Why a Silencer Might Prevent Dementia & 17 Other Reasons You Need a Suppressor

We recommend printing this article out and giving it to your wife or significant other for validation purposes.

Reason 1

Owning and using a suppressor helps prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss is a legitimate health concern that all firearms owners should be concerned about. Firearms are loud. The average firearm without a suppressor is between 140-165 dB and creates what is called an impulse noise (impulse noise = noise that lasts for less than one second). OSHA’s limit for impact/impulse noise is 140 dB. Impulse noises below 140 dB are considered hearing safe. Every time you fire a gun (including a .22 LR) without hearing protection or a suppressor, you permanently lose hearing and it never returns. Surgery and hearing aids cannot restore the hearing you lose; it’s gone forever. Suppressors do not make your gun silent! However, they can make the impulse noise less than 140 dB.

According to OSHA, “The effects of noise-induced hearing loss can be profound, limiting your ability to hear high-frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairing your ability to communicate.”

I would add that hearing loss affects your situational awareness.

Reason 2

A suppressor might be better at preventing hearing loss than earplugs and earmuffs because a suppressor actually suppresses the sound before it can cause damage. While earplugs, earmuffs, and other devices that block the ear canal can certainly help reduce hearing damage, studies are showing that the bones in our skull actually transmit sound to our ears. Earplugs and earmuffs don’t stop the vibrations and harmful noises transferred by our bones and are likely not as effective at preventing hearing loss as a good suppressor. At the range, it’s a good idea to use a suppressor and wear hearing protection.

Reason 3

By using a suppressor and protecting your ears, you may be decreasing your chances of developing dementia!
Research done by John Hopkins found that “…mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.”
The researchers found that hearing loss may contribute to faster rates of atrophy in the brain as well as make your brain work harder.

Reason 4

A suppressor might save you thousands of dollars. The average price for one hearing aid is $1,675. Usually, you need two. They don’t last forever so assume multiple pairs. Add in some doctor’s visits and you almost can’t afford not to buy a suppressor!

Reason 5

A suppressor reduces or eliminates muzzle blast. Traditionally, we associate flinching with recoil, and while recoil can contribute to flinching, many shooters are finding that when using a suppressor on a caliber with no recoil they don’t suffer from the concussion, noise, and blast. As a result, they don’t close their eyes, flinch, or jerk the trigger.

Reason 6

A suppressor eliminates or reduces recoil or kick. Nobody that’s telling the truth enjoys getting punched in the shoulder, and that’s essentially what happens when you shoot a lightweight centerfire magnum rifle. Suppressors are very effective at slowing the recoil down or eliminating it altogether. I personally observed a small (70lb) 12-year-old boy shoot a 5.5 pound 6.5 PRC with a suppressor. After shooting he got up smiling and said, “That didn’t kick at all!”

A hearing safe .338 Lapua with very little recoil!

Reason 7

Suppressors prevent snow, dust, dirt, or other debris from blowing up when you shoot prone. If you’ve shot much with muzzle brakes, you know this is a real thing.

Suppressors Delivered to Your Door
One call, does it all. Select your suppressor, create your trust, fit your gun, deliver to your doorstep. Silencer Central – Simple, Smart, Easy! Call 888-781-8778 or visit https://www.silencercentral.com/about-us/

Reason 8

Suppressors reduce muzzle rise and make it possible to stay on target through your shot. This allows you to make your own wind calls and corrections.

Reason 9

Suppressors do an excellent job of reducing or eliminating muzzle flash. Obviously, this would be important to those in the military, law enforcement, or self-defense/home defense situations. You don’t want 2-foot flames from your muzzle broadcasting your position. Additionally, less muzzle flash is better if you’re using night vision.

Reason 10

Many rifles shoot better groups with a suppressor. Almost every rifle I own shoots better with than without a suppressor. Some of this is due to the shooter shooting better, but there’s also a mechanical aspect of hanging a weight on the end of your barrel that tends to stabilize harmonics and give better groups.

Reason 11

Noise pollution is a real thing and as the planet gets more populated, being able to reduce your sound signature so that it doesn’t bother neighbors, pets, or animals is a real benefit.

Reason 12

Communication is easier with a suppressor. You don’t have to deal with other people not hearing you because of hearing protection.

Reason 13

Situational awareness is benefited by being able to shoot and not have your ears ringing and by not needing to wear hearing protection.

Reason 14

Shooting courses/classes are safer because of better communication.

Reason 15

With some practice, good shooters can make faster follow-up shots with a suppressor than without.

Reason 16

It’s cool to own a suppressor! Let’s face it, that’s a legitimate reason to own one. The military is getting them. Spec Ops groups have been using them for years. We all need some cool factor so that younger shooters will become interested in shooting and carry on the tradition.

Reason 17

Hunting with a suppressor gives you all the above benefits plus some hunting-specific ones. Specifically, you’re less likely to spook animals if you miss or make a poor shot that requires a follow-up. While centerfire rifles shooting supersonic bullets are still really loud, suppressors make it difficult for animals to determine where the shot came from due to the elimination of the muzzle blast. I’ve had coyotes that I missed run directly towards me because they weren’t sure where the bullet came from. Horses, mules, hunting partners, dogs, pack goats, and llamas are all going to appreciate not having you blow their ears out as well. In fact, they might not run off and leave you if you’re using a suppressor! You’ll also cause less stress to the animals that you’re not harvesting by hunting with a suppressor.

The author hunting with his horses and suppressed rifle.

Reason 18

It’s really rude, impolite, and inconsiderate not to have a suppressor!

What did we miss? What other reasons are there for owning a suppressor? Tell us in the comments.

Get a Suppressor in as little as 30 days with the NEW ATF eForm System – Step-by-Step

Interested in getting a suppressor?  Check out GunsAmerica’s Suppressor Academy. 

About the author: True Pearce is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911 https://www.instagram.com/true1911/

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Jasonn April 23, 2022, 4:21 pm

    My psychotic hound dog gets all upset when I use my target range out back to sight in my rifles and she takes a dump in the living room. A suppressor could limit the cleanup.

  • Dominic April 19, 2022, 9:04 am

    Thank you for all the information. I have hearing loss, heredity, many M80’s and H100’ in the distant past, concerts loud music. Shooting came later. I was particularly interested in the bone transmission effect. Sure seems like a suppressor offers many advantages. 1000-2000 rounds of ammo today buys a suppressor (depending on caliber). Certainly worth considering. I get the stamp concern…that said… great to have the choice today. Happy Shooting all!

  • Bill Sahlberg February 25, 2022, 7:51 am

    Good read, I have had muliple suppressed guns since 1992, all with an ATF Form 4.

    My hearing at 68 with 55 years of shooting competitions, millions of rounds fired, and gun ranges is still pretty good 👍

  • jack February 22, 2022, 10:14 am

    I don’t agree with the accuracy statement, I have three guns I’ve tried a suppressor on and all three the groups got worse, even a heavy barreled 338 Lapua they went from a 5/8″ group to a1 1/4″ group, my main gripe with most suppressors is the puney little thread sizes they use, they don’t seem to lock up tight, they are so fine that you could strip them out with your bare hands, I experimented with two of my guns and cut the barrel diameter back behind the suppressor threads about an inch and a quarter and made a sleeve with a large diameter flange ( 1 1/2″ diameter) for the suppressor to face up to and that helped but still didn’t get my un-suppressed accuracy back so I just use my suppressor at close ranges now (300-400 yards)

    • Nate February 25, 2022, 3:51 pm

      It is totally based on luck; either good or bad. You would have to be able to precisely set the total length of the barrel/suppressor combo to increase your accuracy.

  • Lance Dacus February 22, 2022, 1:18 am

    Biggest drawback for me is the “tax stamp” cannot trust the government as it is so why the hell do I want my name added especially at a time like this with bonehead in office. No thanks, I’ll keep using my hearing protection that doesn’t cost a small fortune. No reason prices haven’t come down by now either where everyone could actually afford one. I could but won’t. Also not buying into the hopkins study either, dementia can happen to anyone regardless of hearing loss or not. My dad passed last April from dementia and I took offense to that even being in this article. Not the place.

  • Mo Hican February 21, 2022, 5:13 pm

    Silencers my prevent dementia

    Too late for Joe….

  • Sorzy February 21, 2022, 12:59 pm

    I believe and agree with every single reason. Problem is, no matter the reason and whether I believe or agree in and with them, neither does me, nor anyone else, any good if you live in a state that denies you and infringes on your RIGHT to buy and own them!

  • mike February 21, 2022, 11:09 am

    Can you buy 1 suppressor and use on different guns? Use it on one 9mm, then use it on another 9mm?

    • Jim M February 25, 2022, 10:00 am

      The tax stamp is for the suppressor. The BATFE places no restriction on which gun it can be used on. State laws might, but not the Feds. I would recommend you make sure the suppressor caliber is greater than or equal to the caliber of the gun! ie. Don’t put a 30 caliber can on a 9mm. It won’t end well. 😉

  • Walleye February 21, 2022, 10:33 am

    Reasons not to buy one:
    1. No waiting 12 months for a bureaucraps in DC to approve your transfer.
    2. Save the $200 tax and buy more ammo or a new optic.
    3. No special threading required on your rifle barrel
    4. Embrace the recoil… It’s part of the fun of shooting.
    5. A GEMTECH suppressor blew up like a hand grenade in my face whilst shooting an L.E. M-16 without hearing protection. That will never happen again.

  • Dee February 21, 2022, 10:03 am

    You could just want one.

    • Boz February 21, 2022, 10:53 am

      True. It’s the Bill of Rights, not the bill of needs.

  • Pantexan February 21, 2022, 9:26 am

    Are there any doctors that will issue a prescription for a suppressor as a medically necessary device? Using the Johns Hopkins study, in the article, it should be easy for the doctor to justify. Doctors write prescriptions for other medically necessary hardware. I would like to be able to claim a suppressor, including the tax stamp, as a medical tax deduction.
    Maybe Dr. Will Dabbs as he is a frequent contributor and 2nd amendment supporter.

  • Guillermo February 21, 2022, 9:24 am

    Not entirely true anymore, given the availability of “solvent traps” and “fuel filters” on the DIY market.

    The only really pointlessly expensive cost is the $200 tax stamp and the king’s permission. The best work around for this is to make it a great multi caliber modular system you can use on any rifle or pistol.

    • Kary Oldman February 21, 2022, 6:31 pm

      When you get rad-flagged by some Karen who thinks your semi auto 22lr and 500 rds is a terrorist atsenal, and the gummint shows up and swabs your solvent trap, you really think they’ll believe that your civic turbo runs on nitrocellulose combustion byproducts?

  • Gene February 21, 2022, 9:13 am

    I recently went back to the gun store were I bought my suppressor. I inquired about buying another one for my AR-15 chambered in 300 Hamr. I was told in no uncertain terms that a supersonic round out of an AR platform rifle is never hearing safe and to save what hearing I have left I would still need hearing protection. If you need hearing protection then what’s the point? I love the suppressor on my .45 and my 22lr but that’s not going to happen with a supersonic AR. The jury is still out on a bolt action. I got a chance to stand to right of a 308 suppressed and I can tell you I was not impressed. Things may change as I have a buddy who just bought a AB Suppressor for his 308. It claims to be hearing safe on a bolt gun. We’ll see.

  • Outdoors76 February 21, 2022, 8:53 am

    Your wife should totally be on board with you owning a suppressor. Saving your hearing eliminates any excuse of you not hearing her nag (selective hearing). I am buying my wife one so she can hear me and not have any excuse.

  • Pilot Bill February 21, 2022, 6:54 am

    Missed: Reason to not own a suppressor is the ridiculous cost for a can. All those reasons are good but if you don’t have the money in the bank it’s near impossible for a budget conscious family man to own one. This is one of my biggest gripes about them. If they were affordable more guys like me would open up their wallets for one instead of needing to dip into kid number 6’s college fund.

    • Dr Motown February 21, 2022, 7:37 am

      If you can only afford one, make it a multi-caliber that can be switched between rifles with a simple modification of the end plate or adapter

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend