Winchester 1894 Levergun With Antique Silencer At James D. Julia

Forgotten Weapons’ Ian McCollum, partnering with James D. Julia auctions, has gotten the chance to take a look a very rare and historically significant piece: A Winchester 1894 takedown rifle made in 1907… With a registered Maxim silencer:

As Ian points out in the video, registered Maxim silencers are extremely rare, as owners at the time were generally unwilling to register inexpensive silencers. Further, surviving unregistered Maxim silencers cannot be retroactively registered, and must be destroyed.


A very, very rare beast: Registered Maxim silencer. Image source:


Today, the $200 tax stamp is a nuisance, but back in 1934 it was a de-facto ban on suppressors. Maxim’s model generally cost about $7-$10 when it was new (roughly half the cost of a rifle, at the time), or the equivalent of about $120 today. In 1934, the $200 tax stamp was worth the equivalent of $3500 in 2014* money. It’s no wonder that for so many years, silencers were dead and gone in America; but regulations haven’t really aged as intended and silencers again are relatively common.


As with all auction videos, this rifle and its silencer are up for auction at James D. Julia’s website.

*CPI’s inflation calculator only goes up to the year 2014

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Nicks87

    $120 seems about right even with a $200 tax stamp on top of that. The price of most suppressors nowdays is a joke. $500-$1200 for a few pieces of machined metal is theft IMO.

    • iksnilol

      Well, I will disagree with you a bit:

      -Modern suppressors are better both through better materials and through better design.

      -You have to calculate that the NFA nature of the suppressors also makes them more expensive since fewer people buy them.

      Though they could be cheaper but their restricted nature has also forced American silencer makers to make some really good stuff. Since people want the very best if they have to go through the hassle of registering it and all.

      • Ian McCollum

        Yup, the NFA hugely distorts the suppressor market. Because of the legal hoops, there is a huge trend toward the absolute best-quality designs possible. If you’re going to pay and register and wait, it’s worth going for something top of the line. If they could simply be bought off the shelf, there would be a lot of demand for cheap and simple suppressors. Something that gives 80% of the possible performance for 20% of the cost. Plenty of people don’t need anything more than something good enough to not need hearing protection, but that product isn’t viable with the NFA on the books.

        • Well the UK and a few other places have silencers over the counter. Yes in the UK you can buy silencers for rifles and shotguns over the counter. Thing is to be able to buy them you have to the gun certificate.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            In Norway, it is estimated that 90% of all new guns purchased for hunting, are purchased with a suppressor. Exception being pistols.

          • And Norway has strict gun control. To be able to purchase ammo you have to be a licensed gun owner. Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Norway are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, and applicants must undergo background checks that not only check criminal records but your mental health is also evaluated. the law in Norway also requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register.

            Also private sales and transfers of firearms of firearms are banned as is the open and concealed carry of firearms.

            So countries in which silencers are sold over the counter are in countries with strict gun control which the US doesn’t have.

          • iksnilol

            Private sales of firearms aren’t banned. Though you need to papers, as in I won’t sell you a gun if you don’t show me the papers that you can actually buy/own the gun.

            Though, I will agree with you. There is sort of a trend to either have suppressors banned/controlled or the guns themselves registered/controlled.

          • In Norway it states that to sell a firearm you need a gun dealers license. Hence private sales are prohibited.

          • iksnilol

            Who told you that? Because I have never seen nor experienced that. Nor have I seen the mental evaluations. And I know plenty of people with guns here.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            No you don´t. As long as the buyer has an approved permit, you fill it out and deliver the paperwork to the police.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            Good thing we have an expert here! First of all, I am Norwegian. I doubt you are because you are wrong on several of your points here.

            Mental health is not something that you have to check. Private transfer of firearms are legal and easy.

            Concealed carry and purchase of firearms for self defense are legal by law, but very few people will ever get it. In Svalbard it is simple to protect against polar bears.

          • iksnilol

            That is a bit high number. I live in Norway, I would say that the suppressors are 50/50. Though suppressors are common in package deals. As in you get the rifle, scope+mount, suppressor and some other accessories in one handy and easy to buy package. You can also get the VEPR rifles in a package like that. Search for “Artemis AS” and click the top result. There is some cool stuff there.

        • iksnilol

          I wouldn’t recommend shooting without ear pro if you are using supersonic ammo. Then again I have above average hearing so I am extra careful (having the hearing damage of a 40 year old when you are under 20 isn’t fun).

        • Paul White

          I’d love to be able to buy a supressor for a 9mm without dropping 400+ bucks on it plus another 200 on a stamp. It’d become my go to house gun just for the sake of hearing damage prevention since it isn’t like anyone would have ear plugs in if something goes bump

        • raz-0

          Even the best designs would drop in price without NFA hoops in the way. More sales volume means you don’t need as much margin to maintain profitability.

    • sianmink

      Suppressors today in this country are for the most part highly engineered pieces, because still nobody wants to pay for a $200 stamp on a $50 can that will only be good for a few hundred shots and then be difficult to clean. This is why we don’t have the OTC disposable type silencers that are in Europe. Someone goes through the trouble and time to get one, they’re going to want to get a lifetime of use out of it. That means extra engineering so you can maintain it yourself, and materials that will hold up to thousands of rounds.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        Indeed. It should be noted that “military-grade” suppressors can be had here as well. Like B&T… Really, the only difference is the QD-mount and ability to withstand full-auto fire. B&T pricing is about the same as any other US-made suppressor.

        What really annoyed me recently is the SilencerCo Salvo 12 marketing campaign. That stuff has been done over here, and it simply didn´t sell. The difference is, this is marketed to the tactical crowd, who apparently will buy anything. Any clay shooter would steer away from that thing.

        • sianmink

          I’ve been in the shotgun sports since 1989 so that’s kind of my thing. And yeah, there’s just no reason for it in the clay target sports. But for doves and quail and turkeys and grouse and deer? Yeah, I can see an application there.

          • I think they did the clay shooting video, because it was the easiest least expensive way to demonstrate that the silencer doesn’t weight the gun down and that it functions.

        • iksnilol

          I was also annoyed by the false marketing that Silencerco did. Though they did have a good idea with the rods that prevent the shot cup from opening.

      • Nicks87

        “highly engineered pieces”
        Thats total garbage, anybody that has basic knowledge of the design and access to a machine shop can make a suppressor. If you know how to program/run a CNC mill its even easier. It’s people like you that buy into that lie that allow clowns like surfire and gemtech to charge an arm and a leg for a suppressor.

    • RICH


  • Don Ward

    Yes! Good. Good. Finally the type of TFB articles I want to see.

    The silencer is alright too.

  • dan citizen

    Great article

  • iksnilol

    That site is wrong on several points, I don’t trust it. To sell weapon privately in Norway you do the following:

    -Buyer sends approved aquisition permit to Seller (while keeping a copy for themselves).
    -Seller fills out the rest of the aquisition permit, there are parts on it that the seller needs to fill out. He or she also keep a copy for themselves.
    -Then they deliver the original filled out aquisiton permit to a police office in the buyers district.
    -Then they send another copy (the so-called blue copy) together with the weapon itself to the buyer.

    Sure, it ain’t the easiest system but there are worse systems. + you don’t need to argue or haggle with people with criminal ties. Have done the latter, fun, but only because those people are halfway close friends.

    • Its quoting from the laws written down in Norway that are on the books in Norway and still active laws.

      • iksnilol

        Can you provide me the original quotes? In Norwegian and all, from the law book itself?

        Because that site has about as many holes as Bonnie&Clyde’s car.

      • iksnilol

        What confused you must have been the part in the law that says that if you sell a weapon privately that you need to *act/do things* like a licensed gun dealer would. That is that you do everything a licensed gun dealer does when he sells a weapon. Which is what I wrote in my previous comment.

        I live with this stuff, I think I know it better than you. Especially considering noone I know has been arrested for selling a weapon privately.

        • In other words private sales are prohibited. In the US private sales means a seller doesn’t have to keep a record or check to see if someone has a license nor report the sale. Private sellers aren’t required to do background checks. Nor is there a national gun registry.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, you have an indirect gun registry in the US through background checks. And you don’t do a background check on the guy you are selling to, if he has an approved aquisition permit it is a go if not then it isn’t a go.

  • Bill

    Part of our current issue is that because the DOD was picking up the tab, suppressor manufacturers could pretty much name their own price. As the mil aspect draws down, and the civ market expands, I’m hopeful we’ll see prices become more realistic, even if it means down-engineering some of the mil-spec requirements. I don’t need, nor can I pay for a can with a 30,000 round lifespan, unless my neighborhood gets a LOT worse than it already is.

    • Greg

      The last time I was at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA, they had a suppressed lever action (I think Model 94) that was owned by Teddy Roosevelt. Great museum I encourage people to visit if they get a chance.

  • Michael

    Nick, if you want a suppressor you are not going to shoot insanely hard, it is possible to do NFA paperwork an build your own. The build is easy if you have access to a drill press and a sheetmetal bender. Use 416 stainless for the baffles.

  • MrApple


  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    You must have a gun safe. But once you have, you don´t need to disable it. It is enough to store the bolt in a safe if your rifle won´t fit. Again, no need to separately store any part if you lock up the rifle. I´m not sure what they mean by end cap. You are citing US newspapers, who happen to not getting it correctly.