SilencerCo – Best Suppressors for .22 in 2023
SilencerCo – Best Suppressors for .22 in 2023
Looking for a suppressor for .22 LR to take the bite off those blistering little rounds? SilencerCo understands the complexities of noise reduction and offers three distinctly different suppressors that will work on both rifles and handguns. Which one is best? That depends on your criteria. Let’s take a look at the options.
What are the best .22 suppressors for 2023?
The answer to that question is going to be subjective because it depends on the features and capabilities you’re looking for. Aside from sound reduction, weight is an important factor. While the larger rifle suppressors are effective, they would be unwieldy on the end of a handgun. Rimfire suppressors offer smaller tubes, more efficient use of both space and weight, and better balance.
And some rimfire rounds are really dirty. .22LR—all of the .22 family of rimfires in fact—often leave behind fouling and burnt powder that need to be cleaned out of a silencer. Having user serviceability built into a design can help make that job easy.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at three SilencerCo .22 suppressors, starting with the Switchback 22.
The Switchback 22 is anything but simple to explain. Stick with me, though, because the Switchback 22 is a brilliant piece of engineering. It’s the quietest rimfire suppressor of the three options we’re looking at today. Indeed, it’s the quietest rimfire suppressor on the market! And, it’s easy to use.
This is a multicaliber suppressor, and is designed to run in various configurations, depending on the host platform. In one configuration, this is an ideal handgun silencer. In the other, it is meant to suppress a rifle.
Why the difference? Handguns have shorter barrels. Forgive the somewhat reductive statement of the obvious, but barrel length provides opportunity for powder to burn. The longer the barrel, the more powder will burn in the barrel and less gas expansion will happen in the ensuing muzzle-flash.
The baffles on the Switchback are stainless steel. They stack together and click in place, but they’re designed to take the increased pressure of magnum rounds.
Here’s where the science kicks. With the baffle stack oriented in one direction, the suppression is maximized for longer barrels. Turn one of the two baffle stacks around, though, and it is optimized for handgun-length barrels.
To explain: There are two sections to the Switchback—one short and one long. Together, with the baffles all aligned in the default configuration, the Switchback is ideal for handguns. If you want a shorter version, you can use just the longer front section or just the shorter back section.
Every time you reduce the length, you decrease weight. This may have obvious benefits. But if you want to run this on a rifle and want the most sound suppression, all you need to do is back out the front (longer) section of baffles, flip around the whole stack, and realign them back in the tube.
Set up like this, there’s a short section of baffles facing one direction, then a transition to a longer section with the baffles facing the opposite direction. The change in direction further disrupts the sound waves, bouncing them back onto themselves, and reducing the decibel noise by up to six decibels.
Not only is the Switchback a multicaliber and user serviceable suppressor, it also acts as four distinct suppressors: one long for pistols, one long for rifles, and a medium and a short configuration ideal for hunting.
The Warlock 22
Back when I bought my first suppressor, a Sparrow, I needed one can that could do everything. Now that I own several suppressors, I often set up one gun with one suppressor. I tend to think of them as one unit.
The Warlock would be my choice of suppressor for .22 that I attach to one rifle or handgun for hunting. This dedicated .22LR silencer is longer than the Sparrow, but also lighter, and provides fantastic sound reduction. At just three ounces, it is one of the lightest rimfire suppressors on the market. You won’t notice any extra weight off the end of the barrel.
Like the Switchback, the Warlock is user-serviceable, so you can break it down and clean it. The way the baffles stack, you won’t have any confusion about how to reassemble the Warlock. The aluminum baffles click together inside the aluminum tube. Simply reassemble, thread it back in place, and reconfirm your zero.
That’s a key component with all of these—and with every suppressor. After you screw one on, or lock one down, take the time to adjust zero if needed. Adding a suppressor to a rifle–especially a rimfire–can shift the point of impact of a round down-range. This shift may be minuscule, but if you’re hunting small game like squirrels, any shift might equate to a miss at range.
With the Warlock as my choice for a dedicated .22 silencer, that extra effort is minimized. The Warlock will stand up to brick after brick of .22LR before it needs to be cleaned—and if you’re careful with transporting the host gun back and forth from the range or the field, you’ll maintain a reasonable zero with little effort.
The Sparrow 22
Back to that question about which is the best .22LR suppressor—I’d argue that the best rimfire suppressor ever is SilencerCo’s Sparrow. For me personally, when I was looking for a suppressor for .22 LR, I checked out every resource I could find and decided the Sparrow 22 was it. Here’s why:
First, I was looking for a silencer that would work well on a Ruger 10/22 and a Browning Buckmark—the two threaded .22LR guns I tend to use frequently for instruction and plinking.
I wanted the most versatile silencer I could find—one that would work on everything from .22 short to 5.7×28. As someone who reviews guns, I needed a rifle suppressor that would work on .22 MAG, .17 HMR, and .17 WSM, too. While I wasn’t shooting much full-auto at the time (who can afford that?), I wanted a full-auto rated suppressor—just in case. The Sparrow checked all the boxes. It’s full-auto rated and reduces the sound signature of all the aforementioned loads well below hearing safe levels.
The balance of the Sparrow is ideal. This is a compact design that mounts directly to rifles or handguns and is hardly noticeable on either. The width of the tube is modest, and I’ve yet to have to change out sights on a gun to see over the tube.
This is a silencer I use when teaching shooting skills to new shooters. The suppression, of course, allows for clear communication, which is really important. After a weekend of range time, though, the guts can get a bit grimy.
Inside the Sparrow there’s a monocore baffle. This is encased in a split stainless sleeve and that rides inside the outer sleeve. The whole thing breaks down easily and allows the suppressor to undergo any amount of cleaning, soaking, and scrubbing needed to break down the fouling.
For simplicity and versatility, the Sparrow would be my choice for the best 22LR suppressor of 2023.
Which suppressor for .22 is right for you?
As you can see, if you’re looking for a suppressor for .22, you have options. The Switchback, Warlock, and Sparrow each offer outstanding sound reduction, and between the three, you’re sure to find the one that best suits your rimfire suppression needs.