At the very end of August, I had the extreme pleasure of going on a tour at the Silencer Cental headquarters where all of the quiet magic happens. Silencer Central formerly Dakota Silencers has been delivering silence for over 15 years (closing in on 20!). They are arguably the largest silencer company out there and have some of the most thoughtful customer services regarding easy and painless silencer purchases. What I witnessed at their headquarters on my Silencer Central tour reflected that and more. Let’s dive right in!
Silencer Central @ TFB:
Day One – The Headquarters: Silencer Central Tour
Silencer Central, seller to all 42 of the states in which owning a silencer is legal resides in Sioux Falls South Dakota surrounded by a lovely lawn and giant boulders accentuating its presence.
Walking up to the building their sign hangs proud welcoming any average Joe to come on in and be assisted in the silencer purchasing process about as painless as it can be made.
The lobby area is clean and open. This is where all of the employees gather every morning and regale one another on the company’s progression and goings on. Seemed like a happy and exciting environment filled with enthusiastic people working toward the same goal.
In the waiting area, there are some nice displays of their Banish series of silencers along with a few unique offers that they sell on their site such as a Salvo 12 or a Ruger 10/22 monolithic upper.
Nearby is a literal window into the gunsmithing room where smiths thread a dozen or so barrels daily. that’s right! They will thread your barrel for you even if you walk in and drop one off. If you aren’t able to do that, you could always ship your barrel in and they will send it back with a free thread protector and Silencer Central gun case. More info on the Silencer Central barrel threading service is here and here.
Just off to the side is a set of computers solely for having customers go through Silencer Central’s in-house processing for a silencer. Here you can pick out a silencer, get your fingerprints done, and also your passport photos. They help you through the whole process. All of the attending writers had the opportunity to try this out for any future silencer purchases.
Cubicles are full of sales and customer service folks talking on phones and helping customers through their purchases. It was good to see all the employees have a smile on their faces while doing it. The little bits that I was able to eavesdrop on sounded very helpful and patient.
It was cool to see these little pockets of memorabilia. An award here, poster there, or even this long wall full of Silencer Central history. It’s nice to know they take pride in their journey. I’d wager most companies wait decades before they start embracing the value of nostalgia.
Beyond the field of cubicles is the processing and storage area. It’s open yet full of shelves of suppressor parts, pieces, and packaging.
Aiming to make the best quality silencers possible means that Silencer Central needs to have lightweight and tough-as-nails material such as titanium on hand. Brandon Maddox pointed out that these crates were full of the stuff.
The following pictures don’t quite do it justice. There is a cage holding silencers currently in waiting. Not a current inventory of ones ready to be sold but ones that were purchased and are waiting to get approved and mailed out.
There are two columns of racks with about 6 racks in a column. That’s a whole lot of silencers.
Beyond the trove and mountains of silencers in waiting lies the gunsmith area. This rather spacious room houses the equipment and the folks who use it to thread barrels as a part of Silencer Central’s barrel threading service.
What happens if you shoot your silencer? Well if it is user-serviceable (you can take everything apart) and if the tube that is serialized is undamaged a baffle or endcap is a simple fix so long as it is done by the manufacturer. Lucky for any Silencer Central brand owner they have a lifetime warranty and will do their best to remedy a silencer that is damaged by defect or normal use.
Below is a locker full of threaded barrels and barreled actions. Whether they were dropped off or mailed they all get placed in a Silencer Central gun case free of charge. It’s nice to see that they keep things safe and respect the guns and gun barrels that they work on.
Upstairs was a large open space with whiteboards with scrawled cryptic curiosities, a conference room or two, some offices, and cubicles. The cubicles ironically had baffles hanging over heads to dampen noise and keep it a pretty tame-sounding workspace.
Beyond the continent of cubicles was a nice sort of break area with tables, freezers with drinks, and a kitchen area. A very homey and welcoming vibe overall.
Day Two – Range Day: Silencer Central Tour
Day two of our tour was a range day hosted by Silencer Central. They laid it all out and supplied the guns and ammo at a very nice nearby outdoor range. It was very cool to test out their products that I had previously only held in my hands.
They had every Silencer that Silencer Central produces and a bunch of host guns (mainly bolt action rifles). There was even a product or two that had not seen the light of computer screens and gunshop overheads. The Buck 30 for example was announced back in October.
I found myself gravitating to the 45-70 a lot of the time because it is such a fun caliber to shoot suppressed and the Banish 46 soaks up a bit of the recoil and a bunch of the noise. Beyond that, We had a fun little competition at the end between writers for shooting targets at longer ranges, shooting off-handed, etc.
It was a good day with good people. The biggest thing I took away was that the more affordable and new Buck 30 was pretty indiscernible from a sound standpoint from the Banish 30 which is saying something since it’s one of the quietest 30 caliber cans out there. My recommendation is if you are deciding between the two it comes down to the user-serviceable/modular aspects of one over the other.
Also, I fell in love with the Banish Backcountry which flew under my radar. I only got to shoot it on a 308 bolt action rifle but I would imagine it would be great for a 300 BLK pistol.
One parting range note worth mentioning is that we were at a public range so toward the end of our session some folks showed up with some fancy 30 or 6.5-caliber long-range builds and the Silencer Central team with us walked over and offered to toss some cans on their guns while we all shot. Zero hesitation and a nice gesture.
Brandon Maddox: Silencer Central Tour
I’d be hard-pressed if I didn’t take a second to talk about CEO Brandon Maddox. First and foremost, he was a wonderful and pleasant host. We all had a pile of questions and comments and he played ball with every one of them. It was my first time meeting the one and only and he was super cool and nice. He seemed humble and proud of the entirety of Sielcner Central and I don’t blame him. Day one was like walking into a well-oiled machine.
He regaled us on the unique nature of Silencer Central, its origins as Dakota Silencers, and the hoops and hurdles with those dreaded three-letter acronyms. Stories of being on his own in a room filled with 40 agents asking hard questions and sensibly answering all of them really made me admire the company and the man behind it all the more.
Final Thoughts: Silencer Central Tour
Silencer Central was a trip in every sense of the word. The employees all had smiles, were pleasant excited folks, and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The products as well as the ideas behind the products never ceased to impress. It was genuinely one of the coolest companies I have been to and it was nice that it was filled with humble and helpful folks who love the same stuff we all do. Thanks for having me, Silencer Central!
If you need a silencer consider checking them out or chatting with their customer service. They will help you find what you need regardless if it is their product or not. If you go through them you can pay while you wait and when everything clears, it can be shipped to your door!
In closing, I just want to say a huge thank you to the kind folks at Silencer Central for being wonderful hosts welcoming a TFB writer such as myself, and showing me where all the quiet magic happens. If I wasn’t already a huge fan and admirer of the brand, I surely was by the end of the first day there. Thank you Silencer Central. Keep up all the good work!
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