Good afternoon suppressor lovers and welcome back to another edition of TFB’s Silencer Saturday. Last week we discussed NFA wait times, some new products hitting the market and a random sampling of patents that recently hit USPTO.gov. Today we are going to discuss picking a first silencer for the gun-muffler uninitiated. Veteran owners and shooters often forget the amount of time and research we put in to purchasing our first suppressors. The anxiety of investing in a “lifetime” investment. The constant second guessing of choices. Wanting to hold off just one more week hoping for something awesome to debut. Relax, it’s not that complicated, we are here to help.
SILENCER SATURDAY #93: Best Choices For Your First Silencer
One of the biggest issues with buying your first silencer has nothing to do with the suppressor itself. The Form 4 transfer process of the National Firearms Act, on it’s face, appears to be a tedious and time consuming affair. In reality, if you can finish a passport application and wait patiently (arguably the hardest part), you can join the NFA club. Soon, we are going to put together a soup-to-nuts NFA Buyer’s Guide to help you navigate the process. But for the time being, here’s all you need to know: Buy Now. The longer you wait to buy, the longer you will need to wait to shoot your very own suppressor.
Criteria for First Silencer choices:
As a first time buyer, your criteria for for buying a suppressor will be different than the criteria for someone buying their 12th can. My advice is to keep things simple and play it relatively safe – that hot little boutique can may look awesome, but the last thing I want is for you to sour your first silencer purchase and scar you for life.
On the other hand, smaller manufacturers like Energetic Armament who makes the impressively quiet and affordable Vox and Vox-S rifle suppressor make awesome gear. I’ll have to make a “lesser known manufacturers you should know about” edition for Silencer Saturday.
While many of use have no problem dropping $800 on a new pistol or $1500 on an optic or a rifle, the idea of spending nearly $1K on a silencer is daunting. Take steps to lessen your anxiety by buying an older, proven silencer on sale. Or, opt for a direct thread suppressor versus a quick detach version that will add to the weight, price and complexity. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with future purchases.
B. Idiot proof
Mounts, modularity, swappable end caps, and other variations have made today’s suppressor marketplace awesome for the consumer. However, I suggest limiting your variables for your first silencer purchase.
C. Solid performance
It seems like common sense, but pick a first silencer that actually suppresses well, isn’t too heavy, is easy to clean and in general is know for performance. Avoid possible gimmicks in exchange for universally excepted proven designs.
D. Brand Reputation
A bit controversial, but I suggest sticking with the big name suppressor companies rather than a small outfit for your first silencer. In addition to quiet shooting, your are really looking for peace of mind.
First Silencer Choices: By Host/Caliber
The easiest way to do this whole First Silencer thing is to list out some options based on caliber and host platform. The majority of purchasing questions I get revolve around “what can is best for my [xyz gun]”.
I intend for this to be a living document that can be updated with suppressors for beginners. As new models are announced or readers have suggestions, I’ll update the list below.
We’ll see you all next week back here for TFB’s Silencer Saturday. Thanks for reading.
I. AR-15 Rifles/Pistols
- MSRP: $450
- Street $400
- Weight: 10.5 oz. (direct thread); 11.7 oz. (Q.D.)
- Diameter: 1.562”
- Length: 4.9” (direct thread); 5.5″ (Q.D.)
- Construction: 17-4 Ph SS / Inconel
- Mount: Q.D. Flash Hider, Direct Thread
- MSRP: $850
- Street: ~$750
- CALIBER: 7.62mm rated up-to .300 RUM
- RATINGS: Belt Fed Rated™
- DIAMETER: 1.5”
- LENGTH: 6.4″
- WEIGHT: 15.3 oz
- FINISH: Cerakote
- MSRP: $1049
- Street: ~$850
- Length: 6.8″
- Weight: 17.7 oz
- Diameter: 1.5″
- Finish: Cerakote body, Nitrided Muzzle Device
- Min. Barrel Length: No Restrictions
- Length: 6.5″
- Weight: 14 oz.
- Diameter: 1.735″
- Finish: Cerakote body
- Min. Barrel Length: No Restrictions
- MSRP: $916
- MSRP: $449
- Street Estimate: $350 – $400
- Rating: 22LR, 22MAG, 22 HORNET, 17 HMR, 5.7X28MM (FNH)
- Length: 5.1″
- Weight: 6.6 oz.
- Diameter: 1.070″
SIG Sauer SRD22X
- CALIBER COMPATIBILITY: 5.56 NATO to 300 WM
- TOTAL LENGTH: 8.80”
- WEIGHT: 11.0”
- DIAMETER: 1.37″
- MATERIALS: Aluminum & Stainless Steel
- FINISH: Black
- SKU: SU627
- MSRP: $724
- Street Estimate: ~$600
Pistol/Pistol Caliber Carbine:
- CALIBER COMPATIBILITY: 9MM & 300 BLK
- TOTAL LENGTH: 4.7
- WEIGHT: 7.2oz
- DIAMETER: 1.48″
- MATERIALS: Stellite & Stainless Steel
- FINISH: Black, White, & FDE
- SKUBlack: SU1544
- White: SU2644
- FDE: SU2643
- MSRP $865
- Street: ~$650
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