Suppressors are often associated with gangster-type hit men, especially in television and film, and in books. However, these sound-suppressing devices have other, more legitimate, purposes, such as protecting a shooter’s hearing (hunters and target shooters), and increasing the accuracy of the shot.
Accuracy is enhanced when using a suppressor due to the reduction in recoil that’s normally caused by escaping gases. A suppressor quite effectively strips away most of those gases as they exit the weapon after a round has been discharged. It’s the suppression of those gases that also reduces the sound of gunfire, much like what a muffler does on an automobile.
The military uses suppressors to confuse the enemy by deceiving the location of the shooter. However, there are devices available that can pinpoint those locations even when a suppressor is used.
Suppressors are often called silencers by laypeople, however, the term silencer is not an accurate one. The explosion caused when a bullet is fired cannot be totally silenced, so suppressor is a much more appropriate term. Actually, many shooters call the devices a “can.”
A “silenced” weapon has a unique sound, especially an automatic weapon. The clacking and clanging of the metal parts are pretty much all that’s heard by bystanders.
Uzi .45 with suppressor
Here’s a shooter firing a .22 AR-15 with a suppressor attached. There’s no sound other than the mechanical parts of the weapon.
Suppressors are normally attached to the barrel of a weapon by threading the barrel (male end) and then screwing the suppressor (female end) to it.
Weapons with threaded barrels (male threads).
Threaded suppressor (female threads).
Weapon with suppressor attached.
Brief History of Suppressor Use
1909 – Suppressors first introduced in the U.S.
1910 – Black Jack Pershing used rifles equipped with suppressors when attempting to capture Poncho Villa.
WWII – A suppressor-equipped High Standard .22 was developed for operatives of the Office of Strategic Services.
The German army equipped their 9mm lugers, Mauser sniper rifles, and Walther P-38’s with suppressors.
Machine guns, including the Thompson, were equipped with suppressors.
1998 – U.S. Special Operations Command began equipping the M-4A1’s with quick detach flash/noise suppressors.
Citizens may legally own and use suppressors in many areas of the U.S. However, it is illegal to do so in certain areas.
There’s an old joke that’s been circulating among male shooters for years. It’s the top ten reasons why men prefer guns over women. Remember, I’m just the messenger. Please don’t shoot!
#10. You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.
#9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you’re on the road.
#8. If you admire a friend’s gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.
#7. Your primary gun doesn’t mind if you keep another gun for a backup.
#6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.
#5. A gun doesn’t take up a lot of closet space.
#4. Guns function normally every day of the month.
#3. A gun doesn’t ask , “Do these new grips make me look fat?”
#2. A gun doesn’t mind if you go to sleep after you use it.
And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman….
#1. YOU CAN BUY A SILENCER FOR A GUN