Everyone who owns a gun owns a shotgun. Until late last year, most of them had never been suppressed. SilencerCo’s Salvo 12 is the first commercially viable shotgun suppressor and represents an incredible advance in engineering and technology. Because it’s such a new concept — and one that invariably invokes negative connotations with uneducated shooters — it really requires hands-on viewing.
By Daniel E. Schmidt
I must admit I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of a silencer for hunting shotguns. Why? And, really, what would be the advantage? After shooting a suppressed shotgun for the first time, I immediately learned the answers to both questions. And I was pleasantly surprised.
“The Salvo 12 is designed to operate with nearly all shotguns and ammunition on the market today, including pumps, semi-autos, and inertia driven models,” said Darren Jones, marketing manager for SilencerCo. “Due to the modularity of the Salvo 12, a hunter can remove sections to balance their sound suppression, weight, and length needs and can attach the Salvo to their favorite shotgun with choke mounts available in improved cylinder, modified, improved modified, and full. This adaptability makes it ideal for use for hunting ducks, geese, turkeys and everything in between.”
I received a hands-on demonstration of these benefits during a South Texas turkey hunt in 2015. Consecutive practice-range shots with and without a Salvo 12 showed me just how much noise a turkey gun makes when you’re actually paying attention to such things. That was only half of the story, however.
The reduced recoil was pure joy. It does take some getting used to. Unlike the “can” suppressors for rifles, this one is boxy and extends the length of your turkey gun. It looked clunky to me, but to be honest, I got used to it almost immediately and never really thought about it as we were chasing gobblers across the South Texas brush country.
The true test came on the second morning of our hunt when I tucked myself into a brushy creek bottom and called in two beautiful longbeards. The sun was just peeking over the horizon, and a stiff breeze was picking up from the west when the first bird stepped within 30 yards of my gun barrel.
Notice how I didn’t use an exclamation point. And not “BOOM!” either. Just a rather muffled “Pow” that didn’t cause me to flinch, per usual. He dropped dead, and the other gobbler ran a few steps, stopped, looked around and went on his merry way. The shot produced comparatively little recoil, considering I was shooting 3-inch turkey loads.
At the full length of 12 inches, sound is brought down to 136.8 dB at the muzzle — well below the 140 dB hearing-safe threshold set by OSHA. Pair this sound reduction with a noticeable decrease in felt recoil, and after just a few rounds through the Salvo 12, you’ll never go back to shooting unsuppressed again.
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The suppressor is made of aluminum and stainless steel and attaches to most 12-gauge shotguns via a choke mount. The modular design allows a hunter to shorten the silencer to 6, 8 or 10 inches, depending on preference. It is rated for wadded shells up to 3 inches, including buckshot and slugs.
The Salvo 12 is not for everyone, but it certainly has its place in hunting. I can think of numerous applications (suburban hunting areas; first-time hunters; gun-shy shooters, etc.) where a suppressor makes perfect sense. But be warned: You just can’t go out and buy one. There is an application and registration process that’s required by law in the states that allow them. SilencerCo assists all of its customers with this process.
For more information, visit www.silencerco.com
— Daniel Schmidt is the editor-in-chief of Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine and content director for F+W Outdoors.
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