So What Happens if the Hearing Protection Act Passes? – My Opinion

While TFB endeavors to avoid the politics itself, we do deal with the fallout of various political decisions. California’s new “gun control” laws being a perfect example of it, prompting innovation for “features” that previously that did not exist. Another is the Hearing Protection Act, which is having ramifications within the market today, intentional or not.

Today, while the market waits to see if the bill is going to pass, suppressor companies are seeing demand drop significantly. In fact, suppressor giant SilencerCo has announced a series of layoffs due to cratering demand as buyers are looking to potentially avoid the recently enacted 41F rules. As an FFL myself, I’ve seen my suppressor transfer business crater in the last month alone.

If the HPA does not pass, it will largely be a return to business as normal, with likely steady increases in NFA items sales as the ATF works to get down processing times under the new administration and as the demand for suppressors increases.

But… what if the HPA passes?

I see three phases to the post HPA world.

First Phase 1-6 Months

Assuming near immediate implementation of the bill, current suppressor companies are in a prime place to cash in. Demand for suppressors will skyrocket and due to limited production capacities (due to NFA restrictions), availability of cans will be limited relative to demand.  Prices will likely increase over what is seen today as the total value quotient changes without the NFA tax and from high demand. Current OEMs will run lights-out and work to bring on capacity.

Second Phase 6 Months – 3 Years

This is where things start to get interesting. Suppressors, at least basic ones, are very simple and easy to manufacture items. Any shop with a lathe can produce components and produce they will. With demand skyrocketing, your “typical” firearms companies will get in the suppressor game, adding in their capacity to a high-demand market. In the second six months, as new companies and offerings come online, pricing will start to fall and in the second year, it will be a near race to the bottom. Similar to “The Panic” buying from a few years ago, production will catch-up to demand and an excess of inventory will start driving prices down… way down, especially with suppressors being much easier to make than a completed firearm.

Third Phase – 3 Years +

After the prices hit bottom, the market will start choosing its winners and losers. Those without compelling offerings or solid pricing will shrink and potentially go out of business, including well-known brands if they opt to compete by reducing pricing without right-sizing other operations. There will be sufficient capacity and most buyers will see suppressors on the self ready-to-buy at most gun shops. Pricing will stabilize, significantly below pricing today (I would estimate great cans to be 50-60% of today’s pricing with reduced overhead, regulation, and increased volumes). At this point, suppressors are commonplace.

Long Term

If anything, the prospect of the long-term effect of deregulating suppressors is exciting. One of the things that struck me during my world travels was the shooting culture in Scandanavia. For them, it was considered rude to NOT have a suppressor on a firearm. I would expect this to be the same in the US with cans being affordable and readily available. Say goodbye to nasty multi-port brakes (unless serving as the mount and sacrificial blast baffle for a solid can)!



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Joseph Smith

    I agree with the long term assessment but disagree with the short term. I think prices will drop dramatically and we’ll see a race to a new bottom price and probably a consolidation of vendors (like we are with ARs right now, post election scare). What does it really cost to manufacture a metal tube with baffles? People have been rolling their own (legally and illegally) for decades, not that I am endorsing illegal behavior (thank you concern posters).

    I can buy a kit and build my own for what $200 +/-? And the vendors offering such kits will be a pressure release on pricing. So why pay $1,000? Why even pay $500 assuming a 50-60% decrease as stated? I can’t think of a reason to pay the cost of a NIB pistol for a can.

    OTOH, those that have no problem paying those prices are already in the NFA game. They won’t be creating significant new demand. So the market has already been open to those of us made of money. And now opening to the little guy who wanted toys but could never justify the dollars. The new demand will be lower price points.

    • Patrick Fjr

      You get what you pay for…

      Keep your eye’s on the new company of Q – original founder of AAC – Kevin Brittingham

      You can play the make your own game, but he’s got incredible equipment you won’t use at home – and 25+ years of experience tells me he’s got what it takes, and I don’t mind paying for the best !!

      • Joseph Smith

        Certainly and people who see value will pay for it. I believe these folks are already in the game as I said.

        The new comers are going assess value and wonder why they should pay these prices.

        The same can be said of any thing else firearm related. I can get PSA AR for $600 or a KAC SR-15 for $2,000. The pool of people who will buy the KAC is finite and an already tapped market. Take a friend shooting and it’s easy to get them into a PSA.

  • Justin

    So basically capitalism, happens. I tend to agree. I still think there will be much foot dragging and horse trading going on in DC before it happens. who knows, maybe only a little pork will get added to the bill and maybe the poison pill amendments will only be bitter and not lethal.

  • allannon

    I’d expect a lot of DIY solutions, and not just crappy oilcan adapters or rag-filled plastic bottles.

    I mean, there’s a thriving community of DIY CNC mills, manual- and computer-controlled lathes, 3D printers, and so on.

    Those won’t offer commercial levels of production, certainly, but I would expect to see people opensourcing suppressor designs, and other people producing their own suppressors more-or-less on demand.

    That would be pretty cool, I think.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Even without the $200 tax stamp, that’s probably the way I’d have to go.

      • allannon

        Ditto, probably, especially if I could make it look nice. I like to do things myself, on occasion even when it’d really be more cost-effective to buy it or whatever, just because it seems interesting to do.

    • Audie Bakerson

      80% suppressors should be pretty common because the HPA makes suppressors subject to the GCA. Compared to a lower a can seems pretty easy to complete (one hole).

      • allannon

        Exactly. I could see selling an endcap and a bunch of baffle cones with a jig to make sure the holes are lined up right.

        If that, really; you could probably sell an adapter to attach the muzzle to commodity components and a jig to get things lined up, and people pick up the rest from the local hardware store.

        • FulMetlJakit

          All depends on how the current “legislation” and enforcement regarding “any part of” gets decided.
          Fingers and toes crossed, especially after that “leaked” ATF white paper…

          Always an election around the corner too, as the Founding Fathers somewhat intended.

    • PersonCommenting

      I mean you can make some decent suppressors for like 50-100 dollars worth of materials for a handgun. They have a life span of about 2000 rounds or require maintenance with wipes but I have seen some promising designs for the do it your self type. I think that will be huge for handguns and gun companies will have to combat that with low cost suppressors. Make it to where it makes no sense to make a can that is going to have a life span when you can spend 100 bucks more and buy something professionally made and last forever.

      • allannon

        A lot of the wear and tear on cans, though, would become a negligible issue if you could just off and replace the parts.

        • PersonCommenting

          The ones I have researched and thought about form 1ing were pretty permanently sealed up. I did have ideas on how to ad screw on end caps so you could replace wipes and dampening materials when needed.

    • Lee M Attinger

      This already exists to a certain extent. Companies like SD Tactical and Diversified Machine have been selling the parts to do form 1 suppressors for years.

    • I’m looking forward to the legality of manufacturing one’s own suppressors being a catalyst to drive innovation.

  • anonymous

    > California’s new “gun control” laws

    Can we stop using their language? Instead of “gun control”, start calling it “gun-owner control”.

    • QuadGMoto

      Or Anti-Constitutional 2A Infringements.

      • anonymous

        > Or Anti-Constitutional 2A Infringements.

        Not persuasive to those who don’t already agree with us.

        • JSmath

          Not going to persuade them one way or another, so no sense in even attempting to appease.

          • anonymous

            > no sense in even attempting to appease

            Persuasion and appeasement are not even remotely the same things.

        • roguetechie

          By not agreeing with us they prove their stupidity anyway….

          Like my grandma used to say, with enough money you can fix ugly, but there’s just no fixing stupid

    • Hraphanidousai

      I just call it “people control.” Not to be confused with “maintenance of civilian infrastructure.”

    • LilWolfy

      Common sense, European gun noise control…

  • Boudreux

    I think (or hope!) we’ll see a boom in the drop in a threaded barrel business. Since I live in IL, I didn’t think ahead when purchasing firearms. I have no threaded barrels!

    • Juggernaut

      Will Federal law supersede IL law on cans?

      • Samantha J

        A change in the Federal law would only affect the Federal requirements. States have always been able to add their own restrictions, consistent with constitutional limits, on anything. This would be no different.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Was the reported Silencer Co layoffs an attempt to force some movement on the bill?

    • nova3930

      SiCo was probably at a point in their growth they needed to cut some dead wood. I wouldn’t start thinking it was a survival tool until they hit 2 or more layoffs….

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Why is gun control in quotes in the first paragraph? It’s gun control. It’s straight-up gun control.

  • Slim934

    You forgot the best part: VASTLY greater experimentation into integrally suppressed firearms. With no tax stamp or other bureaucratic nonsense, it’s a no brainer that many manufacturers will start long-term development projects looking at “how can we redesign this thing so it’s always suppressed”. Much greater interest in Maxim 9 sorts of development.

    • Blake

      exactly the point I was going to bring up.

      If the HPA passes I’ll probably get one of these shortly thereafter:
      http://www.specialinterestarms.com/index.php?page=novem

      http://www.specialinterestarms.com/DSC01789.jpg

      • iksnilol

        Integrally suppressed CZ 527 is what I am looking forwards to.

        • glenn cheney

          I’ll take ANY CZ, suppressed or not.

        • Blake

          Now you’ve got me thinking…

          Sierra makes a 180gr .311″ hunting bullet that works with 7.62x39mm & is designed for lower velocities.

          One could work up a “reduced recoil”-style load with H4895 & a chronograph (& an SPL meter 🙂 starting from about 16gr of powder. Guesstimating from the data, it looks like this load in a 16″ carbine barrel would be subsonic…

          That would be a pretty awesome suppressed CXP1 predator gun out to ~150yds (I ran JBM on it & MPBR is ~150yds w/~400 ft/lbs energy @MPBR).

          • Blake

            Or course, Ruger has a 16″ threaded bbl bolt-action rifle in 300 AAC BLK designed specifically for that: http://www.ruger-firearms.com/products/americanRifleRanch/specSheets/6968.html

          • Ben Pottinger

            Of course if your making it an integral then the 16″ barrel isn’t a requirement. You just need to make the “overall” length of the barrel+suppressor meet 16″ which is quite easy to do. So a 6″ barrel with a 10″ suppressor would work (obviously they need to be “integral” and not just a 6″ barrel with a 10″ can screwed on, but you get the idea).

            The more popular a firearm is and the easier it is to change the barrel out the more likely it is we will see commercial integrally suppressed barrels offered for it. Honestly *this* and the various “maxim9” style handguns we will see are what excites me the most about the HPA!

          • 1911a145acp

            You can by a RUGER American in 300 BLK and do all that and more off the shelf -right now. I have seen the RUGERs at $399. I have a buddy with one and a YHM suppressor and 208 grn Hornady A-Max bullets deliver stupid quiet and 1 inch groups at 100 yds.

      • Anonymoose

        I want a DeLisle, and a suppressed 77/44. An integrally-suppressed AK (that’s not like that Red Jacket abomination) and modern platforms like an MPX-SD, MCX-SD, etc would be on my list too.

        • FulMetlJakit

          What happens after the coming national election in 4 years will be more MORE telling…

        • Ben Pottinger

          This, exactly this! You could make all of these weapons look mostly “normal” by using a barrel+suppressor combo that brings them up to 16″, and since all of these guns are *vastly* better suppressed you were probably going to put a can on them anyway! lol

    • Taylor Hardin

      Im working on a 45 bolt gun using a Turkish 8mm Mauser receiver and bolt. That thing with an integral suppressor would be nasty quiet.

    • Ben Pottinger

      Bingo! Exactly what I’ve been saying for months! Expect basic simple cans to poor out of the woodwork for dirt cheap (just look up “solvent trap” on ebay for an example of how many new suppressor manufacturers we would see in short order!

      I’m also interested in the form 1 implications. Since it would be considered a “firearm” you could make your own all day long without any concerns meaning you could make cheap 22LR can’s out of home depot parts. Or you could 3D print one out of ABS plastic (who cares if it only lasts a few magazines!) and that would allow you to test out all kinds of neat ideas.

  • MindMelder

    Pst….clink…..pst….clink.

  • nova3930

    I think I’m gonna wear my lathe out if it passes….

  • Harry’s Holsters

    With a new can company launching what seems like every week I think there is a lot of money and manufacturing capability ready to come on line. It wouldn’t surprise me if most of these companies have options and other agreements with existing non firearms related OEMs. I think production would come on quick!

  • PewPewPew

    = pew pew not PEW PEW?

  • Ark

    Trump is not your gun savior. He couldn’t care less about guns, and neither could the DC Republican Party. Everyone who knows what the HPA is votes straight-ticket Republican. Pandering to them accomplishes nothing, because they’d rather die than vote Democrat. Suppressor manufacturers don’t spend near enough money on campaign contributions to receive express legislative service…and why would they want to!? The tax stamp process keeps suppressors a “premium” product, and that’s how they can charge a thousand dollars for a freakin’ metal tube. They’ll be wiped out once Chinese suppressors start rolling in by the shipping crate.

    So, the current suppressor industry would be threatened by its passage, it won’t win the Republicans any more votes than they already have, and nobody is dumping large amounts of money into making it pass. Why again do you think passage is a real possibility? “Because it’s a good idea”? Ha!

    • Audie Bakerson

      Trump is however smart. He knows the 2A vote is massive and swings an election (Look at how he just never again mentioned support for no fly no buy). Also Trump Jr. is a huge supporter of the HPA.

      On the legislative branch side, it actually makes a lot of sense to push too. 2018 has a double digit number of Democrat senators in states Trump won up for election or where Hillary only got the plurality (Trump+Third Party>Hillary). That’s more than the margin for filabuster even with RINOs like McCain and Flake (who is already losing polls to his primary challenger for 2018) and Democrats are historically lousy in mid-terms. Forcing the HPA to be filibustered will torpedo those democrats.

      • NewMan

        Someone who b**** on his Twitter daily is far away from a “smart man”.

        He did conned a lot idiots into voting for him tho, so I guess he’s a bit smart than his bootlickers.

        • Chris Todd

          Well he sucks as a con man since he’s so far got a better record of keeping campaign promises than any other President.

    • RSG

      The NRA and its powerful lobby are strongly behind the HPA and National Reciprocity. With the recent ATF whitepaper, there’s really no reasonable opposition to suppressor deregulation.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I doubt this will ever happen but if it does im gonna open the first suppressor only range.

    • Quest

      Can i be the first quest?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I will begin accepting membership applications shortly after its passage and the securing of a large bank loan.

        • Quest

          Ok whats your Email or can you send me a Formular Letter for membership?

          No really, i wouldnt mind to have some contact adress of you, you have really good opinions, are active on TFB, etc.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            That was kind of a joke.
            Right now theres better odds of me getting crabs from Megan Fox than getting a large bank loan.

          • Quest

            Sure? I actually have something else interesting. Do you have something like G+?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I dont actually.
            Not super comfortable sharing private info in public.
            Even here considering the nuts who are lurking sometimes.

          • Quest

            B.. But i have no friends :c youre mean

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, just look at poor James R. after I started stalking him.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Youre the main guy im worried about.
            This used to be a safe space.

          • Quest

            It was just a matter of time until he showed up. haha

          • iksnilol

            Man, if I get fat I’ll be the reincarnation of Notorious BIG.

          • Lederhosen-man

            Dang was this one bad haha.

          • iksnilol

            Well, I am already notorious, I just need to get big. So it is fitting 😀

          • Lederhosen-man

            Was ist Notorious?

          • iksnilol

            A fat American poet of the streets. He was known as Notorious B.I.G. Because he was notorious, and well, big.

          • Lederhosen-man

            Ich kenne Notorious B.I.G , ich hatte mich nur gewundert was notorious an sich heißt.

          • iksnilol

            Das bedeutet berüchtigt. Tut mir Leid aber mein Deutsch sind nicht gut.

          • Mr. Privilege

            Why don’t you tell us all how you hate blacks and gays?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Are you upset about something, sweetie?
            Tell DaDa about it.

          • Mr. Privilege

            I just saw your post and was disappointed you weren’t cucking more for the oppressed. I thought your wife’s Tyrone might get mad at you and require a new pair of hi-tops to get you out of the doghouse.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Hi tops?
            Tyrone?
            Lol
            WTF kind of kindergarten level racism is that?
            I bet you embarrass the hell out of the other more intelligent rednecks in fourth grade.

          • mcjagermech

            what i don’t get is why are rednecks stereotyped as being racist? i’ve come across plenty of racists who aren’t rednecks

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Seriously? You’re singling out my comment as offensive?
            I gotta laugh at that.

          • Mr. Privilege

            You can’t be considered “offensive”. Why, just the other day I saw you trying to force someone to virtue signal for “gays and blacks”. No way you could be offensive. Your virtue signaling is way too strong.

          • mcjagermech

            not sure if you’re responding to me, but i didn’t really see your comment being super offensive, i just ask why.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            If it makes you feel any better I grew up in a one stop light town in west Texas.
            We just have different definitions of redneck.

          • mcjagermech

            i perceive the term rednecks as honest country folk, it’s not much of an insult in my eyes (based on it’s old pre 1900s meaning)

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            In Texas we just call them “good ol boys”.

          • gabriel brack

            Sunray?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Random but no.
            Hamlin.

          • gabriel brack

            That area was my next guess. West Texas is a very broad term.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Its a very broad area.

          • jcitizen

            Redneck means the same where I come from – we all had friends from all walks of life – redneck was a term of what you did, where you were born, and a life style, not who you hated – which was no one, actually.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            OK well, its just an expression, dude.
            I cant believe ive gotten more criticism than the fuc-in nazi.
            This place is getting weird.

          • jcitizen

            I hear ya – we all live in what seems like a brainwashed tub, sometimes.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Its a weird time to be alive.

          • gabriel brack

            Definitely.

          • Mr. Privilege

            The Notorious One spends his spare time creating fake hate crimes (they were real in his mind) when he isn’t virtue signaling for leftist maniacs like NAMBLA and Black Lives Matter. He will tell you about this quite openly.

          • roguetechie

            Truthfully,

            The same reason TRUMP is the racist one, and Hillary isn’t somehow….

            Because Hillary can spend a couple decades advocating for what would have been hilariously racist laws and policies in Arkansas… If they hadn’t successfully pushed some through.

            PS what do you expect from a husband and wife team that in all FOUR total presidential bids managed to be endorsed by the grand dragon of the kkk

          • Because the bourgeoisie have a great deal of social insecurity and need someone to feel superior to, so they invent a narrative where the working class are ignorant and backwards and can be safely mocked as their social inferiors.

            Meanwhile, there were more Sundown Towns in Indiana during the worst years of Jim Crow than there were in all of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi combined.

          • Mr. Privilege

            I’m just trying to look out for you here. I wouldn’t want your wife’s son to think any less of you than he already does. I heard he was caught reporting a fake hate crime to the (((SPLC))) and this was quite embarrassing for your blended family. Best regards.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            1/10
            Try harder redneck.

          • Mr. Privilege

            No thanks. You will get exactly as much effort as I deem necessary.

          • It’s the damndest thing; channers legitimately do not appear to realize that “cuck” is basically the internet equivalent of walking around in public holding their thumb and index finger up like an L on their own forehead. They actually think they’re being clever or insulting or something.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I miss the days when idiots were too embarrassed to be honest about their a-s backwards beliefs.
            I guess if reality TV has taught us anything its that you cannot keep someone down who has no shame.

          • Of course it’s a safe space– we’re all heavily armed.

          • Phillip Cooper

            Dude. It’s Megan Fox. Odds are good…

          • Daniel

            I’d still take my chances.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Id still get on it.

          • Badwolf

            Just apply permethrin. Don’t ask how I know that

          • Brett

            We all have dreams.

    • Lederhosen-man

      Ich würde auch zur Schussbahn kommen mein Freund. Als zweiter Gast.

  • QuadGMoto

    SilencerCo would certainly be sitting pretty with their Maxim 9.

    • Lou

      Every handgun company will have their own version of an integrally suppressed pistol and although I’m sure that SilencerCo will have a following, I can’t see how they would compete against the big companies like Ruger who produces the best value with fantastic quality.

    • roguetechie

      Personally I’m looking forward to

      1. Colt OWS with the qd setup

      2. Gwinn/mgi military/bushmaster arm pistol with xm177 alike suppressor

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Left out the innovation that would come with everyone getting into the suppressor game and everyone buying one.

    Smaller, quieter, lighter suppressors? Who knows but its bound to happen faster with so much more money up for grabs.

    • QuadGMoto

      Such land rushes also frequently include shoddily designed and/or produced products. So I would expect to see more pictures of spectacular destruction and angry complaints.

    • TechnoTriticale

      re: Left out the innovation…

      Indeed … including integrally suppressed, and in particular suppressed handguns actually suitable for CC (which may or may not include the present Maxim, but it’s an indicator of what might be possible).

      Perhaps the biggest problem with the current NFA situation is the bureaucratic delay. The new Admin could fix that even without the HPA.

      • Ben Pottinger

        The delay and the fingerprints, and the 200$ tax on top of whatever you buy, making most people totally ignore more specialized designs (super small, but not as quiet, disposable wipes, etc)

    • glenn cheney

      We’re long titanium.

      • roguetechie

        Meh,

        Titanium is nice and all… Personally I’m investing in a diversified portfolio including inconel, stellite, nitinol, terfenol, and some weird nanostuph

  • gusto

    I dunno if I agree

    Silencers costs about the same in my country and my two neighouring countries
    and yet in my country you have to get a separate license (no 200 dollar taxstamp but a 25dollar licensing-fee)

    Even thou silencers are an over the counter item in both those countries not everybody use them, not even a majority

    some people just don’t want the extra weight and length

    and some shooting sports are hindered in performance by shooting a suppresor hot.

  • Lou

    The companies who are already in the metal tube and pipe business and produce millions of feet of it on a regular basis will dominate if they get in. We will see a $25 suppressor from someone eventually. Also, let’s not forget the suppressor kits that sold in the 70s and 80s before ATF reclassified them and the $5 couplers (currently restricted) which turn Two liter pop bottles into 2-shot suppressors as a well as the ones that turn a standard AR-15 (full stock) buffer tube into wipeless .22 suppressor or the current m model that turns an oil filter into an effective suppressor – all of those will be available at rock bottom prices. Sure there will be the need for complex hi-end performance suppressors but their prices will drop as well in time and as far as .22s , no one will need to spend more than $50 for one. I would not want to be a “silencer” manufacturer now as DIY will dominate 90% of the mArket if the HPA passes.

    • iksnilol

      Soda bottles make for crappy suppressors. Everybody in Norway does it sooner or later to hear for themselves.

      • jcitizen

        Just buy a 22lr with a floating chamber and dispense with the can altogether. I’ve shot a lot of NFA stuff, and nothing beats my good ol’ floating chamber semi-auto 22 rifle! I like shooting CB caps, 22 shorts, and subsonic 22 lr in it. It is quieter than any air rifle I’ve ever tried! It is fascinating that all you notice is the fall of the striker, the whoosh of the bullet going down range, and about the time the bullet thuds on target the shell rings upon hitting the ground. Sometimes you can hear the shell ring as it is ejected.

        I get so caught up in it, I don’t even care if I hit anything. It is just a butt load of fun! I once lived in a community that was small and had no ordinance against hunting inside town limits. so I’d hunt rabbits and rats there. I’ve never had so much fun. The residents were glad I was out there getting rid of the pests, and never a complaint about bullet holes in the wrong places. I really lost interest in an NFA can when I got it, but I still wouldn’t mind having at least one 9mm pistol suppressed. Too bad the supersonic ammo is so loud, but it can still be entertaining. My favorite can combo was an SM-11-9 with suppressor. Pure joy.

        • iksnilol

          Floating chamber? Only one I am aware of is the Colt Ace which used the floating chamber to amplify the .22 recoil to .45 acp levels. I fail to see why it would be quiet.

          • jcitizen

            These were common rifles for years – not sure when it started, but some of them look like 1920s or so. I’ve seen them in just about all brands. The only problem is, the chamber gets worn out, and not many smiths have the oversized chambers to replace them; also the carbon is terrible to clean out – but worth it as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure you are right on the pistol variants – maybe it takes a longer barrel to get the effect.

          • iksnilol

            Gives me an interesting idea.

            What if you made ports in the barrel, in the middle. then shrouded that ported section?

          • jcitizen

            I’m not too optimistic.

            I think the main reason the floating chamber works is that I’m using subsonic ammo, and the chamber exchanges noise energy to work energy early in the ignition sequence. So instead of making so much noise it used the energy and gases to actuate the bolt. It really is a mystery to me why that is, and just what is in the physics of it. If you find a dealer that has one of these rifles – ask him to demonstrate it with 22 shorts, and see for yourself. The most common are Remington Model 550s.

            It may simply be that the gases are almost fully vented inside the breach area before the bolt is far enough back to eject and the bullet has left the muzzle. By then the expanded gases have used up most of the available energy, and it suppresses most of the noise.

            The guy that designed the M1 carbine gas system made the patent for the floating chamber. Pistol converters have to have full power 22 lr ammo to actuate the heavy .45 slide – plus the bullet exits before the chamber is done with its work. Supersonic ammo is just plain noisy, even in these rifles.

          • iksnilol

            Would be interesting to test one of these rifles with a DB meter.

            I don’t bother with supersonic ammo in .22 LR. Too inaccurate.

          • jcitizen

            Yes it would – I had occasion to test a factory fully suppressed Ruger 10/22 NFA rifle, and it had full barrel suppression. I distinctly remember thinking that this Remington 550 was way quieter than even that Ruger! I was shooting 22 shorts in both of them, for comparison. I also seem to remember that the Ruger was only supposed to use 22 shorts, which was a disadvantage in my eyes. The guy that owned it said it was an issue of reliable function. I must admit though, that the science of building suppressors has come a long way. The silencers you can get today, are way superior to what I could get back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

    • LGonDISQUS

      Those oil filter ones are fun on a threaded 22/45, despite not being able to properly use sights with it… Um, a friend told me about it.

  • Joe

    I agree with your timeline with one caveat, there will be a continual smaller surge of sales as states pass laws legalizing hunting with now stamp-free suppressors. While plinking with suppressors is great, the real advantage is hunting. A lot of people hunt w/o earpro and suppressors definitely help reduce hearing loss.

  • Gary Kirk

    There will be cheaper cans readily available, but there will always be the premiums as well.. My personal thought is that the suppressor game will turn out much like the current situation of optics now..

  • Beardedrambler

    Factory integral ruger mark 4 thats what i want to see happen.

  • Russ Kell

    Immediately: I get my stragglers out of suppressor jail. 🙂

  • Noishkel

    I’m still hoping that you will be able to make your own cans with the HPA. But I don’t think that’s a part of that.

    • Ben Pottinger

      It will regulate them the same as long arms/rifles. Thus you can make your own.

      • Noishkel

        Well good. It’s easy enough to make a gun on your own. Making a glorified muffler to mount to one is a cake walk by comparison.

  • Keiichi

    I can guarantee one thing that will happen if the HPA passes…

    I’ll be happy.

  • RSG

    The next big thing will be uppers and barrels being sold integrally suppressed. These cans will ultimately add only $3-$400 to these barrels and uppers. That’s the only way I’ll be adding suppressors not meant for handguns.

  • Graham2

    Everyone has an old, unused D cell Maglite in a cupboard or drawer. What better way of re-using a nicely made alloy tube than to make a 22 silencer out of it! We are always being told to recycle stuff, so it’s the green thing to do.

  • marathag

    I see 80% can kits being very available, and cheap

  • LGonDISQUS

    First and a half phase. Immediate need for concealing pants once hearing HPA passes.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53e30205407b6259b073e859c66603eb3b187185d05ac04d389dbedde98ea0fa.gif

  • Zundfolge

    Long term, integrated suppressors on rifles will become standard equipment and eventually it’ll be hard to buy an AR without one.

    Someday down the road the libs will get a little more power and at that time try to make suppressor use mandatory (and possibly outlaw or seriously restrict unsuppressed guns).

  • Disband the ATF President Trump! protect the constitutional rights of citizens!

  • KUETSA

    I can guarantee that progressive socialist czar governors and state legislatures will MAKE SURE that suppressors are kept ILLEGAL by state law. They won’t even comply with federal immigration law – THEY DAMN SURE WILL NOT EASE ANY FIREARM RELATED LAWS . . . unless, maybe, if the supreme court forces them to.

  • Cymond

    When I read the HPA, it seemed to only mention transfers and possession. I didn’t see any changes to the regulations for manufacturing suppressors.

  • Marcus D.

    Meanwhile, in California, nothing will change. Possession of silencers and threaded barrels will remain illegal. I assume there are other similarly situated states, such as Illinois, NY, NJ and perhaps Md and Conn. Or if they don’t have such laws, they will be on the books as fast as possible if the HPA passes.

  • LarryEArnold

    Long term, an anti-gun push to make suppressors mandatory, to regulate the maximum decibels a firearm is allowed to generate, and to establish suppressor manufacturing standards to make them as expensive as possible.
    (Sorry, it’s been that kind of day.)

  • L. Roger Rich

    I could get the last thing on my gun bucket list.

  • kcshooter

    Nathan
    You are likely right with your predictions, but you are failing to consider one of the best parts of this, which is integration. After the first 6mo bubble bursts and everyone is at the drawing boards, barrel integrated suppressors have a very good chance of becoming commonplace.

  • The Deplorable Mr Evilwrench

    Rrr, silencers provide hearing protection, which makes it a relatively easy sell (for gun stuffs); how are we going to sell the SBR equivalent?

    • ChrisJ

      That the chicken-littles were wrong about the sky falling when suppressors were deregulated, and that it won’t fall when SBRs and SBSs are deregulated..

  • Jay Andre

    Until someone comes up with a silencer that does not foul a gun in any way, shape, or form, to me, they are useless, and an extreme waste of money!!

    • RocketScientist

      Well that certainly is a unique opinion.

    • GJNM

      Its clear you have ZERO experience with suppressors. Sure, in some gas guns they produce increased back pressure but most of that can be mitigated and/or minimized in one way or another. In a bolt gun? pffft, no additional fouling noticed but then, what would I know, I’ve only been shooting suppressed guns for about 40 years at this point…

  • Andrew Foss

    Something missing In the 3+ year timeframe: “increased performance due to increased competition by J. Random Machinist (One each) now with inexpensive testing.” If the HPA passes, I’m off to my friendly local metal supply company. The instant suppressors come off of the NFA, I’m out in my garage and on my CNC mill, (Which can double as a lathe) cutting a couple dozen speculative monocores to take to my range for testing.

    I’m not currently, because it takes >6 months and $200 to get a (One.) stamp, vs. the big guys’ <30 *days* (Form 2 is a *notice*: "Here's what I've made" rather than permission like "Mother may I make this?") and $1,500/yr FFL+SOT to cut as many NFA items as they want "right now". If they're turning out 20 a year, they've still got an advantage over me, someone who has no interest in opening a business and bending over to grab my ankles for the ATF and its inspections for what amounts to satisfying an internal "I wonder if". Getting tan FFL and SOT, or even just a tax stamp, is putting the cart in front of the horse. If the "what if" doesn't pan out, I'm out $200 to $4,500 in tax. That'd be stupid.

    • GJNM

      Your math is off by a long way. 07FFL is $150 for THREE years; SOT for one year is $500 if you do less than $1m a year in business. I make that out to be $550 a year. You’re only looking at cans; I can make or own full autos/SBR/SBS without spending new car money on a single fully transferable full auto. I fax or electronically file F2 and its done so it doesn’t take <30 days. Go get it and expand your mind… 🙂

      • Andrew Foss

        I was mistaken on the prices, and swapped my angle bracket keys. That was supposed to be “>30 (less than thirty) days”.

        It still doesn’t override my biggest objections: Why would I bother with something guaranteed to further the federal government’s intrusion into what should be unquestioned recognition of people’s rights? (Having to ask permission or pay a fee to exercise turns a “natural right” into a “deniable privilege”.) As it stands, I’d have to locate premises to have a business on, (No, I’m not going to operate a business that has no-warning warrantless “inspections” during “business hours” out of my house.) *form* that business, and *do* business. Even if it’s $550/yr, (minimum 3 years) that’s *still* a bit much for speculative design and test work. And it still has a chilling effect on scientific progress by individual inventors and designers. No. Thank. You. The HPA needs to pass into law. It can’t do so soon enough.

        • GJNM

          I agree it needs to pass and ASAP. You’re still off with your information; BATFE is allowed ONE unannounced inspection of your books and inventory per 12 calendar months and only during business hours YOU set. 5 hours on Saturday from noon to 5pm? GTG. Anything outside of that requires a warrant and probable cause to be shown. Contrary to popular belief, BATFE has better things to do than chase FFL’s, especially those who are compliant on their inspections.

          Forming a business in NM is a $50 fee for an LLC. I currently share a registered premises with an existing FFL and can do work away from that premises as well. Its just not *that* hard to do something if you really want to, even with all the BS that the Feds have heaped on us.

          I understand your objection to the NFA and I completely agree with you, as I object to all restrictions on the 2nd Amendment but you doth protest too much in your objections to working within the system especially when your information is wrong.

  • Colonel K

    WILL SOMEBODY THINK OF THE REVOLVERS!!!

    • jcitizen

      There is that old Russian one, that works with a can – only one I can think of though. Nagant M1895, is the one, I believe. Lots of them and the ammo on the market too! That would make a great project. It has a great gas seal! Cheap too!

      • Colonel K

        WILL SOMEBODY THINK OF THE AMERICAN REVOLVERS!!!

        • jcitizen

          HA! ..=)

          • Chrono777

            Unless you have a revolver that has a seal around the cylinder then you will just get a big fireball. The back pressure would go right out the cylinder.

  • Bob

    hearing protection act if you are NOT careful could end up BANNING firearms without a suppressor! It’s start in the PRK of course!! (Peoples Republic of Kalifornicate)

  • 1911a145acp

    Misleading title! Should be- “What happens WHEN the hearing protection act passes-My Opinion.”

  • thomas

    There needs to be another level, the next admiration. While the current admin wants the HPA the next may not and it will be just as easy reverse the act, given there is 51% vote against it. And the only way to regulate there new suppressors is to deem them DD and remove them all.

  • Jones2112

    So to sum-up your article… Capitalism would kick into high gear in the suppressor industry…

  • aevangel1

    The future is looking bright…

  • Reader email comment

    Nathan,
    Enjoyed your article. It addresses some of the matters that are or should be of obvious concern to those both manufacturing and consuming suppressors. You’ve briefly mentioned other countries where suppressor ownership is relatively unregulated…read; pragmatic. The genesis of U.S. suppressor ownership control is very interesting and has everything to (purportedly) do with wealthy land owners and poaching of their game and little if nothing to do with public safety.

    Some thoughts:

    1. OSHA: How they’ve failed to enforce this is baffling. Any construction site employing “Powder Actuated Devices” aka the Hilti Gun, requires significant and specific postings, warning of their employment and the issuance of PPE in the form of ear protection for those working in the designated areas. Where am I heading? Every law enforcement union should have been on this years ago demanding OSHA protect their members. Not that this would have had any bearing upon civilian demand, but think of the advances of integral suppression in handguns. The Maxim 9 would be looked upon as the Model T of suppressed handgun technology were OSHA actively enforcing their own regs. Arguably, OSHA has materially failed to protect those whose “industry tools” of the trade are firearms.

    2. Tax Stamp: Are the American public really expecting the HPA to arrive without the $200 Tax Stamp intact? How often has the federal government rescinded a tax? Even the most intellectually challenged congressional representative can mentally calculate the prospective future lost revenue and give pause. Wouldn’t the liberal opponents of any “easing” of a firearm regulation immediately glom onto this tax, using it as a “losers” compromise for a begrudging acquiescence to the inevitable? And likewise, won’t the proponents from the other side of the aisle wring their hands in anticipation of the substantial increase in tax revenue as a result of this bill moving suppressor acquisition into the well established and relatively safe realm of a 4473 transfer?

    3. NFA: Of the 42 states that currently permit civilian ownership of suppressors, 16 have their statute tied to the suppressors’ presence within the NFA. Once removed from the NFA, they will no longer be legal for civilians to own in those 16 states? Has anyone promoting this legislative panacea for all Americans suppressor ownership woes given any consideration as to the consequences of its removal? Can the federal legislation force those 16 states to cede to the federal statute without stepping on State’s Rights matters?

    4. Price Support: Arguably suppressors’ threshold for ownership aka the Tax Stamp has bolstered the inflated retail price point of suppressors to date. Who’s going to buy a $99.00 .22cal suppressor when the “cover charge” to the show is $200? As anyone can readily discover on the internet, suppressor prices in many nordic countries are at a fraction of those in the U.S. As you so succinctly pointed out in your article, every garage lathe will be turning out cans in the race to the pricing bottom. From a pure Madison Avenue marketing perspective, wouldn’t all the existing suppressor manufacturers secretly wish the Tax Stamp to remain in place?

    5. Cans be Gone: Brilliant marketing (SilencerCo) promoting and ironing out the hurdles to ownership, consequent demand, the Tax Stamp, etc. have overshadowed any impetus for technological advances in design performance. With few exceptions (OSS being one) the current selection of cans are crude, simple and fairly effective…..for the most part. Blowback in your face, hyper cyclic rates, stressed bolts, wicked heat issues aside, can’t we do better? Man on the moon decades ago and we’re still using hardware store galvanized washers in a tube! Prediction: integrally suppressed firearms will be the norm within a decade. Cans will be for all of those pre HPA guns. Firearm manufacturers, as you stated, will most definitely jump onboard, but the prescient ones; won’t bother with cans, instead they’ll focus on the entire platform, which will differentiate their product, maintain control of its performance and garner a premium price point. Add to this the same firearms manufacturer designing custom loads tuned to their platform and the cradle to grave annuity train leaves the station for those with the innovation and capital to make the leap.

    r….

    P.S. Look forward to “Part II”

    Rodney Tucker
    Jaxx Industries, LLC
    BATF 07/SOT

  • Vee

    One thing you failed to mention: depending on what form the passed law takes, it may be possible to make your own suppressor. As you say, they are not complicated devices, and any reasonably competent person could make one with minimal equipment. What would this bode for the industry?

  • NebulousCat

    After a few years I would expect silencers to be disposable like magazines. I would expect cheap welded aluminum ones that once dirty are thrown away.

    • Ethan Goebells

      Wow your out to lunch. Do you want to throw away your weapon light when you batteries wear out? Do you want to drive your car to the junk yard after the tires wear out? This ideology is lunacy.

  • Ethan Goebells

    Dead wrong assumption of where market conditions will go. Nobody outside of legitimate tool and die and manufacturing professionals understand the exhaustive effort to produce a quality product. The quality manufacturers out there are using absolutely state of the art machines and tooling, millions of dollars of capitol investment as well as top CAD CAM systems and post processing machines are used to turn hard materials into silencers. 50-60% reduction in price is completely absurd in high quality silencers. 10-15% will for sure happen, maybe slightly more. But to say that costs will cut in half is complete ignorance.

    Will there be a push of garbage silencers into the market that are in no way as durable, performing, or spec competitive as their quality counterparts? Absolutely. But these garbage products like in any other industry will only be consumed so much by the general public.

    its so common to see media people with zero understanding of industry technology to be offering their “professional opinions” on matters they know nothing about. Instead of acting like a business analyst, stock to covering product launches press releases etc. You are embarrassing yourself.

    • Chrono777

      100% agree. The price of a silencer is not just in material. There is an assumption that they would be slightly over the cost of material and this is just ludicrous. The amount of time spent designing, testing, marketing, labor cost, etc. all factor into the equation.

      Sure there would be cheap silencers on the market. There already are, you can find $99 silencers for sale now. But they are cheaply made and won’t last. People should look at silencers like scopes. Buy quality first and you won’t be disappointed.

  • glenn cheney

    Nathan, Dare I wade into this morass? Currently, Oversight Comm. is foaming at the mouth over ATF’s middle finger reply, as in stone wall, slow walking, and not attending a hearing, emanating from Acting ATF Dir. and our dear TURK-MAN.
    Seems this goes all the way, quickly, as in FAST, and Holder left the Committee Furious.

    New hearings are scheduled, and round two is expected. The arrogance meted out to Cong. has many more than irritated, to the point, that the White House Petition, but more importantly, the Bill held up in committee since 2015, has been recalled to active status and not by co-incidence. This goes to eliminating the ATF and folding them into the FBI and DEA.

    If this occurs, NICS would be online available and rumor has it that the USPS might get the nod for issuing “stamps” as there is opinion in credible sources, that the USPS has expertise in issuing “stamps” inan orderly, timely manner. RUMOR. ATF hasn’t even gotten a whiff of this I hear. There does however exist concerted intentions to reduce ATF funding, reduce staff and the budge axe is now on the grinding stone. Priorities is the current seemingly lack of news.

    It is a fact, that no one knows how this will evolve let alone who stays, who goes and by what alphabet nomenclature designation. ATF under the previous admin. frankly has done nothing to enhance their relationship with the Congressional branch, quite the opposite as an insulated Executive branch.

    That is as current as the winds blow imo. Gotta’ get that in my opinion in script!

    I will offer my take on your phases 1,2, and 3. I’ve previously offered my opinion the odds of HPA passage are 3 to 1, I’ll stick by that “swag.” This has support crossing the isle in Congress. as for the “industry” boosting prices for a early gravy train imo, is a reach, as companies abound and in moments can be online and entering the sales market.
    If the reigns come off totally, as in no stamps, just perhaps a NICS check and a form at point of sale, or none at all, know one as yet knows, we’ll see a flood of Chinese imports and might under more restricted formalities.

    Modern “sporting rifles ” aka Armalite Rifles are likely threaded, I have a bushmaster pre-ban duty rifle crowned muzzle, no threading, but the rest by far of the firearms out there are not threaded, most pistols are not and my go to hunting bolt guns certainly are not.
    The point? I would be years before you see me at a range with my ported competition brakes removed, and 9 out of 10 on the firing lines likely in the same boat.
    Hearing protection at 25 to 100 bucks beats having your firearm threaded.
    This gives folks recently separated from employ in the industry to manufacture after market pistol barrels and long guns with threading, so opportunity exists.

    The firearm public for the most part imo, is saturated. New mouse traps are getting more difficult, as exceptions such as 6.5 Creedmore point out.
    The agile manufacturer’s, no doubt smarter than I, most certainly imo, will offer a “free suppressor, with the purchase of our long gun.” That boosts your market penetration, excludes entry into the suppressor market by sheer dominance and the leftovers, those just interested in getting a suppressor will seek the best for the buck. Competition will drive the weak from the marketplace and limit the upside profitability.

    So, for a number of reasons, if I were the person in a decision making position to commit CAPEX, I’d choose to outsource it to such and lazer etch, or, deal with existing cnc capacity in house.

    Personally, I need suppression, hunters especially those dealing with nocturnal feral issues, find optics and suppression a necessity to maximize efficiency, so I am not anti-industry, quite the contrary.

    I almost jumped a CZ on “gun-toker” the other day, beautiful with THREE barrels in the kit, at least two were threaded, for what, lol, I have no idea. I hate drooling at my age! Sad. Like I’ve said, I need no more anything, but I’ll take any CZ, threaded or not.
    So who will be the manufacturer who begins making barrels for the weapons what would be a market for suppressors? That might be where the sweet spot is. Margins, sales. A two-fer works for me…after market bbl. for (insert name, model of weapon) and a suppressor. I sorta’ like the idea. I need to cut back on that Ensure consumption.