The Cody Firearms Museum has one of the only three 1910 silencers that survived. It’s on the Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Rifle.
Silencers, also known as suppressors, were invented around 1902. Ashley Hlebinsky, the Cody Firearms curator, said they were invented for the enjoyment of target shooting since it reduced the sound. It didn’t completely silence the sound but made it quieter.
“It also reduced the recoil on the firearm. And so this was really a civilian type of firearm accessory that was also then applied to cars,” said Hlebinsky.
There was a time when the military wanted to embrace the silencer, especially the recoil reduction component of silencers.
“So they did a series of tests and one of the things that they worked with was the Springfield 1903 bolt action. They fixed the silencer to it to see if it would work for the military,” said Hlebinsky.
Hlebinsky said even today, the military uses silencers on its current firearms.
Museum Minute was a series co-produced with Wyoming Public Media (WPM).