Sound Moderator

by vik, published

Sound Moderator by vik Mar 3, 2011

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Sound Moderator by vik is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Despite what you see in the spy movies, what people call a "silencer" can't really be done in any size smaller than a beer bottle. Printed on normal 3D printers, this is a sound moderator: It won't eliminate the sound of an airgun firing, but will cut out the sharp "crack" that makes birds fly off and wives complain from the study.

It works by allowing the excess gas from the barrel to expand slowly in a series of chambers, shown in the cutaway image. If you use this with a firearm you will probably melt it.


Adjust barrel diameter and calibre settings in SCAD file, print, fasten to airgun barrel with stainless steel hose clamp. Supplied STL is for a 12mm diameter barrel in 5.56mm (.22) calibre.

Apply standard firearm safety practices when aligning the moderator with the centre of the barrel. i.e. don't look down the bloody thing when it is loaded!

If your 3D printer has a lot of headroom, enable the 4th segment in the SCAD file.

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Comments deleted.

It always amuses me to read the "anti-weapon" trolls post. LOL

I stand back and watch with infinite amusement as the US Government makes a complete idiot out of itself online again. I don't even know what ITAR stands for and I don't think I care. If anyone wants these files and the US gets shirty, just download them from http://mega.co.nzmega.co.nz

Vik, I think you'll be highly amused to know that this is one of the designs that the US State Department demanded be taken down from the http://defcad.orgdefcad.org site earlier today for ITAR review. It seems they didn't realize that the design itself was essentially 'imported' from NZ in the first place!

So, um, are your ITAR fees paid up? :-)

Not impressed of the sound moderation from a paintball marker. but just for looks its awsome.

So many of the comments here contain misinformation.

  1. In the United States of America, the BATF does not regulate airguns are they are not considered firearms. That means a suppressor for an airgun is perfectly legal (thus why many higher end airguns come with suppressors).

  2. It's true that if you printed our a .22 caliber suppressor and possess
    ed a .22 caliber firearm, the BATF could charge you with constructive intent (even if you never mounted the suppressor on the gun). The likelihood that such a charge would stand up in court is really negligible in my opinion (please note: I'm not a lawyer).

The ONLY documented cases I could find
were of a .44 caliber suppressor shipped in the mail, and one case of a convicted felon mailing a metal .22 suppressor with an airgun (the real prosecution came after a search that resulted in them finding multiple books regarding the machining of suppressed machine guns). I'm not sure how the first
case worked out, but it's worth noting it was a fiber-filled suppressor that was in fact only good for a one-shot test done on a .22 Ruger handgun. The case involving the felon resulted in a conviction.

To summarize: there are hundreds of air rifles in the US that are sold with sound suppressors o
n them or are fitted with them. In comparison, there have been two documented cases of prosecution for airgun suppressors (both of large-caliber, metal design).

I personally plan to modify this thing (I'll share, don't worry) to have varied size chambers (same-size chambers cancel the same frequenc
ies and are generally ineffective) and print it for my .177 caliber Crossman Storm XT. Seeing as how I don't own any .177 caliber firearms I'm not worried about litigation by the BATF. If I was approached by the BATF, I'd make press the point that they don't prosecute people that possess potatoes or
pillows, both of which are probably better at suppressing a real firearm.

actually making any device that alters the report of a firearm can be considered a suppressor by BATF that includes a bottle, baby bottle nipple, potato ect. I do believe the way its written is you cant make any device that can be installed on a firearm that would diminish the report of a firearm even by 1db without proper forms files and tax stamp secured. Any device made to diminish the report perform as a suppressor for airguns and paintball markers has to be submitted for approval by the BATF as not firearms capable. as for the thought so long as you don't have that caliber of weapon you can make a suppressor for one that's just not true at all. Ok so who am I? no one just a guy who has applied many times for tax stamps to build real firearms suppressors and someone who has read and understands the laws governing said devices. I'm not bashing anyone here you do what ever floats your boat, but make sure you have read and understand the laws airguns manufacturers are being permitted to add such devices because they are permanent to the airgun and cant be removed and installed onto a powder burner. That all said I did read on some forums that if your permanently affixing the device to the airgun its ok, but I don't recall ever reading that in the laws so until I do I'm not ever willing to take the chance. permanent being welded, pined and welded over.

ABS or PLA wouldn't withstand the heat of a muzzle blast without ruining the firearm, making it incompatible with most conventional firearms but perfectly fine for an airgun, so there's that...

Thanks to all posts warning about the legal aspects of silencers. I guess on my mother-in-law i will just have to use a pillow instead ... :-D ... brb!

This is a great object, it shows the principles of sound deadening. I would love to see someone modify it into a muffler of some sort (perhaps for an air motor so it doesn't melt). After spending so much time trying to find the quietest muffler for my bike I suspect tuning isn't an easy problem.

mufflers in exhaust systems typically send the sound at itself, canceling it.

OK, let's answer some of the posts. Yes, I made it up myself. The concept of multiple chambers is ages old though; I sloped one face to make it printable.

I'm not in the US and no longer travel through it, and am therefore not constrained by its laws. But, seeing as this is (a) a moderator and not a silencer, and (b) will be destroyed by fixing it on a firearm, I can't really see a problem. Besides, an empty plastic coke bottle filled with scrunched
toilet paper is a much more effective silencer for firearms so I can't really see anyone objecting to this more complex design.

Oh yes, if you own an airgun that fires supersonic lightweight alloy pellets, this won't do anything to stop the sonic boom!

i am not opposed to it or have any problems with it, just wanted people to know that in the US, manufacturing a silencer/suppressor or anything that will reduce the report of a firearm even .5% (even if its a coke bottle taped to the front) is a serious felony unless you pay the fees and do the paperwork and pass the background check.

the penalties for manufacturing a silencer in the USA is 5 years to life, and or up to $5,000,000 fine.

better to know than not to know

It's max 20 and $200,000 max IIRC.

also it would work a lot better if you reversed all the internals

barrel then |

After reversing the K-baffles as zgbot indicated also add the mouseholes

Technically, because of the construction medium used for 3D printing at the moment, if this were to be used on an actual firearm it would be more considered a "Sound Enhancer" because of the fact that it would turn into shrapnel as soon as your firearm went live.

Of course, the EPA might ding you for turning the surrounding air blue (with epithets).

also, food for thought: Most of the people that have access to a 3D printer will also have access to a simple (or extremely complex) lathe, and probably understand the basics of making a silencer due to the instructions being available not only online, but in most public libraries under 'Theory of Sound', and attached to the back end of most (if not all) cars in North America.

you never know

just a heads up to anyone that might make this. if it fits on a real rifle or handgun that you own (in addition to the airgun it is for) and you live in america, the BATF considers it manufacturing a silencer (if it works or not) many states in america allow silencers, even manufacturing your own but there is a lot of paperwork involved. this is one area that you don't want to mess around with if you don't know what you are doing. i know it most likely wont work on a real gun and could easily kill the person firing the weapon when it explodes. it will surely work for airguns etc. if you live in a state that does not allow suppressors i wouldn't even download this.

This comment reminds me of Baris's perfect home made silencer in A Scanner Darkly, made mostly out of aluminium foil and electrical tape. I would imagine it would be quite comical to watch the result of trying to use it on a real firearm. (queue up the Mythbusters bullet proof test chamber)

A very unique problem that 3D printing easily solves. Well done!

This was on my list of things to design, thanks!

Derp weapons.

jk, this looks like a cool design. Is it something you thought up or was it referenced from a previous design?