Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Yes, it can be legal to make a silencer. For everything Form-1, from silencer designs that are easily made, to filing forms with the BATF, to 3D modeling. Remember, you must have an approved BATF Form-1 to make a silencer. All NFA laws apply.

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Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Elkins45 » Sun May 22, 2016 7:31 pm

I('m involved on the fringes of a discussion on another forum regarding bore clearances for Form 1 silencers. In this particular thread the OP inquired about being able to change the caliber of a silencer once the stamp had been issued. While most were quick to point out that ATF very specifically disallows this, there's another poster in the thread that takes the position that since there's no published limit as to allowable bore clearance that it's OK to have a Form 1 can engraved "22 caliber" on the tube that actually has a bore large enough to pass much larger diameter bullets. In essence he is telling folks there's nothing in the law to prohibit you from labeling a can as a 22 but boring it for a 45 or greater.

I think he is "technically" right in that there's no upper clearance limit in the law, but I wonder if it's really that loose. Is there some sort of ATF guidance or ruling somewhere that limits just how over bore a Form 1 can may be?

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by doubloon » Sun May 22, 2016 8:43 pm

If you have a can marked 22lr and the bore is big enough for 9mm or .45 and you are unfortunate enough to have drawn enough attention to yourself to warrant some kind of investigation you would be hard pressed to prove you had not modified a suppressor originally manufactured for 22lr to accommodate a larger caliber.

Some would say no person in their right mind would ever think anyone would be dumb enough to modify a 22lr can to accommodate 9mm or larger.

Some would say once you've drawn enough attention from law enforcement that they are so far up your ass as to worry about the mis-marked caliber of a single suppressor then the suppressor is just a match on the fire.

They might be right.

But what's always right is if you play stupid games you win stupid prizes.

If you want to shoot 22lr through a suppressor with a bore big enough for 9mm then for piss sake just mark the friggin can 9mm or mark it to match the largest caliber it will accommodate. Nobody ever avoided losing their anal virginity by saying "I can shoot 45ACP through my 22lr suppressor!"
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by curtistactical » Sun May 22, 2016 8:44 pm

As long as the caliber listed will fit through the hole then its good.
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Elkins45 » Sun May 22, 2016 9:18 pm

curtistactical wrote:As long as the caliber listed will fit through the hole then its good.
What if I can shoot 45's through my can marked 22 caliber?

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by quiettime » Sun May 22, 2016 10:14 pm

I think you can shoot 9mm through the Huntertown Kestrel 7.62 AK and they only rate it for 7.62x39 and 300 BLK

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by doubloon » Sun May 22, 2016 11:55 pm

Elkins45 wrote:
curtistactical wrote:As long as the caliber listed will fit through the hole then its good.
What if I can shoot 45's through my can marked 22 caliber?
It still won't help you keep your anal virginity.
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by pdsmith505 » Mon May 23, 2016 12:28 am

Elkins45 wrote:I('m involved on the fringes of a discussion on another forum regarding bore clearances for Form 1 silencers. In this particular thread the OP inquired about being able to change the caliber of a silencer once the stamp had been issued. While most were quick to point out that ATF very specifically disallows this, there's another poster in the thread that takes the position that since there's no published limit as to allowable bore clearance that it's OK to have a Form 1 can engraved "22 caliber" on the tube that actually has a bore large enough to pass much larger diameter bullets. In essence he is telling folks there's nothing in the law to prohibit you from labeling a can as a 22 but boring it for a 45 or greater.

I think he is "technically" right in that there's no upper clearance limit in the law, but I wonder if it's really that loose. Is there some sort of ATF guidance or ruling somewhere that limits just how over bore a Form 1 can may be?
Funny how small the internet REALLY is. :lol:

The way I see it (written much more concisely here), is that there is sufficient evidence that either:
a) the Form 1 was intentionally filled out incorrectly, or
b) the silencer was modified at a later date to have a larger bore, making it a "new" silencer in the eyes of the ATF requiring an additional tax to be paid, etc.

The hypothetical I pose is if, for example, you use your .45 pistol with the nominally marked/registered .22 can to dispatch a burglar.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Elkins45 » Mon May 23, 2016 5:52 am

doubloon wrote:
Elkins45 wrote:
curtistactical wrote:As long as the caliber listed will fit through the hole then its good.
What if I can shoot 45's through my can marked 22 caliber?
It still won't help you keep your anal virginity.
That's my instinctive thought as well, but is there actually something in statute or published guidance to back that opinion up?

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Historian » Mon May 23, 2016 7:24 am

" What if I can shoot 45's through my can marked 22 caliber? "

Only once. :) :)

The smallest .22 can I remember was the Parker Hale MM1,
I.D. .75", exit hole ~.30". Hmmm. Could a .45 slug squeeze its way through?

As the comedian Judy Tenuta often says " It could happen".

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by cdrissel » Mon May 23, 2016 10:16 am

Simple solution - file another form1 and have both.

A .22lr thru a .45 can won't be Hollywood anyway.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by doubloon » Mon May 23, 2016 10:36 am

Elkins45 wrote:...
That's my instinctive thought as well, but is there actually something in statute or published guidance to back that opinion up?
In the reg's it is ordained "Thou shalt not modify ye own suppressors." specifically and in various redundant ways.

The ATF handbook says "Thou shalt mark the caliber or gauge." The wording would imply, even though it does not specifically state, a precise caliber marking is required.
https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/doc ... f/download

I'm not saying anyone has modified or will modify anything but why create something that looks like it was originally intended for one caliber and modified to accommodate another?

Why not ask "Is it OK to make a 22lr suppressor and mark the caliber as 7.62x51?". It's the exact same question.

As has already been said more than once in this thread, you can build any whatever you want and mark it however you want but it may not be the most intelligent choice.
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by crazyelece » Mon May 23, 2016 2:51 pm

I have never seen or heard of any law or ruling on the caliber marking vs actual bore size.

Therefore, it would come down to ATF agent discretion of whether they thought the device broke any actual law.

The most likely laws I can think of are 1) you were approved to build a silencer for caliber X and you instead built a silencer for caliber Y, therefore you have an unregistered silencer

2) You built a silencer to spec for approved caliber X then modified it to use caliber Y, therefore you have an unregistered silencer

So basically the charge would be possession of an unregistered silencer, which you would then be in a position of defending yourself against.

Now, in this position, you bear the burden of proof. You have to prove that you are not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

How likely is it that you would be able to do so, when common sense says "don't do that" yet you chose to because the law doesn't specifically say you can't.


Personally, I agree with the above poster. Stupid games win stupid prizes

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by furiousMG » Tue May 24, 2016 5:36 am

So basically the charge would be possession of an unregistered silencer, which you would then be in a position of defending yourself against.

Now, in this position, you bear the burden of proof. You have to prove that you are not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

How likely is it that you would be able to do so, when common sense says "don't do that" yet you chose to because the law doesn't specifically say you can't.
I would disagree. If you paid your 200 dollars and received your approved form 1 then your can is registered. You can not modify it later but you can design and construct it however you like. The length and required markings must match the form of course. If you make it from beer cans and duct tape it makes you an idiot but its not criminal regardless of bore size. If you make it from 3" sewer pipe and baffle it with glazed donuts it makes you an idiot but not a criminal. And if you use five feet of PVC pipe with no baffles it would make you an idiot but not a criminal. So they would lack the legal standing required to send you to a work camp to be gang raped until you bleed out through your anus.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by sickasssig » Tue May 24, 2016 8:01 am

Why not just file as 45 acp and shoot everything smaller through it that would be legal and staying within the laws so no trouble later on down the rd that would be the smart thing to do i would think dont try an play with the ATF you will bot win that battle
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by T-Rex » Tue May 24, 2016 8:14 am

Ok, I tried to stay away, but anyone who knows me, especially my wife, will say I can't hide from a stupid argument.

Let's go beyond reasoning and avoid the fact that if the ATF has "come to collect", this Form 1 suppressor is the least of your worries.

From here on out, let's make a couple things clear.
1. If this were a trial, NO ONE in the courtroom would have a clue about a Form 1, let alone suppressors, the community behind them, their practical application or anything to do with their construction. This is all your defense team's job to prove your innocence.
2. The fact that you want to be the guy with the largest 22 suppressor, in modern existence, just so you can also shoot it on your 45, should be enough to let you stay in jail for stint.
3. Using the terms "common sense" or "logic" will be a quick way to get you a seat in the corner. You've been warned.

Now, to the meat of the matter. From this point forward, I'm going to focus on 2 calibers, only. The reason for this is, we've made it clear this suppressor will be used on more than one caliber and, therefore, is deemed multi-use. The calibers being 22 and 45 (anything in between is considered compatible).

So, the prosecution will bring forth experts, to show your design does not fit into the template for a 22 suppressor. Is this, in itself, a crime? No, but remember, the sheep are being fed so keep quiet. The majority of suppressors, made in the last decade (hell, the last century) are going to share many obvious traits.
1. Size. Typically not extending past 6" and, for the most part, having a diameter equal to 1".
Why, may I ask, sir, does your suppressor have a diameter of 1-1/2", if the internet has proven (that was a joke) all you need is a 1" diameter tube?
Clearly, your intention, and need for an abundance of volume, is due to the fact you were planning to use this on a much larger caliber.

2. Bore Size, err clearance.
Sir, our expert from the Firearms & Science Technologies Institute testified earlier to the physical and mechanical tolerances needed to effectively suppress a 22 caliber projectile. However, your suppressor, marked Exhibit "A", shares no attributes, with a working model, which would prove it was ever made or intended to be primarily hosted on a 22 caliber firearm. In fact, sir, Exhibit "A" bears more resemblance to these items (where the prosecution shows a Ti-Rant 45, Octane 45, etc), which are all designed, marketed, and sold, with the express intention to be used on 45 caliber firearms.

3. Distal Cap Thread Pitch.
I would like to point out, the fact, that 99% of suppressor, intended to be used on a 22 caliber firearm, have a thread pitch of 1/2-28. Which means, there is only 1/2" of metal, to which must contain the, previously testified to, central bore measurement and enough material to hold mechanical threads. Sir, what is the "central bore diameter", to which the bullet must pass? .512"? (because, we all know you go .060" over largest intended caliber). So, if I understand this correctly, you manufactured said suppressor, with a central bore diameter of .512", and a thread pitch of .578-28, to be used on a 22caliber pistol with a barrel threaded 1/2-28, to which you needed to then make an adapter for. Your Honor, at this time I'd like to enter into evidence Exhibit "1911A1", a 45caliber handgun, removed from Mr. Jone's residence at the time the ATF search warrant was being executed. What is the thread pitch on this barrel? .578-28. The same pitch used for the suppressor? The same thread pitch that's sole intention is for the mounting of the suppressor on a firearm?

4. The Nielsen Device (found during the ATF's search of your residence)
I think we know where this is going, seeing that a 22 doesn't require said device.


While your defense would be able to argue 1 or 2 of these items to be recognized practice or an acceptable oops, by a form 1 home-builder, the evidence would start to compound, against you, to the only reasonable conclusion: You're intent was to have a silencer with the capability of being used on a 45caliber firearm. A caliber over twice the size of what your Form 1 was approved for. Reasonable doubt?

Would your particular interaction play-out this way? Who knows. But, I think a case could be made on why it would make sense to simply mark the original Form 1 as 45 caliber. Or, how about saving a couple more dollars and making a 22 suppressor and a 45 (which would include anything under).
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Lilpooh » Tue May 24, 2016 9:14 am

Elkins45 wrote:I('m involved on the fringes of a discussion on another forum regarding bore clearances for Form 1 silencers. In this particular thread the OP inquired about being able to change the caliber of a silencer once the stamp had been issued. While most were quick to point out that ATF very specifically disallows this, there's another poster in the thread that takes the position that since there's no published limit as to allowable bore clearance that it's OK to have a Form 1 can engraved "22 caliber" on the tube that actually has a bore large enough to pass much larger diameter bullets. In essence he is telling folks there's nothing in the law to prohibit you from labeling a can as a 22 but boring it for a 45 or greater.

I think he is "technically" right in that there's no upper clearance limit in the law, but I wonder if it's really that loose. Is there some sort of ATF guidance or ruling somewhere that limits just how over bore a Form 1 can may be?
Your friend is right, nothing in the ATF regulations stating the amount a FORM 1 maker is allowed or not allowed to overbore a form 1 suppressor. One could argue that your changing the caliber, but your allowed to change the caliber when shooting a .22 thru a registered.30 cal suppressor. Again, nothing in the regulations stating you can't shoot a .22 thru a registered .30 cal, so it must be legal, or is it?

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Capt. Link. » Tue May 24, 2016 9:37 am

curtistactical wrote:As long as the caliber listed will fit through the hole then its good.
Interesting arguments for and against but Joe is correct.Only what BATFE puts in writing is the law nothing else.Don't over think and add sinister intent.
The only reason after 243 years the government now wants to disarm you is they intend to do something you would shoot them for!

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Elkins45 » Tue May 24, 2016 12:44 pm

Lilpooh wrote:
Elkins45 wrote:I('m involved on the fringes of a discussion on another forum regarding bore clearances for Form 1 silencers. In this particular thread the OP inquired about being able to change the caliber of a silencer once the stamp had been issued. While most were quick to point out that ATF very specifically disallows this, there's another poster in the thread that takes the position that since there's no published limit as to allowable bore clearance that it's OK to have a Form 1 can engraved "22 caliber" on the tube that actually has a bore large enough to pass much larger diameter bullets. In essence he is telling folks there's nothing in the law to prohibit you from labeling a can as a 22 but boring it for a 45 or greater.

I think he is "technically" right in that there's no upper clearance limit in the law, but I wonder if it's really that loose. Is there some sort of ATF guidance or ruling somewhere that limits just how over bore a Form 1 can may be?
Your friend is right, nothing in the ATF regulations stating the amount a FORM 1 maker is allowed or not allowed to overbore a form 1 suppressor. One could argue that your changing the caliber, but your allowed to change the caliber when shooting a .22 thru a registered.30 cal suppressor. Again, nothing in the regulations stating you can't shoot a .22 thru a registered .30 cal, so it must be legal, or is it?
Nobody disputes that.

The question is what if you can shoot a 9mm through your 22 caliber silencer? Could you be prosecuted for lying on your Form 1 because you didn't put 9mm on it?

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Lilpooh » Tue May 24, 2016 3:45 pm

Elkins45 wrote:
Lilpooh wrote:
Elkins45 wrote:I('m involved on the fringes of a discussion on another forum regarding bore clearances for Form 1 silencers. In this particular thread the OP inquired about being able to change the caliber of a silencer once the stamp had been issued. While most were quick to point out that ATF very specifically disallows this, there's another poster in the thread that takes the position that since there's no published limit as to allowable bore clearance that it's OK to have a Form 1 can engraved "22 caliber" on the tube that actually has a bore large enough to pass much larger diameter bullets. In essence he is telling folks there's nothing in the law to prohibit you from labeling a can as a 22 but boring it for a 45 or greater.

I think he is "technically" right in that there's no upper clearance limit in the law, but I wonder if it's really that loose. Is there some sort of ATF guidance or ruling somewhere that limits just how over bore a Form 1 can may be?
Your friend is right, nothing in the ATF regulations stating the amount a FORM 1 maker is allowed or not allowed to overbore a form 1 suppressor. One could argue that your changing the caliber, but your allowed to change the caliber when shooting a .22 thru a registered.30 cal suppressor. Again, nothing in the regulations stating you can't shoot a .22 thru a registered .30 cal, so it must be legal, or is it?
Nobody disputes that.

The question is what if you can shoot a 9mm through your 22 caliber silencer? Could you be prosecuted for lying on your Form 1 because you didn't put 9mm on it?
I don't recall any where in the BATF guild lines stating maximum or minimum caliber. Even when filling out the Form1, your only asked for caliber.

IANAL, laws are written to forbid a person from doing unlawful acts. You don't see any laws stating that it's illegal to shoot a lower rated caliber (.22) from a registered higher caliber (.30cal) suppressor, so that makes it legal, even though you technically changed the caliber.

It's a grey area, until a actual law is passed, nobody really knows the answer.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Elkins45 » Tue May 24, 2016 5:03 pm

^^^ You didn't change the caliber of the silencer, you just sent a smaller bullet through the hole. The size of the hole is still the same.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by Lilpooh » Tue May 24, 2016 6:12 pm

Elkins45 wrote:^^^ You didn't change the caliber of the silencer, you just sent a smaller bullet through the hole. The size of the hole is still the same.
And if you over bore to prevent baffle strikes, you didn't change the caliber. Nothing in the regulations stating a .22 has to be bored to .280", you can give it a 1" bore if you like.

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by yondering » Tue May 24, 2016 7:33 pm

Lilpooh wrote: And if you over bore to prevent baffle strikes, you didn't change the caliber. Nothing in the regulations stating a .22 has to be bored to .280", you can give it a 1" bore if you like.
This is the only part of the discussion I have any interest in. For example, if I build a 9mm can with a ~.450" bore - it could probably handle 40 S&W with no issues. The way I read the law, that should be legal. Actually firing 40 S&W through it might be a different story, I don't know??

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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by doubloon » Tue May 24, 2016 11:43 pm

yondering wrote:...
I read the law, that should be legal. Actually firing 40 S&W through it might be a different story, I don't know??
What you fire through it doesn't matter.

As has been stated several times now the only thing that matters is the marking and, in my opinion, the size of the bore relative to the marking.

It has been argued that there is no law against marking a can 22lr and making the bore 1". I don't disagree.

By the same token, show me the law that says I can't make a can with a .280" bore and mark it 50 cal.
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by curtistactical » Thu May 26, 2016 4:52 pm

doubloon wrote:
yondering wrote:...
I read the law, that should be legal. Actually firing 40 S&W through it might be a different story, I don't know??
What you fire through it doesn't matter.

As has been stated several times now the only thing that matters is the marking and, in my opinion, the size of the bore relative to the marking.

It has been argued that there is no law against marking a can 22lr and making the bore 1". I don't disagree.

By the same token, show me the law that says I can't make a can with a .280" bore and mark it 50 cal.
You actually can have a smaller bore by using wipes, it would interesting to say the least if you machined baffles smaller than the bullet diameter, I think it would be more of a liability issue than a legal one when it blew up in some ones face when they shot the marked caliber through it.
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Re: Question on legal limits of bore clearance?

Post by yondering » Thu May 26, 2016 8:00 pm

The phrase here is "it'll clearance itself". One way or another... :)

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