Rifle Suppressors for Hunting
The demand for hunting suppressors in the United States is at an all-time high.
Consider the stats below according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (AFT)
- The number of registered suppressors stood at a staggering 2.6 million suppressors by May 2021 in all 42 states.
- Five years earlier, that number was 902,805.
- Ten years ago, only 285,207 suppressors were registered across the United States.
- AFT projects the total number of legally owned suppressors will shoot to over 3 million by the end of 2022.
That’s a remarkable 1,000% growth in sales in the last 10 years! No other piece of hunting gear has experienced such immense growth.
Numbers don’t lie.
Suppressors bring immense benefits to the hunt, which explains the rising adoption among hunters.
But what makes a good hunting suppressor? What should you look for in a suppressor? That’s what this article is all about — helping you pinpoint the best suppressors for your needs.
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of choosing a hunting suppressor, let’s start with the basics.
Why Should Hunters Use Rifle Suppressors for Hunting?
There are many benefits of using a suppressed hunting rifle, including:
The primary benefit of using a suppressor is that it protects your ears and those of your hunting crew. Average noise levels for firearms range between 140 and 165 dB. A good suppressor can bring down the decibel level by over 30 dB.
By reducing a gunshot to the 110 to 120 decibels range, a suppressed rifle brings down the noise to the level of a rock concert. While that may seem like you still need to wear hearing protection, you only hear the gunshot for three to five milliseconds.
With the events at the hunt happening so quickly, protecting your hearing should be top of the list of priorities for every hunter.
A Suppressed Hunting Rifle Can Increase Your Hunt Success
Besides ear protection, hunting with a suppressor gives you an edge in the field. When using a suppressed rifle, it is hard for the animals to tell the source of the shot.
Picture this; you can call in three coyotes or deer. You shoot one, and the others speed off. The scenario is different with a suppressed rifle.
Because a suppressor reduces your rifle’s sound, you can shoot one animal and take down the second as the two animals look around, trying to figure out the shot’s source.
High-quality suppressors like Banish suppressors mask a gunshot source in multiple ways.
Visually, the suppressors' internal baffles capture the expanding gas. It then slows and cools the gas, concealing most of the muzzle flash seen when you fire a hunting rifle.
Regarding the gunshot shot, the baffles moderate the propellant gas’s speed and pressure from the muzzle, dispersing its kinetic energy into a larger surface area.
Directing a muzzle blast through the muzzles converts the kinetic energy into heat which is why a suppressed gunshot sounds “muted,” making it more difficult to locate the source.
Many hunters don’t realize the benefit of reduced recoil before hunting with a suppressor.
While big caliber hunting rifles may come with a break, adding a suppressor enables you to benefit from the break and the recoil reduction. This would even allow you to go up on your calibers without experiencing much recoil.
Less recoil enables you to balance your hunting rifle. That way, you can get less of your body when shooting, influencing your accuracy.
On top of that, reduced recoil brings a little bump in velocity. Further, it makes your shot flatter, so you’ll want to re-zero after you buy a new suppressor.
What to Look for When Buying a Suppressor
All suppressors aren’t made equal. When looking for the best suppressor, you’ll want to pick one that matches your needs to a T.
The thing is, different suppressors accomplish different tasks, the same way different rifles have varying functions.
Below are the questions to ask yourself before spending your money on any suppressor.
What Caliber is the Suppressor Using?
Different suppressors use different calibers. Thus, you'll want to buy a unit that can handle the type and size of caliber you use in your hunting gun.
Is the Suppressor Long or Short?
Wider and longer suppressors deliver better noise reduction than their shorter and thinner counterparts. On the flip side, you'll spend more money on the first type than the latter.
Which Materials is the Suppressor Made of?
Light suppressors have a titanium body. All titanium suppressors are the most expensive and hold well against fire. If you're after durability, pick suppressors made with steel or alloy steel.
Aluminum suppressors are an excellent choice if you want something lightweight and affordable. They're less durable, though.
You're better off with an aluminum suppressor if you're a deer hunter. Hog hunters looking to eliminate an irritating game will want to buy steel or an all-titanium suppressor.
What Attachment System do you Want?
You can choose a direct thread attachment or a quick detach system. The former allows you to screw your suppressor onto the barrel, while the latter lets you screw a muzzle device on your hunting muzzle barrel and fix your suppressor on the muzzle device.
Choose a direct thread system if you have a bolt-action gun. With this option, you don’t need to buy a separate muzzle device since bolt-action guns generate a negligible point-of-impact shift.
Quick detach systems enable you to swiftly and quickly change suppressors from gun to gun. With this option, it would be best to pick a compressor with a non-locking taper mount system. These suppressors align to suppressors more consistently than other quick detach systems.
How to Buy a Suppressor
Individual ownership of a suppressor is pretty straightforward.
You can own a suppressor if you’re 21 years old and above. Below is the process of buying a gun suppressor.
- Determine if your state allows hunting with a suppressor. Check the list of states that allow suppressor ownership.
- Choose the best suppressor as per your needs. You can buy from a dealer like Silencer Central or other online stores.
- Fill out ATF Form 4
- Get your fingerprints
- Take a passport-style photo
- Contact your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), notifying them about your application.
- Write a $200 check
- Carry your Form 4, fingerprints, photo, and check to your chosen dealer
The typical waiting time for a suppressor is anywhere between six to 12 months.
Now with the ATF allowing online verification, this time period potentially will be shortened by quite a bit.
Even though these tasks are straightforward, there are many steps you need to take for your order to be taken in. That’s why dealers like Silencer Central offer to handle the process on behalf of customers.
The Bottom Line
Successful suppressed hunting starts by making your gun the best-suppressed hunting rifle.
Do you know what this means?
It implies picking a good suppressor designed to work with your specific rifle. And that shouldn’t be a problem, having read this article to this point.
All the best hunting with a suppressor!