An interesting site, Zuma. For some years, I have encountered people who believe revolvers are ‘impossible’ or ‘not the best sort of pistol’ for use with silencers, because everyone thinks of that gap between the cylinder and the inner end of the barrel. Let me suggest this:
The next time a documentary comes on about the space program, watch for a scene where a rocket (typically a Saturn 5) takes off (just listen for The Planets: Mars). Here’s what you’ll see. First, ignition. A gout of smoke and maybe even some flame, escaping from the bottom of the engine and squeezing up between the rocket and the gantry deck, rapidly spreading out. Then, the rocket begins to lift off. As it does, the exhaust plume gets closer to the gantry deck. Watch, and you’ll see how the smoke gets sucked back down below the deck.
Something similar (although obviously not on such a scale or as clearly visible) happens as the bullet leaves the cylinder and fully enters the barrel – there’s still gas pressure behind it, but it’s actually falling off somewhat from the maximum pressure it achieved as the powder ignited and just before the bullet began to move and broke free of the cannelure of the shell (where the casing is crimped slightly). As the bullet moves down the barrel, it’s still accelerating, even as it overcomes the inertia of the air in the barrel in front of it, because although the gas pressure is actually starting to drop, the bullet continues to absorb gas momentum until fully exiting the barrel end. So, even as gas seeks to escape from the gap, there’s also a slight counter-force which tends to minimize any sound. My main problem is with the residue blown all over the hands. If you wear disposable gloves of the proper type, then put them in a can of gasoline carried in your trunk, any residue will be dissolved and any internal fingerprints useless. Then you just toss them away. So, while I would personally certainly prefer an automatic, a revolver can still be adequately silenced if desired.
The most common type of cheap, disposable device is made from an in-line lawnmower muffler. These have a single, simple baffle plate across their middle. A half-inch hole, centered, drilled in this plate on a simple drill press (or even by placing it in a vice and drilling freehand), will produce a serviceable prototype.
Where most people go wrong is in attaching the homemade device. What you mainly need is a gun with enough barrel extending beyond the lower frame (such as in a revolver or, e.g., a P-38 automatic) to securely mount the device. Since most people have neither the skill nor the equipment to tap the barrel end, and it may be handy to have a registered weapon with an obviously untapped (i.e., presumably unsilenceable) barrel to show, the easiest way is to tightly wrap duct tape around the barrel until it fits snugly inside the muffler’s opening. Using a high-speed cutting disk, you can cut four neat slits, evenly spaced, in the muffler’s end-tube. Then you just add a simple hose-clamp to help tighten the tube around the duct-tape, carefully checking that the bullet path is precisely centered down the muffler body. Voila. Then, of course, it’s always a good idea afterwards to run a few boxes of ammo through the gun (if you want to keep it), in order to change the ballistic markings.
Someday being such a student of crime novels is going to get me in trouble . . .