Suppressors key to accuracy as well as sound

Posted on: March 24, 2017 | Bob Frye | Comments

Suppressors are legal to hunt with in nearly 40 states, including Pennsylvania. Getting one, though, is a chore.
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It’s not just about noise.

Right now, shooters who want to buy a suppressor for their firearm have to jump through a lot of federal hoops to get one. There’s an effort underway to change that.

House Resolution 367 has been introduced in Congress. It essentially removes suppressors from National Firearms Act regulations so that anyone could buy them over the counter.

Sponsors are pushing the bill – known as the Hearing Protection Act – as something that would benefit shooters by preventing or at least limiting hearing loss.

The Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act was delivered by GOP sponsors U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Rep. John Carter of Texas and aims to deregulate suppressors as a safety measure to help promote their use in protecting hearing.

“I’ve been shooting since I was a young child, beginning with plinking with a .22 rifle and dove hunting with my dad,” said U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, one of the bill’s two sponsors, in a statement.

His hearing has been negatively impacted as a result, he added.

“Had I had access to a suppressor, it may have protected me, as well as millions of other Americans, from this sort of hearing loss.”

The bill has the support of the American Suppressor Association, National Rifle Association and others.

“Gun owners and sportsmen should be able to enjoy their outdoor heritage with the tools necessary to do so safely. This bill makes it easier for them to do that,” said NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox.

That’s all good.

But might suppressors also help shooters be more accurate?

When it comes to long-range shooting, it’s critical that the person behind the gun stay on target throughout the entire process, said Cole McCulloch, who teaches long-range shooting as founder, owner and operator of the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, W.Va.

“One of the best things is when you’re shooting and you break that shot, you want to be able to see that bullet impact and not get blown out of the scope,” McCulloch said.

Suppressors can help in that regard, he added. They eliminate 50 to 60 percent of recoil.

That’s huge, he said.

He cites the example of a friend who hunts with a 30-06 rifle with an 18.5-inch barrel. The friends get one deer every year, he said. But he also misses every year because he can’t handle the recoil of the gun.

“I can set my watch to it,” McCulloch said.

Taming recoil is even more important the farther the shot, he added.

“At longer range, being better able to manage the shot, by minimizing recoil so you can see that bullet, you will watch your hits soar when you can begin to do that,” McCulloch said.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.