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When I need to do some shooting (and boy do I), I have two options. I can head forty five minutes north to Best of the West or two hours to the west to my family ranch. Best of the West is certainly nice, and for times when I have just one thing that needs testing, I’ll head that way. But I do my best thinking behind the windshield, I have a boss who is supportive of me taking a random Wednesday off, and my parents are working on trying out retirement. More often than not, a trip to the ranch seems to be winning the tossup. Long story short, I’ve been shooting a lot more over the last eight months, and a lot of that lead has been hitting a berm I didn’t have to pay an hourly rate for. But that shooting isn’t without a price . . .

The area where I shoot is just about the most perfect natural range that ever existed. I have a touch over a half mile of shooting lane, backed by a twenty foot berm, and various pieces of steel I’ve collected over the years. I can easily stretch the legs of most of the rifle cartridges I test, but I can also get up close to do some pistol work. Ever wonder why my recent rifle reviews are sporting a mention of a shots taken at 465 yards? Its because there’s a nice big oak tree I can sit under.

The problem has always been the neighbors. Well, not the neighbors so much. They’re really great people. But the fact that we have neighbors is the problem. Their house is about perpendicular to my shooting lane and a touch over three quarters of a mile off. Our range sits in a small depression that acts as an amazing funnel for the report of a rifle or handgun. It’s thoroughly loud and I’ve long recognized that it isn’t very neighborly to do a bunch of shooting at once or too early in the morning or late in the evening.

I shot myself in the foot metaphorically speaking a few Wednesdays ago testing out Ruger’s American Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. If you’ve never had the opportunity to be around the little 6.5 lighting off, you should. It is a LOUD cartridge and when part of your testing includes shooting for groups after getting a barrel hot, the noise becomes an additive nuisance. I didn’t know that the neighbors have also retired, so I figured that a Wednesday afternoon shooting session would be fine. What I didn’t know was that they were both at home, and got a front row seat for about two hours of sustained firing.

I know this because I got a call from my mom after a neighborhood block party to let me know that I needed to give them a call before I started shooting in the future. And a gentle nudge to let me know I should probably avoid sustained periods of firing as well, if at possible. And in the interest of keeping the peace, I’m probably going to limit my shooting at the ranch quite a bit in the future. What was interesting to me is that I didn’t hear a peep from them in November last year when a full auto MCX took up residence at the ranch for a weekend. The reason? Silencers. Sig Sauer’s head of silencer development, Kevin Brittingham, simply doesn’t shoot rifles without silencers.

Thanks to the NFA, this isn’t a problem I can solve very quickly. Even though I have a trust, threaded guns winging their way back from Accurate Ordinance, and a little slush fund, I’m four months away from being neighborly again. Silence and silencers are truly golden. I didn’t really understand the value until I threaded one on and shot in my little canyon.

Oh, and the picture above…that’s Nick’s Liberty Chaotic. He didn’t even get a chance to shoot it after they repaired it from the first baffle strike. Poor guy has to send it back for a second time.

46 Responses to Silencers are Neighborly

  1. 300 acre family farm in Texas and I don’t give a flippity flip flip what the neighbors think or feel about the noise coming from our place

      • Titan,

        While it is admirable to consider your neighbors, it is also admirable when they do the same. Shooting on several hundred acres once in a while does not generate enough noise to be a real problem. Can you hear someone shooting on several hundred acres? Sure. Does it make your windows rattle? Of course not.

        My limit of considering neighbors is that I shoot between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. and I rarely crank off more than 100 rounds.

        • ” Shooting on several hundred acres once in a while does not generate enough noise to be a real problem.”

          The article mentions the acoustics of that particular location.

          “Our range sits in a small depression that acts as an amazing funnel for the report of a rifle or handgun. It’s thoroughly loud and I’ve long recognized that it isn’t very neighborly to do a bunch of shooting at once or too early in the morning or late in the evening.”

          The place I lived a few years back had a freight rail line 300 yards west of me. I could just barely hear the trains.

          I live now 2 miles east of that same track. The trains are very audible here. Terrain can do weird things to acoustic (and radio) propagation.

      • I give precisely zero fucks what my neighbors do in the middle of the day on their own land. Why do they have to call the cops every time I do something that goes counter to their liberal agenda?

        Dumping a few mags 2 times in 4 years while they make up lies and slander and vote to destroy all human rights and steal all my stuff and money… And I’m the bad guy?

        I don’t think so.

    • “I don’t give a flippity flip flip what the neighbors think”

      Thank you for being today’s stereotype. The Shannon types will get plenty of mileage out of your belligerent attitude.

      • It almost sounds like you are implying that Shannon Watts will be the next spokesperson for the American Suppressor Association. LOL! People in hell are chomping the bit for that day.

        • She should be. Seems like quieter guns would be less icky to her and her co-minions.

          Silencers and suppressors should be the norm, not some exotic and expensive beastie.

    • I live in the country and have land. When I bought the land, I had no neighbors. I shoot anytime I want and as much as I want. Now that I have neighbors It is probably good that they shoot also. Gun fire is common place. I have also had sh*thead neighbors who wanted everyone to act they way they wanted them to act. To fricking bad. Get used to it or move the hell away. If shooting too much makes me a bad neighbor, I don’t give a crap (especially what shannon whatserface has to say about it)

      • Exactly, The only thing we hear when our distant neighbor is playing around is when he sets off his cannon.

    • My neighbors don’t care. They have guns too. The problem I had – was if I shot too much the neighbor might come over to shoot also.

      “Whatcha got there? You going to let me shoot it?”

  2. I would have suppressors on all of my guns, but, sadly, the government taxes them too high and regulates them into paperwork purgatory.

  3. There is a house across the road from my 145 acres that gets rented from time to time but stays vacant a lot. One time the renters called the sheriff on me. I walked up to my gate and talked to him a while and the sheriff told me before he left to keep on shooting and don’t worry about it.

    The couple of permanent neighbors I have around my land don’t have a problem with it.

    • It’s funny you should mention that. When I worked in the Sheriff’s Office for a time, we would get calls about people shooting on their land. The caller always said it sounded like a war zone, with fully automatic rifles, and we should do something about that. The county had an ordinance that said you could not shoot on your land if you lived in a sub-division and had less than 10 acres of land. That was the only restriction. Sundays we would get a ton of calls. I had one where the land owners had been trying to build a range, and the county would not zone them for it, but they still had a nice set up. I get a call on a Sunday morning about someone with fully automatic rifles and it sounded like a war zone. This time there was a three round burst let off, and I found them. I pulled up to talk to them, they were nice folks and volunteered that they let their friend shoot on their land, and that he had his SOT’s to deal in automatics. As soon as I heard that I told them to shoot safely and left, as I knew they were legit. No one would mention tax stamps and SOT’s if they weren’t. It was humorous to the three or four of us that were gun folk.

      • If I were on that call….

        1. Make sure the lame neighbor could see me
        2. Shoot a few rounds with person
        3. give annoying neighbor a thumbs up

        • I couldn’t shoot at the time, and he wouldn’t have been able to see us. It took me sometime to find them. I had actually gotten back in the car and around the corner to add call notes when I heard a round, followed by a burst of .22. I told the busybody that as long as they were safe, there was nothing I cold do.

    • I don’t know either but I have a Huntertown arms can with a strike. I don’t think I’m even going to fix it unless it happens again.

    • They can yaw and tumble for various reasons. I had a 9mm AR barrel that wouldn’t stabilize 147-grain bullets below like 900 fps and I had a few slam into the baffles of my Mystic. They bent the metal a little bit in the first couple of baffles and disintegrated. The can was full of pieces of bullet but there was very little damage to the baffles whatsoever and no reason to worry about it or consider fixing it. Nothing visible on the outside, either. But those were really slow, 9mm rounds and not .300 BLK like this can. At any rate, it’s possible that whatever Nick had this suppressor on wasn’t stabilizing the projectiles being used and they were tumbling immediately out of the barrel like mine were. I didn’t actually realize it until I put a few on paper and noticed that they were keyholing.

      Also… AK-47s are well-known for threads and/or bores that aren’t concentric. Many silencer manufacturers specifically warn about this and suggest doing testing before suppressing an AK and a few other imports. If Nick put this on an AK, it could have been the cause of a non-concentric bore and the baffle strike.

      • “At any rate, it’s possible that whatever Nick had this suppressor on wasn’t stabilizing the projectiles being used and they were tumbling immediately out of the barrel like mine were.”

        If they’re unstable at launch they’re not going to improve downrange.

        Hm. I’m curious if a quality crown job on the muzzle or a faster twist rate on the bore would stabilize the pill at its launch.

        Could any gunsmiths chime in on an opinion?

        • In my case, the barrel was too short and the twist rate too slow. There are plenty of variables though that can cause an unstable projectile.

          Actually, in many cases bullets do wobble out of the barrel and then settle down and fly true and steady after going through the air for some distance. There are a few calibers and/or bullet weights and profiles within calibers that are well-known for this. Doesn’t matter one way or the other as far as your suppressor is concerned, though. It needs to fly true until it has cleared the can.

          Forgot to also mention that if the suppressor loosens while firing then baffle strikes become more and more likely. It’s easy enough to be blasting away having fun and not realize that the suppressor is backing off the threads. This probably causes more baffle strikes than anything else.

      • Pretty sure Nick is too good for the likes of an AK.

        ARs only my good sir!

        *shoots with pinky extended*

  4. I live in the sticks pretty far from neighbors. They can hear me shoot and I can hear them shoot. Nobody cares.

    • I live in a small city, way too close to the hood. We hear gunfire on a regular basis and nobody cares. If it comes too close we can always shoot back.

  5. Shooting suppressed for the first time is a mind-boggling eye-opener for many. Most folks tend to be “naturally anti gun” just because of the mere fact that guns are loud and feel unpleasant from the recoil and concussions. I lost count how many times a new shooter’s demeanor instantly changed at a public range when I let them shoot some of my toys.

    • “Or people could stop being whiny libturds and deal with it!”

      Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. He has to live with those folks.

      Tell you what, the next time your wife asks if her clothing makes her ass look fat, answer honestly.

      I hope you have a good divorce lawyer on speed dial, you’ll likely need it…

      🙂

  6. If you cover my airfare, and let me shoot at the half-mile plates, I’ll let you use my Thunderbeast, 762SDN-6, and Mystic-X.

    • If they complain about the noise, tell them its sound of their voting and if they want it quieter they should vote accordingly.

    • Another asanine CA law. Tell your neighbors it is too bad that suppressors are not legal there like they are in other states and ask them to call their representative and ask them to work on that issue. Maybe a way to convert some sort of anti-gun folks to your side. Also may make them think a bit about how their legislators could be SO stupid.

  7. Anyone who lives in the country that gets overtly upset about gunfire doesn’t belong living in the country. Move to a condo or a suburb. Hell, where I live there’s shooting WITHIN city limits all the time, and no one gives a f**k. God bless the south.

  8. Shoot at reasonable hours and the Sheriff Department will be okay with it. The noise is the neighbor’s problem during the day, it will be your problem at night.

  9. I live in MA, so no silencers for me. Worse, no ranges without driving for hours. I own guns that I’ve never fired.

  10. Around here our neighbors don’t get bothered by what probably sounds like a small war when we take to the gravel pit in the cattle pasture for some trigger time. Heck, usually I give a couple of ’em a call and see if they want to join us. I love living in the sticks.

  11. I’ve been meaning to write an article, for years….
    How about a box shaped device with a tube near the top to shoot through. Tube full of holes of course. Put the end of the barrel an inch into the device. A large, nearly free, totally legal silencer for use at the gun range. Much more effective than store bought and useable for all rifles.

  12. I have a couple liberal pig neighbors that call the cops every time I shoot. They think no one should have any gun, and certainly not silencers…

    Nothing could make these scum neighborly.

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