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Blackhawk Exits the Silencer Business

It’s so quiet you could hear a product line drop.

This month, Vista Outdoors company Blackhawk made the call to throw in the towel on their new silencer line. The decision came after only a year and a half since they were announced. There’s an irony here that, due to the lag of ATF NFA Branch transfer times, the NRA’s publication had only three weeks ago been able to get out an article reviewing them. (Which gave the products a glowing sendup, no less.)

But business is business. Blackhawk core products have historically been cash-and-carry items with fast turn rates, made on large production scales. It’s fair to say that silencers in the post-41F world still aren’t quick to get in consumer’s hands. Not to mention that manufacturing volume might not currently be what it was when they decided to jump into the game.

In May of 2016, when the silencers were first announced, many were musing if this was too far a departure from Blackhawk’s bailiwick. When asked why the line was being dropped, a Vista representative put that musing to rest: “After completing a strategic review of our product lines, we determined that suppressors did not align with our core business. In order to streamline our products more efficiently, we felt it was best to eliminate suppressors from our current line-up.”

The Blackhawk website’s silencer section has already been removed. It still displays silencer product results when they are searched for, but when an individual item is clicked on, it shows they have been removed.

Blackhawk website

It’s no secret that there’s Silencerco DNA in the Blackhawk lineup: While there are non-disclosure agreements that prevent talk of who made and designed what, obviously products like the Blackhawk Pulse .22LR silencer didn’t fall too far from the Spectre 22’s tree.

The Silencerco Omega and the Blackhawk Gas Can were similarly exchangeable, with only a few differences. Which makes the closeout pricing on the Blackhawk! product a screaming deal, perhaps even finally worthy of that superfluous exclamation point. The irony here is that it might be a bit hard for a dealer to sell a Silencerco Omega 9K for its MSRP of $865 until it’s Blackhawk twin (Mini-Boss) at a $350 price tag clears the field.

Blackhawk 2

Blackhawk released their silencer lineup with a strong warranty to back up the product – and true to founder Mike Noell’s old slogan: “Honor. A Way of Life” they are honorably sticking to it. They claim that the Limited Lifetime Warranty will still apply to units purchased today, as well as for end-users that bought them previously. It’s still a bit vague *where* the warranty work will be performed, but Kristen Veverka, Media Support for Vista Outdoor’s Tactical Products and Shooting Accessories, let us know that “In the event of a baffle strike or suppressor malfunction, we will still be honoring their warranty. Should a suppressor require repair, the owner must contact Blackhawk and make arrangements to return the product. Contact Blackhawk customer service at 1-800-379-1732 to obtain an RMA number.”

Even in today’s political climate, there should be advances in NFA transfer processing times – some folks are even still working towards deregulation. Any ease of government intrusion should lead to an increase in suppressor adoption and availability. (And, yes, while the chances of deregulation aren’t worth waiting for, news of the NFA Branch receiving FY2019 funding from the Justice Department to hire 25 more employees still leaves “faster transfers” as a reasonable hope.)

With brands like Savage in the Vista Outdoors lineup that still have noisy muzzles waiting to be hushed, we can hope for a return of hearing-safe firearms to Vista’s portfolio in the future. But currently, when asked if there are any silencer plans or offerings from other Vista companies upcoming, the response was “Not that I am aware of at this time.”

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