The Sound of Silence

Among many of the other crazy rules and regulations that the
government has placed upon the ordinary citizen is the regulation of
suppressors (also known as silencers to the uninformed). They will run you as
low as a couple of hundred dollars to the thousands and are accompanied with a
4 to 12-month wait and a $200 tax infringement…I mean tax. Not only this, but
it comes with mandatory fingerprints and a need to have that paperwork on you,
and you can’t pass it down to your kids/other family members without them
paying another $200 and waiting for a background check, etc. So, is it worth
the hassle? Do they offer that much of an advantage? Let’s discuss what they
can do, the drawbacks, and hopefully, you can decide if a “can” is right for

The advantages of
sound suppression are numerous. First and foremost, it reduces the sonic crack
from a projectile breaking the sound barrier, many times reducing the need for
hearing protection. This fact was used as a fear tactic back when they became a
Class 3 item (ATF Designation) as it would make it capable for anyone to shoot
in a crime and be silent, thus preventing the criminal’s capture. For some
rounds like the 22LR, 45 ACP, or 300 Blackout, a suppressor may enable
less report than the working of the action, but it is hardly the sound you hear
watching a spy movie on TV. Higher velocity rounds will reduce the sound of the
report dramatically, but usually just below the threshold for hearing damage,
hardly a silent shot. The second is that in a defensive scenario, especially
indoors, it will reduce your hearing damage and may enable you to get off more
than one shot before your exact location is known. Finally, I look at a
potential hunting role as many don’t use hearing protection to hear if there
are animals present, thus risking their hearing while shooting that monster

So, what are the disadvantages? Well, the most obvious to me
is all the red tape and regulation. Although we are supposed to not be on a
registry when we purchase a firearm and fill out the form 4473 (yeah…. right), buying
a suppressor will absolutely put you more on the radar for both federal and
potentially law enforcement. There are a ton of stipulations that if you mess
up, it magnifies the potential criminal charges. The second is that it’s not
transferrable to anyone in your family, although I am aware you can do a trust,
and it is transferred between the trust members (more $$ and headache to
setup). Third, as of writing, suppressors are legal in 42 states, with many of
them banning them for hunting…so when can you use them except to be that “cool
guy” at the range. Finally, they aren’t cheap, with many having proprietary
muzzle attachments.

Bottom line, they have some uses and would be fun to own,
but only at the cost of miles of red tape and more money.

Also be sure to check out JM4 Tactical for your holster needs!

Author: Ian Bolser