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Old April 29, 2012, 06:42 PM   #1
checkmyswag
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general suppressor questions

I know next to nothing about suppressors.

My primary interest in them is in home defense.

If you had to fire your weapon indoors it would be deafening.

I understand the laws regarding suppressors.

Can they be used on different weapons or is a suppressor on a 9mm only going to work on a 9mm?

How about from a rifle to a pistol caliber? Can they be used on different weapons?

Can an auto-pistol just have the barrel swapped out for a threaded barrel?

How about a rifle?

Sorry for the naiive Q's but I'm just thinking out loud here.

Saving your life by using a weapon indoors if it's the only option is no doubt the best decision if you value your life. However, you may then be left with a life time of hearing loss or ringing ears. So if I end up looking into this more, I'd want to buy one that would serve multiple purposes if possible.

If I'm over estimating the hearing loss from a home defense shooting, let me know that as well.
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Old April 30, 2012, 02:17 AM   #2
TennTexan
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Suppressors are a great choice for home defense, IMHO. If you do a search on youtube, you'll find an interesting and informative video posted by a gentleman who demonstrates the effects of firing a couple of different suppressed handguns in his home (he shoots down his hallway out an open window into the woods behind his house after verifying it is safe to do so)

Yes, a single suppressor may be used on multiple firearms of different calibers: provided, of course, that those firearms are of the same or a smaller caliber as the one the can was designed for. For example, you could shoot a 7.62mm can on a 5.56mm or 6.8mm firearm provided that the suppressor interface (e.g. threaded muzzle, proprietary mount, etc...) is the same. Just don't expect a larger-caliber silencer to be as quiet on a smaller-caliber weapon as a silencer made specifically for that smaller caliber. Interestingly, Silencerco is coming out with a rifle suppressor called the Saker that will have the ability to accept adapters to allow for several attachment options with one can.

The same applies to handguns, with one small difference. You could shoot a .45 can on a smaller-caliber handgun like a .40 or a 9mm, but you're going to have to swap the silencer's piston with one meant for the smaller caliber in order to get the gun to cycle. Again, don't expect a .45 can to be as quiet on a 9mm host as an actual 9mm can. This is due to the fact that the exit hole on the can is much larger than the projectile, and thus allows for more gas to escape.

Most .22LR cans are rated for use on .17HMR and .22 magnum hosts, and some are even rated for 5.7mm.

As far as mounting a suppressor on a handgun, there are lots of after-market threaded barrels available. Some may be "drop-in", but I believe that having to do a little fitting is the norm. There are also companies that can extend your factory barrel and thread it for a suppressor.

For rifles, depending on the weapon and the suppressor you have a few options. A gunsmith may be able to thread the barrel, or you may be able to fit your gun with a quick-detach muzzle device if the can is designed to mount on such a device.

You are absolutely not overestimating the potential for hearing damage. Gunshots are LOUD, and firing any weapon in an enclosed environment such as your home is extremely dangerous and likely to result in permanent hearing loss. Eardrums can be ruptured, and the effects of the concussive blast will be disorienting to you and anyone else in the vicinity be they friend or foe. The flash can also be blinding to your dark-adjusted vision. Suppressors are extremely effective in reducing the noise, concussive blast, and flash of gunshots, making them ideal for use in home defense. It's still going to be fairly loud, and may ring your ears, but it'll be far less likely to permanently damage your hearing or temporarily blind you.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by TennTexan; April 30, 2012 at 02:27 AM.
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Old April 30, 2012, 05:14 PM   #3
Skans
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I'm not a big fan.

1. You're going to have more explaining to do if you kill someone in self defense. Sad, but true.

2. You might as well have a carbine length rifle if you are going to keep your suppressor attached to your pistol. Where are you going to store it?

3. Too much bulky junk on the muzzle for my liking especially in a defensive situation.

4. You're not really going to store the suppressor unattached from the pistol and think you will be able to assemble everything and get a shot off in time. Israeli carry is bad enough, but this would be absurd!

5. Are you really going to use subsonic ammo for home defense???

6. Guns with suppressors can be finicky - not something I'd want to fart around with in a defensive situation.


Here's the bottom line. Use regular old 9mm or .45 ACP for home defense. Don't use .40 or 10mm if you are concerned about hearing damage. You won't go deaf firing 9mm or .45 a few times without hearing protection. In fact (and here's where everyone will tell me to "shut up") if you are using 45 or 9mm for home protection, you aught to fire a couple of rounds without hearing protection just so that your brain will know how loud it is. Trust me, you don't want to do this with 10mm.
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Old April 30, 2012, 06:31 PM   #4
Toxdoc
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Quote:
I'm not a big fan.

1. You're going to have more explaining to do if you kill someone in self defense. Sad, but true.
True, but it isn't that hard. A simple explanation of decibels and hearing loss is all it takes. And you and your family will still retain their hearing.

Quote:
2. You might as well have a carbine length rifle if you are going to keep your suppressor attached to your pistol. Where are you going to store it?
Many people do have a carbine length rifle for home defense. There are different storage solutions. A person just has to find the right one for them.

Quote:
3. Too much bulky junk on the muzzle for my liking especially in a defensive situation.
Personal issue.

[QUOTE]
4. You're not really going to store the suppressor unattached from the pistol and think you will be able to assemble everything and get a shot off in time. Israeli carry is bad enough, but this would be absurd!
[QUOTE]

See 2 above. It just requires the right storage solution.

Quote:
5. Are you really going to use subsonic ammo for home defense???
147 grain 9mm and 230 gr .45 are subsonic. So that isn't particularly crazy. Even supersonic, a suppressor will bring the noise down substantially, putting your hearing at much less risk.

Quote:
]6. Guns with suppressors can be finicky - not something I'd want to fart around with in a defensive situation.
You can say the same thing about many unsuppressed guns. You have to test your defensive weapon and be sure that it will function properly...suppressor or no suppressor.
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Old May 1, 2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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True, but it isn't that hard.
Do you know this for a fact? Or just speculating. Why don't you ask Zimmerman how much his legal fees are expected to be after he shot someone who was apparently beating his head against concrete. In that case, the guy had a CC permit, appeared to have been attacked and beaten, shot in self defense with an ordinary gun......and the prosecutors are kneeling and praying with the perp's parents frothing at the mouth to get a conviction.

Folks around here are skittish about doing ANY modifications to a stock weapon for self defense, for fear that some over zellous prosecutor will make them look like someone who is out to hunt human game. We're talking springs, sears, & triggers. Not suppressors used by Russian Spys to silently assasinate sweet inocent little girls who saw too much. (not my words....just the words of the prosecutor who will be handling your file).

FWIW, I'm 100% pro-2nd Amendment, pro-machinegun, pro-suppressor. I wish folks could use these in truly defensive situations without threat of costly prossecution. But, that's not the country we live in today.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans View Post
In fact (and here's where everyone will tell me to "shut up") if you are using 45 or 9mm for home protection, you aught to fire a couple of rounds without hearing protection just so that your brain will know how loud it is. Trust me, you don't want to do this with 10mm.
Don't do this, it's pointless. There are two things that people I've talked to who have been in shootings have in common. They didn't know how many shots they fired, and they didn't notice the bangs.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.

Last edited by Ralgha; May 1, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:22 AM   #7
Topos
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Ear Plugs = "Plugger's Silencer"

Another viable solution is to keep next to your firearm
a pair of light weight earplugs on a loop.

Fast to put on when you need your piece.

No explanations needed if the unthinkable occurs.''
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Old May 1, 2012, 10:35 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topos
Another viable solution is to keep next to your firearm
a pair of light weight earplugs on a loop.

Fast to put on when you need your piece.

No explanations needed if the unthinkable occurs.''
The last thing you want to do in a defensive situation is handicap one of your primary senses.

POWERED muffs might be a viable solution but plugging your ears is a baaaad idea.

I consider powered muffs to be a better solution than a suppressor, in this instance. They protect your ears (and it doesn't matter if you "notice the blast" or not, loud noises damage your ears), they actually ENHANCE your hearing and there will be no questions asked as to why you used them.

However, I don't think it's terribly reasonable to expect that you'll have time to don your muffs in a home invasion or late night burglary scenario. It can' hurt to have them there but I would expect to not use them more often than not. In terms of preparedness, a suppressor wins.

In many places, (NY State being one), we don't really have a choice. It's either muffs or nothing. No suppressors allowed.
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Old May 1, 2012, 01:40 PM   #9
Ralgha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
I consider powered muffs to be a better solution than a suppressor, in this instance. They protect your ears (and it doesn't matter if you "notice the blast" or not, loud noises damage your ears), they actually ENHANCE your hearing and there will be no questions asked as to why you used them.
I didn't submit that comment to say that ear protection is not required, I submitted it to say that the following comment was stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
You won't go deaf firing 9mm or .45 a few times without hearing protection. In fact (and here's where everyone will tell me to "shut up") if you are using 45 or 9mm for home protection, you aught to fire a couple of rounds without hearing protection just so that your brain will know how loud it is. Trust me, you don't want to do this with 10mm.
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Old May 2, 2012, 12:49 AM   #10
TennTexan
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Speaking as someone who suffers from tinnitus and some permanent hearing loss, once it's gone it ain't coming back! Why subject your hearing to unnecessary punishment? Shooting without ear pro to "see what it sounds like" may not immediately strike you deaf, but it will undoubtedly damage your hearing. Remember, hearing loss is cumulative!

As far as the argument about how your defensive shooting with a silencer would look in court, any defense attorney worth his retainer fee will be quick to point out that a gunshot produces sound pressure levels that are far above the pain threshold and the limit of what is considered "hearing safe," that being in an enclosed environment like a home only amplifies the danger associated with the gunshot, and that the owner of the silencer was merely making use of a registered, legally possessed item so as to not have to choose between defending his and his family's lives or keeping their eardrums intact. Knowing the dangers associated with firing a gun indoors, how many people on a jury if given the choice between shooting a gun in self defense in their own home with or without a silencer, if one were available to use, would prefer the former?
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Last edited by TennTexan; May 2, 2012 at 12:58 AM.
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Old May 2, 2012, 07:28 AM   #11
Skans
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Quote:
but it will undoubtedly damage your hearing. Remember, hearing loss is cumulative!
Firing one round of 9mm or 45 outside without hearing protection will not subject adults to hearing loss. I'd bet that 99% of us have heard at least one gunshot without ear protection.

Running will give you arthritis
Going outside without a burka and sunscreen will give you cancer
Eating sugar substitute and sugar will give you cancer; sugar will just give you diabetes
Bicycling without a helmet will cause your brains to be bashed in on the side of the road
Motorcyclists will die from random cars popping out of side roads and running them down.
Coffee hardens your arteries
You're going to drown swimming in the ocean if the waves are over 2 feet.
If you don't carry a gun everywhere you go, you will be attacked and slaughtered.
If you drive a car and don't wear a seat belt, you will be tossed out the front window and splatter on the road in a crash.

I've done all of these things.....and fired a gun once or twice without hearing protection, and I'm still here......and I can hear too.
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Old May 2, 2012, 11:46 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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The problem with hearing damage is that it's unpredictable.

I shot for years without protection and we used to laugh about our ears ringing. Stupid, I know. Now.

I would have told you all those years that I didn't suffer any damage, I could hear fine.... but I was wrong. I worked briefly for a woman selling hearing aides. Got my ears tested. I suffer from high-frequency hearing loss. I was only in my late 20s at the time. I never did anything else particularly loud, not work, not music. Nothing but guns. I learned then that when I thought people were mumbling or I could not hear well in large crowds, it wasn't mumbling or crowd noise. It was hearing loss.

Then, just last year or the year before, after many years of always wearing ear plugs, I fired my Encore Pro Hunter. I had ear plugs in but the right side had apparently not sealed. My ear started ringing. It actually sort of hurt. No big deal, I thought, I've had ringing ears before. It'll go away in a day or two.... except it didn't... and still hasn't.

So, yes. A single shot can hurt. Especially from a really loud gun. A distinction for which most any hang gun would qualify.
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Old May 2, 2012, 12:50 PM   #13
Skans
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Quote:
I shot for years without protection and we used to laugh about our ears ringing.
That is obviously way more than just one or two shots.

Quote:
So, yes. A single shot can hurt. Especially from a really loud gun.
No doubt an Encore Pro Hunter is a loud gun - I believe these are pistols that fire high-powered rifle rounds, right?

All I said is that one or two rounds of plain old 9mm or 45, outdoor is not going to cause hearing loss. Not rifle rounds, not 357, not 44 magnum, not even 10mm or 40S&W.

In fact, is there ANYONE here who has NEVER fired (or stood next to someone who fired) even one round of 9mm or or 45 without hearing protection??? Give me a shout out if you have "virgin ears".
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Old May 2, 2012, 01:56 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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It's true, it fires a rifle cartridge from a "pistol"... but the barrel is 15" long, only 1" shorter than many rifle barrels.

It's also true that almost every handgun I've ever fired is noticeably louder than my Encore. Even .380acp and 45acp. My Glock 33 in 357sig with a 3.46" barrel is possibly the loudest gun I've ever fired. While I acknowledge that you said not to try this with 357mag or 10mm, and 357sig would no doubt also make your list, what am I to do if those are the cartridges I'll be using for defense?

It's also true that a single exposure to a sound as loud as gunfire, even outdoors, can result in immediate and permanent hearing loss. Being indoors makes it much, much worse. See links:

http://www.entusa.com/noise_hearing_loss.htm
http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorineural_hearing_loss
http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/C...oss-in-Adults/

I would also make the argument that, potential damage or no, firing a single shot "just so that your brain will know how loud it is", is pointless. First, as you point out, we've all heard it before. We know how loud it is.

Second, when we're in the middle of a home invasion or burglary, we are most likely to be experiencing Auditory Exclusion, making sounds like gunfire completely irrelevant. Anyone who hunts has experienced Auditory Exclusion when they shoot animals. We don't "notice" the gunfire. The same thing will happen in a crisis.

So,

1)Single gunfire events can damage your hearing.
2)We already know what it sounds like.
3)Our brains won't be processing the sound under crisis anyway, having heard it before is not relevant.

Incidentally, I complete agree with your assessment of the potential pitfalls that might come from using a suppressor for defense. Legal or no, its one more thing for the prosecutor to use to make you look like the bad guy. If I weren't concerned about the legal aspects, I'd use one (if I could in NY) but the "nutjob with a silencer" aspect is enough to keep me from trying it.
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Old May 2, 2012, 04:52 PM   #15
TennTexan
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Skans,

I think anyone who grew up around guns has probably shot them without ear pro at some point. When I was younger I shot .22 rifles and pistols and even my Winchester 94 without hearing protection. I can still hear, too, but not nearly as well as I used to.

My point about hearing loss being cumulative is that, above a certain decibel level sound pressure causes physical damage to the internal structures of the ear. Even one gunshot can cause some level of permanent, irreparable damage to your hearing. Granted, it might be a small amount of damage, but it is damage nonetheless and every little bit of hearing damage adds up over time. One day, you realize that you have to keep asking people to repeat themselves in conversation a lot more frequently than you used to if there is any appreciable amount of background noise present.

I believe strongly in personal freedom, and if you or anyone else wants to shoot a gun without ear pro while drinking a 2-liter of diet Coke and swimming in the ocean naked on a sunny day without any SPF, more power to you. I just wanted the OP to understand the very real dangers of shooting a gun in an enclosed space.
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Old May 2, 2012, 05:41 PM   #16
Skans
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....shoot a gun without ear pro while drinking a 2-liter of diet Coke and swimming in the ocean naked on a sunny day without any SPF, more power to you.
Thanks for the visual!!

We've all fired guns without hearing protection. Out of everyone here, I've probably done it the least or close to it. I recall one time taking a shot with my 10mm when I forgot to put my ear protection back on. It was truly startling! Startling enough to where I decided not to make it my home defense gun (I was really considering it). Would I do it again? No. I am very protective of my ears and hearing.

Most everyone experiences hearing loss due to age, regardless of loud noise. Maybe if I live long enough and lose enough of my hearing naturally, I'll re-consider using my 10mm for home defense - what the heck!

Oh, and if BATFE ever gets rid of the CLEO sign-off, I'm getting a suppressor. I'm just too lazy, too cheap, and not motivated enough to get one at this point....but, I wouldn't mind having one for fun if I just have to buy the special stamp and the equipment.
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