Hushpower Suppressed Shotguns...They Do exist
You may have been told that there is no such thing as a suppressed shotgun as in no shotgun can take a 'silencer.' Well, we are here to dispel that rumor with cold hard fact. They do most definitely exist and huge market for these devices is in merry old England by strange coincidence.
The suppressed shotgun
If you have ever witnessed the film noir action film that is No Country for Old Men, then you have seen that Hollywood version of a suppressed shotgun made famous by movie villain Anton Chigurh.
Yes, this is what we are talking about. A Remington 11-87 with what appears to be a scary quiet suppressor can mounted on its abbreviated barrel.
The thing is, there is nothing scary or mythical about these devices. In England, home to some of what we in the US would consider the harshest gun laws in the world, they can be bought over the counter for about 100-pounds (about $160) or so provided you already have a shotgun or firearms license. The Brits see these sound mufflers as the only gentlemanly way to use your shotgun without causing undue noise pollution in your neighborhood.
The Brits call these 'moderated shotguns' and gamekeepers, country farmers, and the like often use these when spotlighting pests like rats and rabbits (they call it 'lamping') at night, to keeping pigeon and crow numbers under control.
Seriously? The same country that prohibits almost all modern handguns and semi-automatic rifles from private ownership makes it this easy to buy suppressors?
Yup. They, like us, have seen very very limited (read = none outside of films) use of suppressors in crime. Therefore, they just are not as regulated as they are here.
The basic design is a 9-12 inch tube that fits over an otherwise normal pump-action shotgun (the Mossberg 500 seems to be the most popular) who's barrel has been extensively ported. These ports bleed gas out into the suppressor, reducing the muzzle flash, recoil and, of course, reduce the noise considerably. The baffle design of these suppressors allow for standard plastic wadded shells.
To keep these levels even lower, many use special reduced powder loads that are subsonic in nature.
A side by side video review from Richard Utting of Sharpshooting UK of a moderated Mossberg 500 12 and 20 gauge. "The 12 is magic with the subsonic cartridges...the 20 makes a clap..and the .410 sounds like an air rifle." You have to admit, the concept of having a swag Mossy 12-gauge made up with a Picatinny rail, Hogue aftermarket and a suppressor that is up to hard fieldwork. Richard says they hit running rabbits at 30-40 yards with these...
But how quiet are they?
Some up close and personal shooting from Richard Utting of Sharpshooting UK, now we see why they call these guns Hushpowers.
The company also makes their own integrally suppressed shotguns from the ground up including this very interesting over/under break action shotty that runs about $1200. Jonathon Stone, director of the Hushpower Silencer Division of the Saddlery and Gunroom in Kent, England demonstrates the company's Hushpower 20-gauge O/U. Photo from Gunworld.com
Here in the US, tragically we don't have the Hushpower kits available. However there are some makers such as Metrogun http://www.metrogun.com/orion.html and Chaos Arms http://www.chaos-arms.com/shotgun-suppressors.html that have been in the suppressed scattergun biz for a while. Of course, their products run the $800-$1000 range but as more demand increases the market for these things, you can bet the prices will start to drop.
So, yes, they do exist.
Its Anton Chigurh that is fiction.