You’ve got to wear hearing protection while you shoot, right? Gunfire will destroy your hearing!
What if I told you I spent all day yesterday on the range and only wore hearing protection for about 30 minutes? And I mean ALL DAY. I started at 10am and didn’t get done until 5pm. That’s because I was at the Silencer Shoot at Durham Rifle and Pistol Club.
I was the range safety officer for NCSilencer.Com. Eric and Hank, along with two other friends of theirs, manned the sales booth and so I took over as range safety, as keeping people from accidentally pointing guns at each other is about the limit of my expertise with silencers.
I did get to shoot several different guns. I brought my rifle and put a Varminter 2.0 silencer in .223 on it. That was fun. It cut down the blast to the point that I could shoot it outdoors without any real problem. You would not believe how loud it is when a 55 grain bullet impacts an 8 inch plate at 75-100 yards. There’s no gentle “ting” when it hits. It sounds like something getting hit with a giant club. The energy is tremendous.
A particular favorite was the AR-15 style short barreled rifle in 9mm. It was a 3.5″ barrel with an Octane 9 suppressor. It was the perfect house gun. It was very short, with about a total of 11 inches of “barrel” length and a collapsible AR stock. It fired 9mm bullets from a Colt SMG stick mag as fast as you could pull the trigger. I want one of these as a home defense rifle. Fill it with 147gr +P hollowpoints and anyone breaking into your house will have a Very Bad Day™.
Hank, who owned the gun, teased us for trying to shoot the 6 inch falling plates at 120 yards. The 8 inch plates closer up were just too easy. It was pretty interesting how we could hand that SBR to a slightly built young woman and she could easily hit an 8 inch plate at 70-100 yards with it, but she had terrible trouble hitting a full sized silhouette at 15 yards with the suppressed Glock 17 shooting the exact same bullets.
The closest gun to the stereotypical movie silenced gun was the suppressed Ruger .22/45 with a mini red dot sight on it. It was like shooting a staple gun. I might say it was a great Bond villain gun but it’s hard to pretend to be a villain when you’ve got a big silly grin on your face.
I didn’t shoot the suppressed Tavor, but I also didn’t like it much. It was pretty brutal. The Tavor was the only rifle that made me put hearing protection on. It also sprayed shooters in the face with gas and carbon.
How good are modern suppressors? I calmly stood behind three different people shooting full power .308 Win bolt guns calling their shots as they tried to hit 6 inch falling plates at 120 yards. We could speak in normal voices as people next to us were blazing away with 9mm and .45 ACP suppressed pistols. I liked it so much that I’ve put in my order. I will be getting a .30 caliber Varminter 2.0 to put on my AR. It works just fine with my 5.56 as long as I use an adapter, and when I get a 300 Blackout barrel I can use it for deer hunting. It’s also rated up to .300 WinMag, so if I ever get a big bolt gun I can use this suppressor.
Thanks to both Eric and Hank at NC Silencer.com for inviting me along. If you’d like to find out more about suppressors, check out their website.