Silencers on Deer Rifles

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by gunsmoker, May 17, 2014.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    My ears are still ringing from the last few shots I took at deer with my .308 rifle, firing from inside a metal-walled blind (basically a tree house!) Even though I had my barrel a few inches outside the window when I fired, it was still deafening. That was a couple YEARS ago !!!


    So now that HB 60 passed in Georgia, and will take effect July 1, silencers will be legal for hunting on any private property where the landowner consents to the use of silencers, or on public property if the Department of Natural Resources has "designated" those lands as OK for silencer hunting.

    I'm interested in getting a silencer for a deer rifle.

    My own .308 rifle isn't one that I'd want to spend good money having the barrel threaded, and I see there ARE already on the market a number of bolt-action hunting rifles that come with threaded barrels, in the normal 5/8" diameter by 24 turns-per-inch thread pitch.

    Today at Dawsonville Gun and Pawn I saw a Savage Axis with a factory threaded barrel for only $279, and the Savage 111's with the Accu-Trigger were also available as threaded-muzzle silencer-ready options (with extra tall iron sights to see over the edge of the can!) for only $390 or so. They also had Remington 700 tactical rifles with threaded muzzles for a little more than normal 700s would sell for.

    All the ones I looked at came in .308 caliber, but there are other factory-threaded rifles in other popular calibers.

    Mossberg's bolt-action rifle that uses AR-15 magazines and comes in .223 is also going to be available in .300 AAC Blackout this summer, for about $600. It comes with a threaded muzzle, ready to screw on your can.

    I'm not so concerned with "subsonic" ammo in .308. I can shoot supersonic and I think it will be OK. Not movie-quiet; not like a Daisy BB gun. But it should be similar to shooting a regular .22 rifle with high velocity ammo. A sharp crack, but not a high pressure wave that thumps your skull and blows over your inner ear hair cells like so many tulips in the garden during a hurricane.

    The .308 class of silencers do cost some money, though. $600 to $1200 is the price range I'm seeing. Plus $200 to ATF for the NFA tax stamp. Plus fingerprint and background check costs and getting a passport sized photo, unless you go the Trust route, and up until the ATF closes that perceived loophole by making "responsible parties" to a Trust also get background-checked and get the Sheriff's approval.

    I have a perfectly good .308 deer rifle, but I'm still thinking about:

    1-- buying a new rifle with a factory-threaded barrel in .308 for $400.

    2-- buying an inexpensive (heavy, not as small as it could be) silencer for $550 if I shop around. Add $250 for tax and fees so that's a $800 investment there.

    I already have .308 ammo, spare rifle scopes, and slings. So for $1200 I can get this new rig for big game hunting that won't risk my hearing.

    I wonder.... should I do it?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  2. Birddogyz

    Birddogyz Banned

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    You were at my favorite place! It would be better in my opinion to buy one already threaded.
     

  3. GunnerJacky

    GunnerJacky New Member

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    If you wants to buy a silencer you needs to submit the ATF form 4 or the ATF for 1 to make because the federal government only licenses those who import, manufacture or deal in firearms. There is a $200 tax for each one made or bought by an unlicensed person, but this is much cheaper than getting the license. For deer hunting I prefer you to buy bolt action rifle, chambered in .30-’06, with a good quality variable power scope of 3-9 power magnification. Many shooters use ear plugs and ear muffs for safety of their ears.
     
  4. Gator

    Gator Member

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    I am of the opinion that .308 Win is the optimal Southern white tail cartridge, plenty of punch, short action, lots of bullet choices.

    If your stand sits on a power line, gas line, etc., then a 7mm mag., or the like may be a better option.

    How about a set of electronic muffs that allow you to hear, maybe even amplify, critters walking near, but shutoff when a loud noise occurs. Are Walker's Game Ears still around?

    Of course if you just want a suppressed rifle, a .308 would be good for that, if you just have a hankering. Be great for popping piggies at night.
     
  5. Yote

    Yote New Member

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    From what I understand of suppressors, not only do they help with the report, they also enhance accuracy somewhat.
    I say pick a rifle chambered in your favorite cartridge and go for it on the added accuracy alone with the quieter shot being secondary.
     
  6. strycnine

    strycnine New Member

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    Do it!

    You should be able to have yours threaded for less than 75 bux. Take the money saved on not buying a new rifle and invest it in a quality suppressor.
     
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    MasterPiece Arms

    I saw a .308-rated rifle silencer the other day at a gun shop for $399.
    It was made by MasterPiece Arms, here in Georgia.
    The price surprised me. I thought that you could only get a 9mm can for $400, not one rated for high power rifle rounds like the .308 Winchester / 7.62 NATO.

    $400 for the can, $200 in NFA taxes, $50 in background check and fingerprint and photo fees. $100 to get your favorite .30 deer rifle's barrel threaded.

    That's a total of $750 to save your hearing and maybe keep neighbors from complaining about your shooting and keeping that land available for you to use in the future.
     
  8. strycnine

    strycnine New Member

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    gunsmoker, Did you ever get a suppressor? I know this is an old thread, but I've been away for awhile.

    Phil Cashin from MasterPiece Arms is a great host. He took me on a tour of his shop awhile back and I was really impressed.
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    No, not a centerfire suppressor for a deer rifle.

    I've owned a .22LR silencer for a dozen years.

    There's pic of me "hunting" with it in the July 2014 issue of Georgia Outdoor News magazine. (staged photo; I wasn't really hunting that day).
     
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    big bore suppressed

    Consider this:

    In order to make any rifle bullet subsonic, you have to reduce its velocity to no more than about 1070 f.p.s.

    That's not much velocity! The only way to get good killing power with such slow speeds is to use big, heavy bullets.

    In .30 / .308 diameter, that means about 200 to 240 grains. Things like the .300 Blackout. They give you about 500 ft/ lbs kinetic energy.

    In centerfire handgun rounds, which could be fired from lever action rifles too, you can also find heavy bullets that are in the 250 to 300 grain weight. Push those up to 1050 fps and you've got some killing power, maybe a bit more than the .30 rifles.

    BUT, WHAT IF .... you shot 500 grain bullets from something like a .45-70 rifle? At the same "subsonic" velocity of about 1050 f.p.s., now you're boosting the energy, the knockdown power, up to something like 1200 foot-lbs.

    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/rescources/calculators/php/energy.htm

    That's what I'd like to see for deer hunting with suppressed rifles:

    1-- Lever and bolt action rifles chambered for rounds like the .45-70, .444 Marlin, and similar big bore cartridges, with factory-threaded muzzles and extra-tall sights.

    2-- Those rifles also need to have a tighter rifling twist rate to stabilize the longer bullets in the 500 gr. weight range.

    3-- An ammo company needs to load some of these rounds to subsonic velocities, and offer a choice of a sharply-pointed aerodynamic bullet (for bolt guns and single shot rifles) and a rubber-tipped or blunt-tipped bullet (for tubular mag lever guns).

    If such guns and ammo were on the market, I'd buy one, and an appropriate suppressor (something made for the .458 SOCOM would work).
     
  11. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    P.S. An AR pattern rifle can be fitted with a .458 SOCOM barreled upper and bolt. The same lower could be used, and the same magazines, as the .233 / 5.56mm rifle.

    But the only subsonic loading available for the .458 SOCOM, a 600 grain bullet at 1000 f.p.s., isn't getting very good reviews on accuracy, from what I can read online. The barrels probably need an even faster twist rate to stabilize those bullets.

    If somebody were to make the .458 SOCOM in an AR pattern hunting rifle with the right barrel twist rate and using an expanding bullet that will mushroom nicely at only 1000 f.p.s., that would be a good big-game hunting option for shooting within 150 yards or so.
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

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    Congress is considering H.R. (House resolution) 367, the Hearing Protection Act.
    This bill would make silencers minimally regulated, on par with the federal laws on regular sporting firearms.
    No $200 transfer tax.
    No Form 1 or Form 4 application, and months of waiting.
    Just fill out the form 4473, do the Brady instant background check (or show your carry permit to bypass that step) and take your new suppressor home from the dealer the same day.
    http://www.outdoorlife.com/gun-news...ng-protection-bills-churning-through-congress