Creating a Suppressor From a Maglite

For all you zombie fans out there, the season premiere of “The Walking Dead” showed Rick running around a prison yard using a Maglite as a suppressor for his weapon.  It certainly was cool to see – but can this really be done?

Of course it can.  Not the same way as depicted in “The Walking Dead”, but with the right tools, a Maglite suppressor can certainly become a reality.

First and foremost, let’s discuss the ramifications of building a supressor.  If the United States and possible world is not infested with the undead, you must obey ALL local, state, and federal laws.  This means if it is illegal to build and own a suppressor – DON”T DO IT.  If you decide to anyway, or if it is legal in your area, ZETA is not responsible for your safety, or the failure of your equipment.

This article is meant to serve as a guide in building a suppressor from a Maglite in the wake of a Zombie Apocalypse. If there are no zombies, we do not suggest using this suppressor.  This is NOT a suppressor for Air-soft, but instead, for a weapon using live rounds.

To create a suppressor from a Maglite is actually not all that hard.  Here are some step by step instructions to get you started.  Some sizes, measurements, and other details might change depending on the caliber of weapon you are trying to suppress.

  1. Get a Maglite.  We recommend the 3 D-cell size Maglite.
  2. Next, you will need to cut the flashlight immediately behind the on/off button.  The portion of the flashlight with the button, lens, bulb, etc can be set aside or discarded.  You should be left with a “tube” of the flashlight, including the battery end cap.
  3. Next, you will need a stainless steel bushing that fits snugly into the end of the flashlight where you just made the cut.  Try to ensure the bushing has a 1/2 ” UNF thread, or a thread that matches the barrel of the weapon you are trying to suppress.  The bushing can be lightly larger in diameter than the flashlight, which will help it fit snug and lodge into the flashlight tube.  It should be pressed in about one inch.  Use a little binary epoxy-glue to hold it in place.  For a .22 LR use an opening size of 7mm on the bushing.
  4. Get a brass washer (size dependent on caliber) and attach it to the bushing (on the inside of the flashlight tube) using binary epoxy-glue.  This portion of the suppressor – the washer and bushing – will be permanent fixtures and are unable to be dismantled.  These two metal parts will take the brunt force of the gasses as a round passes through, as well as dealing with any immediate heat issues.  For a .22 LR use an opening size of 7mm.
  5. Using the brass washer as a “stop plate), you need to construct a Delrin (a heat resistent nylon) rod that will serve to divide the internal tube of the flashlight into individual compartments to help disperse the gasses, ans thus the sound.  The Delrin rod should be made about 1mm smaller than the inner diameter of the flashlight, to avoid it getting stuck due to unburnt powder.  The Delrin rod should have a hole drilled through its center lengthwise, allowing for the projectile to pass through.  For a .22 LR use an opening size of 7mm.  The rest of the rod should be divided into 6 compartments, with 9mm inch holes in each one to allow for gas to escape.  Here is a rough picture to follow:
  6. Take the battery cap off of the flashlight.  Using great care, bore a hole into the center of the battery cap to allow the projectile to pass through.  This hole MUST line up with the barrel, bushing, washer, and Delrin rod.  For a .22 LR use an opening size of 7mm.
  7. On the battery cap, cut a portion of the sprint off to still allow the projectile to pass though, but to still be a functional spring.
  8. Insert the Delrin rod into the flashlight up against the brass washer.  Screw the battery cap back on with the original o-ring.  The spring and o-ring should serve to hold the Delrin rod in place snugly.
  9. Attach your suppressor to your weapon, and have at it.  Zombies will have a harder time hearing those shots now!


A couple of notes as well:

  • Suppressors work by absorbing and dispersing gasses that are released from the barrel when a weapon is fired.  It will NOT suppress the gasses released from the back of a weapon.  Therefore, bolt-action rifles will usually be the quietest after adding suppression.
  • The suppressor described above does NOT provide adequate ventilation for the gasses for long term use.  Therefore, expect to use it for about 20 shots before it has to be removed, or the gas allowed to escape.
  • High velocity rounds cannot be silenced, regardless.
  • The suppressor described above can damage your weapon, get you killed, fall off, explode, or otherwise cause serious injury or death.  Use at your own risk – and only in the event of a zombie apocalypse.