Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
I have to admit: Being slapped with a $200 tax stamp and a couple months wait-time to get a suppressor sucks ass (pardon my language). However, it’s worth it.
It’ll upgrade your shooting game to whole another level — just like if you were to upgrade a standard AR-10 rifle with the best AR-10 optic on the market.
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The question is: Why should I use a suppressor? Well, you’re in for a treat because today I’m going to give you five reasons why you should shoot suppressed.
Let’s dive right in.
Reduces Hearing Damage
A helicopter flying at 500 feet. A police siren zapping right past you. A rock concert playing at full blast. A jackhammer piercing through a boulder. A jet taking off at full blast. What do all of these things have in common?
They’re quieter than the sound of a gun being fired. Seriously. For example, firing the most popular rifle in America — the AR-15 — is about 165 decibels (dB) whereas a jet’s engine is approximately 130 dB. The problem?
Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage your hearing, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And get this: most firearms produce noise that is over 140 dB. For example, a small .22 caliber firearm can produce noise around 140 decibels (dB); a .223 Remington rifle 155 dB; .44 Magnum revolver 164 dB. You get the idea — unsuppressed firearms are dangerously loud.
Use a suppressor (and wear appropriate hearing protective devices). Here’s why: Suppressors significantly reduce the sound level of supersonic firearms by 15 to 45 decibels, depending on the setup. How?
By redirecting the flow of high-pressurized gases through a system of chambers and baffles to slow and cool down the pressure. So if you equip an AR-15 with a suppressor, it could reduce the firing sound by 30 to 35 dB. As a result, the AR-15’s firing sound will turn from a deafening 165 dB gunshot into a quieter 135 dB gunshot.
That’s below the dangerous hearing threshold (140 dB). And that’s exactly why you should use a suppressor, especially on home defense firearms like the AR-15. But suppressors don’t only reduce the sound of the shot at the muzzle. It also…
Let me ask you this:
Why do most people shoot a .223 Remington better than a .338 Winchester Magnum? Because it has lighter recoil. And guess what? Suppressors reduce recoil.
I could go into the full technical explanation of how suppressors reduce recoil through countering the gas pressure. But that shouldn’t be needed. All you need to know is that suppressors lessen the kick of a firearm.
Some recommend using a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. And you should use one if your sole intent is to reduce recoil. However, muzzle brakes dramatically increase muzzle blast. Suppressors don’t. Which brings me to my next point…
Reduces Muzzle Flash
Muzzle flash is the visible light of a muzzle blast.
The problem? Muzzle flash can temporarily blind the shooter or give away the shooter’s position — especially in low-light conditions. In addition, the flash signature could ruin night vision, obscure the sights, and make follow-up shots more difficult.
Now, you could use a flash hider which eliminates muzzle flash. Or, you could use a suppressor, which does the same thing: eliminate muzzle flash and prevent “blooming” of night vision equipment.
With those three ancillary advantages — noise reduction, recoil reduction, and flash suppression — you’ll begin to notice that a suppressor…
Unless the suppressor is improperly installed or mounted, suppressors do enhance accuracy.
Although some suppressors change the point of impact (POI), it’ll be by a very small amount. And despite the change in POI, it’s consistent with the pair. Stack that with less muzzle rise, less concussive effect, and less noise, and you’ll be left with nothing less than enhanced accuracy.
As a result, you’ll be happier with your shots. You’ll also have…
“Happy Neighbor, Happy Life.”
I totally made that quote up. But I just want to make a point:
If you reduce the sound level of a gunshot (by using a suppressor), your neighbors will be happier. And since your neighbors aren’t filing noise complaints, you’ll be happier since you’ll be able to shoot more.
This also applies to shooters at gun ranges. People that live around a gun range simply don’t want to hear loud firework sounds go off every day. So, they’ll file a noise complaint and (sometimes) a petition to shut down the range. And in some cases, they actually win.
That’s why firearms equipped with suppressors will make everyone happy, including neighbors and shooters alike. So if you’re interested in buying a suppressor, here are the…
Requirements to Legally Purchase a Suppressor
- Be at least 21 years of age to purchase a suppressor from a dealer;
- Be at least 18 years of age to purchase a suppressor from an individual on a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (contingent on state laws);
- Be at least 18 years of age to possess a suppressor as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws);
- Be a resident of the United States;
- Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm;
- Pass a BATFE background check with a processing time of four to ten months;
- Pay a $200 transfer tax; and
- Reside in one of the 42 states that currently allows civilian ownership of suppressors.
If you pass all the requirements, you’ll need to find an authorized dealer near you. The dealer will help you fill out a Form 4. You’ll be sending this form to ATF along with the following:
- ATF Form 4 (duplicate)
- FBI Form FD-258s in black ink
- $200 Check to BATFE-NFA
- Passport Photos
- ATF Form 5320.23 (if using a trust)
Alternatively, you can do this all online by following Silencer’s Shop guide on how to buy a silencer. That said…
Will You Use a Suppressor?
I absolutely love using a suppressor. It protects my ears, reduces recoil and muzzle flash, enhances accuracy, and harbors good neighbors.
And I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me if suppressors were easier to acquire. That said, I’d like to turn it over to you:
Are you going to buy a suppressor? Or maybe you already have one and would like to share your thoughts.
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.
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Richard Douglas is the founder of Scopes Field, a blog where he reviews different scopes and guns on the market. He’s been featured on various magazines and publications like Daily Caller, Burris Optics, SOFREP, Boyds Gun Stocks, Talon Grips, American Shooting Journal and so much more.