Suppressors come in many shapes and sizes. So when you are looking for the best type of suppressor, we want to look at several factors like application, price, familiarity with the process of ownership, what other suppressors owned, ect. Let’s take a look at these factors and see if we can clear up some of the confusion for people looking to get a new silencer.
A lot of people that are new to silencers will want a one size fits all approach, but once this desire is filled, they start wanting another suppressor, but dont know exactly what they want. Here is my “secret sauce” test to see what I would recommend next for the person wanting another suppressor, but not knowing what that silencer is.
It takes a little time, but it works 100% of the time too. If you really want to get another suppressor and do the whole ownership process and spend the money and time to do it, then do this test first. It will save you a lot of buyers remorse down the road.
Get one of the little pocket notebooks or even start a note on your iPhone and every time you goto the range, log what you shoot, roughly how many rounds with that gun, and then literally any notes about what you was thinking about like, “wanting to shoot 22LR suppressor today but only had my Infiniti X so I used that.” These journal entry notes will give you a crazy amount of clarity on what you really want in a silencer versus what the current hotness is that you are looking at online.
I recommend logging at least ten range sessions before reading the results too so you can have some data points that are starting to lead you in a direction. Standard engineering practice is to collect at least 30 data points minimum, but sometimes we dont want to wait that long on picking our next suppressor…
This is a big one for a lot of people. This is why there are literally dozens of suppressor companies out there now at all price points. People have different budgets, valuations and desires. Once you figure out the caliber, now you can start looking at silencers in this caliber area and considering what your specs will be based on price point.
Say you want a 556 suppressor now that you have seen you shoot tons of 556 at your range sessions. So there are low cost 556 direct thread suppressors, mid level QA 556 silencer, and even high end special application 556 cans including things like the Zulu integral and titanium silencers like the Agent.
You are the only person that can decide how much a silencer should cost for you. Choosing a integral suppressor is a big decision and one that you will have to live with for quite some time, maybe even till you depart this realm. This being said, you should consider how much you will enjoy this purchase over the next few years and only you can decide this. Suppressors in the USA are built very well since the NFA makes ownership more complicated, so picking one that fits your desires is critical.
Process of Ownership (in the USA)
The process of ownership in the USA is kinda burdensome, and that is probably by design. Normally when congress passes a law about something they dont like, they will make the legal path to that activity very cumbersome for the person wanting to participate legally in the activity. Suppressor ownership is one of these activities and the process of ownership has to be factored in. The process for suppressor ownership in the US is something like this. You purchase the suppressor and then file some forms with the NFA branch of the ATF to transfer ownership to your from the gunstore. This process can take upwards of a year and I have seen it happen very fast too, you just really dont know for certain, but normally it take 8 months or so from the averages I have seen for the forms to clear. Then once the forms clear the ATF, you goto the gun store and pick up your suppressor with a traditional 4473 like any other gun purchase. This is the super simplified version, but you get the idea.
What other suppressor designs do you own?
The reason this one matters is that most people dont want to have redundant silencers to start out. They look to expand the range of guns that they can suppress and this usually involves getting different kinds of suppressors so they can cover these guns. The world of suppressor ownership is unique in that we have literally “do everything” silencers and the opposite end of the spectrum…integral suppressors. The integrals are the ones that most people become infatuated with after owning a couple of suppressor designs that are more versatile.
With all this I want to say, that there are no hard and fast rules to choosing your next suppressor, but these are the typical routes that most people follow. The integrally suppressed rifle is something that a lot of people wont find appealing in the beginning as it is a “one trick pony” and they can only use it like this, but after a while, this starts to look more and more appealing and people will gravitate to these eventually. Just seems to be human nature. Anyway, hope this was helpful and until next time, keep your powder dry!