that doesn't attach to the firearm is not a silencer by their definition.

  16. #16
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    Paranoia appears to inhabit more minds than I wuda thunk.

    Black helos are everywhere and tinfoil hats are on sale at Wally-World.

    When the first ATF agent shows up to arrest you for storing tires be sure to let us know----- laffin !

  17. #17
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolit_Head View Post
    As nice as that is it is only good till they change their mind. I'd rather stay out of the grey areas.
    It's not that grey when you have the letter from them. "They" could change their mind about a lot of things but until they do and if they do, I will follow their rules(ings).

    However, I would (and did) suggest you contact them yourself...or you could just do without.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    No the "attached to the firearm" requirement is necessary as trying to define any "device" not "attached to the firearm would be almost impossible. For example since the basic definition is a device that lessons the noise level so because shooting inside a building such as an indoor range lessons the noise level to those outside and thus could be then be considered a "suppressor/silencer" would be a problem. Think about it; do you shoot at a range with berms and/or baffles intended for noise abatement? Do you plink, target shoot in a basement, garage, barn or other building so the wife/neighbors won't hear it? You get the idea, w/o the "attached to the firearm" requirement it would almost be impossible to define and thus enforce any silencer/suppressor regulation/statute.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Here you go.
    You do understand that the letter you posted is only valid for the person that it is addressed to.
    I have multiple letters from the ATF concerning their opinions.

    I even have a letter that states Short Barrel Rifles (SBR) are exempt from 922R (AKA the 10 parts rules).
    For those that have never assembled a assault weapon, in order to have evil features (threaded barrel, detachable mag, bayo lug, pistol grip, ect) you can not have more then 10 foreign made parts from a specific list (receiver, barrel, stock, magazine parts, ect).

    The ATF opinion letter I have states that 922R applies to "sporting weapons" and the a SBR is a NFA item and isn't classified as a "sporting weapon"
    Specifically the weapon I used as a example was a Krinkov (short barrel AK) in 5.56 nato. It was a 100% russian build.
    Used a Saiga receiver and a demilled Russian parts kit. it contained NO US made parts and was as close to the real deal as you could get without 3rd pin and slot in the rail (full auto mods)

    Another person I know sent in the exact same letter but used Bulgarian parts and was in caliber 5.45x39. They told him that he had to comply with 922r. His letter was just dated a month after mine and signed by someone else there at ATF tech branch.

    They have no clue whats going on.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    You do understand that the letter you posted is only valid for the person that it is addressed to.
    In my first post in this thread I posted the number to the NFA branch so anyone could call and ask themselves. That's what I would suggest and do if I am intending to do something that is off the beaten path.

    I posted the letter as a form of evidence vs conjecture I could also post examples of similar "devices" on many ranges around the country where I have been to shooting matches, that were designed and intended to reduce noise polution, all the while not breaking local, State or Federal law(s).

    Its easy enough to do a little research, go to google and type in "reducing noise from gun range" then go to "images" and you can see many examples.
    Last edited by jmorris; 11-14-2017 at 09:52 AM.

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