Silencers 101
Does Your Suppressor Length Matter? Best Suppressor Lengths

Does Your Suppressor Length Matter? Best Suppressor Lengths

Does Your Suppressor Length Matter? Best Suppressor Lengths

Does suppressor length matter? Well, that depends on who you ask and how they’re using the suppressor.

Some people prefer the benefits afforded by a longer suppressor while others are willing to sacrifice some benefits in order to take advantage of other benefits that come from a shorter suppressor.

We’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of both long and short suppressors so that you can decide which is right for you.

What Does Suppressor Length Mean?

Suppressor length means exactly what you’d think it means. The length of a suppressor is determined by the number and configuration of the internal baffles or expansion chambers.

Longer suppressors have more baffles or more volume in the expansion chambers while a shorter suppressor has fewer baffles or less volume in the chambers.

The attachment method of a suppressor will also contribute to the overall length of the suppressor. Direct thread options will tend to have a shorter overall footprint while quick-detach options will have a slightly longer overall footprint. This is because the method of quick-detach involves an extra piece that you don’t have on a direct thread suppressor. It doesn’t increase the length by much, but it still has to be factored in for the overall length.

Common Suppressor Lengths

While there’s no hard and fast rule that governs how long a suppressor should be for any given kind of firearm, there are some de-facto industry standards that have developed over the decades based on customer preference and manufacturer performance specifications.

The list below will give you a general idea of the average suppressor lengths for three of the most common types of firearms that are suppressed by customers today.


Most ARs, which for the purpose of this article will be a firearm with a barrel length of 16″-20″, tend to be outfitted with suppressors that are 5″, 7″, or 9″ in length.


Since the goal of an SBR (or short barrel rifle) is to be, well, short, then it makes sense that most people would opt for a shorter suppressor of 5″ or 7″ – unless they’re going with a model that is of a small enough diameter to fit under their handguard. In that case, then a longer suppressor could be used.


The length of a suppressor for a handgun will depend on whether or not the handgun is chambered for a rimfire cartridge or a centerfire cartridge. Rimfire suppressors are smaller, usually in the 5″-6″ range, while centerfire suppressors are a bit larger, usually in the 6″-8″ range.

What Does The Suppressor Length Affect?

The length of a suppressor affects three main things: decibel level, recoil, and balance.

The most obvious of these three is the decibel level. A longer suppressor with more internal volume capacity is going to lower the decibel levels heard by the shooter and those around them by a greater degree than a shorter suppressor with less internal volume capacity.

An added benefit of suppressors is that they also reduce felt recoil by the way that they distribute the combustible gases which also decreases the decibel level. A longer suppressor is going to do a better job of reducing felt recoil than a shorter suppressor.

All firearms have a natural balance to them. While some may be more front-heavy and others may be more back-heavy, there’s still going to be a point of natural balance. This can have an impact on how the gun feels and points in a given shooter’s hands. Adding a suppressor into the mix changes that point of natural balance, no matter how short or light it may be. Obviously, a shorter suppressor is going to have less impact on this balance shift than a longer suppressor.


Long Suppressor vs. Short Suppressor

Determining if you should go with a long suppressor or a short suppressor is entirely up to you, as there is no definitive right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing suppressor length.

Choosing to use a long or short suppressor at any given time will depend on what firearm you’re using, how you’re using it, and what benefits of the suppressor that you’re looking for versus what you’re willing to trade off to have a can of a certain length for a specific purpose.

For example, you may sacrifice some decibel reduction to keep the overall length of your suppressor down if you’ve got it attached to an SBR that will be used primarily for close-quarters and in tighter situations.

Conversely, you may opt for a longer suppressor if you’re shooting from a ground blind and you want the decibel level to be as quiet as possible when you’re out hunting.

However, what works in one situation may not work in another, and that’s why many people own more than one suppressor. It’s no secret that suppressors can be expensive, so to keep costs down, many people opt to buy modular suppressors, like most of those in the BANISH lineup.

A modular suppressor is one where you can change the overall length by removing a section of the outer tube and some of the internal baffles so that you can switch between long and short suppressor lengths.

Visit Silencer Central For A Premium Can

Suppressors are a significant investment both in terms of money and time. There’s nothing worse than shelling out your hard-earned cash and waiting for ATF approval to get your silencer only to discover it’s not as great as you thought it was going to be.

At Silencer Central, we will make sure that never happens to you. We sell a full range of industry-leading suppressors, including our own BANISH line, to make sure you get the exact suppressor for what you need.

We’ve been selling silencers all day, every day for more than 15 years. In that amount of time, we’ve sold countless silencers of all different lengths to people for all different types of firearms. Our staff has shot dozens of different models and they know what works best for a variety of different uses, configurations, and setups. If you’re unsure which one to pick, give us a call and we can help select the right premium silencer for your firearms.