By Jeff Johnston, Field Ethos Hunting & Shooting Editor
The best time to buy a silencer is just like the best time to invest in land: yesterday.
But if your procrastinating ass failed to do so, the second best time to buy one is today. Like a baby, you’ll have it in about 9 months. To apply, just plan on taking a half day off from work to scurry into your local law enforcement office to get fingerprinted like some sort of criminal. Pro tip: clear up any outstanding warrants before waltzing through the doors of the police station requesting they positively identify you and take your fingerprints.
At any rate, if you’re buying your first suppressor, I suggest buying several at the same time to save yourself this government-sanctioned torture on the next one that you’ll almost certainly want. But if you’re just buying one, make it a lightweight and versatile model so it can be used on many guns.
For ARs and most hunting rifles, I like SilencerCo’s Harvester EVO can for the following reasons:
- It’s .30 caliber and will handle up to a .300 Win. Mag., but of course you can use it for anything smaller than .30 cal. It comes with two common thread adaptors so it will fit on most ARs as well as many common hunting rifles.
- It’s lightweight, compact and effective. Most hunting rifles are already long with their 22- to 26-inch barrels. A suppressor will only add to that length and in fact make it seem like you’re holding a lightning rod out there in the field. So the shorter the suppressor, the better it handles. The first Harvester model was around 10 inches long. It was a great can, but it wasn’t the handiest. The new EVO model is just 6 inches long and weighs just 10 ounces. But thanks to its tubeless, welded baffle system, it does a surprisingly great job of mitigating the crack of your rifle so it won’t pummel your ear drums like the front row of a Slipknot concert. Yet it’s also narrow enough to fit under the handguard of some AR-15s.
- Because it’s made of stainless steel, inconel and cobalt-6—and not titanium–it’s currently one of the most affordable magnum-capable cans available. $700.
Pros: compact, lightweight, versatile, effective and affordable
Cons: it isn’t modular, but that’s why it’s affordable.