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What is an NFA Weapon? Tell me more.

National Firearm Act Weapons are classified by the ATF as controlled firearms, machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles/shotguns and “AOWs -Any Other Weapon”.

This is an extensive subjective, wonderfully outlined with complete answers, by James O. Bardwell in his publication

FAQ On National Firearms Act Weapons ©

We are grateful to Mr. Bardwell in his effort to answer questions that everyone has and has granted permission for reproduction.

What Is a Silencer and How Do They Work with Machine Guns and Other Firearms?

A silencer, or more properly a suppressor, is any device that attaches to the end of a firearm barrel – pistol, rifle or even a machine gun. The purpose of a silencer is to reduce the noise and flash that a projectile makes when a gun is fired. The main type of suppressor is a tube with threads that screw onto the end of a specially threaded barrel. As the projectile passes through the suppressor, the hot gases behind it are stripped away and absorbed inside the unit. Some of the heat and energy of the bullet are also absorbed so that when it exits the end of the suppressor, the normal sound associated with the gun powder ignition is removed from the sound signature. The more effective the suppressor, the better the sound suppression. The other component to the sound of a weapon firing is the projectile breaking the sound barrier. These are known as super-sonic loads. Suppressors will function with super-sonic ammunition but their effectiveness is best with sub-sonic rounds. Standard 9 mm and .223 (5.56) ammunition are inherently super-sonic. Sub-sonic 9 mm loads are available. We recommend using 147 grain or higher ball ammo. NATO 5.56 rounds travel at 3200 feet/second and are not available in sub-sonic loads. Some .40 S&W and all standard .45 caliber rounds are inherently sub-sonic.

Here at UFT, we have found that AWC suppressors best meet the requirement for outstanding performance, sound suppression and exacting manufacturing standards. Additionally, AWC suppressors reduce recoil and actually improve accuracy of the weapon. AWC suppressors have been used world wide by military, special forces and other law enforcement tactical units. The same AWC suppressors are now offered to the private sector for purchase. All NFA rules apply including submitting a Form 4 to the ATF with fingerprint cards, 2 passport sized photographs and a one time $200 Federal Transfer Tax fee.