*This is not considering pistol hosts*
In my opinion, there are few.
Perhaps in certain hunting contexts, where the extra length and weight is truly prohibitive, and the user will only take a couple shots.
Deep concealment circumstances, where the extra length is a deal-breaker.
A circumstance that dictates that you MUST use a certain gun, and the gun doesn't play well with a can.
It seems to me that the length is about the only aspect of silencers that isn't reconcilable by the benefits of their use, in only a few unique circumstances.
In my opinion, any adverse effects of silencers are far outweighed by their benefits. I see no reason to shoot without one, in my use-case. Sometimes folks may want to make noise in a fun recreational setting, which I guess I understand, and some folks may say something to the effect of "I prefer the way a gun shoots without one", which I can also sympathize with; most guns were not designed with silencers in mind, and are inevitably going to be more pleasant without one. But, that pleasant experience gets nasty real quick, when the earmuffs come off!
I understand some guns don't work well with silencers, or straight-up won't accept them. Most guns can be tuned to work well with them. For me, if a gun doesn't work with a silencer, I have no interest in the gun, for practical purposes. Emphasis on that last portion, because that is the context in which I pose the question.
What say others? Do other silencer users share my attitude?This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
I'm pretty well through shooting unsuppressed rifles. I don't do much 16" shooting anymore and my SBRs all have cans. I hate cleaning my suppressed ARs, but it's worth the hassle. Still a lot of exposure to unsuppressed rifles through my job.
Although I own silencers, I can think of a ton of reason why some people aren’t interested in silencers.
First, silencers aren’t legal in all states, so if you live in one of those states, it’s a moot point. Next is the hassle of filling out the forms, gathering all of the fingerprint cards, and having to wait 8 months or so to see if it gets approved. For the conspiracy minded, some don’t want to be added to a government “list”, although everyone is probably already on a list anyway.
For practical reasons, unless you have few guns, or a lot of money, you’ll probably be sharing cans on various guns, so that means buying a bunch of mounts, and potentially dealing with various POI shifts. Also, as mentioned, some guns require tuning, and not everyone is interested in going through the process for every gun. Unless you’re shooting alone, or somewhere where everyone else is only using suppressors, you’re still going to need to wear ear pro due to the unsuppressed people around you. And speaking of ear pro, even with a can, certain calibers and barrel lengths are going to be uncomfortably loud for shooting more than a few rounds, so most people will still wear.
When you get home, you have to clean twice as many "firearms."
Centerfire cans don't need cleaning. Mounts do, but that's one of the minor cons that's far outweighed by pros.
That does indeed suck, and I am aware. As you said, it's a moot point for those folks.
The barrier to entry is unfortunate, but far outweighed by the positive aspects of silencer ownership and use. The list thing is silly; if such a list is utilized for nefarious purposes, the shit has hit the fan, and I'll be glad to already have silencers.
That's all quite subjective. I would say I have less money and guns than a lot of members of this forum; It's about what you choose to prioritize. POI shift is not something I have ever had much of a problem with. A vertical shift is to be expected, and you ought to know how to adapt to it. Not to mention we're talking about using silencers all the time, and not shooting the gun without them, so it doesn't matter.
If a gun truly can't utilize one, it's a gun that doesn't have much worth to me. There's another gun that can do what that one can, and do it suppressed; I'll find one of those. My guns that don't work with them regrettably don't get shot hardly ever... Actually, it's not that regrettable.
I always wear earpro when shooting with a can, unless it's only a few shots at a very slow cadence. If I am shooting with friends that don't own silencers, I loan them one. Even if folks around me aren't using cans, I am still going to use one on my gun. Wouldn't you?
I’m always a little bemused by the fact that so many people assume that everything they know and experience is what everyone else knows and has experienced. Half of the six most populous states (California, New York and Illinois) prohibit ownership of suppressors and those states alone account for over 20 percent of the US population. And that doesn’t consider the other factors that affect suppressor ownership. Some people, for example, simply don’t want the bureaucratic hassles of possessing one: first the inordinate wait, but then considerations about storage and then their ultimate disposal. I use mine so seldom that I’ve considered disposing of it before it becomes a burden for someone else to deal with.
There’s also the significant issue of how valuable, really, are they, and again that’s not the same for everyone. For example, what benefit do I get from using my suppressor on the guns it can be attached to? It’s something additional I must keep track of, if I fire more than three or four rounds I have to be concerned about how hot it’s gotten, and using it changes where my bullets impact. I can use ear plugs rather than muffs for hearing protection, but what’s the benefit otherwise? (No, it’s not because I won’t annoy the neighbors or other shooters.)
Suppressors aren’t all the same size, but all of them increase the overall length of the gun they’re attached to. When I was a sniper for my agency my primary rifle had a relatively compact 20 inch barrel: long enough for good performance, short enough for reasonable handling. With the suppressor, though, the barrel increased to a beastly 28 1/2 inches. I carried the rifle with suppressor attached during one exercise after receiving the device, and that was enough. Carry it separately and attach it at the operational position? Not as simple as it sounds in some situations, and then there are two different possible bullet trajectories to keep track of.
I can see how suppressors would be beneficial for many shooters, and it’s too bad that their legal status isn’t the same as it is in many foreign countries. That doesn’t mean, though, that they’re a benefit to all shooters.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
Interesting thread. I have no experience and have imagined that having suppressors on all weapons would be great.
I didn't know about POI shifts, that you may be round count limited (overheating), considerable differences in weight and maneuverability, and such.
Seems like there are significant tradeoffs for the suppression capability. What is then the ideal scenario(s) to use a suppressor?
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
I admittedly don't consider this. It is very unfortunate for residents of those states, that silencers aren't an option.
Your feedback is exactly what I am curious about. Why do you opt not to use it? What kind of silencer is it? If you are prepared, there'll be no hassle for whoever "inherits" the silencer.
The heat you mentioned is indeed a drawback, but IMO minor. POI shift is not concerning, for the reasons I previously mentioned.
I think the most significant advantage to using a silencer is that I can fire my weapon without ear protection if needed, and it won't hurt my hearing or inhibit my ability to communicate with people on my side of whatever the conflict may be.
I think that, if the legalities surrounding them were different, they'd be MUCH more prolific. They mitigate the biggest drawback of discharging a firearm.
I am interested in more feedback from people who have silencers, but don't prioritize their use.
My suppressor is a Thunder Beast 30P-1. It’s rated for .30 caliber cartridges, and I use it with 308 Winchester, 300 Blackout, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 223 Remington. It’s a direct thread design that requires proprietary TBAC muzzle devices on the rifles.
I obviously agree that if a suppressor is left mounted on the gun all the time that POI shifts would be of no concern. In my situation, though, that’s not possible for a couple of reasons, primarily because I have four rifles that I use it with and I therefore switch it around as required. From a practical standpoint, leaving it on a gun all the time would make it very unwieldly and require oversized carrying cases for most as well as simply not fitting in my safe even if I were to decide to use it with only one rifle (hmm…: something to consider—?).
Although I’m no longer an active LE sniper, as I mentioned it was not practical to plan using the rifle with the can attached in all situations. Is it possible to adjust one’s aim when using the suppressor? Yes, but that is a complication best avoided in LE engagements if it’s not necessary—at least in my opinion. Another reason I didn’t feel it necessary to rely on the suppressor as an LE sniper is that I was issued a Peltor communications headset for radio comms, and which also served as electronic hearing protection that permitted communicating with normal speech. Any properly-equipped LE sniper team would have something similar.
Also to reiterate, my current personal situation is such that using a suppressor is simply not that big of an advantage over not using it. Where I shoot and (occasionally) with whom aren’t significant factors in my decision to use it or not.
My hearing was damaged severely enough long ago in a land far away to require me to use plugs as a minimum even when shooting with the suppressor. Plugs are more convenient than muffs, but not enough that I would go through the acquisition process and other requirements of owning the can if I were able to do it all over again. That minor convenience is also why I don’t use my can very often.
As a last point about direct thread suppressors, I have twice seen the dangers of not being careful about how they’re attached and kept attached. A friend once destroyed an Oehler chronograph sky screen when his suppressor was launched downrange because it wasn’t attached properly and another time it took me a while to discover that because my can had loosened on the mount was the reason my shots were hitting several feet from where I was aiming. Our fault and not the suppressors’? Sure, but like I say, complications.
To make my own position clear, I’m certainly not opposed to or discouraging the use of suppressors or even to having dedicated units that are used all the time if that’s feasible, but just responding to the original “Why not?” question of this thread. I also agree, though, that the question is a valid one.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
Your priority in only having guns that can be easily suppressed is just that, your priority. A gun that much not have much use to you because it can’t easily be suppressed may be appealing to others for their own reasons. My suggestion that not everyone is interested in tuning a gun to run with a suppressor may not work for you, but it’s still a valid reason for not running a silencer.
I’m not sure how you’re loaning suppressors to friends, but all of the centerfire cans I have require mounts, and if they have the proper mounts on their gun to use any of my cans, they almost certainly have their own can. Even if your can is direct thread, that requires that the friend’s gun not have a muzzle device on their gun. Also, I wouldn’t let anyone else use any of my cans without checking the alignment first.
I agree that my prioritization of silencers is somewhat unique. I see them as value added, do my best to cater guns to them, and seek to procure certain new guns with them in mind. As a silencer user yourself, do you typically use one on your "go-to" rifle?
I am a fan of the gate-latch and collar fastener mechanisms, for use with NATO-spec devices. My friends without silencers remove their crush washers, and it's good-to-go. Of course I check alignment.
I have guns that I like cans on but not each and every gun. For me its the added length and weight slowing my muzzle that keeps me from adding one all the time. There are also times when I actually want to make noise if we are talking SD. For an issue around my house, unsuppressed would be good as well as at that point, if me and bad guy are both laid out in the grass I want a neighbor to call the cops. Unsupressed shots also keep badguys head down or get them to jump back and run. All advantages. YMMV.
That can is a hoss. I can understand if you find it unattractive on a 5.56 carbine. I have a Gemtech HVT that is of similar length and weight, and it stays attached to my "DMR". I agree that the added length is inconvenient. The gun would be very difficult to "pack-in" to any kind of position or objective. Length was an exception I addressed off-the-bat.
In that context, I would tend to agree. The Peltors will protect your ears, and an LE sniper likely need not worry about concealing his weapon's signature, in most cases. In a small-unit-tactics context though, I think silencers are quite valuable; ear protection is not ideal in a patrol scenario, and communication between teammates in shouting distance during an engagement is greatly hindered by gunshot noise.
I use a strap wrench to tighten direct-thread cans, and then apply aligning witness marks on the can and the barrel, to use as a quick reference. Extreme-duty thread lockers are an option for a can you're going to leave on long-term, but I haven't found that necessary yet. Another thing you can do, if possible, is tighten the can a bit more, once it's been shot and warmed up a little. At the end of the day, any QD can whose muzzle device isn't "rocksetted" may very-well fall victim to the same phenomenon. I have never used rockset on a muzzle device, and have yet to have a problem. The difference is it's easier to tighten a muzzle device properly, as compared to a direct-thread can without wrench flats.
It has proven more multi-faceted than I anticipated, and I appreciate your, and other's, participation. I suspect that some of the arguments against silencer use may be skewed by the fact that we, as regular serious shooters, are very diligent about ear protection. Our exposure to raw gunshots is limited, and perhaps we forget how nasty those reports are. I recall one incident, years ago, when I forgot to put my muffs on prior to firing a 16" 5.56; it scared the shit out of me, hurt, and the effects lingered for a while. More recently, a friend was shooting an 11.5" 5.56 without a can, to perform his initial zero. I opted to just plug my ears with my fingers while he shot. I could hear and feel that rifle in a big way, and I can't imagine frequent exposure to that without hearing protection or a silencer applied to the weapon.
I imagine you’re right, and as with anything relating to these questions, the first and most important thing we can do is to analyze our own particular situations and not assume that one size will fit all.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
I do my best to establish circumstances of the discussion in my OP (the exemption of pistols as hosts, for example), in an effort to help people who intend to participate understand my outlook on the topic presented. I welcome opinions and experiences of others (experiences preferred), as they undoubtedly make me wiser and more well-rounded. A good example of how I should have been more specific, when presenting this topic, is making further exemptions, concerning the states that prohibit silencers, and the NFA process. In trying to keep the conversation general, it often needs to be presented quite specifically.
That being said, perhaps the OP should have read...
In a world where silencers are not prohibitively expensive and entangled in confusing and unnecessary legalities, and all shooters had them, why would someone opt not to use one?
Of course it's still quite subjective, and that's good. Like you say, everyone's situations are indeed different. It seems that added length and weight are the real deal-breakers for most folks. Some folks cite filth and non-symbiotic relationships with certain preferred weapons as problems. The filth and compatibility issues are, for me, outweighed by the obvious benefits of silencer use. In that world where silencers are as prolific as the guns they attach to, I imagine compatibility would certainly be a non-issue. In that case, why would someone choose to have their weapon make more noise? Of course this is getting a bit hypothetical, but I think it may serve to clarify my initial intent.
The bad guy on your property situation is an interesting and valid one. Largely dependent on where you live though. Enough people discharge firearms recreationally on a regular basis in my area that it wouldn't prompt anyone to call the police on your behalf.
Accurate suppressing fire keeps heads down. I'd be much more frightened by accurate fire coming from a direction I can't identify.
"why would someone choose to have their weapon make more noise"?
I would point out that there are a few weapons that might make sense for certain things but do not suppress well. I have a Steyr AUG that fits in my travel bag and that does not suppress well. It can suppress but it just doesn't do well due to its gas system setup. I have ear pro and its for very weird emergencies. My pistol is far more likely my go to. The thing is that my Aug is the size of a 10.5 AR and will be good to go out to carbine ranges yet fits in an innocuous case. To me it fills a niche no other gun touches that I own or want.
My carry gun also is not suppressed as I want people to know I need help and a can would make it double or near triple in size and length. Not really the point.
There are also guns that I do not want to alter ie a SG553 that has a built in FH. Kinda wish it didn't but I dont want to mill it off when I have scores of other guns that do that. I also have lots of historical stuff that I will not alter.
I have two long range guns that I chose a brake over a can for, for three different reasons. 1, The cans would be single purposed as its a 50 and a 338LM. 2,the brakes they have are more effective at recoil reduction than a can and I dont want to be slapped around. 3, The cans are only so effective in those calibers. I'd put a 50 can at the same sound as shooting a muzzleloader for example, and the 50 is already absurd in size.
For me I have loud guns and quiet guns and a few that cross over. I am, however, enjoying the discussion.
Yes and this point is a good instance of all of us being aware of the purpose of our setups and environment for its use. If you live in a place where it wouldn't be odd for firearms discharges to occur then my setup wouldn't add benefit.
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