The U.S. Patent Number US916885 A is entitled “silent firearm.” That was published in 1909. In the 100 plus years since the publication of that patent, science demonstrated that it is impossible to, “silence,” a gun and that, “suppression,” is the most accurate descriptor for this class of items. H.P. Maxim trademarked the name Maxim Silencer. There is a debate about using, “silencer” because the first products developed were called, “silencers.” This makes the word a reference to historical meaning. Whether we say, “silencer,” or, “suppressor,” we are ultimately referring to the same items that perform the same tasks: recoil reduction, increase in accuracy, decrease in pressure and sound.
In the English language, car mufflers are called, “silencers.” (see our British cousins across the pond.) Also, without baffles, a suppressor is a can, so the slang descriptor, “can,” is also used to describe a suppressor. The first documented use of the word, “suppressor,” was in US Patent Number 4530417 in 1985.
When the NFA was made law, they used the word, “silencer,” as a descriptor, which the ATF uses to this day.
Silencer, Muffler, Suppressor, Can... take your pick! The most scientifically accurate descriptor is, “suppressor."
The Science of Silence