SILENCER SATURDAY #17: Where Are Our Stamps?

by Pete

Welcome to the weekend everyone, and thanks for joining us here at TFB’s Silencer Saturday. If you are in the BATFE application approval process for the transfer (or making) of a National Firearms Act (NFA) controlled weapon(s), you are either the model of patience or overcome with frustration. Even after our numerous conversations about technology upgrades, manpower increases, and the reduced volume of forms post the 41F surge, Form 1 and Form 4 approval rates are sitting at about five to seven months. So, as I sit and wait along with all of you, I ask: where are our stamps?

First the good news. I have heard from multiple manufacturers, distributors and dealers that business is picking up, with some companies saying that sales in the past few months have eclipsed all of the total sales in 2017. Increased sales will eventually have a “trickle-up” effect that should spur development and innovation – i.e. better, stronger, lighter and quieter silencers.

However, increased sales might mean increased wait times, even though in 2018, processing an application should be handled digitally rather than with the USPS and a stack of paperwork. So, not being an insider to the process, let’s take a look at where the potential approval bottlenecks might lie.

1) Payment For NFA Stamps:

Actually, scratch that, let’s start where there isn’t a bottleneck: NFA Tax Stamp payments. Submitted forms head to a P.O. Box in Atlanta, Georgia before continuing up to West Virginia for review. Even though the approval process is sitting at two thirds of a year, applicant’s payment is processed in a matter of days. On the downside: thanks for taking my money so quickly. On the upside: at least there’s no hold up in this part of the journey.

2) Initial Processing:

Once the application packages arrive at the ATF’s NFA Division they are sorted: barcode versus no barcode, trust versus individual, etc. Along with the sorting, some initial data entry and data integrity checks can begin. So far, so good.

3) Background Check:

Here’s where we are (reportedly) seeing the backlogs begin. The ATF sends your prints and information off to the FBI for a background check. It’s at this point where Form 1s and Form 4s are prioritized (hint: they don’t seem to be a priority). And according to some sources, this may the majority of the NFA bottleneck.

4) Another Background Check?

For some reason, after 41F was put into place on July 13th, 2016, apparently the BATFE decided that an additional NICS Check was required, even after the fingerprints come back from the FBI with a seal of approval. I am not aware of the specifics behind the additional records check, whether it’s a case-by-case basis or other details, but if true, would certainly add to the delays in processing.

5) Legal Entities -Trusts & LLCs:

Remember, after 41F, all Responsible Persons were required to submit fingerprints, photographs and undergo a background check. Obviously this process will add to the delays in processing forms. On top of those steps, BATFE legal examiners are also tasked with reviewing the Trust and Incorporation documents associated with every application to ensure it is legally viable.

6) Mailing Stamps:

Probably one of the more frustrating parts of the wait is the time it takes for an approved Form 4 to arrive at your FFL/SOT or your Form 1 to arrive at your home. It seems that there is anywhere between 21-30 days of lag time between the approval of forms and the receipt of stamps. This part of the process should take less than a week, especially since our checks are cashed just as fast.

Now what?

Where do we go from here? I’m not exactly sure. I’ve tried the whole “write your senators and congressmen” route with zero results. And I don’t think the men and women of the BATFE are to blame – they may be stuck behind bureaucracy just as much as we are.

I’ve heard rumors of the use of live scan finger print submissions and the return of a new eForms system, but everyone that I talk to agrees that implementation could take years.

Honestly, if a two page form and a NICS Check suffices for the purchase of handguns, it should work just as well for suppressors and 15.9” barreled rifles. Repeal the NFA. Until then, keep paying your taxes and waiting for those approvals.

New Release: Dead Air Armament Odessa-9

There are things we didn’t like about the current choices of handgun silencers.

And you probably have the same gripes.

Most of us have lived with these problems, assuming them as reality. Not even realizing that silenced life could be better… seamless even.

The fact is, most people don’t shoot their handguns suppressed all of the time. But when you do, you want taller sights for a better sight picture.

You also don’t always want an extra 10 inches sticking off the end of your barrel. But the shorter offerings may not be quiet enough for you. Forcing you to choose between optimal silence and maneuverability.

Can’t it be easier?

Yes. It can.

Enter the Odessa-9.

The Odessa-9 features a 1.1″ tube, allowing you to fully utilize your stock sights. That’s right, the Odessa-9 is almost as small as our Mask. It is also fully modular and can be shot in multiple configurations. 11 to be exact (well, 12 if you don’t use ANY baffles). If you stack only four baffles you’ll be close to, or below, hearing safe levels with subsonic ammunition. Stack on the full 11 baffles and we’ve hovered just shy of 122dB with HUSH subsonic ammo. With the smaller tube and this much modularity, your suppressed handgun life just got easier.

The Odessa-9 is compatible with legacy pistons such as those from Silencerco and Rugged Suppressors.

A simple universal nylon holster that will accomodate most rimfire pistols with the silencer attached. The rear boasts a belt loop that is genererous enough to accomodate heavy 2″ belts and can be quickly donned/doffed with the two button closure. The front hosts two small pouches to hold many different styles of magazines or 1″ diameter silencers. The flap can be secured in the “open” position by snapping the flap into the button located on the back. A shock cord retention lanyard has also been included for use in this configuration. – Silencer Shop

Protecting Your Ears With Suppressors – Guns And Ammo

Credit: Guns And Ammo

Most shooters know the importance of “eyes and ears” on the range and in the field. We’re taught that on day one — a hot range means ear protection and eye protection is in place. And there’s a good reason for this: A gunshot typically has a noise rating of 160 decibels (dB) or above, which exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hearing-safe threshold of 140 dB. Read more from Guns And Ammo:

Debunking 6 Myths About Suppressors – Locked Back

Due to the scarcity of suppressors, which are often called silencers, as well as how suppressors are portrayed in movies, television, and video games – there are many misconceptions about suppressors. Let’s take a quick look at these suppressor myths and debunk them. Read More from Locked Back:

Sig Sauer – The mass movement toward silencer ownership is well under way. SIG SAUER is proud to help make this common-sense technology accessible to even more shooters and hunters. With innovative product development and manufacturing processes, SIG is making silencers quieter, tougher, more accurate—and also more affordable.

Why I Use a Suppressor – Tactical Ordinance

It must have been the road noise. I thought I was having a hard time hearing my five year old daughter speaking to me on my cell phone because of the road noise. That old SUV was kind of loud inside. Until I switched the phone to my left ear and suddenly I could hear her just fine. Wait, what just happened? I moved the phone back to the right ear and there was that muffled voice again. That’s when I knew I had a problem. Read more from Tactical Ordinance here:

Budgets are tight, ammo is expensive, tax stamps are still $200 a whack – we are considering adding a weekly sponsor for TFB’s Silencer Saturday. Interested? Opposed? Have an idea? We are all ears. Send us an email to


Silencers - Science

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2 of 41 comments
  • RICH RICH on May 02, 2018

    Having a pile of NFA tax stamps my last form 4 took one year and about 4 days ! ! That's absolutely ridiculous ! Especially they have all of my information from my past registrations. All they should have to do is cross reference your information and run an NCIC criminal history to insure that you haven't been arrested since the last tax stamp you received ! WTF ? ? !

  • Secundius Secundius on May 03, 2018

    Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina that introduced HR 367 “The Hearing Protection Act, also came up with the “SHARE Act”. And decided to Bury the HPA within the SHARE Act, and the Last Vote on the SHARE Act was in 17 September 2017, and was Killed by a 117 to 314 Vote...