A silencer is basically a device attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm or air gun which reduces the amount of noise and visible muzzle flash generated by firing. They’re typically constructed of a metal cylinder with internal mechanisms to reduce the sound of firing by slowing the escaping propellant gas and sometimes by reducing the velocity of the bullet. This is what it looks like when sliced in half. Continue reading for a video comparison (with and without silencer) and additional information.
American inventor Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of Maxim gun inventor Hiram Stevens Maxim, is usually credited with inventing and selling the first commercially successful models circa 1902. Maxim gave his device the trademarked name Maxim Silencer, and they were regularly advertised in sporting goods magazines. The muffler for internal combustion engines was developed in parallel with the firearm suppressor by Maxim in the early 20th century, using many of the same techniques to provide quieter-running engines. Former president of the United States Theodore Roosevelt was known to purchase and use Maxim Silencers.