“This is going to be loud, I thought to myself as I was aiming in on it. Thankfully, it only took one shot, but yeah, it was loud.” A deputy sheriff described this scenario to me. He was forced to shoot a rabid raccoon holed up between two houses in a suburban neighborhood. Discharging his .40 S&W service pistol naturally drew the concern and curiosity of all within earshot.
From the time I entered the police academy, I’ve understood that there are many problems you will encounter that require a ballistic solution. Grievously wounded or rabid animals come to mind, particularly when they are in a populated area. Rabies among domestic dogs has been nearly eradicated in the United States, but among wild animals, particularly raccoons, it flares up frequently. Animals out of their minds with the disease will attack pets and, even worse, children. For the cop on the beat, you can’t simply chalk that up as someone else’s problem—it’s yours.
The dilemma is that your service pistol or shotgun is going to generate a lot of noise and a small issue can become a larger one. Also, centerfire pistol bullets have a tendency to penetrate the target and keep right on going. For this reason, many agencies keep .22 LR pistols or rifles in the trunks of their units as nuisance/wounded animal guns.
Although the audible signature of a .22 rimfire cartridge is tremendously less than that of an officer’s duty pistol, in the quiet of night it can still be quite loud. This is particularly true for a pistol. You may be required to fire numerous shots. Many areas are plagued with varmints and nuisance animals. The Greater New Orleans area has had to deal with nutria rats damaging the levees. In the Midwest and Northeast, it’s groundhogs or woodchucks. Out West, you have prairie dogs. Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) has a number of .22LR suppressor models to quiet those rimfire guns.
AAC rimfire suppressors are affixed to the barrel of a pistol or rifle with a ½-28 TPI attachment (thread on). They are constructed with high strength aluminum to keep their weight down. Each AAC suppressor has a corrosion-resistant coating. AAC calls this “SCARmor.”