5.56 Timeline

Silencers and Semi-autos – A Parable

Imagine that you have a friend who is ready to buy his first AR15. Instead of following any reasonable advise, they go to a gun show and buy a random AR from one of these fly by night companies no one has ever heard of before or will hear of again.

Then they have some issues. Not being the sort to just settle, they work them out. Now your friend goes online and is is an “experienced expert” on the AR15. They go into great detail on how you have to take the gas block off and open up the gas port with a drill to get the gun to be reliable. How you need to take a file and open up the back of the mag well so that magazines will seat correctly. How there are so very many things you need to do to make an AR15 a reliable combat worthy firearm.

You try to tell them that none of that would have been necessary had they bought the right AR15 to begin with, but instead they insist that this work needs to be done to ALL AR15s.

Wouldn’t that be pretty damned infuriating? In the good ol’ days you might punch a man in the face for being so obstinately wrong, but we are more polite than that now.

There are people out there who claim that you have to use an adjustable gas block with a silencer. That all silencers cause excessive back pressure. That you need to switch buffers or change the gas system when running a silencer on an AR15.

This isn’t a matter of someone buying a cheap junky silencer to put on a cheap junky rifle, this is a matter of compatibility. Someone can buy a top of the line silencer and throw it on a semi auto and run into issues because the silencer was designed with bolt actions in mind. It might be the best silencer to put on a bolt action, but no consideration was made as to back pressure with that design. So when they throw it on a semi-auto, suddenly they have an over gassed gun. Now this expert tells everyone that every silencer will cause an over gassed gun. No, your bolt gun silencer will cause an over gassed semi-auto.

I saw a post on a forum today where someone was wanting to suppress a standard M4 configuration AR15. They said that they knew that a mid length 14.5 would be better for being silenced (WTF did that come from? Someone show me the research that says that.) This person was worried if it would even work at all, or if they would have to get an adjustable gas system and tune the buffer weights, etc.

Fortunately several people responded that they had the same setup and didn’t have to change a thing.

Yes, all guns can be tuned and improved, and that isn’t what I am talking about. I’m talking about those loud mouthed know-it-all’s, that once tried to make a soup sandwich and failed, that now claim that all sandwiches are bad.

ATF Tracking Down Glock Switches

Looks like the Alphabet boys have gotten really serious about tracking down those Glock switches that popped up a few months ago online. Concealednation.org has a piece about it. I will post a link but I wouldn’t go there, I was bombarded with pop ups while there.

Back in May we wrote about a web site that sells cheap Chinese knock-off gun gear. Some of it is standard fare like trademark infringing holsters, knives, red dots and the like. Buy at your own risk. Just be aware that in addition to rewarding patent pirates, ordering some of the gear they sell could result in a knock on your door and a trip to the local cop shop in the back of a cruiser.

That’s because the site also sells gear like suppressor components and switches designed to turn your garden variety GLOCK into a full-auto bullet hose. Which is, you know, illegal.

The full auto switches have turned up all over the country and our friends at the ATF are busy trying to track down a couple of thousand of them that they know made it into the country. Chicago’s WGN has noticed some in their notably violent neck of the woods.

WGN Investigates has learned the ATF identified over 2,500 individuals nationwide who may have obtained the part, known as a switch, records show.

At least 118 people, possessing a total of 256 switches, fall within the ATF’s Chicago field division – an area that includes parts of neighboring Indiana and Wisconsin.

The ATF is now trying to apprehend the buyers and seize the illegally purchased switches. Advertisement

The part is not exactly hard to find. In most cases, it was ordered online – from sellers outside the U.S., for as little as $30.

It’s not clear how the ATF got a hold of the sales records for the gear, but . . .

Cook County Sheriff’s police recently arrested two people accused of buying switches from China. Both are now facing felony gun charges.

Chicago police have confiscated more switches this year, compared to 2018.

But officials said they don’t know of a shooting where one was used, though that’s the fear.

Link to original. Again I don’t advise going to it unless you got a powerful adblocker on. I shared everything worth reading already above.

“Solvent traps” LOL

I was surfing the web and I stumbled across this picture. On that MP5, mounted to the lugs on the barrel, is a “Solvent Trap” with an oil filter on it.

I forgot those things existed. I’m pretty sure I posted about them not long ago.

When we clean a gun, pushing or pulling a brush with solvent on it will result in the brush spraying some of that solvent and crud around when it exit the bore. (What I usually do is forget about this fact of nature, and run a solvent soaked brush though a bore while I’m wearing a good shirt standing next to white drywall) I am reminded of a particular annoying bench rest shooter at the range I used to work at would clean his rifle after every match. He would use a jag, push a patch through the bore and let that dirty patch fall to the ground to get blown away by the wind. After a match, after he cleaned his rifle, there would be a good 30-50 plus patches blowing around the range. Had it been up to me, I would have banned him from the club over intentionally making a mess each weekend.

Someone came up with the idea of selling a clear plastic tube with plastic end caps you could slide over the muzzle of your rifle. That way, when you were running a brush or pushing patches all the trash and splatter would be contained in the easily cleanable clear tube.

Tipton sells something similar that uses a soda bottle.

Now, I don’t know what came first. Someone realized you could use an oil filter as a cheap silencer. Someone realized you could use an oil filter as a “solvent trap”.

For example, Cadiz Gun Works sells Oil Filter Silencers for $85. Now, since the oil filter is part of the silencer, when you want to replace it, you need to ship this silencer back to the manufacturer, CadizGunWorks, who will replace the filter and charge your $25.

Come on guys, you can’t post a better picture of your product?

As for the oil filter “solvent traps” since they are a cleaning tool, and perfectly legal as is, you can buy one and have it shipped to your door.

For example, Infinite Product Solutions, sells a “Three Stage Adapter” with three different thread sizes so you can mount an assorted variety of various filters or mufflers to function as a “solvent trap”.

There is an ATF letter floating around talking about this:

ATF letters only apply to whom ever asked the ATF the question. But if you fall into the same situation, you will likely get the same result. Not always. This letter states that if you or I decided to use a Form 1 and turn an adapter into an oil filter silencer we would not be allowed to swap out the oil filter with out submitting a new tax stamp.

So if you are thinking about registering an oil suppressor, it might be a poor value for the cost.

I imagine that in a SHTF type situation, items like oil filter silencers might be a little more popular.

Might not want to use them on larger calibers or weapons you plan to do higher volumes of fire. Many of these filters use a fibrous medium that might catch fire if overheated.

People have been arrested and prosecuted for using illegal oil filter silencers. Here is one example: https://www.guntrustlawyer.com/maryland-man-arrested-fuel-filter-silencer/

At this point I’ve rambled for a while, and I’m not sure if I ever had a point. But here is a fun aside:

Maverick Precision sells “Solvent Trap Filter Media

These “Mil-spec filter media designed to catch carbon & other contaminates” are sold $50 for a pack of 10.

I think those look familiar. Look at the 3 slits cut in each round patch. Like cleaning patches…

Now look at those round patches with 3 slits cut into them. These Otis patches are sold for $7.49 for 100.

I’m sure that Maverick Precision would never take a 7.5 cent cleaning patch and sell it for $5. Right?