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  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Suppressor on supersonic systems?

    Here's the question: Can anyone think of a legitimate tactical reason to suppress a supersonic system? To get started, here are a couple that commonly come up with my thoughts attached.

    Flash suppression. At least for 5.56 it seems like a good flash suppressor does an equal or better job of flash suppression compared to a can when actually observed in darkness.

    Sound suppression. This really isn't a thing. Yeah, it would make 5.56 or 7.62 short barrels in an enclosed space suck less, if that's a problem. But I've been down range of a suppressed SR25, and there is absolutely no mistaking that sound for for anything but incoming rifle fire, and you can hear it for a loooong way. Unless the enclosed space thing is an issue, I'm not sure how the level of noise reduction that is actually achieved by suppressors (with supersonic rounds) is tactically relevant.

    Dust signature and direction finding in a sniping context: Maybe if firing a large caliber (.300 WinMag) from a small enclosed room? Maybe might make a sniper hard to find in an urban environment? That being said, everyone for several blocks will still know that rifle fire is happening. Maybe less dust signature, but I have not personally observed that one, so don't know.

    I ask because I am looking at getting into suppressors, and I can't decide if I just want something for subs, or if I want to try and suppress my other systems. Based on my personal real world experience, I'm not sure the cost is worth the benefits, but I wanted to see what you guys thought. That being said, if not tactically relevant, maybe still worth it just to make training and messing around on the range less noisy/more hearing safe? Interested in your thoughts.
    Last edited by theborg; 09-04-2021 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    Weird. My experience using cans has been the exact opposite...

    Drastically reduces sound, still get super sonic crack but meh, and changes the sound profile and makes estimating how far away a shot was difficult. Oh and also it still lets you hear stuff with out ear pro.

    Eliminates flash in most cases unless you are shooting something big from something tiny and even that is mega reduced.

    Add a little bit of distance and then the reduction of everything is magnified.
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by theborg View Post
    Here's the question: Can anyone think of a legitimate tactical reason to suppress a supersonic system? To get started, here are a couple that commonly come up with my thoughts attached.

    Flash suppression. At least for 5.56 it seems like a good flash suppressor does an equal or better job of flash suppression compared to a can when actually observed in darkness.

    Sound suppression. This really isn't a thing. Yeah, it would make 5.56 or 7.62 short barrels in an enclosed space suck less, if that's a problem. But I've been down range of a suppressed SR25, and there is absolutely no mistaking that sound for for anything but incoming rifle fire, and you can hear it for a loooong way. Unless the enclosed space thing is an issue, I'm not sure how the level of noise reduction that is actually achieved by suppressors (with supersonic rounds) is tactically relevant.

    Dust signature and direction finding in a sniping context: Maybe if firing a large caliber (.300 WinMag) from a small enclosed room? Maybe might make a sniper hard to find in an urban environment? That being said, everyone for several blocks will still know that rifle fire is happening. Maybe less dust signature, but I have not personally observed that one, so don't know.

    I ask because I am looking at getting into suppressors, and I can't decide if I just want something for subs, or if I want to try and suppress my other systems. Based on my personal real world experience, I'm not sure the cost is worth the benefits, but I wanted to see what you guys thought. That being said, if not tactically relevant, maybe still worth it just to make training and messing around on the range less noisy/more hearing safe? Interested in your thoughts.

    Suppressing a supersonic round eliminates the 'thump' when the 'crack' of the bullet snaps by you at your distant location. No easy way to gauge direction and distance to the rifle location if only you hear the 'crack'. Very "tactically relevant". Non-suppressed, you count the tenths of seconds from the 'crack' until you hear the 'thump' and estimate the direction and distance (1,125 fps for average sound). You can call in mortars, counter-snipers or your buddies with the 'technicals' to run-down the sniper.

    Likely, other WT members know more about this than me and can further explain this issue.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    163
    I think the difference is one of perspective. From the shooter's perspective it's a pretty big difference, but in the dark if the view is from down range, flash is still visible, and the difference between a can and a good flash hider is not that much. Same with the sound. From the shooter's perspective it's a huge difference, but 600 yards down range from incoming 7.62, that sonic crack is very, very obviously incoming fire. That being said, I think you are probably right about finding the source of the sound though. Also, if you were inside a structure shooting targets also inside, people outside the structure a little distance might not know what was going on? That would be a good thing under certain circumstances. I would say the gig's up inside though. Also, as an aside, when it comes to very short barrels (pistols), or rifles without very efficient flash hiders, the difference in flash is drastic. Obviously, anything sub-sonic is a different ball game. I could shoot an MP-5SD in my back yard and my neighbors wouldn't know it. That is why I am primarily interested in subs.
    Last edited by theborg; 09-04-2021 at 11:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2011
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    Karlin, that's a great point.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    Modern suppressors are pretty well made. When you buy a rifle rifle can today, most of them are rated for supersonic and subsonic.

    While you may be looking at it now with the question "should I consider supersonic use?" a better question is "what is the best one I can afford or save up for? and "how many calibers on what sort of platforms am I looking to buy?"

    While you may not see a tactical use for supersonic suppressed rifles, a few years after buying your rifle can a hunting or other random application may present itself. There is no advantage to not having the capability. That said, I have a 308 can rated for limited full auto supersonic fire and I only put 300blk subsonic through it on a bolt action. No doubt, subs are where it's at with silencers.

    As far as suppressed supers, in my observations they have a little less "crack." A single supersonic varmint round can be hard to tell exactly where it came from. Poachers have benefited from that basic truth for decades. One shot with a small rifle is hard to know exactly how far away it is, depending on weather and terrain even direction can be hard to nail down. A suppressor might make that a little harder to figure out for a bystander or witness. That bit of edge taken off the noise may hypothetically make someone think they heard it come from where it didn't. While that's not exactly a textbook "tactical" scenario it's an analogy limited only by imagination. What you experienced in uniform may not predict your (or our country's) next couple decades with perfect clarity. No knowing where the train is going, with a nod to Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. Not suggesting you might (ghasp) break the law but thinking like a poacher not a soldier is at a minimum a valuable exercise.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    So two big reasons why we do it:

    1. Because it makes your loud fucking gun and your buddies loud fucking gun a bit more tolerable for the user(s), while simultaneously making it difficult to pinpoint where the shooter is coming from.

    2. You know WHO is shooting. If your team has suppressors and the opfor does not, you know EXACTLY who is shooting.

    3. Because theyre cool AF.

    So 3 big reasons.

  8. #8
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    I am also mulling on one for multiple rifles. What can you guys say about point of impact differences when one is on and then taken off? How much difference?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbug View Post
    I am also mulling on one for multiple rifles. What can you guys say about point of impact differences when one is on and then taken off? How much difference?
    Noticeable but repeatable. A little practice and you get it all doped out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbug View Post
    I am also mulling on one for multiple rifles. What can you guys say about point of impact differences when one is on and then taken off? How much difference?
    Depends on the gun, which suppressor, direct thread vs quick attach, what type of quick attach, load and range.

    I have some that are very repeatable but I have one thread on that opens the entire group from sub MOA to 4” at 100yds. That one doesn’t get used much (meaning never).

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