History of Silencers - 'Gun Stories'

Imagine an inexpensive and well tested device that can make shooting any guns safer, reduce recoil by as much as half, and eliminate the single biggest problem in all of shooting: the flinch. Now, imagine that you can't buy this amazing device without the permission of the federal government. Today we're talking very quietly about silencers.

Silencers, or sound suppressors as they've been called in recent years, are covered under the National Firearms Act of 1934, the same law that controls machine guns, short barreled rifles, and short barreled shotguns. Therefore, suppressors are controlled. That doesn't mean that you can't own one. In most states, it's perfectly legal.

The first silencers were built by Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of Hiram Stephen Maxim, who invented the Maxim machine gun.

The first Maxim silencers were marketed in 1909. The ads in popular magazines showed Victorian ladies and gentlemen target shooting in their front yards, or in one ad shooting matches in the house. While silencers virtually disappeared from the civilian market, they resurfaced in World War II as a tool of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A number of unique suppressed weapons were made for military special forces. The Navy in Vietnam used the Hushpuppy, a specially modified 9 mm Smith & Wesson M39 pistol designed to shoot sentry dogs, hence the name. The Sig Sauer MCX is the next generation of suppressed firearms. It's built around the 300 Blackout cartridge, which was designed from the ground up for silencers. The MCX in turn was designed to be silenced. This carbine has already been approved for the military. In the hands of people'¦ we can't tell you about.

Given the tremendous advantages of silencers, it's not surprising that industry groups are working hard to make them easier to obtain. We wish them success, because safety equipment, like silencers, needs to be readily available.

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