The Future of Guns Will be Quiet(er)

Form 4s per year
Courtesy Open Source Defense

Exponential curves like the one above don’t just stop. The consumer demand (for suppressors) is there, and it’s accelerating. And that’s happening just as NFA wait times are coming down. From the NSSF:

Updated times announced today by ATF show the average wait time on a paper NFA Form 4 — the most popular NFA form submitted — dropped to an average of 245 days for processing, while average daily processing times for electronic eForm 4’s dropped to 53 days. Previously, wait times on Form 4’s were near 280 days for paper form processing and between 90 and 190 days for electronic processing. NSSF has learned that in some cases fully electronic Form 4’s were processed in as few as four days and in some cases on the same day.

There’s still the $200 tax, but over time that matters less and less. Where this gets really interesting is integral silencers. In a world of NFA wait times measured in days, there’d be a real market for most mid- or high-end firearms being integrally suppressed. If they’re already spending $1000+, a lot of people would be willing to pay an extra $200 for a dramatically better shooting experience.

The factors are aligned for silencers to go truly mainstream in the next few years. We’re excited to see that happen. Hiram Percy Maxim has been waiting for this for 122 years. He’s about to get his wish.

— Open Source Defense in The State of the Silencer Industry


(NB: The news is even better than stated above. Silencer Shop reports the average individual eForm 4 wait time as of 4/22/24 is 3 days. That’s three days.)

13 Responses

  1. I’m in California, where silencers are completely forbidden. This is such a benighted point of view. I am suffering from severe high frequency hearing loss, as a young man did not use the fancy electronic hearing protection I always use now.
    I’m pretty sure the idea is to make every gun shot a scary event to the public.

    1. It’s because you might start shooting people and noone will notice, like a gangster hitman. Most of the poor knowledge of weapons is driven by movies, as far back as the 50s (switchblades) and the 70s (throwing stars).

    2. “I’m in California, where silencers are completely forbidden.”

      That is being worked on.

      If you would like to help, contact the California gun rights organizations, and donate to help defray the costs the lawyers they need to hire stack up.

      They claim they want ‘European-style gun control’, without realizing silencers are for the most part, completely unregulated in Europe. It’s considered impolite to shoot without one…

  2. Great, but what about folks like me in Massachusetts, or other states where they are prohibited? Any progress on that front of which you are aware?


    1. Yes, you can help by contacting the Mass. gun rights orgs crafting the lawsuits and donating…

  3. Suppressors are a must have. I have 3 Banish Suppressors in different sizes. I can’t live without them. The new eForm system is magnificent!

    1. The only downside is that I hear you don’t get the actual 1920s-era stamp mailed to you.

      They really need to fix that… 🙁

  4. CONGRESS needs to remove suppressors from NFA-34. If they wish to have some control over them, they can insert them into GCA-68 and have them listed on Form 4473.

  5. The state bans on suppressors (and the inclusion of them in the NFA) was driven and is currently driven by ignorance.

    Even in most of Europe, where you have to jump through far too many hoops to get any sort of rifle (and can’t even get a handgun in many countries), suppressors are over the counter items that are viewed as “just good manners.” (They typically make them cheaply and treat them as consumables that have to be replaced after a few hundred shots.) They are least realize that suppressors on centerfire rifles just reduce the noise from literally ear-splitting to just loud — not what Hollywood makes them out to be.

    1. 100 percent agree on suppressors.

      LKB, can you offer any thoughts on the Vanderstock case just granted cert.?

  6. And yet somehow I have an electronic form 4 that’s been languishing for 22 months and counting, and a second, also electronic, at 8 months and counting.

  7. Just like ghost guns and glock switches the general public and then, eventually, the government will find out that hundreds of thousands of kids all across America have been 3d printing them for years. First they started with small caliber using PLA or resin and now they are up to .223, 30 cal and even 50 cal. PLA and resin have been replaced with Nylon Glass Fiber and Nylon Carbon Fiber reinforced with Fiberglass Epoxy and Carbon Fiber tubes. The funny part is that may of these have been showing better results then some very reputable manufacturers. Some are doing this legally but many are not. It may become a situation similar to weed where its use will become so common that it will be decriminalized. Silencer control just like gun control is a thing of the past the general population just doesn’t know it yet. When a middle school kid can print a half dozen functional cans in 12 hours the battle is lost, they just don’t know it yet. I’m sure anyone who has experienced a baffle strike on their nice new expensive can would appreciate the ability to make a new one in your home in a few hours. I’m interested to see what happens.

    1. Didn’t Texas already decriminalize it at the state level? I believe TN decriminalized SBR/SBS at the state level a couple of years ago.

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