How Does a Suppressor Reduce Gun Recoil?

How Does a Suppressor Reduce Gun Recoil?

How Does a Suppressor Reduce Gun Recoil?

Everyone knows that suppressors reduce the sound of gunfire. That is their main purpose and they do it quite well. Being able to bring the sound of a gunshot down to a level that is hearing-safe without ear protection is an awesome accomplishment, and if all suppressors did was that and that alone, then I think most of us would consider that to be perfectly acceptable.

Suppressors are overachievers, though, as they do more than reduce sound. They also reduce the recoil of a gun without requiring any extra effort on their part or yours. We’ll take a look at how and why that works here.

Gun Recoil Explained

Recoil is a natural part of firing a gun no matter how small the caliber may be. Obviously, smaller calibers can produce recoil so small that you hardly notice it, but it is there nonetheless. There’s no way to eliminate recoil entirely, but it can be mitigated and reduced. To understand how you can do that, you have to understand what recoil is and why it happens.

What Causes Recoil?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Remember that phrase from school? If not, that’s OK; we’ll help you out. It’s Newton’s Third Law of Motion and it directly applies to recoil.

The explosion that takes place in the breach of a gun when a round is fired produces a lot of energy. The vast majority of that energy is used to propel the bullet out of the barrel. (That’s the “action” part of the law.) The rest of the energy is transferred through the gun itself and causes it to move back toward the shooter. The movement you feel from the excess energy moving in the opposite direction from the bullet is what we call recoil. (That’s the “equal and opposite” part of the law.)

Dangers of Gun Recoil

At a minimum, recoil can be scary if you’re not prepared for it. At its worst, recoil can be downright dangerous if you don’t handle it properly. This most often happens to newer shooters who don’t understand the physical mechanics of shooting or people who are unprepared or underestimate the power generated from larger calibers. Here are a few of the things that can happen:

  • Scope Eye or Scope Bite
    • If you’re shooting a gun that has a scope on it and you’re not properly positioned behind it with a good grip on the gun, the recoil of the gun can cause the scope to hit you in the face. This can result in a black eye or even a cut that could require stitches.
  • Shoulder Injury
    • Rifles or shotguns in large calibers or gauges will recoil significantly more than their smaller counterparts, so you’ve got to make sure you have the gun pulled in tight to your shoulder. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries. It is not unheard of for people to suffer shoulder bruising and even separation or dislocation if the impact from the recoil is serious enough.
  • Failure to Feed / Failure to Eject
    Many guns use some of the recoil energy to cycle the action and prepare for the next shot. If that energy is not allowed to properly cycle the gun due to poor grip or stance, then it can result in the spent casing failing to eject from the action or failure of the next live round to chamber into the action.

Silencers Reduce Recoil

When a gun is fired, the explosive gas that propels the bullet will exit the barrel right behind it. This is part of what causes recoil. When using a suppressor, that explosive gas is trapped and dispersed through its internals before finally exiting the muzzle of the unit. That brief trap and dispersal of the gas will reduce the energy it has upon final exit, which reduces felt recoil.

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Other Ways to Reduce Gun Recoil

Silencers can be a significant investment in both time and money. If you’re not able to spend the money right now or you want a more instant way to implement recoil reduction, then we’ve got good news. You don’t have to have a suppressor in order to help reduce a gun’s recoil. We’ll take a look at three of the other popular ways to do it, and as an added bonus, two of them are absolutely free!

Grip Technique

As we mentioned above when talking about injuries, grip plays a big role in recoil reduction. If you have a proper, solid grip on the gun, that’s going to help a lot.

If you’re dealing with a handgun, having a firm grip (but not a “death grip”) on the gun will allow you to properly mitigate the recoil as it flows through your hands and arms.

When dealing with shotguns or rifles, it’s important to have the butt of the gun properly seated on your shoulder. This prevents the gun from physically jumping back into your shoulder and causing injury. It also properly channels the recoil’s energy into your shoulder and out through the rest of your upper body.

Muzzle Brakes

Attaching a muzzle brake to the end of your threaded barrel is another good way to mitigate recoil. Based on the design and directionality of the holes in the brake, it will direct the escaping gases (and their energy) in a different direction. By channeling the gas backward or to the sides, it lessens the amount of energy that the gases moving forward, which lessens the amount of energy being pushed back into the gun and you.

Understanding Your Gun’s Caliber

Bigger calibers have bigger recoil. It’s really as simple as that. You cannot shoot a .22 Short followed by a .308 Winchester Magnum and expect them to feel the same. There is a lot more energy in the .308 than in the .22 and, as a result, it will have noticeably more recoil.

Beyond that, different loads of the same or similar calibers can result in less recoil. For example, a .44 Magnum and a .44 Special are essentially the same in every way except for the energy that they produce. Moreover, you can have different loads of .45-70 Government that will behave differently. They may be the same caliber, but a lighter load will produce less recoil.

Reduce Gun Recoil with a Silencer

All silencers reduce recoil, but not all silencers reduce recoil to the same degree. If you’re unsure of which one to choose, we’d be happy to help. The staff at Silencer Central have been shooting all sorts of calibers through all sorts of gun and suppressor combinations for more than 15 years. Give us a call and we can go over the gun or guns and calibers you’ll be shooting. From there, we can determine which suppressor or suppressors will be perfect for you.

Once we find the right match, let us take care of the entire process for you. We’ll handle all the paperwork, set you up with a free gun trust, break your total price down into no-interest payments, and even ship your silencer right to your door once it’s been approved.