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.

Recommended for You

Industry

CNN Asking Wrong Question on 'Fast and Furious'

Kyle Wintersteen - September 20, 2012

By now, you've likely heard that a report released by the Justice Department's inspector...

NRA Show

The All New Beretta 92X Performance

G&A Digital Staff - May 28, 2019

OSG's Lynn Burkhead spends some time at the Beretta booth during the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings...

NRA Show

The Beretta APX Carry

G&A Digital Staff - April 29, 2019

The APX Carry is a 9mm striker-fired, polymer framed single-stack pistol designed for “ultra...

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories

Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

Anyone who considers himself a red-blooded protector of his family will feel his blood boil...

Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

Rifles

The Top ARs in 3-Gun Competition Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on the what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

See More Stories

More Historical

Historical

The Pre-Eminent Pocket Pistol: The Walther PPK

Garry James - July 02, 2018

Early 20th century concealability that still meets today's demands. It's hard to believe,...

Historical

Little BigHorn Part 2 - Gun Stories

G&A Online Editors - August 15, 2018

According to exhaustive archaeological research at the Custer Battlefield site, the most...

Historical

The Italian Vetterli-Vitali Rifle

Garry James - May 13, 2019

The Italian Vetterli-Vitali rifle is being rediscovered as an affordable collector's piece.

See More Historical

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.