Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Silencers Are Legal!

     In Colorado, if you are 21 or older, a resident of this state with a Colorado ID or DL, and NOT a "bad guy" you can buy any kind of Class III firearm such as fully automatic machine-guns, silencers, SBR's, short-shotguns, AOW's, etc. They are ALL legal here and you do NOT need a Class 3 license or permit. Just pay a one-time NFA Fee and Tax Stamp. Learn the facts here:

Civilian Ownership of Machine-guns, Silencers, and Other Class III Firearms

     Most of our customers buy directly from us through our dealer portal at Silencer Shop for the best price and selection.  However, if you prefer to find something on-line trough another dealer and you want to simply buy it and transfer it to me here at our gun store, we can do that, too. We want you to get the gear you want as soon as possible and we are happy to help you any way we can.  If you do find something on the web you like, just let us know.  We will forward a copy of our FFL and SOT paperwork to that dealer and help you complete the process in a quick and easy fashion. 

Some Words Regarding Vocabulary & Nomenclature

     Recently, (thanks to the “error-net” and video games) some people have become “instant experts” on the subject of Class III and NFA items and attempt to argue that: First, silencers are illegal (Um...okay.  If that were true then ATF owes a lot of people refunds on all our tax stamps!)  Second, they criticize anyone who calls it a "silencer" instead of "suppressor" pointing out that they don't "really" make a gun "silent."  Well, of course we know that.  So, when those who design, manufacture, sell, and professionally use them still call them "silencers" you might want to stop and consider that there may be a good reason. 

     Ponder this: In 1908, the inventor of the silencer, Hiram Percy Maxim (son of Maxim Machine-Gun inventor Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim) patented and named it the "Maxim Silencer" and since he is its creator, he gets to call it whatever he wants. Next, when you consider how many different kinds of "suppressors" there can be (flash suppressors, recoil suppressors, muzzle-climb suppressors, dirt-signature suppressor, etc) things can become even more convoluted and confusing. Finally, regardless of anything else, The United States Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) which is the governing authority of all firearms, requires manufactures, dealers, and owners to submit paperwork using one of the following words: Pistol, Revolver, Shotgun, Rifle, Machine-gun, Silencer, etc.  So, you can use terms that you “think” make you sound smart like “Sound-signature Suppressor” or “Direct Interface Muzzle-mounted Decibel Reduction Device” if you wish, but we will not.  We will continue to use the original, very clear, and ATF-approved term of “silencer” for the purposes of our discussions. 

     Now, we don't care if you or other companies call it a suppressor. But we would invite you to not be so critical or pretentious with those who use words with which you disagree.  In fact, the United States Military calls it a "suppressor" and we call it a "silencer".  They also use the term "weapon" when we simply say "firearm" or "rifle" or "pistol" etc.  When a new student or customer comes into our gun shop and asks for a "clip" instead of a "magazine" or a "box of bullets" instead of "cartridges" we don't scold them for not using the correct term.  We help them with their gear and offer words of inspiration and encouragement.  As my great friend, mentor, and Aikido Sensei once counseled me when I pointed out how some of the students were not wrapping and tying their belts in the correct, traditional manner, he moved close to me and whispered, "We are all on a long path, Edward.  And, each of us is a little further back, or perhaps a little ahead of where we ourselves walk today.  Let us allow our fellow students the joy of discovering these truths for themselves, and lift them up, for if we are too critical, they may choose to leave the path altogether.”

    So... let's talk about silencers.  There are three things that cause a firearm to make noise.  (BANG, CLACK, CRACK) 1st: The detonation of the explosive charge and the rapid release of gas pressures.  The simple (albeit non-technical) term for this is “BANG!”  2nd: The noise of the action cycling back and forth (CLICK/CLACK) for the loading and extracting of cartridges. (On an AR-15 or M4 type rifle, this is loud.  On a bolt action rifle, it can almost be non-existent.)  3rd: The mini-sonic-boom created when the bullet breaks the sound-barrier, often called, the speed of sound.  ( A super-sonic jet makes a horrendous “BOOM!”  A little bullet makes a loud “CRACK!”  This is known as the “report.” )  This "CRACK!" can occur anywhere between 1060fps (feet per second) all the way up to 1125fps and can vary based on factors such as temperature, altitude, air density, humidity, etc. (Now, this discussion could fill a whole other page, so let's just say that you could adjust your loads to fit your exact needs.) Here in Colorado, it IS possible to go from 3000ft, to 10,000ft in a single shooting or hunting trip... and the temperature and weather CAN change even faster. One of our Brothers in Arms shares this: The speed of sound changes ~ 1 fps per degree F.  So, at 62F the speed of sound is 1,120fps and at 90F it is 1,149 (28 degrees higher and 29 fps faster).  This info might come in handy for some of you out there.  Here is a link for: Calculation of the Speed of Sound

     Therefore, if you put a silencer on a bolt action rifle, and shoot a sub-sonic round, the gun will go “poof” instead of “bang.”  Because .223 rounds usually travel around 3000fps, a silencer only makes it as quiet as a .22 rifle.  But the right silencer, on the right rifle, shooting the right sub-sonic ammo... it WILL sound more like the irritated “pffft” noise your wife makes when you say something that really irks her.  For this reason, most people choose to buy silencers for guns that can normally shoot sub-sonic rounds like .22, 9mm, .45, etc.  (See our VIDEOS page for some examples.)  Side Note: Silencers do not normally work on revolvers (although there are some) because the cylinders are never really tight enough against the barrel.  The Russians broke this rule successfully with some of their revolvers.

     Your average silencer costs between $200 and $800.  This, plus sales tax, NFA, Transfer Fees, and ATF Tax Stamp (see below) will run you a total of somewhere between $600 & $1500 and take between 2 and 8 months.  This depends on production, ATF, paperwork, etcetera.  Are you bothered by how long it takes? Consider this Chinese Proverb.  "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is right now!" 

     As of this printing, silencers are legal for private ownership by legal residents in the following 42 states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.


     Owning machine-guns is fun!  But they are expensive and you will end up spending your children’s college money to feed them.  Full-auto guns range between $3,000 and $35,000 and take about the same fees and amount of time to register.  For example, a standard AR-15 might be around $1,500, but a registered full-auto with an authentic ATF Form IV will be more like $15,000.  If you can afford one of these, I only have two questions: Where do you work?  And, are they hiring?

     Why do machine-guns cost so much?  Civilians can only own those that were made AND registered with ATF prior to May 19, 1986.  No one gets rid of their “pre-86 transferable” machine-gun without making it worth their while.  So, like old Winchesters, they are rare and expensive.  You can buy a legally-registered full-auto switch for your semi-auto AR-15 or Ruger 10/22, but that will be approximately $9,500 plus machining to install it.  It might be better for you to buy the complete gun.  Now, you can buy an old World War II Sten 9mm full-auto machine-gun for around $4,000.  It looks like a pipe with a handle, but it is a “machine-gun.”

     Yes, I get it... You “know this guy” that can ILLEGALLY make a silencer, or can make your gun full auto in his garage and no one would ever know.  The question is, do you have the time and money?  By that, I mean, do you have ten years and one-hundred-thousand dollars?  If you EVER get caught, or if “that guy” or another buddy, ever rats you out to cop a plea, it will be that much in fines and prison-time.  It is so easy to do it the right way, why not stay legal?

Short-barreled Rifles/Short-barreled Shotguns/Any Other Weapons (SBR/SBS/AOW)

     Many people want to get into Class III guns without spending so much money.  The way that is most popular is doing an SBR-AR with Silencer.  What is that?  It is an AR-15-type rifle, with a short, ten-inch barrel or so, with a silencer.  We can sell you the rifle for around $1100, and the silencer for around $535 (plus ATF & NFA fees.)  Now you have a gun like the one you always select on your Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game (you know who you are) semi-auto, really cool, but not expensive to buy, own, or shoot.  If you already have an AR-15, and would like to turn it into an SBR, we can help you and even complete the ATF Form 1 for you for a small fee.

Check here for Silencer Prices:

     Most of our customers simply go to Silencer Shop online and find the exact Brand, Model, and Type of silencer they want.  Then, they buy it directly from them, and have it shipped to me.  This can not only be a little faster (because they have nearly all types in stock) but it can save you money.  Since you buy it from them, you do not have to pay any tax.  When it arrives here, you just pay us a standard $50 NFA fee and we will do all the paperwork for you.  Call us with any questions.

Check here for Machine-gun Prices:
(Or gunbroker, auctionarms, gunsamerica, etc.)

Here is the formula:

Price of the item
Sales Tax @ 8.15% (unless you paid for it elsewhere)
NFA Transfer FEE ($50-silencer/$100-gun)
$200.00 Tax Stamp though ATF
Threaded Barrel or Accessories

Standard price formula for an average .22 silencer:
$350 for Silencer
$30 for Sales Tax
$50 for NFA Transfer Fee
$200 for the ATF Tax Stamp
Approximately $650
$350 or so for a standard .22 LR Pistol
$50 for a P22 thread adaptor for the barrel
Approximately $450 or so.

     So a Walther P22 with a Silencer is going to run around $1,100.  However, you can also run that silencer on your Savage Mark II Accu-trigger .22 bolt-action rifle, or your Ruger 10/22, or whatever other .22 rifle or handgun you have.  Just adapt or thread the barrels on them.


      ATF or BATFE, also known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is the federal agency that regulates firearms.  You may call the NFA branch of the ATF at (304) 616-4500 and ask them for any elaboration or clarification on these statements.  When in doubt, ask them.  I promise they won’t trace the call and send black helicopters to your house and drop SWAT guys rappelling through your skylight at three o’clock in the morning.  Really, they won’t.  Now, there are two types (or classes) of firearms.  Standard firearms include rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers.  Black Powder and firearms made before December, 1898 are not “federally classified” as “firearms.”  (However, your state law may still classify those items as firearms under their local law.)  Class III (or NFA) firearms are devices like: (MG or SMG) Fully-automatic Machine-guns or Sub-machine-guns, (SBR) Short-barrel Rifles, (SBS) Short-barrel Shotguns, (DD) Destructive Devices, (AOW) Any Other Weapons, and Silencers.


      Yes!  Civilians may own any machine-gun that was manufactured and registered prior to 1986 as long as it is properly registered with ATF, and as long as it is not prohibited by law in the state where they live.  Civilians can own any silencer, SBR, SBS, or AOW (regardless when it was manufactured) as long as it is properly registered with ATF, and as long as it is not prohibited by state or local where they live.  Persons prohibited from owning regular firearms due to domestic violence, felony, drug, mental issues or violations or subject to criminal prosecution or probation are also prohibited from owning Class III firearms or devices.

     Most of these states also allow for the private ownership by civilians of fully-automatic firearms.  (States like California and New York are, of course, not on this list because they might as well be on another planet with the laws they have.)


     No.  Here in Colorado, you do not need any special license or permit, as long as it is registered with ATF.  That is a one-time tax of $200.00.  There is no annual permit fee, or license renewal fee, period.


     A simple application is made by us, your Class III dealer, to transfer the firearm, device, or silencer, from our inventory to you.  It is similar to the standard ATF Form 4473 “over the counter” form you fill out when you buy a regular gun.  However, you also include photographs and fingerprints when submitted and have your County Sheriff sign off on the form for the specific item.  Approval of this application must be obtained prior to any change in physical possession of the unit.  Class III items (like machine-guns and silencers) must be purchased (or transferred) through an “NFA Class III” firearms dealer in the recipient’s state of residence.  Being that we are a Class III dealer, we will assist you with the required forms and application process.  In fact, we do most all of the work for you.


     Yes.  But you can “divorce” it if you want to.  If your buddy or some other guy is more attracted to it than you are, he can do the forms (divorcing it from you) and then he can marry her…  I mean “it.”


     No.  Here in Colorado, once transferred to you, and you have your “Form 4” from ATF, there is no further paperwork, licensing requirements, or permit fees.


     No.  Buying a silencer, machine-gun, or other Class III Device does not “void” your Constitutional (Fourth-Amendment) rights that protect you from unlawful or unreasonable search and seizure.  They might call you sometime and ask to “check compliance” on your item.  This means an agent might call you and make an appointment to look at the item and serial number.  But it won’t be the end of the world.  Honestly, if you do the paperwork, and they know you have it, they really don’t care.  Now, if they hear that you are illegally making them in your basement, then eight guys dressed in black will be paying you an unannounced visit TONIGHT!  For example: We have a customer who registered a machine-gun in November of 1968.  Forty years later, he sold it through us.  In all that time, meaning four decades, ATF never called or visited him, EVER.


Important Information for Currently Registered Firearms
If this registration document evidences the current registration of the firearm described on it, please note the following information.

Estate Procedures: For procedures regarding the transfer of firearms in an estate resulting from the death of the registrant identified in item 2a, the executor should contact the NFA Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405.

Change of Address: Unless currently licensed under the Gun Control Act, the registrant shall notify the NFA Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, in writing, of any change to the address in Item 2a.

Change of Description: The registrant shall notify the NFA Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, in writing, of any change to the description of the firearm in Item 4.

Interstate Movement: If the firearm identified in item 4 is a machinegun, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or destructive device, the registrant may be required by 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(4) to obtain permission from ATF prior to any transportation in interstate or foreign commerce.

Restrictions on Possession: Any restriction (see approval block on face of form) on the possession of the firearm identified in item 4 continues with the further transfer of the firearm.

Persons Prohibited from Possessing Firearms: If the registrant becomes prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 922 from possessing a firearm, the registrant shall notify the NFA Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, in writing, immediately upon becoming prohibited for guidance on the disposal of the firearm.

Proof of Registration: This approved application is the registrant’s proof of registration and it shall be made available to any ATF officer upon request.


     Hunting with a machine-gun in Colorado is prohibited.  Along with other requirements such as round-capacity, caliber, etc., the firearm must be single-shot, pump-action, lever-action, bolt-action, or semi-automatic.  Anything else (like full-auto) is unlawful.  However, hunting with a silencer in the state of Colorado (and many other states) IS ABSOLUTELY LEGAL, plain and simple.

Do you want to buy a machine gun?

Here is a site and vendor that has MANY for sale and we will do the transfer.

Have more questions, try their FAQ page...


     Transporting any Class III device to any state where they are prohibited, or loaning, giving away, selling it, or even temporarily transferring possession (letting your buddy borrow it for the day) without proper ATF approval and transfer registration is federal felony violation with severe consequences.  Please do not ask us, our fellow dealers or manufactures, or any of our customers to do anything that would violate state and federal law.  Since Class III items are LEGAL for ownership here in Colorado... and we want to keep it that way... if you try to circumvent the law with us in any way, we will report you.


      Tell us what you want, and let’s get started.  First, pre-pay for the silencer, thread adapters (or other accessories) plus the transfer fee [$50 for silencers, $100 for (MG) Machine-Guns, (SBR) Short-Barreled-Rifles, (SBS) Short-Barreled-Shotguns, (AOW) Any-Other-Weapons) plus pay the sales tax.  Next, when the silencer or other device arrives, pick up paperwork, follow the directions below, and return it with a check made out to the BATFE for $200.00 (or required fee.)  Finally, Wait, wait, and then wait some more.  It takes 1 to 3 months to receive the silencer and paperwork, and then 3 to 6 months to be approved by the ATF.  So, it can happen in 6 months, but may take 10 or more.  (These times ALWAYS change.  When we first started doing it, we could get everything done within one week.  Aug/2014 it is taking 10+ months from beginning to end.)

     This process consists of 3 pages.  (But we will do almost ALL of it for you!)  The Form IV consists of 1 page, completed in duplicate.  When approved, the ATF keeps one copy on file for their records and mails back the second copy, (to you, but through us) signed, with the Tax Paid Stamp.  This will then be your “permit.”  The other form is the Certification of Compliance Form.  This certifies that you are a U.S. Citizen.

     Fill out all of the applicable and pertinent fields and blocks on all the forms provided.  Be sure to PRINT or TYPE all information NEATLY so that it is clearly legible.  In the “Transferee Information” section, read each question carefully and then answer by putting a check mark or an “X” in the box that corresponds to the correct answer.  In Section 15, “Transferee’s Certification”, print your name. For the question asking the reason why you want to posses the item you will write out “for all lawful purposes” and then sign and date.  All this must be done in DUPLICATE, or in other words, done on both forms.

     Then, take both forms to the Sheriff of the county you live in.  He/She must sign off on them both.  While there get two FBI-approved fingerprint cards done.  They will probably charge you a fee.  Next, produce two 2” x 2” photos.  You can use a digital camera and print them out yourself, or you can get two passport-quality photos taken.  (We usually print two digital pictures out and glue them on.)  Then, fill out the “Certification of Compliance” form and then sign and date it at the bottom.

     Finally, include a check (usually $200.00) to “BATFE.”   (Follow directions on the form.)  When completed, enclose all of the above forms (and the check) into a nice form-type (full-page, no bending) envelope and drop it off or mail it back to my attention.  If applicable, reuse the envelope I gave you and use the address stickers I included.  If you have any questions concerning the above feel free to call us at the store.  Thank you.

-Edward Wilks
The Tradesmen
(970) 625-GUNS (4867)

Machine-gun: any firearm that fires more than one round per trigger pull.  Two or three-shot burst is considered Class III.  Machine-gun, according to ATF, is also any machine-gun part.  So, owning a full-auto trigger for a gun you don’t even own, is like owning a machine-gun.

SBR – Short-barrel Rifle: any rifle that has a stock, but that also has a barrel of less than 16 inches.  A folding stock is a stock.  A slip on stock is a stock.  (For those of you with AR-15 pistols, if you have that “handgun” in your possession, and an AR-15 slip on stock, even if they are not put together, you are in possession of an SBR.)

SBS – Short-barrel Shotgun: any shotgun that has a stock, but that also has a barrel of less than 18 inches.  A folding stock is a stock.  A slip on stock is a stock.  (See above)  A shotgun with a short barrel and no stock (pistol grip) is considered an AOW.  (See next definitions.)

AOW – Any Other Weapon: any shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches, and a pistol grip with a total, overall length of less than 26 inches.  Or, any pistol with a stock, or a second hand grip.  (Handguns, by definition, can only have one grip.)  For those of you with AR-15 pistols that have a quad-rail and have added a second grip, you are committing a federal felony.  If you have a Glock, and put on one of those snap-in stocks, or one of those magazines that has a bottom mag-plate that locks on the front tactical rail, you are guilty of a federal felony.  Get the facts before you buy that stuff.

Now these are simple definitions.  Again, contact ATF for actual or specific questions.

ATF’s Web Page:
ATF Regulations:
ATF Definitions:
ATF - NFA Phone:     (304) 616-4500

§ 5845 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter--

(a) Firearm. The term 'firearm' means (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. The term 'firearm' shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector's item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

(b) Machinegun. The term 'machinegun' means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(c) Rifle. The term 'rifle' means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.

(d) Shotgun. The term 'shotgun' means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.

(e) Any other weapon. The term 'any other weapon' means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

(f) Destructive device. The term 'destructive device' means (1) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (A) bomb, (B) grenade, (C) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (E) mine, or (F) similar device; (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term 'destructive device' shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10 of the United States Code; or any other device which the Secretary finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting purposes.