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Thread: Anyone build a Form 1 Suppressor?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Elkins45's Avatar
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    I have built two, a 22 and a 30, and have two stamps approved to build a 45 and a 9mm. For the 9mm and 45 I'm planning on using premade stainless cones. There are several companies selling them on eBay and other places.

    I used coned freeze plugs with perforated square tubing as the spacers in my 30. It's 10" long so the extra length helps it be reasonably comparable to the average 8" commercial can. It's not a lightweight but on my Ruger American 300 Blackout it makes for a manageable package.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Yes, I have rebuilt it (if you fill out one part of the form correctly rebuilding it yourself poses no problems) twice.
    Can you please elaborate on how to fill out the form so you can rebuild a silencer? I thought it was pretty well established that once it was complete only an SOT could make repairs.
    NRA Endowment Member

    Armed people don't march into gas chambers.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Following since I plan on doing a build soon.

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkins45 View Post
    I have built two, a 22 and a 30, and have two stamps approved to build a 45 and a 9mm. For the 9mm and 45 I'm planning on using premade stainless cones. There are several companies selling them on eBay and other places.

    I used coned freeze plugs with perforated square tubing as the spacers in my 30. It's 10" long so the extra length helps it be reasonably comparable to the average 8" commercial can. It's not a lightweight but on my Ruger American 300 Blackout it makes for a manageable package.



    Can you please elaborate on how to fill out the form so you can rebuild a silencer? I thought it was pretty well established that once it was complete only an SOT could make repairs.
    The form 1 (at least the form did when I filled it out years ago, don't know if the "blocks" are the same today?) establishes you as the builder of the suppressor/firearm when the form is approved and the tax stamp issued. Under the manufacturer block I listed my name and address. In the block "why you intend to make firearm" I put; experimentation, modification/change of own design.

    The form was approved and the tax stamp affixed. Ergo since I am the "manufacturer" I can experiment with it, modify it and rebuild it. With the one suppressor made per the form one by me there is no other "SOT" except me.
    Larry Gibson

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

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    While it looks that way I am not sure it holds true. I looked into that when I filled out my form 1 a few years ago and was told otherwise.
    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

  5. #25
    Boolit Master



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    If you have a machine shop and machining knowledge go for it.

    If not by a suppressor from a reliable company the big thing is the wait for the paperwork. Don't even think of starting building with out the approved forms, in fact I would not even gather parts till approved.

    Yes I have done both and will buy them ready to go now.

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolit_Head View Post
    While it looks that way I am not sure it holds true. I looked into that when I filled out my form 1 a few years ago and was told otherwise.

    Here's the official answers from BATF; Note I do not replace the tune which is the serial numbered part. Nor do I change the caliber. I have highlighted (bold) the appropriate parts that allow you to repair a suppressor.

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
    Firearms and Explosives
    Washington, DC 20226
    April 17, 2008
    Frequently Asked Questions - Silencers

    Q1: What part of a silencer must be marked?

    A: The silencer must be marked in accordance with 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.92 and 479.102. The regulations require that the markings be conspicuous and legible, meaning that the markings may be placed on any external part, such as the outer tube or end cap.

    ATF strongly recommends that manufacturers place all required markings on the outer tube of the silencer, as this is the accepted industry standard. Moreover, this practice eliminates the need to remark in the event an end cap bearing the markings is damaged and requires replacement.

    Q2: May a Federal firearms licensee repair a silencer by replacing worn or damaged components?

    A: A person who is licensed under the Gun Control Act (GCA) to manufacture firearms and who has paid the special (occupational) tax to manufacture National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms may replace a component part or parts of a silencer. Repairs may not be done if they result in removal, obliteration, or alteration of the serial number, as this would violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(k). If a silencer part bearing the serial number, other than the outer tube, must be replaced, the new part must be marked with the same serial number as the replacement part.

    The term “repair” does not include replacement of the outer tube of the silencer. The outer tube is the largest single part of the silencer, the main structural component of the silencer, and is the part to which all other component parts are attached. The replacement of the outer tube is so significant an event that it amounts to the “making” of a new silencer. As such, the new silencer must be marked, registered and transferred in accordance with the NFA and GCA.

    In the event that identical replacement parts for a silencer are not available, new and different component parts may be used as long as the silencer retains the same dimensions and caliber. In addition, the repair may result in a minimal reduction in the length of the outer tube due to rethreading, but repair may not increase the length of the outer tube. Increasing the length of the outer tube significantly affects the performance of the silencer and results in the “making” of a new silencer. As stated above, a new silencer must be marked, registered and transferred in accordance with the NFA and GCA. Reducing the length of the tube by a minimal amount in order to repair a silencer is often necessary to replace damaged end caps, as the tube must be rethreaded. Such minimal reduction of the length of the tube uses all of the original parts, does not significantly affect performance of the silencer, and may be done as part of a repair process without making a new silencer.

    Persons other than qualified manufacturers may repair silencers, but replacement parts are “silencers” as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(24) that must be registered and transferred in accordance with the NFA and GCA.

    Q3: May the outer tube of a registered silencer be repaired due to damage? If so, may the repair be done by someone other than the original manufacturer?

    A: damaged outer tube may be repaired by any Federal firearms licensee qualified to perform gunsmithing or by the registered owner. The repair may not alter the dimensions or caliber of the silencer, except that the length of the outer tube may be reduced, as set forth above. The repair may not be performed if it results in the removal, obliteration, or alteration of the serial number, as this would violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(k). In that case, the silencer may be returned to the registered owner in its original, damaged condition or destroyed. A replacement silencer must be registered and transferred to the registrant of the damaged silencer in the same manner as a new silencer, subject to the registration and transfer procedures of the NFA and GCA.

    Q4: If the outer tube is destroyed or damaged beyond repair, may it be replaced?

    A: Unless the outer tube is replaced by the manufacturer prior to its removal from the manufacturing premises for purposes of sale or distribution (see Q6), the replacement of the outer tube amounts to the making of a new silencer. For the registered owner to fabricate a new outer tube, he or she must submit an ATF Form 1, Application to Make and Register a Firearm, pay the making tax of $200, and receive ATF approval. The application to make should indicate that the new tube is being fabricated for use in replacing a damaged outer tube on a registered silencer, and the application should indicate the make, model and serial number of the registered silencer. It would be helpful for the applicant to include a copy of the approved registration for the silencer. Assembly of the newly fabricated tube with the other parts of the registered silencer does not require an additional application to make nor payment of another making tax, as the one Form 1 will provide permission to fabricate the new tube and to assemble it with the old silencer parts. The replacement tube must be marked in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 479.102. The registrant may use the same serial number that appeared on the damaged tube.

    If the registered owner wishes to acquire a replacement tube from a person other than a qualified manufacturer, the replacement tube must be registered as a new silencer by the other person and transferred to the registered owner in accordance with the NFA and GCA. The other person must submit an ATF Form 1, pay the $200 making tax, and receive ATF approval to make the replacement tube. The replacement tube must be marked in accordance with 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.92 and 479.102. The other person would then transfer the replacement tube to the owner of the damaged silencer, subject to the transfer tax, in accordance with the NFA and GCA. The new tube may be then be assembled with the other parts. The original damaged silencer should be reported to the NFA Branch as destroyed.

    Alternatively, a qualified manufacturer may replace the tube, report the manufacture on ATF Form 2, Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported, and transfer the replacement tube to the owner in accordance with the NFA and GCA. The transfer must comply with the $200 transfer tax and all other provisions of the NFA, as it would be a new silencer. The replacement tube must also be marked in accordance with 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.92 and 479.102. The required markings include an individual serial number and the name, city, and State of the manufacturer who replaced the tube. The replacement tube may not be marked with the name, city, and State of the original manufacturer of the silencer, as this would be a false marking. Although the new tube is a new silencer for purposes of the NFA, it would be a replacement firearm of the same type as the original silencer, and it may be returned directly to the registrant in interstate commerce in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(2). The original damaged silencer should be reported to the NFA Branch as destroyed.

    Q5: May a repair change the dimensions or caliber of a silencer?

    A: If alterations to a silencer would increase the overall length or change the diameter or caliber of a silencer, this is the making of a new silencer, as opposed to a repair. The new silencer must be registered and transferred in accordance with the NFA and the GCA. Alterations to a registered silencer that result in a minimal reduction in the overall length for purposes of rethreading are permissible as repairs. However, the reduction in length may not result in the removal, obliteration, or alteration of the existing serial number, as this would violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(k). If such a repair is necessary, the damaged silencer should be destroyed or returned to the registrant. If it is destroyed, destruction should be reported to the NFA Branch. Any replacement silencer must be registered and transferred in accordance with the NFA and the GCA. See Q2 and Q3 for further information on repairs.

    Q6: If a silencer is found to be defective due to the manufacturing process, may it be replaced?

    A: A silencer may be replaced only under the following circumstances:1. A manufacturer of silencers licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA who has paid special (occupational) tax under the NFA;
    2. prior to the time the silencer has left the manufacturer’s premises;
    3. determines that a silencer of its own manufacture is defective.

    If all the above criteria are satisfied, the manufacturer may destroy the defective silencer and replace it with another silencer. If the silencer has already been registered, the replacement silencer may be marked with the same serial number and markings as the original silencer. If the destruction is prior to registration on Form 2, the replacement silencer may be marked with the same serial number or another serial number. See also Q2, Q3, and Q4.
    Larry Gibson

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

  7. #27
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    This is a buddy shooting my form 1 can for my 458 socom at 300 yd steel. He missed the 3rd shot, no impact noise.


  8. #28
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post

    Q2: May a Federal firearms licensee repair a silencer by replacing worn or damaged components?

    A: A person who is licensed under the Gun Control Act (GCA) to manufacture firearms and who has paid the special (occupational) tax to manufacture National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms may replace a component part or parts of a silencer. Repairs may not be done if they result in removal, obliteration, or alteration of the serial number, as this would violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(k). If a silencer part bearing the serial number, other than the outer tube, must be replaced, the new part must be marked with the same serial number as the replacement part.
    .
    I think this is the troublesome phrase. While I don't claim expertise, this reads a bit to me like it means one of the FFL licenses.
    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. #29
    Boolit Man Iron369's Avatar
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    I have 3 form 1 cans. All taxes paid as required. I’d put my cans up against any form 4 can. If you do the research necessary and put up the money required to get the best, you too can have the best. Unfortunately, as new research is explored, you are confined to what you have already invested in. Manufacturers have much more money to throw at r&d than most individuals who get no recognition for their efforts.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolit_Head View Post
    I think this is the troublesome phrase. While I don't claim expertise, this reads a bit to me like it means one of the FFL licenses.
    The correct FFL (more than one type) and SOT.

    If you have any questions about what is legal, I read it on the Internet won’t be a very good defense.

    Give the NFA branch a call, believe it or not but they are nice folks that will get you and answer to any question you have. Will even send it to you in writing if you prefer.

    This is their number.
    (304)616-4500

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron369 View Post
    I have 3 form 1 cans. All taxes paid as required. I’d put my cans up against any form 4 can. If you do the research necessary and put up the money required to get the best, you too can have the best. Unfortunately, as new research is explored, you are confined to what you have already invested in. Manufacturers have much more money to throw at r&d than most individuals who get no recognition for their efforts.
    I realize I may not be able to build the best, but I don’t see how commercial offerings can justify the price for a metal filled tube. I agree form 1 cans would be more than adequate for 90% of shooters

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Also meant to point out that the wide variety in suppressor design tells me that it just doesn’t matter much. I suspect most design decisions are made based on manufacturing cost not sound suppression.

  13. #33
    Boolit Man Iron369's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I realize I may not be able to build the best, but I don’t see how commercial offerings can justify the price for a metal filled tube. I agree form 1 cans would be more than adequate for 90% of shooters
    You can build one very competitive with factory made suppressors. It’s going to take more than a steel tube and some bent up freeze plugs though. I have one configured like that. I also have one with all milled titanium cones and titanium tube with custom caps. It can get nearly as expensive as a commercial can. That’s just from my experience, of course.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    The biggest problem I have is there is no standardized testing done for suppressors. We can compare weight and cost but sound suppression is an estimate at best and outright fabrication at worst (manufacturers and form one builders).

    I know there is some “silencer research” website that claims to do just that but I didn’t feel the need to pay for unknown quality of data. Maybe someday sound meters will be as common as chronographs and we can get real world testing.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I realize I may not be able to build the best, but I don’t see how commercial offerings can justify the price for a metal filled tube. I agree form 1 cans would be more than adequate for 90% of shooters
    If they were made in China and sold at harbor freight by the millions they would be a lot cheaper. Buy a few CNC machines come up with a good inconel/stainless/Ti design, a rotary TIG machine, pay for the FFL and SOT and have you and all of your employees earn a living and it’s easier to see why they cost what they do.

    Compare them to other “special” items like wedding cakes and caskets, both of which more numbers are sold each year than suppressors and ask the same question. Why does a cake or box cost that much? Lots more profit margin in the last two, for sure.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    I disagree, if I can buy a hi point for under $200, then a tube with zero moving parts cannot possibly cost more. I am ignoring NFA fee, but probably shouldn’t as the NFA has created an inflated valuation for suppressors. People are understandably hesitant to buy cheap when they are taxed for replacements.

    I am frustrated with the current legal status not manufacturers staying in business. If people were clamoring for cheap suppressors, manufacturers would respond.

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Look at the costs of silencers in European counties where they’re legal and you will see how overpriced they are here. Not knocking anyone for making a living. But the cost has a lot to do w/ the NFA. Take them off the NFA and you will see costs come down drastically. Economy of scale is why this would happen.

  18. #38
    Boolit Man Iron369's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    Look at the costs of silencers in European counties where they’re legal and you will see how overpriced they are here. Not knocking anyone for making a living. But the cost has a lot to do w/ the NFA. Take them off the NFA and you will see costs come down drastically. Economy of scale is why this would happen.
    Of course. If you are selling a product with limited competition to serve a limited number of people willing to go through the steps and pay the tax, you need to demand a higher price to make money. Higher numbers of manufacturers and a nearly limitless supply of customers in Europe make a great situation for consumers.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    If people were clamoring for cheap suppressors, manufacturers would respond.
    Classic supply and demand.

    We can go backwards too. Do you know how cheap saddles used to be vs what they cost now?

  20. #40
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I've no use for a suppressor but if you have a lathe they are easy to make. The mag tube of 12g shotgun will
    make a excellent 22 tube. Common fender washers or mag spring retainers as baffles. Sections of 16g mag tube
    as spacers. Nose piece simple turning center drilled. Plug end same only D&Ted for barrel threads. 8"X 3 compartment does it. Threading the barrel is the hard part if you don't have a really good machine.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check