The Best Caliber for Suppressed Hunting
Suppressors are legal to own in 42 of the 50 states, and you can hunt with a suppressor in 41 of those states. Since you can own a suppressor in more than 80% of the United States and hunt with one in 97% of those states, there’s really no reason not to be hunting with a suppressor.
It’s no exaggeration to say that you can hunt almost any game animal in the world with a suppressor – so long as you’ve got the right suppressor, rifle, and caliber. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best calibers to use when hunting with a suppressor.
What are the Benefits of Suppressed Hunting?
There are a wide variety of reasons why you should hunt with a suppressor, but these are five of the biggest benefits:
Reduces Your Recoil
Silencers help minimize your anticipation of recoil and the actual amount of felt recoil you’ll encounter, thereby increasing accuracy even when you’re shooting larger calibers.
Hear Your Surroundings
Silencers let you enjoy the full outdoor experience and hear the game, other hunters, or nearby threats. With a suppressor, there’s no need to fumble with earmuffs or earplugs before taking your shot.
Many hunters forgo hearing protection so that they can get that full outdoor experience. Unfortunately, this makes hearing loss a major issue and a harsh reality. Silencers bring the sound of your shot down to a hearing-safe level for you and your hunting companions (including your dog).
Don’t Disturb Game as Much
In an otherwise quiet outdoor setting, the sound of a gunshot is unnatural and can put the game in the area on high alert. With a suppressor, you can avoid scaring unseen game, and allow yourself and others in your group to keep hunting even after hitting your mark. And on the rare chance that you miss a tough shot, you may even get a second chance on a follow-up shot.
Reduce Noise Complaints
Noise complaints are a major factor in losing public hunting grounds. Hunting suppressed isn’t just kind to your neighbors – it helps public lands and protects hunter rights. It’s also beneficial on private hunting land since there may be other adjacent landowners within earshot.
Popular Calibers for Suppressed Hunting
We’ve already established that you can hunt pretty much anything with a suppressor so long as you’ve got the right caliber. Here’s a rundown of five of the most popular calibers for suppressed hunting.
.300 AAC Blackout
The .300 AAC Blackout, or .300 Blackout or .300BLK, is an absolute dream when paired with a suppressor. The cartridge does very well on smaller and medium-sized game, even when shot from a shorter barrel or even a short-barreled rifle. Depending on the exact type of game you’re hunting, you can even use subsonic ammunition to achieve the quietest of outcomes.
While it isn’t the most well-known of the 6.5 caliber cartridges on the market, the 6.5mm Grendel is a very capable hunting round. This makes sense because it, like many other popular hunting rounds, has its roots in military applications. These have carried over and shown that the 6.5mm Grendel does great when suppressed and is very effective on deer and other medium-sized game. As an added benefit, it outperforms .308 Winchester at long distances but offers much less recoil.
.308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO
The .308 Winchester civilian hunting round and the 7.62 NATO military equivalent is a popular choice for hunters. It’s very versatile for all sorts of game animals in North America, has excelled terminal ballistics, and is compatible with a wide range of suppressors – including our own BANISH lineup.
While certainly a polarizing topic in the hunting community, there’s simply no denying the popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. It shoots flat and far and possesses plenty of power to take down medium game like deer and even some larger size game such as elk.
Of course, shot placement and distance is also key. Contrary to popular belief, 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t have magical capabilities.
.223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO
If you want to hunt varmints or even deer with a firearm in the AR platform, then .223/5.56 is hard to beat. This caliber and firearm combo has proven time and time again that it is effective and efficient for harvesting all sorts of game animals and performing perfect pest and varmint control.
As an added bonus, because the ammo and rifles are so popular, you can find a dizzying array of suppressors that are available for this caliber to make your hunt quieter.
Other Calibers to Consider
Even though we didn’t discuss them here, the .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, and .300 Winchester Magnum are three more fantastic choices when choosing a caliber for suppressed hunting.
In the end, though, caliber decision is up to you. Take some time to do your research and don’t jump too quickly into choosing a caliber without considering all of the factors at play, including type of animals being hunted, average shot distance, normal terrain, typical weather, etc.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Caliber
Just as we mentioned above the many things that you need to think about when choosing any caliber, these are some of the most important ones to keep in mind.
Make sure that you pick a caliber that is well-suited to the size game that you’ll be hunting. Too small and you risk wounding the animal or inflicting undue suffering. Too big and you risk total destruction. For example, the .223 cartridge would not be a first choice for moose due to the large size of the animal versus the cartridge. Conversely, .308 Winchester is definitely overkill for varmint hunting prairie dogs.
Availability and Cost
It doesn’t matter what caliber you settle on if you can’t find it on the shelves or have to take out a second mortgage just to buy a box of ammo. You want to make sure that the caliber you choose is one that you can find relatively easily where you’ll be hunting and one that won’t break the bank to do it.
The bigger the caliber, the bigger the recoil – and bigger isn’t always better. Make sure that the caliber you choose is one that you are able to shoot accurately and repeatedly. If your gun is hurting you while you’re shooting it, then there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll flinch and pull the shot, which isn’t good for you or the animal. Aside from the main benefit of lowering the decibels, adding a suppressor to your rifle can help tame some of the recoil.
Suppress Your Firearm, Not Your Performance – Shop Silencers Today!
Once you decide on a caliber and rifle, then you can start looking at suppressors. It’s important to know what caliber you’ll be shooting because different suppressors work with different calibers.
If you’re unsure of where to start, don’t worry! Silencer Central is the nation’s largest silencer dealer, licensed to sell in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Our staff have helped thousands of new customers pick out the right suppressor for an upcoming hunt, and we’d love the opportunity to do the same for you.
The buying process couldn’t be more simple when you buy from Silencer Central. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval. It doesn’t get any better or easier than that!
Be sure to contact us here at Silencer Central to get your order started today.