Non-airgunners often laugh at the thought of attaching a sound moderator to the muzzle of an airgun! But most airgun hunters I know do just that - especially if they're using a PCP with a shortish barrel.
Undoubtedly, hushing-up the report can have advantages when you're hunting with an air rifle. From the hidden depths of a hide, I've often been able to take a second, telling shot at my quarry when the first has sailed harmlessly into the dirt.
Most air rifles come with threaded muzzles - usually 1/2-inch UNF, but there are exceptions - and there are plenty of slide-on muzzle adapters if you need them to marry barrel and silencer.
Typically, you'll pay between £35 and £55 for an airgun silencer (which is unlikely to be proofed, so you can't transfer it to a firearm). Most will significantly cut down muzzle crack. The best are considered to be the Weihrauch and the Logun.
Now add Daystate to that pairing. They have just launched a new Mk4 model of the AirStream Silencer and independent tests have shown it to be the best dB buster of them all - although, at £55, it's also the most expensive.
Called the Reflex by virtue of the fact that its chamber sits back along the barrel, it has a carbon fibre casing inside which is a machined aluminium baffle system and the 1/2-in. UNF thread. Daystate only make it to fit their current models, but they will shortly be bringing out a universal variant for other makes of rifle. It's calibre specific, too - though (as has been pointed out to me), that's one of the characteristics that improves a silencer's efficiency.
Although the unit looks normal length, because of its reflex-style fitting, only around 75mm protrudes forward of the muzzle. I like that. For me, adding a long silencer to a rifle can make it 'feel' a bit difficult to control on aim. It also gives it an incredibly efficient length-to-noise reduction ratio.
Being carbon fibre and ally, it's pretty light, too - so it won't upset the balance of your combo.
Having looked at the figures (see below), I just had to screw one onto my Air Wolf. Although its barrel shroud already doubles as a 'stage one' sound suppression system, the addition of the Reflex was simply stunning. It was like I was shooting at 1.1 ft. lbs., not 11!
It may be expensive, but being the best that's out there, why shouldn't it be? Worth the extra, I'd say...
FIGURES FROM INDEPENDENT SOUND METER TESTS (Supplied by Manufacturer)
decibel (dB) output from a .177 calibre Daystate Huntsman Classic
- Reflex - 61.3 dB
- John Bowkett Long - 63.7 dB
- Ripley Rifles (9-inch!) - 65.1 dB
- Weihrauch - 65.5 dB
- Logun QGS - 66.1 dB
- Parker-Hale MM1 - 69.5 dB
- Manders - 69.7 dB