Are you still hunting without a silencer? In that case, we believe you should rethink. The profits of using silencers for hunting guns are numerous and it’s a great insurance for both hunters and surroundings. As a bonus, there are major chances to become a better shooter.
Still not convinced? Then you probably want to continue reading.
The profits of using silencers consider disadvantages by far. Firstly, silencers reduce noise levels when firing a bullet. In practice, this means that the sound is choked when the bullet is shot because the gas is lowered, and leads out through a longer time. The amount of noise reduction depends on the silencer’s design and a couple of other aspects, such as what caliber is used.
The sound won’t disappear and can still be heard in the distance, but it removes the dangerous sound levels that damage the ear and lower the noise to a more comfortable level. Silencers reduce the noise of muzzle blasts on fired hunting guns, but not the noise from the bullet boom and the bullet impact.
Something important to understand when discussing noise reduction and silencers is how the actual noise measurement has been made. We measure noise levels due to the current standard, which we name MIL-standard in-house (read more here). This standard specifies the exact positions for every module and technical equipment that should be used in the test. Noise is measured 100 centimeters and 90 degrees to the left from the bore exit of the silencer. If you like, you can add a reference position at shooter’s ear, which will make the result about 8-10 dBc lower. E.g.; Stalon VICTOR reduces noise down to about 141 dBC according to MIL-standard (.308w), but would show 132 dBc measured at "shooter’s ear”. XE149 reduces noise to 132,5 dBc at bore-exit but would show 123,5 at ”shooter’s ear”.
Measuring at ”shooter’s ear” becomes a problem for several reasons. Besides the silencer's ability to reduce noise, the space between the meter at ”shooter’s ear” and the silencer’s muzzle affect the result significantly. Play with the thought of having a silencer that’s very short, but efficient, tested with a short barrel. This silencer will be compared against a silencer that’s much longer, and not as efficient as the other, and will also be tested with a longer barrel. Both results will be misleading since the space between the meter and muzzle can be differentiated between the tests - sometimes a couple of decimeters. The result might even show that the longer silencer that’s less efficient has a lower noise level than the one with better performance.
What’s discussed above will cause different experiences for different shooters. The choice of caliber is the main affecting factor, but the barrel length as well will cause the sound to appear different.
However, this is also the main reason why so many people invest in a silencer for their rifles. When using a Stalon silencer, you can reduce the noise by almost 35 decibels.
Human hearing reacts differently to continuous noise and an impulse sound. The continuous noise is a sound whose strength keeps the same level for a specific number of hours. This could be a drilling machine, a car engine, or something else. A continuous sound can be harmful even at 70 dB, but mostly we talk about noise over 80 dB as a damaging level.
On the other hand, impulse noise is a sound that reaches its highest level very quickly and slows down fast. This could be a punch with a hammer, a balloon that bursts, or - of course, a shot from a gun. Impulse sounds are something that the hearing manages differently. Because of this, we can be exposed to higher levels without damaging our hearing ability. A directive from the EU (3002/10/EC) that illustrates sound levels and when to protect hearing intends that impulse noise above 135 dB is within a damaging level, and 140 dB can be immediately harmful.
Other factors that affect one person's sensitivity against hearing damage are stress, exhaustion, physical sensitivity, or previous hearing issues.
Our goal with our products is for them to always reduce sound to lower than 135 dBc and preferably with a good margin at ”shooter’s ear”.
48% of 1771 hunters have high-frequency hearing loss according to a study by Swedish ”Läkartidningen” (Doctor’s Magazine) in 2016. Without deepening too much, it’s possible to wonder if the majority are caused by high decibel levels. By using a silencer, you can avoid e.g., hearing loss, ear noise, and sound distortion.
We still recommend using ear protection with a silencer to reduce the sound bang as much as possible.
Silencers are not only insurance for the shooter's ear but also for the surroundings. The worries about hunting dogs’ hearing are major. This is an unstudied area without any directives on which sound intensities that’s harmful or not. However, we know that dogs hearing is way better than humans.
There are more profits to the surroundings with reduced noise during hunting season, but we’ll settle here for now.
Another reason to invest in a silencer for your hunting gun is that the muzzle flash is significantly reduced. This happens because the powder is burned out inside the silencer - totally or partially. You avoid being dazzled and can stay focused on your target. The eyesight can be permanently damaged by the strong light from the muzzle flash. We don’t know how often this happens, but it's always a risk. This is by far most common in dark circumstances but can also happen during bright daylight or sunlight, and you can be dazzled for seconds. If this happens, you are not only losing the game - which makes it harder for an eventual second shot - but you can also have visual impairment over time. A Stalon silencer is designed to minimize these muzzle flashes.
A silencer doesn’t only reduce noise levels and muzzle flash but also recoil by nearly 55%. This is possible because the gases are slowed down inside the silencer. However, many factors affect how much recoil one silencer reduces; for example weapon and cartridge. A Stalon silencer reduces around 40-55% recoil, which makes a huge difference when shooting and can be vital to one user. Many hunters invest in a silencer only because of the significant recoil reduction. Recoil can be unpleasant - even hurtful. Our powerful silencer XE149 is appreciated when used with a 30-06 at prone shooting e.g., where the main feature is recoil reduction.
Anyway, the reduced recoil will make you feel safer and more secure at both hunting sessions and when managing your gun in general.
By becoming a safer shooter another profit occurs; increased precision. The silencer's weight reduces barrel flip and adds some extra weight that makes your gun more stable and balanced. The weapon won’t react as easily to vibrations or small movements. But precision isn’t only mechanic but also mental. The silencer's weight in combination with reduced recoil means that you get more relaxed and can fire a shot without worries. In addition, your hunting session will be both pleasant and ethical.