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By Doug Howlett
Suppressed can be a tricky word by its definition and in most uses connotates something that is a negative, such as “the team of lawyers suppressed the evidence” or “the government suppressed the people’s rights.” But I am here to tell you that suppression, provided by gun suppressors, is a very good thing.
I recently enjoyed the opportunity to host a group of friends, mostly women, all of whom either had little experience with firearms or were all-out first time shooters. To help with the instruction and join in on the fun was Oceana Pawn & Gun gunsmith, Kurt Derwort, a former Naval armorer who worked out of Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, Va.
To get the new shooters more comfortable with guns in general and ease them into the experience, after a safety briefing, Kurt pulled out a Ruger .22 with an integrally suppressed barrel. He then guided the newest shooter in the group in how to shoot a gun that reduced the already fairly quiet rimfire to all of the noise of a pellet gun. Not distracted by a loud bang or any type of recoil, she chewed the target up.
Before the afternoon was over, Kurt pulled out a suppressed .223, which tricked out with a bipod, suppressor and variable magnification optic, looks like a pit bull, but as the group of shooters quickly realized, shoots with the gentleness of a golden retriever. Without a doubt, the suppressed guns were the highlight of the day, and for good reason.
Not only did they make the guns less intimidating to the less experienced shooters, but they made shooting in a group much more enjoyable. Hearing protection wasn’t as critical, people could stand in the background and still carry on conversations, Kurt could deliver instruction much more easily, and the neighbors down the street probably appreciated the reduced sound as well.
In Europe, it’s considered impolite to shoot a gun without a suppressor. America would do well to follow their example.
Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Fall 2014 Modern Shooter Magazine.