How Long Do Suppressors Last?

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How long do suppressors last? Well, that is a darn good question and a very difficult one to answer, but the simplest answer is that a well-cared-for suppressor will outlive you, your children, and probably even your grandchildren. After all, there are still first-generation Maxim Silencers from the early 20th century running around! That means, on one hand, we can truthfully say “at least 100 years,” but on the other hand, there are plenty of videos of people burning up suppressors on full-auto fire and destroying them in under ten thousand rounds.

So, the honest answer to the question of how long suppressors last is: “It depends on the suppressor and how you use it.” But as we said, if you treat it right, it’ll last for decades and tens of thousands of rounds sent downrange. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a suppressor last, and how to actually wear one out.

Here’s everything we’ll cover:

  • Suppressor design and construction
  • What are you shooting?
  • How are you shooting?
  • Physical damage to the suppressor
  • Extending the life of your suppressors
  • Buy an heirloom suppressor today!

SUPPRESSOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

While there are some oddball, disposable, proof-of-concept 3D printed suppressors, and all manner of improvised throwaways like the mythical 2-liter soda bottle taped to a muzzle, we aren’t interested in throwaway silencers of dubious utility and legality. (Seriously, don’t tape a 2-liter to your gun unless you’ve received an approved Form 1 from the ATF first.)

Oddball stuff aside, suppressors have a durable outer body (tube or can, if you like), internal baffles that may or may not be disposable (Nomex wipes, for instance), and end caps that let the bullet leave the suppressor on one end and the suppressor mount to the gun on the other end.

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Typically, various alloys of aluminum, steel, and titanium are used for these parts. The caliber being used, type of shooting, and even price points all determine the choices of which metal to use for suppressor construction. For instance, you can get away with an all-aluminum suppressor for a .22 rimfire, but you really can’t do the same thing for a .338 Lapua. Steel is heavy but cheaper. Titanium is more durable and lighter, but also more expensive.

But right now, other than the common sense of using strong alloys for more powerful centerfire rounds, we can’t tell much about how long a suppressor will last just by what it is made of. For that, we still need to know more.

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SUPPRESSOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

While there are some oddball, disposable, proof-of-concept 3D printed suppressors, and all manner of improvised throwaways like the mythical 2-liter soda bottle taped to a muzzle, we aren’t interested in throwaway silencers of dubious utility and legality. (Seriously, don’t tape a 2-liter to your gun unless you’ve received an approved Form 1 from the ATF first.)

Oddball stuff aside, suppressors have a durable outer body (tube or can, if you like), internal baffles that may or may not be disposable (Nomex wipes, for instance), and end caps that let the bullet leave the suppressor on one end and the suppressor mount to the gun on the other end.

Typically, various alloys of aluminum, steel, and titanium are used for these parts. The caliber being used, type of shooting, and even price points all determine the choices of which metal to use for suppressor construction. For instance, you can get away with an all-aluminum suppressor for a .22 rimfire, but you really can’t do the same thing for a .338 Lapua. Steel is heavy but cheaper. Titanium is more durable and lighter, but also more expensive.

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But right now, other than the common sense of using strong alloys for more powerful centerfire rounds, we can’t tell much about how long a suppressor will last just by what it is made of. For that, we still need to know more.

How Long Do Suppressors Last?

EXTENDING THE LIFE OF YOUR SUPPRESSORS

We can’t give you a round count for “how long does a suppressor last” because it can be as little as one round to “we don’t know because it still hasn’t worn out after over a century.” But we can tell you if you follow these common-sense steps, your suppressor probably will become a family heirloom:

  • Use the right suppressor for the right job. The lightweight suppressor you bought for your .22 should stay on your .22. Consult the manufacturer or your dealer for matching your gun to the right suppressor.
  • Don’t abuse your suppressor. Long term sustained fire will wear out a suppressor, sometimes in just a manner of seconds or minutes. No suppressor is built for long term sustained volumes of fire – the laws of physics prohibit it!
  • Keep it cool. Sure, the odd mag dump is fun, but it can stress your suppressor. Check with the manufacturer of your suppressor for best practices for semi-auto and sustained rates of fire. And unless you are in a firefight, you can take the time to not beat up your suppressor.
  • Keep it concentric to the bore. Proper barrel threading is a happy suppressor without baffle strikes. If you aren’t sure whether your barrel is threaded correctly or not, have a gunsmith examine it before shooting.
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BUY AN HEIRLOOM SUPPRESSOR TODAY!

A well-built modern suppressor like the all-titanium, multi-caliber BANISH suppressor can last your lifetime and the lifetime of your children and grandchildren if cared for correctly and not abused. You can rest assured that unless you are buying absolute bottom end budget suppressors and not abusing them with high sustained rates of fire, your suppressor will be a durable, long-lasting investment.

Head to our online store to see a full line of silencers for everything from .22 to .50 BMG and 12 gauge shotgun, and feel free to call or email us to find out what suppressor is right for you and your intended use!

Silencer Central is licensed to sell suppressors in all 42 states where they are legal to own. We will walk you through the entire purchase process, handle all of the paperwork, set you up with a free gun trust, allow you to make payments while you wait for ATF processing, and then mail your suppressor right to your front door!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>