Letter Re: Suppressors and .22 LR Conversion Kits for Rifles and Pistols

The Colt version for the 1911, chopped to Detonics length, on an alloy frame, recoils just as much as full size and with 9mm, saving you 10c a shot. An alloy compact 9mm 1911 variant recoils just as much as a full size and weight .45 ACP. This is great for training, saving you 10 cents a shot. A .223 AR-15, “wearing” an 8″ long, 12 ounce sound suppressor is every bit as “tame” sounding as the Ciener .22 LR unit without the suppressor. [Shooting .22 LR in training] saves you nearly 20 cents a shot, and permits practice at indoor ranges, and other places where the 223 would not be a good idea.

[For those of you with AR-15 family rifles and carbines], be advised that the .22 unit is not very accurate in an AR with 1 in 7″ rifling, is okay with 1 in 9″ rifling (the most versatile) and it typically shoots nice 2″ groups at 50 yards with 1 in 12″ rifling. The point of impact (POI) with 22 LR is plenty close enough (within 3″ at 50 yards) to that of the .223 to make it a fine training tool, and usually, it’s close enough for foraging small game. There’s a way to make the POI of the two [almost exactly the same], too, since the AR has two different “legs” on its [L-shaped flip] rear sight.

If it’s SHTF time, how will you know when it’s okay to have nothing more than a bolt action, a shotgun, or a .22 LR? Suppressors are superb aids in such conditions. I’d much rather have nothing more than ONE 10 round magazine and a suppressor for the CAR-15 (and  the .22 LR unit) than all the spare mags in the world, with a noisy gun.

With a scope, trigger job, free float tube, forend mounted bipod, and 69 grain HPBT match Sierra bullets, at 2500 FPS, [a CAR-15] gets more hits than misses on a 12″x24″ torso at 400 yards. Not bad for an Uzi-size and weight combo. With the assault sling, it need never be out of reach. Our forefathers found ways to always have 15 lbs of Flintlock, powder horn, and possibles bag at hand. The CAR-15 is concealable when disassembled. It comes down in 5 seconds, and can be assembled and firing in 10 seconds. The caliber swap is 20 seconds. With the 10.5″ barrel, (5.56 chamber) I use 27.0 grains of AA2520 to get the 60 grain Nosler Partition soft point to 2600+ fps, for 900 foot-pounds.

I favor a pair of lightweight compact pistols for SHTF times. One is a Beretta M21 .22 LR with an OAL of 9″, including the 3 ounce suppressor. The M21 is 11 ounces, with a .5″ longer barrel, available from GunsNStuff. The other pistol is a pocketable 9mm, rebarreled to 356 TSW, using a special, 55 grain AP bullet, at 2200 FPS, for 590 foot-pounds of energy. The “canned” .22 goes in the leg pocket of my BDU pants The centerfire always rides in a Kydex front pants pocket rig, with Velcro to secure the rig in the pocket. The total weight of the two pistols, holster, spare mags, and ammo, is 38 ounces. Since that’s lighter than an empty .45 Government Model, and the two guns offer much more versatility, they are a much better deal.

If a critter is so close that I can’t swap out to .22 LR, I can hit it with the Beretta. The M21 has been fitted with a PT22 Taurus mag, better sights, and an extractor. The pop-up barrel is a feature [of the] gun, courtesy of a pin thru both the frame and the barrel’s underlug. Take care. – P.P.L.

JWR Replies: Thanks for your knowledgeable comments, P.P.L. SurvivalBlog readers should be advised that there is a $200 Federal transfer tax for firearms sound suppressors (often incorrectly called “silencers”–they do not completely silence any gun), selective fire (fully automatic) guns, and short barreled rifles and shotguns here in the U.S. There are also additional state-enacted restrictions on full autos and suppressors in many states, such as California and Washington. Readers are strongly advised not to purchase or construct an unregistered suppressor. The risk of doing so is the loss of you gun ownership and voting rights for life, and many year behind bars. Don’t take that risk!  Keep in mind that purchasing a registered suppressor will raise your profile, both locally (since it will be your local sheriff or chief of police that will sign off on your license) and at the Federal level.  So you need to carefully weigh the risks versus benefits of doing so. Proceed down that path only after considerable thought and prayer.