Silencer question from a Forensics Files episode

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by buckhuntr, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. buckhuntr

    buckhuntr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes, I know it's suppressor, but in the show they called it silencer. An Idaho leo said on camera that silencers are illegal because it messes with the rifling marks on the fired bullet, which I disagree with as the reason, but the statement from a forensics guy on the episode really made me baffled. He said depending on how the silencer is turned when mounted, it puts its own marks on the bullet. I find this difficult to believe, in that it is my understanding that if the silencer/suppressor touches the bullet, the trajectory would be changed and thus POI would change, which is not something the shooter would want.
    So, you guys who use them, is the show simply full of bovine excrement, as usual on tv?
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    The terms silencer, suppressor or muffler are used rather interchangeably. Although, IMHO, the term suppressor is more accurate. Some suppressors used a "wipe" or baffle that COULD- in theory, add or change markings on a soft lead bullet.

    However, suppressors are NOT illegal in most states- they are regulated as an NFA firearm, same as a machinegun. WHY are they regulated that way? Because in 1934, some Congressmen decided they needed to "do something" about crime, and had a misconception about what a suppressor does. It does NOT "silence" a firearm-it quiets it down. Can you still hear the firearm? In almost every case, yes.

    TV shows tend to be heavy on the bovine excrement, resulting in more bad laws.
     
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  3. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

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    The bullet does not touch the baffles in a suppressor...yes, close, but not actually touching so I would think it unlikely that the rifling scars would be altered...but I would not know for sure
     
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  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Not used much in present day suppressors, here is an article of suppressors from the late 1960s-

    The wipe design is another piece of silencer tech from the Vietnam era. Instead of baffles, the original Ingram Mac-11 silencer used wipes, which were solid disks made of rubber or felt and separated by washers. The hole in the middle of each wipe was sealed off temporarily by the bullet as it flew through the envelope and physically touched each wipe. In theory this meant that the propellant gas was temporarily trapped behind the bullet and wipe, so the wipe would act as an efficient baffle. In reality it meant a loss of accuracy, melted chunks of wipe flying downrange, and a silencer that performed pretty well during the first magazine and hardly at all by the third one. The gooey mess of destroyed wipes had to be replaced to make the silencer work again.
     
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  5. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    well, i have seen them on shows before looking at a bullet under a microscope, and talking about extra marks on the bullet, saying "It's been fired through a silencer. get me the silencer and i can compare the markings." hmmmm.......

    now, i'm no suppressor expert by any means, but my limited understanding is, the bullet doesn't touch anything within the suppressor. comes really close, just like a muzzle brake, or compensator. if the bullet does touch, i think the term used is baffle strike IIRC.

    as Mr. C3 pointed out, about soft lead, i could easily see marks possibly on cast lead bullet under the conditions he described, but a copper jacketed FMJ bullet? i may be wrong, but if the suppressor was able to leave marks on a FMJ bullet, i would have to guess accuracy would be severely degraded.

    one way to prove or disprove the concept, would be to take one pistol, capable of being fitted with a suppressor, and firing two rounds through it into ballistic gel, one with the suppressor, and one without. then examining them under a microscope for extra makings on the one fired through the suppressor.
     
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Current made suppressor's don't make any markings on bullets, unless you happen to have a baffle strike from the suppressor coming loose or not having the barrel threads concentric with the bore. If either of those happen, you have pretty much ruined your suppressor.
     
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  7. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe the one on the TV show was of the homemade/black market variety, and wasn't concentric to the bore, causing baffle strikes. In reality, I would like to believe that the registered suppressors aren't used much in crime.
     
  8. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    C3; The suppressors were added at the behest of Fish & Game because of poaching. Due to bad economic times there was a lot of poaching going on. I worked with a couple of old timers (now I are one) that fed their families with game in or out of season. Game Wardens ususally turned a blind eye if it was someone feeding his family but market hunters were a big problem and frowned upon.
     
  9. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Neither are Homemade suppressors. Most criminals are smart enough not to commit Federal crimes. You have to serve everyday of a Federal prison sentence!
     
  10. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Almost correct. A prisoner on the Federal level may earn 54 days a year of good time credit against his sentence.
    But there is no "parole" on the fed level as txhillbilly pointed out.
     
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  11. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    Suppressors really only work with sub-sonic ammo once you break the sound barrier there is a very loud crack.
     
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  12. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    That is totally untrue!
    Pasquanel,I have three 30 caliber suppressors,and one rimfire suppressor. The only sub-sonic ammo that I shoot is 22lr,everything else from 223 to 300 WM is super sonic ammo.

    Yes,There is a sonic crack,but unless you are in front of the suppressor when the gun is fired,it's barely noticeable behind the firearm being shot. The shots aren't whisper quiet like the sub-sonic ammo,but they are a hell of a lot quieter than shooting without a suppressor.
    I can shoot any short action cartridge comfortably without hearing protection.

    Since we can hunt with suppressors in Texas,I've also seen how animals react when you fire a suppressed weapon. Most animals don't even look up when the weapon is fired,and very few even take a step after an animal near them is hit.
     
  13. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    I don't disagree with what you say, my point was you cannot suppress the sonic boom.
     
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