Sound Suppressors For Varmints

Not sure if many Kit Up! readers are aware, but recently launched a product that will help keep our off duty readers and other enthusiasts up to date on the latest hunting and fishing news and features.

We understand that a good portion of troops spend some off duty time back in the woods in pursuit of game and fish, so we’ve teamed up with a great group of writers and reporters to bring you some fun content about the outdoors.

One of the things we’ve noticed is the confluence of the AR rifle platform and “off duty” activities such as recreational shooting and, increasingly, hunting…In fact, I’m headed down to a deer hunt in South Carolina next month and will be using a Remington 7.62 AR — the first time I’ve ever used one for a hunt.

Well, I thought I’d throw out there a story we’re running on flash hiders and sound suppressors for the civilian AR user and see what our readers think about the current technology of supressors and their applicationĀ to hunting.

One situation that is perfect for sound suppressors is predator/varmint control in urban and suburban areas. The urban varmint hunter works at hours when others close by are sleeping or watching a late movie. Mainstream media and the non-hunting public equate loud noise from a firearm to danger. Also, a suppressor will frequently allow acquisition of multiple targets without them spooking. A properly constructed sound suppressor will reduce the sound so it is no longer recognizable as a gunshot, clearing the way to get the job at hand done.

One of the biggest complaints with using a suppressor is the need to re-zero each time the suppressor is installed, however, new technology has taken the method the suppressor is attached to the barrel to new extremes that also ensure accuracy repeatability.

Kind of like the SureFire supressors that don’t require a re-zero…

But is the use of suppressors in the civilian market just a fringe thing, or are they a really useful and worthwhile accessory to have for your “off duty” AR?

Be sure to read the entire story on supressors and muzzle brakes for civilian ARs and read the rest of the great hunting and fishing content on’s Outdoor Channel.

  • Bob

    I am sure that the ATF would look upon a supressor as a silencer, they are prohibited by law, unless you have a class III license. Some states will not even allow a flash supressor, or any barrel that has screw threads on the muzzel end. Mounts to attach a bayonet are another forbidden item is some states. Otherwise we might have bayonet weilding drive-bys. I don’t think California allows the AR platform at all, unless it is one that has been grandfathered. The Obama administration has recently banned reimportation of Korean War vintage M1, Garands because they are considered a dangerous assault weapon that might fall into the hands of gangs, criminals and /or Mexican Drug Cartels.

    Don’t hold your breath on dangerous sound supressors, that are only used as a tool of assassins and such ilk. being allowed for the civilian population.

    • Doc

      AR platform and “assault weapon” style rifles are allowed in The People’s Republic of California if they are dedicated .22LR rifles

      • IYAOYAS

        They do not have to be “.22″ cal. Larger calibers are allowed as long as the rifle like all CA firearms passes the CA certification. It may not have a flash suppressor or removable magazine. CA weapons may get around the removable magazine restriction by the use of a ‘bullet button” which provides for the removal of a magazine with a separate tool (common tool).

        • Riceball

          It’s really silly, technically AR and other so-called assault rifles are illegal in CA yet you can own one if you either purchase the weapon, or as some of my co-workers have done, the individual components made by specific manufacturers and assemble it yourself. Since there’s that giant loop hole in the law why doesn’t CA just eliminate the stupid ban entirely and make these rifles fully legal to own since people already own them legally anyway even with the so-called ban. I also think that the definitions of an “assault rifle” are so stupid and arbitrary like having a bayonet lug or a flash suppressor; because my M1A has a removable magazine and an ever so deadly flash suppressor it’s considered an assault rifle yet the CA legal muzzle brake actually improves the accuracy by reducing muzzle climb, talk about ironic.

  • GruntDoc

    Bob, you have some facts wrong about the suppressors. First, suppressors and silencers are the same thing, suppressor is just the more correct name for them. Second you don’t need a Class III license to own one. The class III license is for the Federal Firearms License holder who wishes to deal in weapons that fall under the National Firearm Act of 1934. These include full autos, short barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices, and AOWs. The person buying one of the above, as long as it’s not prohibited by state or local law (legal in the majority of the country) fills out an ATF Form 4 and pays a $200 tax (only $5 for an AOW). After getting all the sign offs, sending in prints and photos, and waiting several months, you get your tax stamp and can pick up the firearm or suppressor. There are certain legal ways to do this either as an individual, corporation, or trust which you can talk to a lawyer about if necessary, but there is a ton of info on the net. Just go over to, or and you’ll find tons of suppressors available for purchase by regular joes.

  • Alex M

    Actually we are allowed to own slightly neutered AR-15 variants, I’m not going to get into specifics because that is a converstion all in itself. I am quite happy with my LWRC M6A2, which was legally aquired here in California, 5.56 even….

    • Alex M

      Oh BTW, silencers and suppressors are pretty much a no go here.

      • Doc

        yeah, you cant even have a yugoslavian SKS because of the grenade launcher. after all, we all know how common “drive by rifle grenade” attacks are around here

  • MarkM

    Unfortunately, some gun enthusiasts and a lot of politicians have a completely wrong view about suppressors. In Europe, they are REQUIRED for use in some countries, largely because they reduce noise pollution and protect the hearing of the shooter. They haven’t formed their opinions from Hollywood misinformation or their uninformed neighbors.

    In Missouri, suppressors are legal to own and use hunting. The citizen is required to have an Federal Firearms License, and the C&R version is sufficient. It’s a three year license for $30. Then a suppressor can be purchased from a FFL, and the BATF requires it’s paperwork and a $200 tax stamp. Once everyone has jumped through the NFA process, the buyer receives their suppressor and shoots it all they want.

    The biggest obstacle will be the ignorant citizens who mistakenly think they can enforce the law and interfere in the shooters activities. Many will hot line the local police, who will be processing false complaints, and the public will be slowly educated while the good guys are harassed for doing what they can legally do – either using suppressors, or if asked to investigate, taking a look at the paperwork most suppressor owners carry because the public overreacts.

    Hopefully, much of this can be cut off at the dispatch level. Why it should be the responsibility of the police to do so is a huge indication of the level of knowledge the public has on firearms – largely, none.

    Sheep who only grind grass with their teeth aren’t likely to understand others can use them differently.

  • Carl H


    I would encourage you to research the laws in MO & the ATF regulations concerning the issuance of a FFL. If the State of MO does in fact require a private citizen to have an FFL simply to own a suppressor, it is a defacto ban on the private ownership of such devices. The ATF will not issue a FFL to anyone unless they are actually engaged in the business of conducting firearms transactions. The only exception is if you are a gunsmith. Per ATF regulations a Curio & Relic license does not convey the authority to own just any suppressor. It must be listed under the Curio & Relic list in the National Firearms Act (NFA). In addition, all other rules regarding NFA weapons/devices still apply. In researching this I spoke directly with a ATF Industry Operations Investigator (formerly ATF Inspectors before the move to DOJ). I would strongly encourage anyone considering purchasing/creating a suppressor to contact their local ATF office for proper guidance.

  • MarkM

    Carl, my knowledge is gained from others who have already traversed the state and federal regulations. It’s law. It’s legal. They own them, and repeatedly post on forums about their use, performance, and what issues arise in purchasing them. It was settled for Missouri in 2008, and the appropriate authorities have been consulted and explained it carefully enough.

    Under the NFA, the BATF has the jusrisdiction to authorize citizen to purchase a tax stamp, and issues the same when appropriate investigation is completed. You don’t get permitted to possess the suppressor simply because you have a C&R, that’s simply a state requirement. Complying with the NFA paperwork and being issued a tax stamp by the BATF is the hurdle, it’s been done by the thousands across the United States. That process was codified in law in 1934, and there is now sufficient understanding of the BATF process for those who want to know how it has worked for the last 76 years. Yes, it’s been that long.

    I would strongly urge anyone considering purchasing/creating a suppressor to research the available websites the BATF hosts, along with the numerous sites and subforums for suppressor owners. There is a wealth of experienced, knowledgeable, and freedom exercising citizens who know quite well how easy it is to own one.

    It’s the uninformed attitude expressed previously that is the problem: suppressors are quite legal to own and use by common citizens in many jurisdictions. It’s the ignorant public who assumes they know it all that clucks their collective tongue that it must be illegal or somehow tainted.

    It’s America, not Amerika, you can own a suppressor and use it. You can even carry one concealed if you have a CCW. It’s not like Hollywood portrays, owners aren’t ninja assassins. They would just like to shoot without wearing extensive hearing protection.

    Noise reduction is not a crime, although it’s an equally wasted effort discussing it with some Harley owners.

    • Carl H


      I am glad there are other freedom loving individuals out there. I share your passion for freedom. Having said that, I also realize that we have to live within the law. My “uninformed attitude” comes from being married to the ATF Industry Operations Investigator whom I directly consulted on the information you provided in your first posting. I was trying to keep you, and others, out of trouble by providing some clarification on the issue directly from the agency responsible for regulating these devices.

      I never said suppressors were illegal to own, only that the information you provided concerning FFLs, the Curio & Relic license, & MO state law were not completely accurate. I certainly don’t know it all, as your post suggests, but I would venture to say my direct information from ATF is a bit more accurate than what you are getting from Internet postings. Unless you are one of the many who believe that everything on the Internet is the truth.

      I wish you luck with your future endeavors & will withold my “uninformed attitude” for those willing to accept a helping hand, not slap it away.

  • MarkM

    I read the ATF regulation myself. I also read the actions and results of citizens who have done exactly as I have described. They legally own and use suppressors as described, have filed. paid, and received licenses and tax stamps, and are in possession of suppressors.

    My spouse holds a degree in mathematics and computer science, and has worked as a programmer and teacher for years, yet it has done nothing for my understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem.

    Unless you are specifically qualified to comment as an Agent of the BATF, being married to one means nothing. I’ll take the real world experience and successful possession of suppressors by those who have actually done it. As my twenty two years of Army Reserve service has taught me, the experience and knowledge of actual users and possessors far outweigh the vicarious fantasies of those who have never been there or done that.

    My wife would in no way consider herself knowledgeable about the military or a soldier’s experience in our current conflict, but by your standard, she should claim herself entirely familiar with the daily activities inside the wire at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, and comfortable in directing others under her supervision.

    The merit of social standing has nothing to do with possessing an actual working knowledge. Fortunately, the rule of law proscribes and governs the decisions made in the process, not “I’m the spouse of So and So, and I say so.”

    For those who are interested in the process, search the forum at, or the NFA subforums at The High Road or The Firing Line. As said by some, there may be local jurisdictional restrictions – but by and large, most states do NOT outlaw the possession of suppressors or there use.

    • Carl H


      “In Missouri, suppressors are legal to own and use hunting. The citizen is required to have an Federal Firearms License, and the C&R version is sufficient.” This is your quote from your original post. It is factually incorrect. I was trying to assist those who might read this but made sure to direct people to consult the ATF, not rely on my word alone.

      You have treated me as an adversary some reason when my intent was to inform & assist. The only reason you do not understand the Pythagorean Theorem is because you must not have taken the time to have your wife educate you. Understanding that the ATF stands in the way of much I want to do concerning firearms, I have had my wife educate me so I can understand the system & how it works. If you, or anyone else want to rely on Internet postings for your understanding of Federal law you are, of course, entitled to do so. If that is your choice then my final statement to you is Caveat emptor. I wish you well.

  • How To Get FFL

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  • James

    Actually… you don’t need a class III license for a full auto or suppressor, just a $200 tax stamp. I have one.

  • COL

    That’s why they are rare. I live in the midst of a bunch of refineries, chemical plants, and petroleum tank farms. I want those grenade launchers as rare as they can be. I used them during Nam and know what they are capable of.

  • Jim

    It’s not factually incorrect. To legally own a suppressor in Mo you need either an FFL or C&R license, fill out the form 4, pay the tax, get approved and you have yourself a suppressor. A bit time consuming, but pretty easy. So, if the ATF agents your talking to disagrees with this, they best get on the phone with the “Home Office” because someone is wrong.

  • Rence

    Speaking of the ATF and their regs, whether it be for suppressor, SBR or Full auto, on the form there is a blank where you are to put your intended use for said item, and i’ve “heard” that the answer that gets approved fastest is “all lawful uses” rather than writing anything more specific. however, apparently one guy filled in that blank with: “all lawful uses/zombies” for an SBR and as funny as that is, got approved with no problems.

    not really relevant, but amusing :D

  • P. D. Quick

    Suppresors in any form as dangerous and they have the Hollywood movies to prove it!!!! There are even suppressed revolvers!!!! I don’t think any Californian should have a gun without a college degree. IN fact, let’s just skip that and give California to the Eskimos as an apology.

  • P. D. Quick

    Entering the word “Pliniking” is instant disapproval. The ATF has a ruling that “Plinking” is not a “sporting use”.
    Funny, that’s how my Grandfather taught me to shoot.

  • Jim

    October 20, 2011 – Salt Lake City, UT – SilencerCo, the leader in firearm suppressors manufacturing has launched the official “Silencers Are Legal” website which provides pertinent information on the benefits of owning a suppressor, how to legally obtain one, and what to do to make silencers legal in your state. The “Silencers Are Legal” website will recognize the IP address of the user and adjust the content according to users state and will let the user know if silencers are indeed legal in their respective state, and if they are not provide information what on steps to take and other options for legally obtaining a silencer.

    The “Silencers Are Legal” website provides information sections of History, Benefits, Ownership Details, Questions & Answers and a Dealer Map. The site provides the forms needed and other information that most gun enthusiasts might not be aware when dealing with the BATF, the onetime $200 transfer fee, and other legal issues surrounding NFA items. The Question & Answer section will provide any and all information necessary for anyone interested suppressor ownership.

    Why are suppressors so popular? Suppressors save hearing, increase situational awareness, improve accuracy and most importantly save lives. Suppressors can be used for personal protection, hearing protection, hunting, increased accuracy, benefits for professionals and it is your right.

    Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo states, “There is so much misinformation and lack of knowledge when it comes to suppressors and silencers that we felt the best way to help educate and provide information to anyone interested in owning a suppressor/silencer was to launch this website. The ‘Silencers Are Legal’ website will answer any questions that someone who has ever thought about owning a suppressor/silencer and show them that yes, indeed Silencers are in fact legal.”