On Friday, December 13, 2019, the Bundestag passed amendments to the weapons law, which were approved by the Bundesrat. Since then, this has resulted in new possibilities for hunters with regard to the acquisition, possession and use of silencers in the context of hunting. Here is the corresponding excerpt from the Weapons Act:
Silencers (§13 paragraph 9 WaffG)
- Permitted: Purchase and possession of silencers by holders of a valid hunting license. (i.e. without prior entry on green WBK
)- Allowed: Carrying silencers on the long guns approved for hunting for ammunition with centerfire ignition-
Prohibited: Carrying of silencers on long guns approved for hunting for ammunition with rimfire ignition (e.g. .22 lfB
)- Permitted: Silencers may be used on hunting and on the shooting rangeImportant
The WaffG is a legal provision at the federal level. Therefore, the existing hunting regulations, prohibitions or restrictions on the use of silencers of the respective federal states must also be observed.
Silencers offer a whole range of advantages with regard to hunting. Therefore, some people are rightly wondering why it has taken such a long time for them to be made available to hunters under weapons law. The essential benefit of a silencer is already addressed by the name itself. Its main function is to reduce the acoustic bang produced when a shot is fired. From this, but also from other properties of the silencer results a variety of positive effects - not only for the hunter himself or herself.
A brief overview of some of the advantages of using a silencer when hunting:
In addition to the above mentioned improvements through the use of a silencer during hunting practice, there are further arguments for the use of such a silencer during individual hunting. Especially at times when you do not want to disturb the rest of the game (rutting, etc.), the use of a silencer is recommended for raised hide hunting or stalking.
Basically, a thread is always required to mount a silencer on a rifle. Most modern (bolt action) rifles are equipped with such a thread ex works, or are delivered with such a thread upon customer request. The disadvantage of this thread is usually the loss of the open sight (rear sight and front sight).
However, even if you own a rifle that does not have such a thread, it is possible to have the rifle machined so that you can use it with a silencer afterwards. For this purpose, the gun must be provided with such a thread by a skilled gunsmith. This is called "cutting a thread". Here, too, there is usually a risk of losing the open sights. Likewise, such a conversion is not advisable for every rifle. Whether a rifle is suitable to be threaded for a silencer is best discussed with the manufacturer or a trusted gunsmith.
When purchasing a silencer, it is important to ensure compatibility with the thread and the design of the rifle. For example, there are weapons whose long forearm makes it difficult to mount an over-barrel silencer. Also, of course, make sure that the silencer is designated and shot for the appropriate caliber, caliber group.
If the rifle already has a thread with which it was once fired, no new firing is necessary after the acquisition of the silencer. A renewed inspection and firing of the weapon on the shooting range is completely sufficient in this case.
However, if a new thread is cut on the weapon, it must then be tested again at the firing office.
A typical cylindrical silencer has several chambers separated by so-called "baffles". The gases escaping from the muzzle of the rifle barrel when the shot is fired are slowed down and cooled by these baffles. This reduces muzzle blast and muzzle flash.
The arrangement of the chambers and the expansion of the gases via additional holes or slots are crucial in the design of an effective silencer. The appropriate choice of ammunition is also critical in optimizing the silencing effect.
The type of cartridge and the type of bullet used, as well as the charge of the cartridge, also have an impact on how well the silencer can reduce muzzle blast and muzzle flash.
It is therefore quite possible that the same silencer will have a different effect on two different types of bullet of the same caliber. For this reason, manufacturers usually only specify a "from-to decibel range", which is intended to show the efficiency of the silencer.
Hearing should always be protected when hunting. This is because hunting can cause a great deal of stress to the hearing from the sound of the shot, which can result in irreparable damage to the hearing.
Safety precautions for the ear should therefore not be considered excessive! A large caliber hunting rifle can reach a sound pressure level of up to 170 decibels, depending on the caliber. This is far enough to cause irreparable damage to hearing.
The use of a silencer is a popular method today to prevent or counteract this possible damage.
However, even a silencer cannot completely "silence" a weapon. Different types of silencers have different efficiencies, and the combination of bullet type, caliber, and silencer also affects how good the final silencing effect really is.
Most common silencers for hunting have attenuation values between 22dB-35dB. This means, therefore, that a silencer will attenuate the bang of the shot fired by a large-caliber weapon by one-fifth to one-sixth.
We have already explained above that silencers have many advantages. However, there are also a few small disadvantages that you may have to reckon with. However, if you are aware of them in advance, you may be able to avoid one or two of them.
Here is a brief overview:
Silencers are certainly cheaper than some people think. Entry-level models for certain caliber groups are already available from ~150€. However, it behaves with silencers similar to other hunting equipment. If you want, you can invest a lot of money. Thus, silencers are also available above the limit of 1000€.
The cost of the silencer is usually also dependent on its performance data. So it makes sense to find out in advance which silencer you really need and thus make your decision based on the criterion of cost.
The market for used silencers is also growing steadily. So it can also make sense to first look around the market for used silencers before purchasing a brand new one.
On Gunfinder.com you can search for new and used silencers and sort the search results directly according to your preferences thanks to intelligent filters.
Silencers are amazingly easy to care for. For silencers made of steel, the outer shell should be regularly protected from corrosion with gun oil, and a little oil now and then won't hurt the inside either. With aluminum, titanium or carbon silencer housings, this is not necessarily necessary.
If the damper can be disassembled, cleaning is quite easy. But even with non-dismountable silencers, the right cleaning is done quickly with the right tricks. The silencer should always be cleaned when the gun is due for cleaning - but especially after it has become wet or dirty.
A suitable procedure is to rinse it out with lukewarm soapy water and then with brake cleaner. If the silencer has steel fins, it should again be sprayed with a little Ballistol for corrosion protection after drying.
Here are a few well-known manufacturers of silencers in the overview:
A-Tec: The Norwegian manufacturer A-TEC produces high-quality silencers for hunting, sport and authority weapons. The products of A-TEC are produced without exception in Norway and tested extensively. Due to the increasing use of silencers in the German hunting community, the products are now very common and known for their quality and appreciated.
B&T Silencers: B&T is a Swiss company that specializes in the manufacture and sale of silencers. The silenced shot was in the experimental and developmental focus at B&T at a time when the silencer was still mystically dressed up in many places from agent films - or generally frowned upon and banned. Switzerland's liberal gun laws at the time and the Swiss' penchant for inventiveness gave a team led by the company's founder Karl Brügger the space to break new ground.
ERA Silencer: Under the brand name ERA Silencer, the German company Recknagel manufactures silencers with the aim of achieving the best possible damping with a compact design and the lowest possible weight - and this with full Magnum suitability and a long service life.
Hausken: HAUSKEN has specialized in sound and recoil suppression since 1992. Since then, HAUSKEN has gained unique experience in sound suppression technology inspired by the needs of hunters. The current products are the result of more than 25 years of work, development and passion. HAUSKEN's robust and effective baffle concept has been continuously developed over the years. Today, the Norwegian manufacturer proudly presents itself as being able to offer the leading design solution.
Jaki: Under the brand name Jaki, silencers have been manufactured in Finland since 1996, which are primarily intended to impress with their low weight and high precision when firing. Jaki silencers are manufactured for almost all common caliber groups and should also convince with their good price-performance ratio.
Krontec: The KRONTEC Maschinenbau company is at home in racing: its portfolio primarily includes hydraulic quick disconnect couplings, lightweight pipe and hose systems, and quick refueling systems. The top F1 supplier also supplies hunters and sport shooters with state-of-the-art silencers: extremely resilient, fully dismountable, partially self-cleaning, as well as characteristic eccentric design. This means that the field of view is not restricted - ideal for driven hunts. Krontec is considered the premium brand for silencers par excellence.
Nielsen: Nielsen Sonic is a Danish manufacturer with many years of experience in building silencers. The German importer is Markus Göggel (www.jagdschalldämpfer.com). The Sonic silencers are supposed to convince mainly by their robust construction as well as their favorable price-performance ratio.
Stalon: The Swedish company Stalon manufactures silencers and accessories for hunting and shooting sports. The company is especially known for its ruggedly built over-barrel silencers. According to the manufacturer, the silencers have good attenuation values and are easy to clean. Price-wise, Stalon silencers are in the lower mid-range.