How Silent is a Silencer (Shot Show 2022)

We had the pleasure of attending the Shot Show 2022 Range Day to find out just how “silent” a gun silencer really is.

We met they guys from Silencer Central at Range Day who graciously allowed our reporters to shoot and video several of their gun silencers. While gun silencers (suppressors) are regulated by the National Firearm Act (NFA) they are legal in 42 states. They do require a special ATF background check and the payment of a onetime fee of $200.00. It is unclear why drafters of the NFA chose to include silencers but Silencer Central CEO Brandon Maddox suggested it was done in a vacuum of pro-gun lobbyists when passed in 1934 as it was mainly to deal with organized crime problems even though silencers were not widely used in such crimes.

Maddox agreed that Silencers significantly increase safety and suggested that those interested in such ownership consider using a “NFR Gun Trust” which his company can provide (FREE NFA Trust) when you purchase a silencer from them. Using a NFR trust is highly recommended for all serious gun ownership as it has both liability protection and can avoid probate and taxes upon estate transfers.

A gun silencer increases gun safety as it cuts down on the noise of the report (big bang). It is not totally silent as shown in the movies thus it does not offer the opportunity for a criminal to fire rounds and go undetected as is the perception of the uninformed public. See our video at the end of this article to view reporter Sarah Barlow’s FIRST EVER shooting of a gun silencer at the Silencer Central booth during Range Day. As you can hear, each shot gives off a pleasing “pop” not totally silent but it sure makes shooting more pleasant, both to the shooter and those within audible range!

Silencers work by having the propellant gasses from the projectile charge first enter the silencer’s expansion chamber, losing some if its energy. The pressure continues to divert and slow within the baffles allowing the projectile to exit before the majority of the gas. As a result, the report of the shot is suppressed to a hearing-safe level and explosion effect (BIG BANG) is significantly muted (NOT TOTALLY SILENCED)

By, Sarah Barlow, Field Reporter II & Scott Kraft, Technology Producer – TechTalk

Sarah Barlow is a senior field reporter for Utah Channel 3 with a broad focus on technology that improves safety and promotes winter and summer sports found in Southern Utah.

Scott Kraft is the Technology Producer for Utah Channel 3. He is a degreed Electrical Engineer that applies engineering testing/procedures to products that are of technical interest to those participating in sporting activities in Southern Utah.