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Buying a Suppressor Online with SilencerCentral.com

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I recently dipped my toe into the world of NFA items. NFA items are suppressors/silencers, short-barreled rifles (SBR), short-barreled shotguns (SBS), and machine guns. This can be an intimidating world to get into. There is a lot of paperwork, a lot of potential pitfalls, and some serious penalties if you screw up. The easiest way seemed to be buying a suppressor online with SilencerCentral.com.

Full Disclosure: I paid full price for the silencer I purchased through SilencerCentral.com. I received no kickbacks, discounts, etc., and do not receive any financial incentives for sales made through SilencerCentral.com. As always, the thoughts here are mine and mine alone.

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Buying a Suppressor Online

I probably don’t have to tell you why I had a desire to buy a suppressor. They’re cool and they create an entirely different shooting experience. They have utility in home defense and hunting roles, as well as teaching new shooters. And, as a fairly experienced “gun guy,” this was an area of firearms ownership that I wanted to experience. Oh…and I found a host that I really wanted to suppress. That’s probably what got me into this world more than anything.

My friend’s Stribog, the day he loaned it to me.

My friend had purchased a Stribog SP9A3, back before the brace ban (which is now over?). After I shot his I was intrigued. After he said, “take it home for a few weeks,” I was hooked, but knew mine needed to be quieter! Buying a suppressor online seemed to be the easiest way to get into the NFA world. A number of online companies offer to build online trusts and handle all the paperwork for you. After doing a lot of research on the type of can I wanted (Dead Air Wolfman), I settled on buying through Silencer Central.

Mine, one month to the day later.

The basic process works like this: First, you pay for the silencer so a serial number can be allocated to you. Then you do some paperwork, submit your fingerprints, verify your Form 4, then you wait. Once your ATF wait is over there is a short wait for your local chief LEO, then Silencer Central sends your can directly to your door. Easy!

Buying with SilencerCentral.com, Part I

Here’s the blow-by-blow of how it actually worked. This seems like a lot, but each step is clearly explained as you do it.

Saturday, 15 Oct: I purchased can on the phone. I picked it out, called customer support, and paid for it.

Sunday, 16 Oct: I received an email telling me to log into my Silencer Central account and submit a photo. I took a passport photo with my phone on a tripod. I then uploaded to Silencer Central and set up ATF eForms account.

Wednesday, 19 Oct: I received a fingerprint kit in the mail, consisting of an ink pad and a fingerprint card. I had a cop friend fingerprint me.

Thursday, 20 Oct: I mailed fingerprints in the very next day.

Wednesday, 26 Oct: Almost a full week went by before I received email informing me that my fingerprints had been received and processed.

Tuesday, 08 Nov: I received an email requesting digital signatures on ATF Form 4. I tried several times, with two browsers, but could not sign into the ATF system.

Wednesday, 09 Nov: I tried to sign again and could not get it to successfully complete

Thursday 10 Nov: Frustrated with the wait, I sent an email to SC customer support. Shortly thereafter I received an email saying signing software was down.

Friday 11 Nov: I received a reminder email about signing Form 4, which I was finally able to successfully sign.
– Attempted and successfully signed

Tuesday, 15 Nov: I received an email for final review of form 4. I was given a 10-minute window at 14:10. I accepted this window, and a Silencer Central rep called me at 14:14. The rep reviewed all the information in form 4, then gave me control of her screen to check boxes. The total call time was 7 minutes. I got an email stating my application was submitted to the ATF.

Buying with Silencer Central, Part II

At this point, frankly, I was a little frustrated. I had purchased my can on October 15th and it was a full month before everything was submitted to the ATF and my “real” wait began. Wait times for Form 4s, the form necessary to purchase an NFA item, are notoriously long. Electronic forms were intended to be faster, but at the time of this writing they are only 7 days faster than paper forms (225 days versus 232). So I waited and waited and waited. Finally, I was sitting at work then the email came in, seemingly out of the blue.

Wednesday, 28 June: Received an email from ATF saying my application was approved. Just a few minutes later I got an email from Silencer Central saying I was approved, and giving me a link to fill out a 4473 (the same form you fill out to purchase a firearm). I filled out the electronic 4473 thinking I was done. Not so fast! At this point, I received an email telling me that a letter had been sent to sheriff, who had 7 days to respond…and I would have to wait that additional week.

Wednesday, 06 July: I received email that silencer would be shipping in 3-5 days. Whoop!

Friday, 14 July: “Suppressor arrives in the mail” (that’s what my notes say). In reality I sat on the couch most of the day, looking down the road, waiting for the mail truck. The can came via USPS, and was delivered directly to my doorstep. Hilarity ensues!

The Gun and Can

I immediately screwed the can onto the Stribog and went out into the yard. I began stalking groundhogs right away. I’ve become quite lethal to the whistle pigs in my yard and the pasture behind my house. I know you want to hear about the gun and the suppressor. Suffice to say both work beautifully. Also, to satisfy your curiosity, the rifle is an NFA-registered SBR. I will post a review of both (perhaps together, perhaps separately) in the near future, and explain the Form 1 process for creating a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS).

Thoughts on Buying a Suppressor Online with SilencerCentral.com

Receiving the can was like getting a Christmas present! It had been paid for long ago, so it was like a free toy showing up on my doorstep, three-quarters of a year later! This seems like a complicated process, but overall it was pretty easy. it was so easy, in fact, that a month later I purchased another silencer. Unfortunately I purchased it through another company. Although their process was just as easy (and they carried a brand/model that SilencerCentral does not), it took FIVE MONTHS for my application to be submitted to the ATF. I still have not received that suppressor, and don’t expect to for another few months. I will write that one up when that suppressor finally arrives.

SilencerCentral.com was very easy to deal with. I always felt like I knew what was going on. My questions were always answered, and the process was very approachable. They only downfall for SilencerCentral.com is a somewhat limited selection of cans. They carry Dead Air, Gemtech, HUXWRX, SilencerCo, YHM, and a couple other brands…but don’t offer some big names, like Sig or Surefire.

If you’re interested in purchasing a suppressor, I strongly recommend SilencerCentral.com. If their selection meets your needs, they make the process simple and about as fast as it can be. My only advice would be to buy your can NOW! The wait is long; get it started!

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