Dark Side Defense Solvent Trap with Flash Hider (*cough* *cough* Silencer *cough*)

New Utah company Dark Side Defense, complete with a logo using the Star Wars font, are selling “solvent traps”. In case you are not aware of the terminology, a solvent trap is a device ostensibly designed to catch solvent when cleaning a rifle or pistol barrel. Saving you money and the saving the environment from toxic solvent spills.

In reality, solvent traps are not-quite-complete suppressors sold with a wink and a nod to consumers who know exactly what they are buying. They are apparently (as of May 2016) legal to purchase and legal to own. They can be legally converted to a suppressor (not that any manufacture of these will ever admit in public) by filling out a BATFE Form 1, paying the $200 tax, and once approved spending no more than 5 minutes with a hand-held drill and HSS drill bit drilling out the center of the end cap and baffles “storage cups”. To make your job easier, the “storage caps” and end cap are designed to center your drill bit.

storage caps

The Dark Side Defense Suppressor Solvent Trap is pricey at $300, but at roughly the cost of 5 gallons of Hoppe’s No. 9 a REALLY heavy shooter it will pay it off in no time in savings from re-used solvent 😉

Unlike most solvent traps, which lack the more premium features found on their sound moderating cousins, the Dark Side Defense comes with a flash hider which is threaded for the suppressor. While not quite quick attach, it does save time by not having to removing a flash hider each time you want to use the solvent trap.

Additionally, it even comes with a muzzle brake end cap advertised as being able to stay on while shooting (without the “storage caps” presumably, because that would end in disaster). Confusingly, the end cap does not appear to be drilled … they are not taking any chances that the BATFE might classify it as a suppressor.

end caps

The brake is 8″ long and is made from 7075 Aluminum and has an AMC 200 black finish. The cups are 6061 Aluminum.

Standard Disclaimer: Solvent traps illustrate the absurdity of anti-suppressor legislation. Any metal tube at your local hardware store is a drill and a tap away from being a suppressor. That said, if you are going to convert a solvent trap to a suppressor, do it legally, or wait for the inevitable legalisation of suppressors. Don’t go to prison for a suppressor.

Thanks to Marty for sending us the link.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Pete M

    I hope silencer deregulation is inevitable. It has to be one of the silliest US firearms laws ever enacted. I blame congress, Hollywood and fear mongering. In no particular order.

    • John Yossarian

      More like – A general lack of principles or intelligence, political pandering to the tyranny of the masses, the 18th amendment and sustained bureaucratic greed – In that order.

    • Audie Bakerson

      Don’t forget the NRA. They’ve been behind piece of gun control legislation on the books staying on the books.

    • Cal S.

      It’s call the “Hearing Protection Act” sponsored by the American Suppressor Association. It’s currently in a house subcommittee. I’ve tried to contact them, but only Ken Buck (R-CO) accepts messages on his FB account. All the others don’t, and if you try to contact them through their website you’ll have to fabricate your address.

    • retrocon

      Depends on the next election. If “she” is elected, you can assume that not only will you not get legalization, but the BATFE will crack down on solvent traps, trusts, and anything else remotely related to NFA items. It’s one of the few areas where they can tinker and get away with it.

  • For those that have not been around into gun shows and NFA a long
    time you might not know that the ATF went crazy on manufacturers back in
    the day selling the tube and end caps at one table in a gun show and
    the baffles at the next table.This is what lead to ATF declaring all
    baffles as controlled items (thus you could not longer fix your own
    suppressors without a C2 getting involved). At the time they included
    even the replaceable wipes of some of the suppressors used during those
    times. They later removed the wipes as a controlled item if you owned a
    suppressor that used them. The above will eventually get ATF to make
    some equally stupid ruling at some point.

    NFA laws at
    unconstitutional and based on stupid premises but until there is
    something done about the law poking ATF like the above will only end in
    pain in the end.

    • Ethan

      Writing a respectful, detailed letter to your Senators is a far better use of your time than trolling the ATF.

      That’s not how you make change – that’s how you risk prison and make things worse for the rest of us.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Don’t just write your senators. Write your primary candidates for senate and house. While you are at it, ask them to repeal the NFA entirely.

        • Billy Jack

          And if you stuff that envelope with enough cash to buy 10 solvent traps you might just be able to rely on that politician to vote your way , if you live in a Red state that is 2nd Amendment friendly and in a Red congressional district.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Make that 20 solvent traps

      • Bill

        As demonstrated by the SIG brace saga…

        • Anon. E Maus

          Though the “not an SBR” thing kind of fizzled, the Brace itself does have a “genuine” purpose.

  • thedonn007

    $300 for an aluminum tube, brake, endcaps and storage cups? forget that, the aluminum is not going to hold up very well. You need SS storage cups, and a steel or Titanium tube and endcaps.

    • iksnilol

      Vel, it is a solvent trap and not a suppressor.

  • iksnilol

    Stupid question:

    Why do you need more than one cup for the solvent trap?

    • Giolli Joker


      • iksnilol

        I mean, I get having two in case one leaks or something but 4?

        That sounds excessive, probably so that they can jack up the price.

        • Edeco

          So you can use them for different solvents, without mixing, and reuse the collected solvents. Save the environment.

          • iksnilol

            Ah, that makes sense.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Oh, the green angle, I like it

    • Mystick

      Uh…. for the environment? no no… For the children. Yeah. That usually works.

      • Billy Jack

        Solvent leaks are the leading cause of skinny jeans in persons under the age of 40.

        • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          I hear it shrinks your balls

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Why do you need more than 1 gun?

      • iksnilol


        You use different solvents for different guns?

    • LOL … yes exactly

    • Norm Glitz

      Why do you need more than one pair of shoes?

      • iksnilol

        I just think it is needless compliaction.

      • iksnilol

        Forgot to add, I actually do only use one pair of shoes.

        Black leather loafers. Go well with everything, super comfortable.

    • Remmy700P

      It breaks up your used solvents into different decibel levels…

  • Threethreeight

    They better hide their dogs, because the ATF is definitely coming for ’em.

    • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      I haven’t done anything for a raid . My dogs are my children. I guess I will be killed with them

  • Edeco

    I totally need a solvent trap to trap solvents. Got a Hoppes #9 stain in the living room I’ve been blaming on previous residents to relatives who haven’t accepted The Way of The Gun.

  • Suppressed

    So what caliber is this ideally for cleaning?

    • Ebby123

      Looks like it could handle a 30-06 and smaller. Anything bigger might have too much solvent and split the trap open.

      • iksnilol

        I doubt this can handle anything well, it is made all out of aluminium.

        • SF

          itll handle all pistol calibers well. I wouldn’t put any rifle calibers through one even though it may well handle 556, but ive seen enough home brew aluminum cans split apart with 556, even without baffles in them. my main concern would be the aluminum threads that would have to be handled carefully when installing the can each time.

  • tompinto

    Fantastic writing, Mr. Johnson – nice to have a super-wide grin with my morning coffee.

  • Phillip Cooper

    After the great freaking monkey-fornication this item presented last time, why on earth would you bring it back?

  • BG

    Take that damn silencer non sense off….thats how the atf gets notice..you stupid idiot….just like the Sig brace….people kept running their mouths

    • SF

      you really think they don’t know? you really think they are ignorant to what people are doing and you are pulling one over on them? they know, and there isn’t anything they can do about it unless they can prove you are buying it to build a silencer without an approved form 1. you can get charged with constructive intent, but they’ll need to prove it before the trial is over. and have fun with the attorney fees

    • m-cameron

      hey everybody….look at the new guy!

      point at him…point at him and laugh!

      • BG

        Sorry buddy, I’m not new at all. I know that solvent traps have been used as suppressors which is the correct term as it doesn’t actually silence the weapon. You can even use the body a flashlight….forgot the name but I’ve seen them years ago

        • SF

          suppressor and silencer are both correct terms that have been used since their invention. Its not called “suppressorco” or “suppressorshop.” Of course it doesn’t silence the firearm, muffler or attenuator would be the most appropriate term. And anyone can read on things on the internet and not claim to be the FNG

        • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

          The inventor of the Silencer called it a Silencer and marketed it as a Silencer.

          Both terms are legit and acceptable.

          • BG

            Yes you are right but the term “silencer” is looked at in a bad way…suppressor sounds much better…people equate a silencer with assassins

          • Evan

            Actually, Maxim, the inventor and first manufacturer of Silencers, called them Silencers, and the ATF and DoJ uses “silencer” as the primary term, and “suppressor” as a synonym.

            It’s more akin to calling all “facial tissues” Kleenex, or all adjustable wrenches being called Crescent wrenches.

          • BG

            Yeah you’re right but the time silencer it gives the public a reason to think of Assassins and that wouldn’t be good to try to get them to be deregulated suppressor sound better

          • J0shua

            +1 there’s no ham in a hamburger, but that’s what they’re called.

        • Dan

          Quit telling people solvent traps can be suppressors you stupid idiot, the ATF will kill kittens and arrest us all

  • wetcorps

    This is baffling.

    • Martin Grønsdal

      Wouldn’t suppress that statement

      • Ethan

        There’s so much absurdity that it left my ears ringing…

        • FightFireJay

          All these reports on solvent catches need to just quiet down.

          • Simon R.

            Would you guys just can it.

          • DIR911911 .

            well , I do have the right to be silent . . .

          • buzzman1

            Are you trying to suppress me.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Only if you have a drill

          • buzzman1

            I enjoyed this story a lot because it shows everyone here have a great sense of humor.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Lets hope they arent just full of hot air

      • Martin Grønsdal

        My ears are ringing

        • Adrian

          “Hearing is precious” has always been my Maxim.

          • iksnilol

            Considering tinnitus can also manifest as voices I’d be worried as well.

            Source: experience.

          • CountryBoy

            If you’re hearing damage is manifesting itself as voices, you have more than just tinnitus. See your doctor, unless he’s the one who blamed it on tinnitus. Then see another doctor.

          • iksnilol

            I SWEAR I AM NOT CRAZY!

            That aside, the explanation I got was that the receptors in the ears are binary: IE on or off. So that when they get damaged beyond repair they get stuck in either the off (“you said whaat? I can’t hear you”) position or the on position. In the latter case your brain gets a signal that it hears a sound even when it doesn’t, and so as to make it all “work properly” your brain makes up a sound so that the signals it got were correct in spite of them not being that. Those sounds are usually buzzing and whatnot (IE classic tinnitus) but can also manifest as other things that are familiar to your brain (IE music, voices of dead comrades, screams and whatnot).

            PS: I am not crazy

            PSS: Really, I am not insane.

            PSSS: who are these people in white coats?

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Those nice young men in clean white coats and they are coming to take you away…haha hehe hahahaha

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            If you are hearing the voices of dead comrades, please seek help

          • iksnilol


            It doesn’t bother me, + I am not a soldier or anything. So it is less comrades and more that one guy I didn’t fullfill a promise to before he died.

          • buzzman1

            My tinnitus is so bad at times I can’t hear what the voices in my head are saying!

          • iksnilol

            Lemme guess, you were in artillery? You folks usually have bad hearing.

    • SLi-Fox

      Silence! I can’t take it anymore!

    • I bet this company isn’t even solvent.

    • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      I am Shocked I tell you, shocked

  • borekfk

    It’s an 80% suppressor.

  • Zapbunny

    So link? Last thing I want is hoppes eating away at my fine carpet.

  • smartacus

    18th Amendment was wrong too, but there were enough people AOK with arresting citizens.

  • You are over reacting—-

    • J0shua

      Unlike the atf?

  • Bill

    Has ANYONE ever actually used a solvent trap to trap solvent?

    • J0shua

      Yes, every single person who ever ordered one in a state where suppressors are illegal.

      • Bill

        Right, of course, what was I thinking?

    • Machinegunnertim

      Yes, I use those foaming bore cleaners and a big oil filter screwed to the end is much nicer to catch the dripping than trying to place paper towels on the floor and hang the gun above it in a way that it doesn’t fall.

  • Nimrod

    I have to suppress the urge to get one of these.

  • Nero

    Their 30 bucks on Amazon for the same thing minus the shotty brake.
    So old why even cover this?
    Hey guys, SIG makes a type of butt stock for ARs that can be shouldered but is for pistols. Huge news. Lol

    • Cymond

      Please link me to a tube, end caps, and cups for $30.

      No, seriously, I considered building a Form 1 can, but my parts cost was going to be like $140. If I can do it that cheap, it’s worth it fur a secondary suppressor.

  • Whatever—–

    • J0shua

      Hey, i’ll give you credit for not yanking my response this time. If you would like to publish the personal email i sent to you while the last response was pending, in order to give this thing a little more context, as well as any of the several previous critiques of your blog i sent you, that were redacted, you are welcome to do that as well. Take care.

  • Cal S.

    Perfect! Just what I need to wash all that FireClean out…

  • WildPackOfFamilyDogs

    Is there a website? Cant find it anywhere.

  • John H

    This comments section is gold! LOL’d multiple times….?

  • Kurt Ingalls

    Regulations are dated…let’s play with the regulations……. 🙂

  • Geoff

    The only thing I find baffling is the tone of the article. There is no need for the sarcasm and snarkiness by alleging that sellers and buyers are up to nefarious and illegal activities. Gun owners already have the federal government, ATF and the mainstream media set against them and don’t need more not-so-subtle suggestions that they are outlaws and criminals.

  • Cymond

    SD Tactical openly acknowledges the Form 1 potential, and has a forum for discussing Form 1 builds.

    For similar cups, check out Tyca Industries and JM Performance Fittings.

  • uisconfruzed

    I’m glad I got a TBAC and paid for the stamp!

    • Geoffry K

      Must be for .22LR if aluminum. A few shots from a center fire rifle will pretty much render it useless.

  • Geoffry K

    I built a modified version of the MagLite Suppressor (Google it) for my 5.56 AR. I used a stainless steel tube threaded at both ends (Apogee Products), ordered the thread protector (SD Tactical) and bought the steel freeze (expansion) plugs at NAPA. It took ATF 9 months to approve my Form1. I’ve been using it since January 2015. Maybe half an hour on my drill press to drill out the plugs and end cap. Another hour to pound the baffles in, very tight fit.

    Hearing safe. Only a supersonic crack. Subsonic ammo is a soft “PFFFT” Clapping your hands is louder than the suppressor.
    The kit in the article is just fancier with lathe machined parts.

  • Geoffry K

    Here it be.

  • markrb

    You can get a 1/2×28-3/16 adapter on the big “A” online store along with a Fram PH 373 filter for $25 that works great as a solvent catcher! Haven’t had a leak yet and I’ve cleaned my AR 15 dozens of times with it.

  • Dan

    Settle down spanky, the ATF doesn’t need a gun blog to eventually crack down on these.

  • guest

    The thing is though – gun laws will just get tougher, and tougher, and tougher.
    The only real “gain” from any anti-anti-gun law struggle is to delay the inevitable, because the 2nd amendment is simply fading due to change in culture and attitude… now wether this change is natural, or rather brought upon by limitless brainwashing of the population to make them think that govt always has its “best interest” in mind, and that no civilians should really have guns because police & fbi & nsa will stop that burglar coming in trough the patio window in the dead of night…. that is a different topic entirely, and it is highely debatable.

    What is not debatable is that owning a borderline felony device can be turned into an actual felony charge with some legal black magic and some various tricks the “law” enforcement uses, even without drilling any holes… for example if some creative govt employee writes on his report that “the detainee also bough some drill bits and stated he wanted to bla bla bla”. So IMHO one way of not entrap yourself is to… not entrap yourself!

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    The ban on suppressors in 1934 (taxed and regulated out of common existence) is a great example of how easy it is to pass bad anti-gun laws via ignorance and fear mongering, and how difficult it is to repeal these awful laws once enacted. Decent quality suppressors should be $24.97 at Walmart.

    • iksnilol

      Decent quality suppressor for 25 dollars?

      Yeah, that doesn’t happen even in Europe. Might get a crap tier .22 suppressor with plastic baffles for 50 dollars.

  • Whitney Philbrick

    What? What? WHAT??

    Forget it, I can’t hear you at all…

  • georgesteele

    You NEED a solvent trap; otherwise, after legal costs, you will be insolvent . . .