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Are you confused? Congratulate yourself!

Silencers…suppressors…decibels…trusts…tax stamps…vomit.

Sound familiar? I was once what I now believe to be a typical consumer making a first-time foray into silencer (aka “suppressor”) shopping.


I’m fairly bright; I survived engineering school, I convinced a beautiful woman to marry me, I manage to keep my bills paid and even got a couple of patents along the way. But not much in my life has made me feel as ignorant and out of touch as trying to buy a silencer.

Like many, I wanted a silencer for two basic reasons; 1) my rifle was very loud and 2) silencers are cool! I thought I could turn my AR15 into a pellet-gun-quiet weapon of…whatever. I don’t hunt and don’t plan on joining a militia, but if the need presented itself…

Ok. I just thought it would be cool.

As I was driving into town I passed a gun shop and noticed that they sold silencers. It said “SILENCERS” right over the phone number on the sign out front. I planned a u-turn for the next opportunity and called the phone number. When the lady answered I asked her,

“Do you have silencers?”

“We have suppressors.”

“What’s the difference?”