Friday, May 1, 2015

Gettin Gun Mufflers Made Easy by Neal Shera


Suppressors have become an evermore advantageous accessory for firearms in recent
years. The provided enhancements of noise and recoil reduction while training both on
the range and in the field are invaluable. While becoming legal in more states there is
still the common perception that it will cost a small fortune to support a firearms
collection. In reality a person can have most of their needs met with just 3 suppressors.
As an example of this concept I can quiet 9 firearms currently with another 4 platforms
in development. As an economically minded shooter I wanted good products that are
multipurpose. Please go ahead, do your own research and draw your own conclusions.

As always the daunting and immutable aspect to suppressor ownership is the
paperwork. Yes, it’s a little annoying that you must first buy the suppressor to get the
serial number in order to send off the ATF Form 4. The ATF Form 4 covers the transfer
of any NFA item from party to party. This also includes a $200 check and wait the
required time for them to conduct their background check. One must as be fully aware
of the rules that govern any NFA item. Not to mention the possibility of having to travel
back and forth from your nearest Class 3 dealer since a normal FFL can’t be used. I
assure you that the process could be more complicated and more expensive so just be
patient.

First and foremost the “must have” suppressor is for your rimfire platforms. Many
companies offer a model that will handle all of the current rimfire calibers. The better
designs are all serviceable so it can be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned which is a
must in order for it to last. As far as prices are concerned any top line unit is less than
$450. The SilencerCo Sparrow in my collection has all of the top features as well as a
full auto rating for 22LR. It can also tame FN 5.7s too with scary effectiveness as a
friend and his modified PS90 discovered. That’s a lot of possible combinations for so
little money. As a training tool for new shooters this tool makes working on the
fundamentals easier and removes most of shootings detractors. I have yet to have
anyone not ask for more ammo to shoot through my rimfire suppressor when give the
chance to use it.


Now when dealing with handguns remember that bigger is always better. If the
suppressor can handle 45 ACP then it will also cover smaller calibers. Many people
raise questions about increased decibel levels because of the smaller rounds allowing
more gases to escape. So unless you have a dosimeter for an ear the difference is
minimal with 9mm or 357Sig. The bigger issue is finding a pistol suppressor that has
interchangeable mounts. The larger calibers have different threaded mounts to prevent
a small caliber suppressor from going on a larger bore pistol. More companies are now
making models with adapters to alleviate that issue, just be patient. My example for this
SilencerCo Osprey 45 model. It is also a non cylindrical design so regular pistol sights
can be properly used. It is a minor advantage since suppressor ready pistols are
becoming more available. Many good pistol suppressors will run you into the $700
range which is still not expensive when used across several platforms.

Rifles will not have the same issues as pistols if adapted with a uniform quick attach
muzzle device. Many builders will have variations of that style of mount with the distinct
thread designs to use on a particular caliber of rifle. Now when your buying a rifle
suppressor, like the pistol, the same concepts apply that a bigger suppressor more
versatile but to a degree. As a general rule one may use a .30 caliber can for smaller
caliber possibilities as well. The suppressors required for .338s and the big .50s are
best left as specialists. There are limitations to them based on the applications of the
design. One must be aware of the minimum barrel lengths that manufacturers require to
warranty their product. Some suppressors that are designed to cover 300 WinMag are
not suitable for 8in 300 Blackout barrels. Don’t tempt fate and be informed so as to not
destroy your investment. My selection for such a suppressor was the Advanced
Armament Corp 762-SDN-6. It is the perfect length for a short barrel rifle option as well
as my 308Win platform. A good rifle can runs easily into the $1200 range but don’t be
shy and buy quality. There are many other solid companies on the market like Surefire,
Dead Air and SilencerCo to name a few.


Once you begin the process of investing in and using suppressors they become an auto
include in your range kit. They are not just for use in selected firearms. Averaging the
cost of a firearm per unit they won’t break the bank. Just follow the simple mantra of
Rimfire, Pistol and Rifle. They will help the shooter accomplish more than just muffle the
noise. As soon as you want one and get it you will find that you need three.

Neal Shera is a regular contributor to Big 3 Media Group