I am fortunate to live in Tennessee, a state where silencers are legal for use by the general public and allowed for hunting. Texas is the latest state to join the list of 25 others where silencers, more aptly referred to as suppressors, are legal for hunting. To say that I’m a fan of the use and acceptance of suppressors is an understatement.

Fighting against Hollywood misconceptions and a 78-year-old federal tax used to restrict a perfectly logical hearing-protection device; the public’s legal general use of suppressors has been a painfully long uphill climb. By contrast, there are several European countries that consider hunters who don’t use a suppressor to be rude, uncultured trash.

Psyched For Silence

My first substantial experience shooting suppressors was with a country gunsmith who had the proper licenses to manufacture and sell a variety of restricted weapons. A few friends would gather on his back patio and fire a wide array of rifles and pistols with suppressors while we carried on normal conversations. It wasn’t long before I purchased my first two suppressors. Fortunately, I could go and “visit” my new suppressors and shoot them while I waited five months for my ATF paperwork to clear. One of the reasons I like shooting with a suppressor is hearing protection. Since I was 16 and received my first deer rifle, I have been a fanatic about hearing safety. It has paid off. I can still hear a turkey gobble farther than anyone I’ve hunted with for the past two decades. I have been equally fanatic about hearing and eye protection with my family when we spend quality time on the shooting range.

Smith & Wesson’s newest M&P15 chambered in .300 Whisper is a super-quiet AR with subsonic loads and a “can.”

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