Greetings everyone. Thanks for joining us here at TFB’s Silencer Saturday, where the loudest sounds are every tick of the clock while waiting for your latest stamp. Last week we discussed the downsides of the one-size-fits-all silencer and why it may not be the best choice for new shooters looking to jump into silencer ownership. My suggestion is to pick one (or two or three) silencers that are ‘industry leaders’ in their class and suppress a few hosts really well. The last thing a new owner needs after a hefty ATF wait is lackluster performance. In the Buyer’s Guide Part I, we discussed the basics of proper research, knowing your needs and talking to current owners of real-world recommendations. But now that you are ready to put some money on the table, where do you go from here?
SILENCER SATURDAY #23: Suppressors Buyer’s Guide Part II
While the first suppressor you buy will probably come with the most stress, here are a few hints that will help keep you from making a mistake. Most importantly, don’t rush into making a decision. Remember, the market for used silencers is nearly non-existent, so any can you buy now will be one that either goes to the range or hunting with you every weekend, or it will sit it your safe – unused.
- Shop Around: You made, your choice and are ready to drop some cash. My suggestion is to start with a broad online search to take a look at the numbers. Don’t be one of these people that lets $20 on a $700 purchase stand in the way of a sale. Check out other services offered – NFA paperwork, fingerprints, automatic filing and return policy. Check each dealers social media for negative comments or reviews. Don’t forget to check out your local dealers. Some may offer silencers as an overpriced second thought alongside handguns and rifles. Others are just as excited as you are to order up the latest and greatest new silencers.
- Don’t Try And Time The Market: ATF wait times and consumer pricing can fluctuate as much as ammo prices. If you think you are going to wait until NFA Application wait times are lower, you need to readdress your logic methods. The same thing goes for deals and prices: in early 2016 almost everyone was sold out of all the reputable brands. A few months later, manufacturers caught up and there was solid availability along with some discounts. Take a tip from the investment world: dollar cost averaging is your friend.
- Have A Second Or Third Choice In Mind: Many manufacturers produce models in batches, especially some of the more specialized silencers. This means you could end up waiting a month or two before being able to order, and more importantly, start your NFA paperwork. Like the prom, it’s a good idea to have a second (or third) choice in mind in case you get rejected during checkout.
- Ask About Any NFA Related Assistance: Proper application completion and submission will make the difference between an approved stamp and an extra two week delay. A good dealer will complete most of your paperwork and even provide fingerprints, photographs and possibly NFA Trust services. These are important steps in the process, so it’s in your best interest to ask for help, especially if you are new to the NFA world.
- Promotions, Sales And Discounts: Between Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Black Friday, there are always deals to be had if you are willing to wait and shop around a bit. Recently the discontinued Blackhawk! silencers were going at sub $400 prices and several manufacturers will offer free mounts, muzzle devices or even rimfire silencers free with the purchase of certain rifle silencers.
In Suppressor Buyer’s Guide Part III we will discuss some of the common errors made on NFA applications and how it affects the process and time it takes to receive your stamp and silencer. Until next week, shoot safely everyone.
The Sierra barrel with midlength gas suppressed and getting a full auto workout.