Suppressing that 10/22: Surprisingly effective and easy

  1. Shooter
    The Strum, Ruger Model 10/22 rifle is one of the most popular detachable magazine semi-automatic plinkers ever invented. It's been made in dozens of models and variants and is easily customizable to almost any task. One that it lends to very quickly is for those who like a little quiet time.

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    Why suppress a rifle anyway?

    First off, forget Hollywood. If you watch enough action films, you have probably seen the movie hit man come in, zap a couple rounds off, and take out the mark quietly and effortlessly-- just like magic. Well, that's all it is, movie magic. First off, there is no such thing as a true 'silencer'. All these devices do is muffle or suppress the sound signature caused by gas escaping at the muzzle of a gun when it is fired.

    These suppressors are beneficial for hunters, target shooters, and the like as they reduce muzzle flash, improve accuracy (more on this later) and eliminate the need for hearing protection on the range to a large degree.

    In short, legal suppressors are not the evil silencers of movie hit men. They are, instead, a safety device to help you enjoy your sport.

    What kind of hoops are involved in getting a suppressor?

    Introduced in the 1900s these devices were sold for peanuts back then to allow shooters to practice without waking the neighbors on a Saturday morning. Then in 1934, they were, largely without reason, lumped in with machine guns and sawn-off rifles and shotguns under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulated these seemingly innocent devices. In most European countries, it's perfectly legal to buy and sell suppressors over the counter and they can't figure out what are hang up is with them over here.

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    To get one you have to go through the NFA process, which involves filling out your ATF Form 4, adding pictures and fingerprints, getting a signature from your local chief of police and sending it all in with a check for $200. Your local Class III FFL dealer can help you through the process. Typically screw on cans are the best way to go and they can be had for anywhere from $199-$400.


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    Most states allow Class III devices but some few do not.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDaSGqkQ4d8

    Great simplified video from Silencerco, done in a 1950s theme, but with pretty accurate info


    How to mount it

    Once you have picked out your suppressor, the next step is to figure out how to mount that bad boy.

    Ruger has now started making some of their 10/22's right from the factory with a 1x28TPI threaded muzzle such as the I-Tac and Take Down variants, which is value added. If you have one of these just unscrew the muzzle crown protector or brake (depending on which model) and marry up your suppressor.

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    (Tip: you are going to want a can that you can break down and clean the insides of when you want to because they get really dirty with rimfire ammo. This is the inside of a can after just 1000 rounds)

    If you don't have threads already and want them, you can swap out the barrels. Brownells, EABCO, and others sell threaded replacement barrels for $119-$200 depending on how nice you want them. Some of the higher end venders like Green Mountain, Tactical Solutions, Volquartsen, Kidd, and Tactical Innovations also make these in various configurations.

    Barring this, you can get your own barrel threaded at a local gun shop or sent off to a firm that specializes in this type of work. If you shop around you can usually get a nice job for $100 or less.

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    A final option is any number of inexpensive ($20-$30) barrel adapters that fit over your front sight and supply a threaded spline at the muzzle for your suppressor to fit onto. These can work (I had one on a Ruger Standard .22 pistol for years), but are not as safe, effective, and reliable as having a correctly threaded barrel.

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    (Israeli snipers with an integrally suppressed 10/22)

    Then of course, there are integrally suppressed makers who will take your 10/22 (or a new one they already have laying around) and build a semi-permanent attached suppressor around the barrel of the gun. These bad boys are whisper quiet but if you have to ask how much they cost...

    But does it work?

    Yes, boys and girls, I can tell you from personal experience that suppressing a 10/22 is fun and enjoyable. When using subsonic ammunition (note- these don't always feed right), the noise reduction is very noticeable. When using special Aquila Colibri rounds, all you hear is the sound of the round impacting on target (note- you always want to check the bore after firing these to ensure they made it out, and be prepared to feed these manually).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZu0Z_FQlqQ

    Firing a standard 10/22 with a BX-25 magazine and a TAC-65 suppressor. This is one of the most inexpensive 'cans' on the market, running about $175 plus tax stamp.

    Besides noise reductions, there has also been a fairly consistent tale of 10/22 users who went suppressed and found that their rifles shoot mo betta.

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    Suppressed 10/22 Two groups shot in quick succession with Remington Golden Bullet at 25m. Target on the left shot unsuppressed - Right shot suppressed with Silencerco Sparrow

    Now get out there and get quiet.

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