The Replica Prop Forum

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Suppressors are Essential Safety Equipment

Photo from:

See something in that photo? 
That is a Rat Catcher. I don't know where or when, but I found it in this linked article;

The item you need to look at is attached to the end of the rifle in the Rat Catcher's hand. What is it?

It is a suppressor/muffler/moderator, or as Hollywood and the uninformed would have you believe, a silencer.

Why would a Rat Catcher need a "Silencer" for? If you look at what he is doing he is coming out of a sewer with a dead rt he shot in one hand and his suppressed rifle in the other. Why would he need it? You ask again.

Think about it. Firearms are LOUD when discharged. Especially when they are discharged underground and in a sewer, which would amplify the sound of a discharge to deafening proportions. Literally. If you fired a firearm in a small sewer even with hearing protection, you run the risk of permanent hearing damage.

Suppressors have been around since 1902 when Hiram Percy Maxim (The son of Hiram Stevens Maxim who invented the Maxim Machinegun) patented the first commercially viable "Muffler" as it was called then. Here is a little bit of history for you. Hiram Maxim ALSO designed the first automotive muffler. So a firearms suppressor and a car muffler both came from the mind of Hiram Percy Maxim.

Suppressors weren't even regulated until the National Firearms Act of 1934. You could order them from companies such as F.W. Woolworth's, Sears Roebuck and many others.

For many, a suppressor was piece a safety gear to be used while shooting. It was to protect your hearing and to avoid the wrath of your neighbors. Hunters used them to avoid scaring herds while hunting for large parties. Rat Catcher's used them to keep from having their ear drum ruptured while doing their jobs in the sewers of the big cities.

Today, to own a suppressor, you need to fill out the appropriate paperwork, undergo a background check and pay $200.00and get the signature of the head of your local law enforcement agency. And if the BATFE finally approves you, you can go buy your suppressor. Many people who have no impediment to owning a suppressor get denied. Simply because many Chief LEO's don't like the idea of a "Civilian" owning a piece of safety equipment.

Thanks to Hollywood, suppressors have a bad image. And many people who should know better about them (Law Enforcement Officers) don't know the first thing about them. And their inexperience and prejudices come into play.

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