A suppressor, or “silencer”, is simply a device affixed to the end of a barrel that reduces noise and recoil. They work very similar to a car muffler and were developed parallel by the same inventor as the muffler in the 1900’s. In the past suppressors have had a sort of taboo about them. Well times are changing and as technology, availability, and knowledge moves forward we are starting to see more and more suppressed rifles in shooting sports, including suppressed hunting.
The Pleasure of Suppressed Hunting
Let’s start with your ears. Although not completely silent, suppressors greatly reduce the noise blast of high powered rifles and your ears will thank you for it! Then there is the recoil. A big reason people put muzzle brakes on high powered rifles is because of the felt recoil. The suppressor takes the “kick” out of the gun just like a muzzle brake, but without the noise! And that leads us into accuracy. Your accuracy will increase in a couple of ways. 1) The flinching associated with recoil anticipation will no longer be an issue after a little time and, 2) Follow-up shots in the field will be much quicker because the barrel jump from the recoil will be greatly reduced.
If We Can Do It Anyone Can
After talking to our buddies already shooting suppressors we knew we had to try it for ourselves at Muley Freak. They told us once we shot a suppressed rifle we could never go back, and man they were right! After we went through the paperwork exercise and played the waiting game, we were able to set up our .300 win mag with a GEMTECH suppressor right before our Idaho elk hunt and Utah pronghorn hunt. The first time at the range left us speechless. We went through a box of shells like we were shooting our .22’s.
Then the following week was one for the books. We were able to take a DIY public land bull elk and a public land pronghorn all within a few days of each other with this suppressed set up. Being able to put your gun up to your shoulder and not worry about your ears and squeeze off a round without the anticipation of a .300 win mag punching you like a schoolyard bully is shooting bliss. Then to drop a DIY public land bull elk and buck pronghorn without the thunderous roar of a mag rifle scaring every bit of wildlife out of the country was icing on the cake. We’ll remember this week as the week that began our love affair with suppressed shooting and suppressed hunting.
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