PBZ, its employees, the server, the Author of this document, or myself are not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained below. This article was written for informative purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as legal advice pertaining to the laws regarding suppressors. In other words, if you get arrested, its your own damn fault. It is your responsibility to make sure the laws in your area coincide with anything you read here. Thanks, - squeegie
The Truth about the Legality of “Silencers” and how to make yours legal:
Yes Silencers, Suppressors, Mufflers, “Barrel Extensions”, “Accuracy Improver” are considered
Silencers by the BATF, and Silencers are not illegal IF you register it with the BATF.
You can call Silencers what ever you want, i.e. Suppressors, Mufflers, “Barrel Extensions”,
“Accuracy Improver” or what ever you want, BUT if it “Silences”, (reduces the noise signature of
a fired projectile weapon even a little, (that amount is decided by the BATF usually more that 5
db). See copy of FAQ questions and Answers from the BATFs website, (a copy of this along with
the website is at the end of this document for your convenience).
Porting on a barrel is not considered a “Silencer” since it is integral with the structure of
the barrel and the “Porting” obviously can’t be modified for a Firearm and is not portable, Yes, I
know there are quite ported barrels out there, but porting in the barrels cannot be transported to
or adapted from the paint barrel to a true firearm. It sounds like silly splitting of hairs and very
obvious to you and I, but, the Distinction is VERY important to Governmental types, and is the
difference between a $50,000 fine and/or 5yrs in a Federal prison.
We have all seen the “Barrel Extensions” from certain paintball sites, that claim to improve
accuracy, and they say “Don’t ask us how much it silences the gun”. (A Duck by any other name
is still a Duck, even if you say don’t ask it to quack). These devices are built on the same
principles and construction techniques as in some of the “How to build a Disposable silencer” type
books like the one by Hayduke, published by Palidin press, (yes a friend of mine has one of the
Barrel Extensions which we took apart, there is not any difference in its, design and operating
principles as several of the “Disposable silencers”, in Hayduke's books).
To me a $200.00 Tax and filling out some paper work is A lot cheaper than a $50,000/5yr
prison fine + court/Lawyer cost, if you get caught with a unregistered Silencer. Note Uncle has all
the time and money to prosecute you, while you sit in jail with your new friend “Bubba” waiting
Well enough of my ranting, here is how to get it registered:
• Fill out a Form 1, (to make a firearm, yes, you use this form for suppressors too
instructions on back gives the “How to”). You can down load the form, or what I did is
get the BATF to mail a “To Make” packet, includes all the things you need.
• Go to your local FBI, BATF, or Jail and have them “Finger Print” you on the supplied FBI
finger print cards, (two of them), I went to the local county jail, they have a Finger print
scanner machine, that scans your finger prints and puts good quality prints onto the cards,
because if you mess one up with regular inking you have to do it over, the BATF will halt
your application until you send in a good set, the finger print cards have to be done in
front of a Law enforcement official that verifies that the prints are indeed yours.
• Go to the post office, Air Port or some other place that you can get “Pass Port” type
photos, a 2"x2", you need 2 (Two) of them.
• You will fill out 2 (TWO) of the above Form 1s with pictures on back, one the BATF keeps
on file, the other they send back to you, and is your proof of your registered Silencer.
• The hardest part is getting the signature of your regional law enforcement official.
If you live in the county/rural this person will be the local Sheriff for your county.
If you live in the city this person will be the Chief of Police.
If you can’t get this person to sign the form you can go “above their heads” by getting the
Judge for your district/county to sign it.
The best way to get one of these people is to get an appointment to see them, MAKE
SURE you look respectable/conservative, Dress VERY professional for this important
interview, DO NOT CALL THESE PEOPLE AND ASK OVER THE PHONE, the
answer will be NO if you do. Speak like a mature adult, don’t cuss, use street slang, or try
to talk like a wanna be rapper. Tell them first that you need there help, you are a avid
paintball player and really enjoy scenario games where you “PLAY” the role of a paintball
sniper, and in the sport of paintball since the balls don’t go very far, to get an elimination,
stealth is of the essence since the rangers are often less than 70 ft. The noise of the marker
often gives you away and you are shortly eliminated your self by other opposing players
zeroing in on your position due to the sound and taking you out.
That’s the reason you would like to make a Suppressor, (call it a suppressor, bad guys use
silencers), Note the fact that the caliber of a paint marker is .68, much larger than any gun,
and if someone wanted to adapt it to a real firearm, it would be easier and cheaper for
them to make there own for their weapon. You whole goal is to make a suppressor for
you paint marker only so you can get undetected eliminations with out the pain of being
overshot by the opposing team if they did hear you. STRESS that this is for paintball only,
and you think it is a little silly having to get a registration for suppressor for a paintball
marker which is really a piece of athletic equipment, but, you don’t want to get in trouble
with the law, so you’re here trying to do the right thing. Be Very friendly, ask if he and his
officers would like to come out to your field sometime and play, maybe get some training
in close combat situations, try to make a friend but don’t make it to obvious.
If you fail with the local Law then you last option is to go before the county/regional
Judge and do a replay of the above or something like it.
Understand that if you have a local or state ordnance against Suppressors then you are out
of luck unless you know some local politicians who can change the rule.
• You must be at least 21y/o, and you cannot have ANY crimes of Violent nature on your
record, i.e. domestic violence, (or have orders of restraint against you), no Federal
convictions, and no prison time, are some of the main ones. When you go to get the above
local Law enforcement officials signature they will run a “Check” on you drivers license,
(it would be wise not to have any outstanding warrants or unpaid tickets either). If you
pass the Locals inspection and get the signature then You are as good as golden.
• Pack up your competed Form 1, (picture on back), finger print cards, a Drawing of your
proposed silencer, (this can be a 2D cut away engineering drawing, or Orthogonal views),
also describe its construction, NOTE: the outer shell has to be of a metallic material like
Aluminum, steel, etc., the Serial number has to be indelibly punched/engraved in the side
of the shell, requirements are: Manufacturer name and physical address (put your name
and address here if you made it), Model #, and Serial Number. Enclose a short note “to
whom it may concern” this is a short letter describing why you want to make a suppressor,
write down your “Sales pitch” like you did for the Local Law above, don’t make it to
• Make sure you enclose the $200.00 TAX with all your paper work, I would recommend, a
Cashiers check or Money Order. Make Scans or copies of everything, and send it in by
Federal Express, (receipt requested), mail is to slow. Give it 30-90 days to process, they
have to run your prints by the FBI to for a back ground check. If there is nothing against
you, you will be approved.
For those of you who are afraid that Uncle will know to much about you, don’t kid your self, if
you have a SSN and/or a credit card or drivers license they already know about you, and no
“They” aren’t out to get you, They actually could care less about you as long as the check you
send them is good, It really is nothing more than government bureaucracy. As long as you fill out
the proper forms and pay the proper fees, you can have your very own Tank in your front yard.
Once you get your approval, you have really great bragging rights at the mil sim game when some
wanna be punk says hey those are illegal, and you say your right but mine is legal, and whip our
your approved form 1, as punk boy slinks away.
NOTE: if you wanna go to a 24hr game or any game outside your state, then you must fill out a
transfer form, (this doesn’t cost anything), but takes about 30 days to get back, if you plan on
going to multiple games/scenarios through out the year, you can least the game, address, and
dates on the form and its good for all the states/games you list for the whole year. There are
several websites that list “Game Calendars” with the when and where on the site, you can get the
physical address of the place by going to the fields web site or calling them.
Will the BATF lock you up for having a unregistered silencer on your paint gun? Who knows
It depends on how much some Law Enforcement person wants to make an example out of you, or not.
But if it does go to court, you are in violation of federal law, as in all things its your choice to take the risk or not.
Hope this clears things up,
Scott “Poppa Bear” Shafer
p.s. Here's the copy from the FAQ from the BATF web site:
(A9) Q. Are Paintball and/or Airgun Sound Suppressers legal? [Back]
A. §921(a)(24) The terms "firearm silencer" and "firearm muffler" mean any device for
silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any
combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or
fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such
assembly or fabrication.
Numerous paintball silencers tested by the Firearms Technology Branch have been
determined to be, by nature of their design and function, firearm silencers as defined in 18
U.S.C., Section 921(a)(24). An individual wishing to manufacturer a firearm silencer must
receive prior approval from ATF by submitting an ATF Form 1 and paying a $200 making
If I have any further questions as to this classification, who should I contact?
Please send a written request to our Firearms Technology Branch at the following address:
Bureau of ATF
Firearms Technology Branch
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20226
The URL for the above on the BATF website: