SilencerCo Switchback 22

By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor

While you’re buying your .30-caliber, do-everything suppressor, you might as well keep that Master Card out. Trust us when we say you’re going to not just want, but need, a dedicated can for your .22 LRs. Such a suppressor is optimized for the .22 LR caliber and is more efficient–i.e., quieter on .22s—than even top-end 30-caliber cans despite being much smaller and less expensive.

Plenty of FE readers already know this, and that’s why we’re suggesting SilencerCo’s Switchback 22, the best .22 LR/17 HMR/.22 Mag/5.7mmx28 can we’ve found due to its diminutive size, modularity and sheer effectiveness. You might as well include it in the same order to avoid having to send multiple sets of fingerprints and photos on your Form 4 application to the ATF, because the less one communicates with the ATF, the better. 

What distinguishes the Switchback from other .22 suppressors is its versatility by way of a modular design. As it comes out of the box, the Rothschild-cigar-size suppressor is 5 ¾-inches long, weighs 6.4 ounces and reduces the average .22 LR load down to just 108 decibels. (Anything below 135 is regarded as safe to shoot without hearing protection; 108 is actually satisfying to the ears of most dudes.) Then you can use the provided wrenches to break the unit down into three pieces before choosing any of four configurations. Use the smallest section for a 3-inch, 2 ¾-oz. mini-suppressor that’s hardly noticeable on the end of a handgun, but one that still reduces the noise below the ear-bleed threshold; Or choose the medium section as a balance between size and noise reduction. Finally, the Switchback can be optimized for rifles or pistols by reversing the orientation of the baffles within the can. I’m glad SilencerCo figured this out through exhaustive R&D, because I never would have.

You should know, however, that with all the positives—such as being able to yell at your kid before he shoots a scissor-tailed flycatcher (Oklahoma’s state bird) that he otherwise may have shot if he’d been wearing hearing protection—a suppressor comes with a downside: You won’t be able to fein like you didn’t hear your wife when she yells at you to stop playing with your damn guns and start mowing the lawn.

Cost: $540

Pros: Modular so you can strike a balance between size and noise reduction for various guns; An absolute bargain when it comes to saving your hearing; will make you a better shooter because you’ll find yourself shooting your .22s more

Cons: With it, and without hearing protection, you can no longer pretend like you didn’t hear your wife’s nagging         

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