Suppressors are just cool. Face it. There is nothing like pulling up at your local range, sending a few rounds down range with a 9mm suppressor on your pistol or carbine, and watching everyone’s eyes trying to see what you are shooting. Sometimes it is fun to be the center of attention.
But suppressors do have their proper place. Imagine a range where everyone was firing suppressed. How quieter it would be, and the danger of inadvertent exposure to high-intensity sounds would be much less. From a hunting standpoint, a suppressed firearm causes less disruption.
If you are hunting to reduce feral and damaging animals, the opportunity of many more successful shots means a better outcome for farmers and ranchers. Feral hog hunters are aware of this advantage when trying to reduce feral hogs with night hunts.
The 9mm and Suppressors
From a historical standpoint, the 9mm cartridge is old. Georg Luger originally designed the 9mm in 1902. This venerable round has been in use by military forces, police forces and civilian shooters regularly since that time. Interest has been resurgent in recent years, and overall usage has trended upward due to new bullet technology and powders that increase the power of the 9mm round.
One popular use of the 9mm has been in carbine style firearms. The advantages of having a pistol and a carbine chambered for the same round are valid. These advantages range from only carrying one type of ammo to (with some combinations of guns) only carrying one magazine type.
It naturally follows that a 9mm suppressor that works on a pistol should also work reasonably well on a carbine under the right conditions.
Considering a 9mm Suppressor
If you consider a 9mm suppressor, there are some things to think about and understand before you put money down, fill out the forms and begin the long wait for your tax stamp to arrive. If you are not already aware, the $200 tax stamp allowing you to possess a NFA weapon can take upward of a year to receive. So, you want to be completely sure that you know what you want before going through this process.
What Kind of Firearm Will I Suppress?
What firearm to suppress is a big question that can have serious implications for anyone wanting to do so. Let’s look at pistols first.
- Is the pistol suppressor-ready? – The major issue here is the barrel. If your pistol is factory-ready for a suppressor and is threaded, you are good to go. Otherwise, you must purchase and install a new 9mm suppressor-ready barrel in your pistol. Purchasing a barrel is an additional cost on top of the suppressor and the tax stamp.
- Will the pistol operate with a suppressor? – Some semi-automatic pistols won’t cycle properly with a suppressor. There are two factors to consider. To get the suppressor’s full effect, you must fire subsonic ammunition, which provides less power to function the recoil system. In blow-back or gas impinged systems, the gas’s amount of force may not be enough to cycle the action fully.
- Weight and balance – Sticking several ounces of steel, aluminum, or titanium on the far end of the barrel of your pistol is going to change a lot of things. The weight of the pistol goes up. The point of balance changes. The harmonics of the barrel may change which affects the accuracy of your gun.
- Length – Adding 4 to 9 inches of extra length to your pistol is a big change. A suppressor on the barrel makes it almost impossible to carry or conceal a suppressed pistol. If you are thinking about suppressing your everyday carry gun, this should be a big consideration.
Rifles and Carbines
The same sorts of issues hold when suppressing a rifle or carbine. The length issues may not be as big, but you will change your rifle or carbine’s weight and balance. Firing subsonic ammunition may take some tweaking of your rifle or carbine’s action to get the gun to cycle reliably. If your rifle or carbine does not have a threaded barrel, a gunsmith can usually remove the sights, machine, taper, and thread the barrel. However, be prepared for the expense.
So, what 9mm Suppressors are the Best for both a Pistol and a Carbine?
We looked at the 9mm suppressors on the market and have found five that we believe function with both carbines and pistols chambered for 9mm. Our opinion is that these suppressors are suitable for exchanging back and forth among 9mm carbines and pistols.
Best Overall 9mm Suppressor – Gemtech Lunar 9
Gemtech has a solid winner in the 9mm suppressor race. The Gemtech Lunar 9mm suppressor offers a unique modular design that lets you modify the suppressor’s length on the fly. One suppressor is configurable as either a 4.7-inch or 7-inch suppressor. This feature makes the Gemtech Lunar 9 a bit of a hybrid.
Gemtech hasn’t let innovation overtake reliability or durability. The additional features that the Lunar 9 suppressor includes are impressive.
- Suitable of r9mm or .300 Blackout (subsonic ammunition)
- Weight with all modules – 10 ounces
- Weight with the 4.7-inch module – 7 ounces
- Overall length with all modules – 7 inches
- Length with the additional module – 4.7 inches
- Materials – Aluminum and stainless steel
- Finish – Hard coat anodize
- Attachments Style – 1/2×28 booster (included) Compatible with GM-9 mounts
- Average Decibels (129dB in full configuration
Getting the Most from a 9mm Suppressor
Gemtech has provided the widest range of options for a shooter with the Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor. The ability to shorten the suppressor for pistol use or get the most sound suppression from a carbine by adding the extra module is, in our opinion, a superior design. It doesn’t hurt that Gemtech makes these suppressors compatible with a wide range of mounts and options. If you want to suppress both a 9mm pistol and a carbine, the Gemtech Luna 9 should be a contender on your list.
Best Overall 9mm Suppressor Runner-up – SilencerCo Osprey
Non-concentric suppressors are nothing new, so SilencerCo doesn’t win the runner-up position based on the Osprey suppressor’s unique shape. A non-concentric suppressor’s shape gives the user an advantage in making the factory sights on most pistols usable. Put a standard concentric suppressor on most pistols and the sights become unusable. Unusable sights mean an extra expense to have raised sights fitted.
There are other advantages to this different looking 9mm suppressor. A non-concentric design offers more room in the suppressor housing for expansion and turbulence to work their magic. More room and turbulence makes for a quieter suppressor.
SilencerCo offers equally impressive features on the Osprey suppressor.
- Available in 9mm, .300 blackout, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP
- Weight – 9.8 ounces
- Length – 7.08 inches
- Diameter – 1.3 x 1.75 inches
- Materials – Aluminum Tube and Baffles, stainless steel blast baffle
- Finish – Black Oxide
- Average Decibels – 127 dB
Beyond Being a Good Suppressor, It Looks Cool
The SilencerCo Osprey suppressor is a well-engineered device that delivers on the company’s promise. Beyond that, it looks good. The Osprey suppressor’s dimensions are close enough to the pistol frame’s size and shape that the suppressor and gun form a single profile on many semi-automatic pistols. From a distance, it often looks like an integrally suppressed pistol.
Best Budget 9mm Suppressor – Huntertown Arms 9mm
If budget is a big consideration, don’t despair. There are 9mm suppressor options on the market that won’t bust your wallet and still offer great performance and quality construction. The Huntertown Arms 9mm suppressor is one of the best in this category.
Offering a price point that is often half of a comparable 9mm suppressor from other manufacturers, the Huntertown Arms 9mm is bargain basement priced but the top of the Line feature-rich. For the money, Huntertown Arms produces a suppressor that rivals some of the best on the market.
- Supported Calibers – 9mm, .17 HMR, 22LR, @@ WMR, 300 Blackout (subsonic factory ammo only)
- Length – 7.6 inches
- Diameter – 1.25 inches
- Weight 9.5 ounces
- Materials – Stainless Steel and aluminum. Stainless steel blast baffle
- Finish – Hard coated Black anodizing
Features Where Features Count
Huntertown Arms designs their suppressors for average shooters. Things like easy disassembly with standard workshop tools are a plus. Many more expensive suppressors require special proprietary stools to disassemble the suppressor. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a well built and reliable suppressor.
The Ultimate 9mm Suppressor – CGS Mod 9
If you are looking for leading-edge technology and budget isn’t a consideration, the CGS Mod 9 suppressor is the first place to start shopping. The CGS Mod 9 is a precision-engineered and built suppressor based on the latest in baffle design and delivers superior sound suppression.
From the quality of materials used in the construction to the quality control that defines the CGS business model, the CGS Mod 9 is undeniably among the best of 9mm suppressors on the market. A look at the features and specifications of the CGS Mod 9 testify to the quality of these suppressors.
- Made in Artesia, New Mexico, USA
- Second generation Orion baffles
- Designed to shield the tube from carbon buildup for easier cleaning and maintenance
- Shorter than most other suppressors without sacrificing sound suppression
- 12 point adjustments for better accuracy control
- Heat-treated stainless steel parts
- Type III hard-coated aluminum parts
- Length – 7.7 inches
- Weight 10 ounces
- Rated for full-auto operation
The Best We Could Find
Being built in the USA is certainly a positive attribute, but the overall design and quality of the CGS Mod 9 are what really impressed us. The attention to detail is obvious from the inside to the outside of this suppressor. There is nothing not to like about this suppressor.
Military Grade 9mm Suppressors – Surefire SF Ryder 9-T12 Suppressor
If operating with military-grade equipment is your thing, then the Surefire SF Ryder 9-T12 Suppressor is your choice. Surefire has a reputation for designing and building equipment used worldwide by combat and law-enforcement operators who demand the highest quality and reliability.
The Surefire SF Ryder 9mm suppressors feature the most important things that military and law-enforcement operators demand. The highest quality components, superior manufacturing, and unquestioned reliability are the expectations. The features Surefire offers in the SF Ryder suppressors are as impressive as the Surefire name.
- Overall Length – 7.6 inches
- Diameter – 1.25 inches
- Weight – 10.7 ounces
- Construction – Titanium tube, front, and rear plate. Stainless steel baffles.
- Finish – Cerakote
- Available in either black or dark earth finish
- Thread on design
- Built in the USA
- US Military certified
- Fluted tube for lighter weight
Use What the Professionals Use
I may not be anticipating heading into any situation like military or law-enforcement operators encounter. However, that doesn’t mean you can shoot the same quality and reliable equipment. On the other hand, you may be preparing for the unexpected and understand the need for equipment designed for the extremes of conditions and demands. The Surefire SF Ryder line of suppressors certainly fits that bill.
Before You Make the Decision
Buying a suppressor for a pistol or a carbine is no matter to be taken lightly. Suppressors, even the budget models, are very expensive. Add to the expense pistol modifications, the tax stamp cost ($200), and the lengthy wait time to get your approval (~1 year), and you can tie up a lot of money.
You need to make wise decisions about your suppressor choice because it is one that you will live with for a long time.We hope that this article has given you some insight into choosing the best suppressor for your pistol and carbine. There are hundreds of suppressors on the market (here are our favorites) from which to choose. Doing a bit of due diligence is the lesson we hope to impart. Be safe and shoot straight.