Maglula Uplula Pistol Magazine Loader

For years I have seen ads for the Maglula magazine loaders, but always figured, “Hey, I have a couple of good, cheap thumbs, right?”

Well, once again, I was WRONG. The suppressor testing I am doing mostly involves semi-auto pistols, which means loading a lot of ammo into magazines – which can put a strain on those thumbs. The Maglula uploader is an amazing invention that makes loading magazine EASIER, FASTER, and will get the last round or two that I just can’t get in using thumbs alone in place, for a fully loaded magazine! Haven’t used mine to unload a magazine yet, but I’d bet it does great for that, also! These things are made for all manner of magazines, single and double stack, and SHOYLD be included with the purchase of any semi-auto pistol.

This simple device makes loading pistol magazines easy, fast  - and painless!

This simple device makes loading pistol magazines easy, fast – and painless!

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Suppressing the .45 ACP?

Finally, I am ready to test-fire my Sig P220 .45 ACP suppressed, using the Ti-Rant .45 suppressor that worked pretty well with the .40 S&W cartridge fired from a Glock G23. For the initial test, I used American Eagle 230 gr FMJ ammo, which is supposed to have a muzzle velocity of 890 fps. >45 ACP is said to be one of the best large bore center-fire pistol cartridges to suppress, because almost all .45 ACP ammo is sub-sonic.

The Ti-Rant 45 suppressor with the standard booster piston for .45 ACP (not metric, .578 x 28) fit on the Sig P220 barrel fine.

The Ti-Rant 45 suppressor with the standard booster piston for .45 ACP (not metric, .578 x 28) fit on the Sig P220 barrel fine.

Well, I need to try different types of ammo before pronouncing judgement, but from my initial test run, it was louder than the .40 S&W. Again, firing without ear protection was not that unpleasant, but it seemed to me to be about the same as a .22 LR high velocity without a suppressor. This is, of course, a test of only one pistol with a single suppressor, and I intend to try different brands of suppressor as soon as I can. Still, the result was considrably quieter than an unsuppressed .45. Even without suppressor height sights, Imy accuracy seemed improved with the suppressor, versus without. With a good red dot sight mounted, this would be an excellent woods walking gun, as well as a first line home defense weapon.

Luckily, the Sig P220 barrels are threaded RH, and use .578 x 28 thread pitch - not metric.

Luckily, the Sig P220 barrels are threaded RH, and use .578 x 28 thread pitch – not metric.

Again, the Sig P220 was flawless while firing with the suppressor. I am more impressed with this pistol each time I fire it.

My 40th anniversary Sig Sauer P220 in .45 ACP w/ suppressor

My 40th anniversary Sig Sauer P220 in .45 ACP w/ suppressor

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AGREEING WITH THE US ARMY (sort of) – TESTING THE SIG SAUER P220 IN .45 ACP

This pistol commemorated the 40th anniversary of Sig Sauers P220 pistol - my "new" favorite full sized semi-auto!

This pistol commemorated the 40th anniversary of Sig Sauers P220 pistol – my “new” favorite full sized semi-auto!

For those who may not know, the US Army just awarded the contract for their “new” service pistol, choosing the Sig Sauer over the Glock submission to replace the Berreta 92 9mm that has been in use for several years. I had no personal experience with Sig handguns when I began seriously looking for a threaded barrel .45 ACP to use in suppressor testing while waiting on Irv Stone at Barstow to fit a threaded barrel to my Para Expert Cary 1911. Poring through the TexasGunTrader website, I “just missed” a couple of Springfield XDM’s, and a .45 Glock. Most of the threaded .45’s I saw, however, were Sigs or FN, and a bit pricey for a “test gun”. I finally found a Sig P220 TB (threaded barrel) in .45 ACP nearby (Houston area) at a fair price, and made a deal on it. I have admired the “looks” of Sig’s 1911 models for some time, but had never really considered a P220.

MAJOR MISTAKE!

First a little background. I began to notice Sig more after realizing the connection with my old Herter’s revolvers. Herter’s guns were made in West Germany, by J.P. Sauer & Sohn, who later merged with Sig of Switzerland to form Sig Sauer, and focused on semi-auto pistols and full auto machine guns. The P220 model was developed for the Swiss army in 1975. It has either an alloy or stainless steel frame – depending on the model, mine is steel, and steel slide to give it more strength than a polymer frame pistol. Weight is 30 oz for the alloy frame, 39 for the steel frame version – meaning this is a 2 pound + gun with the steel frame. Originally known as the Browning Double Action pistol, it differs from the more common Browning designs like the 1911 in having a link-less barrel and no barrel bushing, instead licking the barrel to the slide with a machined in breech block. similar to the Glock system. Finish of this anniversary model is black nitride, with a 5″ threaded barrel. This is a DA/SA pistol, with no manual safety – BUT, it features a de-cocker that allows the hammer to be safely “let down” (it doesn’t go so far as to actually rest on the firing pin) on a loaded chamber and carried in this condition with little danger of an accidental discharge. To fire, the hammer may be cocked manually, as with a revolver, or simply pulling the trigger will raise and drop the hammer and fire the gun. The initial trigger pull with the hammer down is “double action” and heavier than the “single action” trigger pull when the hammer is cocked. Sig says the double action pull is 12 – 14 pounds, while the single action pull is offcially 6 pounds – exactly what my trigger gauge says it is. The trigger surface is smooth, but wide – making it easy to control and comfortable. The slide has rear cocking serrations, the grip front strap is “checkered”, and the back-strap is textured the same as the standard grips. Another plus for this pistol is that aftermarket grips are available – including some nice ones of wood from Hogue (that I have on order!). The grip also has a beavertail that helps maintain a higher “hold” on the gun and reduces the chance of a slide cut. The front frame also has a machined in rail for attaching lights or lasers.

The "fire controls" are on the left side, and include disassembly lever, de-cocker lever, slide stop, and magazine release.

The “fire controls” are on the left side, and include disassembly lever, de-cocker lever, slide stop, and magazine release.

Controls are on the left side for disassembly, de-cocking, slide stop, and magazine release.

The Sig P220 comes with an eight round and an extended 10 round magazine.

The Sig P220 comes with an eight round and an extended 10 round magazine.

Sig magazines are stainless steel, and have numbered holes for (double) checking loads.

The standard magazine for the Sig P220 holds 8 rounds, the extended mag holds 10, and both are stainless steel with numbered holes to visually check loads.

The standard magazine for the Sig P220 holds 8 rounds, the extended mag holds 10, and both are stainless steel with numbered holes to visually check loads.

This Sig came with their excellent night sights, and they are in dovetail slots machined into the frame, so if taller, “suppressor sights” are desired, or a mount for a red dot optic, they can be easily and securely mounted.

Sig night sights are standard, and very good.

Sig night sights are standard, and very good.

The Sig sights are securely mounted in dovetails, which also makes them easy to change, and somewhat adjustable.

The Sig sights are securely mounted in dovetails, which also makes them easy to change, and somewhat adjustable.

This is a large pistol, very similar in shape and size to a full size 1911. Recoil should be minimal in .45 ACP, with the weight making it easy to control. It is NOT a concealed carry weapon, except maybe in a hard winter in a shoulder holster under a heavy coat. It will be a very good “bedside” gun, truck gun, or woods-walking gun. The .45 ACP in a pistol of this size might not be the best choice as a dedicated hunting weapon, but it will certainly put down a hog or deer with a carefully placed shot. The P220 is also available in a “Hunter” model chambered for 10mm, for a more “serious” hunting handgun. For close-range varmint or pest control, it should be VERY good. Personally, I like it very much! I like the hammer and de-cocker, I like the size and weight, the light rail, and the steel construction. I like nice wooden grips, and look forward to getting a set installed.

The Sig P220 compared to a .480 Ruger Super Redhawk and a .45 Colt Blackhawk is still a BIG gun!

The Sig P220 compared to a .480 Ruger Super Redhawk and a .45 Colt Blackhawk is still a BIG gun!

The US Army recently chose a version of the Sig 320 to be their new service handgun. This one is a striker fired weapon, so no hammer. It is standard in 9mm, but can be had in .40 or .45. The Glock they did NOT choose was better than most of the Austrian plastic pistols, in being “earth tone” color, instead of black, and also had a manual safety – but I doubt it compared well with the precision of the Sig. In my own case, the competition for a .45 other than a 1911, or simply a full sized defensive semi-auto, was won very handily by the Sig P220. I think I’ll have this one a long time!

UPDATE! Shot the Sig P220 yesterday, running through some American Eagle FMJ 230 gr ammo and a few hand loads with lead bullets. Everything fired with no hint of a malfunction. The de-cocker worked as it should, and recoil WAS very minimal. Did not spend a lot of time “learning” the sights, as I plan to mount a red dot on this pistol. Was delayed on the suppressor testing, as I was assuming I would need the same thread size and pitch as for an HK – metric 16 x 1 LH. Strangely, Sig seems to have followed “tradition” for .45 ACP, and threaded barrels in this caliber in P220 and 1911 are RH thread, with a more standard pitch of .578 x 28! The Silencer Shop had helpfully sent me a booster piston for the Ti-Rant .45 can threaded 16 x 1 LH, but when it did not “work”, I replaced it with the piston threaded .578 x 28 RH that was originally in the suppressor – and that one screwed on just fine! Should be doing some live fire testing with the can today, posting results and photos later.

I am hoping to mount a Sig Romeo reflex red dot sight, but evidently neither these sights or the mount kits will be shipping for another 2 – 3 months, even though Sig and several major retailers are already “pushing” them. They list some major pluses in their spec, including a motion sensor that turn the sight on when the gun is moved (as in drawing from a holster, or even picking it up off an end table. It will also turn off after two hours of no movement – to save battery life.) Since these sights are not yet available, I will likelty mount a Burris Fast Fire instead, at least for now.

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Suppressing the Glock 23, .40 S&W

Changing these pistons allows this suppressor to be used on a Glock .40 S&W barrel, instead of a .45 auto.

Changing these pistons allows this suppressor to be used on a Glock .40 S&W barrel, instead of a .45 auto.

The intro to this post is in the post – “Suppressor Do’s and Don’ts” , where I describe buying a Glock 23 in .40 S&W with a threaded barrel to use in testing a Ti-Rant M45 suppressor meant for the .45 auto cartridge. My enthusiasm for this segment of suppressor testing began to wane a bit, when I discovered that Glock uses metric thread pitches on their factory threaded barrels. After a LOT of discussion with various folks in the industry, I found that the Ti-Rant suppressor would fit the Glock threads – and those on Sigs and HK’s – but only if the standard booster piston were replaced with one threaded M14.5 x 1 LH. My “normal” supplier was out of these pistons, so I bought one from Midway USA, and had it overnighted to me. Changing the pistons out was not especially difficult once I discovered how to do it, and the new piston fit in just right – AND it now screws on to the Glock threaded barrel!

By the way, for other common calibers on Glock factory threaded barrels, the thread pitch is:

9 mm – 13.5 x 1 LH

.45 – 16 x 1 LH

First step in switching calibers is to remove the booster from the suppressor, by unscrewing the end cap.

First step in switching calibers is to remove the booster from the suppressor, by unscrewing the end cap.

The booster section of most CF pistol suppressors is internal, and consists of a booster spring around a caliber specific piston in a screw in housing.

The booster section of most CF pistol suppressors is internal, and consists of a booster spring around a caliber specific piston in a screw in housing.

Booster section of the Ti-Rant completely removed and disassembled.

Booster section of the Ti-Rant completely removed and disassembled.

The Glock 23 in .40 S&W is used by the FBI and many other law enforcement agencies.

The Glock 23 in .40 S&W is used by the FBI and many other law enforcement agencies.

Once the proper booster piston was in the Ti-Rant .45 auto "can", it screwed up fine to the Glock barrel.

Once the proper booster piston was in the Ti-Rant .45 auto “can”, it screwed up fine to the Glock barrel.

Although this suppressor is long for a pistol the size of the Glock, because it is light, it handles and points well.

Although this suppressor is long for a pistol the size of the Glock, because it is light, it handles and points well.

When I headed for my woods property “range” to test fire this combo, I had a box of Winchester SXZ “Personal Protection ammo, loaded with 180 gr Jacketed Hollow Point bullets. Although I have seen lighter bullets advertised as being loaded to a muzzle velocity of 2000 fps in .40 S&W, most of the 180 gr loads are actually sub sonic – mostly less than 900 fps. I have suppressor sights for this pistol, just haven’t mounted them yet, so I was shooting for sound, mostly – although just “aiming” down the suppressor produced accuracy at 15 yards that would be suitable for home defense.

Recoil with this pistol/ammo combo is a little snappy, but not much. It was less with the can on, than without, and I would think that the extra weight of the suppressor helped with that some – except it weighs hardly anything! Of course, another advantage to suppressors is that they DO reduce recoil. Even though this one is much larger than the .22 LR can I’ve also been testing, it is lighter – and on the tupper ware Glock is a lighter setup than my Ruger .22 LR + suppressor.

Although the suppressed Glock is longer overall, it is actually much lighter than the suppressed Ruger .22 LR.

Although the suppressed Glock is longer overall, it is actually much lighter than the suppressed Ruger .22 LR.

Although it might be challenging to find a good holster for this rig, I think it would make a great woods-walking set-up, quiet enough to use for stealthy snake protection or pest control, yet having enough power to take down a hog – or deer – at close range, with a well placed shot. Personally, I have been lucky and never had to shoot a deer more than once, but many years ago a good friend got pretty beat up trying to cut a wounded buck’s throat with a pocket knife, rather than shoot it again. Having this suppressed .40 S&W Glock in the stand would be a much easier and humane way to “finish off” game – and in the long run, probably quieter than a knife!

Of course, as a home defense gun, the suppressed semi-auto .40 – especially with a high cap magazine, and Glock offers a factory mag with a capacity of 22 rounds for the G23 – would offer lots of firepower, and a lot less hearing damage, were it’s “help” ever needed!

In the future, I may very well obtain a 9 mm barrel for this Glock, to be able to use it as a “test” platform for that caliber, suppressed, also.

Thanks to The Silencer Shop in Austin, Texas – www.silensershop.com, 512/931-4556, and the Bowers Group of Cornelius, Oregon – www.bowersgroup.com, 503/992-8697 – for all their help with this project.

Posted in Rifles and Other Things That Go Bang! | 2 Comments

SUPPRESSOR DO’S AND DON’Ts

Life is not easy, for a boy named Sue – or who wants to write informative posts and articles about such things as suppressors. Certainly more difficult than, say embarking on a career as a product tester at a slinky factory! You DO remember the slinky toys, right? Well, suffice it to say that suppressors are more complicated, in many ways.

As a sort of “independent” in the world of outdoor and gun writing, I usually have to get by without a lot of “factory support”. With sound reduction devices for firearms, this is hard to do, but almost necessary, because it is sort of an emerging industry. One thing I have been made painfully aware of, is that not all suppressors are created equal in the most basic of areas – attachment to the firearm! Of course, some companies use quick connect mounting devices, while others stick to the tried and true direct thread method, but what they don’t do is make it easy for us by using mounts or threads that are more or less universal – or even compatible in some cases. With .22 LR suppressors, things are fairly simple, as the mounting threads are actually the same for all direct thread types, but getting into centerfires can get tricky.

The first stumbling block I found was while attempting to get the barrel threaded on my Para 1911 .45 ACP. Para does not offer a threaded barrel, and some barrel makers do not deal with the public – requiring you to go through a dealer. I chose to order a barrel from Bar Sto Precision, because they do sell to the public. The Para Expert Carry I have had a 3″ barrel – with no barrel bushing. On this model, at least, Para uses a tapered or bull barrel. Bar Sto knows this, and made a nice stainless barrel for me that was a little longer, just a bit over 4″. They give you the option of ordering a barrel to be custom fitted at their shop, or a “semi-fit” barrel you might be able to install yourself. I say, “might”, because I planned to have them “fit” this barrel to my gun, just to be sure, but it took longer than I expected for it to be ready, and when they told me 70% of the semi-fit barrels were actually drop-ins with no fitting required, I tried to hurry things by installing it myself. Bad move. The barrel arrived with a feed ramp that was too thick and shaped wrong, will not even “semi” fit! Now I have to arrange to send the barrel back – with my pistol – to have the Bar Sto gunsmiths do the job for me – at a slight cost, of course.

The good news is the threading matched the .45 auto suppressor just fine – which I soon realized is a pretty big deal! AS an update, I just got off the phone with Bar Sto, and they are emailing me a form to send my gun in with to get the job done by the pros!

Hoping to move things along and get to the testing of .45 ACP with the suppressor, I began shopping for a used pistol that had a threaded barrel, and discovered there are quite a few of them on the market. I could choose between Sig Sauers, HK, Springfield XDM, and Glock. I did see one Kimber 1911, but the threaded barrel for it needed fitting – nope, not going there! Next was caliber consideration, as I wanted to test a .45 auto ‘can”. I did see some Sigs and HK’s in .45 ACP, and just missed a chance at a couple of XDM’s. There were more 9mm pistols with threaded barrels for sale than .45s, by far. Well, a bit of checking revealed that a .45 suppressor works fine with 9 mm – also with .40 S&W. Since I have never seen anything written about suppressing a .40, I chose to buy a Glock 23 in that caliber, with a threaded barrel. Influencing my choice was that I could also get a threaded 9 mm barrel for the same gun, allowing me to later test this caliber, also. The G23 will also take a .357 Sig barrel, which is an interesting caliber, but one that is loaded to much higher velocity. The .40 S&W 180 gr loads I looked up were almost all sub sonic, just as are the .45 auto loads – so both of these should be excellent candidates for suppressor use.

Well, I bought the gun, came home, and prepared to screw on the Ti-Rant .45 suppressor – but it would not thread on! It seems those Austrian devils at Glock use a metric thread on the threaded barrels! In case you wonder, so do Sig and HK. Although there probably are adaptors to allow a Glock barrel to screw into a Ti-Rant suppressor, I am told this is not the way it should be done. Instead, a “piston” – which is built into the back end of the suppressors – must be found that allows for its use on said metric threaded Glock barrel. Since the Silencer Shop did not have any of these pistons on hand, I am back to a waiting game for testing the .45 auto suppressor. For inquiring minds who wish to know, The standard .45 auto threading is supposed to be .578 x 28. For .40, companies like Storm Lake thread their barrels 9/16 x 24. The Glock Store in California told me that for threaded barrels, Glock uses metric thread pitches of 13.5 x 1 for 9 mm barrels, 14.5 x 1 for .40, and 16 x 1 for .45. Although I agree with others who have more Glock experience than I do that Glock pistols run better with Glock barrels, if wanting to suppress one, I might look after market, just to get thread pitches that are more easily matched. This also goes for Sig and HK.

Stay tuned for an update on making the .40 S&W and the .45 auto quieter.

Actually, testing those slinkys sounds very easy and relaxing, doesn’t it?

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The Art and Science of Wet Silencers

When you become REALLY interested in firearm suppressors/silencers, you will begin to hear about “wet” silencers. It has long been known that a bit of certain liquids – beginning with plain water – can make a suppressor “quieter”, but do you know why?

This book not only delves into that question, but contains a lot of information about how silencers work, in general, as well as a lot of information on silencer history. Suppressor fans and advocates should investigate this book, written by someone from Finland – which has much more realistic suppressor laws than the US, and with insight from other countries that also treat suppressors as useful firearms accessories.

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Gun Digest Book Of Suppressors, by Patrick Sweeny

The Gun Digest series of books on various firearms subjects are all well written and thought out, and contain a whole lot of valuable information for those who love firearms. Patrick Sweeny has authored several books in this series. Mr. Sweeny has been a gunsmith and top competitor in pistol competition shoots, as well as a leading magazine and book author in this field, and he has lent his usual thorough approach to this valuable volume on firearm suppressors. How suppressors work, how they are regulated, some development history, profiles of major manufacturers, tips on using suppressors on handguns, rifles, and semi-auto firearms – even shotguns – are all subjects well-covered here. There is even a chapter on “making your own” suppressors that discusses regulations as well as construction.

Patrick Sweeny also has an engineering degree, and explains the various gas “laws” applicable to how and why suppressors work much better than I remember them being presented back in high school physics and chemistry classes.

Even if you are like me, and not much interested in suppressors as used on AR’s and sub machine guns, a lot of the information that applies to them can also be applied to a suppressor for hunting, target shooting, or home defense use.

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Suppressor Testing Begins!

While I await the BATF approval to take delivery of my very own .22 LR suppressor, I was able to get one – of a different brand – for some testing. This serves to let me know NOW what my Ruger Standard semi-auto sounds like suppressed, plus evaluate some brands of sub sonic .22 LR ammo and establish a sort of baseline for later comparison testing of different brands of .22 suppressors. Thanks to Jeremy Mallette and the guys at The Silencer Shop in Austin for making this possible!

The Thunderbeast .22 LR Suppressor is just under 6" long, and takes apart for cleaning

The Thunderbeast .22 LR Suppressor is just under 6″ long, and takes apart for cleaning

The Thunder Beast Corp .22 Take-Down is 5.6″ in overall length, and has removable end caps for disassembly and cleaning – which is necessary for .22 suppressors, because of the “dirty” ammo and soft lead bullets in common use. While nearly as long as the pistol’s stainless steel Mark II target barrel, it is light, and does not affect the pistol’s handling as much as one might expect. Because it is very near the same diameter as the barrel, the original open target sights would have worked, but I mounted a well-proven C More Railway red dot sight that once guided the shots from my .460 Rowland 1911. I like the “controls” on the C More, and also like the “solid” look of it on this pistol.

The suppressor was mounted on the threaded Mark II target barrel of my Ruger Standard  pistol, and various ammunition tested for "Loud"..

The suppressor was mounted on the threaded Mark II target barrel of my Ruger Standard pistol, and various ammunition tested for “Loud”..

For my initial “shoot” I used CCI mini-mag high velocity .22 LR ammo, and then several makes of sub-sonic .22 LR loads. There is, really, no more “fun” gun to shoot than a suppressed .22 semi-auto pistol! Even with the high velocity ammo, it was very pleasant to shoot without hearing protection, and the sounds of the sub sonic loads may have been “quieter” than my .177 caliber pellet pistol! The “pop-pop-pop!” while punching holes in the paper target was pretty amazing, and I am anxious to try it on a marauding coon or armadillo! I have not yet checked the published velocities of the various loads against my own chronograph, but I don’t expect to see much difference except that to be expected when comparing ‘real world” performance against that of special test firearms used by the factories.

I started with “regular” CCI Mini-Mag ammo, with a 40gr “solid” plated bullet at 1235 fps, which is super sonic. This ammo is common and popular for both target shooting and small game/varmint hunting. At this velocity, you can expect a sharp muzzle blast, but the suppressor “dropped” this to a pleasant “pop”. Accuracy appeared good, although I was shooting for sound and function, primarily.

Next up was CCI’s “Segmented Hollow Point Subsonic” ammo – also 40 grs and plated, at 1050 fps. Being plated is important in helping at least a little to keep the suppressor cleaner. These rounds were MUCH quieter than the super sonic loads, for sure pellet gun level – or less!

The American Eagle “Suppressor” labeled ammo is also plated, and uses a 45 gr plated bullet at a mere 970 fps of mv. These were probably the winner in the low sound signature competition!

Finally, I tried several rounds of the RWS Subsonic HP, which is not plated, and NOT a hollow point. It fires a 40 gr bullet, but does not list a MV. These were very quiet also, and would probably be a good choice for pest control or small game or varmint hunting.

Since one way a suppressor works to reduce the sound of a shot is to remove heat, the Thunder Beast suppressor, even though coated with a OD green polymer of some type, got pretty hot to the tough after 3 magazines of ammo were fired. Not dangerously hot, just uncomfortably warm. You would not want to shove it in a pants pocket after a firing session!

I did have two rounds of one of the plated sub sonics that did not fire on the first “go-round”, and did not show the mark if the firing pin. May have been a problem with my pistol, because they fired as expected when I loaded them again in the next magazine full.

Although a suppressed .22 LR semi-auto pistol, or rifle, either, is very enjoyable to just SHOOT, some wonder why there is a need for such a gun, since .22’s are not all that loud to begin with? Since I got my first .22 as a teenager, I have used them as much for hunting small game such as rabbits and squirrel, varmints like coons and possums, pests like rats and poisonous snakes, and even for killing feral hogs as for target shooting. I had a neighbor to my woods property who liked to shoot – a lot – on Sunday evenings during deer season. From the sound, some of this was with an AR or other high capacity semi-auto, some was with a semi-auto .22. I would have much preferred he used a suppressor! On the other hand, when I take a shot at a raiding coon around the cabin at night, the close neighbors will I’m sure be less “bothered” by the non-sound of a suppressed .22. For squirrel hunting, a suppressed .22 is as quiet as a good pellet gun, and has more power. I would certainly have enjoyed using a suppressed .22 on my trapline in high school, also!

A suppressed .22 will NOT completely replace a pellet gun as a pest control tool inside city limits, because of the need to be careful of where a shot might go after missing, or even hitting, a “garbage can possum”.

When Sheriff Wagner was signing my first suppressor application, we had a discussion about suppressor uses, and he told me his Swat team had suppressed .22’s they used for things like shooting out a porch light before entry into a suspected hostile environment. Add legitimate uses like this by law enforcement to the proven function of hearing protection, and suppressors make way too much sense to be overly regulated as they are now in our country.

Hoping to add a .22 LR suppressor to my armament at some time, I purchased a holster for the Ruger .22 LR pistol from Classic Old West (reviewed in the Product Evaluation category of this website) that accepts the suppressor, as well as a spare magazine and optics.

This Classic Old West Holster works with the suppressor, the big red dot sight, and even has a holder for a spare magazine!

This Classic Old West Holster works with the suppressor, the big red dot sight, and even has a holder for a spare magazine!

I also have a Ti-Rant-M .45 auto suppressor by Advanced Armament Corp on loan from The Silencer Shop that I hope to be evaluating very soon, as the threaded bull barrel for my Para Expert 1911 shipped today from Barsto Precision! The .45 auto is said to be a “natural” for suppressor use, as in all but the “hottest” loading it is naturally sub sonic, and the heavy bullets are fired at low pressure for a centerfire pistol round. I am very much looking forward to reporting on the sound the .45 makes with the Ti-Rant-M!

At 8.9" OAL, The .45 auto suppressor is both longer and larger in diameter than the .22 suppressor.

At 8.9″ OAL, The .45 auto suppressor is both longer and larger in diameter than the .22 suppressor.

Posted in Rifles and Other Things That Go Bang! | 2 Comments

New Red Snapper Seasons Announced!

Caution: Reading this bulletin can be hazardous to your MENTAL health!

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin

Bringing Fishing News to You

FB17-023

FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE: May 2, 2017

CONTACT: SERO Sustainable Fisheries, 727-824-5305

NOAA Announces the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Recreational Seasons

WHAT/WHEN:

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico federal red snapper recreational seasons open for the private angling and federally permitted for-hire components on June 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time. The private angler component season will be 3 days and the federally permitted for-hire component season will be 49 days in federal waters.

Closing dates for each component are:

Private Anglers: June 4, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.
Federally Permitted For-Hire Vessels: July 20, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.

HOW THE SEASON LENGTHS WERE DETERMINED:

The red snapper total recreational quota is allocated 57.7% to the private angling component and 42.3% to the for-hire component.
In 2016, the total recreational quota was exceeded by 129,906 pounds. The private angling quota was also exceeded.
The overage of the total recreational quota must be paid back by the private angling component because that component exceeded its quota.
After adjustment for the 2016 overage, the 2017 annual catch target for the private angling component is 3,004,075 pounds whole weight. The 2017 annual catch target for the for-hire component is 2,278,000 pounds whole weight.
Catches in both state and federal waters are counted against the quota. The number of days for each component to harvest its annual catch target was calculated using 2016 catch rates and accounting for the expected red snapper harvest during state seasons outside the federal season. Private anglers are expected to harvest nearly 81% of the private angling quota during state seasons that range from 67 to 365 days.
Based on the 2017 catch targets and after accounting for landings during state seasons, the private angling season in federal waters can be 3 days and the for-hire season can be 49 days.
For information on red snapper recreational management in the Gulf of Mexico including how the season lengths were projected, go to: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/index.html.

WHEN THE FEDERAL RED SNAPPER SEASON IS CLOSED:

Harvest or possession of red snapper in or from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico is prohibited.
State water recreational red snapper seasons may differ from federal water seasons. Please check with your local state’s rules and regulations.
Federally permitted for-hire vessels may not harvest and retain recreationally caught red snapper in state waters, even if state waters remain open after the federal water closure.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

Why are the private recreational red snapper seasons getting shorter when the population is getting larger?

To maintain and build on the progress made, NOAA Fisheries needed to set the federal recreational season lengths to keep fishing catches within their targets as mandated by the Magnuson Stevens Act and identified by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Catch rates are higher.
o There are more red snapper and anglers are catching them faster, landing fish at two and a half times the rate they did in 2007.
o Today’s red snapper are more than twice the size as in 2007, on average going from 3.3 pounds (2007) to 7.25 pounds (2016).
Quotas have been adjusted.
o A court ruling required fishery managers to establish accountability measures to reduce the likelihood recreational fishermen will exceed their quota; a 20% recreational quota buffer was established.
o If the annual quota is exceeded, any overage is deducted from the quota for the following fishing season.
Red snapper are easy to catch.
o More artificial reefs are being placed closer to shore, aggregating fish and making them more accessible to private anglers.
o Technology, such as fish finders and global positioning satellites – GPS, and artificial reefs that aggregate fish, make red snapper easier to find than in the past.
The average state season lengths have increased since 2012 (see Figure below).
o NOAA Fisheries is responsible for ensuring the entire recreational harvest of red snapper, including harvest in state waters, does not exceed the recreational quota.
o Therefore, if states establish a longer season for state waters than allowed in federal waters, the federal season must be adjusted to account for the additional harvest expected in state waters.
o Private anglers are projected to catch nearly 81% of the annual catch target in 2017 during state seasons, leaving less than 600,000 pounds for the private federal season.
o State seasons for 2017 are expected vary from 67 to 365 days.

Federal season length and the average state season length for West Florida through Louisiana. Texas is excluded because they have maintained a year-round season.

What are the quotas and annual catch targets for 2017?

The allowable catch of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico for both the commercial and recreational sectors is 13.74 million pounds whole weight. The recreational sector is allocated 49% of that total, which is 6,733,000 pounds whole weight.
Both the total recreational quota and the private angling component quota are reduced by the overage of the 2016 total recreational quota.
The annual catch targets are 80% of the quotas. This 20% buffer helps maintain landings within the total quota.

Sector or

Component

2017 quota

(pounds whole weight)

2017 Annual Catch Target

(pounds whole weight)

All Recreational

6,603,094*

n/a

Federal for-hire

2,848,000

2,278,000

Private angling

3,755,094*

3,004,075**

*Adjusted by 129,906 lbs whole weight to account for 2016 overage, **80% of the adjusted quota

Why does the recreational sector get 49% of the allowable catch in 2017 instead of the 51.5% that sector got in 2016?

The allocation of 51.5% to the recreational sector and 48.5% to the commercial sector was established in 2016 through Amendment 28 to the reef fish management plan.
However, NOAA Fisheries was sued over the allocation change and the judge vacated the final rule implementing Amendment 28.
Therefore, NOAA Fisheries has projected the length of the recreational seasons based on the allocations in effect before implementation of the Amendment 28 final rule, which is 49% to the recreational sector and 51% to the commercial sector.

How are state season landings for red snapper estimated?

Multiple data sets are used to determine the amount of red snapper recreational landings:
o The Marine Recreational Information Program is the source of private and charter landings from state and federal waters off Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.
o Louisiana and Texas have separate data collection programs for private anglers and charter vessels.
o Headboat landings are reported to the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.
Any recreational landings of red snapper reported in federal waters outside the federal season must be reassigned to state seasons, as they could not have been legally harvested from federal waters.
A portion of state waters landings during waves (2-month periods) when the federal season and state season overlap are assigned to state seasons; this portion is based on the ratio between open federal days and open state days during the wave.
When all these factors and data sources are included, total state season red snapper recreational landings were approximately 2.5 million pounds for 2016.
Because federally permitted charter vessels and headboats cannot fish in state waters when the federal season for red snapper is closed, all for-hire landings from are attributed to non-federally permitted vessels, which are part of the private angler component.
If nothing were to change from last year, it is anticipated that state waters would account for 83% of the total catch target for recreational red snapper; however, Florida is considering a slightly shorter season this year, so our current projections anticipate 81% of the catch target will be landed in state waters in 2017.
The assignment of landings to state versus federal seasons is discussed in detail in the 2017 season projection report at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/documents/pdfs/gulf_red_snapper_rec_season_2017.pdf.

Where can I find more information on the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico?

For more information on Red Snapper, Past, Present and Future, please visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/index.html.

WHAT/WHEN:

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico federal red snapper recreational seasons open for the private angling and federally permitted for-hire components on June 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time. The private angler component season will be 3 days and the federally permitted for-hire component season will be 49 days in federal waters.

Closing dates for each component are:

Private Anglers: June 4, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.
Federally Permitted For-Hire Vessels: July 20, 2017, at 12:01 a.m., local time.

HOW THE SEASON LENGTHS WERE DETERMINED:

The red snapper total recreational quota is allocated 57.7% to the private angling component and 42.3% to the for-hire component.
In 2016, the total recreational quota was exceeded by 129,906 pounds. The private angling quota was also exceeded.
The overage of the total recreational quota must be paid back by the private angling component because that component exceeded its quota.
After adjustment for the 2016 overage, the 2017 annual catch target for the private angling component is 3,004,075 pounds whole weight. The 2017 annual catch target for the for-hire component is 2,278,000 pounds whole weight.
Catches in both state and federal waters are counted against the quota. The number of days for each component to harvest its annual catch target was calculated using 2016 catch rates and accounting for the expected red snapper harvest during state seasons outside the federal season. Private anglers are expected to harvest nearly 81% of the private angling quota during state seasons that range from 67 to 365 days.
Based on the 2017 catch targets and after accounting for landings during state seasons, the private angling season in federal waters can be 3 days and the for-hire season can be 49 days.

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SILENCER SHOP’S “BIG NOISE” FOR SUPPRESSOR PURCHASERS!

Like many firearms enthusiasts, I have been waiting hopefully for the Hearing Protection Act to work its way through Congress. This bill would reduce or eliminate the current restrictions on firearms suppressors – so called silencers. In parts of Europe, suppressors are encouraged – even required – for many shooting sports, because while they do not make a “gun” as quiet as in the movies, they can eliminate the need for bulky hearing protection for both shooters and others nearby by “muffling” the sound of the muzzle blast. For hunters, less shooting noise also means game will be less skittish, and neighbors close by will not be disturbed.

Unfortunately, at this point it does not look good for the HPA getting passed – however, the type of American business ingenuity often praised (and practiced) by President Trump has resulted in some changes to existing law that DO ease the suppressor approval process.

In the recent past, using an NFA firearms trust could make suppressor ownership less painful, by eliminating the need for photos, fingerprints, local LEO approval, and background checks, but then came Amendment 41F, which gummed up the works by requiring that the Trust owner and each “trustee” listed not only had to have their signature notarized, but now would also have to undergo fingerprinting, photos, and background checks equal to those demanded of the owner of a non-trust NFA item. Reports are that this has slowed down sales of suppressors considerably, by making the rules more, instead of less, restrictive.

In a move that reminds me of when a certain man named Knight pioneered In-line Muzzle Loading rifles that brought the range and accuracy of a modern centerfire rifle to “Muzzle Loader Only” seasons for deer hunting – The Silencer Shop in Austin, Texas, discovered that while the BAFT had regulatory authority over NFA items such as suppressors, machine guns, and short barreled rifles or shotguns – they do NOT have anything to say about US Trust laws. The result of this is the Single Shot Trust – which has to be the very best thing for suppressor purchasers short of complete de-regulation.

Personally, I had been waiting/hoping for HPA to pass to purchase my second suppressor, having already mounted a threaded barrel on my Ruger Standard .22 LR. When the bill did not sail through, I reminded myself of a personal decision to hold off on buying additional firearms until I got that suppressor! To this end I contacted The Silencer Shop and ordered a Tacsol Axium suppressor, using a Single Shot Trust.

So how does the SS Trust work? As the name might suggest, this is a trust for a single NFA item. The cost is a very reasonable $25, so if you should decide later to buy additional items, you just get an additional trust for each one. OR, if you know in advance you will be buying multiple suppressors in the future, there is the “Unlimited Single Shot Trust”. With this option, additional items can be added to the existing trust at any time, and since the original paperwork is already done, the process is VERY easy. Of course, unless you plan to have several NFA items, the “regular” Single Shot Trust might be less expensive than the $130 unlimited option (which is the cost of setting up a “regular” trust).

One good part of 41F was that it changed the requirement for approval (and signature) of the top law enforcement official in you local area to only a need to notify that office.

Also with the Single Shot Trust, “trustees” can be added after the BATF Tax Stamp has been received, actually, at any time. These trustees will NOT have to submit pictures or prints, and their signatures do not require notarization. No background check for them, either, yet they have the same rights as Trustees in a “regular” NFA trust, in that they can possess and/or use the item without the trust owner being present. Silencer Shop has BATF approval for the Single Shot Trust, and it is deemed valid in all US states except Iowa and Vermont.

Another possible benefit (not sure this has been tested yet) would be that since such a Trust only affects a single NFA item, it should be reasonable to expect that such item could be sold by selling the entire trust, thus requiring no new tax stamp or transfer fee, and no wait time for approval. This, in itself, could be a H-U-G-E change!

Although I already had an NFA trust, I chose to buy my new suppressor with a Singe Shot Trust, to see for myself how the experience was. It would be a small compliment to say that this is currently by far the best way to go! Most of the process can be handled online, and SS even has a cell phone app for taking your own passport type photos. Their network dealers also have fingerprint “kiosks”, where a machine resembling one selling lottery tickets allows your fingerprints to be “taken” digitally, on site. Once taken they are automatically transmitted to your account at Silencer Shop. I went through this at the closest dealer to me – DSG Gunworks in Baytown, Texas, and even though I stupidly forgot my paperwork – The Silencer Shop emails a code and scanner image to get you into their system, and if you are buying the item from that dealer, the cost is included in the total price – everything was able to be straightened out over the phone, and went went fairly smooth. In addition, I got to visit with DSG owner Dan Slaven about the collection of fully automatic weapons they had on site.

OK, now I wait 6 – 9 months before I can get my new “toy”, right? Well, hopefully not. Reports are that suppressor sales, and thus applications for tax stamps are down considerably since 41F went through, instead of the HPA. Feeling seems to be that once the “glut” of applications received immediately before 41F is processed, wait times COULD drop to 2 months – or even less. Not sure if it will still be valid, but the original “promise” was that if HPA passed, tax refunds for suppressors purchased between the time it was filed and ultimately passed would be refunded!

Things may be getting a lot quieter around here!

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