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Suppressed Handgun Tips

Suppressed Handgun Feature

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over some suppressed handgun tips. There are many things one should keep in mind when suppressing a handgun to ensure optimal performance is achieved. Our goal with this blog post is to go over the various things one should keep in mind and consider when attempting to suppress a pistol. Without further ado, let’s delve into some suppressed handgun tips to help achieve optimal suppression.


You Need a Threaded Barrel

To attach a suppressor in the first place, you will need to have a threaded barrel. The presence of a threaded muzzle will allow an end user to thread a suppressor onto their handgun. At this point in the industry, there are many factory handgun offerings which come with threaded barrels. These handguns are typically referred to as “suppressor ready” or “tactical” models. Threaded barrels are going to typically be accompanied by a thread protector to ensure that threads are protected when a suppressor is not used.

Beyond factory barrels, one will be able to purchase aftermarket threaded barrels from a variety of manufacturers. Most barrels will be of the drop in variety while others will require fitting to ensure proper function. There are many aftermarket barrel manufacturers who produce threaded handgun barrels. Companies such as Lone Wolf, SilencerCo, Jarvis, Faxon, and True Precision are among some of the manufacturers of aftermarket threaded barrels.

Simply put, without a threaded barrel, you will not be able to suppress a handgun unless you have a unique fixed barrel pistol with an integral suppressor.


Pay Attention to Thread Pitches

One should be wary of the thread pitch that they are working with when it comes to their handgun and their suppressor. One should ensure that they purchase mounting hardware which is compatible with the threaded barrels on the pistol or pistols they intend on suppressing. There are many different thread pitches to consider when suppressing a handgun. These thread pitches are ultimately determined by the caliber one intends to suppress. Common thread pitches include 1/2×28 and .578×28. These thread pitches are commonly associated with 9mm Luger and .45 ACP barrels respectively.

Some more obscure thread pitches also exist and are popular among shooters. These thread pitches are typically of the left-hand threaded variety as opposed to the more common right-hand threaded variety. Common left-hand thread pitches include M 13.5×1 LH and M 16×1 LH for 9mm Luger and .45 ACP respectively. These left-hand thread pitches are also often referred to as simply “metric” thread patterns. These types of threads are common on firearms of European origin such as handguns manufactured by Heckler & Koch.

All in all, one should pay attention to the thread pitches of their attachment methods and threaded barrels to ensure compatibility. If one wanted to suppress multiple handguns, one would be able to do so by essentially standardizing on a specific thread pitch on compatible firearms.

HK45CT with AAC TI-rant 45M
HK45CT with AAC TI-rant 45M
HUXWRX Booster Assembly
HUXWRX Booster Assembly

Do You Need a Booster Assembly?

Most semi-automatic handguns will require the assistance of a booster assembly in order to function with a suppressor. This is due to the prevalence of tilting barrel assemblies and the additional weight provided by suppressors. These devices are formally known as Nielsen devices and are commonly called boosters. These assemblies consist of a piston and spring which assist the cycling of a semi-automatic handgun. The piston interfaces with the spring in the assembly and features threading which accommodates a threaded barrel. Again, one should ensure that their thread pitches match up when attempting to thread on a suppressor. Simply put, the piston and spring work with the recoil of a firearm to ensure that the slide is pushed back when fired.

Notably, some handguns do not require the use of booster assemblies for suppressed shooting. These pistols will generally have fixed barrels or barrels which differ from tilting barrel assemblies. One of the most iconic and prominent examples of a firearm of this type are pistols like the Beretta Model 92FS and its variants. These pistols utilize a locking block assembly and do not feature a tilting barrel operation. Due to this fact, these types of pistols will function without the addition of a booster assembly. For firearms such as these, one will utilized a fixed barrel spacer.


Potential Recoil Spring Swap

You may need to swap the recoil spring assembly in your firearm to ensure reliable function. Depending on the caliber, loading, pistol, and suppressor being used, one may need to tune their recoil spring assembly for optimal suppressed use. One may find that they need to go with a lighter or heavier spring depending on the performance of their setup. There are also cases where one will not need to change anything as the factory spring setup is sufficient for suppressed use. Simply put, one should be prepared for potential recoil spring tuning if needed.


Are Suppressor Sights Necessary?

Suppressor height sights are a common sight on many handguns these days. These types of sights are especially popular among shooters who utilize slide mounted red dot sights. Suppressor height sights are typically going to sit at a height that allows an end user to produce a maintain a sight picture through an optic. This height also allows one to develop and maintain a sight picture which is visible when a suppressor is attached to the muzzle of a handgun.

When a handgun is equipped with a suppressor, the tubular body of the device is visible when aiming the pistol. Depending on the size of the suppressor, this tube diameter can either be small or large. This means that iron sights can potentially be occluded by the addition of a suppressor. Many shooters simply “shoot through the tube” and use their shorter iron sights to the best of their ability. This is typically done by superimposing the sight picture over the target as you normally would, even with a suppressor attached. Additionally, most slide mounted optics will easily clear most suppressor tubes without issue.

Simply put, suppressor height sights are nice to have to maintain a full sight picture, but are ultimately not a necessity. One can certainly still shoot a handgun effectively without suppressor height sights when utilizing a suppressor.


Who Makes Handgun Suppressors?

Handgun suppressors are offered by a variety of companies. In addition to being used on handguns, these types of suppressors are also well-suited for use on PCCs and subguns. Additionally, some pistol caliber suppressors are even compatible with subsonic .300 Blackout ammo. When it comes to the use of .300 Blackout ammo in compatible pistol caliber suppressors, one must be sure to use subsonic ammo only. These types of suppressors will accommodate various attachment methods such as tri lug mounts, direct thread mounts, and booster assemblies. The diverse range of mounting solutions means that an end user can easily adapt one of these suppressors to fit a variety of firearms.

Popular producers of pistol caliber suppressors include HUXWRX, Surefire, SilencerCo, and AAC to name a few. Some of the pistol caliber suppressors on the market are of the modular variety, making them adaptable in terms of length. This makes it easy to adapt the suppressor for use on a variety of firearms such as subguns and handguns. The longer a suppressor is, the more baffles it will have. Simply put, one can trade noise reduction for a more compact package or, inversely, deal with a longer suppressor for better noise reduction.

Beyond the suppressors they produce. The aforementioned companies and others produce accessories and components necessary for suppressor use. These products include things such as mounting hardware and tools such as suppressor alignment rods.

AAC TI-Rant 45M on HK45CT
AAC TI-Rant 45M on HK45CT
HK45CT Suppressor Height Sight
HK45CT Suppressor Height Sight

Optimal Ammunition

When shooting suppressed, one will benefit from the use of subsonic ammunition. This type of ammo is loaded to subsonic velocities, ensuring that the supersonic crack from firing is eliminated. These types of loadings typically feature heavier projectiles to ensure velocities stay low and in the subsonic range. Subsonic 9mm Luger ammo usually features 147 and 150 grain projectiles, a departure from standard 115 and 124 grain projectiles.

Subsonic pistol ammo is produced by a number of ammunition manufacturers. These types of loadings generally feature standard full metal jacket (FMJ) type projectiles. Notably, Black Hills Ammunition produces their HoneyBadger ammo with solid copper projectiles which are optimized for use with suppressors and for self-defense use. Companies such as Winchester, Magtech, Sellier & Bellot, and Atomic Ammo are among some of the companies who produce subsonic ammunition.

There are also some cartridges with standard pressure loadings which happen to be of the subsonic variety. This is particularly evident with most standard 230 grain .45 ACP ammo. This is to say that most garden variety .45 ACP ammunition will be subsonic and optimal for use with a suppressor.



All in all, these are some of the factors one must keep in mind when attempting to suppress a handgun. Shooting a suppressed handgun is truly a joy that all shooters should try and experience. We here at True Shot Ammo have a wide variety of ammunition for sale, with many options being optimal for suppressor use. Whether you are wanting to buy ammo to shoot suppressed or for other purposes, we have got you covered. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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