Frequently Asked Questions

At Silencer Central (formerly Dakota Silencer), we’re only interested in providing you with actionable knowledge about gun silencers, how to select the right suppressor for your needs, and more. Check out our most frequently asked questions below to learn more or contact us with specific questions.

General

Silencer Background

Until recently, most Americans thought silencers were illegal. There are many benefits: better hunting, no hearing protection, reduced recoil, better accuracy, and happy neighbors. This market segment is the fastest growing in the firearms industry; we have been in this market exclusively since 2005.

There are countless benefits of owning a silencer, a few of which include:

  1. Better Experience – Game is less likely to spook while hunting.
  2. Reduces Recoil – Significantly reduces recoil when you shoot.
  3. Increased Accuracy – Because of recoil reduction.
  4. Less Noise – Means you won’t disrupt neighbors, family or pets.
  5. Great for Family – Added safety for even the youngest family members.

Through our over 12 years of experience in the silencer marketplace, we’ve found customers have three main issues driving their purchasing decisions:

  1. Best sound reduction
  2. Best value for the price; and
  3. Lightest weight for shooting convenience

Due to customer demand for these three types of silencers, we carry a large volume in each category. Of course, we’re also here to provide any other silencer you may want. As such, we can order any manufacturer’s silencer to ensure you have everything you need.

When you’re browsing your options, please note that a higher price doesn’t automatically mean that a silencer will be quieter. Large manufacturers commonly compromise value to mass produce in large volumes and turn larger profits (meaning you’ll pay more for less quality). As always, you can contact our staff between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week and after hours via email to assist with the purchasing process if you aren’t sure which silencer is right for you. Please tap into our experience and expertise.

At Silencer Central, we sell only the best, so we test with only the best. Currently, we test each of our silencers with a Bruel & Kjaer 2209 military grade sound testing meter that meets all military standards for silencer testing.

As the only silencer dealer in the country with this testing meter and one of only a few manufacturers with it, we can guarantee the quality of our products due to our rigorous testing process. We don’t carry any silencers that don’t meet our strict criteria and as such, you can purchase any of our products with confidence.

The only silencer as quiet in real life as it appears in movies is the .22 rimfire. All other calibers will sound like a .22 short to a .22 long when suppressed. However, every silencer we sell is hearing safe, meaning you won’t need additional hearing protection. See the silencer sound chart by caliber.

Silencer Ownership & Legality

No, when you purchase your next suppressor you will still need to complete the ATF application process, pay the $200 tax stamp and wait for approval. Silencer Central keeps your fingerprints and passport-style photo on file in a secured location making your future purchases fast and simple.

Silencer Central provides a FREE NFA Trust with the purchase of each silencer.

  • NFA trusts allow sharing ownership of silencers with others.
  • Trusts ensure the next generation inherits your suppressor.
  • We have done over 15,000 gun trust silencer transfers and counting!
  • We keep on file for future purchases.

The gun trust is 20 plus pages and allows you to add unlimited co-trustees to also use your silencers or other NFA items. We offer this Gun Trust FREE if you purchase a silencer from Silencer Central. We also help ensure you completed the gun trust correctly so ATF does not reject. We have completed over 15,000 silencer to gun trust transfers and counting!

You can hunt all game animals with a silencer in the the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, NebraskaNorth CarolinaNorth Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

See Suppressor Laws for other states.

Yes. Buy one silencer and you can use it on all guns of smaller caliber. For example, if you bought the Banish 30 Multi-Caliber Suppressor, it will work with all of your rifle calibers from .17 to .30 caliber magnums

Currently, we’re licensed to sell directly to residents in all 42 states where silencers are legal, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For most customers, we’re able to mail the approved silencer and all forms directly to you, meaning you’ll never have to visit a physical location. This enables us to sell to customers across the country, no matter their zip code!

Yes! Doing so is very common with a stacked baffle design, like the BANISH 30.

Having one silencer for all rifle applications doesn’t often impact performance because .308 silencers are longer with additional baffles. Due to its light weight, titanium is one of the most popular materials for application on all sub calibers. Please note that not all .308 silencers work well on a .223. Stack baffle design is typically best for dual application because there is a greater surface area to remove heat from the blast.

In recent tests, we found that our own exclusive silencer, the BANISH 30, was quieter on a .223 than a .223 silencer was. Additionally, we have tested some silencers that are not hearing safe on all sub-calibers. As such, it’s best to ask our staff if you have a specific question about certain models.

Silencer Buying Process

Once we have received your approval, we will send you an email and a text message informing you of the next steps to have your silencer purchase shipped directly to your front door.

Have your silencer shipped to your front door:

  1. Our Operations Department will send you an email with instructions on how to complete the required Form 4473. This is an electronic form that you must fill out and sign, and is returned back to us.
  2. After all federal requirements have been met, we then package your silencer and accessories.
  3. The USPS tracking numbers go live and your silencer is delivered to your front door.

Your ATF Form 4 application must include a passport style photo. Here are some tips to take the best picture.

  1. The image will be cropped to a 2″x2″ square size.
  2. The photo should be taken in front of a solid white background.
  3. Photos must be taken in full face view. The top of your head and your shoulders need to be in full view (there should be white space above your head).
  4. Remove any head coverings that would obscure your hair or hairline, including sunglasses, hats, toupees.

Submit your photo via email to photos@silencercentral.com and include your First, Middle, Last name.

Buying a silencer can be an intimidating task. Dealing with the government and their seemingly constantly changing laws is enough to discourage even the most savvy shooting enthusiast. Silencer Central makes it simple to own a silencer. We do all the work for you and make it as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Select your silencer – We offer the best brands and can help you choose the silencer that’s right for you.
  2. We do the paperwork – We will manage the entire buying process for you, let you pay for your silencer in installments and even set up a free NFA Gun Trust that allows others to use your silencer.
  3. Direct-to-your-door shipping – Once approved, we will ship you new silencer directly to your door.

At Silencer Central (formerly Dakota Silencer), we offer a Gun Trust free for all our customers. In fact, 99.5% of our customers choose to purchase their Class 3 firearms through a Gun Trust.

Through a Gun Trust, you can create a “joint ownership” scenario in which you can legally share your silencer. You can also select who will inherit. Because we have a full-time staff to assist with your paperwork, we ensure the ATF won’t reject your paperwork. To discuss further benefits of a Gun Trust, contact a member of our team at 888-781-8778.

No! The best way to think of a silencer purchase is as a “title” transfer between our company and your Gun Trust or to you directly. While ATF must approve this transfer (which we will assist with), you do not physically need your own license to make a purchase.

There is a $200 Tax Stamp required per silencer. This fee is tax deductible and is a one-time fee. The best way to conceptualize this fee is as a title transfer tax.

Absolutely! While we stock only the most extensively tested and approved silencers, we can easily acquire a silencer from a manufacturer we don’t typically carry on our site.

Absolutely! However, just keep in mind the transfer to us from another dealer not licensed in your state can delay your approval. If you’re considering purchasing from another dealer because you don’t see something on our site, please note that we can quickly order your item from the manufacturer or a national wholesaler. By ordering through us, you will get your silencer much quicker than if you were to order from a small dealer or a dealer not licensed in your state. In addition to silencers, we also offer machine guns, short barrel rifles, and other NFA items.

Order Status

One of the most significant benefits of working with Silencer Central is that we manage your entire buying process and submit your paperwork quickly so the ATF can begin the approval process. Of course, the time for ATF approval following our processing may fluctuate depending upon demand placed on the ATF. Visit NFA-Status to see how fast approvals are arriving.

While we make every effort to fulfill your entire order, on rare occasion we may need to cancel one or more item(s). If we are unable to fulfill your entire order due to merchandise out of stock, you will receive a cancellation e-mail and will not be charged for unshipped item(s).

Shipping

Once we have received your approval, we will send you an email and a text message informing you of the next steps to have your silencer purchase shipped directly to your front door.

Have your silencer shipped to your front door:

  1. Our Operations Department will send you an email with instructions on how to complete the required Form 4473. This is an electronic form that you must fill out and sign, and is returned back to us.
  2. After all federal requirements have been met, we then package your silencer and accessories.
  3. The USPS tracking numbers go live and your silencer is delivered to your front door.

You silencer is shipped right to your front door after all federal requirements have been met behind the scenes.

Learn how we mail your silencer here: Silencer Shipping: How We Mail Your Silencer

Absolutely! When entering your billing address be sure to select to ship to a different address. Silencer Central only ships to the contiguous United States. There may be additional charges for shipping to Alaska. Please contact us if you have any questions.

In most cases, no, we do not send with a signature required.

At this time, Silencer Central only ships to the contiguous United States. There may be additional charges for shipping to Hawaii and Alaska. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Payment

Payment (General)

Currently, we accept Silencer Central Gift Cards, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover payment options. Gift cards that display the Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos are also accepted.

All prices and amounts are in U.S. dollars.

Current law allows us to collect sales or other applicable state taxes, based on the order’s “ship to” address. Silencer Central follows the guidelines for each state as they pertain to your order. Most states assess sales tax on shipping and handling charges. All applicable taxes will be clearly displayed on the invoice that accompanies your order. If you have questions about the taxes on your order, please call us at 888.781.8778.

Note: State sales and other tax rates are subject to change at any time.

If you are interested in purchasing a Silencer Central gift card, click here. Gift cards are available online in the following denominations: $100, $250, $500, $750, and $1,000. Gift cards never expire.

Payment (eZ-Pay)

The application process will begin immediately after you complete your purchase. Once we have your fingerprints, passport-style photo, and completed application, we will submit it to the ATF.

Yes, all silencer purchases qualify for a free NFA Gun Trust generated by Silencer Central, individualized and specific to your state.

No, we offer four interest-free, eZ-Pay payments. No fees ever.

Other companies are charging over 15% in fees for this type of payment plan. We buy in large volumes directly from the manufacturer, which eliminates the middleman, allowing us to provide this payment plan to you at no additional cost.

Yes! You will even find a couple SBR’s on our website available with the eZ-Pay option. Our website will always note which products are eligible.

The eZ-Pay Plan was designed for customers in our licensed states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.) who are filing a Form 4 transfer, which typically takes 12 months for ATF approval.

All customers are welcome to use the eZ-Pay Plan, but please keep in mind that the we do not ship eZ-Pay Plan orders until the order is paid in full. Form 3 transfers (dealer to dealer) are significantly shorter than in-state Form 4 transfers, so your order must be paid in full prior to shipment to your local dealer. Most Non- FFL residents who consider using eZ-Pay Plan elect to pay in full upon Form 3 approval to their local dealer or shortly thereafter.

After your initial down payment you will make three equal payments over the next 90 days (one payment due each month) to pay off your eZ-Pay Plan balance. You will receive an email 5 days prior to your next payment, reminding you that you have a payment coming out.

If you used a credit card for the initial down payment, our system will set up recurring payments automatically. You will receive an invoice via email five days before your payment is due. Recurring payments will be made by credit card; however, you can choose to make a payment by cash or check at least 14 days prior to your monthly recurring payment date.

Yes. You can pay your entire balance at any time during the 90-day period without incurring any penalty.

After you make your final payment, you can pick up your items once your transfer has been approved by the ATF. This wait time varies. You can visit our NFA Approval Status page to see the average wait times.

You will have three equal payments due on the same day each month. If you fail to make any of your monthly payments, your order will be cancelled and all products will be returned to stock. If eZ-Pay Plan products are returned to stock for delinquency of payment, all money you have paid towards your eZ-Pay Plan balance is non-refundable.

eZ-Pay Plan orders may be cancelled within 10 days of the order date, if we have not initiated the ATF transfer process. If the ATF transfer process has not been initiated and a cancellation request is made within 10 days of the purchase date, a 25% processing fee, plus a $250 fee for the NFA Gun Trust will be applied to the refund amount. Once the ATF transfer process has been initiated, cancellation is not possible.

See more details about our refund policy.

No. Since your paperwork is specific to you, your trust, or your local dealer, once submitted to the ATF, no changes can be made. Once your purchase has been paid in full and you have received approval from the ATF, you can transfer your silencer to another person, however they will incur an additional $200 fee for another tax stamp and will be subject to current ATF wait times.

Barrel Threading

There are a host of different thread pitches, and a collection of adapters to allow fitting different silencers to different host weapons. We’ve compiled a list of the thread pitches on many common handguns and rifles. You can read more about common barrel thread patterns on our blog post.

Silencer Central Thread Pitch Guide

99.9% of the time when a customer calls about an issue with their silencer… it turns out to be a poor threading job. Our Threading Central service offers the most precise and fastest barrel threading in the nation. You can get your rifle barrel threaded for just $99.99 including a free thread protector (a $20 value). We have several options for getting your barrels to us for threading.

  • Live out of state? Purchase the 360 Mailing Program.
  • Visit us at a show and drop off your barrels. With option, we will return ship your threaded barrel to you for free!
  • Drop off and pick up your barrels at our Sioux Falls location.

Barrel Threading is $99.99 per barrel, plus tax and shipping depending on your chosen service. This includes a thread protector and any assembly or disassembly needed. Turnaround time varies based on current workload. If you would like to confirm turnaround time, please contact us at 888.781.8778.

An invoice is emailed to you as soon as your barrel(s) are threaded and ready for pickup or shipping. Once payment is received your order will be shipped out and a tracking number emailed to you. If your credit card information was included on the threading form or submitted at a show, we will charge your card when the work is complete. We will then send an email with your receipt and tracking number.

Visit our services page for additional services available, prices vary depending on additional services requested.

A full list of our upcoming shows is available here.

Take note that you are only able to drop off rifles for threading if the trade show facility allows it. For example, the farm shows and the shows at fairgrounds do not normally allow firearms. We suggest you call the specific event you are attending to see if firearms are allowed on site.

We look forward to providing you with the most precise barrel threading available! We can return it directly back to you without it needing to go through an FFL dealer.

Please note, items must be unloaded, ensure there is no round in the chamber and that the magazine or tube is empty before shipping or dropping off with us.

Rifles: Please remove all accessories such as scopes and rings, bi-pods, slings, lights, etc… Bolt action rifles should be left in the stock whenever possible. If you must ship the barreled action by itself, we strongly advise removal of the trigger assembly. This avoids the chance of having the fragile trigger group break or suffer damage in shipping.

AR-15 or AR-10 Type Uppers: In most cases, you do not need to remove the barrel. Just ship the entire upper, minus the bolt carrier group, and all rail mounted accessories/sights.

Items dropped off with Silencer Central at a gun show will be shipped back to you for FREE.

Items dropped off at our Sioux Falls, SD location may be picked up in the store or shipped to you for $19.99.

360 Mailing Program orders will be shipped to you when the work is completed.

We thread to the recommendation and guidelines of the company that builds our suppressors. We always thread to caliber first and then cross reference with diameter of the barrel. Most of our customers have the gunsmith determine the best thread pitch for each barrel to ensure the best results.

If you absolutely want a specific thread, you can put it in the note section on the threading order form and the gunsmith will try to fulfill your request, if diameter allows. We offer a thread adapter that steps up a 1/2 x 28 thread to 5/8 x 24 if your thread is smaller than your silencers thread pitch.

We do not make custom barrels. We are set up to mainly do threading and at this time are not setup to build or install barrels.

At this time we are only able to thread a blow back style pistol like a Ruger Mark series pistol. We can look to see if an aftermarket barrel exists for your pistol and (if available) order one for you. Payment is required when order. Our gunsmith will then install the new barrel once we receive the part. You will be billed for threading and emailed a tracking number when the work is complete.

Company Info

We are headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Read about our story.

Silencer Central is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We have satellite locations and are licensed to sell silencers in all 42 states where silencers are legal, which allow us to deliver your new silencer directly to front your door. States include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Ten reasons to buy your silencer from Silencer Central!

  1. Select your silencer – We were the first silencer reseller and have been making silencer buying super simple since 2005!.
  2. Silencers are all we do – We are not a gun shop that sells silencers on the side like virtually everyone else.
  3. Talk to an expert – We have a full-time staff dedicated to making sure your silencer buying experience goes without a hitch. And, if there is ever an issue, you’ll always be able to talk directly to a silencer buying expert.
  4. Direct-to-your-door shipping – We have satellite locations in all 42 states where silencers are legal which allow us to deliver your new silencer directly to your door. States include: ALAKAZARCOCTFLGAIAIDKSKY, LA, MD, MEMIMNMOMSMT, ND, NENHNMNVNCOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVA, VT, WA, WIWV, & WY.
  5. Free NFA Gun Trust – We offer a free NFA Gun Trust (a $250 value) to all customers which essentially establishes a joint ownership scenario in which you can legally share your silencer with designated others (as well as determining who will inherit your silencer). This lets others use your silencer.
  6. Pay just 25% down – Our eZ-Pay Interest-Free Layaway Plan allows you to “pay for it while you wait for it”. Submitting your down payment of 25% allows us to file your transfer paperwork with the ATF while you pay off your balance over three months. And we do not charge you any interest!
  7. Barrel threading – In the event you need you rifle barrel threaded to accept your new silencer, we will take care of that as well through our Threading Central.
  8. We know the game – We are the only silencer reseller on the ATF advisory board which means we not only know the rules and the ropes but we influence them as well.
  9. Security – We know you are entrusting us with sensitive information and we are set up to protect it better than any gun shop. We also keep your trust and fingerprint records on file which allows you to streamline the process if you ever choose to buy another silencer.
  10. Shopping protection – Finally, buy from Silencer Central and you automatically get the Norton Shopping Guarantee which gives you identity theft protection, dispute resolution, and a lowest price guarantee. All for free.

Yes, we used to be known as Dakota Silencer! On August 1, 2019, Dakota Silencer rebranded as Silencer Central. This name change reflects growth outside of our midwest roots and the expansion to conduct business in all 42 silencer legal states.

Currently, we’re licensed to sell directly to residents in all 42 states where silencers are legal, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For most customers, we’re able to mail the approved silencer and all forms directly to you, meaning you’ll never have to visit a physical location. This enables us to sell to customers across the country, no matter their zip code!

Silencers

Rifle Silencers

No, rifle silencers are actually legal in 42 U.S. states. Only 9 states (California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii and Washington D.C). ban individual ownership of silencers or suppressors.

Lucky for you, Silencer Central is here to make the process easy! We are licensed in all 42 states where rifle silencers are legal. If you want to learn more about regulations in your state, check out our state-by-state guide on silencer ownership.

And if you happen to be traveling with your suppressor, the good news is that, unlike other NFA items, you don’t have to notify the ATF when you travel or relocate.

Absolutely. In fact, rifles are by far the most common type of firearm on which to mount a silencer. Like rifles, silencers are common among hunters. Your hunting rifle should definitely have a silencer, because first and foremost, they reduce noise pollution. Meaning you’re not going to scare off every critter in a 10 mile radius.

But silencers also reduce recoil, muzzle blast, and the risk of hearing damage. They also are known to increase accuracy, helping you make that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Some rifles can also be integrally suppressed to reduce noise even more. They also have important safety benefits, like allowing you to be more aware of your surroundings. Without having to wear hearing protection, you can listen for sounds of other predators or hunters.

Well the jury’s out on this one, because there is so much that affects a suppressor’s dB testing at any given time. A gunshot’s volume, measured in decibels, or “dB”, depends on the weight, caliber, and speed of the bullet, the length of the barrel, not to mention how fast the gunpowder is burning. A gunshot can also be impacted by something as simple as temperature or humidity.

Price is not necessarily indicative of quality. But material is. The best suppressors are made out of 100% titanium. Titanium is both lightweight and quicker at cooling hot muzzle gas than steel or aluminum.

If we had to choose a quietest silencer to recommend, we’d suggest the BANISH 30 multi-caliber suppressor, because it has the highest sound reduction in comparison to its competitors of similar weight and material.

What is the best rifle suppressor? This is up for debate, but we’re partial to the BANISH line of silencers. BANISH suppressors are the original multi-caliber suppressors, making them incredibly versatile and able to fit more than just one gun. Our BANISH suppressors were designed to be most user friendly silencers on the market, without sacrificing quality.

When buying a suppressor, you should make sure to think about what caliber you need, what material it’s made out of, how it will impact your performance (ie. point-of-impact shift, velocity, recoil), whether you need a threaded barrel, if you’re interested in subsonic shooting, getting the paperwork done with the ATF, and price.

You should also consider how and why you’ll be using it. Are you hoping to reduce noise pollution? Increase the accuracy of your shots? Trying to reduce the risk of hearing loss? All these factors will contribute to the type of silencer that works best for you.

When you fire a round, burning gas builds up pressure behind the bullet and thrusts it down your bore. When the bullet leaves, a burst of host gas exists behind it, releasing a loud noise.

In comes a silencer. A silencer slows down the gas by redirecting it through a series of baffles before it can escape the silencer. This allows any unburnt powder to finish burning off, which reduces muzzle flash. It also gives the gas more time to slow down and cool, so that when it does escape the silencer, it’s moving slower and under less pressure, which means it’s also quieter.

If you want to learn more about how silencers work and get into the nitty gritty, check out our article, “An Inside Look at How Suppressors Work”.

Choosing the right silencer can be complicated. There are a ton of different factors that come into play, including ones you may not have thought about. These include things like material, weight, length, caliber compatibility, price, and whether or not it’s threaded.

You might also want to consider how you are using it. Is your silencer going on a rifle or a .22? Is it a hunting rifle, or one you keep for protection? What are your goals? To reduce the risk of hearing loss? Have less noise pollution? Increase your shot’s accuracy? Reduce recoil? All these factors make a difference.

That’s why the Silencer Central team is here to help. Our sales staff will walk you through the process from start to finish, from choosing the right silencer, to filling out the paperwork, and getting it in your hands.

Pistol

Yes, pistol silencers are legal. Silencers, while regulated, actually make guns safer for everyone. They reduce the risk of hearing loss, allowing gun owners to operate without earplugs, which in turn, helps them be much more aware of their surroundings.

So yes. With the exception of 8 states (California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii), and one federal district, Washington D.C, owning suppressors is legal in the United States of America. If you want to know more about the specific regulations on silencers in your state, read our state-by-state guide on silencer ownership.

And if the process seems a little daunting, don’t worry. Silencer Central is here to help you navigate the buying process, wait time, and paperwork. We’re licensed in all 42 states where pistol silencers are legal.

Yes, absolutely. Silencers offer many of the same benefits to pistol shooters as they do to rifle and shotgun shooters. Even the best Pistol silencers tend to get a bad rap because unlike rifles or shotguns, pistols are often bought to conceal or be discreet.

However, a suppressed pistol is a great training aid. Suppressors reduce recoil and noise flinch. A silencer makes a gun safer and more manageable, with less risk of hearing loss, and allows you to take off your hearing protection and be aware of the space around you. A silencer also reduces noise pollution, recoil, and muzzle flash, and increases accuracy. In some cases, it might even increase the velocity of the bullet.

How loud a suppressed pistol is depends greatly upon the caliber being fired and the suppressor being used. Unlike in the movies, a silencer won’t give you a completely soundless bullet whispering through the air. The word “suppressor” is really more accurate because these products suppress the sound of a gun rather than silence it.

That said, the level of sound suppression you typically get from a silencer is between 20 – 36 dB. Which is enough to significantly reduce the risk of hearing damage. Essentially, suppressors make guns just quiet enough to reduce most or all of the downsides associated with extremely loud gunshots.

See our article about how we test our silencers for more information.

A .45 ACP and a 9mm blast will likely sound very similar. That said, a suppressed .45 ACP will likely be quieter than a suppressed 9mm. But this is actually a very complicated question to answer because it depends on more than ammunition. It will also depend on the gun, barrel length, silencer being used, and more uncontrollable factors like the weather and humidity.

Technically, because standard .45 ACP ammo is subsonic, it is more effectively suppressed than 9mm ammo. 9mm is actually what can be called “supersonic”, which means that it breaks the sound barrier. Supersonic bullets are generally louder because a suppressor cannot quiet the sonic “crack,” so a suppressor will probably do more for a 45 ACP than a 9mm.

That being said, it really will depend on more factors than just ammo, and the difference we’re talking about here is small. In general, it’s best to use hearing protection when shooting a gun. But both a silenced .45 ACP and silenced 9mm will be below 140 dB, the OSHA threshold for hearing damage.

In our opinion, the best pistol silencer is a BANISH 45, since its interchangeable piston mounting system makes it so versatile. Its lightweight titanium body and great sound reduction make it easily a great option for a 9mm.

We also like the Illusion 9. Illusion 9’s unique design allows shooters to see easier and effectively use the standard iron sights on the pistol. The downside is, of course, that it is only available for a 9mm, so is less versatile.

For a full breakdown, check out our 2020 round-up of best pistol silencers.

Most standard pistols can be used with silencers, but we recommend talking with our team to know for sure if your pistol is ideal for being used with a silencer. We’re available to help Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 5 pm, Sat 12-3 pm (CT), and can be reached by phone at 888-781-8778 or by email at customerservice@silencercentral.com.

Shotgun

No, shotgun silencers are absolutely not illegal. With the exception of a few homebrew, DIY contraptions, all silencers are legal in 42 of our great 50 states. Only California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. ban individual silencer ownership.

We made it our business to be everywhere silencers are legal, so we’re licensed in each of those 42 states. If you want to learn more about specific regulations in your state, feel free to check out our state-by-state guide on silencer ownership, or give us a call at 888-781-8778. We’d be happy to talk you through the legality, paperwork, and decision process.

You sure can, with the one and only commercially available shotgun suppressor, the SilencerCo Salvo 12.

Until recently, the answer to this question was “no.” However, to the benefit of shotgun owners around America, that has finally changed.

These days, you can absolutely silence a shotgun. The folks over at SilencerCo have made it possible with the Salvo 12. The Salvo 12 is a 6.73-12.52″ aluminum beauty that can handle nearly all shotguns and ammunition on the market today including pump actions, semi-autos, and inertia driven models. It puts the sound down to a safe 136.8 dB, well below the 140 dB recommended by OSHA.

A shotgun silencer like the Salvo 12 is perfect for turkey hunting out near our headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, or if that’s not your speed, sporting waterfowl or clay pigeons, or yes, home defense.

The Salvo 12 is the only shotgun silencer on the market, and at its full-length configuration, it brings a shotgun’s noise level down to 136.8 dB. Which, according to OSHA, is considered safe without additional hearing protection. 

There is only one commercially available shotgun silencer on the market, the Salvo 12. There is an incredible amount of engineering and design that has gone into building the world’s first widely-available shotgun silencer. The quality of work inherent to this product is reflected in the price.

Naturally, though, if and when more shotgun silencers eventually do make it onto the commercial market, we will likely see a wider range of prices. But until then, you have a great choice with the Salvo 12, and although the price isn’t flexible, you can at the very least trust that it is a one-of-a-kind piece of craftsmanship.