Quiet Improvements: Why You Should Consider a Suppressor for Hunting

suppressor_f1It seems that no matter where I travel in the world, American hunters have it better than our counterparts in other countries. We can own semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, handguns, and even a .50 BMG if we so choose. No lengthy waiting period, no limit on how many firearms we can own, no justifying to an oppressive government why we need another firearm, or monthly restrictions on ammo.

So why aren't we on par with the rest of the world when it comes to suppressors? Almost every gun shop I visit outside the U.S. has racks of suppressors, available for purchase with no license required.

Foreign hunters often ask why Americans can't own something as civilized and sensible as a suppressor without ridiculous government oversight? I simply have no good answer. But luckily our deafening plight is changing.

As I write this, we are witnessing a revolution in suppressor ownership among hunters. This is a great thing and a concept with which every hunter would wholeheartedly agree'┬Žor so I thought.


I was at the range recently with a hunting buddy, and I mentioned that I wanted to get a suppressor.


"Why would you want one?" he retorted. "I don't see any use for them for hunters'┬Žunless you want to poach a deer."


I was shocked. My buddy doesn't have any experience with suppressors, but I never imagined he would be hanging on to this illogical rationale. So I set to schooling him.

"Why would I want to own one? Look around you my friend," I said, pointing toward the group of older regulars polishing the plywood seats of the benches at our local club. "You have to yell at these old boys to get their attention."

suppressor_f3Even though most folks wear hearing protection at the range, very few do so in the field — including yours truly. It's just not practical. Being able to hear a deer walking through the woods or a pheasant flush is part of the hunting experience, and not being able to hear puts you at a severe disadvantage.


You can wear amplified hearing protection, if you remember to bring it, or you can just attach hearing protection to the end of the rifle.

"Furthermore," I continued, "this isn't just about saving your own hearing. Remember last year when local homeowners complaining about noise pollution were threatening to have this place shut down? Suppressors solve that problem, too.

"Have you ever shot a rifle with a suppressor?" I continued, knowing the answer.


" No," my seemingly stunned friend replied.

"Well, therein lies the problem," I said. "Try it today and you'll forget that ridiculous poaching party line almost immediately. Not to mention you'll be more accurate."

"OK, OK, OK, shut up already," he said. "I see your point and stand corrected. Now that you have convinced me, I'm all in, but I can't even own one, so what's the point?"

Another common misconception I felt obligated to dash.

"Suppressors have never been illegal on a federal level," I replied. "They're just regulated a bit more than firearms. If you live in one of the 39 sensible states where they are legal, all you have to do is be 21, meet essentially the same criteria for owning a firearm, be prepared to wait several months for the BATFE to review your paperwork, and pay them a $200 tax."

"Dude, I'm sold," my buddy said with a huge grin. "If I had only known sooner...."

With that I had turned another misinformed dissenter into a full-blown believer.

If you're interested in joining this growing number of believers legally using suppressors for hunting, check out the American Suppressor Association today. The ASA is a unified organization of manufacturers, dealers, and consumers wishing to stay up to date on all the rules and policy changes affecting suppressors.

As for me, I ordered three SilencerCo suppressors: one for my .22 LR, one for my centerfire rifle, and one for my pistol. It is my first suppressor order, and I am going through the process as we speak. Stay tuned for future articles on the subject — and even more converts.suppressor_f2

Recommended for You

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather. Clothing

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips! How-To

How to Make Hunting Fun for Kids

Jeff Johnston

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 7: Beginner's Luck

Host Kali Parmley takes first-time hunter Danae Hale of CZ-USA to Wyoming for a mule deer hunt. After covering all the basics with Danae, the girls head into the field and what happens next goes way beyond either of their expectations!

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in North America

Best Units for Hunting Western Mule Deer

Josh Dahlke

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns. Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case. Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use...

See More Stories

More Guns

We go in-depth with the Classic Select Grade from Kimber Rifles! Guns

Kimber Rifles: Classic Select Grade Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 04, 2019

We go in-depth with the Classic Select Grade from Kimber Rifles!

An experienced turkey hunter explains why within its limits, it's as deadly as any shotgun. Guns

Is the .410-Bore an Ethical Turkey Shotgun?

Darron McDougal

An experienced turkey hunter explains why within its limits, it's as deadly as any shotgun.

Craig Boddington breaks down the elements of an ideal rifle for hunting mountain game. Guns

Picking the Perfect Mountain Rifle

Craig Boddington

Craig Boddington breaks down the elements of an ideal rifle for hunting mountain game.

See More Guns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.