How to choose the Best .45 Suppressor for your handgun?

Best .45 Suppressor - Featured Image

Buying the best .45 Suppressor isn’t as straightforward as it seems, but it isn’t the scary, complicated process that some people would have you believe either. We will take you through the process of understanding how a suppressor works, how the process to get one is set up and what the history is behind the suppressor and why it’s seemingly so tough to get one. All the information you learn here will help you to not only choose the best suppressor for your needs, but also to navigate the process easily.

When choosing a suppressor for shooting your .45 ACP, there are many factors that will go into the decision. Having the best information will allow you to make an informed decision and get the right suppressor the first time. And believe us when we allude to the fact that you can’t just buy a single suppressor. Once you buy one, you’re immediately in the market for a second one. The device is an addictive purchase almost.

Our list is a comprehensive combination of facts, figures and debunking fiction. By the end of this article you’ll be better informed than most of the shooting public and you’ll be able to identify attractive features of today’s best suppressors.

What follows is our list of the best .45 Suppressors.

Gemtech Lunar 45 Silencer

GemTech is one of the oldest commercial firearms makers of top tier silencers. They’ve been one of the most vocal advocates for the suppressor industry. Their experience, innovation and technology speaks for itself. They produce suppressors at the highest echelon of the marketplace offerings. They tout this as one of their finest ever suppressors. The facts seem to support that notion.

Pros:

  • Able to be user serviced/disassembled easily for cleaning
  • Cerakote reduced visual IR signature coating, means your heat signature is harder to pick up – this is a military operator level benefit

Cons:

  • Only for .45 ACP

This is best for:

Legitimate tactical shooting users like police counter snipers, military professionals, or those who are trying to make as small an impact on the shooting environment as possible while shooting.


Silencerco Hybrid Suppressor

The do-it-all attitude of this suppressor’s build is incredible. You can use it for any application that you can think of with the proper modifications of your firearms. For those who plan on only ever owning a single suppressor, this is the one to get. Legitimate company credibility; excellent build quality and versatility that is unmatched.

Pros:

  • A nearly completely universal suppressor
  • Can be used for many calibers

Cons:

  • No real CONS to speak of

This is best for:

The user who knows they want a universal suppressor and will plan on building out the accessories rather than trying to buy more suppressors. This is an impressive multi-caliber tool usable on nearly any gun.


Silencerco Osprey Suppressor

The good-looking profile of the Osprey suppressor makes it fit in well with most modern semi-auto firearms. The eccentric design drops the chamber of the suppressor lower than the bore instead of at the center of the bore exit. This allows for use of regular height sights without obstruction. The quality build and the brand backing, and excellent customer service makes this a top choice.

Pros:

  • Design allows for normal iron sights and optics to be used
  • Good balance on big .45 Auto guns

Cons:

  • Caliber specific only

This is best for:

Those who are using top quality full sized .45ACP pistols and carbines that need the balance of the suppressor and prefer the blocky looks.


Why would you want to buy a silencer or suppressor online?

Most local gun shops cannot afford to stock a wide variety of suppressors. Most of the biggest gun-centric e-commerce stores online can afford to either stock it or show it and use the drop shipping and shipping connections from the various factories to be able to expedite the sending of an expensive firearm accessory like a suppressor.

Here’s why you want to look online for the best .45 Suppressor to buy:

  • Wider Selection
  • Better vetting/better choice in quality
  • Pre-defined and easy to understand processes that are more uniform than some local gun stores can portray

The NFA – Buying a Sound Suppressor

The year 1934 signaled the first time that massive regulations affected the American shooting market in the modern era. It consisted of legislation aimed at reducing the availability of fully-automatic firearms, sound suppression devices, and easy to conceal high power firearms to the general public. But it wasn’t particularly aimed at the general public. Furthermore, it has the appearance of defeat by the legislators who wrote it.

It was designed more specifically to curb the perception by the general public, of the lawlessness that pervaded crime hubs like Chicago, as well as the one-off headline grabbing Nationwide crime sprees. Criminals like Dillinger and Capone were constantly making police officers and the Federal Bureau of Investigations look ridiculous.

Criminals like these would steal guns from police station armories (Bonnie and Clyde Gang), and then kill cops with their own guns. The public was outraged but interested in hearing all the details. It wasn’t long before the legislators decided they had enough, and they started to push legislation to keep fully automatic firearms and accessories that could be used in the commission of crimes to make them easier, out of the hands of people who may some day become criminals.

At the risk of being too political, it was the first major hurdle posed to the second amendment in the modern era. Unfortunately for the suppressor, media played a big role in the regulating of the device. Media portrayed it as a stealthy cop-killing tool. It still seems to have that reputation in Hollywood, as spies knock off foreign police officials in dark alleys without any noise at all. As you’ll read later, and probably already realize, suppressors don’t work like that at all.

The Gun Control Act of 1968

The Gun Control act of 1968 was a major addition to the 1934 legislation and added the concept of a “destructive device” to the list of regulated items.

Together with the 1934 law, this is used to regulate items of which the suppressor is included. In the modern era, it is still possible for law abiding citizens to obtain a sound suppressor for their firearms, but they will need to go through the Government oversight and approval process to do so. 

The approval process, the Tax stamp and the Waiting period

In order to get a suppressor, you must pay a $200 fee and apply to get an exemption which requires a thorough background check for a Tax stamp. A Tax stamp is the actual exemption document, and the process to get one, while fairly straightforward, is kind of annoying and certainly time consuming.

Luckily for those who are looking for a suppressor, most of that time is waiting time. The actual process to fill out paperwork takes less than an hour in the extreme, and really about 10-20 minutes if you understand what you’re doing, which, as a reader of this full article, you will.

When buying online you will fill out a Form 3 and a Form 4, and you will need to have a local gun store with a(n) SOT (Special Occupation Tax) endorsement to handle the local aspect of the transaction. The form 3 is to transfer the suppressor from a company like Brownell’s or some other major e-tailer to your local dealer so you can receive it legally.  That’s to make sure there is a record of the movement of the suppressor in case you do something stupid with it, or it is called into question later for some reason.

The Form 4 is the actual application for exemption on that singular transaction for the tax stamp and the item covered under it. Along with $200 and a set of fingerprints and several duplicate copies of your paperwork, it is sent to the Federal Government (the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) to begin your approval process. I think it’s clear that this ridiculous administrative process all but eliminates criminals from applying.

Furthermore, the waiting period can be quite annoying as well as the fact that the government will now know what you have and have you operating under very strict laws. While it is beyond the scope of this particular article, it can be quite advantageous and safer for you as a gun owner to understand the NAA and GCA and all other applicable federal laws well. Being ignorant of the law is not an excuse that will be accepted if you are ever challenged in court.

The process to receive the tax stamp is not very fast. This is because several reasons. Many speculate that it is partially a “cooling-off” period to keep you from doing anything rash. What is known though, is that this is primarily a losing financial strategy for the government, they don’t make any money off of the relatively paltry sum of $200 you spend on applications for a suppressor.

There is even a substantially similar process to receive an AOW (any other weapon), which costs only $5. The lack of dedicated staff members to approve the ATF’s backlog means that you have to wait. You may be waiting for more than 12 months on the extreme side; though many waiting periods are between 6-8 months or so.

Is the process the same each time I buy a suppressor?

The process is the exact same but may seem a bit easier the second time you do it or beyond, as you have learned the necessary groundwork though experiential learning. Most shops can simply modify a couple lines of information on their application on file for you, to get the second and subsequent Form 4 applications through without as much hassle as the first time.

You have also waited out the initial waiting period for the approval process and it seems that once you have a single suppressor or SBR (short barreled rifle) you are almost looking for another project to add to the queue, so you can start the waiting period again. Note: each time you fill out a Form 4, there is a separate, long waiting period for approval.

Why buying suppressors is an addictive practice

Once you have one, it’s hard to imagine shooting any gun without one, within reason. Suddenly it’s not enough to have one on a .22LR range gun or field gun for small game, and you need one for your home defense gun too.

Given that you have already finished the tedious waiting period once, and you have no issues receiving the tax stamp, why wouldn’t you go after another transaction, if you’ve got the extra money.

Last but not least for why it becomes so addictive to buy suppressors, is that the utility is so high, the longevity of use is so long, and the cost is justifiable enough, that when the technology improves, it just makes sense to get another suppressor.

The lifetime purchase of a suppressor

Suppressors are long-lasting, generally user-serviceable and can pass from generation to generation if you set up the proper mechanism to do that. NFA trusts are an important planning tool for those who want to be able to pass any regulated device to someone beyond yourself.

If structured properly, and the desire exists, a suppressor can last several lifetimes, in that the use of that suppressor can be used by someone after you are gone.  

How does a suppressor work?

In the simplest terms it redirects and slows the sudden expelling of gas out of the end of a barrel, which causes a violent sound reaction when it changes the outside environment at such a rapid rate.

This redirection of gasses and slowing of the dispersal of gases is what effectively changes the sound amplification of the report of the firearm as heard by those around the shot.

Does a silencer actually silence a bullet?

No. That’s all that needs to be said, with this clarifier: a suppressor or a silencer, and both terms are interchangeable; only brings the decibel sound down to a manageable level. Even the smallest quietest rounds of .22LR still make an audible sound. Many rifles can only be brought back down to the 138-140 dB range, which is arguably too loud to be comfortable, even AFTER a suppressor does its job.

Why do people freak out when you call a suppressor a silencer?

We think it’s a combination of things:

  • Media has demonized the name “silencer” and therefore people take a hardline approach to oppose whatever the media tries to frame about the gun/gun control conversation
  • The idea of silencing the report of a firearm is ridiculous. It won’t be silenced. So, the concept of “suppression” is much preferred
  • They have been told something and believed it, without doing a bunch of background research – if they had researched they would realize that all parties from regulators to legislators to civilians, to military and law enforcement, have used the two terms almost interchangeably since the introduction of the SILENCER by Hiram Maxim in 1902, later patented in 1909
  • The word sounds kind of amateurish to almost anyone that has shot a firearm because of the plausibility factor

What is absolute is this:

The two terms “silencer” and Suppressor” can both be used and are frequently used in the industry and in legislation and regulation of the devices which the terms refer to.


Conclusion

From the most versatile to the most specific, the .45ACP suppressor is a tool that is made to perform a job. Just like the quality firearms they will be mounted on, these suppressors are capable of extreme use and long-term durability. The best .45 suppressor may be a subjective opinion, but the best practices for suppressors and the industry’s best materials are part of each of these suppressors in this list.

The resulting value from these choices for the best suppressors in the .45 ACP caliber is second to none, and despite the relatively long wait and annoying regulatory compliance hurdles of obtaining a tax stamp and a suppressor, they are all worth the time and money.

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