Comment(s)

To a majority of shooters, one of the most unpleasant things about shooting is the deafening sound that accompanies each shot fired. A combination of expanding gasses and changes in air pressure and air temperature culminate in a noise that can be louder than a jumbo jet taking off. Let that soak in for a second. That’s a sound that’s louder than a widebody on take off, just inches away from your ears with every shot. I don’t know about you, but I value my hearing, and to keep from losing it let’s see what we can do to protect it.

First, it’s important to understand how noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) pertains to shooting. NIHL can be caused by even a one-time exposure to a sharp “impulse” sound, such as a gunshot, let alone multiple exposures like you’d get at a shooting range. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, like those from a vacuum cleaner, are unlikely to cause hearing loss while long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels (think gas lawn mower) are known to cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for hearing to be damaged.

Gunshots, which can range between 140 to 175 decibels, can rupture the eardrum or damage the bones in the middle ear, causing NIHL that can be immediate and permanent even after a single shot. What can we do about it? Ear protection such as plugs or muffs, or, even better, electronic muffs, are standard issue nowadays. I never go to the range without a good set of electronic ear protection. But is there an alternative to having your ears plugged and having pinching, hot and sweaty muffs over your head and ears? Absolutely.

Shooting with sound suppressors can be a liberating experience. With the right combination of gun, suppressor, and ammo, you can shoot without worn ear pro at safe hearing levels. Suppressors are essentially mufflers for your gun. They greatly reduce not only the level of noise coming from your gun, but they also reduce recoil and muzzle flash as well, increasing accuracy and overall shooting enjoyment. It’s worth mentioning that not all suppressed guns are hearing safe, so do consult with a knowledgeable source such as a suppressor manufacturer or your local dealer before shooting without any hearing protection.

Check out our gallery of suppressors above. For more information, please visit the websites listed below.

Dead Air 7.62 Sandman-S

  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Length: 6.8”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 18.5 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $1,049
  • URL: deadairsilencers.com

Advanced Armament Corp MINI4

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length: 6.1”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 13.5 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $895.99
  • URL: advanced-armament.com

Rugged Suppressors Surge 762

  • Caliber: 5.56mm-.300 RUM
  • Length: 7.5”-9” (modular)
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 17.5-21.5 oz.
  • Attachment: QD Dual Taper Lock
  • MSRP: $1,300
  • URL: ruggedsuppressors.com

Gemtech SHIELD

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length: 7”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 15.3 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $995
  • URL: gemtech.com

Dead Air 7.62 Sandman-L

  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Length: 8.9”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 23.4 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $1,199
  • URL: deadairsilencers.com

OSS OTB BPR1 – SRM6

  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Length: 12.65”
  • Diameter: 1.75”
  • Weight: 24.2 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $1,495
  • URL: osssuppressors.com

SilencerCo Salvo 12

  • Caliber: 12ga.
  • Length: 12” – 6”
  • Diameter: 2.21” x 2.96”
  • Weight: 34.5 oz.
  • Attachment: Choke mount
  • MSRP: $1,400
  • URL: silencerco.com

Smith Enterprise, Inc. M4DC Wind Talker

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length: 9.2”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 18.24 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $850
  • URL: smithenterprise.com

Sig Sauer SRD762Ti-QD

  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Length: 8.3”
  • Diameter: 1.75”
  • Weight: 15.8 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $895
  • URL: sigsilencers.com

Black Rain Ordnance Aris

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length: 6.1”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 21 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $799
  • URL: blackrainordnance.com

Wilson Combat Whisper Suppressor

  • Caliber: 5.56mm, 6.8 SPC
  • Length: 6.31”
  • Diameter: 1.87”
  • Weight: 17.8 oz.
  • Attachment: Threaded over device
  • MSRP: 1,195.00 and up
  • URL: shopwilsoncombat.com

Advanced Armament Corp 556-SD

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length: 6.7”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 18 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $649.99
  • URL: advanced-armament.com

AWC Silencers THOR PSR LE (for Law Enforcement)

  • Caliber: .308-.338
  • Length: 6”
  • Diameter: 1.63”
  • Weight: unlisted
  • Attachment: N/A
  • MSRP: $1,095
  • URL: awcsilencers.com

SureFire SOCOM300 SPS

  • Caliber: .308/7.62mm
  • Length: 8”
  • Diameter: 1.5”
  • Weight: 20.3 oz.
  • Attachment: QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $1,075
  • URL: surefire.com

SureFire SF Ryder 22-A

  • Caliber: .22  LR
  • Length: 5.4”
  • Diameter: 1”
  • Weight: 3.1 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $429
  • URL: surefire.com

Yankee Hill Machine 5.56mm Phantom M2

  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Length:6.88 in.
  • Diameter: 1.5 in.
  • Weight: 18.5 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $735
  • URL: yhm.net

Performance Industries Double-Down 9mm

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Length: 3.25 in.
  • Diameter: 1.5 in.
  • Weight: 2.7 oz
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $249.99
  • URL: picustoms.com

SilencerCo Omega

  • Caliber: 5.7mm-.300 WM
  • Length: 7.09 in.
  • Diameter: 1.56 in.
  • Weight: 14 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread or QD w/ device
  • MSRP: $1,100
  • URL: silencerco.com

Liberty Regulator

  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Length: 6.5 in.
  • Diameter: 1 in.
  • Weight: 5.5 oz.
  • Attachment: Direct thread
  • MSRP: $499
  • URL: libertycans.net

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