How One Man Revolutionized the Silencer Industry

How One Man Revolutionized the Silencer Industry

Silencer Central’s vision and leadership comes from their founder Brandon Maddox. A registered pharmacist and MBA from Duke, Brandon started his journey that upended the entire silencer industry when he tried to buy a silencer for varmint hunting in the vast open areas of South Dakota.

For a very long time, silencers and other NFA items have been very hard to buy. That’s because the entire purchase and registration process is hopelessly mired in 1930’s level bureaucratic paperwork and background check technology and there is no real hope of reforming the process anytime soon. In fact, the process is so burdensome, that one shop Brandon visited preferred to not sell a silencer at all rather than do the paperwork.

While most people would be content to find another dealer or accept that difficult paperwork was too much to mess with and simply move on, Brandon is not most people. Instead, he decided there had to be a better way, and promptly got an FFL in order to figure out how.

A Silencer Revolution 

Brandon discovered a few things shortly after getting his FFL and studying the silencer market of 15 years ago. For one thing, even though silencers were popular with varmint hunters looking to increase their bag limit, they were almost exclusively marketed as tactical accessories while the traditional hunting market was almost totally ignored. He also found out that the NFA paperwork to purchase a silencer was in fact an absurd hurdle to getting these simple pieces of hearing safety equipment. So Brandon decided to do something about it.

Revolutions do not happen overnight, but they do start with a simple idea. Brandon wanted to make buying silencers easy, and to make them accessible to gun owners who had never considered buying them before. When he started Dakota Silencers, the goal was modest. Offer a customer focused silencer  purchasing experience that made silencers accessible to your average hunter and sports shooter – a huge market long ignored for the low hanging fruit of tactical shooters.

But it was not enough to just create a personable experience through gun show presence and a silencer focused shop. The entire buying process had to be simplified somehow. But how?

Confronting the Burdens of the NFA 

The problem with buying NFA items is that the NFA was literally designed to be a burden on purchasing. Back in 1934, the average wage across all industries was about 34 cents per hour. That’s the same as about $6.62 per hour today. A silencer itself sold for about $9, or about $177 today. That put a silencer within the reach of most working people who wanted one. However, the $200 tax stamp, simply made a silencer unaffordable for any but the richest people, as it required about 73 eight hour working days to pay for that silencer.  Truly a huge financial burden at the height of the Great Depression.

But while inflation has made that $200 burden more of an annoyance (plus silencer technology has created devices that are much better than we had in 1934, but at a much higher cost), the paperwork of 1934 remains with us. Back then there was no NICS to run background checks with, or even a central way of performing background checks. That meant in order to register your silencer, you had to first get a local chief law enforcement officer (who likely had the local resources to know who was who in their area) to attest that you weren’t a criminal (and of course if you were minority or the wrong political party, you weren’t going to get your silencer anyway) and attest that you were “ok” to own one. All that, plus fingerprints and a host of laboriously transcribed information and your precious $200 was sent in to the Treasury Department and using their own primitive background check systems, they’d finally sign off on your tax stamp.

While the chief law enforcement officer approval is eliminated today thanks when the laws were amended in 2016 by the Obama Administration, the remaining burdensome and frankly obsolete registration process remains. Which means buying your silencer is an enormous pain in the backside.

Brandon being a skilled salesman and business expert decided to hack the system. And hack it he did!

Bringing Back Mail Order Silencers

While this isn’t the pre 1934 world where you can simply send a few bucks off for your Maxim Silencer, Brandon eventually found a way to make silencer purchasing simpler than it has ever been since the passage of the National Firearms Act.

As Dakota Silencer grew to expand into other Midwestern States, Brandon developed a winning formula for his customers. First, like many silencer dealers, he provided buyers with a free NFA gun trust with purchase. This simplified a lot of things right away, it did away with the need to get a chief law enforcement officer sign off for a purchase as you would need with purchasing as a private individual. It also was a value-added service that simplified future NFA purchases and even estate planning. However, NFA trusts are nothing new or revolutionary in the industry, and frankly wasn’t enough to upend the entire silencer purchasing process. Something really had to give, and that something was the entire ATF bureaucracy. Easy, right?

Well, one American businessman vs a bunch of government paper pushers tends to historically go badly for the entrenched paper pushers, because only one of them has to play by strict rules.

It took some time, but Brandon started finding cracks in the silencer purchasing system. Little by little he got variances and approval for different procedures. Once all the pieces were in place, Dakota Silencer became Silencer Central, and promptly expanded to all 42 states where silencers could be purchased. Because now Brandon could offer his customers something literally no other silencer dealer could…

  • Direct mail order purchase! By using a combination of prefilled purchase forms, an NFA gun trust, and other simplified methods, Silencer Central customers can sign and submit their NFA paperwork from the comfort of their own home, and even submit their own fingerprint cards! This means never having to even go to a gunshow or shop to start the purchase process.
  • Direct mail order delivery. After the ATF approves the purchase application, Silencer Central can mail the silencer directly to you – something no other NFA dealer has a variance to do.

This means, thanks to careful maneuvering and negotiating with the ATF, Silencer Central has brought back mail order silencers for the first time in nearly a century. American businessman 1, entrenched bureaucracy  0.

Why Buy a Silencer Anywhere Else?

Brandon has built the nation’s largest silencer dealer from scratch on the simple premise that there had to be a better way to get silencers into the hands of Americans. Along the way he also decided to bring a better silencer to Americans too. BANISH Suppressors are an all titanium, user serviceable and modular true multi-caliber suppressor. BANISH suppressors are the original of their type, and offer unparalleled function and sound suppression for even enormous magnum calibers.

From the exclusive in-house BANISH line, to the most popular brands, Silencer Central can get you exactly the silencer you want. Their in house staff of experts will work directly with you to match your needs and budget to a suppressor, and you can even take advantage of a 90 day interest free layaway program!

Because many hunters don’t have rifles with threaded barrels, or because factory threading can be notoriously sloppy, Brandon started Threading Central to make sure his customers had the perfectly threaded barrel for their silencer. Using state of the art CNC machines and custom computer code, Threading Central is the largest mail in barrel threading service in the nation.

Silencer Central is the culmination of nearly two decades labor to work around the normally burdensome regulations of the NFA that have made buying a silencer difficult since 1934. If you want the easiest silencer buying experience since the NFA was passed, then there is exactly one choice for your next silencer purchase. Drop Silencer Central a line, and get started on your next (or first) silencer purchase today!

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