I don’t know why it took me so long to realize my dire need for a suppressor, but I finally got one.
It took right at 9 months from ordering the suppressor and filing the paper work with the BATF before I got my stamp and could pick up the suppressor. First, let’s talk about the suppressor and what it does.
Suppressors “suppress” the sound of a firearm firing. They are also called “silencers” or even “cans”. But they do not really make a firearm “silent” like in the movies where they just go “Fffttt” that you can barely hear it. Instead, they “greatly reduce” the noise made by the firearm.
I bought mine through The Silencer Shop in Austin, Texas. These folks are probably one of the largest sellers of silencers around. And, as a result, they know all the ins and outs of how to legally buy one.
And that is the big issue. It requires a stamp from the BATF to purchase a can. I was surprised to learn that even in some countries with very strict gun control laws, their citizens can just buy a suppressor across the counter without any type of permit at all. But not in the good old USA. Our stupid laws make it extremely bothersome and expensive to buy one. The stamp costs $200 and that is on top of the price of the suppressor. And after you do all the paperwork and send in your $200, it took me over 9 months to get my stamp, and that is about average nowadays.
But, finally, it came in. I picked it up from a local class 3 dealer and was ready to go. Here it is.
It is a Tactical Solutions Ascent 22 made for .22 LR. It will also work with a 17 HMR and a .22 Magnum, but not with a .223 Remington. And the stamp is for this silencer by serial number. I would need another stamp for another silencer.
This silencer is very well made and came in a very nice case. It also has a disassembly tool on the pouch.
More on that later.
A while ago, I posted about a Ruger 22/45 Lite pistol that I had bought to put this silencer on when I got it. Here’s that post: http://www.theboxotruth.com/fixing-the-problems-on-a-ruger-2245-lite-2/
Today, I took the pistol and the silencer to the range to see how well it worked. I was also interested in seeing if installing the silencer changed the point of impact for the pistol.
First I will shoot a 10 shot group at about 25 yards without the silencer.
I shot 10 rounds of Wolf .22 match on the left target. Then I shot 10 rounds of Wolf on the right target with the silencer installed.
As you can see, the point of impact moved about one inch right.
I tried it again with some Gemtech Sub Sonic ammo. Again, 10 shots on the left target without the can, and 10 shots on the right target with the can.
It moved the group slightly higher and about one inch to the right.
This is not a big problem as it is easy enough to adjust my red dot scope to match point of impact to point of aim. But it is something we need to be aware of.
I was amazed at how well the can reduced the report of the pistol. The literature says that a .22 pistol without a can has about 154 decibels of noise. With the can it is reduced to about 118 decibels of noise. The result is that with the can, you do not need any hearing protection at all. It is not unpleasant to shoot without hearing protection at all. In fact, the sound of the rounds hitting the berm at 50 yards seemed to be louder than the report of the pistol.
The extra weight of the light-weight can actually made it easier to aim the very light pistol.
I shot more groups, but they were about like these two.
The instructions say that the suppressor should be cleaned at around 250 rounds. I didn’t shoot that many today, but decided to clean it just to show you what it looks like inside.
First, you take the wrench and remove one (or both) of the end caps on the can. They just screw on and off, but need to be very snug for use. The wrench allows you to do that easily.
One nice thing about this silencer is that it as a shiny inner tube inside the outer tube that makes it easier to remove the parts if they are very dirty.
You simply remove the inner sleeve and push out the baffles that are inside. The baffles do not lock together, they just “nest” together and it makes them easy to disassemble and to clean.
All of the baffles are the same except for the “blast baffle” which is the first baffle at the start of the silencer. The disc is slightly larger on the blast baffle and that keeps it from going inside of the inner sleeve.
After shooting a lot, there will be a lot of carbon and unburnt powder on the baffles. You can soak them in mineral spirits if they are very dirty to help clean them up. But mine were not that dirty yet, so I just used some WD-40 to clean them up.
I sprayed them all down with WD-40 and then scrubbed them with a toothbrush and wiped them off with a rag and they were good to go.
Simply re-insert them into the inner sleeve with the blast baffle on the bottom and put it all back together. Tighten up the end pieces with the wrench and you are ready to go.
I am impressed with the fine quality of this silencer and it sure is a pleasure to be able to shoot without hearing protection.
On the next post, we will try it on a .22 rifle and see how well that works.
One thing for sure…..It is fun to shoot stuff.