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March 6th, 2023

Why You Should Own a Suppressor — 18 Good Reasons

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection
Read full story in GunsAmerica Digest for all 18 reasons to own a suppressor.

Do you own a suppressor yet? If you live in a state where silencers are allowed, there are many good reasons to get a modern suppressor. The process for acquisition has been streamlined. Vendors such as SilencerCo can now handle most of the legal paperwork required. And the choice of suppressors is greater than ever before.

Along with basic noise reduction, what are the key reasons to get a suppressor? There are actually many. True Pearce, Editor of the GunsAmerica Digest, has written an excellent article about the benefits of suppressors: Why a Silencer Might Prevent Dementia & 17 Other Reasons You Need a Suppressor. Here are FIVE of the 18 reasons outlined in the article. We recommend you read the full story to access ALL 18 reasons. That full article has worthwhile insights for anyone considering getting a suppressor.

CLICK HERE for FULL STORY with ALL 18 REASONS »

Reason — Protect Your Hearing
Owning and using a suppressor helps prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss is a legitimate health concern that all firearms owners should be concerned about. Firearms are loud. The average firearm without a suppressor is between 140-165 dB and creates what is called an impulse noise (i.e. a noise that lasts for less than one second).

OSHA’s limit for impact/impulse noise is 140 dB…. Every time you fire a gun (including a .22 LR) without hearing protection or a suppressor, you can permanently lose hearing and it never returns. Surgery and hearing aids cannot restore the hearing you lose — it’s gone forever. Suppressors do not make your gun silent! However, they can make the impulse noise much less than 140 dB.

Reason — Reduce Muzzle Blast
A suppressor reduces or eliminates muzzle blast. Traditionally, we associate flinching with recoil, and while recoil can contribute to flinching, many shooters are finding that when using a suppressor on a caliber with no recoil they don’t suffer from the concussion, noise, and blast. As a result, they don’t close their eyes, flinch, or jerk the trigger.

Reason — Reduce Felt Recoil
A suppressor … reduces recoil or kick. Nobody that’s telling the truth enjoys getting punched in the shoulder, and that’s essentially what happens when you shoot a lightweight centerfire magnum rifle. Suppressors are very effective at slowing the recoil down or [reducing it significantly]. I personally observed a small (70-lb) 12-year-old boy shoot a 5.5-pound 6.5 PRC with a suppressor. After shooting he got up smiling and said, “That didn’t kick at all!”.

True Pearce Suppressor Silencer GunsAmerica Digest

Reason — Reduce Muzzle Rise to Keep Your View on Target
Suppressors reduce muzzle rise and make it possible to stay on target through your shot [so you can watch the trace and impact]. This allows you to make your own wind calls and corrections.

Reason — Reduce Dust and Dirt Kicked Up from Muzzle Blast
Suppressors prevent snow, dust, dirt, or other debris from blowing up when you shoot prone. If you’ve shot much with muzzle brakes, you know this is a real thing.

CLICK HERE to Read all 18 Reasons to Own a Suppressor »

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection
GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pearce hunting with his horses and suppressed rifle.

Related Article: ATF Announces New e-Form 4 Platform for Suppressor Registration

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 9th, 2022

Suppressor Facts — How to Get One and How They Work

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibel dB
Map courtesy SilencerShop.com.

Q & A: TOP TEN Questions about Suppressors Answered HERE »

You’d like to protect your hearing, and maybe you’re a little curious about how your rifle might shoot suppressed. So you’re thinking of buying a suppressor (aka “can”, “moderator”, “silencer”). You can’t just get one off the shelf at Walmart. Acquiring a suppressor requires filling out paperwork and paying a Federal $200 Tax Stamp. Plus there is typically a pretty long wait. However, the good news is that suppressor ownership is now legal in 42 of the 50 American states — that’s 84%! For most American adults, getting a suppressor is legal, provided pass the required background checks.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
Currently, the following 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

Note: Even if you live in one of the states listed, you should still verify that owning a suppressor is legal in your area. Some states may have municipal- or county-based restrictions.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Prohibited
Unfortunately, there are still eight (8) States that forbid private ownership of suppressors. The eight No-Go States are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island. In these eight states, private ownership of suppressors (aka “silencers”) is forbidden. Hopefully that a few of those eight hold-out states will change their laws in the months ahead.

Looking Inside a Suppressor in Action
Popular YouTube Channel Smarter Every Day recently released a cool video featuring rifle suppressors with see-through acrylic sleeves. The team filmed shots through the suppressors using ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Watch the results in the video below — it’s mesmerizing:

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibel dB

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

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October 18th, 2022

How Loud Noise Levels Hurt Your Hearing — Wear Protection

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencer

Protect Your Hearing — Wear Protection Whenever You Shoot

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencerNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late.

The better quality suppressors can reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 to 35 decibels (dB). Good muffs or plugs will reduce sound by 23 to 33 dB. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters and hunters. Even the most effective suppressors, on the smallest and quietest calibers (.22 LR) reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to between 110 to 120 dB. To put that in perspective, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). For normal caliber handguns and rifles, suppressed sound levels routinely exceed 130 dB, just shy of OSHA’s “hearing safe” threshold of 140 dB.

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencer

According to Dr. William W. Clark, the current Director of the Washington Univ. School of Medicine’s Audiology/Communication Sciences Program, a “serious threat to hearing comes from recreational hunting or target shooting”. This is in large part due to the fact that many people choose not to use traditional hearing protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs because they want to be able to hear their surroundings. Multiple studies have found that between 70 to 80% of hunters never wear earplugs or earmuffs, and nearly half of all target shooters don’t consistently wear traditional hearing protection. Thus, it should come as no surprise that for every five years of hunting, hunters become seven percent more likely to experience high frequency hearing loss.

This article is based on information from the American Suppressor Association (ASA). Since the ASA’s formation in 2011, three additional states have legalized suppressor ownership and 18 states have legalized suppressor hunting. For more information, visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.

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August 2nd, 2022

How Suppressors Are Manufactured — Start to Finish Video

SilencerCo suppressor manufacturing production video Assembly

Watch this video to see how a sound suppressor (aka “silencer”, “moderator”, or “can”) is constructed, start to finish. It’s more complicated than you might expect — there are quite a few stages in the process. The video below shows the fabrication of a SilencerCo Octane 45 suppressor:

SilencerCo writes: “What, exactly, goes into making a silencer? It may be more than you’d expect. From cutting metal to chemical baths, to extensive quality control every step of the way, our streamlined process is more than just a few steps. Watch our newest video, HOW IT’S MADE: Octane 45, to catch a glimpse behind SilencerCo’s doors.”

SilencerCo suppressor
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.]” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. American Hunter explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 6th, 2022

How Do Suppressors Affect Accuracy — Surprising Test Results

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. In the November edition of Shooting Sports USA eZine, you’ll find an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Shooting Sports Editor Chip Lohman tests three rifles from the bench and found that sound suppressors did not harm accuracy. In fact, all three test rifles (one each in .223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards when a suppressor was fitted to the barrel. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, now commonly see suppressors on rifles used in tactical matches and PRS/NRL events. For example, many competitors in the Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

NOTE: The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”

Qualifications to Obtain a Suppressor

To legally obtain a suppressor, you must fill out Federal Forms and pay a $200 fee to the ATF. You must also pass BATFE background checks and otherwise comply with Federal and state laws. States can regulate suppressor ownership or use, so be sure to check the laws in your area. On the federal level, the process to acquire a suppressor is regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

PURCHASING TIP: ATF Announces New e-Form 4 Platform for Suppressor Registration

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March 7th, 2022

Good Reasons to Acquire a Suppressor

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection
Read full story in GunsAmerica Digest for all 18 reasons to own a suppressor.

Do you own a suppressor yet? If you live in a state where silencers are allowed, there are many good reasons to get a modern suppressor. The process for acquisition has been streamlined. Vendors such as SilencerCo can now handle most of the legal paperwork required. And the choice of suppressors is greater than ever before.

Along with basic noise reduction, what are the key reasons to get a suppressor? There are actually many. True Pearce, Editor of the GunsAmerica Digest, has written an excellent article about the benefits of suppressors: Why a Silencer Might Prevent Dementia & 17 Other Reasons You Need a Suppressor. Here are FIVE of the 18 reasons outlined in the article. We recommend you read the full story to access ALL 18 reasons. That full article has worthwhile insights for anyone considering getting a suppressor.

CLICK HERE for FULL STORY with ALL 18 REASONS »

Reason — Protect Your Hearing
Owning and using a suppressor helps prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss is a legitimate health concern that all firearms owners should be concerned about. Firearms are loud. The average firearm without a suppressor is between 140-165 dB and creates what is called an impulse noise (i.e. a noise that lasts for less than one second).

OSHA’s limit for impact/impulse noise is 140 dB…. Every time you fire a gun (including a .22 LR) without hearing protection or a suppressor, you can permanently lose hearing and it never returns. Surgery and hearing aids cannot restore the hearing you lose — it’s gone forever. Suppressors do not make your gun silent! However, they can make the impulse noise much less than 140 dB.

Reason — Reduce Muzzle Blast
A suppressor reduces or eliminates muzzle blast. Traditionally, we associate flinching with recoil, and while recoil can contribute to flinching, many shooters are finding that when using a suppressor on a caliber with no recoil they don’t suffer from the concussion, noise, and blast. As a result, they don’t close their eyes, flinch, or jerk the trigger.

Reason — Reduce Felt Recoil
A suppressor … reduces recoil or kick. Nobody that’s telling the truth enjoys getting punched in the shoulder, and that’s essentially what happens when you shoot a lightweight centerfire magnum rifle. Suppressors are very effective at slowing the recoil down or [reducing it significantly]. I personally observed a small (70-lb) 12-year-old boy shoot a 5.5-pound 6.5 PRC with a suppressor. After shooting he got up smiling and said, “That didn’t kick at all!”.

True Pearce Suppressor Silencer GunsAmerica Digest

Reason — Reduce Muzzle Rise to Keep Your View on Target
Suppressors reduce muzzle rise and make it possible to stay on target through your shot [so you can watch the trace and impact]. This allows you to make your own wind calls and corrections.

Reason — Reduce Dust and Dirt Kicked Up from Muzzle Blast
Suppressors prevent snow, dust, dirt, or other debris from blowing up when you shoot prone. If you’ve shot much with muzzle brakes, you know this is a real thing.

CLICK HERE to Read all 18 Reasons to Own a Suppressor »

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection
GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pearce hunting with his horses and suppressed rifle.

Related Article: ATF Announces New e-Form 4 Platform for Suppressor Registration

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Tactical No Comments »
December 18th, 2021

New 10.8 Oz. Suppressor for Hunters from SilencerCo

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

SilencerCo’s new Harvester EVO is a lightweight suppressor designed for hunters and precision shooters. Evolved from SilencerCo’s Harvester 300, the new Harvester EVO suppressor is notable for its compact size and VERY light weight. Constructed with cobalt-6, inconel and 17-4 heat treated stainless steel, the new EVO weighs just 10.8 ounces (0.675 pounds) and retails for $680.00.

The Harvester EVO can work with chamberings from .223 Rem up to .300 Win Mag. Consumer feedback on the previous Harvester models led SilencerCo engineers to make the EVO shorter, lighter, and more affordable. The smaller size makes the Harvester EVO less likely to get caught on bushes and brush in outdoor environments.

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

Weighing just 10.8 ounces, the Harvester EVO is one of the lightest rifle suppressors you can buy. The EVO’s low mass and smaller size “gives the EVO an edge over other hunting suppressors” said SilencerCo Senior Product Development Specialist, Dewie Vieira. CLICK HERE for Harvester EVO product details.

EVO Suppressor Product Specifications:

● Rated for calibers ranging from .223REM/5.56NATO to .300 WIN
● Tubeless, light-weight design
● Weighs 10.8 ounces
● Measures 6.24″ in length
● Constructed with cobalt-6, inconel and 17-4 heat treated stainless steel materials
● Ships with both a Bravo ½ x 28 and Bravo ⅝ x 24 Direct Thread Mount

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

For more information on the Harvester EVO, visit Silencerco.com/silencers/harvester-evo.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
December 2nd, 2021

Suppressor Basics — What You Need to Know

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

Curious about suppressors (aka “silencers”, “moderators”, or “cans”)? Below you’ll find an informative NSSF Infographic that covers the history, legal status, design, and operation of modern-day suppressors.

Here’s a cool video showing how suppressors work. This video features see-through rifle suppressors filmed with ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Check it out!

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressor Facts — What You Need to Know

In this infographic, the NSSF provides the history, specifications, benefits and uses of firearm suppressors. Don’t suppress your knowledge!

Suppressors reduce gunfire sound levels by using baffles that contain expanding gasses exiting a firearm’s muzzle when ammo is discharged. Suppressors are similar to car mufflers that were, in fact, developed in parallel by the same inventor in the early 1900s. Well-designed suppressors typically reduce the gun sound levels by 30-35 decibels (dB). Suppressors are becoming more popular even though it still takes many months to get approved. In fact, the number of suppressors registered with the ATF grew by over 1 million from 2011 to 2017. That’s a 355% increase.

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

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November 15th, 2021

How Sound Hurts Your Ears — Why You Need Hearing Protection

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencer

Protect Your Hearing — Wear Protection Whenever You Shoot

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencerNoise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common afflictions for recreational shooters and hunters. Everyone knows that gunfire is loud, but very few people understand the repercussions that shooting can have on their hearing until it’s too late.

The better quality suppressors can reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 to 35 decibels (dB). Good muffs or plugs will reduce sound by 23 to 33 dB. By decreasing the overall sound signature, suppressors help to preserve the hearing of recreational shooters and hunters. Even the most effective suppressors, on the smallest and quietest calibers (.22 LR) reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to between 110 to 120 dB. To put that in perspective, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). For normal caliber handguns and rifles, suppressed sound levels routinely exceed 130 dB, just shy of OSHA’s “hearing safe” threshold of 140 dB.

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencer

According to Dr. William W. Clark, the current Director of the Washington Univ. School of Medicine’s Audiology/Communication Sciences Program, a “serious threat to hearing comes from recreational hunting or target shooting”. This is in large part due to the fact that many people choose not to use traditional hearing protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs because they want to be able to hear their surroundings. Multiple studies have found that between 70 to 80% of hunters never wear earplugs or earmuffs, and nearly half of all target shooters don’t consistently wear traditional hearing protection. Thus, it should come as no surprise that for every five years of hunting, hunters become seven percent more likely to experience high frequency hearing loss.

This article is based on information from the American Suppressor Association (ASA). Since the ASA’s formation in 2011, three additional states have legalized suppressor ownership and 18 states have legalized suppressor hunting. For more information, visit www.AmericanSuppressorAssociation.com.

Permalink Gear Review, News, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 14th, 2021

Suppressor Basics — How to Obtain Them and How They Work

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Map courtesy SilencerShop.com.

Q & A: TOP TEN Questions about Suppressors Answered HERE »

You’d like to protect your hearing, and maybe you’re a little curious about how your rifle might shoot suppressed. So you’re thinking of buying a suppressor (aka “can”, “moderator”, “silencer”). You can’t just get one off the shelf at Walmart. Acquiring a suppressor requires filling out paperwork and paying a Federal $200 Tax Stamp. Plus there is typically a pretty long wait. However, the good news is that suppressor ownership is now legal in 42 of the 50 American states — that’s 84%! For most American adults, getting a suppressor is legal, provided pass the required background checks.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
Currently, the following 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

Note: Even if you live in one of the states listed, you should still verify that owning a suppressor is legal in your area. Some states may have municipal- or county-based restrictions.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Prohibited
Unfortunately, there are still eight (8) States that forbid private ownership of suppressors. The eight No-Go States are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island. In these eight states, private ownership of suppressors (aka “silencers”) is forbidden. Hopefully that a few of those eight hold-out states will change their laws in the months ahead.

Looking Inside a Suppressor in Action
Popular YouTube Channel Smarter Every Day recently released a cool video featuring rifle suppressors with see-through acrylic sleeves. The team filmed shots through the suppressors using ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Watch the results in the video below — it’s mesmerizing:

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 14th, 2021

Cantastic Video — How a Suppressor is Constructed

SilencerCo suppressor manufacturing production video Assembly

Watch this video to see how a sound suppressor (aka “silencer”, “moderator”, or “can”) is constructed, start to finish. It’s more complicated than you might expect — there are quite a few stages in the process. The video below shows the fabrication of a SilencerCo Octane 45 suppressor:

SilencerCo writes: “What, exactly, goes into making a silencer? It may be more than you’d expect. From cutting metal to chemical baths, to extensive quality control every step of the way, our streamlined process is more than just a few steps. Watch our newest video, HOW IT’S MADE: Octane 45, to catch a glimpse behind SilencerCo’s doors.”

SilencerCo suppressor
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.]” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. American Hunter explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

Permalink - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 12th, 2021

SilencerCo Suppressors Range Tested by UltimateReloader

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Our friend Gavin Gear of UlimateReloader.com got a chance to visit a SilencerCo dealer, The Range LLC in Yakima, WA. During his visit, Gavin was able to test a number of suppressors (aka “moderators” or “silencers”) for both rifle and pistols. Gavin has released a lengthy article covering his experiences. If you are in the market for a suppressor, we highly recommend you read Gavin’s SilencerCo Products Overview on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin was able to test three SilencerCo suppressors: the Omega 300, the Hybrid, and the Osprey 45. In addition Gavin was able to handle the Maxim 9, an integrally suppressed 9mm handgun.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Gavin reports the Omega 300, which is rated up to .300 Winchester Magnum, is a very popular “can”. According to Gavin, the Omega 300 has become the best-selling rifle suppressor in history for important reasons. First, it has an integral muzzle brake. Second, it can work for multiple calibers, from .223 up to .308. Third, “It is very tough — .300 Win Mag rated, and full-auto rated”.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound
SilencerCo lineup, from left: Omega 300, Hybrid, Osprey 45

Gavin says the Hybrid Suppressor is an interesting concept: “One suppressor that you can configure for multiple calibers, both rifle and pistol. This includes the ability to change out the threaded mount on the muzzle end, and you can also swap out end caps that will optimize sound suppression for different calibers. The Hybrid… is full-auto rated, and can handle rifle cartridges up to and including .338 Lapua Magnum! But this suppressor can also be used for pistol applications…from 9mm up to 44 ACP.”

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 22nd, 2020

Suppressor Myth Busting — Do Silencers Degrade Accuracy?

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. Some years ago Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), published an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Former SSUSA Editor Chip Lohman tested three rifles from the bench and found that suppressors did not harm accuracy (at least with these rigs). In fact, all three test rifles (.223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards with a suppressor than without. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA.

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA High Power rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, it is now common to see moderators on rifles used in non-NRA-sanctioned tactical matches such as the Precision Rifle Series. For example, many competitors in the popular Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

*The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”
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December 4th, 2019

Suppressor Facts Revealed — How They Work

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

Curious about suppressors (aka “silencers”, “moderators”, or “cans”)? Below you’ll find an informative NSSF Infographic that covers the history, legal status, design, and operation of modern-day suppressors.

Here’s a cool video showing how suppressors work. This video features see-through rifle suppressors filmed with ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Check it out!

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressor Facts — What You Need to Know

In this infographic, the NSSF provides the history, specifications, benefits and uses of firearm suppressors. Don’t suppress your knowledge!

Suppressors reduce gunfire sound levels by using baffles that contain expanding gasses exiting a firearm’s muzzle when ammo is discharged. Suppressors are similar to car mufflers that were, in fact, developed in parallel by the same inventor in the early 1900s. Well-designed suppressors typically reduce the gun sound levels by 30-35 decibels (dB). Suppressors are becoming more popular even though it still takes many months to get approved. In fact, the number of suppressors registered with the ATF grew by over 1 million from 2011 to 2017. That’s a 355% increase.

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

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November 23rd, 2019

Suppressor Basics — How to Get One and How They Work

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Map courtesy SilencerShop.com.

Q & A: TOP TEN Questions about Suppressors Answered HERE »

You’d like to protect your hearing, and maybe you’re a little curious about how your rifle might shoot suppressed. So you’re thinking of buying a suppressor (aka “can”, “moderator”, “silencer”). You can’t just get one off the shelf at Walmart. Acquiring a suppressor requires filling out paperwork and paying a Federal $200 Tax Stamp. Plus there is typically a pretty long wait. However, the good news is that suppressor ownership is now legal in 42 of the 50 American states — that’s 84%! For most American adults, getting a suppressor is legal, provided pass the required background checks.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
Currently, the following 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

Note: Even if you live in one of the states listed, you should still verify that owning a suppressor is legal in your area. Some states may have municipal- or county-based restrictions.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Prohibited
Unfortunately, there are still eight (8) States that forbid private ownership of suppressors. The eight No-Go States are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island. In these eight states, private ownership of suppressors (aka “silencers”) is forbidden. Hopefully that a few of those eight hold-out states will change their laws in the months ahead.

Looking Inside a Suppressor in Action
Popular YouTube Channel Smarter Every Day recently released a cool video featuring rifle suppressors with see-through acrylic sleeves. The team filmed shots through the suppressors using ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Watch the results in the video below — it’s mesmerizing:

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

Story idea by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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