Suppressor Buying Guide
Suppressors are growing in popularity among hunters and sport shooting enthusiasts. We often are asked for recommendations for which silencer is “best,” so we thought we would provide an overview on what to look for when buying a suppressor.
The Buying Process
We want to provide product features and benefits to allow you to make the most educated decision when purchasing a suppressor. Since there are both federal and state regulations for these products, we are not going to address questions like; how long does it take, what paperwork is required, costs or other questions about the buying process. Each purchase is different and there is not always one answer to these questions, so we will leave the research up to you.
Top 5 Suppressor Buying Tips
1 What is your Suppressor’s Purpose
Determining how you will use your suppressor plays a major part in which product you purchase. If you are a hunter, an avid pistol shooter, or want the silencer for home protection, how you use the silencer will guide your buying decision. Your suppressor’s use will also guide your decision on which caliber(s) you are going to suppress, and which gun(s) the silencer can be attached to.
2 Set Realistic Expectations
Hollywood has done a disservice to silencers. Theatrics has portrayed suppressors to render even the highest caliber firearms virtually “silent.” This is inaccurate.
The slower the bullet travels, the quieter a suppressed firearm will perform. Calibers that travel under the sound barrier will yield a quieter result. An example that is easy to understand would be airplanes. A jet flying at Mach 1 is louder than a single-engine prop plane. The slower, the quieter the suppressed firearm.
There are many other factors that affect the amount effectiveness of the device such as bullet grain, barrel length, and ambient temperature to name a few.
3 Calibers and Guns
Most suppressors can be used on multiple guns in multiple calibers. Threaded barrels and thread adapters allow you to transfer your suppressor from one gun to another with little to no effort. When selecting one silencer for multiple guns there are two components to consider: caliber size and attachment system.
If you are buying one silencer for multiple guns, buy a model designed for the largest caliber you intend to shoot. Shooting a smaller caliber through a larger diameter tube works much better than the opposite. The downside to this multi-caliber, silencer option is that the sound suppression will not be as efficient when shooting smaller calibers since the diameter of the silencer is larger than the round exiting.
The good news is, that the actual difference is only a few decibels generally. So, in actuality, you’re really not compromising much by getting a suppressor that’s .30 caliber for example so you can shoot both .223/5.56 and also 300 Blackout through it.
There are two main types of attachment systems. Direct thread means that the silencer has female threads that accept the male threads of the firearm barrel. Quick detachment systems use a quick-release collar that threads onto the firearm which is permanently in place.
As you move the suppressor from one gun to another, one quick twist releases the silencer for transfer. Depending on the use and need to transfer the silencer from one firearm to another, you can select the best option for your use.
The One Exception: The one exception to the one suppressor multiple gun scenario is .22 LR. You do not want to run .22LR through a suppressor that is non-serviceable. If you cannot clean the silencer, don’t shoot .22LR through it. If you want to silence a .22LR, we recommend that you buy a dedicated can for that caliber.