The Best Calibers For Suppressors
There are a TON of calibers on the market today, with new ones being introduced every year. So how do you narrow it down to the ones that are the best to use with a suppressor?
Thankfully, suppressors aren’t specifically designed for use with just one particular cartridge. Instead, they’re designed to be used with certain calibers, of which there are many cartridges in each. This means that you can shoot all sorts of different cartridges through one suppressor so long as they meet the suppressor’s caliber requirements.
Let’s take a quick look at different common caliber ballistics so that you can see how they differ from one another. Then we’ll dig into some of the best calibers for use with suppressors.
Common Caliber Ballistics
|5.56/.223||55-grain||3,250 fps||1,290 ft-lbs||2.25"||Average|
|.30||150-grain||2,700 fps||2,428 ft-lbs||3.34"||Average|
|.45||185-grain||1,000 fps||411 ft-lbs||1.27"||Minimal|
|.22||36-grain||1,410 fps||159 ft-lbs||1"||Minimal|
|.338||250-grain||2,970 fps||4,895 ft-lbs||3.68"||Noticeable|
Our Favorite Calibers to Suppress
Here’s a look at some of our favorite calibers to shoot suppressed. Each one of these can be run through any number of different suppressors that are commonly available on the market today. In fact, every single one of them can be shot through one or more of the suppressors offered in our own BANISH series of suppressors. This includes everything from small rimfire calibers suited for plinking to big centerfire cartridges designed for long-range performance.
5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
The 5.56 cartridge originally designed for the military in 1964, and its civilian .223 counterpart, are similar to one another but are not interchangeable on a 1:1 ratio in all scenarios. The military’s original M193 load with a 55-grain FMJBT bullet was designed for optimum ballistic performance at ranges of approximately 200 yards or less to meet airbase defense requirements. This bullet proved effective at the close ranges in Vietnam as well, although penetration of dense foliage was minimal. The M193 loading has been replaced in U.S. military service by the M855A1 loaded with a 62.5-grain penetrator bullet that meets all NATO requirements. Many sporting cartridges are still loaded with the 55-grain bullet.
Though there are a wide variety of 5.56/.223 loads to choose from with varying degrees of performance, for ballistic purposes, we’re illustrating the standard sporting cartridge load.
- Type: 55-grain
- FPS: 3,250 fps
- Energy: 1,290 ft-lbs
- Length: 2.25″
- Recoil: Average
The .30-06 cartridge designation indicates the caliber (.30) and the year of introduction (1906). It was the standard US military rifle cartridge from 1906 until 1957. It served admirably in World War I in stripper clips loaded into bolt-action M1903 rifles and in World War II in en-bloc clips loaded into semi-automatic M1 Garand rifles. Even though it was replaced by the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, it still remains an incredibly popular sporting and hunting cartridge.
Though there are a wide variety of .30 caliber cartridges with varying degrees of performance, for ballistic purposes, we’re illustrating the .30-06 Springfield cartridge.
- Type: 150-grain
- FPS: 2,700 fps
- Energy: 2,428 ft-lbs
- Length: 3.34″
- Recoil: Average
There’s a long history behind .45 caliber handgun cartridges, but the two most popular ones have got to be the .45 Colt and the .45ACP. Both are legendary in their own right, they filled the ballistic needs at different times when different types of handguns dominated the market. The .45 Colt rose to fame during the Wild West era, adopted in 1875 when revolvers were state-of-the-art in terms of handgun technology. The .45ACP grew to prominence once the M1911 semi-automatic pistol was adopted in March 1911. Both calibers still have rabid followers and proponents.
Though there are a wide variety of .45 caliber cartridges with varying degrees of performance, for ballistic purposes, we’re illustrating the .45ACP cartridge.
- Type: 185-grain
- FPS: 1,000 fps
- Energy: 411 ft-lbs
- Length: 1.27″
- Recoil: Minimal
The humble .22 rimfire cartridge likely holds the distinction of being the first caliber shot by brand-new shooters. Originally released in 1887, by 1930 the load had been refined, and what we know as the quintessential .22 Long Rifle cartridge was born. Perfect for target shooting, small game hunting, and even competition, the .22 is one of the most versatile – and fun – rounds available today.
Though there are a wide variety of .22 caliber cartridges with varying degrees of performance, for ballistic purposes, we’re illustrating the .22LR supersonic cartridge.
- Type: 36-grain
- FPS: 1,410 fps
- Energy: 159 ft-lbs
- Length: 1″
- Recoil: Minimal
The most useful characteristic of the .338 Lapua Magnum is its ballistic performance at ranges between 1,000 and 1,800 yards. When it comes to intermediate-range targets, the .338 Lapua Magnum is an effective alternative to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridgeand a more efficient alternative to the .50 BMG. European law enforcement and military groups prefer the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge loaded with a 250-grain bullet and fired from a rifle with a 1:10 rifling twist. However, others such as the U.S. Marine Corps, prefer a 300-grain bullet with a faster rifling twist rate.
H3: .338 Ballistics:
Though there are a wide variety of .338 caliber cartridges with varying degrees of performance, for ballistic purposes, we’re illustrating the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.
- Type: 250-grain
- FPS: 2,970 fps
- Energy: 4,895 ft-lbs
- Length: 3.68″
- Recoil: Noticeable
We’ll Help You Find The Perfect Suppressor to Fit Your Caliber
Whether you’ve decided on which silencer to buy or not, the next step is to get ahold of us here at Silencer Central. If you know what you want to buy, we can start your order right away. If you’re still deciding, our staff can help you pick the right suppressor for your firearm once we know what calibers and firearms you’ll be shooting.
Silencer Central is licensed to sell suppressors in all 42 states where they are legal. We’ve been doing this all day, every day for more than 15 years, and have sold countless thousands of suppressors in that time.
Let us handle the entire purchase process for you and even deliver your suppressor right to your front door once it’s been approved. It really doesn’t get any better than that, so what are you waiting for? Call us now!