- They were once sold in hardware stores. The first commercially successful product was patented by MIT grad Hiram Percy Maxim in 1909. Marketed as a gentlemanly way to shoot, silencers were widely used in the 1920s and ’30s. One ad portrayed a well-dressed marksman firing at a target in his living room fireplace while a dog lounged at his feet.
- Affectionately known as “cans,” silencers are metal cylinders lined with internal baffles that channel expanding gas from the gun blast into hollow chambers, reducing its velocity as it leaves the muzzle. This can cut noise by as much as 40 dB.
- They’re legal in 39 states and fairly easy to buy. You have to pay a $200 tax, fill out some ATF paperwork, and wait a few months, but that’s about it. The $200 fee was instituted in 1934 to discourage the use of silencers, but it has never been adjusted for inflation and is now little deterrent for most people.
This article was originally posted by James Card on Wired.com to view the original article click here
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