Anyone on the fence should jump the hell off, and get a damn silencer. I almost never shoot without one. The few times I do experience raw gunfire serve as a reminder of why silencers are so friggen amazing. Guns are unGodly loud; especially short rifles.
I was shooting with a friend today. He is still waiting on his form4, and he uses one of my silencers whenever he shoots with me. He doesn't hardly shoot otherwise. He was zeroing a new optic, and we thought it prudent to zero it without a silencer attached, as that's how it ought to be done, and it's how he's going to have the rifle in an emergency, considering he doesn't have a silencer of his own yet. He has an 11.5" BCM pistol. So it has their fancy little compensator thingy on it. I hate compensators for the exact reason this instance highlights. He fires the first three-shot group. I am not an idiot, and I plug my ears. I wasn't wearing hearing protection because the silencer was being attached once we got his zero fine-tuned, and we had gotten it damn close the other day, with a can on it. I feel those three shots. I flinch at every one of them, even though I am trying not to. After his three shots are fired, and we are going to check the target, he says "man, that was loud". Turns out he IS an idiot; dude had no ear protection. I about cussed him out.
I am astonished by anyone who shoots recreationally without hearing protection. I typically wear it even when shooting with a silencer, as rifle calibers are still quite loud to me. I think it appropriate to mention here that anyone who says silencers on something like a SBR AR15 aren't effective are dead wrong. I have heard that before, and it's stupid. Note that I said recreationally; I understand a hunter may not care to wear ear plugs when he's enjoying the woods, and probably not going to crack off more than a couple rounds. I understand we may not have our muffs in our real-deal time of need. I have heard of auditory exclusion, and have likely experienced it myself, but I doubt it actually mitigates damage to your ears.
The pros of silencers FAR outweigh the cons. By a million billion pounds. Sometimes I am enamored by the handiness of one of my rifles when the silencer is removed; I will not be fooled. Sometimes I get a little burn on my leg when I let the rifle hang; it's worth it. Sometimes I am discouraged by the extra filth in my DI guns; I have learned to enjoy the extra maintenance time.
Todays display of my friend's idiocy reminded me how amazing silencers really are. They really REALLY are the shit. I am likely preaching to the choir, posting in the suppressed weapons forum, but I had to rant. If you're considering a can, just go get the damn thing. If you're waiting for the wait to get better, you're still friggen waiting. Just do it; you won't regret it.
*Note* This still would have been friggen loud with a regular flash hider.
*Another note* Call me a wimp until you're blue in the face, if you like. I don't care.This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
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Yeah, I remember as a kid, we shoot out in the pasture with minimal ear pro for the 22lr, but centerfire always got ear pro. And these were all non-muzzle devices pistols and rifles, of course, I can’t imagine firing anything with a muzzle break without heavy duty ear pro, or at least plugs. Sheesh. When I fired my SCAR 17H with the PWS comp on it, I barely got through the mag with the low pro ears on. When I shoot it again, I will either double up, or slap an OSS on it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Vgex,
One of the types of shooting I do more often these days is a small group with a private instructor for 1-2 hours. The area we're using for this is a small range that shares a 20ft concrete wall with the main rifle range, and is open toward a 5-stand range with a basic wood fence between. It's a little bay that nicely fits 3 shooters.
They ask us not to use rifles when people are shooting 5-stand due to the noise. Even with earpro if you're shooting against the wall it starts to feel like an indoor range with how rattled you can get. Now that I can throw a can on those problems are all in the past.
Yes, still going to wear that earpro. But it's just flat out so much more pleasant to shoot rifles suppressed.
Pistols, on the other hand... unless I'm going subsonic to shoot with no earpro, I don't use the pistol can much.
I agree. If you have a center-fire silencer to accommodate the caliber you're shooting, there's no good reason not to use it. Pistols are the exception, considering the holster compatibility, sighting issues, and size increase relative to the original size of the weapon. Outside the context of the "sentry takedown", a centerfire pistol can is more of a novelty, in my opinion. And in that more militaristic context, the silencer probably doesn't live on the gun, eliminating holster, sighting, and size issues if the pistol is deployed in a conventional sidearm context.
Yeah, seems backward that almost everything else, from dishwashers to backup generators, uses all possible tech to reduce noise...but if you want to make your gun quieter, you need special permission.
I made the mistake once when doing a load workup of shooting without ear pro while in the back of my vehicle prone. I had walked down to check the target, climbed in the back and shot once. That was all it took for me to not want to do that again.
Shooting rifle I always have my Omega on my rifle. Pistol is another story and honestly don't see myself adding a can ot any pistol.
As I mentioned in my initial post, he shot his rifle without a can at first because he doesn't have one yet. We wanted to ensure his zero was right without it, because that's how he'll use the rifle in a time of need, until he has his silencer. That being said, I am curious...
As is the general sentiment in the replies here, if I am shooting a rifle that can mount a silencer, it is wearing one. I zero it with a silencer. I don't care about POI shift, because it's never going to be used without the silencer. Do other users that shoot almost exclusively suppressed care about POI shift between silenced and unsilenced?
One thing I'd like to note is that the silencer he used is my early Gemtech HALO model. I have seen the A2 mounting interface take some flack in some online articles, because people think it's inferior, when it comes to strength and repeatability. He didn't have any shift to speak of, and he took it to 350 meters.
I have never used a silencer, I've never even seen one. I've always used protection because guns are loud af. Reading some of these posts makes it sound like you need permission to have one. This is a noob question, but how do we get a suppressor? Is that like getting a concealed carry permit? Is it different for each state? As stated, I am a noob with suppressors and don't know anything about them, but they seem like an awesome idea and I'd like to try one.
This has been exacerbated by the popularity of short barreled rifle caliber weapons and the ongoing evolution of muzzle devices. Just ran three days of ranges and had one shooter with a new 11.5" upper with a YHM brake waiting for a Form 4 to be approved on a Turbo K. Amazing concussion, even with ear pro outdoors. Not that bad behind the gun, terrible everywhere else.
Suppressors are items regulated federally by the National Firearms Act, similar to SBRs and Machine Guns. First, you need to live in a state that allows suppressors. If that’s true, then you can buy one, which involves submitting a form to the ATF, along with $200 and fingerprint cards, and waiting somewhere around 8 months for approval before you can take it home.
Some more details here.
You're absolutely right. I am of the opinion that, if you have a silencer, there's no reason to shoot without it. So, whatever device the gun is wearing is irrelevant, and a brake may actually be preferred, as it can save some wear and tear on the can itself. Shooting without a silencer? I find nothing but a flash hider acceptable, for both noise/concussion considerations, and the practical flash reduction. Of course it's always subjective and contextual, at the end of the day; if you're a competition dude, you'll use a comp or brake for the advantages they provide, as noise and flash aren't problems in that situation. There are plenty of other scenarios too, of course.
Wow, great article thanks for that. So you have to pay a $200 tax for every suppressor you buy? I looked and the handgun suppressors are not cheap, with the tax they are more expensive than my gun. Very interesting. I definitely want to try shooting one. I'm interested to see how it makes the weight of the gun feel.
Yup $200 each. Your hearing is not cheap either.
I've worn hearing protection my whole life, I don't think I've ever taken a shot without it. Been double protection for the last 20 years trying to avoid further decline. Yet my hearing Dr. tells me that my hearing has clearly and dramatically diminished (and the frequencies are so clear to being caused by shooting that he says they can tell you shoot just by which frequencies you have trouble with).
I don't know what gun(s) you have but there are modestly (at least to my eye comparing for example the price of ammo to go shooting regularly) priced suppressors.
“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
For some perspective, consider the simple fact that the #1 medical cause for disability compensation claims with the Veterans Administration is hearing loss, usually with tinnitus as an accompanying factor. More disabled veterans with this issue than any other conditions.
The usual compensation award for hearing loss/tinnitus is 10%, currently (2021) about $144 per month, about $1728 per year. Multiply that by tens of thousands of veterans and the potential savings for US taxpayers would be a staggering amount of money, if sound suppressors were standard equipment.
Of course, many veterans have other compensable disabilities in addition to the hearing issues. In such cases the various levels of disability are added up for a total, up to 100% (currently about $3140 per month). So while hearing loss is a relatively small factor when compared to other VA disability claims, it remains the single most commonly reported issue.
My Vietnam combat experience is more than 50 years in the past, but I continue to suffer bilateral hearing loss and constant tinnitus attributable to gunfire and concussive blast back in the day. Hearing loss is usually permanent and cumulative, with each incident adding to the damage.
Retired holster maker.
Retired police chief.
Formerly Sergeant, US Army Airborne Infantry, Pathfinders
I don't care to fire a rifle without a silencer. At all. I see no reason to not utilize a silencer, if you have one for the rifle you're shooting.
Pistol is different, because a can changes that weapon so much more.
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