.22 Rimfire guns can be incredibly fun to go plinking with, and just plain fun to shoot with, in general. Some shooters even consider them the gateway to the world of items regulated by the National Firearms Act, or the NFA. They can hush your gun to nearly soundstage levels and can make shooting much more accessible to those who may be noise-sensitive or intimidated by raw gunfire in the first place.
But what exactly does a suppressor do, and how does it work? There are a ton of .22 Rimfire suppressors on the market, and while you may think choosing one for your pistol or rifle may be simple, you’d have to think again. Many suppressors do offer similar features, but far different performance and results at the range. Since you’re going to be paying a robust federal tax on your suppressor, you want to make sure you’re choosing one that won’t let you down, so here are the best.
Best .22 Rimfire Suppressors
- SilencerCo Sparrow 22
- Dead Air Armaments MASK Rimfire Suppressor
- Rugged Oculus
- SilencerCo Switchback 22
- Ruger Silent-SR
- SilencerCentral Banish 22
SilencerCo Sparrow 22
The SilencerCo Sparrow is known for its impressive suppression as well as its ability to be taken apart for maintenance with ease. The SilencerCo Sparrow is rated up to a 5.7×28 FN, so no worries about it fitting your rimfire, and the MPC construction design makes it quick to fully clean.
- Stainless steel construction
- 6.5 oz
- Stainless steel construction
- 6.5 oz
Dead Air Armaments MASK Rimfire Suppressor
If you’re looking for a suppressor that cuts down on the volume of your gun, this is a great option. It is rated up to 5.7×28, which is pretty impressive, given the small size. Many customers like how easy this suppressor is to assemble and break down.
- One of the quietest silencers in this classification
- Just 5.1-inches long
- Easy disassembly
The Rugged Oculus is one of the few modular suppressors, and its unique slotted baffles are designed to seal and prevent fouling from seizing it up. The suppression makes nearly no sound, and the maintenance on the Rugged Oculus can be completed in only a few minutes. As with many other .22 Rimfire suppressors, the Rugged Oculus is rated to a 5.7×28 FN.
- Cerakote stainless steel
- Modular design gives 3.25” and 5.25” length options
- 4.3 oz & 6.9 oz
SilencerCo Switchback 22
It’s not very often that you see a suppressor that has options for guns of varying lengths, but the Switchback from SilencerCo has all of your favorite .22s covered. It even has a rifle-optimized option for those working with a rifle rather than a handgun.
- Available in 4 different lengths
- Can be used on handguns or rifles
- Even the heaviest option is only 6.5oz
The long-standing reputation of the Ruger brand tells you that this is likely to be one of the best suppressors around. Their muzzle mount locks into place, preventing the tube from spinning. One of the best features is that it is quick to take apart, clean, and reassemble.
- Compact design doesn’t add much bulk
- Easily mounted
- Made from titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum
SilencerCentral Banish 22
The Banisher is a lightweight and highly effective suppressor that brings down the volume of your firearm to 120dB, which is barely louder than a bb-gun. Your shots will be hearing safe with just the quick installation of this suppressor.
- Rated down to 120dB
- Weighs just 4.1oz
- Constructed from titanium
In short, a .22 Rimfire suppressor is for reducing the noise of a .22 caliber gunshot, or report, to a more manageable level. While many people may think there is a difference between a suppressor and a “silencer”, the difference is essentially nonexistent, even though some folks find those to be fighting words.
The concept for a suppressor was created back in 1902 by Hiram Percy Maxim and subsequently manufactured for commercial use following his masterful marketing. The original marketing angle was to make a muzzle attachment for outdoor sportsmen and hunters that wanted to reduce their noise and increase their enjoyment.
Due in no small part to the marketing and patent-holding that Maxim affected, the term silencer was initially the most popular term. However, it soon fell out of favor with most shooting enthusiasts since they never completely silence a gun or its shot reports. The term stuck around, though, and is still used as a legal definition in firearm regulations, as well as on the paperwork and forms from the ATF.
The term suppressor has hung on for decades thanks to gun purists since it is a more accurate descriptor of the function that the attachment performs. Hollywood and the special effects industry would have you believe differently, but there are almost no legal attachments that can make your gun sound that quiet.
The National Firearm Act, or NFA, sets the guidelines and penalties that govern the manufacture, transport, sale, and disposal of many types of firearms, firearm accessories, and attachments. It also sets tax amounts on each sale or transfer and requires that any permanent transfers across state lines be reported to the ATF.
One of the notable things that the NFA does is set the definition of and regulations surrounding, suppressors. In the Act, suppressors are defined as silencers, and constitute any “portable device designed to muffle or disguise the report of a portable firearm, but does not include non-portable devices”. As a result of the Act, suppressors are one of the more heavily regulated items.
The long and short of this means that when you purchase a suppressor you will need to pay for the “tax stamp”. While the tax on a suppressor when first enacted was largely cost-prohibitive for most people, times have changed and inflation has made that tax much more reasonable for the average Joe Shooter. The legally-mandated tax on a suppressor is $200, which was the equivalent of nearly $4,000 in today’s dollars, at the time the tax was established.
If you’re considering getting a suppressor for your .22 Rimfire pistol or rifle, you may be wondering what exactly you should take into consideration when browsing the various suppressors on the market. Here we’re going to show you the main things to pay attention to, and how they should impact your final decision. You’ll need to consider the guts of the suppressor, the caliber rating, the physical size, and the weight.
The biggest differences in most suppressors are going to be on the insides, in the baffles that are used to suppress the report from the expanding gasses. They generally fall into three categories, solid monoliths, standard baffles, and K-baffles. They each have their benefits and drawbacks, usually when it comes to performance and ease of cleaning.
Monoliths are one piece and generally a breeze to take apart and reassemble, but they will often have a louder first-round report. Stacking baffles click together and fill the firing chamber of the suppressor, reduce the amount of fouling that builds up inside, and are super-easy to take apart while being quieter than monoliths. K-baffles are some of the most high-performance suppressors, but they can be a pain to maintain overall.
This can be a touchy subject for some, with many shooters ready to die on the hill that “bigger is better”, which just simply isn’t the case. You need to think about what you’ll be shooting and how big you’ll need your suppressor. Some will fit a .45 ACP on down to rimfire cartridges, but do you need that?
For most people, the gun you’re thinking about equipping with the suppressor is likely where it’s going to live for years to come. With that in mind, unless you’re really thinking about swapping that bad boy around on all your guns, just buy what you’re going to use. Sometimes there are some benefits to having a suppressor that can hush a round much bigger than what you’re planning on shooting, but the benefits aren’t nearly as valuable as some folks may try to sell you on.
Since a .22 Rimfire is a muzzle attachment, you will need to pay attention to the physical size of the suppressor you’re attaching. Some can be rather long and may even rival your barrel length, effectively doubling the length of your gun, which can make the gun unwieldy or awkward in some situations. There are also considerations with suppressors that have a diameter that is wide enough to interfere with your sights, but we’ve tried to leave any of those monsters off this list.
The weight is one of the most important things to consider, but maybe not for the reasons you think. With a suppressor, you’re going to want one that’s not too light, but not too heavy. While the extra weight will make your gun significantly more front-heavy, it will also help control the recoil and the potential muzzle-rise of each shot. While it will be hard to quantify the perfect weight, it should be commensurate with the length and diameter.
Getting The Best Suppressor For Your Rimfire Gun
No matter what you use your .22 Rimfire for, from plinking bottles and cans to hunting varmint on the homestead, there is a suppressor for your gun. Be sure you consider how you’re going to use it, and how the attachment will affect your gun, and you’ll be on your way to picking out a great suppressor.