Can't decide on a caliber/rifle

Hunting in general, or with a suppressor.

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Joined:Tue Feb 08, 2022 10:01 pm
Can't decide on a caliber/rifle

Post by PhoneMan » Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:55 pm

Hi All. I've decided to buy my first suppressor and can't decide on a caliber. A few years ago I took up bow hunting and have come to realize how much I hate wearing hearing protection in the woods. I lost about half my hearing as an infant due to a severe ear infection that caused inner ear damage so I jealously guard what I have left. For this reason, I want a setup that will let me safely hunt whitetail deer and hogs without hearing protection.

I am a big fan of shorter rifles as I hunt hidden behind brush or in a blind as I don't like heights. I have a Cooper model 54 in 308 that is 41". I absolutely love that rifle but I wouldn't want to go any longer (and really would like it to be shorter). I also have a CZ 527 in 7.62x39 that is 37" which I feel is just about the perfect length. I am thinking about buying a single shot rifle like a Ruger No. 1 as that would save about 4" in length over a bolt action. A Dakota Model 10 would be perfect, but the added cost of a divorce lawyer would put me over budget.

I'm not opposed to the idea of an SBR, but I'm not sure if it is legal to hunt with one in Georgia. I also have concerns about how much performance I would lose cutting the barrel of a 270 or 308 down to >12". Besides ballistic performance, how well would a suppressor preform with a short barrel and a full power big game cartridge? I hunt in a swampy area outside of Savannah where a deer running off a fairly short distance can be a problem due to blood trails being lost in water and thick brush make tracking a nightmare. This makes me wary of cartridges like 300 BLK, 6.8 SPC, and 7.62x39.

I am an experienced reloader and not at all afraid of esoteric cartridges, so a more specialized cartridge is an option. I would be willing to sink the extra money into rebarreling a rifle to a different caliber if the performance of the cartridge and sound attenuation is worth it. I am leaning toward just getting a Henry single shot in 308, having it cut to 16" and threaded to keep it simple, cheap, and short. I'm new to suppressors so I'm not sure if I should go with a direct thread, or add one of those fancy threaded flash hiders. Also, recommendations on a specific suppressor would be appreciated too. Thoughts?

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