Today, I’m excited to start a new series of articles documenting the process of LEGALLY building a suppressor from home. Building your own suppressor allows you to use an NFA Trust and e-File a Form 1 which can drastically speed up the process. It also can be much less expensive than purchasing a suppressor from a manufacturer. So here’s your invitation to follow along with us as we experience a completely new part of NFA Ownership.
Many AR-15 owners have built an AR using an 80% lower receiver and even more know about the legalities and rules regarding it. Just the opposite can be said for building a suppressor from home. Up until a few years ago, the state of Michigan (where I live) did not even allow Suppressor ownership. Once that changed I started learning a bit more about it and saw that some people built suppressors themselves. Building a suppressor in some ways is very similar to an 80% Lower in that most of the work is done but it requires some additional machining to complete. One huge key difference is that unfortunately you do have to register it with the BATFE and pay for a $200 Tax Stamp, unlike an 80% lower. This article will focus on the components of the suppressor build but the next article will focus solely on using an NFA Trust to submit a Form 1 Suppressor build.
WHAT COMPANY SHOULD I BUY FROM
There are quite a few websites that sell kits that are typically called “Solvent Traps” which consist of a tube, and additional components, all of varying quality. I really wanted to the best components possible to mirror how we at AR15NEWS build our ARs. Through a recommendation from a friend and additional research I turned to SD Tactical Arms. SD Tactical Arms is a Veteran Owned, Class 7 Type 2 FFL manufacturer that produces very high quality “Solvent Trap” components, rifles, etc. and has an outstanding reputation amongst DIY’ers.
Of course AR15NEWS readers only deserve the best so we are going all out on this build. For our 7.62mm suppressor build we will be using the SD Tactical Arms Titanium 7.6 inch “Solvent Trap” tube and thread protectors (end caps) which come to 8 inches overall length, Titanium Blast Chamber and Spacer Material, Stainless Steel Freeze Plugs that will be formed and drilled to become baffles and the new Challenge Coin (helps keep the suppressor threaded on tight). Once finished, this suppressor will thread directly onto their muzzle brakes and I have a 5.56 and 7.62 brake so it can be used on multiple rifles. Owning these solvent trap components is perfectly legal as they have not been drilled and assembled as a suppressor…yet.
THE “CHALLENGE COIN”
Here’s a closeup look at the “Challenge Coin”. Currently it just looks cool but once our Form 1 is approved we can machine out the center of the coin and insert it in the blast chamber of the suppressor which will help keep the suppressor on tight without needing a locking mechanism on the mount.
THREADED MUZZLE BRAKES
The SD Tactical Arms muzzle brakes have ACME threads on them allowing you to mount your suppressor directly to them using the threaded end cap. I’m sure I’ll be purchasing a few more of these brakes so I can install the suppressor on different rifles with ease.
ENGRAVING ON YOUR SUPPRESSOR BODY
As I mentioned above, to build a suppressor you have to submit a Form 1 at which time you have to put in your Trust Name, City and State, choose a Model Name and assign a Serial Number for your suppressor. Once the Form 1 is approved you have to have that information engraved onto your suppressor. I was very pleased to find out that SD Tactical Arms will engrave the information for you, as seen in the image below, for just $25. If you know this information at the time of purchase they will engrave it before sending your parts to you.
Click to enlarge image
HOW MUCH & HOW LONG
You are probably wondering what all of these high quality components cost and if it really is that much cheaper or faster than buying a suppressor. To start, Form 1 Suppressor builds that are e-Filed are taking anywhere from 70-80 days to be approved. Compare that to 3-4 months to purchase a suppressor from a dealer using a Form 4, which can’t be e-filed, or even longer if they have to order that suppressor from the manufacturer and you can see how this is a pretty quick route.
Now lets talk price! Here’s the breakdown:
– Titanium Muzzle Brake Adapter – $45.99
– Titanium end cap – $45.99
– Titanium 7.6″ tube – $73.49
– Titanium D-cell spacer tube – $29.99
– Challenge coin – $34.99
– Muzzle brake – $56.99
– Stainless freeze plugs – $3.39 each x 12 = $40.68
– Double sided centering tool – $22.99
– Engraving Service – $25
The sum of those parts comes to $376.11 including one muzzle brake for the suppressor to thread onto. Assuming you already have a drill press, carbide drill bits, a vise and a few tools to do the final machining, your cost including the $200 tax stamp would be just $576.11. Keep in mind this cost is for the top of the line components and can be reduced by using different components which are also available at SD Tactical Arms. This type of price range for an 8″ Suppressor that you would purchase from your local FFL would be virtually impossible to find. Most options would run you at a minimum $200-300 more for a very low end suppressor.
At this point I am still waiting for my Form 1 to be approved so I can not do any modification to the parts. Before we get to that I will add an article showing you step by step instructions specifically for e-Filing your Form 1 to build a suppressor and another article explaining the tools needed to turn your Solvent Trap into a Suppressor. As soon as my Form 1 is approved I will document the machining process, assembly and show you how well it shoots.
Until then, you should get a head start on your own build by visiting www.SDTacticalArms.com to pick out your own components. You can also visit the SD Tactical Arms Forum for information, tips, instructions, etc. from the pros.
Don’t forget to get your NFA Trust from Coyote Rifleworks. I have used mine twice now and couldn’t be happier. They are just $95 with same day turnaround.
Be sure to bookmark our AR15NEWS Form 1 Suppressor Build thread to keep tabs on the process.
**NOTE: AR15NEWS is not a law firm and is not authorized to provide legal advice.