Prepper Guns: Firearms, Ammo, Tools, and Techniques You Will Need to Survive the Coming Collapse (2016)

OTHER STUFF

The Sounds of Silence

Sometimes quiet is the best option.

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These guns have silencers, or suppressors, or “cans.” No matter what you call them, they do two things: dampen noise and register with the government.

It’s a good idea to stay below the radar and be quiet around your home or even in some hunting situations. There is no point in calling unneeded attention to where you are. If you must deal with pests or if the opportunity presents itself to shoot a squirrel or rabbit for food, it would be better to do it quietly.

Also, there are plenty of tactical situations where being quiet, or at least reducing noise to levels that are not dangerous, is a very good idea.

Here is a look at a few options.

Silencers

Call them what you will, they muffle the noise.

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If you want to stir something up, go on one of the tactical forums on the Internet and open a discussion about whether they are called “silencers” or “suppressors.” Then sit back and watch the sparks fly.

They probably should be called mufflers. That’s all they are, a muffler for your gun. They quiet the noise. How much depends on a lot of factors. If the bullet is supersonic, and is flying faster than the speed of sound, it will still make a sonic crack. If it’s flying slower than the speed of sound it will be quiet. The silencer will muffle small muzzle blasts almost entirely and with big loud blasts they sometimes suppress rather than silence the noise. But no matter what, they always reduce the noise level when used on a firearm.

The rest of the world thinks that silencers are a good idea and in some locations it’s considered bad form not to have one on your gun when hunting. I have hunted in Europe and in Africa where they were very common on rifles. They not only protect the hunter’s hearing, they do not spook the game as much as guns without mufflers.

For a prepper, a silencer is a very handy tool. It will let you hunt or deal with pests on your property without calling attention to your location. Staying alive means staying under the radar and being quiet is important.

In a fight, particularly inside a building, a silencer can control the disorienting and hearing-destroying muzzle blasts from a carbine or handgun.

The downside is they are expensive and a bit clumsy to use because they extend off the barrel and add length and weight. The gun (particularly handguns) may require special sights to clear the large diameter of the silencer.

The biggest downside is our government requires that you register the silencer and pay a $200 tax. This puts you on a list with the government and tells them you have guns and that they are not just for duck hunting. The waiting list to be approved is very long right now and that’s an indication that a lot of people want to own a silencer. But you must decide how much you trust the government in a time of crisis. Do you want to draw attention to yourself? Do you want to be on a list confirming that you own guns if things go south for any reason?

If you decide the risk is worth it, a silencer or two can be very useful tools.

There are a lot of companies making silencers and the list is growing longer every day.

My home state of Vermont would not allow its citizens to own or possess a silencer until just a few weeks ago. Even now we are very restricted as to where we can use them. While I have fired hundreds, maybe even thousands of rounds through guns with silencers, I have never owned one. Now that I can, I am struggling with if I should.

My situation is a bit different as I have held an FFL to sell guns since the 1970s, so I am already on the government’s radar. Plus, I write for the NRA magazines and other publications, so it’s not like I am “low profile.” I think it is time to get a “can,” as they are called, on one of my AR-15 carbines and I doubt it raises my profile much. But Joe Average, the guy who just wants to protect his family and who has not been out there in the public eye, should ask if the benefit of getting a silencer and registering with the government is worth the risk. It’s a personal decision. But every prepper should at least consider it and investigate silencers. They can be very useful tools.

A Couple of Other Silent Options for Pest Control

Pellet Guns

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This Remington 17-caliber air rifle is powerful enough to shoot pests or hunt small game.

They aren’t just for kids.

Air rifles have come a long way and some of them are pretty potent today. There are several on the market that are accurate and powerful enough for hunting small game and varmints. They are quiet so you can stay unnoticed. A prepper might do well to check out a high-end pellet gun.

CCI Quiet-22 LR 40-grain Segmented Hollow-Point

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Every prepper should have a .22 rifle on hand.
Here is an option that is hush-hush.

CCI addressed the noise problem with their Quiet-22 .22 LR ammo. This features a 40-grain bullet at subsonic, 710 feet per second. The Quiet-22 uses a standard Long Rifle case and bullet size, but at reduced velocity and with a powder charge engineered to produce very low noise. CCI says it’s a 75 percent reduction in noise over conventional ammo.

Sound is measured in units called decibels. Normal conversation is approximately sixty decibels; heavy city traffic is about eighty-five decibels. A gunshot might be as loud as 170 decibels. Hearing loss occurs when your ears are exposed to continuous noise above eighty-five decibels or impulse noise (like a gunshot) above 140 decibels. The louder the sound, the more damage it causes.

The CCI Quiet-22 ammo creates sixty-eight decibels at the shooter’s ear, well below the threshold for hearing damage. It’s also low enough that the neighbors probably won’t even notice you are shooting.

One version of it has a “Segmented HP” bullet. This is a hollow-point bullet that is designed to expand slightly and then separate into three segments on impact, even at these very low velocities. The idea is that three projectiles will do more damage than a single, round-nose bullet.

This is not new technology, as CCI used it in their Quick-Shock ammo a few years back. That ammo developed a reputation as a good game stopper.

I lack the equipment to measure sound with anything other than my ears, but I shot the ammo out of several rifles and handguns, alternating with CCI .22 Long Rifle ammo, and the difference in sound volume was staggering. The sound of Quiet-22 was so much softer that it made the .22 LR sound like a rocket launcher by comparison. When fired from a rifle, the Quiet-22 is no louder than a pellet gun but is more effective.

No ear protection is needed. In fact, the first time I fired with ear protection I could not tell for sure if the gun went off. The ammo is slightly louder from a handgun barrel, but still quite mild. When comparing the Quiet-22 ammo against the full power .22 LR, the difference was again very pronounced. There is no question whatsoever that this ammo produces a much lower noise level than any other .22 LR ammo I have tested.

The Quiet-22 ammo will not cycle the action in semiauto rifles. However, the guns could be cycled by hand to feed from the magazines.

Quiet-22 reduces noise and allows discrete pest control. It’s a good idea to have a brick or two of this ammo so that you can hunt small game and deal with vermin without calling attention to your location.