Sometimes irony is the best medicine.
My favorite example is how the aggressive efforts of the gun control lobby ended up achieving exactly the opposite result. Turn on the way back machine and set the dial for the 1980s and 90s decades. Back in the day, before shake weights, we faced some serious setbacks from the gun control crowd. That’s when waiting periods and background checks sailed through Congress. Oh, and we did, in fact, pick up a genuine gun ban during the Clinton administration.
The ironic result of this amphibious frontal assault on the entire gun industry was a very unintended consequence. Yeah, the hoplophobes won some battles, but they quickly turned the tide of the war against themselves. You see, faced with imminent extinction, the firearm industry circled the wagons and started working together. On the same side, they started getting things accomplished like the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This basically ended the threat of an endless series of liability lawsuits that would have quickly bankrupted the industry. Can you imagine if anyone was allowed to sue the adult beverage industry any time they sent a stupid late-night text they later regretted?
One such example of industry cooperation and a tangible and meaningful way is the American Suppressor Association. I had the pleasure of attending a pre-NRA Annual Meeting suppressor shoot where participating companies not only showed their wares, but educated media on the industry’s efforts to promote safety and environmental benefits of silencers.
Sponsors of the ASA include many of the suppressor industry movers and shakers: AAC, AWC, Liberty, SureFire, Gemtech, SilencerCo, ThunderBeast Arms, Daniel Defense, AccuSport, OSS, Silencer Shop, Arsenal Attorneys, and Freedom Munitions.
Strategic Edge Shooting Range hosted the 2015 event. Located about an hour south of downtown Nashville, this facility is leading edge and offers ranges from 25 to 1,200 yards. It’s even equipped with video systems to monitor hits and misses on the longer ranges.
I had the opportunity to try a couple of newer products while there. One thing about suppressors, you really have to try them to appreciate the performance.
First up was the SilencerCo Salvo 12 at the sporting clays station. This innovative product uses a series of internal rods to guide the shotgun wad through he suppressor body while allowing hot gas to flow through internal baffles. I found that the Salvo adds a bit of weight to the muzzle, but I thought it was a welcome addition. My swing was easy, and the extra weight provided a little extra insurance against me stopping the gun when I released the shot. Yeah, cheating, I know. The Salvo is shockingly effective at reducing the muzzle blast – it makes a 12 gauge sound more like a .22 rifle. As most of the suppressor body is below the barrel, I didn’t find sighting to be a problem.
Daniel defense was also present, even though their primary products are guns and not silencers. But don’t forget the Daniel Defense ISR, or Integrally Suppressed Rifle. This is a 300 AAC Blackout rifle with the suppressor permanently mated with the barrel. The entire assembly reaches 16 inches from the receiver, so it’s not classified by NFA as a short barreled rifle. You still need to acquire a tax stamp for the suppressor, but only the one. It’s a sweet handling rifle. One more thing. Even through the suppressor is “built-in” you can remove baffles for cleaning.
Gemtech had a multi-purpose silencer on the range that covers virtually all of your rifle requirements. Appropriately called The One, it’s intended to work with 5.56mm full-auto all the way to 300 Win Mag with everything in between. It offers 32 dB of sound reduction in a compact package just 7.5 inches in length.
The folks at the ASA are doing great work. As we speak, they and their industry partners are working tirelessly to get suppressor use legalized in all 50 states. According to the ASA, “Since the ASA’s formation in 2011, twenty pro-suppressor laws or regulations have been enacted. Twelve states have legalized suppressor hunting; six states have passed “Shall Sign” or “Shall Certify” legislation and two states have amended their ownership laws. Eleven of these changes came in 2014. 2015 promises to be the most productive year yet.”