Featured Suppressor Maintenance and Re-Coring with Curtis Tactical Dave Merrill September 10, 2021 Join the Conversation In the United States, silencers are somewhat special even among NFA items. It’s a consumable item that’ll eventually be worn out with enough use. And even if that silencer is kept in good condition, it still degrades in relative performance as newer, quieter, lighter, and better cans are released. Suppressor Maintenance will not make them last forever. Combine all of the above with the fact that any individual NFA sales that are out of state require two tax stamps (in-state is only one) and you begin to understand why the secondary market for silencers is virtually non-existent. A silencer is a lifetime purchase, but also an item that wears out. Awesome. What can we do? If a company is still around, even odds they’ll service your old suppressor, but even that isn’t guaranteed. Even if the company still exists, it doesn’t mean that they have the current-best baffle stack or have the mounting system you want. The old advice about silencers is to, “just go with a major brand, because they should have some longevity,” but the 2016 post-election slump saw the beginning of the end of firearms companies of all types. AAC was one of the latest victims, following other silencer manufacturers such as Crux, Leviathan, Huntertown Arms, and more. The Black Aces Po’ Boy as it ships features flat baffles and spacers, but Curtis Tactical can not only convert it to a modern stack, they can change the whole mounting system. We’ve seen several new suppressor companies put up their shingles the last several years. And while we applaud the expansion of options for consumers and the innovation that arises from competition, it stands to reason that not all of these companies will be around in a decade or more. NEW COTTAGE INDUSTRIES When you buy a silencer and your tax stamp is approved, you now legally own and possess it. But, due to intentional obfuscation of laws, even though it’s your own personal property, it can’t be modified at-will. Silencers and psilocybin spores have more similarities than you thought. In order to modify or repair a silencer you have to be a licensed FFL allowed to work on NFA items. Set aside how ridiculous this notion is for a minute and you begin to grasp how large of a problem this really is. There are several companies that’ll perform specific re-coring jobs, often limiting themselves to a limited number of silencer models. This makes sense as it’s not as if every manufacturer uses the same diameters and thread pitches; this is a job best left done to a custom shop. But there are some shops that offer more than modifying specific models. Today, we focus on Curtis Tactical. We first featured their Modern Day DeLisle, the integrally suppressed Remington 700 chambered in 9mm that eats from Glock magazines in RECOIL Issue 51. While Curtis Tactical has their own line of suppressors, including several separate integral guns, their original bread and butter was re-coring older silencers. To this day, Curtis Tactical dedicates a full 25 percent of their efforts to upgrading old silencers. Three times a year they spend an entire month replacing and upgrading cores. The process is both simple and somewhat tedious. It seems like every American machine shop has a line of manual machines in the back, and we love that these old manuals live alongside modern CNCs. More than simple re-cores, the folks at Curtis Tactical can jailbreak your sealed silencer to make it user-serviceable and also replace or convert entire mounting systems. While we’re sure Curtis Tactical would like you to change to their mounting system, importantly they can convert silencers with legacy mounting systems to the now-universal 1.375×24 TPI HUB mount. There are literally dozens of companies making silencers, mounts, and devices for the HUB mount. Having a hard time finding a given mount or have the old 51T AAC mount fail? Curtis Tactical can fix that for you. Want a direct-mount left-hand Area419-compatible mount for precision work? They’ll do that too. If you find factory service is no more — there’s still hope. MAKING CHEAP CANS GREAT Because of the virtually lifetime purchase of a silencer, many view buying beer-money silencers as a false economy. In RECOIL Issue 46, we generally showed off a lot of budget options, and some silencers were among them. The Black Aces Tactical Po’ Boy silencers sell for less than the tax stamp at $199 a pop. As we showed in that article, they don’t feature the most modern of designs, largely consisting of flat baffles and rudimentary spacers. Of course, Curtis Tactical will pop a new core in those too, and the performance will unquestionably greatly improve. Curtis Tactical has not just vestigial baffles in a box, but also pieces of history. Have a close look and you’ll see more than a dozen companies represented, and some designs that possibly pre-date your own birth. The hardest part about NFA paperwork is your first submission, because after you realize exactly how easy the entire process is, you just end up buying a lot more. The scariness disappears with experience. If a $199 silencer got your foot in the door, you’re not stuck with those flat baffles forever. And here’s something really worth mentioning: Curtis Tactical will keep your original cores on-hand for a month. If you don’t think their baffles are an improvement, they’ll refund your money and put your old core right back in. They tell us that so far no one has taken them up on this offer, and we saw the vestigial guts of dozens of recent re-cores. LOOSE ROUNDS So long as silencers remain on the NFA registry, you’re basically making a lifetime purchase. If the company you purchased from goes the way of AAC, places like Curtis Tactical can ensure you never run out of the mounting solutions and also keep that can full of new guts. Curtis Tactical URL: curtistacticalsuppressorsandrifles.com MORE ABOUT SUPPRESSORS Watch our RECOIL Exclusive on the Original JK Armament “Solvent Trap.”OSS, known for their flow-through style Suppressors, just brought forward both a 9mm and .45 pistol version.3D Printed, and Polymer: the MUTE suppressor.When is a Integrated Suppressor worth it?What is an SBR, and why it Matters.Solvent Trap and the DIY Suppressor. Explore RECOILweb:Looking back: Shotguns at SHOT ShowBlackhawk! Gideon Series KnivesCrucial Concealment Covert IWB Holster: No Frills PerformanceRECOILtv NRA 2019: CMMG 9 ARC Magazine NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!