Do oil filter suppressors really work?
Gun owners in the United States enjoy experimenting with their firearms. Everyone is always looking for innovative ways to improve the performance of their guns. In recent years, the use of suppressors has taken off as more people adapt them for hunting purposes. It's not a bad idea. Most of us don't wear hearing protection in the field pursuing game, so anything that helps protect against the loud sound of a muzzle blast is generally seen as a good thing.
We have also noticed an increasing trend in some movies and video games in recent years. And that's the use of a standard oil filter from a vehicle as a type of homemade suppressor. This always came off as corny to us.
Because this is an idea that can't possibly work, right? Well, at least that's what we thought. It's worth noting that this type of thing is not something you should try at home. The video's host has gone through the proper LEGAL steps of having the proper paperwork filled out, having the filter engraved and he has paid for the necessary tax stamp. These are basic things gun owners must do to legally use a suppressor. In any case, he takes a large Fram oil filter and attaches it to two different types of firearm. To show if it truly does make a difference, he's measuring decibel levels with a meter. He shoots a 9mm and a 22lr with and without the oil filter to gauge whether this really works or not.
Well, consider us surprised by this result. I've played at least two post-apocalyptic games in the last year that had DIY-style oil filter silencers or muzzle brakes built by the main character, and I rolled my eyes for both when it happened. Especially considering one of the games had been highly accurate in its portrayal of rifles and handguns up to that point. It's just one of those things that my mind had already decided had to be a Hollywood gun myth because it seemed too outlandish to be true. It's not a huge difference in sound reduction, but the test clearly showed it was there.
Obviously, we don't recommend trying this sort of thing. We wonder how long it will be before the selling of thread adapters like the one he got on eBay will get shut down by the ATF. This is one of those things that rides a fine legal line, and we'd probably only really feel comfortable doing if we had an FFL. Of course, those with an FFL are probably more interested in owning a machine gun or other firearm that the general populace can't get their hands on legally. And they probably own better suppressors already. This is a rather sketchy approach to sound suppression on a firearm. It's probably not going to last and you're probably better off simply buying a licensed and professionally designed for use with your favorite Ruger or Glock. It's also going to be much lighter and easier to handle.
Still, we found it fascinating. Especially the way the subsonic 9mm ammo ran better with the oil can silencer and adaptor attached to the firearm. We don't know what to make of that one. At least we now know the concept from the movies is not quite as far-fetched as we originally thought!