Form 1, 14.5" barrel and multi-gun conundrum

Ape_Factory

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May 23, 2020
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I have three guns I'd ultimately like to add silencers to and I'm going over logistics and have a few questions as this would be my first silencer. Looking for a bit of assistance on the most cost-effective way to do this and do it correctly from those who have been through this already. I've read for hours on end but I feel like I'm overlooking something and could use a bit of insight.

The three guns in question are (in order of silencer priority):
AR15 (home defense, bug-out)
Ruger 57 (they're coming out with a threaded barrel, home defense and range work)
AR10 (hunting)

I do realize one silencer would not be optimal on all three guns. I have to believe a .223 silencer will do well on the Ruger. The AR10 (POF Revolution DI) would be last to receive a silencer (but probably needs it the most!).

To start, I plan on filing a form 1 to build my own silencer for a solid but very much budget AR15. However...I've been "upgrading" various components on it. It currently has a 16" heavy barrel and I'd like to move to a 14.5" stainless nitrided and fluted barrel from Faxon with a head-spaced bolt. It's their "gunner" profile and I do not want to go with a pencil barrel. I do, however, want to make the rifle reasonably light, in the 5 pound range with a 1-4x LPFVO. It's for home defense (hence the silencer) and as good all-around bugout gun.

From what I can tell having gotten halfway through Form 1, it seems as though any one silencer I make is mated to one gun. True?

This would of course nix my plans for one silencer to use on the AR15 and Ruger 57. Then there's the issue of me upgrading the AR over time. I have my eye on a lighter lower (and upper) down the road. It's a lower though, nothing special about it and it works just fine. It would not be a massive blow to just stick with it if a silencer is indeed mated to one gun by law.

The 14.5" barrel has me going in two directions. First, I could just pay the $200 tax. Second, I could pin/weld a muzzle device with an integrated mount and avoid the $200 tax. Thing is...a lot of the muzzle device/silencer mounts are very close to $100 and picking the wrong mount could complicate things as I learn more about silencers over time and want to change things up. Sometimes, you don't know what you don't know. So I'm halfway to the tax stamp in terms of cost. The upside is I could move the barrel to a new lower if needed.

I think I've talked myself out of pinning/welding the entire silencer to the barrel.

I also like the idea of an over-barrel silencer to keep overall length in check and keep any additional weight closer to the center mass of the rifle. I plan on using an adjustable gas key in the BCG as opposed to an adjustable gas block and already have a non-adjustable Ti gas block on the gun. Don't know what the downsides are, if any to the over barrel option vs an extended silencer. The over barrel obviously wouldn't work on the Ruger.

I'd really like to hear some opinions and options on which way to go with all of this. I'm even a bit lost about which type of silencer mount to choose if I go with a muzzle device/mount to extend the 14.5" barrel to legal length. I'm not sure how much of an effect the actual muzzle device has on the silencer's ability to lower the overall db's and if there are some options which are better than others. I've also noticed all of the muzzle device/silencer mounts are in traditional steels (stainless, chromoly, etc...) and none are titanium. Is it a cost issue? A pin/weld issue (expansion rates, weld beads, etc...)?

Really appreciate the help so a big thank you in advance.
 

awpk03s

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With regard to the silencer being mated to one particular gun - that’s not true. You specify the maximum caliber (diameter) and the overall length on the Form 1; that’s it.

I think that’s a tall order to cover all three weapons with one can. You will have compromises and in the end probably not be as happy. Not to mention, there’s no such thing as only one suppressor. Odds are, you’ll end up with more than one.

The Ruger 57 will need a piston/booster assembly, so you’d have to swap out the QD or direct thread mount that you use for rifles and put on the booster every time you switch. It’ll get old, especially as carbon induces things to get stuck.

You can do both of those rifles successfully with one can, just plan it for .30 caliber. I think the best QD system out there is Dead Air Key Mount. The system and muzzle devices are expensive, and stock is hard to find right now, but it’s a buy once cry once scenario.

Just my opinion, I’d skip up to a 16” barrel. With one of the Faxon profiles it’s still going to be light, and you don’t have the hassle of a pin and weld especially if you think you’ll be changing more things over time. 14.5” - just to me, is not worth a tax stamp. If you’re going to go short barreled rifle, then go short as you can while being reasonable to your goals.

Something to think about too, is why are you wanting to go Form 1? Cost? Time? Specialized design? Fun of a project?

If it’s cost, for a well done centerfire rifle can, be advised you may have just as much cost in it by the time you’re done as if you went with a commercial can go start, especially if you went with a YHM can or something. If you go a super cheap fuel filter/monocore solvent trap type setup - yes it will be cheaper, but it will also probably sound like crap and not be very durable.

For time - faster stamp approval; right on. Form 1 is where it’s at, ~30 days. Some Form 4s are getting pretty fast too though.

Fun of a project? Carry on friend, you’ll have fun. But having or at least having access to quality tools and machines is going to be necessary for your best results. You don’t need a lathe or a mill, but it’s easier if you do. A drill press with the right setup can also work fine.

Specialized setup that you can’t get on a Form 4? Again, forge ahead and make it just how you want it. With tools and materials the word is your oyster here.

Just food for thought.
I did 2 Form 1 cans. I had probably $600+ in each one before the tax stamp. Approval was one month and it was awesome. One is a 9mm rifle setup dedicated for a CZ Scorpion, but used with any other rifle via KeyMo, and the other was a big bore hunting can for 450BM and 350 Legend, also on KeyMo.
They sound great, and I’m happy with them.
But naturally my Dead Air factory cans are noticeably nicer.
 

Ape_Factory

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May 23, 2020
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That helps and completely makes sense now. I didn't realize it was caliber specific and not specific to an actual gun serial number.

I do have access to machining and I love to build things but I don't have say, 3D metal printing technology and honestly, I don't need another rabbit hole hobby as I have too many of those now. The can I have in mind would be rebuildable and would not be lifetime/maintenance free. I'd follow the letter of the law and the engraved serial number portion would stay constant but I'd be able to replace internal components. It's matching my machining capabilities to what's available out there mount-wise. I don't want to purchase a QD mount and find out I really don't have the skillset to match it on the can end.

I look at cans like the Thermal Defense Solutions, 3D printed, multiple caliber, lifetime and can be rebuilt, reasonably light depending on which one you get but doesn't necessarily tick all the boxes (over barrel).

With the over barrel...really makes sense to stick to a 16" barrel and I can keep the bullet velocity up and probably come in shorter than a 14.5" with an extended silencer. That's one of the reasons I don't want to drop down to say a 13" barrel, projectile velocity.

When you say your dead air cans are nicer, are you referring to physical appearance and build quality or actual performance?
 

Shooter McGavin

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If you plan on traveling outside of your state pin and weld would make it that you do not have to ask permission from the ATF to do that (ATF Form 5320.20). You can travel to suppressor friendly states without having to ask for permission.
 

Ape_Factory

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If I stayed with a 16" barrel, I'd be good, correct? It's only if I have a barrel shorter than 16" even though I theoretically paid a tax stamp on it? I honestly don't see me traveling but definitely a consideration.
 

Shooter McGavin

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If I stayed with a 16" barrel, I'd be good, correct? It's only if I have a barrel shorter than 16" even though I theoretically paid a tax stamp on it? I honestly don't see me traveling but definitely a consideration.
You'll be good with the 16". As long as the barrel is 16" or more you're good to travel to free gun loving states without an ATF Form 5320.20.
 

stiletto raggio

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That's a tall order for a home build and, as with homemade beer, you are likely to spend more time and money to wind up with something that just isn't as good as what the pros make. If you're in it for the project, go for it. If you're in it for performance, just spend the money in one fell swoop.

If the 57 will need a booster, I would recommend something like the Griffin Optimus. You can swap between direct thread, several options of qd attachment, and a booster assembly. It will go up to 9mm or .300 Win Mag if you decide to go that route.