5 Reasons to Own a Suppressor

By Richard Douglas
Posted in #Gear
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5 Reasons to Own a Suppressor

May 30th, 2020

5 minute read

I must 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 7.62mm AR rifle with the best 7.62mm AR optic on the market.

A suppressor and a high-quality firearm like the XD-M from Springfield Armory can make for a very capable combination.

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 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 — is about 165 decibels (dB), whereas a jet’s engine is approximately 130 dB. The problem?

Suppressors aren’t just for tactical work — they also have a lot of benefits for the civilian market.

Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanentlydamage 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 can be dangerously loud.

The solution?

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 a firearm like a SAINT with a suppressor, it could reduce the firing sound by 30 to 35 dB. As a result, the SAINT’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… 

Reduces Recoil

Let me ask you this:

Why do most people shoot a .223 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 on 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.

A suppressor dampens the blast from a round being fired, and reduces the sound.

Some would recommend to use 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 suppressor which reduces 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…

Enhances Accuracy

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.

Suppressors can also help you wring the most performance out of your ammo.

As a result, you’ll be happier with your shots. You’ll also have…

Happier Neighbors

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 for Purchase

  • Be at least 21 years of age to purchase a suppressor from a dealer
  • 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 an BATFE background check with a process time of four to ten months
  • Pay a$200 transfer tax
  • Reside in one of the 42 states that currently allows civilian ownership of suppressors
A suppressor can be a great addition to your shooting kit.

If you pass all the requirements, you’ll need to find an authorized dealer next to you. The dealer will help you fill out a Form 4. You’ll be sending this form to BATFE 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 suppressors. 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 in The Armory Life Forum.

Editor’s Note: This article was shared with us by Richard Douglas and can be seen here. Also, be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in various large publications including The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, SOFREP, and more. In his free time, he reviews various optics and guns on his Scopes Field blog.

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