Silencers 101

The Best .338 Suppressors for Big Bore Rifles

The Best .338 Suppressors for Big Bore Rifles

With 2020 now firmly behind us, we thought it would be a good time to look ahead at the good things that are yet to come in 2021. It’s said that good things come to those who wait, and after surviving 2020, we’ve all received PhDs in “wait-ology.”

Thankfully, wait times for NFA (National Firearms Act) items do not seem to be experiencing any of the abnormally extended delays that most of 2020 provided. Instead, it appears that times have come down a little bit. It’s still a months-long wait, but since you’ve now got your waiting doctorate, why not put it to good use and finally buy that .338 suppressor you’ve been wanting?

To make things a little easier, we’ve broken it down into our top five options when it comes to .338 suppressors for big bore rifles.

In an attempt to appeal to as many shooters as possible, the suppressors on this list have a nice range. There’s a cost spread of $870 between the most expensive and most affordable ones on the list. There’s also a size spread of 1.65” in length and a weight spread of 12.1 ounces. Those last two factors might not seem like much, but they do make a difference.

Here’s a preview of our top picks:

TBAC .338 Ultra
AAC Titan Ti Direct Thread
SilencerCo Harvester 338
Griffin Armament Sportsman Ultra Light
Elite Iron SIERRA

What to Look for in a .338 Suppressor

When considering any suppressor, people tend to look at three main factors: cost, size, and sound.

Cost and size are simple; those numbers are pretty well established. You’re going to pay a set amount (plus the $200 tax stamp) for a given suppressor, and whatever one you choose will be of a certain size and weight.

With two of the three main factors out of the way, it’s time to consider the tricky one: sound. The most important feature of any given silencer is how well it helps to reduce the sound signature of a given firearm. This can be of special importance when you’re dealing with .338 calibers since they’re generally quite loud. When shooting unsuppressed, some shooters even prefer to double up with earplugs and over-ear muffs, so every decibel reduction makes a difference here.

The type of host gun (or guns) you use will have a determining factor in the overall decibel reduction. Generally speaking, bolt-action guns will be quieter than semi-automatics by a few decibels. But don’t let that discourage you if you only intend on running the can on a semi-auto!

No matter what suppressor you finally decide to get, just make sure you’re taking it all – cost, size, and sound – into consideration before you make your purchase!

OK, so here’s a quick view chart of our picks:

CategoryNameCaliberWeightLengthPrice
Overall Best 338 SuppressorTBAC .338 ULTRAUp to .338 RUM16.9 oz10.4”$1,795
Best 338 Lapua Magnum SuppressorAAC Titan Ti Direct ThreadUp to .338 LM21 oz10”$1,599
Best 338 Win Mag SuppressorSilencerCo Harvester 338Up to .338 LM22 oz10”$1,199
Lightest 338 SuppressorGriffin Armament Sportsman Ultra Light 338Up to .338 LM12.7 oz8.75”$995
Best Bang for Your BuckElite Iron SIERRAUp to .338 RUM29 oz9.1”$925

 

Best Overall .338 Suppressor: TBAC .338 ULTRA

When trying to determine “the best” of something, you do a lot of research. Generally, what wins out is something that shows up repeatedly in that research, and with good results overall. In this case, we were looking for a suppressor that wasn’t too big or too heavy, could handle .338 cartridges with ease, and had plenty of positive reviews and endorsements by people who own one.

That’s what we found with the Thunder Beast Arms Corp (TBAC) .338 ULTRA Suppressor. Essentially, TBAC took an already great product – their .338BA Suppressor – and made it even better. Compared to the prior 338BA, the 338 ULTRA is 33% lighter, 2-4 dB quieter, and much stronger.

If we’re completely honest, we couldn’t find a single negative review of this can – or any TBAC can, for that matter. This is both a blessing and a curse. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this suppressor, it can be a hard item to find in stock. As with many items in the gun industry right now, demand is outpacing production, and the TBAC .338 ULTRA suppressor is no exception.

Advantages:

  • Very popular can with lots of positive user reviews
  • No discernable first round pop
  • Great noise reduction: 35 dB

Disadvantages:

  • Not user-serviceable
  • Frequently out of stock across the board
  • Most expensive option on the list

Specs: Thunder Beast Arms Corp (TBAC) .338 ULTRA Suppressor
Caliber: up to .338 Lapua Magnum or .338 RUM
Weight: 16.9 oz.
Length: 10.4”
Sound reduction: 35 dB
Price: $1,795

Best .338 Lapua Magnum Suppressor: AAC Titan Ti Direct Thread

The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge is a beast. You need a great rifle to withstand the punishment it can dole out, and a great suppressor to match.

That’s what we’ve found with the Advanced Armament Corp (AAC) Ti Direct Thread .338 LM Suppressor. AAC has utilized their patented Hyposone™ monolithic baffle module and CNC fusion welding to provide a suppressor that is incredibly durable and resilient, no matter how many rounds of .338 Lapua Magnum you send downrange.

AAC’s TITAN series of silencers deliver excellent signature and recoil reduction along with enhanced accuracy on precision rifles chambering the powerful .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

Like the TBAC mentioned above, the AAC Ti also suffers from supply-and-demand issues. It’s a very popular suppressor, but it can be hard to find one in stock. We know this first-hand, as our sales team sells a lot of these silencers when we can get our hands on them!

Advantages:

  • Great noise reduction: 34 dB
  • Durable and resilient
  • Very popular seller

Disadvantages:

  • Not user-serviceable
  • Can be hard to find in stock
  • Not for use on SCAR 17 or Ruger Scout rifles

Specs: AAC Titan Ti Direct Thread .338LM Suppressor
Caliber: .338 Lapua Magnum
Weight: 21 oz.
Length: 10”
Sound reduction: 34dB
Price: $1,599

Best .338 Winchester Magnum Suppressor: SilencerCo Harvester 338

SilencerCo is one of the most well-known suppressor names in the industry. They’ve had a lot of innovative products over the years, including the first (and only) shotgun suppressor and the first integrally suppressed 9mm pistol. Suffice it to say, they know suppressors.

Their Harvester 338 is no exception to this. Made of aluminum and stainless steel, it weighs 22 ounces and is 10” in length. With an average .338 Win Mag sound reduction of 35 dB, it does a darn good job at taming the power of a .338 cartridge. Depending on the specific caliber you run, it can also reduce felt recoil anywhere between 20% and 50%.

The SilencerCo Harvester 338 encapsulates all the features of its little brother, Harvester 300, but adds the capability to allow the use of a modular adapter to utilize various mounting options.

If you’re looking for a can that will do very well with long-range hunting or precision shooting, then this is definitely one you should consider. As an added benefit, the Harvester 338 incorporates a recoil-reducing Anchor Brake to facilitate quick target reacquisition and follow-up shots.

Advantages:

  • Direct thread or fast attach variants available
  • Very good felt recoil reduction

Disadvantages:

  • Not user-serviceable

Specs: SilencerCo Harvester 338 Suppressor
Caliber: Up to .338 LM
Weight: 22 oz.
Length: 10”
Sound reduction: 35 dB
Price: $1,199

Lightest .338 Suppressor: Griffin Armament Sportsman Ultra Light 338

Guns that are chambered for .338-caliber cartridges tend to be on the heavier side. This is because the guns need to be beefy enough to handle the powerful loads they can deliver. Even though the guns will be heavier to lug around, there can be a benefit to it. The added weight helps with some recoil reduction.

Of course, weight is still weight. Whether you’re carrying it from the truck to the bench or from the truck to a distant shooting location, that weight can add up quickly. As a result, if you can save some extra weight with your suppressor, that could be a good thing depending on your application.

The Griffin Armament Sportsman Ultra Light 338 easily takes the cake for the lightest .338 suppressor. It weighs just 12.7 ounces. Yes, you read that right: 12.7 ounces! How do they make such a lightweight yet durable silencer? It’s simple: different materials than most.

Taking advantage of the low mass properties of 7075 aluminum, Griffin Armament was able to make a suppressor with the durability typical of titanium silencers with incredible weight savings utilizing a hybrid baffle stack. The hybrid baffle stack consists of two 17-4 stainless heat treated blast baffles followed by 7075 anodized aluminum baffles to keep the silencer lightweight and durable.

Advantages:

  • Very compact unit
  • Priced point is reasonable
  • Unlike others on the list, it is user-serviceable

Disadvantages:

  • Sacrifice a few decibels compared to other models
  • Be aware of the cleaning differences between aluminum and titanium

Specs: Griffin Armament Sportsman Ultra Light 338 Suppressor
Caliber: up to .338 LM
Weight: 12.7 oz
Length: 8.75”
Sound reduction: 33 dB
Price: $995

Best Bang for Your Buck: Elite Iron SIERRA

We all know that suppressors aren’t cheap. When figuring out how much you’re willing to spend, Uncle Sam reminds us that you’ve got to factor him into the equation, too. There’s no way around the extra $200 tax stamp that gets added to your overall cost.

With that in mind, we’ve determined that the Elite Iron SIERRA Suppressor is the perfect balance between performance and price. At just 9.1” in length, it’s the second shortest can on the list. Weighing in at 29 ounces, however, makes it the heaviest on the list. But then again, at $925, it’s the most affordable on the list. So, it’s all about balance and sacrifice.

Made of stainless steel, the SIERRA is a robust magnum class suppressor. Elite Iron makes cans that are rated up to .50 BMG, so they know just how important it is for a silencer to be robust.

If you’re going to have to compromise, we think the SIERRA does a fairly good job at it. Our customers seem to think so, too, as we sell quite a few of these direct thread suppressors.

Even after you factor in the cost of the $200 tax stamp, the Elite Iron SIERRA comes in at a price point that is less than three of the five options on this list before the tax stamp. That definitely makes this can the best bang for your buck!

Advantages:

  • Size; 2nd shortest on this list
  • Price; it’s the most affordable one on this list

Disadvantages:

  • Weight; heaviest on this list

Specs: Elite Iron SIERRA Suppressor
Caliber: all .338 varieties up to .338 RUM
Weight: 29 oz
Length: 9.1”
Sound reduction: 31 dB
Price: $925

Your Mileage May Vary

There are a ton of suppressors on the market. There are also a ton of .338 rifles out there, too. It’s possible that the suppressors we picked for this article might not be the right ones for you. This list is just a starting point.

Given the time and money that goes into a suppressor purchase, we encourage you to do your own research before pulling the trigger – pun intended.

Hopefully, the information in this article helped answer a lot of your questions. If you’re still not sure, don’t worry! We’re here to help. Get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through what cans would be best for your specific rifle(s) and application(s).

Silencers Made Simple

We like to think we know more than just a thing or two when it comes to suppressors. We’ve been doing this for 15 years and we are 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 door.

At Silencer Central, we are passionate about compliance, knowledge, and community education when it comes to firearm sound suppression. If you’re ready to take the next step and get a .338-caliber suppressor, we’re here to walk you through the process. We can also help with trusts and barrel threading, too!

Our experts are ready to help you by phone or email, Monday through Saturday from 8am – 8pm (CT).

Give Us a Call Today!