Homemade silencers

I’m wondering about the effectiveness of homemade silencers, particularly the ones you see in movies; empty milk bottle, potato, etc. Also, how good are the ones you can make yourself following directions from on of those sites dealing with fake ID, killing, survival, dropping-off-the-grid type books.

Finally, how good are the best silencers made professionally?

Can’t answer your first question (I’m fairly sure it’s illegal in most jurisdictions, as well as unsafe), but as to your last question;
Here’s a guy testing a silenced assault rifle with various forms of sub-sonic ammunition. Here’s a guy with a number of silenced firearms. And just for the lulz, here’s a guy who silenced a Nagant revolver. The ‘fwip fwip’ sound is a Hollywood invention, it seems. Here’s a website that appears to test a number of professionally made silencers.

There was a case recently which made the news about a woman who hired a relative to murder her ex-husband over a custody dispute. The killer used a homemade silencer constructed from a bleach bottle taped over the barrel. It didn’t work – the bottle just blew off the gun on the first shot, and the shooter fired several more times.

NY Times article.

A silencer can muffle the gases coming out of the muszzle but cannot do anything about the projectile itself so to have a silent firearm you need to have a subsonic speed projectile and a silencer which slows the gases coming out ouf the muzzle, which is not difficult to do.

I’ve shot my .22 pistol with an Advanced Armaments Aviator. They list a 39Db sound reduction for that unit. It’s very much quieter than with no silencer, but still not “silent”, but not immediately identifiable as a gun shot either. With this pistol it doesn’t matter if you use subsonic ammo or not as the barrel is too short for the bullet to reach max velocity. With a longer barrel and supersonic ammo, there would still be the crack of the bullet regardless of how good a silencer you had.

The first video posted by Mr. Kobayashi is an excellent example of this. Supersonic ammunition is fired through a silenced rifle and makes as big a boom as ever. Then the subsonic ammunition is fired and is nearly silent, except for the action being cycled.

Many years ago, a friend of a friend had a homemade silencer (I won’t give construction details) and using subsonic ammo, it merely sounded as if the rifle (a Ruger 10/22) was being dry-fired.

You could make an effective supressor with a little know how and the right tools, but I’d be skeptical of anything online unless it required machining the parts. Potatos, wet toweks, milk jugs etc probably aren’t what the Navy SEALs use.

When i was in my teens, i tried the old bottle supressor trick on my .22 out of boredom. The only thing it did was blow the bottle halfway across the yard.

A friend of mine is a machinist and used to make and sell silencers. Years later, long after he had stopped making them, one of these silencers was confiscated during the arrest of someone on unrelated charges. The arrested guy was pressured into contacting my friend and after much back-and-forth, talking my friend into making another silencer, “just this once”. My friend did three years in the federal pen.

Years ago, some motocross riders made a very effective noise suppressor, using flexible pipe insulation. They drilled big holes in the stinger pipe coming out of the double cone chamber. Then, simple foam pipe insulation was clamped on. Each compressed wave would inflate the foam for an instant, then it would deflate in time for the next wave. Though there was no obstruction at all, the sharp metallic bark was reduced to the sound of a person doing a raspberry.

One rider said he built one for his gun. I told him I didn’t want to know.

It just ocurred to me that “pen” is short for penitentiary as well as a word in its own right meaning “a confined space” and both fit the meaning. Interesting.

By the way, building a basic suppressor is quite easy and there are plans easily found. It may be illegal to build one but it’s not like its a secret how to do it or even illegal to talk about it.

Home made silencers do work. My friend and I experimented with the bottle theory and actually made some that worked pretty well (by well, i mean it reduced the level of sound significantly) but they only lasted maybe 5-7 shots. At first, we tried just stuffing toilet paper in the bottle, and that worked surprisingly well for the 30 seconds it took to make, but again, maybe 5 shots. We also experimented using rubber washers and some other things that worked even better. They don’t work well enough to kill someone in the middle of the mall, but probably well enough that the neighbors two or three houses won’t hear it, or if they do, realize that it is gunfire.

YMMV IANAL Do not attempt at home, blah blah blah…

Yeah, and to this day I’m not sure whether it is the building of a silencer, or the selling of a silencer that is illegal.

At any rate, I am surprised that the thread is unlocked.


Some details are here: National Firearms Act - Wikipedia

The short version: When you manufacture the suppressor, you’re supposed to register it and pay a $200 tax. When you sell it, the purchaser must obtain permission from the ATF and pay a $200 tax.