Talk:Silencer (firearms)

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New Section: Effect on bullet velocity?[edit]

There seem to be a section missing on how a Suppressor/Silencer affect bullet velocity. It's a common misconception that putting a suppressor on a gun will always yield less accuracy and less bullet velocity, when in fact the opposite is true in many cases. Modern suppressors have no direct contact with the bullet and their design actually increase bullet velocity. Unfortunately I can't find any real good references that elaborate on the circumstances and when it increase the velocity and when it doesn't for this, which is why I put this here instead of directly in the page.

Here are a few youtube videos about the effect on bullet velocity with a mounted suppressor:

And here are a few articles:

Perhaps this should somehow be combined with the info on how recoil is affected by a suppressor? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 9 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section 'Sources of firearm noise'[edit]

Unfortunately, this section is needlessly complicated and unclear (i.e.: discussing irrelevant items, use of incorrect terms, etc.). These paragraphs were obviously written by someone unacquainted with the principles of firearm suppression that are widely accepted by the industry. Cleaning it up a bit to aid comprehension. (talk) 22:53, 7 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other issues[edit]

The vocabulary used throughout much of the article is either confusing or misleading, and in some cases just doesn't make any sense (looks like some of it was translated using google). Article could be significantly reduced to facilitate understanding by removing items that are discussed repeatedly and/or are contradictory. (talk) 07:58, 8 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It needs work, thanks for taking the initiative. Just be careful when deleting text that you do not wipe out any references, particularly named ones, as other sections may be relying on the information and they get hosed up as a result.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 10:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Mike, thanks for the advice, although I'm not sure I get what you are saying. There were only two citations in the second paragraph of the intro, neither of which are named. I could not see any issue arising out of the removal of those lines either. (talk) 11:07, 8 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It may have been a previous editor, I rolled it back a bit to be safe.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:43, 8 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok sounds good. I still think we should remove this second paragraph from the introduction, it really serves no purpose and the origin of the word silencer is discussed a few lines further (not to mention that reference3 is using a single, completely irrelevant article to imply 'widespread use' which is not only incorrect but improper use of the citation system). Second sentence is discussed in Sources of firearm noise section. Finally, the legal terminology in the last sentence is just clutter. regards108.181.1.84 (talk) 15:41, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The lede needs work, but I don't think I would trim it yet. The lede (or intro) is supposed to summarize the article. So information in the lede will appear redundant at times. This isn't like a magazine article or book chapter. The lede is a quick summary that pops up in search results, on phones, etc. Probably after the article is improved we can rework it to make it more accurate and coherent.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 15:51, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I find the first paragraph does that very well for now. The second isn't redundant, it's just confusing and unnecessary. It summarises the article, yes, but not accurately. I think it's the first step in bringing this article up to B standard; we can systematically work the article and then come back to the introduction because it's going to change again for sure. 'Legalities of suppressors' in the US is only briefly discussed in one paragraph of a part of section 4 and this issue in and of itself is going to become an article as soon as someone decides to put the time into it (and there's going to be an article for the legals of suppressors in every country eventually) so there's really no point in putting this in an article that is clearly more technical in nature. I also think we can only do this one step at a time, and by the looks of it it's going to take quite a bit of time. Honestly, the article is a disaster, and there's no reason for it to be because there is plenty of information about this. (talk) 16:40, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you completely. Do what you need to do, ping me if you need help with sources or formatting, but it seems like you have a good handle on it. Time's getting scarce for me again. Some advice, though, if you mention a brand name...some dirtbag socialist with only 2 nickels in his pocket will call it advertising. Mention the NFA laws in the US outside of 1 paragraph and people from countries where you need a license to see a picture of a firearm in a magazine will call it US-centric. If you say how nobody has ever been killed with a legally owned suppressor or mention that they are actually a safety device to protect hearing, the same types will accuse you of POV pushing. :) Just kidding, but not really.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:53, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Awesome, glad we could agree. I'll be looking forward to your comments. I have no military background, but a lot of professional experience with firearms. I'll keep your advice in mind throughout the process here. Thanks again. regards108.181.1.84 (talk) 17:09, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Progress --- the opposite of Congress.

But seriously, why is this section even in this article?

I say, remove it. --- (talk) 20:36, 29 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Progressivism is a general political philosophy based on the idea of progress that asserts that advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization, can improve the human condition. This is exactly what decriminalisation and legalisation of suppressors is about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:21, 18 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think of "progressivism as the new fascism", but think it is perfect for this article.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:00, 18 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't deny that the perception of 'progress' today does not entirely concord with it's definition and in many ways I feel the same and Mike. In reality however, progress is not an ideology, but seems to have become one of late. And much like democracy, if they were not skewed by politicians, lobbyists and others trying to market ideas and opinions, progress would be about improving the quality of life of all individuals. Not for a 'greater collective good', but for the personal well-being, at the individual level, of each person making up the society in question. Criminalising protective equipment over half-a-handful of people who might choose to use it for nefarious, and unintended purposes, is certainly not progress, regardless of how it may be defined.
I'm not advocating that every firearm be equipped with theses devices, nor do I think that this is the intent in being progressive. But at the very least allow and individual the liberty of choosing to make use of if the intent is to reduce harm. I think everyone will agree that in North America (USA, as well as Canada) we possess values like freedom and integrity, and in such a society hindering the will of individuals to protect themselves from work and sport related hazards is certainly not progress.
Basically it boils down to: hearing is important and protecting your hearing is the right thing to do because if you lose it you can't get it back. Being aware of this reality that, why would anyone (especially the government, who should be looking out for us) want to make it illegal for anyone else to protect themselves from hearing damage, especially if it is going to cost society millions of dollars? Is providing health care workers with jobs, health insurance and hearing aid companies with revenue by harming the general population considered progress?? I think progress is something that every individual does for themselves, it's not something others can do for you because the only person who knows what is good for you is yourself: not a politician who came to shake your hand around election time or a psychologist who sees you a couple hours a month. But ultimately progress, much like science and spirituality, is variable and it evolves. As we become more and more aware of our environment and the universe and how it functions, we learn new ways of doing things and improving how we can enjoy and appreciate everything life has to offer to us for as long as our bodies will allow it.
Based on this interpretation, I used the term 'progress' with the simple intent to indicate that, as in any other such situation: a few people\institutions decided to give it a try and got the ball rolling for the others who were uncertain about it. It seems to have demonstrated significant benefits in pretty much all instances with very few drawbacks, if any at all.
I'd like to hear what everyone has to say about this so we can make an informed decision on whether or not this is the correct term to use in this instance. It is my belief that this is the correct one but there may be better that I haven't considered. regards108.181.1.84 (talk) 16:47, 18 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The correct term to use is whatever has verifiable citation to corroborate its usage. I noticed that you removed a citation request tag without actually providing a citation. Referring to vaguely-defined "educated individuals, knowledgeable about firearms and law" is insufficient, because that falls under weasel words, which greatly undermines this article. This talk page is not citation, and your discussion with one other person is not a reference. I'd undo your edit, except it seems someone else has already edited out the contentious phrase, which I'm sure you'll insist on restoring at some point later.
The definition of "progressive" nor its appropriateness is not at issue here (not on my part anyway). The lack of supporting material is the problem. If you don't intend to improve the article with verifiable references, you should abstain from removing citation request tags. I'm not even asking that the phrase be deleted; I'm asking for detail on that point of view.
I'm not going to get into an edit war over this. If you restore the opinionated phrase, I will restore the citation request. If you then remove that citation request, I will solicit admin intervention, because this article is quickly falling into editorializing via contentious labels, and Wikipedia is not a soapbox. — Samatict (talk) 04:58, 6 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can somebody explain why this section and the comments in it are on the talk page for this article? I don't see any connection with the topic and I think the section should be removed. ---Dagme (talk) 20:31, 27 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sound suppressors and heat retention[edit]

Something that isn't really covered in this article is how sound suppressors, by virtue of slowing down a fired cartridge's hot propellant gases, allow those same gases to heat up the suppressor and the attached firearm more quickly than it would had the gases been allowed to simply leave the muzzle unsuppressed. You can see a number of youtube vids showing guns with suppressors being shot while being recorded on infrared cameras, or how suppressed guns at firing ranges get hot enough to boil water poured on them after a bit of firing. Even the article here on the old Sten mentions how the suppressed versions overheated very quickly.

The question is, how much faster do suppressors increase the rate at which a suppressor-equipped firearm heats up? Does the increase depend on the design? Do integral suppressors heat up faster due to how they bleed off more propellant gas than non-integral ones do? --Mazryonh (talk) 06:13, 11 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good questions. Doesn't answer all of them, but the following source is illuminating:
Based on physics we can say that in theory, holding efficiency roughly constant between designs, the heating rate decreases with suppressor volume and increases with propellant mass. Radiation rates would be a second-order effect, but suppressors for heavier firing rates or cartridges are often run with "cozies" to prevent heat mirage during shooting, so that they can hardly radiate at all until the operator pauses and takes off the insulator to let them cool.Dbooksta (talk) 04:47, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I would appreciate more detail on the section on "Attachment".

Some years ago, at a time when there was no information at all on attachment in the article, I made a similar request. Now there is rudimentary information but the topic is still very mysterious. The article says that

"most suppressors have a "female" threaded end, which attaches to "male" threads cut into the exterior of the barrel"

and that this applies in particular to handguns. But this cannot be a simple matter. On a semi-automatic pistol, the barrel is in most cases completely enclosed within the slide, so a major modification of both barrel and slide would be necessary to have the silencer attach by means of external threads. On most modern revolvers, the front sight and possibly the extractor shroud extension make the shape of the front part of the barrel far from round. So again in this case, the modification would have to be quite drastic.

A detailed explanation of attachment methods would greatly improve the article. ---Dagme (talk) 21:38, 27 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revolvers as a rule cannot be suppressed due to the cylinder. A few purpose built revolvers have been built to be suppressed but it is not the norm, so the front sight is not even an issue. On most pistols, a longer barrel with threads that extend beyond the slide are used. On rifles you have two basic methods: threaded and direct-connect. The threaded versions work like the previously mentioned pistol, screw the can onto the threads. Direct-connect attaches over an existing barrel device such as a flash suppressor or muzzle brake. There are either threads or grooves on these devices that allow quick attachment and detachment like the AAC Blackouts and SEI Vortex. A huge problem is source material. NFA items receive a fraction of the coverage that they need in the mainstream gun press, so the bulk of material is found on company websites, forums, blogs, etc. The socialists and hoplophobes are quick to tear that sort of material down.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:25, 27 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do socialists have to do with this? What is wrong with you? ---Dagme (talk) 06:22, 19 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good source on the current state of technology and law[edit]

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Terminology Section OR[edit]

There is a reference to the first use suppressor in a Patent. I checked it out and the patent is correct, but that can't be the earliest use. I don't want to delete the section, but it needs a fix.Jmackaerospace (talk) 03:01, 11 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Found an earlier Patent - filed 1980 - Adjustable sound suppressor for weapon

US 4384507 A — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pending/failed legislation[edit]

  • In October 2015, Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon introduced the Hearing Protection Act to remove suppressors from the NFA.[1]

Since when do we mention proposed or failed legislation? If the law passes then of course we'd mention it. But if we add every proposed law to related articles then there'd be an overwhelming amount fairly useless material in articles. I note that the congressman is about to retire, and the the bill isn't even notable enough to mention in his biography. Unless someone has a good reason for including it, I'll delete it (again). Felsic2 (talk) 18:30, 17 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Legal regulation of suppressors varies widely around the world. In some nations, such as Finland, Norway and France, some or all types of suppressor are essentially unregulated and may be bought "over the counter" in retail stores or by mail-order.[2] has a searchable version of this book.[1] Searching it doesn't bring up any instances of "counter" or "mail" or any relevant mention of "Norway". The citation to this book and "Volume 1" have been tagged with "page number" requests for 18 months.[2] Furthermore, the citation to some material was added nine years after the material itself was added.[3][4] @Mike Searson: So I'm calling "bullshit". Unless someone can verify the citations to this source, I'm deleting it.


  1. ^ "'Hearing Protection Act' would remove tax on gun silencers". 2015-10-22.
  2. ^ Kokalis, Peter G.; Paulson, Alan C, and Parker, N.R. (2002). Silencer History and Performance, Vol 2: CQB, Assault Rifle, and Sniper Technology. Paladin Press. ISBN 1581603231.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[page needed]

--Felsic2 (talk) 19:03, 17 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Personally, I think it should be removed, but one of your cohorts made a hobby out of creating full blown articles about proposed legislation. In fact one or two are still kicking, but that promotes your bias, so you are probably ok with it and I don't see you raising a stink over those. I have the print version and if I find the time, I will get the page numbers. From my recollection, countries may not be listed individually, just that certain countries have politicians that recognize these as safety devices as opposed to people in the US who want to see the hearing of shooters permanently damaged. You do realize that you are not supposed to plagiarize and are to write in a passive voice, not a word for word reiteration f source material unless it is a direct quote, correct?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:18, 19 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Cut the personal remarks.
    • Fix the cite or delete it. Felsic2 (talk) 19:28, 19 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cutting personal remarks goes both ways, you said what I wrote was bullshit. You treat me respectfully and that's what I will show you. You give me a ration of shit and you get it back. While I'm at it, You don't give orders here, and should not be making threats; this is a collaborative effort so enough with the commands because it is getting tiresome.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 22:25, 19 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Calling bullshit" is a common phrase questioning the legitimacy of a claim. It's not a personal comment. You didn't write the text in question. You added a citation to it that has now been questioned by two different editors over a year apart. If you don't care to fix it then I'll delete it and the source it's connected to.
Considering how often text about firearms is simply deleted summarily on flimsy grounds, I think that I'm taking a very moderate approach here. Felsic2 (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • its like stepping in dogshit, to read what the two of you are writing. i would appreciate it, if you would knock it off.
content about pending/failed legislation is generally driven by RECENTISM and years later no one cares about any specific bill failing or dying in committee.
So the first bullet is that kind of thing and should be removed.
The second bullet is encyclopedic and good. If there are sources that would support similarly encyclopedic content on actual federal/state/local legislation in the US that would be useful. Jytdog (talk) 22:46, 19 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the second bullet, the source is what's being questioned. Felsic2 (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

   The investigation in Law and Order (television series) Season 15 Ep 13, "Ain't No Love" begins with recovery of a soda bottle (2 liter?) that had been used as an improvised silencer. (And the older, moustached detective talked about how hard it was to tape it on right when he experimented once.)
   Presumably documentable.
--Jerzyt 08:09, 20 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improvised silencer might be a better term. Just saying.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:35, 20 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or should that be "improvised suppressor?" ;) But seriously, it is a common topic. There are references to homemade silencers and to things like pillows and potatoes used for the purpose, perhaps ineffectively. In order to protect the hearing of assassins and hunters, we should report this information. Felsic2 (talk) 15:34, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silencer is the correct technical and legal term. I own 15 of them and every Form 3 or Form 4 has "Box 4b" listing "SILENCER" as the type of firearm (yeah, they are considered firearms under US law and TSA agents will look through the tube to make sure it is not loaded when you fly with them). Suppressor is slang just like can, hush puppy, muffler, etc. This guy knows a thing or two about them, I've heard:[5]--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:04, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nice article, but I don't see anything about ghetto silencers or other improvised items. Felsic2 (talk) 15:59, 23 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your kind words, but I was referring to the term suppressor as being slang and silencer as the proper term.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:24, 23 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I started a section with the sources I could find on the web. Felsic2 (talk) 20:06, 12 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good job!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 20:25, 12 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

unsourced content in regulation[edit]

The following is unsourced; moving here, per WP:PRESERVE

  • In Austria, the purchase or possession of a suppressor is prohibited according to §17 of the Austrian Weapons Law.
  • In the Czech Republic suppressors are, according to §4 of Weapons and Ammunition Law, considered an A-class weapon, which means a special exception is needed to possess them. This makes suppressors illegal for any practical purpose.
  • In Germany suppressors are handled in the same way as firearms; if a firearm requires a specific permit, the corresponding suppressor requires the identical permit as well. For example, suppressors for freely available airguns are also freely available. Suppressors are currently not specified exactly by means of a certain minimum attenuating level in dB which separates them from improved flash hiders or advanced muzzle brakes. Firearm suppressors require a "legal need" to own them, just like the firearms they are designed for.
  • In Hungary, the purchase or possession of a suppressor is prohibited for civilians.
  • In Italy the purchase or possession of a suppressor is prohibited except for military personnel (Law 110/75 Art. 2).
  • In the Netherlands suppressors are only legal if used for airguns. All other civilian use and ownership is prohibited by law.
  • In Norway, suppressors are not regulated.
  • (alt) In Norway the sale of suppressors is not regulated in any way. And anyone can buy one over the counter. Some distributors take it upon themselves to check that the buyer has a Firearms Licence for a suitable weapon.
  • In Poland, suppressors are not classified as "important weapon parts". Therefore, they are completely legal in all calibers, requiring no registration or permit. However the Polish Firearms and Ammunition Act (art.10, p. 5) states that firearms ownership approval cannot be issued for firearms equipped with silencer or adapted to be used with silencer.
  • In Romania, the purchase or possession of suppressors is illegal for civilians. Only military and law enforcement personnel are authorized to use them.
  • In the Russian Federation, ...(left sourced content) The law lacks any straight definition of what a "device for noiseless shooting" is, or what decibel level is considered to be "noiseless", therefore it is completely up to the expert investigating the device whether it would be considered a "device for noiseless shooting" or not. That concerns not only specifically designed sound suppressors, but such devices as muzzle brakes, compensators and flash suppressors.
  • In Turkey, civilian purchase, sale or possession of suppressors are strictly prohibited, with possible jail terms of up to 25 years if convicted. Suppressors can only be purchased by military personnel when approved by the officer in charge of the base armory. Individual law enforcement officers are not eligible to purchase or possess suppressors unless these are issued by a local agency, in which case these would be registered to the General Directorate of Security in Ankara.
  • In Ukraine, suppressors are legal and not regulated.
North America
  • In Canada, ... (left sourced content) special licensing is required for businesses to import and sell suppressors, and they are typically only available to law enforcement, conservation agencies, and the military.
  • In Australia, suppressors are prohibited for civilians unless authorised under a commissioner's permit.
  • New Zealand has no restrictions on the manufacture, sale, possession, or use of suppressors.

-- Jytdog (talk) 21:33, 27 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Finnish phrase.[edit]

This reduces or eliminates attention drawn to the shooter (hence the Finnish expression: "A suppressor does not make a marksman silent, but it does make him invisible").[1][failed verification] [1]

This was added back in 2006.[6] A Reddit thread casts doubt on it.[7] I can't find anything about a Finnish phrase in the cited source. I can't find any good reference to it online or in print. I've tagged the line for verification.[8] Felsic2 (talk) 16:21, 8 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not in Glen's book, but in a few pieces by Al Paulson.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 17:33, 8 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent. I might have been able to find that myself if someone hadn't thoughtlessly changed "silencer" to "suppressor".[9] I changed it back to the original. Felsic2 (talk) 17:44, 8 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good catch, I missed that.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:05, 8 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The section on OSS use of the High Standard is incorrect.[edit]

The OSS used a custom made High Standard in two calibers, .22 Short and .32 ACP. The .22 short version could not be heard to fire from 15 feet away. The guns had 12" barrels the last 6" of which were drilled and a silencer was built around them with baffles and I believe filled with steel wool. .22 Long Rifle is supersonic and would NOT be used in a 12" barrel unless special sub sonic ammunition were used.

These guns are currently stored in a building on Route 32 in Ft. Meade across the street (approximately) from the NSA Cryptography museum. A former CIA agent pointed that out to me. Many of the specials weapons from WWII are stored there.

This is my understanding from conversations I have had with veterans who were there.Digitallymade (talk) 14:00, 6 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inaccuracy i the Firearm Noise Anatomy[edit]

This statement: Muzzle blast generated by discharge is directly proportional to the amount of propellent contained within the cartridge. Therefore, the greater the case capacity the larger muzzle blast and consequently a more efficient or larger system is required.

Is incomplete. Muzzle blast is a direct result of the pressure of expansion gases as they exit the muzzle. This is affected by the operating pressure of the cartridge, the speed of burning of the powder, and the length of the barrel. For example... from the same barrel .22 Short or .22 CB or .22 BB produce very little explosive noise when that barrel is over 18" long. .22 Long Rifle High Velocity produces substantial and hearing threatening noise in the SAME gun. I've used .22 Short to shoot in my basement from a rifle. In a semi-automatic rifle the short rounds will not self extract which is no problem for gallery shooting. Digitallymade (talk) 14:12, 6 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is this supposed to mean?[edit]

from this page:

Alan C. Paulson, a renowned firearms specialist, claimed to have encountered an integrally suppressed .22 LR that had such a quiet report,[14] although this is somewhat uncommon."

I've known people who used the OSS guns. They cannot be heard (in .22 Short) at a distance of 15 feet.

Properly evaluating the sound generated by a firearm can only be done using a decibel meter in conjunction with a frequency spectrum analyser during live tests.

I've never heard of anyone using a frequency analyser to test a silencer. And I don't think it is necessary. A local gun range, (Freedom Arsenal) has designed and engineered their own suppressors. There .22 rimfire silencer has the best rating for sound suppression on the market.Digitallymade (talk) 14:18, 6 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're probably right, about this and the other two sections. Remember that we should only add material that's verifiable in published sources. Felsic2 (talk) 16:03, 6 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
.22 S is not .22 LR.
Frequency analyzers are described in professional silencer literature, and frequency shifting is part of several patents. It's described in secondary sources such as Paulson's books, cited here. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 20:58, 6 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ a b Webb, Brandon; Doherty, Glen (15 September 2010). 21st Century Sniper: The Complete Guide. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. pp. 71–72. ISBN 978-1-61608-001-3.

Requested move 24 February 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 20:21, 3 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SuppressorSilencer (firearms) – Suppressor is very obviously a neologism that was almost unheard of in this context until a very recent public information campaign by the NRA and various trade groups that began in only 2011. The WP:COMMONNAME policy requires that article titles reflect that silencer is, and has been, the common name since the device was invented in 1902. Silencer is also the correct legal term, and was the correct technical term until the US gun industry decided to change it for public relations purposes. The silencer industry trade group the American Suppressor Association didn't think to get on board with the new term until 2014; before that they were the American Silencer Association, what with the word silencer being in the name of many of the trade group's member companies and the name of most of their products. You'd think the people who make the things would know the "technically correct" name of their own product, but they changed because a public relations memo got passed around. The Wikipedia argument for why suppressor is more "correct" is that silencers do not eliminate 100% of noise, but that is not how English works. The UK English term for muffler is silencer, with no regard for the obvious fact that car silencers/mufflers do not make cars "silent". Worse, any dictionary can confirm that "suppress" does not imply any lesser degree of silence than silencer, or muffler for that matter. The verbs silence, suppress or muffle all mean to quieten, curtail, or reduce, without necessarily requiring that the object is curtailed 100%. The point of this name game is not to create any more or less technical accuracy in terminology, but only to manipulate public emotions and feelings.

Arguably, the NRA name game has created a counter movement among gun rights activists, making use of silencer no more neutral than suppressor. The fact is, however, that Wikipedia follows a common name policy. This is why we have Anti-abortion movements and pro-life is a redirect, even if activists on one side feel slighted by the words. Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:03, 24 February 2018 (UTC) --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:03, 24 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME and MOS:EUPHEMISM. (talk) 04:56, 25 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What title was this article created under? There was a confusing history merge in December 2012 and I can't work out what exactly happened. I'm not sure I buy the neologism argument since this article lead with "A silencer or suppressor" back in 2003. I don't think you can blame a 2011 PR exercise for that one. —Xezbeth (talk) 07:48, 25 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose - "Silencer" is the euphemism, used in movies/TV which depict a device which does not actually exist. Real guns are really loud, they can't be "silenced", but they can be "suppressed" - and the industry term is "suppressor". This move would communicate poor knowledge to the public and perpetuate a myth. Perhaps we should develop a "silencer" article as a place to document the fictional gun attachment found in movies and TV? Even if you were to argue that "silencer" has a slight liead onc commonality, WP:NATURALDIS suggests Using an alternative name that the subject is also commonly called in English reliable sources, albeit not as commonly as the preferred-but-ambiguous title as a way to avoid using a parenthetical disambiguation. -- Netoholic @ 12:03, 25 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silence and suppress mean the same thing. See any dictionary. It’s like saying erasers don’t exist because they leave smudges behind. It’s why we distinguish between a vacuum and a perfect vacuum. The idea that silencer was made up by movies and TV is contradicted by all the sources. It’s true that media depictions are inaccurate, but if we had to change the name of everything that movies get wrong we’d have to start by renaming sex. Dennis Bratland (talk) —17:14, 25 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silence deals only in sound. This device also suppresses the visible flash of firing. That's why "silencer" is a wholly inaccurate (or at least incomplete) euphamism. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and part of that is to provide reliable and accurate knowledge. Moving this article perpetuates the fiction over the fact. -- Netoholic @ 08:18, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't want to waste space listing dictionary content, but here goes:
Dictionary examples of silence (v)
The OED says the verb silence means "1.a. trans. To cause or compel (one) to cease speaking on a particular occasion; also, to overcome in argument." Overcoming in argument does not only deal with sound. "b. To cause (an animal or thing) to cease from giving out its natural sound; to still, quieten." Does not mean to make absolutely quiet; only quieter. " c. To stop, suppress (a noise or sound)" Literally defined as meaning suppress. It adds " put down, repress", and in battle, to compel enemy guns to stop firing, not to literally make them inaudible Ninjas. The American Heritage Dictionary agrees the words are literally synonyms: "To curtail the expression of; suppress: silencing all criticism; silenced their opponents." Merriam-Webster says silence (v) is "forbearance from speech or noise". Forbear means choosing not to, it doesn't mean becoming Ninja or ghost quiet. Webster also says "absence of mention" in the sense of "oblivion, obscurity, secrecy". MacMillain says "1 to stop someone or something from speaking or making a sound, 2 to prevent someone from giving an opinion or from criticizing you 3 very informal to kill someone so that they cannot give information to an enemy or someone in authority". (Random House + Collins) says "1 to put or bring to silence; still. 2. to put (doubts, fears, etc.) to rest; quiet. 3. Military. to still (enemy guns), as by more effective fire." Doubts and fears do not only dieal with sound.

This is why we say "absolute silence" when that is what we mean; mere silence is like merely "cleaning". We don't use tortured definitions of eraser, or disinfectant or street cleaner this way; hundreds of English words would have to change it we followed this kind of logic.

I have a very long list of evidence that the gun industry and gun media never thought silencer was wrong until 2011-2014. Before that, they always used the words interchangeably with no mention of silencer being wrong. Prior to the mid-90s, they never used suppressor to mean silencer; they only referred to flash suppressors with that word. Even post-2010, they only explicitly said that silencer is inaccurate if they were writing an advocacy or op-ed piece against legal restrictions of silencers. I even have one example of a product review in which they say the silencer works exactly like you see in Hollywood movies, quote "phut-phut" unquote, making the gun's discharge quieter than the bullet hitting the backstop.

Keep in mind how suppress is defined at the OED " 1. trans. To overcome or keep down by force or authority. a. To reduce (a person, a community, corporate body, etc.) to impotence or inactivity; to deprive of position or power; to keep in a state of subjection." impotence or inactivity sound pretty absolute. " b. To overcome (a person or group) by force; to overpower, vanquish, subdue." When you vanquish or overpower something, it is done fighting; you have won entirely. If your country is invaded and you vanquish the invaders, you're not being invaded any more, not even a little bit. " 1.c. To withhold or withdraw, d. To cause (a practice, action, etc.) to cease; to put an end to; to prevent or disallow the use of; to stop, discontinue. Also: to put down (a rebellion, uprising, or the like) by force; 2 (trans) a. To banish or keep hidden". Banishment is absolute. Stop means stop. If you suppress the noise of gunfire, this says you're stopping the noise. "Putting an end to" the noise. Other dictionaries say the same things: "to stop" "top put an end to" "to keep secret". Note that something is either secret or it isn't. If it gets out, it's not secret. The AHT adds "curtail" and "prohibit". If you choose -- if you choose to read these definitions this way, then suppressor is just as inaccurate as silencer for the same reasons. Suppress can be read, if you so choose, as meaning absolutely putting down, preventing, or putting and end to. But as I said, English doesn't work that way.

--Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:41, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Netoholic, I can tell that you don't own one. If you did, I would direct your attention to the little box called 4b "Type of Firearm" on your BATF Form. I have more than one of these and they say "Silencer" unequivocally. Your info is flat wrong. I use the terms interchangeably in life but the legal term is indeed, silencer.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:12, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Do you even lift, bro?" is not a valid point. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:35, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My response is indeed a valid point, Dennis. I'm correctly pointing to the documentation for ownership and you cited "Silencer is also the correct legal term" in your initial post without qualifying it with a citation. That official documentation is directly relevant to the argument that you made. I cited it in my support statement below.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 21:49, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe DYEL wasn't sufficiently explained. Any editor can discuss whether a fact is verifiable or not without it being relevant who or what they are or what their personal experiences are. Implying an editor lacks experience to comment is WP:OWNBEHAVIOR. Are they even American? Why would anybody outside the US have any idea whats on a US form? Anyway, I probably shouldn't have even brought up the legal term, which is cited in the article already. The US legal term was first established in the National Firearms Act of 1934. If we were having trouble deciding which of two names was the common name, then maybe the legal name, or the name the inventor chose, or whatever, could be a tiebreaker but in this case silencer is hands down the only common name, no contest it wins by a mile. Not just in reliable mainstream sources, which alone would be sufficient, but in any sources, whether highbrow books and news media, or lowbrow newsblogs, and, ironically, even in gun-enthusiast media and the silencer manufactures. So it was overkill to have mentioned it when the common name question is so decisive. And this article isn't only about the US, so saying it's "the" legal term is misleading, when it's only what the term in the legal code in the US. I don't know what word all the other counties use is, though (not that it matters) I bet it's silencer. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 22:11, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That you make so many personal assumptions about me is amusing, but the real story here is how you think article names should be based upon what one particular government's form says. I mean, that's a huge relief! We don't need naming guidelines anymore, we can just see whatever the US government has to say on a subject and use that. PHEW! Its so simple! -- Netoholic @ 22:41, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My response to you was because you were calling it a euphemism and a great deal of other incorrect assumptions. If the US government calls it a silencer then it isn't a euphemism, right? My rationale below is "COMMONNAME and the fact..." so please don't try to put words in my mouth. I made one assumption about you that I stand by. You haven't tried to discuss verifiablility; you haven't provided sources. The burden is on you to back up your assertions. If what you say is true then it shouldn't be that hard to back it up.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:02, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support The issue is no whether one or the other is more 'technically' correct nor whether there is a public relations campaign in support of one or the other. Silencer is the more commonly used word across the board, and the more natural title. I've noted the suggestion at WP:NATURALDIS but I do not think 'suppressor' is sufficiently common to justify using it to disambig the subject. Interestingly, I never knew a muffler was called a silencer in the UK (or elsewhere) demonstrating how regional differences and personal knowledge can make these discussions difficult. Nonetheless, I support. Shadow007 (talk) 07:15, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support and possibly move Suppressor (disambiguation) across baseline In ictu oculi (talk) 08:31, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support move to the obvious common name. ONR (talk) 14:44, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support, Silencer is the proper legal name and term used by its inventor. Suppressor is a slang term developed in the 1960s.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:55, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. --K.e.coffman (talk) 04:46, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME and the fact that it is the legal term. My forms for ownership call it a "Silencer". Check box 4b on the BATF forms. In fact, the definitions section here tells you so..."a muffler or silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition".
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:12, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Comment I have actually seen one approved Form 3 where "Box 3b" lists "MUFFLER" as opposed to "SILENCER" for "Type of Firearm".--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:18, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. However, I'd dispute that suppressor is a neologism. It's been around for donkey's years. I first saw it in use long before 2011, and I'm not even American. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:00, 28 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Besides the fact that the common name policy requires using silencer even if it is "wrong" or not "technically" or "scientifically" correct, the fact is that suppressor is not the gun industry's standard term, and only very recently have some, but only some, in the gun industry agreed to insist on the word suppressor. One gets the sense that they realize its just propaganda.

Below is a very long list of quotes from gun and defense industry media showing that silencer and suppressor have been used interchangeably for many years, leading up to the focused PR campaign to switch to suppressor. Earlier, suppressor was only used for flash suppressor. Suppressor started to become fashionable only the 90s, and even up to 2010 there was no distinction. After 2010, media sometimes preferred suppressor, and sometimes said silencer was wrong, but almost always only when the topic was advocacy or op-ed to change the laws restricting silencers in the US. Even after 2014, SilencerCo hasn't changed its name, and many US silencer manufacturers still call their products silencers.[10] GemTech for example categorizes many products as "silencers" and has it in the product names, but argues "Silencer, Muffler, Suppressor, Can... take your pick! The most scientifically accurate descriptor is, suppressor." [11]. Saying something is "scientifically accurate" doesn't make it scientific. GemTech offers no "scientific" evidence that suppressor is accurate. It's not a science question, it's a lexicographic question. The simple fact is that the definition of silence and suppress is not what these guys are claiming it is. Surefire likes suppressor but makes sure you can see their suppressors are silencers.[12]. AAG calls them silencers. AMTAC. Liberty.

List of gun/defense media quotes on silencer and suppressor

Search Guns&Ammo prior to 2010 and the word suppressor only appears when referring to a flash suppressor. Articles during that period use silencer when they mean silencer. For example:

  • "However, the Kennedy forces would have demanded votes on several politically sensitive issues--such as machine gun and silencer bans--on the eve of an election that would determine whether or not the Republicans would continue to control the Senate." Knox, Neal. "The new gun laws did we win or lose? Did Congress score a bullseye for America's shooters or miss the intended target? You be the judge!" Guns & Ammo, Feb. 1987, p. 30+. General OneFile,

Even after 2010, the gun media casually treats silencer and suppressor as interchangeable. With only one or two exceptions, the only time the stop to argue that silencer is wrong is when they are writing an advocacy article calling for loosening restrictions on silencers, and addressing public misconceptions. Some of these articles specifically call out the fact that some aficionados prefer suppressor, but they normally chuckle and roll their eyes. Though the advocacy articles frequently fault Hollywood for making silencers seem truly silent, or at least very quiet, one non-op-ed product review affirmed that the silencer actually did work as seen in the movies. A Defense Electronics article described the tactical use of silencers, and said that they are effective in concealing a shooter from the enemy, contradicting the claim that they serve only to protect hearing and not to evade capture or elude police.

  • "Oh, and while we're at it, let's get some terminology out of the way. The current vogue is to call the can on the end of your muzzle a "suppressor" and not a "silencer." However, SigSauer takes the opposite tack. In the words of Ron Cohen, company CEO, "That's what Hiram Percy Maxim called it, and that's what all the federal statutes and paperwork call it. So that's what we call it--a silencer." Sweeney, Patrick. "Silence is golden: SigSauer has gotten very serious about the issue of noise pollution, as evidenced by the company's new line of silencers." Guns & Ammo, Oct. 2013, p. 46+. General OneFile,
  • "The Silent-SR (which is an obvious pun on silencer) is a rimfire suppressor that has all the tricks, and promises to crush your wallet on ammo costs. [...] With subsonic ammunition, the Silent-SR provided the Hollywood "phuut-phuut" noise that all movie suppressors are supposed to deliver. In fact, the impact of the bullet on the backstop was the loudest noise, followed by the bolt clacking back and forth. Compared to those, the noise of the shot was a distant third." Sweeney, Patrick. "Ruger silent-SR: One of the great names in firearms takes the plunge into a once-taboo market." Firearms News, 10 Feb. 2017, p. 32+. General OneFile,
  • "These guns would be equipped with both suppressors .more commonly called silencers) and laser aiming lights. [...] With suppressors, the sound of their weapons would not carry more than two or three hundred yards, at most. Suppressors would also eliminate virtually all of their gun's muzzle flash. Under these circumstances, any return fire would be like trying to hit a ghost with a sword. It would be absolutely no contest." Rawles, James W. "Lasers: the battlefield tools of tomorrow are here." Defense Electronics, July 1989, p. 73+. General OneFile,
  • [Describes combat effectiveness in using silencers to elude enemy, as well as for hearing protection] Baskett, Major David E. (1980), "Why not a quiet rifle?", Infantry Magazine, pp. 14–
  • "AWC Systems Technology's redesigned Agenda Six suppressor features a lighter silencer with a smaller diameter. The redesign reduces muzzle blast and flash signature. The entirety of the silencer is built around the super structure 304 stainless-steel tubing. AWC Agenda Six is 8.5 inches in length, 1 5/8 inches in diameter and weighs 20 ounces." "Sleek suppressor." Law Enforcement Technology, Feb. 2009, p. 26. General OneFile,
  • "When discussing silencers or suppressor we need to accept the fact that the noise is merely a byproduct of the cartridge igniting. [...] Those who've never used a silenced or suppressed handgun often share the misconception that adding a 'can', as they are known in the industry, does two things; hinder reliability and makes the gun unwieldy." "The Quiet Continues: Suppressed Pistols.", July 2012. General OneFile,
  • "The pistol will accept most real suppressors and silencers but they must be purchased and registered through licensed dealers." "MKS Chiappa M9-22 .22 pistol." Shotgun News, 10 June 2011, p. 12. General OneFile,
  • "The B17 appealed to me for a variety of reasons. First, if you're in the market for a new rimfire rifle, I'd highly recommend a model with a factory-threaded barrel. I may not be the greatest reader of tea leaves, but it looks like the current Congress may remove silencers from the burdensome National Firearms Act of 1934. This requires you to pay a $200 tax on top of the cost of the silencer and wait months for the bureaucracy to approve the purchaser's Form 4: Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm. [...] Note I use the term "silencer" rather than "suppressor." Why? Because the NFA of 1934 and ATF Form 4 refer to the item as such instead of "suppressor." Even more accurately, its inventor, Hiram Percy Maxim (son of Hiram Stevens Maxim, inventor of the Maxim machine gun) also called his invention a "silencer." So silencer it is." Bodinson, Holt. "Savage launches the B17: this heavy-barreled bolt action offers .17 HMR sizzle with an option for 'silent running.'." Guns Magazine, July 2017, p. 26+. General OneFile,
  • "SilencerCo's dedication to education and advocation for silencers is matched only by its penchant for innovation. The company has developed the lion's share of recent new suppressor technology, including asymmetrical silencers, modular silencers, shotgun silencers and--undoubtedly its most seismic evolution yet--the integrally suppressed Maxim 9 pistol. " von Benedikt, Joseph. "Maxim 9: SilencerCo's integrally suppressed pistol likely foreshadows the future of sidearms." Guns & Ammo, Sept. 2017, p. 69+. General OneFile,
  • "And, these rifles are very often fitted with silencers, suppressors or sound moderators--call them what you will depending on the legalities of wherever you are. Now, a silencer is a tool." Larivers, I.J. "Silence that rifle?" African Hunter Magazine, Aug. 2014, p. 6+. General OneFile,
  • "In an effort to reduce recoil I signed on board with the government and all the goofy forms to have ownership of suppressor, silencers or, in our jargon, a can ... hence in the last year I have been "going to the can" mode to be able to shoot rifles and realized two benefits: reduction of recoil and reduction of noise. " Smith, Clint. "Shhhh! Quietly now: goin' to the can." Guns Magazine, Jan. 2011, p. 24+. General OneFile,
  • "The new RFI makes it clear that the Army is looking for a new platform along with the suppressor/silencer add-on. [...] Interestingly, the Army also asks vendors to specify if silencer is an integral part of the weapon or an add-on." "Indian Army For New Silenced Pistol." SP's MAI, 12 Oct. 2015. General OneFile,
  • "...the lengths of the K 45 versions were also reduced by nearly 2 inches when compared to the standard Osprey and Octane 45 suppressors. The silencers also feature a dark grey Cerakote finish to reduce their visual signature compared to traditional black anodizing. " "Shorter, more maneuverable versions of award-winning pistol silencers." Law Enforcement Product News, Sept. 2015, p. 6. General OneFile,
  • "This in spite of the fact that in many places around the world a silencer (or suppressor as they are called by aficionados) is considered just good manners." [Uses silencer not suppressor 14 more times.] Knox, Jeff. "The cost of quiet: 10 years in prison." Shotgun News, 20 Mar. 2011, p. 99. General OneFile,
  • "Here's a couple of subjective observations about last January's SHOT Show in Las Vegas: (1) There really is a Silencer Tsunami (OK, suppressors)--," Miller, Payton. "Full-service showcase: if it could be shot, seen through, sliced with or threaded on, it was at SHOT." Guns Magazine, June 2017, p. 10+. General OneFile,
  • "There are numerous other "bells and whistles" fully described in the 85-page document, including but not limited to an "integral recoil compensator," a "signature suppressor module" (silencer) and a "snag-resistant lanyard loop."
  • "Today, there is a growing acceptance of sound suppressors (aka "silencers") among the mainstream, which is a good thing." Sweeney, Patrick. "Suppressing pistols: getting the most out of your threaded barrels." Guns & Ammo, Mar. 2016, p. 58+. General OneFile,
  • "If you have always wanted to own a machine gun, short barreled rifle, short barreled shotgun, silencer (suppressors) or an AOW (Any Other Weapon) you will want to read this article. Seaton goes through the ins and outs of an NFA Trust and what one entails and points out why you might want one." Fortier, David M. "Be ready! Sneak peak: the fall issue of be ready! offers more of the in-depth preparedness coverage you won't find in other titles." Shotgun News, 20 Aug. 2015, p. 16+. General OneFile,
  • "For over a decade The Firearms Coalition has been railing for removal of the ridiculous federal restrictions on firearms mufflers, commonly referred to as suppressors, and legally classified as silencers. " [OPED, but uses silencer over suppressor.] Knox, Jeff. "Silencers: finally making noise." Firearms News, 10 Mar. 2016, p. 70. General OneFile,
  • " Drop-in threaded barrels are abundant, and most silencer/suppressor forums are littered with posts about people adding a can to the ubiquitous Austrian-made polymer pistol." Grant, Jim. "Lone Wolf Timberwolf: imitator, or worthy adversary to the status quo?" Firearms News, 10 Mar. 2016, p. 20+. General OneFile,
  • "Strategic Armory Corps manufactures precision bolt-action rifles under the name Surgeon Rifles, high-quality firearm suppressors under the name AWC Silencers, and match-grade ammunition." "ArmaLite acquired." Guns Magazine, Dec. 2013, p. 68+. General OneFile,
  • "SilencerCo is the largest maker of suppressors in the nation and currently employs 125 people." [quote of Joshua Waldron, co-founder of SilencerCo] "When, in fact, silencers are legal in 39 states, and you can hunt with them in the vast majority of those states. So I see a big part of my job as educating the public about silencers and trying to undo so much of that stupid Hollywood idea about silencers being an assassin's tool. " "McCombie, Brian. "Joshua Waldron: how two guys in a rock band redesigned silencers and became the biggest suppressor maker in the nation." Gun Digest, 28 Aug. 2014, p. 48+. General OneFile,


These are all advocacy or op-eds, addressing the restrictions on silencers:

  • "While suppressors--often inaccurately called "silencers," though only subsonic .22s can really be rendered anywhere near "silent"--are not only allowed but sometimes required for hunters in other countries, in the U.S. they're currently regulated under our old favorite, the 1934 National Firearms Act, which means law-abiding purchasers have to go through the burdensome process of being photographed and fingerprinted." Suprynowicz, Vin. "Congress can't afford to dawdle on gun rights." Firearms News, 1 July 2017, p. 54+. General OneFile,
  • "Despite their Hollywood image, suppressors are not "silencers." They won't completely muffle rifle or handgun noise, and they won't stop the sonic crack of a bullet that comes from traveling beyond the speed of sound" McCombie, Brian. "Hush-up: how sound suppressors work and why you should own one." Outdoor Life, June-July 2012, p. 82. General OneFile,
  • "Whether you call them "cans," "suppressors" or "silencers" (as Hiram Percy Maxim patented his design in 1909), the growth in ownership and usage the last few years can be largely credited to the merits of education efforts by suppressor manufacturers and an independent organization formed in 2011, the American Suppressor Association (ASA)." Poole, Eric R. "Hush that noise." Guns & Ammo, Aug. 2015, p. 13. General OneFile,
  • "Real-life bad guys using "silencers" is such a rare occurrence that when the police do find one, it's almost cause for celebration. You see, the vast majority of suppressors (not silencers) are sold to good guys like you and me and to the police and military. It's actually an ultra-rare situation for the bad guys to have one." Sweeney, Patrick. "The sound of silence: to really fight noise pollution, suppressed rimfires are the way to go." Guns & Ammo, Feb. 2012, p. 30+. General OneFile,
  • "The mere mention of a suppressor or silencer turns some thoughts to this dark and edgy world created by the movies and television. First of all let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Suppressors are not evil at all, and when used correctly tend to make shooting a whole lot more pleasant experience regardless of the cartridge type." Brezny, L.P. "Ruger SR-22: this one is dressed for suppressed success." Gun Digest, 19 Dec. 2011, p. 8+. General OneFile,
  • "In the real world, "silencers" are actually "suppressors," and they don't eliminate the sound of a gunshot so much as slightly reduce it--" "Hollywood has a lot to answer for." National Review, 6 Feb. 2017, p. 10. General OneFile,

--Dennis Bratland (talk) 19:10, 26 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • "The PC wing of gundom (and there is one, but for generally good reasons, and not to an extreme) will insist that these devices are not really silencers because the guns upon which they are mounted still make a very discernible noise. I'm going to continue to use the term 'silencer' since that is the legal name for them and that's the term that the inventor used many years ago.Muramatsu, Kevin (2016), Lee, Jerry (ed.), Gun Digest 2017 (71 ed.), Gun Digest Books, p. 122, ISBN 9781440246685 --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:50, 27 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It's true that suppressor has been used to refer to gun parts for decades, but every source I found before the mid-1990s is referring to flash suppressors, not silencers. The article has a 1985 patent saying that is the earliest example of suppressor used to refer to noise reduction, and it sounds reasonable. For 116 years silencer has been and still is the main term. Muffler and can have been around too. Suppressor slowly gained traction from the mid 1980s and started to show up on the radar in some gun media in the 90s, but it was only after 2000, and especially after 2010, that a conscious decision was made to use suppressor as a euphemism for silencer, after that term had acquired a sinister connotation. That's basically a neologism. And after the NRA assumed the reason the public thinks they are whisper-quiet. The fact is that 1) movies get everything wrong. It's art, not life 2) There is evidence that silencers do in fact, in certain cases, allow shots to be fired without attracting attention. It depends heavily on the circumstances, and there's more to it than just screwing a can onto any old gun, but to suggest that they have no covert function, and couldn't benefit criminals, is highly questionable. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:49, 28 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Sound moderator terminology use in the UK[edit]

I don't really see the point all the details about the use of sound moderator in the UK: [13] and [14]. The terminology section is explaining how the word silencer is equivalent to car muffler in the UK, in the context of the claim that silencer only means "total silence" rather than merely sound reduction. It's nice to know that sometimes the term sound moderator has been used in the UK, but it's tangential to the subject of that paragraph. The question we don't have any sources for is "how common is the term sound moderator in the UK"?

On the topic of whether and when silencers are allowed in shooting competitions, it's not relevant to the terminology section. We don't really have a section right now about the rules for using silencers in hunting sport or competitions other than government regulations. We could add a section on that topic.

It can't be emphasized enough that the whole "debate" over what to call a silencer was a manufactured controversy created by the US NRA as part of a political campaign kicked off in 2011 to loosen regulations in US. Prior to that, and outside of that context, there is no controversy over what to call a silencer. We shouldn't be writing this in a way that implies there was ever a problem with the word until the NRA made it a problem in 2011. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 22:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding to what editor Dennis Bratland has noted regarding names (e.g., silencer, suppressor, moderator, etc.) for these devices, I'll add some more specifics. There probably is no "one" "correct" term. In the United States, the technical legal term in the law itself is silencer. See the definition in 18 U.S.C. § 921, and the definition provisions of the National Firearms Act at 26 U.S.C. § 5845. I think this point was covered briefly earlier on this talk page, but if the citations to these statutes were listed, I missed them. Famspear (talk) 15:13, 12 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not just the legal term in the US. It's also the name bestowed on it by its inventor. And the name used by virtually all sources for 100 years. Even technical gun media preferred silencer until very recently. It's just false to imply there is any ambiguity here. It had always been called a silencer, and silencer is the correct term. It was until it became politicized and the need for a euphemism was identified for political reasons. Prior to that, suppressor was primarily used to distinguish a flash suppressor from a sound silencer. We can trace the history of this and see with our own eyes the deliberate, cynical Newspeak shift from silencer to suppressor by the gun media and the gun industry.

Consider the American Silencer Association. If silencer was "wrong", you'd think these would be the very ones who would know best that it is wrong. But their members included companies like SilencerCo, and their catalogs were filled with products they called silencers. Later, the NRA coordinated their PR efforts with the ASA, and they changed the S to Suppressor. But SilencerCo didn't change their name, and to this day many manufacturers have no problem with the word silencer.

The argument that silencer is incorrect because silencers don't make guns perfectly silent has been demonstrated to be false: that's not what silencer means. If you insist on interpreting the silencer to mean absolute quite, then suppressor has exactly the same problem. A literal-minded Drax the Destroyer would take suppress just as literally as silence. But in fact, words don't work that way. There's a reason the phrase "absolute silence" exists, because silence doesn't imply total quiet.

I'll just note that the propagandistic sources that insist silencer is "wrong" don't show their work. They don't cite any dictionaries or linguistic sources. They simply assert that silence means total quiet, ignoring the evidence that it does not. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:21, 12 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Mandate" in lede, not in body[edit]

The lede suggests that some jurisdictions require (mandate) a silencer be used. No examples are given in the section on legality by jurisdiction. Recommend either remove from lede, or add relevant example. (talk) 11:16, 12 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 14 November 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: not moved - there is clear consensus against this proposed move. (closed by non-admin page mover) DannyS712 (talk) 06:40, 22 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

– After this article's move from "suppressor" to "silencer", the article has become the clear primary topic for "silencer", with 6x as many pageviews as the scientific term. Since most people agree the proper name for this is a "silencer", it should be moved to the primary namespace ZXCVBNM (TALK) 23:51, 14 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose – the rationale makes no sense; changing from suppressor has no influence on whether it's primary for silencer, which is an ambiguous term that deserves disambiguation. Dicklyon (talk) 02:29, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per clear usage preference and WP:ASTONISH. -- Netoholic @ 04:06, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a Brit, I would be astonished to find myself reading an article about firearms rather than one about car parts. Narky Blert (talk) 15:34, 18 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Here in Britain the main use of "silencer" is the device to make internal combustion exhausts quieter. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 06:04, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Are local anecdotes now appropriate in RM discussions over demonstrable numbers? Clearly when this is made primary, a hatnote will point to muffler to cover this meaning. The muffler meaning is not primary, as silencer is not currently a primary redirect anyway. It has no bearing on this discussion. -- Netoholic @ 07:50, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This RM asserts that the firearms use is the primary topic for "silencer". That "local anecdote" is an opinion that it isn't. Neither are backed up by "demonstrable numbers". Here are some numbers: [15]: Silencer (firearms) article is not clearly more likely than all the other topics combined. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 15:59, 20 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment – No reason support or oppose. It seems harmless to do this move, but then again, can someone explain which specific, existing problem (not WP:BEANS) that this would solve? Thanks. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:11, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The fact that most people search for "silencer" wanting the gun part and are forced to click through the disambiguation to reach it. A minor problem, but then again, that could be said for the vast majority of requested moves.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 23:22, 15 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree, but how do you know it's a fact and not a supposition? If there's clear evidence that many readers are doing that then I would !vote support. Many more than the ones who are looking for muffler, silencer (genetics), silencer (band) and so forth. It's plausible but how do we know? To be clear, if I thought this was pointless and equivalent, like flipping back and forth between equally valid WP:ENGVAR or MOS:DATEVAR choices, I'd !vote oppose. But I wouldn't go that far; I think there's enough merit that I'm not against it. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:17, 16 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Articles are mostly not accessed by title search, and when a disambig page comes up, an extra click is pretty much a non-problem, so this obsession with primarytopic grabbic seems like a generally bad idea to me. Dicklyon (talk) 05:15, 16 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. The primary meaning in British English is - by some distance - what Americans call a muffler (a word not used in British English). The firearms sense is mainly known in UK from US movies and TV. No worldwide WP:PTOPIC. Narky Blert (talk) 15:31, 18 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. It's not at all clear that the firearms use is primary. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 15:33, 20 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per WP:ENGVAR. To the British, a silencer is what the Americans call a muffler. Obviously the firearms term is well-understood even in this country where firearms are not in common circulation, but it's certainly not primary. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:43, 21 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per the British exhaust pipe / muffler use. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:15, 21 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

In Australia, use and ownership of silencers is generally limited to government, security and law enforcement use only and thus prohibited for civilians.[edit]

Generally speaking nothing prohibited in Australia, one just need to obtain special permission or licence. Silencers could be own by people who need them for business use. For example if one have business and register it for pest shooting then (s)he can use silencer. However in reality it means that effectively silencers unreachable for general public. (talk) 09:25, 26 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Subsonic ammunition[edit]

The subsonic ammunition article seems to imply that the only reason for using "subsonic ammunition" is to reduce the loudness of the shot.

This article generally talks about a variety of ways of reducing the loudness of a shot.

Therefore, I propose merging that article into the silencer (firearms)#Subsonic ammunition section of this article.

(If there were some *other* reason for using "subsonic ammunition", then it would make more sense for it to be an independent article). -- (talk) 01:13, 4 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Weak oppose, on the grounds that there is another difference, in that for a given amount of energy, the subsonic ammunition has more momentum, which means greater penetration and stopping power. This is because energy is proportional to mv2, while momentum is proportional to mv. Klbrain (talk) 16:17, 4 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Closing, given the uncontested objection (having waited for several months) and no support. Klbrain (talk) 18:12, 11 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Earliest use[edit]

The current entry for first use cites a 1985 patent. This seems like original research to me, and I have marked it as such. Additionally, I have found the following after only a cursory search, dated 1968:

So, not only is the current entry original research, it also seems to be incorrect. I am not suggesting replacing and re-dating it, but removing the claim entirely. A reliable expert source which actually states the first use of the term for noise suppression would be required for it to be included in the article. (Hohum @) 00:02, 3 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]