Weight of suppressor affecting muscle memory and reflexes?

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by Lindenwood, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    I have been wanting to buy a suppressor for my 9mm pistol (my only pistol, for everything from CC, HD, etc). I enjoy practical shooting drills, draw-and-fire drills, etc. However, I recently became concerned with the weight of the suppressor negatively affecting my ability to shoot WITHOUT the suppressor (CC encounters). For example, if my mind gets used to having to apply X amount of muscle force for Y amount of time to bring the gun up from rest, or between multiple targets, with the suppressor on (an extra 8-16oz), would my reflexes be off when I take off the suppressor? I don't want to shoot 3' over a mugger's head because I was used to lifting the extra weight of the suppressor and overshot the movement.

    Does anyone have experience with this? I really want to be able to do all of my practicing suppressed because I find the muzzle blast and pressure wave slightly uncomfortable and distracting, but will it throw off my aim when I take off the suppressor to CC the pistol?
     
  2. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    I encourage you to practice without the suppressor. Train as you fight. You need to be used to be muzzle blast and such so it doesn't become a surprise to you if you do ever have to defend yourself. Use regular hearing protection at the range so you don't go deaf from shooting. The weight of the gun can make a difference for you in the draw, but very much since you are only talking 16 oz or less.

    However, if you feel you need the suppressor and practice with your gun is really uncomfortable without one, then go ahead and get one.
     

  3. 1919A4

    1919A4 New Member

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    How do you plan to practice drawing from a holster with a suppressor adding that extra length?

    Also, most supressors, because of their diameter, obstruct the sights on most handguns. What's your fix for that?
     
  4. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Most of my close-range shooting is point shooting, however I have designed an offset-bore suppressor to allow use of the sights. I wouldn't actually practice drawing from a holster with the suppressor on, just starting from a resting position (if not with the gun on the bench like in some practical shooting competitions).

    SGT, I know you are exactly right. Frankly, I was hoping that in a real live fire situation I'd be so amped up that I wouldn't even notice the blast or pressure wave, you know?

    Would shooting with both the suppressor mounted and unmounted allow me to develop a natural feel for the pistol both ways?

    I don't know. I just fworry that training with a suppressor on the same pistol I also intend to use for SD without the suppressor, would be like having a 2lb sword and covering it with an additional 1lb rubber sheath for practice. I'd imagine the precision with which one could wield the original 2lb sword would go out the window, after getting used to the 3lb mass (not to mention the softening of blows, as essentially the suppressor would do to both recoil and muzzle blast).
     
  5. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    I do not know anyone personally, that I associate with or shoot with, to carry a suppressed handgun as a CC/PD weapon. I do know shooters who use suppressors on 9mm and 22lr pistols for noise reduction and they do use sub-sonic ammo to lessen the sound and get better target accuracy at the range, but you still hear the muffled crack.

    Suppressors will give you less muzzle blast and and less recoil and the additional length in barrel does help stabilize the guns aim and accuracy, same is especially true, if used on a rifle.

    That said, usually "operators" carry both the handgun and suppressor in two pieces and adjoin the two when they are needed.

    If you are point shooting and practicing at close range targets as stated, 5-10 yards, proficiency with and without the suppressor should not matter. The one time you may need to drawl your handgun and use it in a real self defense situation, the sound and muzzle blast will be buried under your adrenaline dump and your muscle memory will still maintain grip and trigger follow through reaction.

    IMO, loose the suppressor idea for personal carry, use it only at the range or in a scan and point, HD situation.

    Practice will be needed using your handgun both ways, for learned memory proficiency.

    Jack
     
  6. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Sorry if I was unclear. I meant I would be using the same pistol for both suppressed practice and suppressed HD, as well as unsuppressed concealed carry.

    But you don't think the extra weight and inertia will affect my aim, as long as I am using the same grip and sights and trigger pull?
     
  7. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Close range point and shooting....no.

    I still stress shooting and point aim practice is needed, both ways.

    Jack
     
  8. 1919A4

    1919A4 New Member

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    Honestly...you can either shoot or you cannot.

    If you can shoot well, playing with a suppressor will not diminish that.

    If you cannot shoot well, having a suppressor off or on will not matter.
     
  9. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Ah thanks guys! At the very least, do you think shooting a few mags without the suppressor during each trip would help keep my skill level up for suppressor-less encounters?
     
  10. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Indeed. :cool:

    Jack
     
  11. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

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    You want to use a suppressor for HD? Home Defense?

    What on earth for?

    If I have to use my gun for defense in my home, God forbid, I would want the whole damn neighborhood to hear the shots and call the cops. If I were wounded, again God forbid, I would want the shots heard so that if I wasn't already dead I might have a fighting chance and that the intruder wouldn't have a chance.

    I'll take a small bit of hearing loss for some peace of mind. Practice at the range with your muffs, but let them puppies ring loud and clear if you should, for the last time God forbid, have to use that force at home.
     
  12. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    From outside, a pistol fired inside the house will sound like someone slammed a door. I know a guy who had a .45acp Accidental Discharge in the living room, and his wife in the bedroom thought he just dropped something on the floor. Nobody is going to call the cops. However, my hearing will be pretty much useless, as well as any nearby family members. Not only are those further distractions from my focus, degrading my ability to respond to the situation, but it would prevent me from hearing his partner breaking into a second window or bumping into a wall in the dark kitchen.
     
  13. TelstaR

    TelstaR New Member

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    Question: How loud is it while suppressor is on. Do you have a db reading before and after? I does it seem half as loud or how would you describe it.
     
  14. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

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    Must not know my neighbors...:rolleyes:

    And from my experience, a 12-gauge makes a bit more noise than a pistol.

    My point being still this...whats the point of a suppressed HD weapon?


    fixed my mistake ^ above ^. Meant to say suppressed, and typed 'silenced' instead.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  15. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

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    I don't have DB numbers to give you or experience to back it up, but from my knowledge a suppressor is designed for shooting without ear protection. So, basically, it is no longer loud enough to damage your hearing.

    You still hear the workings of the gun, but no 'boom' associated with the powder burning and gasses escaping.
     
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Let's clear up a few things. First off:

    There is no such thing as a "silencer" like you see in the movies. There is no thread on black can that takes your thunder magnum and turns it into a careless whisper.

    Forget that idea all together.

    The term, is a "Suppressor", because you are suppressing the round to below the speed of sound and suppressing the hot gas that is leaving the barrel.

    The way a Suppressor works is in conjunction with a SUB-SONIC round of ammunition. You don't want the bullet to ever reach the speed of sound ( about 1100 feet per second ) because them it will create that telltale "CRACK!" that you hear.

    However, that is only part of the problem, because the super heated gas that comes from the gunpowder also needs to be cooled before it is allowed out to mix with the room temperature air. That is where the Supressor comes in.

    Basically, what you are doing, is adding a bunch of branches off the barrel for the gas to roam around in, cool down, and flow out the barrel slower and cooler than normal.

    Think about a long hotel hallway. You have a hallway with 20 doors on each side, the rooms, and there is a window at one end and an elevator at the other.

    The elevator shaft is like the magazine feeding a bullet up into the chamber - which is you in the elevator.

    Now, imagine the second the doors open, the full force of a Hurricane is set off behind you and propels you down the hallway with all it's might.

    That would be what it's like with a bullet in a barrel ( minus the rifling of course ).

    Now, take that same scenario and open ALL the doors in the hallway.

    As you are thrust from the elevator, the pressure behind you subsides as you pass each room, because the gale force wind is also swirling around in each hotel room, so the overall force behind you is lessened.

    This is what is happening with a Suppressor - there are chambers that divert the gas, drawing pressure away from the bullet, lessening it's speed, and allowing the gas to cool before it finds it's way out the bore.

    A "silenced" handgun of any caliber size, is still going to make racket when you fire it. But, it's a question of "disguising" the sound to make people think it's something else.

    For instance, I happen to know that a single shot, from a sub-sonic .556 round, from a Suppressed AR, sounds pretty damn close to the sound of a guy using an electric nail gun to build a fence. :rolleyes:

    It's acoustic camoflauge - not the ability to hide like a Ninja.

    Now, you have to know the laws in your area.

    For example: In Washington State, where I reside, it is perfectly legal for me to PURCHASE a Suppressor once I have obtained the correct paperwork from the feds.

    HOWEVER - If I ever get caught USING said suppressor, I am going straight to jail, do not pass go, do get soap on a rope.

    That is correct. I can own, but never fire, a suppressor in this state.

    Now, why, anyone would want to do any type fo defense work in a HD basis with a suppressor on is COMPLETELY beyond me. Slowing a round down to below 1100fps, INTENTIONALLY, is going to reduce penetration of that round. Why you would want to do LESS damage to a bad guy just doesn't compute....

    On the offensive side, it makes total sense, but it's not legal, and that is all we will discuss here on these boards....

    JD
     
  17. falseharmonix

    falseharmonix New Member

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    Meant to type suppressor, ended up being silencer. My mistake, fixed my post above.
     
  18. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Wasn't singling anyone out - just pointing out the facts for the open forum brother...

    JD
     
  19. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    No standard pistol suppressor reduces bullet velocity by any significant amount. In fact, most increase the velocity by a few FPS. It is called "Free bore Boost." It is only technically termed "suppressor" because it only "suppresses" the report, rather than completely "silencing" it. However, the ATF knows them as a "Silencer," so it is not an incorrect term in standard usage.

    True, but even the report of a rifle-caliber weapon with rounds greatly exceeding the sound barrier can be brought down to hearing-safe levels. Discharging a short-barrel AR15 (.223) inside a vehicle or small room without a suppressor or hearing protection will take your hearing out at least for the rest of the fight, if not for a good while after that while it heals. A decent suppressor would make it quite tolerable, actually.

     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  20. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Well, I guess I forgot to mention that for a 9mm handgun, you can obtain various weights and brands of suppressors, wet and dry, ranging from 5.6 to 8.5 ounces.

    You are not going to shoot over a BG's head or shoulder until after you have shot him at least twice for overcompensating. If you are confronted with a life-threatening encounter and you shoot in self-defense, your first action is to draw, point, and shoot. If you draw to belly shoot, to center mass, shoot and follow upward; with more shots moving toward the neck and head. You will be able to correct any over lift upward, as well as the muzzle blast and small recoil, and you sure as hell will have enough rounds with a 9mm.

    This is why I emphasize practice, practice, more practice and know your weapon.

    This memory training is no different than being proficient with shooting 2 or more different handguns and carrying them at different times for CC, as I sometimes do. Again, either you can shoot well or you can't.

    Though you bring up a valid point about shooting a non-suppressed handgun in a closed room and the discharge blast may cause temporary loss of hearing, when and if you are forced to defend yourself or your loved ones, in the heat of the moment, with adrenalin pumping and your heart racing, and your in the "zone," it all happens so fast (trust me) you will hardly even notice the sounds of them shots. ;)

    P.S. What does Maj. Malfunction (Bryon) say over at Silencertalk, on this very subject?

    He is an Oklahoma Munitions Dealer selling Class III, NFA items.


    Jack
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009