This article was gladly contributed by author Andrew Garfield.
.308 rifle is a most popular rifle across the shooters or hunter’s world. When it is about long-range shooting or hunting then .308 rifle is the top choice to the hunters or shooters.
If you own or planning to buy a .308 bolt action rifle, you probably thinking to have a silencer. Not necessary to buy, you can make it at your home and we are going to tell you how you can do it.
When you talk about how to build a silencer for .308 rifle at home, some people mistake you for a dangerous and unlawful person.
But that isn’t necessarily true.
All naysayers aside, homemade silencers are perfectly legal, as long as you meet certain criteria of law.
States and countries have different criteria. So, it’s important you know what your particular jurisdiction says about making rifle suppressors at home else you end up in trouble. Some jurisdictions require you to fill out form 1 and pay a tax stamp for each silencer.
How you make a silencer depends in no small part on a baffle design.
There are two ways you can make baffles.
One way is to buy a round metal bar as a main tube and drill it to create baffles and bullet paths. Another way is to create individual baffle cones, which you can stack them up in a main tube.
All angles and axes must have perfect alignment. You’ll require a mill or a lathe to cut out materials precisely.
There are things you need to consider, because they affect material to use, volume, size of drill bits, number of baffles, and barrel length for a silencer.
What Material You Need for the Main Tube or Can
Whether you want create stacks of baffles or drill baffles and a bullet path in a round metal bar, either way you’ll require a round metal tube to cover the baffles and spacers. Make sure the material makeup is any of the following:
- Stainless steel
- Chrome molybdenum steel
We highly recommend chrome molybdenum steel, owing to its durability, hardness and toughness.
In addition, paints and polymers won’t peel off from the material surface, adding to toughness and corrosion resistance. You can machine the material easily.
Ensure the external diameter of the round bar is 1.5-inches. A baffle cover round tube must have an internal diameter of 1.5-inches (3.8cm), wall thickness of 0.125-inches (0.31cm) and external diameter 1.75-inches (4.4cm). Length should be between 8-inches and 12-inches.
- A plugin or a rechargeable drill or a drill press
- A vice, a hacksaw or a chop saw
- Drill bits
- Steel wool or sand paper
- Cutting oil
- Hydraulic shop press (if you decide to create baffle stacks)
- Files, grinders or belt sanders to even out spacers and clip baffles
Make sure the surfaces and bores of baffles have a perfect symmetry and alignment to each other to prevent the blasting bottle-shaped gas from overtaking and deflecting the bullet.
You also don’t want bullets to make contact with baffles, nor do you want them to tumble and keyhole. Use stainless steel or Inconel to make the blast baffle.
Related: How And Where To Store Ammo
What Length of Silencer You Need for Your Best 308 Bolt Action Rifle
Optimum lengths for a silencer should be between 8-inches (20cm) and 12-inches (30cm) in front of the barrel bore.
If you’ve a sniper rifle, we’re talking about a barrel length ranging between 24-inches (60cm) and 30-inches (75cm). Adding a muzzle blast silencer elongates your rifle.
To accommodate the silencer, you must cut the barrel length, but you’ll lose speed and obtain more accuracy. We recommend you cut your barrel length down to between 16-inches (40cm) and 18-inches (45cm).
Step-by-Step Process of Building a .308 Silencer
From a Round Metal Bar
- Use a tape measure to determine the most suitable length of your suppressor. Cut the round metal bar at that length using either a hacksaw, a chop saw or a vice.
- On the mill, face both sides of the metal bar and the cover tube to ensure they fit and align precisely when you screw your silencer onto the muzzle. You shouldn’t experience problems when mounting the bar and the tube in the mill.
- Create threads by which you’ll screw the barrel by drilling a tap hole on one side of the bar.
- Make sure the depth of the hole is sufficient for a silencer to screw onto the all the threads present on the barrel.
- For a .308-inch tap, the diameter of the hole should be 5/8-inches and threading should be 24 threads per inch (tpi). You’ll require a drill bit whose size is 9/16-inch to create the hole of that size and depth.
- While drilling, ensure the drill bit is steady, and aligns perfectly with the tail stock when the mill rotates the metal bar. When you want to align the tap with a bullet path, avoiding using the mill power.
- Instead, use a tailstock to hold the tap in place. Tighten the tailstock by pushing it into the metal bar.
- Use your hand to turn the chuck of the mill to begin the tap, so you can sense the bottoming out of the tap. Use a standard wrench for tap hand to complete tapping.
- Through the metal bar, drill a bullet path using a smaller bit than the hole of the thread. The bit size should be 11.32-inches to match a .308-inch bullet.
- You don’t need a long bit as you can drill from both sides in turn. Using the tailstock, hold the bullet steady as the mill rotates the metal bar.
- Create baffles by milling out or drilling the gas chambers. Before you do that, mark spots to mill out with shapes of your choice (suitably odd) on the metal bar.
- Drill the spots using any bit before you use mill power for finishing. Maximize the volume of the gas chambers by milling out as much metal as you can to ensure there’s less metal between them. This will also shed off extra weight.
You require fewer baffles and more volume for a supersonic than a subsonic bullet.
- Don’t forget to leave sufficient metal on the side which the silencer would screw onto the barrel. As in, the silencer end and the blast baffle shouldn’t be too near.
- Remove metal debris from the bullet path using a drill bit.
- On the mill, face both sides of the cover tube.
- Polish the cover tube using steel wool or sand paper.
- Slide the milled metal bar into a cover tube. Weld both sides of the tube to cover the silencer. Ensure length of the cover tube and the metal bar match.
- You’re now ready to screw the can onto the barrel of your rifle.
People can easily mistake for a dangerous criminal when you bring up a conversation about how to build a silencer for .308 rifle at home.
There are a lot of legal restrictions, so before you decide to make a suppressor, you must consult the law. You don’t want to end up in trouble with authorities.
Next thing, know your choice of baffle design, whether you want to create individual stacks of baffles or you want to mill out baffles and a bullet path in a round metal bar. We’ve discussed the latter choice, because it’s relatively straightforward.
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