Here was my take on this project:
I am a toolmaker and a weldor by trade and have been a gun guy my whole life. I run a small shop that does precision microscopic welding. We repair plastic injection molds and stamping dies. We assemble and weld medical devices, aviation components, gauges & fixtures. Much of our welding is done using lasers, microscopes, and filler wires only .007"-.015" in diameter. Getting a FFL/SOT is something I have long wanted to do. This was initially somewhat of a 'test' to see if suppressor building was something I would want to consider undertaking.
I am not a designer or engineer. There are times I wish I were. My goal was to utilize many of the design and construction elements of top-end commercial suppressor builders in conjunction with my own ideas to create a suppressor that could possible perform on par with anything being sold. I have no doubts that my construction methods and quality are as good or better than many being offered for sale. I am not sure the design is as good, but I didn't have the luxury of R&D to make corrections or adjustments, so I mostly went with proven designs.
I already had most of the tools, machinery and technology to do this project. What equipment I didn't have; I had complete access to use at my disposal. I do favors for other shops and they do them for me in return. As I stated previously, the baffle spinning and the wire EDM were done on outside equipment. Everything else, was my doing in house.
There were about 8 months in the design and building of this can. I wasn't in any hurry. I got input from every toolmaker/gun guy I knew. Lots of friends and work associates provided insight, not every idea is mine. The internet was my best friend on this project. Without it, this never would have happened. I accumulated a comprehensive amount of design and material data and a picture library of hundreds of baffles, cores, tubes, mounts, ect. In hindsight, I would have spent more time doing CAD before the build. I think I could have come closer to my weight goal as the can is overbuilt and too heavy. More time with SolidWorks would have been very beneficial, but then that's not really my thing.
This project cost me nothing out of pocket but the stamp and the muzzle brake/mount. I could have made that too, but it was simply cheaper to purchase it and the quality was as good or better than I would have built. Not so with the can. I used idle machine time whenever it was available and the Form 1 can was used as 'fill-in' work when we were slow. The shop provided material, machine time, perishable tooling and labor. So sure, there were other 'costs' incurred, but they were mostly hidden, written off to the shop. Not like we wouldn't have been working on our boats, dirt bikes, trucks, guns or some other non-work work!!
As stated, I definitely would have been better off simply purchasing a M4-2000; if money were my only concern. But it wasn't really. Yes, I did personally save almost a thousand bucks. But I spent way more than that in shop time and running around. So why? What I got in return was simply the knowledge that I could do it. I'll bet there are few first builds that can run anywhere close to this in performance. I've not seen another F1 with an EDM'd bore or spun baffles. It was also something very out of my familiar territory. I took it and ran, did something new and different. I really enjoyed building it. The first time I shot this can, I grinned like an 8 year old kid getting his first pocket knife.
Not saying I'd never buy a commercial can, just probably not a rifle suppressor. A Thompson Machine wet 9mm can is next on my buy list, I won't build one as nice for what they charge.
I'm working on the design for a CQB stubby with a ratchet/QD mount for my SBR next!