Friday, February 03, 2017

Mandatory Read on Silencers

From my friend Kel Whelan writing for RECOIL:
If you want a suppressor, buy the ticket, take the ride. The HPA Bill may or may not pass in the two year Congressional class it is now in. While things actually do look positive, the firearms legal community has more widely-impacting laws it may burn its clout on to pass (notably nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry). Support the HPA and the ASA – they need your help since this *isn’t* a done deal. The best thing for supporters to do is to call and email legislators in support of the HPA, and ask to bring the bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
By all means read the whole thing!


NJ Larry said...

MB a question...
Lets assume silencers/suppressors/mufflers get deregulated and become parts. Since they are
not complicated devices
Most designs are open and well known
The materials are nothing special
And material costs are probably less than 20 dollars
Worldwide established companies already produce them for dirt cheap
If need be to reduce cost further China Mexico or VietNam are available

I therefore would think that there would be a collapse of the US high end companies. It would overnite become an Ebay kindof product. They would go from boutique companies to something like Bipod or Handgard houses. A couple of machinists, a garage and bingo. 15 or 20 bucks plus shipping. So where is the incentive for the big name companies to see this happen? Am I wrong? What would the business model look like?

Anonymous said...


You bring up excellent points. From a supply/demand economic perspective, part of the "high" price of suppressors is the fact that they are limited in availability due to laws and the absence of manufacturers, a.k.a.: competition. They are also exotic for the most part, also driving up prices. That makes them toys for those able to afford them.

As with everything though, as long as the market is allowed to "self-right", everything will settle-in eventually. Design and manufacturing technologies will evolve as well, reducing prices and increasing availability. As you allude, it may be different from what most are envisioning. In the end, if they become widely accepted and legal-without-the-hassle, then there will be a BIG hole to fill. First though, we need to get the laws changed.

The "business model" will look no different than any free-market model. Use handguns as an example. First they were common, then they were highly restricted and availability went down and the price went up. Now, they're "legal" again and common and the and availability goes up and prices go down.

I think that I'll follow MB's advice and just order a suppressor now, attached to a new gun.

Life Member

Michael Bane said...

I think there will indeed be a wholesale shift in the market, toward the lower end. High zoot guys are always going to go with the newest/bestest, which by default means the most expensive. As you note, Larry, silencers at their most basic aren't rocket science. I recall a conversation I had with the top executives of a major suppressor company. They confirmed that there was no money to be made at the low end of the market…the big margins are on the newest/bestest most technologically advanced units, because the people buying them were, in essence, the upper percentile of gun owners/shooters.

Now compare that to New Zealand, where silencers have always been legal and widely accepted. The hunting/shooting mags tend to feature "affordable" silencers ($150-250USD range). Cheaper ones are available, as are more expensive ones for specialized users (long range precision, large caliber, etc).

The model for the "new" suppressor market, whenever that arrives, with be an iceberg — the 20% high zoot, latest technology, unobtainium tubed silencers will get all the press, but the 80% of the sales that keeps the doors open will be in the affordable range.

To see what the future looks like, check out Inland Manufacturing's .22 suppressor they released at SHOT…$189.95, with a printed polymer core user-replaceable for like $30-40 bucks. I would imagine that replacement core price will be about $20 pretty quickly. Also Gemtec, with their Trek series for hunters, at $499, substantially less than the typical price for a centerfire rifle suppressor (I have one in the pipeline for my .30 cals).


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