The Best Suppressed Calibers for Home Defense
For decades, suppressors had been largely ignored by civilian gun owners, even those aware that, in most of the U.S. (minus eight states), they were, and are, legal. They seemed to suffer from a reputation as tactical accoutrements that only intelligence operatives and bad guys had any use for. However, as a larger appreciation of their benefits spread, suppressors became more popular for sport and recreation shooting, hunting, and home defense. So are suppressors for defending your home a good idea?
Cons of Using Suppressed Weapons for Home Defense
There are two chief reasons that opponents of suppressing weapons for home defense cite. The less-common contention is that the sound of a round being fired is an effective deterrent. Not only is the sound effective at deterring any intruders inside the home, but anyone waiting outside will surely be put off by the unmistakable sound of gunshots ringing out. A more common concern is that if someone is forced to use deadly force with a suppressed weapon for self-defense, the fact that a suppressor was used might lead to harsh, unfair treatment of the homeowner by law enforcement.
Pros of Using Suppressed Weapons for Home Defense
While those concerns may be valid in some situations, the reality of home defense scenarios suggests that overall, they aren’t sufficiently compelling to justify avoiding suppressors. Chances are that the firearms being carried or used by the homeowner will serve as a far more effective deterrent than the firearm being full volume. And there’s no compelling evidence that someone using a suppressed weapon will lead to a greater chance of prosecution. Additionally, saving your hearing and avoiding acute tinnitus disorientation in a home-defense shooting situation outweighs the hypothetical issues. As such, what calibers are best for suppressed home-defense?
Before establishing a basic familiarity with the physics of firearm-suppression, the .45 ACP may seem like a strange caliber to benefit from suppression, hulk that it is. However, what makes a caliber best suited for suppression is whether its cartridges are supersonic or subsonic. Subsonic rounds are a better choice for suppression as they aren’t accompanied by the sound barrier-breaking crack. Standard .45 ACP ammo is subsonic, which means great stopping power and great silencing.
.223 Remington 5.56 NATO
The AR-15 is far and away the most popular rifle platform in widespread use, and as .223 5.56 ammo is generally supersonic, a suppressor isn’t going to result in Hollywood-quiet silencer suppression (if there is such a thing). However, it’s certainly going to be enough to save your eardrums.
Like .45 ACP ammo, basic .380 ACP ammo is also subsonic. But rifles and pistols chambered for .45 ACP and .223 Remington/5.56 NATO tend to be on the bigger side. And not everyone likes bigger guns, so the lower-recoil of a .380 pistol means more accurate follow-up shot placement. It’s a great solution for anyone with smaller hands looking for a compact, concealable, and effective (plus effectively suppressed) sidearm.
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