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The Complete Buyer's Guide to Suppressors

The Complete Buyer's Guide to Suppressors
March 10, 2023 692 view(s)

The Complete Buyer's Guide to Suppressors

Whether you’re a hunter or sports shooter, surely at least one time you thought about getting a silencer for your weapon (especially after long shooting sessions that may be overwhelming for your ears).

However, if you have never owned a silencer, buying it for the first time can be challenging.

You got all the questions about what to buy, what to look for, brands, etc. the list can be long.

To make the whole process away easier, we will break down each part, and explain in detail how suppressors (commonly known as silencers) work, how they affect shooting, what materials are used to make them, etc.

Note before you proceed with purchasing a silencer, keep in mind they are NFA-regulated and not legal in some states.

Let’s get to work.

If you just want to find the best silencer without reading further, take a look at our article: 5 Best Pistol Silencers for 2023.

Table of contents:

  1. Should I buy a suppressor?
  2. How do suppressors work?
  3. Factors to consider when buying a suppressor
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ

Should I buy a suppressor?

This is probably the first question you’re going to ask yourself.

Let’s give the final answer.

Yes, you should buy a silencer for your firearm! Especially if you use it frequently as it can bring you lots of benefits whether you plan to use it in sports shooting, home defense, or hunting.

Benefits of suppressors

#1 It helps you protect your ears

If you own a firearm (and probably you do if you’re looking for a silencer), you already know that firearms are super loud when fired. Loud enough to damage your hearing.

Silencers in this case help you reduce the sound of your firearm and make shooting safer and more pleasurable.

However, note that your firearm won’t have Hollywood-style sound. Even with silencers, the gunshot is still loud.

#2 Better accuracy

Suppressors hide muzzle flash, hold expansion gases (which helps in reducing recoil a little), and make shooting quieter which allows you to focus on your target.

#3 Simple to maintain

Modern suppressors are way easier to maintain and if you do it regularly and properly, your silencer will serve you for years or even for your lifetime.

How do suppressors work?

When you fire a gun, hot gases shoot out of the barrel really fast which makes a loud noise. A suppressor attached to the end of the barrel has a bunch of little metal tubes inside it which slow down and cool off the gases by making them bounce around and expand into a larger space.

When gases come out of the suppressor, they are much cooler and slower, which makes them less noisy.

However, the gun still remains loud, but not as loud as shooting without a suppressor attached.

Factors to consider when buying a suppressor

First and foremost, before even starting the journey of buying a suppressor. You need to decide what you actually want: do you want a durable suppressor, better sound reduction, or something lightweight?

Anyway, as the list is not so short, we will explore factors that affect the overall quality of the suppressor.

Caliber compatibility

The first factor to look for is caliber compatibility.

Do you use rifles or handguns, what caliber do they use? This is very important as each suppressor is made to work with specific calibers, otherwise, it can do you more harm than good. Choosing the wrong silencer may damage your firearm, less effective sound reduction and muzzle blast, so be careful and always read the specifications for specific silencers.

Also, you can always go for multi-caliber silencers, however, those silencers will only cover a few manufacturer-specified calibers, not all calibers out there in the market.

Sound reduction

Of course, the main reason why silencers exist - sound reduction. When considering which silencer to use, check the manufacturer's details about the products. Larger suppressors provide better sound reduction, but they tend to be heavier.

But, keep in mind that silencers won’t totally reduce firearm sound (or at least to the levels like in Hollywood movies). Even with silencers, firearms still make quite a noise but shooting is more comfortable than without suppressors.

Size and weight

Do you prefer something more lightweight and balanced or something with better noise reduction?

Larger suppressors will give you a better sound reduction but they will affect the overall weight and handling of your firearm.

On the other hand, you can choose something lighter and more balanced but to the detriment of sound reduction.

The best possible way is to go with something more balanced between these two factors.


The suppressor's main material affects the most in terms of price and durability.

Silencers are made of titanium, aluminum, and steel most of the time, or in a combination of them.

If you’re looking for something light but durable, you should go with titanium-made silencers, however, they tend to get really costly.

On the other hand, aluminum is lightweight but not so durable compared to steel which is durable but heavier.


The final step is to check the reputation of the silencer brand. Check the overall reputation of the chosen brand, their customer service, reviews, and what other people say about them.

For example, already well-known brands with high-quality products are SilencerCo and Surefire.


We came to the end. At this moment you probably know what to look for when going to buy silencers and what to do before deciding whether to purchase one or not.

That’s it for now. Happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are suppressors illegal?

In most US states suppressors are legal except in the next eight countries:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island.

However, we suggest you do additional checks on regulations in your country regarding silencers.

How much does a suppressor cost?

Pricing first depends on the materials used to build silencers. If you’re considering the silencer made of titanium, you should be ready to segregate a larger amount of money. However, these silencers are proven to last longer than silencers made of steel or aluminum.

Another factor is brand. Already established and well-known brands may charge more for their silencers but you can be sure you’ve bought a high-quality product.

Regardless of all of the above, the price range for silencers can go from a couple of hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars.

Does a suppressor increase velocity?

Suppressors compared to video games and movies actually improve bullet velocity by a small percentage.

Also, if you have a gun with shorter barrels, the impact of the suppressor on muzzle velocity will be higher than on longer barrels.

Anyways, you don’t have to worry about muzzle velocity when buying a silencer, it is recommended to give more attention to sound reduction to protect your ears.

How long do suppressors last?

The lifespan of a suppressor depends on the caliber and how it’s used.

If you’re using a full auto and constantly fire lots of bullets, the suppressor may last as little as 5.000 rounds. However, this happens very rarely and only with larger calibers.

If you only shoot 1-200 rounds per month, you have nothing to worry about for years.

All in all, with proper care and use, your suppressor can last for years to come.

Do suppressors reduce recoil?

Suppressor does have an impact on the gun recoil since it captures most explosive gases that occur when the firearm is fired.

However, keep in mind that larger calibers produce more recoil, so if you use a silencer while shooting with larger calibers, you won’t feed drastic changes in recoil.

Do suppressors reduce accuracy?

Not directly, although it helps you focus more on your target by eliminating the blast and reducing recoil slightly.

Also, suppressors in some cases may bring more balance to your rifle or gun which will make the firearm handle easier.



Additional Reading


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