Big-Game Hunting with Suppressors Boosts Safety, Ethics

Here's why topping your big-game rifle with a Silencer Central suppressor makes sense (and preserves your senses).

posted on June 4, 2024

Great news for hunters: Not only has the hunting and shooting community learned just how much a silencer can improve hunter safety and ethics, chances are quite good that it's legal to do so where you live. As of the time of this writing, 41 of 50 states allow hunters to pursue game with a suppressed firearm. Suppressors--also properly called "silencers"--are currently classified by the Federal government as "Class III weapons," which means that there are some extra paperwork and steps involved in buying one. What many hunters don't know, however, is just how much a silencer can add to your hunting experience.

The most important aspect is, as always, safety. There are lots of hunters who don't like to wear hearing protection in the field for various reasons. Those hunters are, put bluntly, risking their hearing. Although most hunters don't fire their gun more than once or twice once they're out in the field, that's actually plenty to cause permanent damage. Adding a suppressor reduces sound by up to 32 dB, and that can make all the difference for your senses.

There's also the fact that, although a suppressed rifle will absolutely still sound like a rifle when fired (just quieter), the reduction in noise boosts a hunter's ability to react dynamically once he or she squeezes off a shot. The suppressor makes it easier to hear whether your projectile has hit its mark, so you have instant feedback about whether another shot might be necessary. And if it turns out another shot is necessary? The reduced report also reduces the likelihood that your quarry will be alarmed or scared off by the first shot.

Last but not at all least, anyone who's shot suppressed knows that the suppressor doesn't just eat noise--it also reduces recoil by quite a lot. That means that shooters of all levels of experience are less likely to flinch or anticipate their shot, meaning they're less likely to miss. 

In this great video from our friends at Silencer Central, you'll hear from several hunters (including NRA Publications' David Herman) about how adding a can to their rifle enhanced their hunting experience ... and why you might consider doing the same.


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