Hog hunting, whether for sport or necessity, is a popular pastime in the southern parts of the United States. Feral hogs reproduce at alarming rates which results in nothing but an absolute nuisance. A gnuisance requires being taken care of, but of course it’s never as easy as that. Hogs are mainly nocturnal and dig around in the brush, making a good shot potentially difficult. On top of that, after one shot from a rifle, it spooks the animals and they all take off. It can become an arduous task to get the problem taken care of. The logical conclusion is that you need to gain the upper hand.
Silencers, or sound suppressors, are changing the face of hunting. Hunters can now take what was once an ear shattering rifle and reduce the noise to something like a pellet gun. The advantages to this are vast. The decreased noise level won’t scare the feral pigs off like an unsuppressed blast will. Not only that, but the use of a silencer disorients the animals from the direction of any sound they did hear. So instead of running directly away from your position, they may run to one which better allows you to obtain more kills. Most states don’t have a bag limit on feral hogs, so the more kills you can get, the better.
Another advantage to the use of a silencer while hog hunting is that it acts as an almost perfect flash hider. Night hunting is a prime time to pick off feral hogs, and the muzzle flash of a rifle can be incredibly distracting. If you’re using night vision, muzzle flash is the last thing you’ll want to happen. Silencers act as a muzzle brake as well, so you’ll find you have reduced recoil and potentially more accurate shots.
As for the legality, many states allow the use of suppressors while hunting. Some allow all game to be hunted with silencers while others only make allowances for varmints. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, three major hog hunting states, allow the use of suppressors while hunting. Mississippi and North Carolina also allow suppressors for hunting. Louisiana’s law states that a silencer can be used for “nongame nuisance quadrupeds” only. Unfortunately, you cannot hunt with silencers in the states of Alabama, Georgia, or Florida.
If your hunting state of choice is one which allows suppressors, you’ll need to find one that works for you. The type of suppressor you use will depend on the caliber of firearm you’re using. For standard rimfire calibers; such as .22 lr, .22 MAG, and .17 HMR; you can use a one inch diameter silencer. The typical length of these silencers are between 5 and 6.5 inches. A few good examples of rimfire silencers include the Mack Brothers Lima- an all stainless steel model which features an extremely quiet stacked baffle design; the AAC Element2- another stacked baffle design made of a combination of stainless steel and titanium; and the Silencerco/SWR Spectre II- an all stainless steel design which can handle a wide variety of rimfire calibers.
The next step up in calibers is .22 center fire, most often referred to as a .223 silencer. This caliber of silencer will handle a .223 cartridge down, but you wouldn’t want to use it on a .22 lr. The silencer is too big to effectively suppress a .22 lr and the unjacketed .22 lr bullets will leave a lead build up in your silencer. Most .22 lr silencers can be taken apart to be cleaned, but rifle cans are generally sealed as you don’t need to clean them (they clean themselves similar to how car mufflers work). Silencers are quieter on a bolt action rifle but still work effectively on an AR platform. Once again, there are a plethora of makes and models of silencers to choose from, but a few stand pretty proudly out from the rest. The quietest silencer currently on the market is the Mack Brothers Varminter 2.0. This particular model comes in a .223 and .308 configuration. It features a modified epsilon baffle design made of stainless steel. The tube and end caps are all titanium. Another popular silencer is the Gemtech Trek. It’s a pretty rugged silencer made of stainless steel and Inconel (a blend of stainless steel and nickel). Finally, the AAC M4-2000, a model which attaches over a flash hider or muzzle brake, is another popular model, especially with an AR platform. It is also a stainless steel and Inconel blend.
The highest caliber you’ll likely use is something in the .30 family. You can use this rating of silencer on a .308 (some are rated for a .300 RUM as well) down to a .204. Anything smaller than that, and it’s usually too much silencer for the caliber. Popular models for this caliber include the aforementioned Mack Brothers Varminter 2.0 in .308. Another common silencer for this caliber is the Thunderbeast Arms 30P-1. It is a fully titanium silencer and has a welded baffle core. For a model which attaches via a muzzle device, the AAC 762-SDN-6 is a very popular silencer. Like its 5.56 counterpart, it too features an Inconel design.
Regardless of the silencer you choose to outfit your rifle with, you’ll quickly find that the use of a silencer seriously changes your hog hunt. To check into getting your own silencer, contact a Class 3 dealer in your area.
Natalie Bailey – firstname.lastname@example.org