Judge Leans Towards ATF In Sig Muzzle Brake, Silencer Case

SIG's MPX (Photo: SIG)

SIG’s MPX replete with a muzzle brake or silencer?  What do you think? (Photo: SIG)

Sig Sauer claims the ATF misclassified the muzzle brake device on their MPX as a suppressor, and the judge presiding over the case thinks both sides have some good points, but may be leaning more in favor of the bureau.

Judge Paul J. Barbadoro didn’t agree with the ATF’s assessment that the MPX’s muzzle device was a suppressor, but he also didn’t agree with Sig Sauer’s proposed solution either.

“My strong preference would be and current intention would be to remand the matter so that the (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives) could consider the issue under a correct standard,” said Judge J. Barbadoro.

The device on the end of the MPX is essentially the internal component for a suppressor. By attaching a sleeve, the “muzzle brake” then acts just like a suppressor. Barbadoro recognizes this.

“It looks to me like they manufactured the internal part of a silencer, they welded it to the gun to get it above 16 inches, and you just need to put a sleeve over it and you’ve got your standard issued silencer, that’s what it looks to me as a layperson, but that’s not the issue I’m talking to (the ATF) about,” said Barbadoro.

The issue Barbadoro has with the ATF is not that the muzzle brake resembles a suppressor, but their accusation that Sig Sauer intentionally tried to circumvent the law with their device. Barbadoro needs more time to carefully consider the evidence before making a decision.

“I think substantively it’s a very important issue, this statute is a very significant statute, and I am not going to be the one to say without holding any trial, receiving any evidence, making any findings of fact, that I’m concluding as a matter of law that this is not a silencer and you can go ahead and sell it around the world,” said Barbadoro. “I’m not going to do that. That would – that is a – something that requires very careful consideration of evidence.”

Barbadoro will be issuing his ruling some time this month.

(The following was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers; H/T Guns.com)

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Michael Gibbs August 28, 2015, 12:06 am

    So what! If it’s legal it’s legal. Do not blame SIG for creating something a little (minutely) different. Do not punish or restrict law abiding gun owners or manufacturers. If one wants a surpresor pay the fee of $200 and add one. When an INDIVIDUAL does not follow a law then deal with that person.

  • Gun Slinger August 24, 2015, 3:14 pm

    Well the sales man for SIG didn’t do them any justice in a shot show video he took. Literally shows the viewer there’s already a piece they sell that makes the muzzle break a silencer. *Facepalm.


    • steve August 25, 2015, 2:08 am

      well…i think that’s the point isn’t it? isn’t this designed for people to buy the gun and muzzle break first, so they don’t have to wait for the ATF paper work for an SBR/silencer, and then once they get the paperwork,(if they want to make the muzzle break into a suppressor), they just add on the sleeve?

    • Jeremiah August 27, 2015, 12:51 pm

      Adam Painchaud states very clearly, that when one obtains the “can/sleeve” to go over the break, you are silencing the carbine.

      Therefore, although Painchaud does not state the obvious definitively, tacitly one should assume, when one buys or installs the can/sleeve on the SIG break, one should and would be subject to all licensing, fees, and rules and regulations governing silencer purchase and installation.

      I would further add, in my opinion, if one installs a can/sleeve over ANY existing muzzle break on ANY firearm, one has probably modified/changed the break to a silencer, and therefore one would fall under the federal rules and regulations of silencer licensing.

  • ed August 24, 2015, 10:38 am

    If your device decreases the decibels of a fired round, it is a suppressor. If not, it is just there to add length to the barrel (if pinned/welded), decrease muzzle rise and/or recoil, or look tacticool (or all of the above).
    Sig seems to like pushing the envelope with this and their “brace”. This will eventually blow up in our face and we will end up losing the ability to own SBR’s and cans.

    • Kalashnikov Dude August 24, 2015, 11:21 am

      And you blame Sig for this?

  • Slim August 20, 2015, 8:53 pm

    I’m worried now I’ve got a muzzlebrake with a sleeve over it on my ar-15. I order it from a company in Florida. Will this ruling affect me?

    • Chief August 24, 2015, 9:52 am

      Their suppressor seems to have a internal part (they didnt specify what it was)of a suppressor .Yours is just a sleeve over a muzzle brake ,I wouldnt be concerned

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