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Flashlight Silencer | Second Amendment Check
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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.

The Maglite Suppressor

The Maglite Suppressor

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…

Maglite D Cell End Cap Anodized Black Center Marked

Maglite C Cell End Caps Combo Set (Anodized Black)

qty 24, 34.3mm 1.350 Modified freeze plug

Aluminum 6061-T6 Tube with End Cap Adapter Kit 9″ D Cell

maglite tube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parts available for the Maglite such as the light itself, and the threaded adapters for a Maglite can be found on Amazon.

 

Of course you will need a Maglite

maglite

 

 

 

and an adapter…

Aluminum 6061-T6 Tube with End Cap Adapter Kit 9″ D Cell

maglite adapter 1

Buy this Maglite threaded adapter – click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maglite D Cell End Cap Anodized Black Center Marked

Maglite end cap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

 

MagLite Cups (AKA “Baffles”) D Cell 8 Pack

Maglite Baffle Cups

MagLite Cups (AKA “Baffles”) C Cell 8 Pack

 

Dorman 555-104 Steel Cup Expansion Plug – 34.3mm, Pack of 10

 

 

Maglite D Cell Solvent Trap Freeze Plugs 34.3mm 1.350″ (10) Center Marked

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 Solvent Trap Plugs for Maglite Flashlights

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.

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econocan

First off, if you just got here you’re also going to want to read our other posts about the dual use muzzle adapters, the wix fuel filter suppressors and the Maglite suppressors.  You also might want to have a look at some Books on How to Make a Silencer. Also, many of our visitors also want to know about how to make their own Tannerite exploding targets

We do our best to provide working links for your convenience.  However, Amazon frequently removes these listings.  Don’t be discouraged, the products are still out there, but they may be listed on Amazon under a new/different description to get around Amazon’s censors.

 

Buy an oil filter to rifle barrel adapter here:

AMAZON OFTEN REMOVES THESE LISTINGS.  IF THE LINK IS DEAD, JUST KEEP LOOKING!

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR THREAD SIZE!

Here’s an adapter that will work:

 

This one will work as well:

Read about the complete Muzzle Break Adapter Kits HERE

Buy complete muzzle break adapter kits here:

Hydraulic Scrubber Oiler: STOP PIPE NOISE: 7 1/2” Cylinder, 2 Ends, Pistons, Springs, Fast Free Shipping!

 

Read about Maglite Suppressors HERE

Buy Maglite suppressor parts here:

Maglite D Cell End Cap Anodized Black Center Marked

Maglite C Cell End Caps Combo Set (Anodized Black)

qty 24, 34.3mm 1.350 Modified freeze plug

 

Read about Wix Fuel Filter Suppressors HERE

Buy Fuel Filter suppressor parts here:

Wix 24003 Fuel Filter

Wix 24004 Fuel Filter Cartidge

THREE (3) 3/4 NPT Plug Cap End – Black Nylon Threaded Plug Fits 4003

unthreaded barrel adapter

Use this adapter to convert your 22LR barrel from unthreaded to threaded.

Don’t forget to buy a filter with the matching threads.

Here is a filter that would have the 13/16 – 16 threading:

Fram PH373 Passenger Car Oil Filter

Here is another filter with the 3/4 – 16 threading:

Fram PH3569 Extra Guard Passenger Car Spin-On Oil Filter (Pack of 2)

There are many more than you can choose from, just make sure you match the threads.

Some people like to use a Solvent Trap Washer:

2″ Solvent Trap Washer – Stainless Steel for Solvent Trap Adapter

 

And now to our story…

It’s not an urban (or is it “rural legend” in this case) legend, and you can see for yourself in the videos.  The thing not only suppresses sound, but it also allows the shooter to accurately and reliably fire his gun and hit the intended target.

Hickok45 demonstrates oil filter suppressor

“Econo-Can Oil filter Suppressor (Adapter) Demonstration

Of course, you will need to pay the $200 tax stamp if you want to be legal.

Some people don’t believe the Second Amendment permits federal regulation of suppressors and will never pay $200 for a tax stamp.  Those people may be at risk of violating the law if they attempt to suppress their firearms without the proper paperwork, etc.

However, much like the idea behind the 3-D printer plastic gun blueprints (recently banned by the US State department,) anyone with a blueprint and a machine can make a part regardless of the law.  Just like a car is capable of breaking the speed limit, the law doesn’t change the reality that the law may be broken. It is obviously possible to make a cheap and simple adapter that fits a threaded barrel to an oil filter.  In fact there are a few of them available on Amazon for use as adapters for oil filter “solvent traps.”  When combined with an oil filter this solvent trap is not intended to be used as a suppressor, but as a trap to catch cleaning solvents that may otherwise leak out of the barrel during cleaning and harm the environment.

So practically speaking, anyone with the right machine can make and sell this adapter legally, as you can see on the Amazon links above.  Of course different threads require different adapters and filters.  For example, it appears from our research that the AR-15 uses a 13/16 – 16 thread, while the .22LR models use a 3/4-16 thread.  Although this can vary depending on how the adapter was manufactured, so if you want to buy one to use as a solvent trap make sure you match your threads or it won’t work. Also, some adapter designs reportedly work better than others.  Since they are so cheap, you may want to buy a few and try each one out.  If one works better than others at creating a tight seal, we’d love to hear about it.  Some reviewers on other pages suggest using these adapters with a washer and gasket to make the perfect seal.  They last thing you would want is to have a leak and let some solvent out that could have been contained.

In addition to the oil filter suppressor, many fans of The Walking Dead will recognize the Maglite Flashlight being employed as a silencer.  There are now options for this available as well.  We’re not sure if there are options the include a serial number for legitimate use as a NFA item, but we know the adapters are available on Amazon for use as a “Maglite solvent trap.”  The Maglite, with a narrower diameter, would allow better visibility of your target than an oil filter so consider as well.

User Feedback – We’ve heard from a fan, who will remain anonymous, that these “solvent traps” do in fact work as you would imagine.  He submitted a review of several different filters to use and even gave us pictures, which we will post along with his reviews. We have no way to verify his comments and so we consider this all to be fiction/fantasy/for entertainment purposes only.  We recommend you clean your firearms unloaded to avoid any accidental discharges.  His words:

I have taken some pictures of the long list(good enough) and short
list(best) oil filters for the two most popular solvent traps.

While getting ready to clean I have had NUMEROUS accidental discharges and I
can tell you that the tiniest filter is sufficient for any .22 lr. Fram is
my favorite brand due to metal body and interior, but plastic bottom. The
Fram PH4967 is the smallest and lightest filter that I have found to be
compatible and sounds about like a textbook falling over.

The best 5.56 filters I have found are Fram PH16 & Purolator L20195. So far
I have only tested from the $3.77 shelf and do not expect the fancy filters
to do any better.

Here’s what he sent along with his pictures:

The motorcycle filters are all metal and come in some pretty slick chromes and blacks.

The muzzle break pictured is an American Specialty Ammo 1/2 x 28 tpi that looks perfectly at home on my AR.

The plain adapter is a no-name Amazon special that locks it self on TIGHT. After firing, you WILL NOT be able to remove it W/O a wrench or multi-tool.

The smallest filter pictured runs perfectly on my Chiappa Little Badger and does not obscure the iron sights.

P.S. My wife asked why I was in the backyard “pretending” to shoot my Little Badger. She heard nothing through a picture window.
Enjoy.
Here’s a list of all the filters pictured.  It’s up to you to make sure you get the appropriate filter for your application and threaded adapter.
Fram
Purolator
MotorCraft
FL-9105
IMG_20150106_191327_261 IMG_20150106_191431_065 IMG_20150106_192240_994 IMG_20150106_193956_881

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We do not offer legal advice other than to say that it is never wise to break the law.  It’s even less wise to record or document yourself breaking the law.  Hickok45 had his legal paperwork in order, you can bet.

Anyway, the oil filter suppressor does appear to work as a low-cost alternative to the $1000 suppressors in the market today.  If you do decide to get an “econo-can” we’d like to hear about your experience with it.  We’d especially like to hear how it and the oil filter hold up after a few hundred rounds of 5.56.

Another option to consider are the “Wix fuel filters.”  READ ABOUT THEM HERE.  They serve a similar function as the oil filter and the Maglite.  We’d love to hear from some of you who have experience with these, and make some recommendations.  It would appear that while these may be more expensive alternatives, they also have what appears to be a replaceable cartridge design and a much smaller profile.  This smaller profile has a benefit of allowing you to see your sights while the filter is fixed on your barrel, should you want to.

Here are a some we found on Amazon.  Make sure you read the reviews and comments and get the right filter for your threaded adapter.

Buy a Wix Fuel Filter here:

Wix 24003 Fuel Filter

Wix 24004 Fuel Filter Cartidge

We’ve found a few videos on YouTube that may also help with your understanding of how these products can help you recycle your cleaning solvents.

 

Make SURE you get the correct adapter.  The NAPA 4003 needs a 3/4 NPT thread.