This subject used to be covered under our “Oil Filter Suppressor” page, but we’ve decided to give it the space it deserves. In addition, we’ve given the “Wix Fuel Filter Suppressor” it’s own page as well. You may also want to read about the new IMACS – Integrated Muzzle Adapter Coupling System.
You may also want to read our page, Books on How to Make a Silencer.
If you’ve seen The Walking Dead, then you’ve probably seen some of the characters on that series using what appears to be a Maglite flashlight tube as a suppressor. In that scenario the zombies (and probably hostile humans) are attracted to the sound of gunfire, so remaining quiet and stealthy is a must for survival.
We don’t know how effective this setup was, but it seemed to get the job done for Rick and company. But could this work in real life? The short answer is, yes, it can and does suppress the sound of a gunshot. The ATF might want to talk to you about your suppressor, and verify you have a tax stamp if required, but for the purposes of educating you guys on how Rick might have made his own suppressor, we’ll ignore all that legal stuff. Besides, there are other uses for this device, such as the legitimate and legal use as a “solvent trap” for containing harmful gun cleaning solvents. Again, this is all just for entertainment and we don’t encourage you to break any laws.
As we discuss repeatedly, whether making a suppressor from an oil filter, a fuel filter, a flashlight, or anything else, what you really need are two things; 1) A can or tube-like expansion chamber – preferably with some media/baffles in there to absorb the expanding gasses, and 2) a threaded adapter to connect that can or tube-like expansion chamber to your barrel. The tricky part is always making certain you are matching the right threads for both your barrel and the can you have chosen. Remember that there are D cell and C cell Maglites – so buy the right adapter. That is where most of us lack the tools and ability – to build our own adapter. Once you have the right threaded adapter, the rest is probably within the grasp of the average man’s tools and abilities. We recommend you spend a few minutes researching the threading and materials and looking up some reviews on Amazon.com or elsewhere prior to spending money. Also, viewing videos on YouTube can be helpful as well.
These tubes are now available as kits. That’s right folks, complete threaded tube kits are now available. These things are about as close to the real thing as you can get. In fact, they were never intended to be working flashlights at all. They are just tubes with threaded ends. Of course, they won’t do you much good without the……well, we will get to the inner workings soon…
Parts available for the Maglite such as the light itself, and the threaded adapters for a Maglite can be found on Amazon.
and an adapter…
Any of the above adapters appear to thread to your 1/2 x 28 (for .223 and 5.56) and the C cell one pictured directly above appears to also come in a variety of other thread sizes including 9/16 x 24 (which we believe would be suitable for most .40S&W and 10mm barrels) and 5/8 x 24 (which we believe would be suitable for most .308/7.62mm barrels.)
So once you have your threaded adapter, thus enabling the coupling of your barrel to the Maglite for use as a solvent trap, you’re well on your way. From there, should you decide to attempt to convert it into a suppressor, it’s a do-it-yourself project and you take all the risks and you are responsible for your own success/injury/jailtime. Again, we recommend you use the Maglite as a solvent trap only, unless you have met all the ATF’s requirements for manufacturing a suppressor. We suggest you obey all laws and we do not offer legal advice.
The final step, from which there is little other purpose but to suppress a firearm, is too add the “freeze plugs”, “cups” or “spacers.” We do not offer legal advice, and could be wrong but it is our unprofessional opinion that the ATF will see them for what they are, sound suppressing baffles. The purpose of these things is to slow down and contain the expansion of…well you know. Intent may not even be required, if you have these parts assembled together, or even in close proximity, you run the risk of being accused of having a suppressor without a tax stamp. Do your own due diligence.
Note: Again, simply possessing these items in proximity to the above parts and a firearm that they may thread onto could possibly be considered by the ATF as possession on an illegal suppressor, or intent to manufacture one. (See video below) You’ve been warned.
There are a few options available out there, in various stages of the DIY freeze plug process. From top to bottom, in order of how much work is left to be done:
10 Freeze plugs that fit maglite D cell body. 1.35 diameter. Use as filters for solvent trap. Steel plugs, made in USA. They have been center marked for those without a centering tool. The mark may vary .010 at most, so I recommend drilling them out with a small bit, 5/64, and work your way up. I only drill a 5/64 hole to begin with. Pressing a cone or ball bearing in them opens the hole up to about 3/16. This will allow you to measure and adjust center if needed. These fit perfectly in the SD tactical tubes. These also work as battery spacers in larger D cell Maglites and I have used them to fit 2 CR123 batteries in a 3D light. Comes with detailed instructions on how to form into CR123 spacers. Includes information on tools required and some more common substitutions that may be used to form a cone in the center. Includes pictures and examples of various sizes. If you see anything missing or a way to improve the process please let me know. I’m always looking for ways to make it easier for everybody.
8 formed and drilled freeze plugs for Maglite flashlights For Cleaning Purposes Only!
If you’d like to spend a bit more money, you can find a few guys out there who are willing to put some of the materials together for you. These guys may or may not know what they are doing, but they probably know more than a complete newbie. Caveat Emptor!
Here’s a video from one guy making Maglite suppressors and also selling parts for you to make your own Maglite suppressor. He mentions a conversation he had with ATF agents on the subject. According to him, the ATF says “solvent traps” are perfectly legal, but when you start building baffles, you enter an area that could get you in trouble.
We recommend you learn what you can from watching others on YouTube before you go off and try this on your own. Just pay attention to the law of the land (The ATF/NFA) and the laws of physics. Running afoul of either of them could give you a really bad day.
Disclaimer – Second Amendment Check, LLC does not recommend breaking the law, and will not be held liable for any injury, damages, or legal trouble individuals may find themselves in.