Yesterday we got the chance to venture out to Strategic Edge Gun Range in Chapel Hill, TN, as guests of the American Suppressor Association (ASA). Numerous stations were created for pistol, carbine, rifle and shotgun, and all stations featured suppressed firearms. One of the chief aims of the ASA is to increase awareness of suppressors, helping people realize that they are safe, legal and a legitimate tool for all shooters.
Arriving at Strategic Edge in the early afternoon, everyone undertook a basic safety briefing (of course) and given a brief intro to the various stations. After that, it was time to get quiet...Several things become immediately apparent when shooting a suppressed firearm. First and foremost, suppressors merely reduce the noise signature. Only in very specialized, custom cases is the report reduced to levels not harmful to hearing - you still need hearing protection if you're shooting for any length of time. Supersonic rounds such as .223 Rem. or .308 Win. can have the noise reduced, but not to levels safe for uncovered ears.Next, while a good number of suppressors will work fine with your chosen firearm right out of the box, sometimes a little fitting may be needed. Obviously everything brought to the shoot ran flawlessly, but in some cases adapters are needed, or sights need to be changed or other measures should be addressed to make the most of your suppressed experience.Lastly, shooting stuff is fun. Shooting suppressed stuff is quiet fun. It's all good.