Firearms | Silencers 101
Can You Use a Suppressor On a Machine Gun?

Can You Use a Suppressor On a Machine Gun?

Can You Use a Suppressor On a Machine Gun?

Anyone who has ever shot suppressed or shot a machine gun has undoubtedly walked away thinking, “man, that was awesome!” Some may then have been led to wonder, “can you suppress a machine gun?” Because, well, let’s face it. The only thing cooler than shooting suppressed or shooting a machine gun is shooting a suppressed machine gun.

Can You Use a Suppressor on a Machine Gun?

When people think of machine guns, they often picture large military weapons such as the M240 chambered for the 7.62 cartridge. It’s important to remember that there are also smaller machine guns, such as the M4 in 5.56 and even full-auto .22 rifles and pistols. Oh, and let’s not forget the ultimate in unobtainium machine gun fun: the Glock 18 full-auto pistol in 9mm.

With the understanding that machine guns are much more than just big guns in big calibers, the question of suppressing a machine gun can become simpler. So the short answer is yes, you can use a suppressor on a machine gun.

Of course, this isn’t really a blanket statement as there are some caveats. We’ll take a look at both the benefits and disadvantages of using a suppressor on a machine gun.

Benefits of Suppressing Machine Guns

We’ve talked at length in other blog posts about the benefits of using a suppressor on bolt-action and semi-auto firearms, but there are also a lot of benefits to suppressing a machine gun. Let’s take a look at a few.

It’s Quieter

We all know that a suppressor doesn’t make a gun silent, especially if it’s shooting a large caliber and/or using supersonic ammunition. Nonetheless, a suppressor does still quiet down the sound of a gunshot, even on a machine gun. Because you’re sending more rounds downrange faster than normal, that extra bit of hearing protection is definitely a huge plus to shooting a suppressed machine gun.

Reduced Recoil

Recoil is the bane of every shooter’s existence, but one of the added benefits of using a suppressor is that you will often notice a reduction in the amount of felt recoil. Whether you’re shooting a .22 caliber machine gun or something more substantial, you’ll appreciate the recoil reduction as it’ll help you keep the firearm on target.

Less Muzzle Flash

If you’ve ever shot in low-light or no-light conditions, then you know just how bright a gun’s muzzle flash can be. Another added benefit of shooting suppressed is that you’ll notice a reduction in the amount of muzzle flash. This can be very beneficial when you’re shooting a machine gun and those rounds – and the accompanying muzzle flash – are appearing faster and more frequently. Your eyes will appreciate the reduced strain.


Disadvantages of Suppressing a Machine Gun

Where there’s good, there’s also bad, and suppressed machine guns are no exception. The benefits of suppressing a machine gun are great, but it’s important to consider the disadvantages of suppressing a machine gun before making the final decision. Here are a few disadvantages to consider.

Lots of Heat

Shooting suppressed can cause a gun to heat up faster than it would normally. For most shooting situations, this isn’t a huge issue. However, full-auto fire from a machine gun generates a lot of heat in its own right, so adding a suppressor into the mix really turns up the heat.

Need for Multiple Suppressors

Many of the military’s machine guns are equipped with the ability to easily swap out barrels. This is due in large part to the heat issue mentioned above. Of course, if you swap out the barrel, you’ll also need to swap out the suppressor, and that’s not going to be a pleasant task when the gun is at such a high temperature that the barrel needs changing. As a result, a suppressed machine gun with multiple barrels is going to need multiple suppressors so that one can doesn’t have to be swapped between the barrels.

Applications for Suppressed Machine Guns

The most obvious applications for suppressed machine guns lie with the military. The Army has been conducting tests with suppressors on the M240 machine gun and the Marine Corps has even gone so far as to begin testing the mighty .50 caliber M2, or “Ma Deuce.” In between there, JSOC has been working with suppressors on medium machine guns.

However, the idea of suppressed machine guns within the military is still in its infancy. There will need to be a lot more testing and evaluation before a determination is made as to whether or not suppressed machine guns will become a mainstay in the modern military arsenal.

Thinking of Buying a Suppressor?

OK, so you probably don’t own a machine gun. Most people don’t have the money or the proper FFL/SOT to have one. That’s OK. There are still plenty of reasons why you should buy a suppressor.

When you’re ready to buy a suppressor, let us know. We’ll walk you through the entire process and even set up a free gun trust for you.

With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Silencer Central is the nation’s largest silencer dealer. We’re also the only one licensed in all 42 suppressor-legal states that can sell, process, and ship your new suppressor directly to your front door. We’ll set you up with a free gun trust, mail you the necessary fingerprint cards, and even arrange a no-interest payment plan so that you can pay while you wait for ATF approval. It doesn’t get any better – or easier – than that!