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Everyone who shot a firearm at least once knows the truth concealed by the television and movie industry: firearms are loud. Uncomfortably load, to the point where a single shot can leave your ears ringing for another 10 or 20 minutes. Given they are not protected, that is. And imagine you are shooting at the range, with numerous people around you shooting a bit more frequently than once in 10 minutes. That would be an end to even the most resilient ears. Our hearing is already affected by the constant noise pollution of big cities, and aggravating the problem is the last thing we want our hobby to do. Luckily, there are plenty of means to reduce the hearing-stealing noise. A gun suppressor is one of them.
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What is a Suppressor and Why Should You Get One?
A suppressor, also known as a gun silencer or sound suppressor is an accessory attached to the muzzle of a firearm that decreases both noise and recoil produced during the gunshot. Suppressors are popular with hunters and target shooters for their ability to reduce the sound signature of a firearm, making shooting much easier on the ears of gun owners and people around them. Additionally, suppressors reduce recoil and muzzle flinch, allowing for more accurate shooting. For these reasons, many people invest in suppressors to kill two birds with one stone.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Suppressor for Your Gun
Choosing the right suppressor for your gun is an important decision. The size, materials, and design of the suppressor can have a significant impact on performance. There are different types of suppressors available for pistols, rifles, and muzzle brakes to reduce sound. It is important to research each type of suppressor and consider factors such as size, materials used, and mounting style before making a purchase. We will provide an overview of the various types of suppressors available and discuss some key factors to consider when selecting the right one for your firearm.
Suppressor baffles are integral components of suppressors and play an important role in reducing sound produced by firearms. As such, the material used for the baffles is of paramount importance. Commonly used materials include aluminum, stainless steel, Inconel, stellite and others. Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks that must be considered when selecting a material for a suppressor baffle.
Aluminum is lightweight and relatively inexpensive but not durable enough to handle high-pressure calibers, so it’s usually restricted to rimfire firearms. However, it is often used in suppressors as a secondary material to ensure the construction remains lightweight.
Stainless steel is probably the most popular material for suppressor baffles thanks to its durability and affordability. Its ability to withstand high pressures and intense heat secured its reputation as the most versatile material for suppressor baffles. Additionally, stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, ensuring long-lasting performance.
Inconel suppressor baffles are extremely durable, relatively lightweight and can withstand extreme heat, which makes them an ideal choice for suppressors. However, the material is hard to handle and quite expensive. For that reason, Inconel baffle stacks are used only in premium suppressors while Inconel blast baffles can be seen in mid-range silencers.
Stelite brings the notion of durability to a whole new level. Even though we continue to say that every material is more robust than the previous, that’s how things truly are. It shouldn’t be surprising that prices for stelite suppressors match their superior quality. And that cost is justified for stelite suppressors can silence even full-auto firearms.
Suppressors can be used with all types of firearms, but they are more common on handguns and rifles. While all suppressors serve the same purpose, there are some differences between them based on the type of firearm they are used for.
Rimfire suppressors are designed specifically for use with rimfire firearms that feature low-pressure loads. For that reason, rimfire suppressors are usually much lighter and smaller than their relatives. They are also not suitable for any other type of firearm because they aren’t durable enough to withstand higher pressure.
Pistol suppressors and rifle suppressors are built according to specifications that make them more suitable for use with their respective firearms. Pistol silencers are heavier and longer than rimfire suppressors since they are built for higher-pressure loads.
Rifles, as you can guess, are different from pistols in many aspects, load pressure including. Rifle suppressors take the withstanding capacity to a different level, being even more robust and durable than pistol suppressors.
One thing to keep in mind. It is strongly recommended to use suppressors meant for your particular caliber. You can technically use suppressors built for bigger calibers and only experience something of an underperformance. However, if you decide to use a suppressor meant for smaller calibers, things are bound to go awry. The hole inside the suppressor won’t be big enough for cartridges of a bigger caliber. Accidents are unavoidable in such cases, so they are better avoided.
There are two main mounting styles for suppressors: quick attach and direct thread. Quick attach suppressors (quack detach, quick mount) are a popular choice among gun owners due to their convenience and ease of use. These suppressors attach to the barrel of the firearm using a quick-release mechanism, such as a thread adapter, allowing the user to quickly and easily attach and remove the suppressor.
Direct thread suppressors, on the other hand, require the user to physically thread the suppressor onto the gun’s barrel. This type of suppressor is typically more secure than a quick attach suppressor but can be more difficult and time-consuming to install. Additionally, direct thread suppressors are often considered to be more durable than quick attach suppressors.
When it comes to acquiring the right suppressor, you should always pay attention to what you are choosing. The difference can be quite drastic: an exemplary performance vs. a malfunctioning gun. It is important to choose a suitable suppressor not only for your firearm but also for your personal needs. The silencer might fit your gun, but if you find it too heavy or time-consuming to mount, it might better be changed for something that resonates with you.
How do gun suppressors work?
Gun suppressors reduce the noise generated by a gunshot by slowing down and cooling the gas that propels the bullet down the barrel. The propellant gas takes more time to escape the suppressor and does so at a slowlier pace which results in a less audible sound of a shot.
Are gun suppressors legal in all states?
Gun suppressors are legalized in 42 out of 50 states. They are banned in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Are suppressors easy to acquire?
Gun suppressors are harder to acquire than gun accessories and even firearms. Since they are covered by the NFA, their acquisition involves filing an ATF Form 4 and getting a $200 tax stamp.
How effective are gun suppressors at reducing noise levels?
Gun suppressors are highly effective at reducing noise levels. They can reduce the sound of gunfire by up to 35 decibels, which is a significant reduction that can make shooting much more pleasant and safer for shooters and those around them.
Are there any safety precautions to take when using a gun suppressor?
Yes, there are a few safety precautions to take when using a gun suppressor. Firstly, always wear hearing protection when shooting with a suppressor. The suppressor reduces the sound of the gunshot but does not eliminate it completely. Additionally, make sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using the suppressor. Lastly, be sure to use the correct ammunition for your particular suppressor and firearm. Suppressors are designed for particular calibers. Using a bigger suppressor will only decrease the potential noise reduction, but using a suppressor meant for smaller calibers can result in an accident.