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Education / Training An update on airgun silencers

An update on airgun silencers

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• Are they or aren’t they — legal?
• Some dealers don’t know or don’t care
• Mistakes can be made
• Intent is usually the key
• Your safety net
• Buzzwords that confuse
• Are they removable?
• Pyramyd AIR promotion: Win a Red Ryder for Christmas!

Today’s report was specifically requested by Ruth Kass, a member of Pyramyd Air’s sales team. She recently talked to a customer who was very concerned about buying an airgun that might get him in trouble with the law because of a silencer issue. He read my article on airgun silencers, which put doubts in his mind about what’s legal and what isn’t. That article is still valid, but I thought I would leaven it today with some common sense.

There are many more airgun models with silencers today than there were in 2006, when I wrote that article. And let’s get something straight — just because some airgunners call them sound modifiers doesn’t change what they are. If they mute the discharge of the gun they are silencers as far as the law is concerned.

We’ll pretend this person was interested in a Benjamin Marauder, but it could just as easily been one of any number of silenced air rifles being sold today. Even the AirForce Talon SS now has optional Sound-Loc baffles that could come under scrutiny.

Are they or aren’t they — legal?
Here is the answer. All airguns sold by Pyramyd AIR are legal throughout the United States, unless they are specifically prohibited by state and local laws. In other words, no U.S. federal laws prohibit the airguns sold by Pyramyd AIR in the United States. I have to say it that way because our Canadian neighbors have different federal laws about airguns that are more restrictive. My remarks are intended for residents of the 50 United States.

That said, several states and some municipalities have enacted airgun laws that are more restrictive than federal law. Since these laws change with the changing political landscape, I cannot possibly write a report for any of them. They are in constant motion. It’s up to the buyer to find out what is permitted and what is restricted in their state and city. And don’t ask your local police department. The best place to check is with the office of the attorney general of your state, and again with your local prosecutor’s office. The police enforce the law, but they don’t necessarily keep current on each and every minute aspect of it.

The airguns sold by Pyramyd AIR that have silencers on them are legal, according to U.S. law. Why do I say it that way? Let’s find out.

Some dealers don’t know or don’t care
Airgun dealers come and go all the time. The largest dealers that have been around the longest are more likely to sell only airguns that are legal, since violating federal law could endanger their entire business. That’s no guarantee that they can’t make a mistake and let something illegal slip by (I will address this in a moment); but if they have a business to protect, you can bank on them paying attention to remaining on the right side of the law.

It’s the small dealers that rise up and then vanish without a trace that you have to be wary of. These are the people who either don’t care about the law, or they disagree with the law and are willing to let you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending yourself to prove their point. Most of them are simply oblivious to the law and to how it applies to the goods they sell. I talk to several of them each year and get their opinions on the law — which they are only too willing to give, by the way. In the Army, we had a name for people with legal interpretations like this, but I can’t mention it here since this is a G-rated blog.

The most dangerous class of small dealers are the ones who sell just silencers. They will sell you a silencer, fully intending for you to install it on an airgun, which 99.99 percent of people do, I’m sure. But it’s that 0.01 percent of the population who cannot do the right thing to save their lives that get the rest of us into trouble. Because, when they mount an “airgun” silencer on the front of their Ruger 10/22 and reduce the sound of the shot by even a little, they are clearly breaking the law. It doesn’t matter that the silencer only works for one shot before breaking apart — that one shot is a clear violation of the federal law that says all firearm silencers have to be registered and must have serial numbers.

Mistakes can be made
Earlier, I said anyone can make a mistake and let something slip past them. Allow me to illustrate. I once traded a firearm rifle to a gun store for an Apache carbine. The Apache was a .45 ACP semiautomatic that used M3 grease gun magazines and fired from a open bolt. Right after we did the deal the BATF (they had one less letter in those days) ruled that the Apache was a submachine gun because they felt it was too easy to convert to full auto. So, the gun dealer contacted me (that’s why they keep records of every sale) to get the Apache back. We undid the deal, so to speak. And the gun dealer lost the Apache that was seized by the feds.

For a short time, I possessed an illegal submachine gun in the eyes of the feds; but because I did not do so intentionally, there was no problem. That is what I meant when I said mistakes can be made.

Intent is usually the key
Before I say what I am about to say next, you need to know that I am not a lawyer, and my opinion does not constitute a legal opinion. It’s just the opinion of a writer who has no legal training.

Intent is what often drives federal agencies to prosecute. Here’s what I mean. If you’re one of 27,000 people who own a Benjamin Marauder and have used it as designed, and then sometime in the future the BATF&E decides that the Benjamin Marauder should not be sold without a valid Form 4 (a silencer license), they are not likely to hunt you down and prosecute you. Even if you bought one used from a private party, the same logic prevails. As long as you follow the new interpretation of the law when it is made public you should be in the clear.

On the other hand, if you purchase and use a “BangAway” sound modifier that screws or clamps onto the barrels of numerous airguns, and you get it from The Zombie Reserve — Your underground supplier for the Apocalypse — I think you are not on such firm ground. Tomorrow, The Zombie Reserve may be out of business; but if you still have their silencer, you may be in trouble.

Your safety net
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF&E — the federal bureau that regulates silencers) is as aware of the current airgun situation and silencers as the most astute airgunner, and way ahead of the rest of us. They do this for a living, and have a vested interest in what’s going on. So, it comes as no surprise to them that the Benjamin Marauder has baffles inside the barrel shroud, and that those baffles make the gun quieter. They also know that the TX200 Mark III has had baffles inside its shroud for over a decade. They are comfortable with that, as you should be. That’s why I said earlier that people buying airguns from Pyramyd AIR should not worry about running afoul of the law. Pyramyd AIR only sells those guns they know are accepted by the BATF&E, and if that should ever change, Pyramyd AIR would be at the forefront of notifying people of the change.

But if you buy from The Zombie Reserve website — you are what the aviation industry calls a test pilot. Or, in legal terms, a test case. As long as nobody ever arrests you, things are fine. When you’re arrested, though, you have a weak defense.

Buzzwords that confuse
Besides using the term “moderator” instead of “silencer,” airgun retailers commonly use other buzzwords to confuse and sometimes hide what they’re selling. Let’s talk about a few of these.

Bull barrel: A bull barrel (named for marksman Freeman R. Bull) is an extra-heavy barrel that steadies the gun and absorbs heat (in firearms) to keep things stable. Airguns do not have bull barrels today. A few target guns had them as late as the 1980s. When airguns have so-called bull barrels today, they’re just plastic shrouds over a thinner metal barrel. They have zero silencing effect.

Air stripper: Some people who are new to the shooting sports call “compensators” air strippers. They are defining the part by what it does because they don’t know its true name. The purpose of a compensator is to vent compressed air away from the base of the pellet at the muzzle.

Muzzlebrake: There’s no one definition for this term. Compensators are often called muzzlebrakes when they’re used on military firearms. Even battle tanks have them.  But airgun muzzlebrakes tend to be inert barrel extensions that are also larger in diameter than the barrel. On some guns, these brakes extend back so far that the barrel looks like a bull barrel. Muzzlebrakes are commonly used to gain leverage on breakbarrels. Unless they have active baffles inside, muzzlebrakes are not silencers. When muzzlebrakes appear on pneumatic and CO2 guns, they can have baffles and function as silencers. If they can be removed from the gun and attached to a firearm, they fit the BATF&E definition of a silencer.

Lead dust collector (LDC): This is a not-too-clever attempt to hide an illegal silencer. The BATF&E has been on to this for years. You can call them anything you want (even decibel-reduction devices). But if they can quiet a firearm for even one shot, they’d be classified as a silencer.

Are they removable?
So many airguns come with built-in silencers these days, the question becomes, “Can they be removed and installed on a firearm?” If they can and if they reduce the sound of that firearm for even one shot, they meet the definition of a silencer and must be registered. People discuss this to absurdity! Because anything CAN be done. The question is whether or not it can be done relatively easily so there’s a real danger.

This is why I’ve stressed so strongly that buying a silenced airgun from Pyramyd AIR is your safety net. They know which manufacturers have produced approved airguns that are quiet. They also know the airguns that the BATF&E might question, and they won’t sell those.

Pyramyd AIR promotion: Win a Red Ryder for Christmas!
Do you know someone who’d like a Daisy Red Ryder for Christmas? Pyramyd AIR is giving away 25 Red Ryders this year. The model is the 75th Annniversary Red Ryder with the metal cocking lever and special engraving on the stock, so it’s extra-special. Check out their special web page for the rules and how you can win.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

77 thoughts on “An update on airgun silencers”

      • I’d say that the result of the test case now shows that air gun silencers are not legally “Silencers” as defined by the law and therefore, they are legal in the US.

        Initially, the man in the test case was convicted for owning a silencer based on the fact that he sold an air rifle with an air rifle silencer. This would have pointed to airgun silencers being illegal in the US but then the conviction was overturned on appeal by a higher court. The legal position on this issue was made much clearer by the courts explanation (finally).

        The prosecution had used an expert witness who testified that the defendant’s air rifle silencer could be used on a firearm by either holding it in place by hand, or through the use of a “special adapter” which is how the witness tested the device to confirm that it reduced the noise when used on a real gun. The law on “Silencers” is clear that intention of wrong doing is not a factor. Just owning a silencer (without a license) is proof of evil intent on it’s own but this does not apply to devices that can be modified for use on a firearm.

        Essentially, there are any number of every-day items that could be used to reduce the noise from a firearm. Even a simple potato can do this by holding it over the barrel, so, in order for the law to be enforceable and reasonable, for any device that is not specifically made to reduce the noise on firearms, intent needs to be considered and proved for a conviction.

        The prosecution never claimed that the defendant intended to use the air rifle silencer on a firearm. They found no adapter in his possession to convert the air rifle device for use as a “Silencer” and they never found any evidence that the defendant was planning to make or acquire such an adapter so the conviction was reversed and the man was released.

        Now there is precedent that owning an air rifle silencer is legally no different from owning a potato unless you intend to use it on a real powder burner. The case provides some needed clarity on this issue and, in my opinion, the ruling makes sense. They simply can’t arrest everyone in possession of anything that could reduce the noise on a gun for obvious reasons. I believe the court described it as “overreaching” which sounds about right.

        The whole law on silencers is absurd anyway. Only in America would they ban the silencer but allow the actual gun. Surely any criminal who was willing to commit murder would probably be ok with buying a silencer illegally too. Arresting people who were just trying to be considerate to their neighbors is just silly.

    • Bob, they’d call that “silencer.” Since it’s been thoughtfully applied to the muzzle of a projectile launching item, “intent” has been clearly established. And you’d be in a hoop-of-a-lotta-trouble.
      If you can, try and grasp the concept…
      A claw hammer in your tool-box is…a tool.
      A claw hammer in your belt while perhaps driving around on your Harley as a convicted felon at an otherwise inappropriate time and place is probably a weapon.
      Depends on your parole status.
      On parole? Back to slam for you. Right NOW! (As well you should be for being criminally stupid.)
      A golf club, a tennis racket, a screwdriver, a softball bat, or a 64 1/2 Mustang, if it’s used as a weapon…then it’s a weapon, as in “Assault with a deadly…”
      A world of difference when it comes to just how much Slam-Time you’re looking at.
      In other words, depends on how you use it.
      B. B. Is trying to tell you, it is decidedly NOT a relm for casual experimentation.

      • I was gonna say, we’d have to register our potatoes, pillows, etc… You know my place here, I don’t think the attention is worth the benefit. Up to supersonic, none are really that deafening. But like i said anything could be used so it doesn’t really matter does it? I would rather be without one so my opinion is skewed. I did receive my new favorite read today, the new PA catalog is amazing as usual! Thanks everyone involved in its production, my bathroom trips are unmentionably more enjoyable! Lol

    • Undersized!

      Then again, I once had a neighbor who’d admitted to fitting 2l bottles to the muzzle of a P38 (I don’t recall if it was a .22LR look-alike, or a full 9mm) and firing into a stack of something in his apartment.

  1. Bummer I was hoping for a exciting blog for today.

    Something like The great pellet comparison with the sport guns this time around. Or maybe those 2 new prototype big bore pcp gun from Hatsan or one of the new Benjamin pcp’s.

    Somebody wake me up when its Thursday. Over and out.

    • GF1,

      Five more minutes.

      You have to keep in mind that there are newbies who really need to know stuff like this so as not to run afoul of Big Brother while playing with their new and shiny.

      As to the white lithium grease, BB has recommended it in the past for lubrication in a sproinger and I use it. I do not have any “black tar”. In my 1906 BSA I actually have a mixture of moly and lithium grease as I had first applied the moly and then went back in and added some lithium.

  2. BB
    If it is illegal to install a noise damper on a air gun then why do some air guns have threads on the end of their barrel’s that match the threads for already produced silencers. If they are not for silencers then what is there propose for being on the barrel at all.


    • BD,

      In many countries it is not illegal to have a silencer. The possession of any firearm is what is illegal. In the UK for example, people are encouraged to use silenced airguns so as not to disturb the neighbors.

      • RR
        I understand that so I would think that if they are illegal here on an air gun then those companies should make the threaded caps on the barrels of guns that are sold here non removable so as to take the ability away from one being installed on a gun sold here. It is done with many other products that are sold here that have items that are not legal here also and therefore are left of or made non functional by the manufacture. For example there at least 27 countries in the world that do not allow food to be genetically modified by modern science to either produce it own pesticides or grow at twice the normal rate that a non modified plant or animal would and yet here in what is supposed to be the most powerful and technologically advanced country in the world our gov’t could care less if our companies use GMO plant and animals to produce and raise here to feed to us knowing all to well that what we eat contains chemicals that are destroying our health as well as our children and grandchildren’s health as well. yet it is ok to poison us with the food we are supplied to eat but we cannot own something that will make a gun quieter without going thru the third degree to own such a device. We the people need to get our heads out of the sand and start taking back the freedoms that our so called gov’t that is supposed to be FOR the People , BY the people and OF the people have seen fit to slowly strangle us to the point hat we don’t even know we are being choked.


        • Cause the masses have already passed out… I agree, dog eat dog curbs over population… problem is the going along.and letting it be is out of balance with our independence and strive for good.

          • RR
            Yea everyone is asleep at the wheel and don’t want to wake up and face the reality that they no longer have any control or the desire to regain what little can be recovered.

            Its all about their little piece of heaven not being invaded or tread upon by the few elitists that truly run this country at this point and if we don’t stand as one and fight back it will all be forgotten and lost to the hopeless and irresponsible youth that we have raised today. They do not have the sense of value and respect for one another or the fortitude to even realize what is being stripped from them while they keep there faces and interests plugged into some new fangled technological electronic gadget that the jones just got and they did not so they have to keep up with whatever this new world seems to need to make them feel in touch with the world.

            What happened to good old fashioned face to face conversation and interaction.


    • In most US states, it is NOT illegal to install a lawfully possessed firearms silencer on an air gun.

      There are many people who legally own .22 caliber firearms silencers attach them to airguns, and there are other devices which can be attached to a threaded barrel, e.g.a compensator.

      • Kevin
        I know it is legal to own a silencer with the proper paper work done and fees paid and then that silencer can be put on any firearm or air gun that it will fit.

        it all the same no matter what we choose to call it if it quiets the report of the gun them it is considered a silencer by the BATFE. but I don’t see why if it is made onto the gun that it is legal as it can be removed by many different means and modified to fit another gun.

        Criminals are not going to care if it is legal or not when they go to shoot some one with it and it is just another way that our gov’t is trying to control what we can ands cannot do with our freedoms and it will not stop until we united and stand as one against those who seek to suppress us at every thing they can get a way with. There are very wealthy individuals that think because they have all the money they can tell the rest of what is right and wrong and how we should live and it has been going on for 40 years since I was a teenager and me and my very best friend back in 1972 sat down and talked about what is now taking place in this country and exactly what will happen if WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT WAKE UP AND TAKE BACK OUR COUBTRY FROM THE COMMIE CRONIES THAT SEEK TO DESTROY THIS ONCE GREAT COUNTRY. It is not to late yet but it is not very far from being to late to stop the change to one world power that will rule all of us and make us slaves to the wealthy elite,

        I for one will not submit to their attempts to disarm or forced me into a FEMA camp as is what is coming , why else would FENMA and all the other gov’t agencies like nsa, homeland, fbi, cia and so on be buying up millions of rounds of ammo and non perishable food in amount never even thought of before by our Gov’t.

        They are preparing for a mass take over of this country and need to provide refuge and shelter for the millions of cattle they will heard into these camps by the masses and force. because that is what we are considered to be by the elite that make the rules we are to live by.

        Ok enough of my rant and I do feel better now THANKS


  3. I am in need of some technical information.

    Would any of you who may own a Benji 397 / 392 and / or a Crosman 2240 be so kind as to measure the outside diameter of the barrels of such for me?

    • I have a 2240 and a 1377 and they both have barrel OD’s of .435″ .

      BTW, the steel receivers for .177 and .22 have ID’s of .437″ . The steel receivers are much longer than the OE plastic ones, and this provides more length for the alignment of the barrel into the receiver. The only difference between the .177 & .22 kits is the bolt nose profile of the probe.

  4. Tom,

    All excellent points. Back when I was first beginning to become an airgunner, I purchased a used CO2 rifle that had — unkown to me when I purchased it– a removable LDC. As soon as it arrived, I freaked out and removed the device and drove over it with my car in my driveway.

    I considered the key to be its removability. If the same device had been heavily epoxied to the barrel, I would not have freaked out.

    Or, would that not be enough of a measure to make it federally legal?


  5. Since I don’t have remote woods to shoot in, a “quiet” air gun is most important to me. Most of my shooting is either inside my home or in my son’s back yard, which is surrounded by homes. I occasionally go to the firing range where of course, sound doesn’t really matter. I can not or will not consider buying an air gun that is not back yard friendly.

    A quick check on the Pyramyd AIR website shows 463 different air guns for sale. There are 89 with a “loudness” designation of (4 or 5) Medium-High to High. There are 374 with a designation of (1, 2 or 3) low, low-medium or medium which I think would be considered back yard friendly. This description of the air gun’s shooting sound has been most helpful to me as I look at potential purchases. If you check some of the other air gun sellers, you will be hard pressed to find many who publish a meaningful “loudness” description for their air guns.

    It is comforting to hear from B.B. that we do not have to be worried about buying a “quiet” air gun from P.A. that might eventually have “The Feds.” knocking on our door.

    • You can tell your neighbors to take a hike, feds won’t be so receptive.. I am skewed, as I’ve said, but if my airgun is legal and its being shot legally before 9-10pm, sorry.. but if you were being loud (as they often are) I have to deal, just me though, some people like their neighbors….

  6. Tom,

    This is the first I heard of the BATF (formally referred to as the ATF) becoming the BATF&E. Alphabet soup gone mad!

    First, hat do alcohol and tobacco have to do with firearms and explosives (ask I, as I sip my martini, light a cigarette, press my left upper arm against my holstered Walther PPK, and introduce myself as “Bond, James Bond”)?

    I know most folks here think gov’t should be shrunk, not expanded, but on this one, couldn’t it be two agencies, the BAT (eventually the BATM) and the BFE? Sheesh.


  7. BB- it may be worth noting that some glorious states consider airguns to be firearms. In these states, any airgun with a silencer (factory/aftermarket/integrated/attached to muzzle) is a silenced firearm which classifies the silencer as a firearm silencer.

    • So true, and it appears Canada now as well. It is also worth noting when discussing bans of useful devices for firearms and what features that are deemed “evil” in these states, that they are test beds for more regulations designed for banning your airguns as well as your firearms everywhere , including in the so called “free states”. It is also interesting to note that one of the complaints about shooting is the noise it generates even in rural areas. You would logically think that a moderators would be embraced by non-shooters . The facts are that those who dislike shooting will never be satified with anything but no shooting or guns. The licensing of silencers is just a tax and another baby step towards identifying those who have guns to use them on. Don’t be a Fudd….

    • Run” Crawl” Swim” Just get out of the Undemocratic Peoples Non Republic of nj “small caps intentional”
      As fast as you can,Don’t let the the little teaser that you can now hunt there with an air gun fool you”
      You can’t use anything on the barrel,If the Jack Booted Gestopo stop you and some rookie who doesn’t
      know the law,You’re gone and all of the guns you own too will be taken not only the one on you.
      PS-Don’t stop for a coffee unless the shop is on your route”Look it up”

      • Non j mike , that would be nice except that some of us have lives , property , and businesses that cannot be replicated easily elsewhere. What folks who are interested the shooting sports need to do is to become proactive and vocal about their rights , and it is a right ,not a privilege,and not be complacent.When I refer to “Fudd” I mean the casual air gunner , or weekend trap shooter for instance, who ignore and support politicians who promote little pieces of gun control legislation because they believe that it doesn’t affect their end . I have been ridiculed by several folks who hunt here that when NY DEC recently offically recognized air guns as legal hunting implements that it was a slippery slope to registration of them eventually as firearms. We are losing here in NY because of that apathy.The election a couple of weeks ago here confirmed that here. Gun owners in” free states” as you put it, will get their gun control , if they don’t help fight it and help us here behind enemy lines fight againist ours. Even in places like Texas , just look at the demographics there now , and the influx of progressive folks who have fled the east coast. and California. for jobs The immigration and crime issues and the entitlement programs that will fester there because of that. Just a matter of time…

  8. It’s legal in a number of states to own a silencer. All you have to do is buy the silencer, get finger printed, have the local sherriff sign off on your paper work, pay $200 to the Feds for a tax stamp, and wait 9 months or so for them to return your paper work. Simple right.

    Being able to buy a legal quite airgun off the shelf that is friendly to the user and those around them is truly a great deal. I think it’s in our best interest and worth a little more to buy quality legal products from reputable dealers.

  9. BB,
    I don’t think I have any baffled muzzle brakes but I have several larger muzzle brakes that will cut down the noise of either a C02 or PCP rifle due to their volume. They will even reduce the down range report of a springer. I assume they would also reduce the report of a firearm. I am not particularly worried about the muzzle brakes but if our government wants to bother someone they could use the muzzle brake as an excuse to do so. I really consider empty muzzle brakes in the same category as baby bottle nipples (used by poachers), empty plastic bottles, potatoes, and the loaf of bread you mentioned.

    I think the group that needs to be more careful are those adding removable suppressors to large bore airguns. I think that is the current threshold most likely to get someone in trouble.

    David Enoch

  10. Thank you, BB, for the trivia on Bull Barrels as having been named after a man named Bull.

    I just always assumed the term bull barrel was due to them being fat and massive.


    • Ron,

      Edith already challenged me on this one, and I dug out the reference to prove my point. It’s in Bud Waite’s book, The Trapdoor Springfield, and it says it exactly as I did.

      Like you, I thought the barrel was so-named for its size until reading that reference. Apparently, Freeman Bull was something of a rock start in his day.


  11. I do not want to press the point of what is and is not a silencer, but here in Alabama I have talked to several friends that are also police officers and they have stated that what they use a rule of thumb concerning a silencer is whether it is on a firearm or an air gun. Here in Alabama an air gun is not considered a firearm as it does not use an explosive to propel a projectile from the barrel and in their eyes that is what constitutes the difference. This is not an all inclusive representation of how all law enforcement in Alabama interpret the law but only the local officers in my town. So I may be lucky to been given that answer because of personal involvement with these officers and do not care to test the waters in the rest of my state or any other by no means, but what it does tell me it that if I am on my own property and shooting my one gun with such a device on it that they will not be concerned as long as it is on the end of an air gun. But if I were to install it onto a firearm which would destroy it after the first shot as the internals are plastic then that would change their whole outlook as then it would be an illegal device in the description of the law. Their explanation to me was since an air gun in this state is not considered a firearm then it does not apply to an air gun as the way they interpret the law but since it does thread on and off if it was put on a firearm it would then fit the category of what is considered illegal without a proper licensing, as it is legal to hunt with said device in this state now with proper paperwork for the device so they are much more lenient than before and it is also legal to hunt deer with an air gun of .30 caliber or larger so there is the grey area that the state has not completely clarified to be easily interpreted as to what the clear line concerning their use is which makes them legal or illegal.


    • Take into account that you are talking to state level officials, who are probably interpreting things at the level of the state laws, not Federal laws… It is possible the state statutes do differentiate based upon what the device is attached to, and not on the mere existence of the device. Most of the Federal case stuff is based solely on the existence of the device, in isolation from any type of gun.

      Consider the ambiguity in MI… For years the state statutes required one to be licensed to possess a “silencer” — but NO state agency issued such licenses. A few years ago the attorney general’s office issued a declaration that obtaining the Federal approval for transfer of a “silencer” qualified as being licensed.

      Problem — the Feds don’t do paperwork for airguns so one has no evidence of being “licensed” if some state official wants to get picky. And this is a state where a Daisy 717 requires one to fill out the application to purchase/registration paperwork (smoothbore BBs, no problem… rifled barrel — it’s a “firearm”)

      • BW I see your point of view in that yes I am talking to state level employees and more so of actually county level employees. I also understand that some states require and consider an air gun to be in the same class as a firearm when it reaches a certain level of power or accuracy and that every state has the rigjht to make and enforce those laws,

        That is one of the many reasons that I do and will not live any where north of the mason Dixon line or west of Arizona because I will not allow my self to subjected to such archaic and ridiculous laws that are only in place because some nit wit decided that he did not like or want the people of his/her state to be able to use there own common sense in what is every day common sense. Since most elected officials got there because they lack that common sense then I guess it is only fitting that some of those stupidly childish laws have been passed.

        The biggest idiot we have right now is squatting in the white house like it his own personnel ghetto project and the ridiculousness is only going to get worse as far as I am concerned and when/if the time comes that I have to take a stand on what is considered to be required to be licensed to own then I will stand and fight just like Michael Crooker is doing right now. As I still believe that this country is and was founded by the People, for the People and of the People.
        I will live my life as I see fit as long as it does not affect anyone else as I have the GOD given right to Life , Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and in my mind that trump all other of mans desires to be in charge of another man.

        It is time for us all to stand UNITED and fight for what was once the greatest country on earth, but has been slowly stripped away from us over the past 30 years so slowly that the average person has no idea of what freedoms and individual rights they have lost to a self serving and all crippling tyrannical gov’t that we now have. I may not have many more days on this earth but I will not lay down and be trampled on by a gov’t that is only out for there own personnel agendas and gains as we are only sheep in a herd that they are slowly training us to be quietly and calmly herded into work camp not unlike the same scenarios that were performed by Hitler in the advent of the second world war.

        The signs are happening all around now under are very noses and the masses only seem to think that it is all in the guise of our gov’t making ready to protect us from others that they want us to believe are out to destroy us when in truth it is our own gov’t that is laying the plans to destroy this great country form within our own ranks all with the masses being brainwashed to believe it is for our best interests and protection.
        I can only hope that enough people wake up and see the light of day for what it is and are brave enough to stand together as one as our founding fathers did over 200 years ago and take this country back from the peril that has been brought upon us most rapidly in the last 6 years by the illegal occupant of the white house now that has imposed his master plan very well in every step up to this point to destroy this country from within and the only glimmer of hope we have left has took place just a few weeks ago but I am afraid it is to little to late myself and only fear for the life and world we leave for our children and grandchildren.

        Enough of my rant and thoughts of what once was the greatest country on earth.


  12. Strangely, you might think, the law has no problem whatsoever with silencers here in the UK
    I don’t think the word “moderator” is a term attempting to subvert or hide anything, and is in fact rather a better description.
    Air strippers in air rifles are used to vent “dirty” air away from in front of the muzzle as the pellet forces it out as well as redirecting as much as it can behind it, in that critical moment the pellet leaves the barrel, the lighter air behind overtakes causing turbulance, however in Airgun terms, these are pretty technical items, and work very well, of the many available here the ones made by Rowan Engineering and UKNeil are the only ones of any worth, the simply drilled “compensator” style ones are as much use as a chocolate fireguard

  13. Maybe if airguns have barrel/muzzle threads for removable implements, the threads should be different than that of the standard firearm barrel/muzzle threads? That way it can easily be determined if a removable device is intended for use on an airgun or on a firearm. And a “thread adapter” for use between the two would be a no-no?

  14. I had a TKO 22 silencer for my 2240 and got rid of it very quickly after I read BB’s original article on this topic. Now I rely solely on shrouded airguns to be able to shoot at home. It would be nice if we had the same view as the UK on this matter…

  15. In Trinidad we got very specific laws about air rifles its must be a .177 smooth bore air-rifle anything else is a firearm no AR look alike either. For firearms no silencers lasers or modifications of its action any firearm that is full auto is prohibited. Air rifle permits are approved by the commissioner of police once the applicant do not have a criminal record. firearm user Licence (FUL) are a lot more tricky. reason for applying for a FUL are business owners, hunters, sports and life threatening circumstances. Basically silencers are not a problem on airrifles detachable or fixed.

  16. The only silencer I use for airguns is the large cardboard box that I fire my guns from indoors. It’s hugely effective at taming noise, and I can’t belief anyone in the ATF will get excited about it.

    Thanks for the info yesterday on the new muscle cars. There is quite a spread of interesting information. Baron Wulfraed, i thought the Mazda RC7 was a supercar. In outcornering it, you seem to have had an assist. 🙂 Putting it altogether, it sounds like I had better stick with the Corvette. Actually, I heard that even dedicated American sports cars have a reputation for not turning as well as European models, but the latest Corvettes have been getting good reports.


  17. Our attitudes on silencers here in the U.S. are frustrating. Yet another indicator that we’ve collectively been watching too much bad TV, and seem to enjoy living in fear of various bogey men. Our only cultural silencer image is of the well-dressed assassin, up to no good in some Bond film.

    Silencers are ergonomic aids. Quieting airgun and firearm noise is just good manners, especially when we shoot around other people. Rather than ATF hassles, if anything, OSHA should be rolling into our gun ranges, insisting that we all use silencers, just as hardhats at construction sites.


  18. Hi, all.
    I’m new here :/, and also to airguns.
    If I have a question about older airguns (Benjamin 600 automatic), should I post here or go back in the blog to an article about that gun and post there?

    • The current days blog is the best place to ask your question(s) since the most readers/airgunners will see them here. By the way, there aren’t any restrictions on asking any types of questions but questions regarding airguns are strongly encouraged!

      Ask away.


    • AC,

      Welcome to the blog. This is the place to post your questions.

      The Benjamin 600 is a rare bird. When the market was strong I have seen them listed as high at $600. That was in the box with 95 percent of the original black nickel over the silver nickel.

      What is your question?


  19. Thanks, all.
    Hmmm, looks like that there is no previous discussion of the Benji Automatic in this blog, according to Google Advanced Search…

    So, I am going to purchase a Benj 600 automatic (a 1930’s gund).

    1) The Benjamin user manual says to ‘use steel air rifle shot only’
    But will it be better to use lead shot instead (seems like it would scar the barrel less). But maybe lead shot will balk in the feeder mechanism, so I should stick with steel?

    2) The instructions say to pump at least 20 times to begin. After that, fewer pumps are necessary, just a few to top off the reservoir from time to time. In other words pump a few times then shoot several BB’s and pump a few more.

    My question is after shooting session when putting gun away, should I leave a little air in the gun, if so how many pumps?

    3) The instructions say ‘if the pump leather loses compression, rub a little vaseline into it with fingers and wipe off thoroughly’.

    My question is there a modern lubricant that works better and safer than vaseline?
    The instructions say to avoid using oil on any part of the gun.

    • AC,

      Yes, use steel BBs. They won’t hurt the barrel.

      The best lube is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the pump piston head. But Crosman Pellgunoil will also work and you don’t have to disassemble the gun to use it.

      Put the gun away with air in the reservoir. That keeps the seals tight and they don’t allow dust to get inside.


    • A.C. Ratone,

      Are you buying this gun from Trevor? The reason I ask is because your photos that you posted in the link above are his photos of his Benjamin automatic No. 600. If it’s not Trevor selling the gun to you I would be very careful with the transaction since someone could have copied these photos from the internet. Please view this entire thread in the link below to see where your photos (Trevor’s photos) are shown.


      I can’t answer your questions but would encourage you to ask your question at the bottom of the thread in the link I provided you.


  20. Hi BB–your article on silencers is very intelligent and illustrative, the only for one shot explanation has cleared up doubts I had on the subject. So true that were it not for that 0.01 percent we would probably enjoy less restriction on this subject. As for silencers in England I guess they are more liberal because they have power restrictions we don’t have, and hope we don’t. As for the Marauder, I have one in .22 and in my honest opinion,even though it doesn’t make hardly any noise,I find the rifle too big and heavy. And in proportion to that weight it doesn’t give that many shots per fill. It’s accuracy and power is ok for the price. It’s just too much of a hulk.

  21. Mr. B.B.

    I have taken my Sharpie Magnum 880 apart and now it’s just an 880 again. I’m now looking
    to Pyramyd AIR for a quiet air gun.

    Thank you again,

  22. B.B. –

    In light of the widespread availability of airgun silencers (which , for the most part are marked “for airgun use only”), do you think it might be time to update this article? I was planning to to talk to ATF at the SHOT show but they were not there because of the government shutdown.



      • BB,

        The Hugget on the RW comes right off of 1/2-20 threads. They are a big deal and many variations in the Euro market. Not sure,… but I think that things have maybe changed on this side of the pond. Maybe?

        Looking forwards to anything that you can dig up on the topic and possibly provide a current status.


      • BB,

        The Hunter version of the Maximus as well.. If you recall,… I put a baffle insert on it and it has stayed. I (just now) put the Hugget on the Maximus. Looked pretty good. Though,…. the Hugget cost a fair bit for a Maximus. Still,…. nice to have the option as the Maximus is more suited to field carry.

        Yup,… I think that it is time to take another look.


  23. I am the guy was in 2004 was framed for the Interstate Transportation of a Firearm Silencer in Springfield, MA Federal Court by a corrupt judge and Asst. U.S. Attorney who raped the statute with a ridiculous interpretation that they forced the jury to adhere to in their instructions. Just to let you know, after my conviction was overturned and I was ordered acquitted by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in 2012, the BATF gave me back my silencer and the Sam Yang 44 caliber rifle that went with it. I am probably the only one in the nation who has a silencer with gunshot residue in it (placed there by the BATF nitwits) that was never registered and who was handed it by BATF themselves. In 2014 I was awarded $172,465.75 for wrongful imprisonment by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in that case.

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