BATF Form 4 Times Greatly Reduced

Using a suppressor in the field can help hide your location from opposing forces.
Using a suppressor in the field can help hide your location from opposing forces.

I purchased my first suppressor right after Joe Biden was elected. My reasoning at the time was he might ban their sale or work some other gun control shenanigans behind the scenes to make them illegal or more difficult to get. I hoped that by submitting my application before his inauguration, I would be grandfathered in.

On January 10, 2021, I posted It’s Official, I Bought a Suppressor. On July 22, 2022, I posted An Exciting Day at the homestead in which I reported on receiving the suppressor. Yes, it took about a year and a half between placing the order and receiving the suppressor.

When Seller Central sent me a promotion last December saying buy a suppressor and get a .22 rimfire suppressor for free, I did it, expecting to wait a year or more. I ordered a suppressor for .223/5.56 and got the .22 model for just the cost of a $200 tax stamp. Then I sat back and prepared to wait.

Faster Ordering

One benefit of using the same company for my new purchase was they had all my information on hand, including my fingerprints. I had to send in an updated photo, but they processed the paperwork much faster than the first time.

I also did an E-file Form 4 for the first time. Like filing your taxes online, filing a BATF Form electronically is supposed to speed things up. I had to set up a BATF account with a password and PIN, but after that, Silencer Central did the heavy lifting and we just had to do a Zoom type of call so their rep and I could file the paperwork.

Faster ATF Processing

A few months ago, I heard about Form 4s for silencers getting approved in days or weeks. I grew excited. Then I heard the rapid approvals were for individuals, and it still took months for trusts. Bummer! I kept waiting.

I also heard that if you applied for multiple suppressors, which would take multiple Form 4s, they would all be processed together at the same time. That may be true for suppressors in your name, but in my case, it didn’t prove to be true. Maybe it’s because of the gun trusts, but they got approved about three weeks apart from each other.

Yes, my suppressors were approved in about five months. Woo hoo!

I do not know why it went faster this time around. It makes me wonder if once you are in the NFA records, subsequent approvals go faster because they’ve already done the deep dive. I also wonder if all those people they probably hired and trained to handle the expected influx of short-barreled rifles that were expected because of the (since failed) pistol brace ban are now working on suppressor and other approvals. Whatever the case, I’m not complaining.

Approval to Delivery

After the BATF sends you your approved form, the paperwork isn’t over. First, I had to fill out the same form 4473 form you use when you buy a gun so that the suppressor could be transferred to me by a local FFL. I have no idea why this is required when you have already gone through the lengthy approval process. I don’t recall having to do this two years ago. Oh well, what’s one more hoop? At least there isn’t a fee for it.

Second, Silencer Central has to inform my local sheriff of my purchase via certified mail. Then they have to wait two weeks from notification before they can ship my suppressor. In this case, that process took about three weeks.

Third, they can finally ship the silencer. As of now, one suppressor is now on its way to me. The second one has been approved, but we are in that in between waiting period. With any luck, it will ship later in May. Expect an update on their performance before too long.

A Good Time to Buy

If you have ever wanted to buy a suppressor, this may be one of the best times to do so because your paperwork will be processed in days or weeks rather than years. I used Silencer Central and have been pleased with how easy they make the process. They also have good customer service. The Silencer Shop also has a good reputation, plus they have kiosks at local gun stores where you can fill out your paperwork and upload a digital photo. I’ve also seen suppressors for sale in some local gun stores, and there are plenty of manufacturers and dealers that will sell you a wide range of brands with various price points and performance. Take your pick.

So far, I’ve been pleased with my initial purchase, and I look forward to the other two suppressors. I expect the .22LR suppressor will be fun to plink with! I have already purchased 400 rounds of subsonic ammo in .22LR.

The .556 suppressor will allow me and my wife (or anyone else at the house) to both deploy with suppressors. Because the .30 caliber will work on any .30 caliber or smaller diameter bullet, we could both have 5.56 guns, or we could both have suppressed AR pistols; hers in 5.56, mine in .300 blackout.

If you want to see a few reasons, I think a suppressed round is going to be useful in a survival scenario, read this article:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here