A number of gun companies, in an effort to bring new products to the market, have mined the loopholes of ATF and NFA regulations and come up with NFA-free guns like the Mossberg Shockwave and the Remington Tac-14.
SilencerCo is getting into the game from their perspective as a suppressor company (primarily), with the introduction of a suppressed firearm that can be legally owned in all 50 states. That’s right, even in California and New Jersey, this suppressor can be legally purchased an owned. Why? Because technically, by the letter of the law, it’s not a suppressor.
This particular workaround is thanks to the platform SilencerCo chose for the gun: a muzzleloader.
This story on recoilweb.com says suppressor sales have been slow over the past few months as many buyers appear to be waiting to see what happens with the Hearing Protection Act, which is now part of the further-reaching SHARE Act, hoping to avoid wait times and the $200 tax stamp fee.
The SilencerCo Maxim 50 muzzleloader includes and integrated suppressor on the muzzle, and it’s legal across the nation, because muzzleloaders are considered antique firearms, not firearms. And that distinction is important.
“The BATFE defines a silencer as a ‘device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm…’ By that definition, a silencer is only a silencer if it can attach to a firearm. The Maxim 50 is built on the base of a Traditions Vortek Strikefire Muzzleloader. For those who know muzzleloaders, you’ll also know that they are not considered firearms by the BATFE but are instead antique firearms, a definition and difference that is very distinct. Because of this, a moderator that is permanently affixed to a muzzleloader is not legally defined as a silencer, since it does not attach to a firearm. With this realization, the Maxim 50 was born.”
So that means, even in a state like New Jersey where all NFA items are banned, the Maxim 50 is theoretically legal because it’s not technically a firearm, and the can on the end isn’t technically a suppressor—the official spec sheet calls it a “moderator.”
Will it be as fun to shoot as say a suppressed 10/22 or an AR? Probably not, but it does offer a real in-the-field hearing protection option for hunters in states where suppressors are illegal, or where hunting seasons are restricted to shotguns and muzzleloaders only.
Scroll down for a video of exactly how the Maxim 50 works, and go here for more info.
Base Muzzleloader: Traditions Vortek Strikefire
Overall Length: 45 inches
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Moderator: 9 inches
Overall weight: 7 lbs. 6 oz.
Twist: 1:28 inches
Trigger: Tac Trigger System – 2 Stage Competition Trigger, set at 2 lbs.
Action: Traditions StrikeFire Firing System
Ignition System: #209 Shotgun primer
The first 3,000 Maxim 50 muzzleloaders sold will ship with a limited edition, all-weather carrying case, the company says.