Silencers - Why?

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JEBruns

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I see lots of guys at the gun range with silencers on their rifles. See them a lot in pictures at competitions also. I guess I can kind of see them for home defense or maybe hunting. But why would a range gun have one? Still need to wear ear protection. I can't imagine they add anything to accuracy.

Not putting them down. I'm a big believer if whatever floats your boat. I'm just curious about why a person would drop a grand on one for a dedicated range rifle. Is it just the cool factor at work?
 
Well if one is going to use a suppressor out in the field, they better best to be using one at the range. There is typically a POI shift between suppressed and unsuppressed.

A suppressor will still help with one’s hearing even though they are at a hot range with other and is wearing muffs.

There also is the fact that they paid $200tax + $500+ for a centerfire suppressor and want to use it.

Maybe if enough people witness them at the range we can get enough push to finally break the back on suppressors being NFA items.
 
Well if one is going to use a suppressor out in the field, they better best to be using one at the range. There is typically a POI shift between suppressed and unsuppressed.
I came to say this.

It's no different than setting zero on your scope or trying out new loads. And if the can is on a semi-auto rifle, this is doubly important, since back pressure can affect reliability and must be sorted out.
 
I don't have one, but if they were less expensive and easier to own I'd have several. Calling it a silencer is not technically correct. The sound isn't silenced, but suppressed. The noise reduction would be great for most any shooting activity. In fact, in some parts of the world they are required for target practice and hunting to reduce noise to surrounding homes and businesses.

Think of this analogy. What if you had to have a special permit and pay a fee just to put a muffler on your car or truck. Think about how loud our roads would be if none of the vehicles driving on them had a muffler. A suppressor is simply a muffler for your gun.
 
No. They make the gun quieter, reduce recoil and increase accuracy.
I agree with you, in concept on the first two point of suppressing sound and reducing recoil. I'm basing that off my understanding of how my one rifle with a muzzle break theoretically works. I'm curious about the accuracy part though. How would a suppressor increase accuracy? I'm honestly asking because I'm pretty ignorant to suppressors. I have no desire to own one at this time, mostly because I don't like the way they look on a rifle and also because I don't want the ATF to have anything with my name on it, or at least any more than they probably already do! The latter is the same reason I never did a C&R FFL. :)
 
I don't have one, but if they were less expensive and easier to own I'd have several.
I agree. I shoot a lot of different guns, so having a suppressor on one or two of them wouldn't really do me a lot of good. And having a suppressor on a lot of them would run into some real money for me. BUT, I am confident that I'd love the reduction in dB provided by a good suppressor.

I have a couple of 28" barreled .22 LR target rifles that are so quiet with subsonic target ammo that there is no need at all for hearing protection. (Once you go above about 25" barrel length on a subsonic .22 LR, the dB reduction from increasing barrel length seems to be even more dramatic than at the shorter lengths.) For example, shooting a KYL target at 25-50 yards with one of these guns, the sound of the bullet ringing the steel is literally louder than the muzzle blast. The fact that I don't need anything in or over my ears to shoot these guns is one of the reasons they are a couple of my all-time favorite rifles to shoot.
 
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I agree with you, in concept on the first two point of suppressing sound and reducing recoil. I'm basing that off my understanding of how my one rifle with a muzzle break theoretically works. I'm curious about the accuracy part though. How would a suppressor increase accuracy? I'm honestly asking because I'm pretty ignorant to suppressors. I have no desire to own one at this time, mostly because I don't like the way they look on a rifle and also because I don't want the ATF to have anything with my name on it, or at least any more than they probably already do! The latter is the same reason I never did a C&R FFL. :)
I don't know the physics of it. They do though, at least in some cases. This is obviously assuming that it's a concentrically mounted, quality suppressor.
 
I don't have an application for a silencer.
I have shot various sorts of matches, none allow silencers.
(I was shooting F class before they added a line to the rules: "Note: Sound suppressors are not authorized for use in F-Class High Power Rifle competition." but still only saw a couple of silencers on the line.)

I carry a concealed weapon, it is kind of hard to pocket or IWB a silencer.
So I am not a prospective customer.

Calling it a silencer is not technically correct. The sound isn't silenced, but suppressed.

Technically correct? No, but it is the legal term found in NFA etc.
 
Noise suppression alone is a good enough reason, whether people use their hearing protection properly or not.

And there's the old "practice with what you use" philosophy thing going on, too. If you shoot competition or hunting, your range time should be spent with the same equipment.
 
I see lots of guys at the gun range with silencers on their rifles. See them a lot in pictures at competitions also. I guess I can kind of see them for home defense or maybe hunting. But why would a range gun have one? Still need to wear ear protection. I can't imagine they add anything to accuracy.

Not putting them down. I'm a big believer if whatever floats your boat. I'm just curious about why a person would drop a grand on one for a dedicated range rifle. Is it just the cool factor at work?

There is a lot to unpack here. There are a lot of guys at the range with silencers. Okay. Then you transition to saying that these are dedicated range rifles. How do you know all the guys at the range with suppressors on their rifles that the rifles are dedicated range rifles?

I can tell you from experience that all most everyone and their dog that has a hunting rifle or home defense rifle with a suppressor will take it to the range at some point, often if they are wishing to maintain their skills.

Also, unless folks are running subsonic ammo or maybe .22 lr, in their rifles, they are going to need hearing protection. The sonic crack of of supersonic ammo is at the level to cause hearing damage.

Personally, I like the taming of recoil like having a super noisy muzzle brake, but without all the nasty gasses being blown on my shooting partners or the terrible noise.


and increase accuracy.

I know several companies used to advertise this. I think Surefire was one of them. It is a bit of a myth. Silencers/suppressors do not increase accuracy except in the sense that they do change barrel harmonics. This may increase accuracy (smaller group size). It may also ruin accuracy (larger group size)...in addition to a POI shift that may be minimal to several inches. It may have no impact on accuracy. You still have to balance your load, bullet weight, barrel/twist, barrel attachments, etc. I have seen this at my own range with my own gear. You can find some vids on YouTube, but also this... https://www.silencercentral.com/blog/how-suppressors-affect-accuracy/
 
A combination of the cool factor, fashion, a forbidden fruit become available. If fully automatic firearms were as easy to obtain as semiautomatic ones there would be a big spike in ownership and range presence, then a rapid fall off.
I'm surprised there hasn't been an upsurge in the home made variety. Many years ago a college buddy and I bought some of "those" books, went out into the woods on a dark night, found a lot of them were crude but efficient.
 
I don't have one, but if they were less expensive and easier to own I'd have several.
Easier to own? While there is a tax before you take possession, owning a silencer is as easy as owning any other firearm.
You can easily find rimfire silencer for under $250. Or make your own.


Calling it a silencer is not technically correct. The sound isn't silenced, but suppressed.
No. It is technically correct as that's what the inventor named it. "Silencer" or "muffler" are how the device is referred to in federal law.

Silencer vs suppressor is a silly as arguing a Chevy Corvette isn't actually a warship or the F15 Eagle isn't really a bird.

"Suppressor" is a newfangled name to market an evil silencer that only assassins would use. Just like "Modern Sporting Rifle".
 
While "silencer" is the correct term that was used in the original patent.

The term "suppressor" is a better term to describe the effect suppressors have on sound and blast.

There is nothing truly silent about a silencer, unless it's sitting there unused. Even in a bolt action with subsonic 22's one can still hear the firing pin, the woosh of air, etc. That's about as close as one gets to "silent," approaches but doesn't meet.
 
Shooters like expensive gadgets and gizmos and don't forget the added Wow Factor !

Look I have a Beer Can looking thing screwed to the end of my barrel ... isn't that Cool ...

Nine times out of ten ... the Cool Guys look good but can't hit Doodley-Squat !

Gary
 
By the time all fees/taxes etc are added to the cost of a suppressor, it's very easy to hit the 1K mark for a centerfire rifle can.
I was specifically talking 22lr.. I dont know any 22LR cans that cost $800.00 do you?
 
I don’t own a suppressor, but am considering one. My main interest is in a subsonic 9mm PCC for home defense. It would also be taking it to the range and would practice with the firearm with the build meant for home defense. What I a questioning is if I should first spend money on upgrading the trigger, or the suppressor. Given the processing time, I think the suppressor comes first.
 
If youre actually using them for something besides just blasting, they have a definite use. I use one on one of my AR's for garden and yard pest duty, and it works great. I can shoot off the floor of the car port shooting 5.56 out of 10" or 16" AR, with no hearing protection and I can actually hear afterward. If I shoot a 22lr in the same spot the same way, I cant hear for a couple of days.

While they arent "silent", they do remove about 95% of the muzzle blast. With supersonic rounds, you still hear the round breaking the sound barrier as it goes down range, and there is that crack. And I swear, the closer you are to the target, the less you notice that. To me, the longer the round goes, the more noticeable it is.

As far as accuracy goes, I haven't seen any real change either way. With some guns, there is a definite POA/POI shift, but not with every gun. Id say about half of my AR's see it and the other half don't. And when it happens, its usually no more than a 1-2MOA shift, and in random directions.

Ive never noticed any recoil reduction with one mounted. Maybe the added weight gives that impression.

If Im planning on shooting more than a couple of rounds at an outing, I still wear hearing protection. I can shoot 50+ rounds of 5.56 without it, but later on, my ears are "dull" and still ache like they do without the can on the gun. The difference is, I can still hear. One round of unsurpressed 5.56 and Id be deaf for a week. The "hearing safe" thing is a bit of a misnomer.

And a suppressor or not on a pistol inside, is still going to be loud. Better than not, but still.


The NFA aspect of all this is a PITA and total BS, but it is what it is. Maybe ask the NRA for some help and relief. :rofl:

If they were available over the counter, a lot more people would be using them. Other than the PITA involved these days, dealing with the NFA isn't a big deal either, and its a "tax" not a permit. Although it does have the feeling that it is.
 
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