A few comments on buying NFA items


Colt 901 Surefire SOCOM

A couple of weekends ago I was at the range testing out my new Surefire 762 suppressor.  I ended up doing more chatting than shooting as I answered a great deal of questions about obtaining NFA items (Silencers, Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, Short Barreled Rifles, Short Barreled Shotguns, Any Other Weapons(AOW), etc)

Two common misconceptions I hear are:

1.   “NFA items are illegal.”  Wrong.  In many places you can own machine guns, silencers, destructive devices, etc.

2.  “You need to be a Class 3 Dealer to own NFA item.”  Once again, wrong, you pay a tax stamp to own a “Title 2” item.  Class 3 is the type of dealer to sell these title 2 items.


There are some hoops you have to jump through to get a NFA item.  The first time you buy something that is Title 2 it may be daunting.  However while the process can be long, it isn’t actually that horrible.

I’ve only owned Silencers and Short Barreled Rifles.

On silencers, they are awesome!  If you want one, get one.

A couple of suggestions.  Don’t try to go cheap.  What you buy you are stuck with.  Find the suppressor that best fits your needs and get that one.  Figure out what your priorities are.  Some cans are smaller and lighter, but then they are louder(like my Surefire 7.62 SOCOM mini pictured above).  Some cans are very quiet, but rather large and heavy.  The lightest cans tend to be titanium, which makes them very expensive.  Figure out your needs in order, and buy the can that fits those.  For me, it is, “Minimal point of impact shift, mounting system, size/weight, suppression, cost”  What you need or want may be a different order.  Then, if possible, listen to what the can you want sounds like in person before you buy it.  Know what type of performance you will get, so your not surprised or disappointed when you get it.

One last note, sometimes sticklers say that there is no such thing is a silencer, only “suppressors” because it doesn’t completely silence a firearm.  Well my paperwork says I own a “silencer”, so I own a silencer.



I really like short barreled rifles.  I have two SBR AR15s, with a Colt 6945 that I am waiting on.  I had a short AK in the past, but I sold that.

The SBR AR15 is really a wonderful versatile gun.  You can easily change calibers, barrel lengths, configuration, etc.  However nows with accessories like the “Pistol Stabilizing Brace”  I recommend to people to buy an AR15 pistol instead of a SBR.  There is no paperwork, you can easily sell it if you don’t like it.

If your not familiar with the “Stabilizing Brace” here is a video of Jerry Miculek playing around with a couple

Having a not-stock like that doesn’t stop the pistol from being a pistol, so you have most all the benefits of a SBR minus the paperwork.  But if you truly want a SBR, go get it.

Colt 6920 Surefire SOCOM Leupold

The wait after you submit your NFA paperwork to the ATF really sucks.  If you never submit your paperwork, you will never get that NFA item.  I have had people tell me that they have filled out a form 1 to SBR a gun, but haven’t mailed them in because they don’t want to wait.  When I ask when they filled out the forms they give me a reply like, “Oh, about a year ago.”  Had they mailed in the form, they would have had their SBR by now.


  1. ATF eForm turn around times for Form 1 (SBR’s) is running about 4-5 weeks right now. Now is the time to jump on the SBR bandwagon! If only they would get the Form 4 (suppressors) up again on eForm….


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