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Old 03-15-2006, 11:51 AM
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Default WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

Since there has been an up-cropping of people's admissions to owning/using silencers...I thought I'd post this so it can be linked to those who ask later.




CLICK ME FOR THE ACTUAL ATF DOCUMENT REGARDING THE LEGALITY OF PAINTBALL SILENCERS!!!





I found this posted on another forum. The poster's and originating site's name, are included. I have added a few comments below the article.

Paintball Silencers
December 27, 2004
Quoted from specialopspaintball.com

Not long after the invention of the direct-feed paintball gun, players
began to tinker with the idea of making their paintguns quieter. Paintball
silencers have been around almost as long as hoppers.

In the mid-1980s, Sheridan released a paintball long gun that just
begged to be turned into a "sniper" rifle. Almost every Sheridan rifle you
saw carried a homemade silencer on the end of its barrel. All paintguns,
in those days, were pumps. Pumps, unlike semi-auto paintball guns,
don't have as much machine noise with each shot and this makes a
silenced paintball gun especially quiet. As we were fond of saying in those
days, paintball silencers sounded "like a gopher farting."

Commercial paintball silencers flooded the market, though they weren't a
whole lot better than the homemade ones. They began appearing in
magazine photos and on store shelves. Basically, a paintball silencer was
a large tubular chamber that slid over the end of the paintball gun's
barrel. The inside of the chamber was usually a porous material that
allowed the paintball gun's gas to dissipate into the chamber before
"popping" into the environment. Inside the silencer's chamber,
manufacturers usually packed loose material such as insulation or brillo
pads to further help deaden the sound.

Most of the "pop" that a paintball gun makes is the result of the paintball
leaving the barrel with a burst of gas with sound behind it. The paintball
silencer creates an intermediate airspace that traps much of the gas and
sound while leaving the paintball to exit the barrel untouched.

But the glory days of paintball silencers were numbered. Firearm silencers
are a controlled device under federal law. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) regulates the ownership and manufacture of
a number of firearm devices including machine guns and sound
suppressors (otherwise known as "silencers.") In the early 1990s, the ATF
ran tests and decided that paintball silencers could be used to quiet a
true firearm and they notified all manufacturers of paintball silencers that
they were in violation of federal law. The reach of big brother was fast
and final. All paintball silencers disappeared from the market.

Currently, the best option for a paintball sniper is to buy the quietest
barrel possible and marry it to the quietest paintgun possible. The
carbon-fiber barrels manufactured by Stiffi are just about the quietest
thing out there. Attached to a DM4, they make a combo that's no louder
than the silenced pumps of the old days before the ATF came a knocking.

To own a paintball gun silencer legally, you must live in one of the states
that allow private ownership of sound suppressors. If so, you can
purchase a silencer (paintball or firearm,) from a licensed firearms dealer
(if such a thing were actually manufactured.) Then, you would have to get
the signature of your local law enforcement officer on a form that
requires a two-hundred dollar tax stamp. After waiting between two and
six months, if you're not a felon, the transfer of your paintball silencer
would come through and you could go back to your dealer and pick it up.

Since the whole system is really hard, really expensive and takes a really
long time, legal paintball silencers are almost never seen.

As a side note, Special Ops Paintball is a Class II Firearms manufacturer
and dealer so, if you want a paintball silencer bad enough, we can make
you one and have it transferred to you. Again, it'll cost you an extra $200
on top of the cost of the suppressor and you'll have to wait a few months
for the transfer, but it's possible.

Otherwise, you're left using one of the many "fake" paintball silencers
(which don't work to deaden sound), or you can make your own and be
illegal. If you buy a "fake" paintball silencer and it DOES actually dampen
the sound of your paintball gun, it's probably illegal, both for the
manufacturer and for you. Every year, a few paintball tinkerers come out
with illegal paintball silencers and the ATF shuts them down. Even if the
manufacturer claims their paintball silencer is "legal" that doesn't mean
it's true. Ask to see their letter from the ATF approving their design.
Often, they'll just blow the question off. To our knowledge, the ATF hasn't
approved of any paintball silencer designs as of this writing. If you
possess an illegal silencer, and you're caught with it by your local law
enforcement, it probably won't matter that the manufacturer led you to
believe it was legal. You'll still be in a lot of trouble.

And, the same goes for homemade paintball silencers. If you possess a
silencer or even silencer parts, you are probably committing a federal
felony. This is a very, very big punishment for something that shouldn't
be a crime at all.

We have never heard of someone being prosecuted for owning an illegal
paintball silencer, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Many take
the chance, but it's probably not worth it (unless you're a Class II
manufacturer and the you can own all the paintball silencers you want.
Sweeeet!)

The bummer is that paintball silencers work great and they make the
game much more fun. With a good paintball silencer, a sniper can take
close shots and still not give away his position. Silencers are long and a
little awkward, but they give great advantage to that long-ball, one-shot
sniper.

Hopefully, someday soon, someone will figure it out with the ATF so that
paintball fields will once again resonate with the brrrp! of gophers
<breaking wind>.


Edited by nauzerlvr - 09 March 2006 at 3:51pm


druid's comments -

As the article states, silencers are NOT illegal in the US...they are controlled. This means that you can legally own and use one if you follow the proper procedure.
If you plan on making one, you need to contact the ATF and complete the proper forms. You have to provide the plans and materials used in the construction of the silencer. There is a tax you have to pay and the last time I heard, it was around $200...could be more by now. They can approve or deny the construction for any or no reason at all.
Now...it's happened twice in the last two weeks....so far....someone posts that they are using a silencer. Let me be blunt...you are on a public and family oriented forum. Some of us could be law enforcement - I know of at least one ...you need to understand that is a LE's job to report illegal activities to the proper jurisdiction...in this particular case, the ATF. It's not a matter of 'hating-on'; it's not a power-trip; it's not that the LE's trying to be a prick...it's obligation under the swearing-in process and thus, under the law, that gets it reported.

If you build a silencer outside the parameters stated above, you do so at your own risk but be fore-warned...if you are reported, you risk the possibility of getting your door kicked in on some lonely, dark night...putting your family members (even the family pets) in grave danger. This is not the way to go. Before you construct it, fill out the paperwork and get it done right.

...and yes...the article mentioned the "S" word....

Here is an additional link providing information...CLICK ME!

Here is a product you might want to consider...CLICK ME for a neat barrel

Last edited by druid : 04-25-2006 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

on-the-spot thinking: so basically, a paintball silencer could become legal if there was no way to mount it on an actual firearm? i know that most barrels have different outer diameters, but if there was a silencer designed specifically for that barrel OD and was too big to fit on a rifle barrel (havent seen one of those in two years *cringe*, but im pretty sure theyre too small), then it would be ok to mass manufacture it, right? or what if there was a suppressor with marker-specific threading on it, so it couldnt be used on a firearm? the only problem i could see the extent of the individual state's "sound suppressor" law. do they mean all suppressors, or just firearm suppressors?
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:23 PM
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Red face Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

I used to use one in the 80's on my pump PMI 68 Magnum. As the guy stated, eveybody had them then. I see them on the field that I use all the time and no one even gives them a second glance. All that article says to me is this is just another way for the BATF to make money using scare tactics like labeling it a federal crime. Using one an an actual firearm it would prolly blow it to pieces the first shot since they're made of PCV plastic. As far as silencers go for an actual firearm, I could make one out of a plastic 2 litre Coke bottle or a motorcycle muffler. I think the BATF should charge a $200 deposit on Coke bottles and motorcycle mufflers as well lol. Sry......just a lil DRAGON satire there hee hee -

Bottom line though, they are illegal -
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

lol, reminds me of a Tom Clancy book where they threw the Russian-made silencers away after 10 shots because they knew they werent going to be good anymore.
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(7:11:05 PM) Battlechaser: Did you just slaughter George Clooney and steal his mojo..?
"Death doesn't exist. It never did, it never will. But we've drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we've got to think of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy."
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

Dragon...lol, I totally agree.
DFSniper...the way I understand it, the ATF ran tests on mass-produced silencers and determined that they work on firearms. The massed produced silencers would have had to be constructed to fit a wide variety of outside barrel diameters, so your assertion that a silencer would be indigenous to one marker is spoken in vain. The only way to know for sure is to create the plans, add the materials list and provide the proper paperwork and pay the fee. If you are approved, you would receive some sort of approval letter or permit. I'd say photocopy the original, laminate the copy and keep it in you wallet at all times...and lock the original in some sort of fireproof safe. Dragon made the comment about 2-liter bottles....simply electrical taping the bottle onto the muzzle works so I would think that your 'indigenous design' would not be legal.
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

ok call me ignorant, but why would you even need something to completely silence a paintball gun?

We are talking paintball right, those bright round(ish) balls of paint coming out of guns. You know the ones that are not perfect spheres so they are not 100% accurate anyway. (my sarcasm for the day)

If you want to be stealthy, wear clothes for the environment and choose your shots carefully. Right?

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Old 03-16-2006, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

That article is out of date. There are some silencers for paintball that do not fall under the BATF restrictions. One is that the silencer must be permamently afixed to the the barrel and the barrel is also permamently afixed to the marker. Wouldn't that suck!? LOL I forget about just a perm-afixed silnecer-barrel combination though.
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

Hmm that'd work, I'd have thought that you'd see some scenrario marker packages in which the barrel was permanently affixed with a permently affixed silencer... I suppose you could do somthing like jbweld a barrel on with a silencer... Just gotta make sure you've got an easily cleaned marker.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

Quote:
HacKeR:
ok call me ignorant, but why would you even need something to completely silence a paintball gun?
Because scenario/rec/woodsballers try the sniper role. It's practicality in speedball is obviously non-existant.

We are talking paintball right, those bright round(ish) balls of paint coming out of guns. You know the ones that are not perfect spheres so they are not 100% accurate anyway. (my sarcasm for the day)

and a silencer doesn't silence the projectile...it muffles the gas esplosion eminating fromthe barrel...behind the projectile. Since the principals are the same (even though the materials are different), the theory is still sound (my sarcasm)
If you want to be stealthy, wear clothes for the environment and choose your shots carefully. Right?
and yet people still do it the 'wrong way'...breaking the law
Quote:
Recon:
That article is out of date. There are some silencers for paintball that do not fall under the BATF restrictions. One is that the silencer must be permamently afixed to the the barrel and the barrel is also permamently afixed to the marker. Wouldn't that suck!? LOL I forget about just a perm-afixed silnecer-barrel combination though.
This is true but it's not in the spirit of the article...because the average 'know-it-all' that makes a supressor isn't making the 'permanently mounted unit-to barrel; perminantly mounted barrel-to-marker rendition of the supressor..

Since I don't think too many people are going to perminantly mount a barrel to a marker...then the supressor to the barrel, it's riddiculous to even suggest it...some one may----but the percentage of players is so low it's not even worth mentioning.

Look guys, the tendency is that these kids make a silencer out of normal, house-hold items. They put them on in the field and use them, show them off in a 'show n tell' mentality...then take them off and store them when they are done for the day. Some other kid usually offers to pay money to have one built for them as well...This is illegal, no matter what 'spin' you put on it. The practice should be avoided at all costs...
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: WHY paintball silencers are illegal...an article

just leave them alone and let them make one......then REPORT them...haha that would be fun.
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