According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, there are just under 600,000 silencers registered in the U.S. as required by the National Firearms Act. With the current backlog of 74,000 applications for NFA classified guns, that number is rapidly growing.
Why? Silencers are polite. While they don’t hush gunshots to whispers as depicted in the movies, they do reduce the ear-damaging noise of a gunshot to safer levels. When folks are using silencers at a shooting range or training class, students can easily hear range commands. New shooters avoid the tendency to flinch away from the loud bang when that bang is muffled. Neighboring homes and businesses will also appreciate the reduction of noise.
Depending on your configuration and ammunition choice, you may not need hearing protection at all. As hearing damage is permanent, be sure to carefully review the performance specifications of your silencer and ammunition choice before leaving the hearing protection in your shooting bag.
I’ve got a well used Beretta 92FS that’s been one of my perennial favorites. I love the feel, the weight, the balance and how softly it shoots even +P 9mm loads. You could say it fits me like a glove. It’s also been the most reliable handgun in my safe. It eats any and all types of 9mm ammunition and never jams. Ever.
Whether intentional or not, the Beretta 92 is a perfect handgun for use with a silencer. The barrel naturally extends past the front of the slide – enough for a competent gunsmith to cut threading so a silencer can be mounted. The open-top slide presents even more forgiveness for proper cycling, with which a silencer can interfere.
For these reasons, I decided it was time to suppress this bad boy.
Because of my insatiable need to tinker with gun configurations, I wanted to get a silencer that was multi-purpose – one that could be used on different caliber handguns and even a subsonic rifle. For this reason, I elected to acquire a SilencerCo Octane 45. Getting the .45 caliber version meant that my silencer would be a tad longer and heavier, but on the positive side, I could use it with .45, .40 S&W, 9mm, .380 and even .22LR handguns. This one is even rated for use with a 300 AAC Blackout subsonic rifle. Talk about versatility!