Hunting Rifle: Anyone Else Have No Desire for a Silencer?

Teri Anne

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I have the data, l handload my own ammo and shoot it past a LabRadar. Shooting the same ammo in a 26” barrel and dropping to a 20” or a 24” and dropping to an 18” results in a drop of 150 to 200 fps based on the particular bullet, cartridge and barrel combination. I will also preface this by saying that the long barrels are Proof Research and the short barrels are Carbon Six, based on testing my proof barrels seem faster as the same ammo that clocks 3300 in my brothers 26” Browning clocks 3280 in my 24” proof and 3080 in the 18” carbon six.

That being said this will reduce your effective range by about 150 yards assuming 200 fps less. This sounds like a lot but if you are shooting a cartridge capable of taking game in excess of 1000 yards then that still leaves you the ability to shoot 850+ yards. Then of course there is the little fact that you can use still use a suppressor on a 24” barrel and have the best of both worlds, no muzzle blast, less recoil, and all of the velocity.

But since you want hard numbers let’s look at hard numbers in the .300 Win Mag. Hornady loads the factory Precision hunter ammo with the 178gr ELD-X at 2960 fps out of a 26” barrel, that load hits 1800 fps at 750 yards. Now let’s look at my 181 Hammer loads, at 3260 fps they hit 1800 fps at 900 yards a full 150 yards further than Hornadys long range hunting factory ammo. If I cut 6” off the barrel my velocity drops to 3050 fps and my 1800 fps limit is reduced to 775 yards, so in other words my 20” suppressed .300 Win Mag has a higher effective range than somebody with a 26” barrel shooting factory long range hunting ammo.

Additionally you say that suppressors are useless because the sound of the shot doesn’t reach the target until after impact. What happens if you miss or you choose to take a second animal? In my experience deer react very differently to suppressed shots and move much more slowly compared to a regular rifle shot easily allowing time for a follow up or a second shot in many cases.

Also what about your own hearing or that of those around you? How many people have permanent hearing damage from a braked rifle because they didn’t have enough time to get ear pro in before they took the shot? I know for my bear a few years ago there was 10 to 15 seconds between the first sighting and 4 rounds of 6.5 PRC being shot as it was running my way. Had I not been suppressed I would have had to choose between missing the bear or the hearing damage that 4 rapid rounds of 6.5 PRC would cause.

You seem stuck on the velocity loss of a short barrel and the sound reaching the animal, two of the least relevant things about suppressors, but completely ignore many of the benefits that myself and others have listed here. I personally recommend that you find someone who has one and give them a try, you might find that you like what you hear.
Well I did mention that this was going to cause some controversy, and it appears that I was right. First of all, I do have hearing loss. It has been primarily caused by 30 years in the Military exposed to Jet engine noise, small arms fire, 155MM howitzers to name a few. I have hearing aids due to my hearing loss which pretty much return my hearing to somewhat normal. Now consider this. Military personnel who are in a combat zone have a choice, wear hearing protection which will degrade their ability to hear what is going on around them, missing audio cues that all is not well or listening with the hearing they have and identifying sounds around that might mean that someone. shall we say...with evil intent is lurking in the area.

Hearing loss is a significant issue, but one or two shots fired out in the middle of nowhere when shooting at a large animal is not necessarily going to cause you to go DEAF. Conversely not wearing hearing protection while on the range shooting any number of target rounds will eventually cause hearing damage if there is nothing used to protect your hearing. The Big Bang theory will prevail and you will loose some hearing due to not wearing protections. If you are capable of shooting one shot for one kill on whatever you are shooting at then there is pretty much not anything that will damage your hearing. I for one, who have fired hundreds of shots at 1000 yards can attest that the chances of hitting that magical 1 MOA at 1000 yards and keeping the first round hit into the boiler room of an Elk or Moose is pretty slim.
There is a very great margin of error at that range. For those of you that pride yourself at hitting your Elk or Moose at better than 600 yards, how many of you can truthfully claim first round kills? Something to think about. Something to think about is that when you take a shot at a game animal the least things you think of is that, "Is this shot going to damage my hearing as well as your ability to feel recoil. Both are pretty insignificant when you have the cross-hair's centered just behind the shoulder of the animal you are shooting at. and the rifle goes off. You are more concerned it the target animal goes down or runs like it was never hit. (While it may have been)
 

CMP70306

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Well I did mention that this was going to cause some controversy, and it appears that I was right. First of all, I do have hearing loss. It has been primarily caused by 30 years in the Military exposed to Jet engine noise, small arms fire, 155MM howitzers to name a few. I have hearing aids due to my hearing loss which pretty much return my hearing to somewhat normal. Now consider this. Military personnel who are in a combat zone have a choice, wear hearing protection which will degrade their ability to hear what is going on around them, missing audio cues that all is not well or listening with the hearing they have and identifying sounds around that might mean that someone. shall we say...with evil intent is lurking in the area.

Hearing loss is a significant issue, but one or two shots fired out in the middle of nowhere when shooting at a large animal is not necessarily going to cause you to go DEAF. Conversely not wearing hearing protection while on the range shooting any number of target rounds will eventually cause hearing damage if there is nothing used to protect your hearing. The Big Bang theory will prevail and you will loose some hearing due to not wearing protections. If you are capable of shooting one shot for one kill on whatever you are shooting at then there is pretty much not anything that will damage your hearing. I for one, who have fired hundreds of shots at 1000 yards can attest that the chances of hitting that magical 1 MOA at 1000 yards and keeping the first round hit into the boiler room of an Elk or Moose is pretty slim.
There is a very great margin of error at that range. For those of you that pride yourself at hitting your Elk or Moose at better than 600 yards, how many of you can truthfully claim first round kills? Something to think about. Something to think about is that when you take a shot at a game animal the least things you think of is that, "Is this shot going to damage my hearing as well as your ability to feel recoil. Both are pretty insignificant when you have the cross-hair's centered just behind the shoulder of the animal you are shooting at. and the rifle goes off. You are more concerned it the target animal goes down or runs like it was never hit. (While it may have been)

I’ve had hearing issues my entire life but when I was 21 a buddy shot a deer with a 30-06 while I was sitting next to him, I lost pretty much all of the hearing in my right ear and the doctors told me they had no way of knowing if it will come back. In the end I lucked out and it did come back but it took a week for it to start its return to somewhat normal though it has never been the same since.

So that one deer, that I didn’t even shoot, nearly cost me my hearing and permanently damaged my ears. That situation was one of my driving reasons for getting the suppressors in the first place.

Now your second point actually argues for the use of suppressors, you may miss which requires a follow up shot and you aren’t thinking about putting ear pro in when the animal steps out. You may not think about hearing damage in the moment but it still happens and I’m not sure there is an animal in the world that is worth going deaf over.

Additionally animals seem to react much differently from suppressed gunshots than they do unsupressed so in the event you do miss not only will you have time for a follow up shot but you will also be able to talk to your spotter because nobody’s ears are ringing.
 

Longtine88

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Well I do use suppressors hunting half the time. I pretty much always use them when I am with someone hunting. For hunting I really don't see the loss of performance or accuracy using a suppressor. The only negative I see is the hassle of getting one and they add mass to your rifle. Example.......son and I were in the heat of the moment on an elk hunt this fall. Had split second to shoot or not shoot. Son says shoot.....I shot.....the muzzle brake was not more than 12' from his ear. His ear is ringing today still. My bad. If I had one of my suppressors on then that would not have happened. Other advantage is they really don't spook game. 2 days ago I was glassing a river bottom and I was on top of a hill. 505 yards away a coyote came out among 15 deer. 5 bucks. One nice one I was watching for my kids to shoot the next day. So I dialed in on the yote and from a prone position dropped him in his tracks. One of the deer looked his direction after the shot. The others never checked up. So the animals are not spooked with them. In areas where there is more dense population of people they seem to keep the peace more also. Other than the hassle of getting them I really don't see any negative and the positives way out weigh them.
 

USA_774

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Nov 28, 2010
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52
Last year was the first time I hunted with a suppressed rifle. It does add 12 inches (actually only 6.5" in male measurement) to the length of my 24" barrel on my 300 WM.
It was so cool to take the shot and hear the impact. Usually I sit there with my ears ringing(loader than normal) for a minute or so.

I don't believe I will ever hunt without one again. I even threaded the barrels on my two rifles I let kids use so they don't have to wear ear muffs while trying to get steady to take a shot on a deer.

I just wish the government would get out of the business of restricting them. And adding $200 to the price of one.
 

Benman73

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Ooltewah, TN
Last year was the first time I hunted with a suppressed rifle. It does add 12 inches (actually only 6.5" in male measurement) to the length of my 24" barrel on my 300 WM.
It was so cool to take the shot and hear the impact. Usually I sit there with my ears ringing(loader than normal) for a minute or so.

I don't believe I will ever hunt without one again. I even threaded the barrels on my two rifles I let kids use so they don't have to wear ear muffs while trying to get steady to take a shot on a deer.

I just wish the government would get out of the business of restricting them. And adding $200 to the price of one.
Sheez what silencer do you have that adds 12 inches to your barrel? That seems a bit extreme.
 

QuietTexan

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Fort Worth, Texas
I laughed.

You Dont Get It Over Your Head GIF


My TBAC is 11" long. Takes a lot to make the 338LM quiet.

Any argument that considers anything other than my wants is invalid. I want one, I use one, I make small holes while using them, literally nothing else is considered in my decision.
 
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R. Cram

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boise
With all due respect 1) If you shoot your hunting rifle “one shot in a great while” you’re on the wrong forum. 2) It only takes 1 shot to cause permanent hearing damage. So it matters a lot. 3) You clearly don’t have much experience shooting with shorter barreled rifles. The “poor performance” a) can be mitigated and b) isn’t actually poor. Typically that 18” barrel is more capable than the vast majority of people using it. Put some more bullets to flesh and you’ll see what people are talking about

There’s pros and cons to suppressors. Everybody on here saying that the pros outweigh the cons shot firearms without a suppressor before they got a suppressor. The pros are substantial. Like has been said, though, to each his own. However, the vast majority that use them love them and avoid shooting without them if at all possible.
If you are at the range why would you not have hearing protection on if not for your own rifle for those around you 18 inch barrels always lessen the preformance of all hunting cartridges so you can shoot a large powder capacity cartridge and get medium capacity preformance at the expence of barrel life. I shoot enough that barrel life is a concern.
 

R. Cram

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Well I did mention that this was going to cause some controversy, and it appears that I was right. First of all, I do have hearing loss. It has been primarily caused by 30 years in the Military exposed to Jet engine noise, small arms fire, 155MM howitzers to name a few. I have hearing aids due to my hearing loss which pretty much return my hearing to somewhat normal. Now consider this. Military personnel who are in a combat zone have a choice, wear hearing protection which will degrade their ability to hear what is going on around them, missing audio cues that all is not well or listening with the hearing they have and identifying sounds around that might mean that someone. shall we say...with evil intent is lurking in the area.

Hearing loss is a significant issue, but one or two shots fired out in the middle of nowhere when shooting at a large animal is not necessarily going to cause you to go DEAF. Conversely not wearing hearing protection while on the range shooting any number of target rounds will eventually cause hearing damage if there is nothing used to protect your hearing. The Big Bang theory will prevail and you will loose some hearing due to not wearing protections. If you are capable of shooting one shot for one kill on whatever you are shooting at then there is pretty much not anything that will damage your hearing. I for one, who have fired hundreds of shots at 1000 yards can attest that the chances of hitting that magical 1 MOA at 1000 yards and keeping the first round hit into the boiler room of an Elk or Moose is pretty slim.
There is a very great margin of error at that range. For those of you that pride yourself at hitting your Elk or Moose at better than 600 yards, how many of you can truthfully claim first round kills? Something to think about. Something to think about is that when you take a shot at a game animal the least things you think of is that, "Is this shot going to damage my hearing as well as your ability to feel recoil. Both are pretty insignificant when you have the cross-hair's centered just behind the shoulder of the animal you are shooting at. and the rifle goes off. You are more concerned it the target animal goes down or runs like it was never hit. (While it may have been)
Very well said all the way around and I totally agree about 1000 yd shooting at game, too many things are out of your controll, how fast is the wind at the halfway point ,or at the target at any rate nobody should be trying to shoot game without a lot of trigger time at the range they are attempting the best way is to go to as many long range matches as they can that way the person in the pits will pull and mark every shot so the shooter can judge the influence of the wind each time the trigger is pulled. call the match director and more than likely you can shoot at a match with whatever you own
 

Ross1147

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San Diego
I don’t own a suppressor yet, currently have one ordered and one month down on the wait. From what I can see they still require single hearing protection to shoot? I will probably wear single at the range, maybe none while hunting. Right now on all my braked rifles I have to wear double hearing protection to shoot, single just doesn’t cut it.
I made the mistake of getting caught up in the moment and touching a round off with my braked 300 WSM back in 2017 while hunting. I was next to a rock wall and the sound reverberated off the wall into my left ear. It caused physical pain and permanent hearing damage. The picture below is a hearing test I had this year. The doc said without even asking she knows I’m right handed and I shoot guns. I’ll never make that mistake again!
 

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QuietTexan

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From what I can see they still require single hearing protection to shoot? I will probably wear single at the range, maybe none while hunting.
It really depends, so many variables are in play there's no way to make anything better than a generalized statement about it. I tend to wear ear pro because the non-suppressed shooters on the line make that a requirement, but also because being under a cover or over concrete reflects more sound back at the shooter. In a blind where the barrel is 20 inches past a slit window suppressors reduce the already significantly reduced muzzle signature. In a field position with soft cover, you get less reflected sound also.

Some key points are:
  • ARs will most likely not be less than 140 dB because of the location of the ejection port and gas tube relative to the shooters ear, even if shooting subsonic bullets the gas velocity is not subsonic
  • Longer barrels help, but mainly because distance does more to attenuate sound than anything else so being further away helps
  • You absolutely can make some things 100% hearing safe, just maybe not the kind of things you want to shoot at living animals with plans set on making them non-living.
300 BLK subs from a bolt? Hollywood quiet. 300 RUM from a 26" barrel under a metal cover? Still ouch.
 

Chase723

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Messages
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If you are at the range why would you not have hearing protection on if not for your own rifle for those around you 18 inch barrels always lessen the preformance of all hunting cartridges so you can shoot a large powder capacity cartridge and get medium capacity preformance at the expence of barrel life. I shoot enough that barrel life is a concern.
I’m not talking about shooting at a typical/common flat range. A lot of people have access to other places or private ranges to shoot where you are typically shooting by yourself or next to other people shooting suppressed rifles. Regardless, even while wearing ear pro suppressors have a major benefit to the shooter. There’s pretty much no concussion. You can lose your hearing a couple different ways but constantly being exposed to concussive over pressure is one of them. Most flat ranges have a roof overhead. That exacerbates the issue. It makes a difference when you shoot 50-100 rounds in a setting.

If you’re worried about losing 100-150 yards of terminal performance from a shorter barrel, you need to decide how relevant that is to you. My 16-22” suppressed rifles and their respective chamberings all maintain adequate expansion velocity from 750-1200 yards…if I’m going to attempt a shot at an animal at those distances I’ve already thought about that and selected the appropriate rifle for the hunt/task. Most small/medium capacity cartridges are still more capable than most shooters, especially the ones that lack experience in their application. Larger capacity, even more so. It wasn’t long ago that people thought it took magic to make kills beyond 400 yards, even with something like a 300 win mag. A .243 Winchester and even .223 Remington can do that with ease.

Also, something like a shorter barreled 300 win mag doesn’t burn out faster than a long barreled 300 win mag. Barrel life is about case capacity, cartridge design, and caliber. If you’re worried about that, choose a different cartridge. Doesn’t change the benefit of adding a suppressor whatsoever.
 
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Chase723

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Well I did mention that this was going to cause some controversy, and it appears that I was right. First of all, I do have hearing loss. It has been primarily caused by 30 years in the Military exposed to Jet engine noise, small arms fire, 155MM howitzers to name a few. I have hearing aids due to my hearing loss which pretty much return my hearing to somewhat normal. Now consider this. Military personnel who are in a combat zone have a choice, wear hearing protection which will degrade their ability to hear what is going on around them, missing audio cues that all is not well or listening with the hearing they have and identifying sounds around that might mean that someone. shall we say...with evil intent is lurking in the area.

Hearing loss is a significant issue, but one or two shots fired out in the middle of nowhere when shooting at a large animal is not necessarily going to cause you to go DEAF. Conversely not wearing hearing protection while on the range shooting any number of target rounds will eventually cause hearing damage if there is nothing used to protect your hearing. The Big Bang theory will prevail and you will loose some hearing due to not wearing protections. If you are capable of shooting one shot for one kill on whatever you are shooting at then there is pretty much not anything that will damage your hearing. I for one, who have fired hundreds of shots at 1000 yards can attest that the chances of hitting that magical 1 MOA at 1000 yards and keeping the first round hit into the boiler room of an Elk or Moose is pretty slim.
There is a very great margin of error at that range. For those of you that pride yourself at hitting your Elk or Moose at better than 600 yards, how many of you can truthfully claim first round kills? Something to think about. Something to think about is that when you take a shot at a game animal the least things you think of is that, "Is this shot going to damage my hearing as well as your ability to feel recoil. Both are pretty insignificant when you have the cross-hair's centered just behind the shoulder of the animal you are shooting at. and the rifle goes off. You are more concerned it the target animal goes down or runs like it was never hit. (While it may have been)

That one shot can definitely permanently damage your hearing. Especially with a braked rifle. Has happened to tons of people, including people in this very thread and even without a muzzle brake. It absolutely happens. It’s not only about deafness though. Hearing loss/severely decreased acuity and tinnitus are also extremely common. How much do hearing aides cost? Suppressors are cheap in comparison. They are also way less annoying than tinnitus.

I would posit that you should be thinking about whether or not taking a shot while hunting will damage your hearing, especially if you have a muzzle brake on. Not thinking “I should put my ear pro in” and you have a muzzle brake on your rifle is imprudent. It’s all about situational awareness. If you get buck fever so bad that you are tunnel visioned into only being able to think about pulling the trigger then you need to stop and take a breath and look at the whole picture. Furthermore, if you take that same shot you mention suppressed, chances are you’ll be able to augment your impression of whether you have made impact or not by also being able to hear it.

Like has been said 1000x over though, different strokes for different folks.
 
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