Sound Suppressed and Silent Firearms


This includes silent guns that have integral or detachable silencers. Silencers are available from class III dealers and can be attached to most firearms, but they work best as components of purpose built or modified guns. This means that a practical gun is set aside for use with the silencer. Some minor modifications may need to be made to the gun in order to make it truly silent (or near silent). Sound suppressers will reduce noise levels on guns that fire subsonic bullets but will do little to quiet guns that fire high velocity bullets unless subsonic ammunition is used as a substitute for their regular ammo. This is because high velocity bullets make a noise of their own when traveling through the air outside of the suppresser. 

Legal restrictions on silencers in the US are similar to those of machine guns with one major difference.  The supply of legal machineguns was frozen by a change in federal law in 1986 but silencers and some other weapons were not included in the ban.  That means that most people who can pass an extensive criminal background check and get permission of local authorities can legally purchase or manufacture silencers.   One part of this legal process is the payment of a $200 fee to the federal government for a stamp that validates the legality of the silencer on the ownership documents.  

Suppressed firearms that fire regular supersonic ammo are only a little quieter than those without suppressors. It is harder to determine where shots are coming from if they are fired from a suppressed weapon even though one may hear the bullet itself. Subsonic ammunition has less power than regular ammunition and thus is usually only effective at shorter ranges.   Some people still use sound suppressors on full power rifles to reduce noise but the effect of the noise suppressor will have little effect on the sonic crack of made by the bullet traveling through the air.  These 'sound reducing' outfits will help keep the noise of training activities from traveling several miles to where they will be heard and possibly reported to the authorities.   Many military and police shooting ranges in Europe that are situated close to populated areas require the use of sound reducers for weapons.  Sometimes this means firing the weapons from an enclosure that is built to contain some of the noise while other times it means the installation of compact silencers that have a limited, but evident effect on the noise of the weapons.





Suppressed guns can give the low profile survivalist the capability of operating virtually unheard. This can be great for hunting (although usually illegal) and some combat situations. A silencer can be a liability in some combat situations since the quiet suppressive fire has little intimidation value (no noise or flash). An opponent may get the impression that you are unarmed or not shooting at him and be more emboldened in his attack or pursuit.


There are several books on the market that detail the manufacture of suppressors. Designs range from improvised contraptions that utilize plastic soft drink bottles to direct copies of commercially made units for police agencies and the military. Legal Class III silencers typically cost $500 to $600, not because they cost this much to make, but because of the licensing requirements that accompany their manufacture. Even the highest quality silencers usually cost less than $100 in material and labor to make. Illegal manufacture of silencers is comparable in the eyes of the law to the illegal manufacture of machine-guns, even if the silencer composed of a plastic bottle and adhesive tape. Survivalists may want to consult some of the how-to texts and stockpile components for later manufacture on an as-need, when needed, basis.

Integrally silenced Sniper rifles are highly effective modern weapons.  They are favored by the Israeli Defense Forces and some law enforcement agencies.  The rifle to the left is an export version made available from Russia.  It is loosely based on the AK47 but is extensively modified to reduce noise. 

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