Since 03-15- 2002
I had a Friend just recently who just got his suppressor (purchased and handled through a LGS, now closed due to Covid), and the wait time for his Stamp to take possession was close to a year.I just bought two more the other day. Used a Silencer Shop Kiosk.... man that thing makes it easy... literally does everything for you between that and your smart phone... I got my digital ATF form emailed to me 4 hours later to E sign and send back to them.
Wait times for suppressors are still pretty low at about 3-4 months I think.
I had a Friend just recently who just got his suppressor (purchased and handled through a LGS, now closed due to Covid), and the wait time for his Stamp to take possession was close to a year.
There is a thread in the forum for doing Form 1's for DIY suppressors (manufacturer's FFL's do a form 4 and the form 1 is what an individual uses for either building an SBR or Silencer), with some folks having a turn around to send in their fingerprints etc. in a short time and other's having to wait. I did my form 1 paid my $200 Tax and unfortunately got placed in the "Pending Research" status and haven't heard back yet to continue the process and I submitted my form One month ago.
So it really seems like a lot of it is a real Crap Shoot as far as how long the process takes.
One other thing to add is that there are a lot of Solvent Trap kits on the market that you can use to make your own (making sure to not start the process until AFTER you get your paperwork and permitting complete), and the Cost can be significantly less. I did a good bit of looking and for an Aluminum bodied Rimfire "Solvent Trap" or "Fuel Filter" (there are a lot of creative terms and web sights to sort through!) and they can be had for under $30 if you do your research.
Also there are a lot of "Kit" websites that I've seen that had the Exact same thing that I ordered to base mine off of marking them up to anywhere from $50 to $150! So it pays to look around A LOT!
Since the parts that I ordered are all Aluminum and once you build your suppressor you are not allowed to Repair or Replace Parts (aside from disassembly for cleaning) I plan on fabricating a Stainless Steel plate at the end of the initial blast chamber to prevent the first baffle from taking the brunt of the wear and getting eroded (which may not be necessary as the baffles are all identical aside from any machining / drilling I do so I can rotate positions to mitigate erosion).
The way I figure it is that I'll test the waters with doing a rimfire first, then if the results are Satisfactory I might get more adventurous and built something for Centerfire. The truth is though that for me at least a Rimfire is the most practical since that's what I shoot the most and with a short barrel (I have a Ruger Charger pistol and a KelTec CP33 that already have threaded barrels) I should be able to shoot subsonic with at least some regular ammunition and avoid the premium prices that everyone is charging for Ammo marketed as such (which is Price Gouging IMHO as there it doesn't cost more to make aside perhaps from generally using a heavier bullet for the caliber).
Just my Thoughts.
HA--one of mine's Stellite ! (Inconel isn't too bad either).Yea Pros and Cons to the do it your self solvent trap cans.
They might work for some and really cool if they do, but they wouldnt work for my uses.
Also regarding repair, the way some of the newer ones are made, with the tubeless designs and where and how the welds are and where the serial number is, if you had a catastrophic baffle or end cap strike, these companies can just literally chop off the damaged end and weld a new one on and its as good as new and they can legally repair it.
Two of the suppressors I already have and one of the ones I just ordered all use 718 inconel for the first blast baffles vs stainless steel.
The 718 inconel is waaaay more durable at high temps than the stainless steel is and since I use these on SBR's (two of them 5.56 SBR's) that inconel goes a long way in mitigating the flame cutting/erosion that's going on. -also further mitigated by using ported comps as a sacrificial blast baffles before the inconel blast baffle of the actual suppressor. Its a lot cheaper/easier to replace a worn out barrel comp/suppressor mount than get a new suppressor lol.
One of the cans I just ordered is a Sig SRD 556-QD. Its going on my MCX Virtus. Went with the Sig can because Sig rifles all use the tapered barrel mount system that Kevin Brittingham uses. Works really well.
btw if you have a Silencer Shop Kiosk near you... I highly recommend it. It makes everything soooo much easier....
For anyone who has not used one... but has gone through the old fashioned way of buying a silencer and doing everything yourself... this is how the Kiosk works.
Download the Silencer Shop App on your smart phone.
Go to your NFA /SOT dealer.
Tell them what suppressor you want (if the shop doesnt already have it physically on hand).
if they have it cool.
If they dont have it, they order it through silencer shop and if its in stock somewhere it gets shipped to your local store, if no one has it you get put on a wait list and when one comes up from where ever it gets ear marked and reserved for you and sent to your local shop.
Through the App stand in front of a white wall background and take a selfie pic of yourself and crop the pic so its just your face... upload it to Silencer Shop via the app... and Boom, your passport photos are done.
Go to the silencer shop website and buy your $200 stamps... instead of having to write out a paper check you add how many stamps you want to your shopping cart and pay via credit card. I just ordered two cans which means two $200 stamps... i pay with my credit card and its $400 plus a $5 fee. Boom your checks to the ATF are done.
The app will send you a login code that you take to the Kiosk (looks like an ATM).
Go to the kiosk and log in and it will take your fingerprints right there. You just stick your fingers on the scanner and roll which one it tells you too and it will tell you if they are good or not. So no more messy ink or going to some private fingerprinting place and paying them $20-40 for the fingerprint cards. Boom... Prints done... and saved for like 3 years or something. if you buy more suppressors within that time, they just re-use your prescanned prints and photo.
Scan in your driver license and it will auto populate the ATF form all nice and neat. Or manually type it in if your license wont scan.
Then you just click yes or no for all the usual 4473 questions and hit submit... boom done.
You will get an email a few hours later with a digital copy of your form 4 which will have your photo already on it. You just use your mouse and e sign your signature and it will shrink it down and stick it on the form. Hit the submit button and everything is done.
If the can was already in stock Silencer Shop will submit everything for you. When your stamp comes back it will be mailed to your house and you go take it to the shop and pick up your suppressor.
If your suppressor is back ordered they will just hold off on it until they get it in (they cant email you the form 4 until they have the suppressors serial number to put on it.
Super easy, you can literally do the entire process in 15 minutes at the kiosk.
HA--one of mine's Stellite ! (Inconel isn't too bad either).
Good start to my day so I can feel uppity now......
I think it's important for folks considering suppressors to remember that it can't erase the supersonic crack of the bullet, and that you're going to get significant sound reduction but (go figure) you're not going to easily get the 'hollywood' quiet. Suppressors drop the sound 20-30db (so for a .223 you go from 160db to perhaps 130 which is still pretty loud--but not ear splitting wake everyone up loud). The .300 subs are still noticeable (I'd guess in the 100db range from my obviously uncalibrated ear) but I'd feel comfortable hunting at night with them in areas where I didn't want to wake people up.
I guess the best analogy I could make is it changes my .223's to the sound level of a .22LR from a rifle. Perhaps KINDA hearing safe outdoors but I'd wear ear pro if I had it available.
If you're dealing with an M4 type semi, once you put the suppressor on it does overgas the rifle or pistol (probably not to the point of FTFs); whether you use an adjustable gas block or heavier buffer, etc. is kinda up to you. I've also noticed significant blowback and the receiver does get much dirtier than shooting unsuppressed. But they are nice for quieting things down.
If you're shooting an M4 type gun and putting a bunch of rounds through the suppressor can get REALLY REALLY hot. Like REALLY REALLY hot ! So keep that in mind if you're new to the game. It also matters with a quick disconnect WHEN you put the suppressor on (if you shoot the gun for awhile and the muzzle device warms up significantly and THEN you attach the suppressor too tightly you CAN get it stuck where it's very difficult to remove it from the quick disconnect--AND the suppressor's hot by that point--did I mention they get really hot ?).
How they're constructed is kinda proprietary black magic; the Omega and K-556 seem to work pretty well. I HAVE shot a very limited amount of .22 rimfire through the Omega; if I go to shorts or CB caps I can get things pretty quiet (although the MP-15/22 obviously won't cycle)--pretty much down to an air rifle (mostly in case I need to shoot varmints in a backyard and don't want the neighbors to be disturbed). I figure a box or two won't hurt but long term use of rimfire will end up damaging the suppressor (through buildup of crap and lead that can't be removed from a really dirty round) because while the centerfire does blast clean it somewhat, it's not enough to make up for the crappiness of the round. If someone were going the route of wanting to routinely shoot rimfire through it I think you'd want a dedicated rimfire suppressor.
I think it's a good thing to take the plunge with a versatile quality suppressor; the Omega's worked well for me. Everyone has their favorites but the key is go with something quality (you're paying a tax stamp) that will be versatile enough to suit your situation.
Thanks for the article jerry--lots of good info there.