SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

by Pete
SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

Good evening everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the brand new YHM 338 Bad Larry Suppressor. Last week we discussed the fast approval times and a few impulse-buy suppressors if you feel like spinning the roulette wheel that is the ATF eForms NFA application process. Due to an ongoing snow/ice/rain storm, we are staying inside today by a warm fire and tackling our NFA administrative and maintenance checklist. I know you need to get caught up as well. Let’s take a look.

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SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

Truth be told, I spent a few hours writing an editorial on the ‘In Common Use’ standard and how it could be used to deregulate suppressors. Then I remembered that I wrote something similar back in 2019 and scrapped the whole thing. So now we all get to do paperwork and cleanup together while everyone else gets to enjoy weekend leave.

If you are anything like me, acquiring and actually shooting guns takes up 90% of your allotted firearm time, leaving only 10% of the time for menial administrative tasks like inspections, cleaning, and record keeping. Do yourself a favor and carve out a few hours this week to take care of all things you have been putting off.

Record Keeping:

Stamps and Forms
SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

Even if you just have two or three NFA items, the paperwork you received when your FFL called about your approvals is the only proof that they were legally transferred to you. If you haven’t already done so, make copies and/or scans of all of your Form 4s and Form 1s and keep them in a separate, secure location than the originals. If you use a trust to register your NFA items, make sure your trust documents are up do date and that you have a copy of any amendments, responsible persons documents, and other information.

SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

Although it may seem dark, preparing for the transfer of NFA items in the event of your death is an important part of your estate planning. Again, if you use a trust, the transfer of ownership should be relatively simple. If you want to be really organized and save your family and heirs from additional grief, complete an ATF Form 5 for each of your NFA items so all that is left to do is mail everything in to the processing center. Heck, you could even fill out the envelopes. It’s the least you can do, you’re dead and unavailable to help read serial numbers and lick stamps.


While we are on the topic of record keeping, it is a good idea to taking pictures of your guns and NFA items as proof of ownership and quality. Take pictures from each side and one of the serial number markings. Print or save two copies and store them with your forms and form copies. Use the James Reeves method as explained here.


Now that you have everything documented, it’s time to make sure your insurance paperwork is up to date. I highly recommend having firearm-specific insurance from a company like Collectibles Insurance Services. When you request a quote, make sure to include any accessories like mounts or muzzle devices. Include non-NFA firearms, ammunition, and accessories as well. Keep two copies of your insurance forms in secure locations.


Obviously, all firearms need to be stored safely, especially if you have younger children who like to explore. Inspect your safe for proper functioning. If you haven’t taken the time to bolt it to the floor, today is as good as any to get that out of the way. Also, make sure you have the combination stored in a secure location and that a trusted partner or family member has access if needed.


SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

Up until a few years ago, hunting around for the right mount, a shim, or a suppressor-specific tool was frustrating. After getting organized, I spend a lot less time searching though boxes and bins for that one missing part I ‘saw somewhere around here last year’. I use small plastic storage bins to keep pistons, muzzle devices, and mounts neatly in one place.

SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

This is also a good time to organize add-ons like threaded barrels, end caps, replacement o-rings, and any other small parts that you will eventually need but will not be able to find. Also, organize any suppressor-specific (subsonic) ammo so that you don’t accidentally blast it all away with your buddies at a bump-fire range day.

Inspection and Cleaning:

SILENCER SATURDAY #321: NFA Administrative And Maintenance Checklist

The most time consuming admin and maintenance function will be individually inspecting and cleaning of each one of your suppressors. If possible, remove the baffles, end caps, mounts, and any modular sections. Clean and inspect each piece; your looking for abnormal wear, baffle strikes, end cap strikes, misaligned threads, or other issues that may cause additional damage or injuries if left unchecked.

Host firearms also need to be cleaned and inspected, paying close attention to the barrel threads and shoulder to ensure proper suppressor alignment. Clean the threads and shoulder area thoroughly with a fine rag or cotton swab.

Lastly, as you reassemble everything, make sure the baffles are in the correct order and the threads are properly aligned. Be careful with some cleaning solutions on aluminum parts, use firearm-specific gun care products (no WD40), and wear protective gear to keep solvents and lead off of your skin and out of your eyes. And don’t forget the four rules of gun safety – cleaning and disassembly are the time when accidents can happen the most.

Have a great week. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.




DEALERS: If you want your link to buy YHM suppressors included in future Silencer Saturday

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