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Op-Ed: The difference between standard and suppressed .22 LR shooting

Walther P22 handgun and a suppressor. (Courtesy of Dan Abraham)
September 28, 2018

Many shooters enjoy firing their guns with a suppressor. A suppressor (or silencer) decreases the decibel sound level substantially. This review focuses on the difference between standard and suppressed .22 Long Rifle rounds. However, there are many “myths” about suppressors. Some people in the general public think the use of a suppressor deafens the sounds entirely. Others feel a suppressor can be obtained at the local gun store, which they fear criminals can walk in and purchase a suppressor to use in dangerous ways.

The truth is, the process of obtaining a suppressor is expensive and time-consuming. The ATF thoroughly vets individuals who apply. A $200 fee is charged, approximately five pages of paperwork are required — including a signature from one’s local police chief or sheriff — and an eight to ten-month waiting period. If approved, the applicant is then permitted to purchase a suppressor.

As for the sound effects of a suppressor, long guns require the shooter to use ear protection. Although a suppressor can deafen the sound concussion, it is still loud enough to damage the shooter’s hearing. Standard handgun shooting is different. In many cases, depending on the round, the shooter may or may not need to use ear protection.

For this review, I decided to take my Walther P22, along with my Huntertown Guardian .22 suppressor, and compare the sound difference between standard and suppressed .22 LR shooting. I wanted the viewers to hear the difference in sound when using a suppressor. I also used three different types of .22 LR ammunition to further demonstrate the sound effects of using a suppressor.

The .22 LR round is available in many offerings. Therefore, I felt it was important to fire three different .22 LR loads, both with and without using a suppressor. The three types of ammunition used in this review was standard CCI .22LR, suppressor-ready American Eagle .22 LR and the much slower CCI Quiet, sub-sonic .22 LR. As the video below demonstrates, all of these rounds offer a significant sound difference when a suppressor is added.

Check out the video and share with us your thoughts and experiences with suppressors. Do you feel the $200 ATF fee, lengthy paperwork, and eight to ten-month wait is worth the cost to obtain a suppressor?

All opinion articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily of American Military News. If you are interested in submitting an Op-Ed, please email [email protected].