The 700 Dollar Subsonic Plinker

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One gun that every serious gun owner should have in his or her collection is a small caliber suppressed firearm. While there are many entry level silenced plinkers out there on the market today. One of the better choices that are hard to beat is a Walther P22 with a TAC-65 suppressor.

The Walther P22

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Introduced in 2003 by the legendary German firm of by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen, the Walther P22 is a polymer-framed scaled down version of their historic P99 pistol. Weight Empty is just 16.9 ounces with a 3.4-inch barrel and 6.3-inch overall length. This blowback operated 22LR semi-automatic pistol has a loaded chamber indicator, slide-mounted thumb-operated ambidextrous safety coupled with a hammer firing pin safety and internal trigger lock. For comfort and semi-customization, it has interchangeable grip straps (3) and interchangeable front sights as well. Used officially by a few militaries around the world, and unofficially by others ('US' marked P22 holsters are popping up surplus), these guns are very popular. They can be found for around $300 new, and slightly less used.

Add a $29 Gemtec 1/2x28TPI threaded barrel adapter with protective sleeve to the barrel and its ready to attach any standard spline screw-on suppressor.

The TAC65

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Tactical Innovations of Bonners Ferry, Idaho (formerly of MD) has been in the suppressor biz for nearly twenty years. They make a whole line of suppressors (nobody but Hollywood and anti-gunners call them silencers) ranging from 22LRs to those for 5.56mm platforms. Their TAC65 is an excellent performance suppressor that offers outstanding sound suppression, making your 22 sound like a pellet gun. This suppressor, for diameter, baffle stack, weight, etc. was specifically built around the Walther P22, but works equally well on other .22 LR pistols or rifles (we use it on our Marlin XT-22 as well). The 1.080-inch outside diameter, 6-inch long can weighs just 4.2 Ounces. Although the manufacturer does not publish decibel reduction studies (most suppressor makers do not), the TAC65 in our possession enjoys a 38.3 dB reduction.

If using the TAC-65 with a 'silencer juice', the suppressor could be even quieter. From Tactical Innovations on shooting the TAC-65 'wet', "Although the TAC65 suppressor is designed to be shot dry, you can increase the suppression performance by shooting it wet as well. Any liquid (water, WD40 etc.) or gel (hair gel, KY etc.) can be used as long as it is not flammable / explosive and as long as it cannot droop in the suppressor and block the bullet flight path, potentially causing suppressor damage. Water works well by dipping the suppressor in a bucket of water and then shaking most of the water out of the suppressor before firing since residual water will collect in the bottom of the suppressor below the bullet's flight path. WD40 can also be used and it can easily be inserted in the suppressor using the straw applicator supplied with the WD40 can. Of course shooting the TAC65 wet will only last for the few shots that the liquid is in the suppressor and you can anticipate additional mess in front of the shooter as the liquid is blasted out of the suppressor with each shot."

Made in a CNC Lathe process with a two-stage machined K-blast baffle internal and threaded endcaps, it simply screws on to the Gemtech adapter on the Walther. They retail on TI's website for $249 but can often be found at Class III dealers on the shelf for a few dollars less. We got ours from Jerry's Shooting Irons for $200 out the door (plus $200 tax stamp).

The total package

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When assembled the total rig is 12.7-inches long and weighs in at 21-ounces with a loaded ten round magazine. Total cost of our rig as shown completed was $719 including local sales taxes, the ATF fees, new P22, new Gemtech adapter, and new TAC65. Simply saving $14 a week will get you one of your own in a year if you don't have the scratch laying around.

Firing the Walther P22 TAC 65 Suppressor combo in this article. The shooter is firing at a steel plate from 12 yards (36 feet) and drilling it every time with no problem. The sound of the plate is louder than the report of the CCI Stingers through the dry suppressor and ear protection is not needed.

The combo works best with high-powered 22LR loads like CCI Mini-Mags, Winchester Hyper-V, and CCI Stingers. It's a joy to shoot and in many states (check your local laws) legal to hunt small game with-- without waking the neighbors.

Overall $700 isn't a lot to spend for those who like a little quiet time.

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