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Question about Building a Suppressor

DerBarbarianDerBarbarian Member Posts: 289 ✭✭
edited November 2011 in Ask the Experts
Question for you guys, if you were going to build a suppressor for your own personal use do you still need to have a FFL license, or do you need to send the design into the ATF and get the $200 Stamp? I ask because my buddy is intent on building one and doesn't think you need one if it's for your own use and you're not selling them. I'm pretty sure even if it's for personal use you needed one of the 9 types of FFL licenses because it stills falls under manufacturing Destructive Devices.. So I just wanted a third perspective about it. I have my C&R so I've done a lot of research on the various licenses . So Just curious. Input would be appreciated.


  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 20,812 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Making a can will end you in a can. In your case your "buddy" [;)].
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This is one of the few cases where possessing even a single part of an NFA item is illegal if you don't have prior ATF approval.

    I can see where it sounds like a fun project. It's relatively easy to build your own, but quite difficult to build a really good one. Several years ago I talked to the owner of a small company that makes them; he has a masters degree in engineering. He has a lot of expensive equipment that is used to test every new model he designs, not an easy task.


    EDIT: If you have a C&R license, you should have been mailed a copy of ATF P5300.4 (Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide), also downloadable from the ATF website. THAT BOOK, nothing that you read on the Internet, is where you should get all your information. The answers to all your questions are there, although reading can be difficult at times.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,728 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not trying to be sarcastic, or flaming, but look up the phone number of the nearest BATFE office and have your friend call and ask them directly for his own benefit. I have called field offices several times on technical and legal issues and have always received friendly and informative details. [:)]
    Barring that, you may find the same information on their FAQ web site with a bit of clicking.
  • llamallama Member Posts: 2,637 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, you can do it legally. Yes, you need to have your tax stamp in hand before you start making it. There are lots of designs out there ... one that looked good and easy to make (stuff already threaded for the most part, etc) was based off a MagLite body...

    But tread *very* carefully... and remember, your tax stamp is only good for one... can't keep building "beta" versions, etc. w/o a tax stamp for each.
  • DerBarbarianDerBarbarian Member Posts: 289 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ok, well I was just curious about the legal web behind it. So from what I can assume is that you cannot make one yourself WITHOUT an FFL license being that it is a Destructive Device or falls under that category that is. I have been doing research because all my friends turn to me for firearms advice and what not because I'm kind of the gun nut of the group, my buddy just thinks I'm trying to be a know it all when all I'm trying to do is give him the right information so he doesn't and up in a 6x8 cell. As far as the research goes I found one place that said you can make them for personal use but you need to submit the specs to the ATF before you do it and pay the Tax Stamp but that didn't sound right, because hell it's like my C&R license that's for private use I can't sell them but regardless I need it to buy C&R weapons. So I'm just trying to figure out what license he actually needs before he can go forth with it, I haven't read through all of them since I got my C&R so if someone could point out the one he actually needs that would be really helpful.. As far as the research goes I'm going to be a bit presumptuous and say that if you do build for yourself you NEED a License and cannot just submit the specs to the ATF then build and Pay the for the Stamp? Sorry for the retentiveness just covering my bases and trying to help a friend out. For those that put "Friend" No it's not me I don't have the knowledge or equipment to make one, nor would I really want to try I would be too paranoid about it just being just right and blow my rifle to bits :-).
  • cpermdcpermd Member Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    No FFL needed
    Fill out the Form 1 and send in $200.
    You don't have to send any plans.
    You do have to wait the 5-6 months until the approved tax stamp arrives at your house.

  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 20,812 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Out of curiocity. When does a "suppressor" becomes a suppressor? Is it when the outer sleeve is placed? I mean otherwise it's pretty much a muzzle break (ain't it?).
  • givettegivette Member Posts: 10,886
    edited November -1
    The phrase 'destructive device is bantered about..innacurately. A surpressor is one of the categories of NFA items, but a D.D. is a different classification.

    D.D.'s are hand-grenades, mortar rounds, etc.

    Also 'license' is mentioned several times. No license is required. All you have to do is pay the $200 tax (don't won't be allowed to pay the tax if you are not approved). See Nwcid's sticky at the top of this forum. It contains enough info to 'whet your appetite'.

    Best, Joe
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