Skip to main content

First Look: Silencer Central Banish Backcountry Suppressor

This compact suppressor is purpose-built for hunters. It's shorter and lighter, but still deadly quiet.

Suppressors have rapidly grown in popularity over the last decade for good reason. Although suppressors are still misunderstood in some circles—they don’t completely “silence” a firearm’s report—hunters are recognizing the benefits of a device that reduces the harmful noise that emanates from a rifle when it’s fired.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that noise of 140 decibels is at the threshold of pain and can cause immediate, permanent damage. (Normal conversation reaches a level of about 60 decibels for comparison.) The noise made by firing a rifle varies depending on factors such as chambering and barrel length, but most centerfire models chambered for typical hunting cartridges like the .270 Win., .308 Win. and .30-06 Sprg. exceed 160 decibels. Magnum rifles are even louder, approaching 170 decibels.

Most suppressors reduce the noise of a rifle shot to less than 130 decibels. While on paper this doesn’t seem like much of a reduction, decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale. A small change in decibels makes a big difference in the amount of noise and potential hearing damage.

Silencer Central Banish Backcountry Suppressor
Combined with a Savage 110 Ultralite, the Backcountry accounted for two blacktails and a caribou on Kodiak Island. (Photo courtesy of Murray Road)

Quality suppressors are precisely machined and assembled accessories, but they are quite simple in the way they work to reduce noise. Inside the suppressor is a series of baffles that traps propellant gases and slows their exit from the muzzle. By delaying the expansion and expulsion of these gases, the resulting noise is reduced. In addition to making a rifle quieter, suppressors also reduce felt recoil by the same principle. Put less noise and less recoil together, and a rifle becomes much more comfortable to shoot. Not surprisingly, we shoot better when we’re not anticipating a blast of noise and recoil, and we’re able to recover for follow-up shots more quickly.


In addition, a suppressor allows hunters to stay more aware of the situation immediately following a shot. There is less noise covering the sound of the bullet impact, which can provide feedback regarding the location of a hit—or miss. And since a suppressor reduces the noise of a gunshot to a safe level, there is no need for hunters to impede their hearing by wearing ear plugs or muffs when afield.

Suppressors are legal for hunting in 41 states. (Check state and local regulations, as seasons when suppressors are permitted vary.) With all the benefits that come with a suppressor, though, there are still two main hang-ups that cause hunters in suppressor-friendly states to give pause. First, suppressors are regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, and purchasing one requires an approval process that includes a background check through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The typical processing time for paper applications is eight to 10 months. Purchasing a suppressor also requires paying a $200 tax. Hunters just don’t want to deal with the hassle, plunk down money for a suppressor and the tax, and then wait for approval. The second downside is the length and weight a suppressor adds to a rifle.

The new Banish Backcountry suppressor from Silencer Central addresses the size issue. (More on how Silencer Central eases the application process later.) The number of baffles inside a suppressor correlates with how much noise it can reduce. More baffles trap gas longer, making the report quieter. But more baffles also add weight and length because there needs to be adequate space between each one to allow the gas to expand. Silencer Central’s flagship Banish 30 is a .30-caliber suppressor with eight baffles that measures 9 inches long. It weighs 14 ounces. To reduce the size and arrive at the Backcountry, Silencer Central cut the number of baffles to six, resulting in a suppressor that is a compact 5 1/2 inches long and weighs just 7.8 ounces.


Notably, though, the Backcountry still manages to keep noise below the 140-decibel threshold. For example, it reduces the report of a .308 Win. to 135 decibels, a .300 Win. Mag. to 137 decibels and a .300 RUM (the largest cartridge for which it is rated) to 138 decibels.

The Backcountry is made of titanium, and while it is available with an optional muzzle brake attachment, weight savings are best realized by directly threading it to the barrel. Silencer Central offers it with a number of thread pitches, including the 5/8x24 pitch common on .30-caliber hunting rifles.


I tested the Banish Backcountry on a recent trip to Kodiak Island, Alaska, where I spent a week hiking from the beach and into the surrounding hills for Sitka blacktails and caribou. The marches through the muskeg and alders and then up the steep slopes made me aware of every ounce I carried on the hunt. Yet at no time did I feel the Backcountry was a burden, and it was directly responsible for my hunting partner and I being able to double on caribou. Mike’s rifle was also equipped with a Backcountry, and when he took the first shot, the report was mild enough that even though I was kneeling close beside him I didn’t lose the view through my scope for a moment. The caribou herd we had stalked didn’t move very far after his shot, seemingly confused about the direction of the sound, and soon a second one was lying dead.

The Backcountry Banish is a suppressor optimized for hunters. Perhaps even better, Silencer Central’s stellar commitment to guiding customers through the suppressor application process—much of it completed online through BATFE’s eForms system, which has the advantage of faster approval than paper filing—makes it easy to handle. Now the question is, if you live in a state where you can hunt with a suppressor, why wouldn’t you own one?

Silencer Central Banish Backcountry Suppressor
Directly threading the Backcountry to a barrel saves the most weight, but a muzzle brake adapter is also available.

BANISH BACKCOUNTRY SPECIFICATIONS

  • Info: silencercentral.com
  • Type: direct-thread suppressor
  • Caliber: .30 (up to .300 RUM)
  • Sound Reduction: 30 decibels
  • Material: titanium
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Length: 5.5”
  • Diameter: 1.6”
  • Weight: 7.8 oz.
  • MSRP: $1,099

This article is featured in the February 2023 issue of Game & Fish Magazine. Click here to subscribe

Recommended


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Winchester Big Bore: Backcountry Bear Protection

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

Ruger American Now Chambered in 7mm PRC

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

Marlin is Back! Classic Hunting Rifles Make Return

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Learn

NWTF's Passion for Wild Turkey Conservation Still Burns After 50 Years

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

First Look: Leupold's BX-4 Range HD Rangefinding Binos

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Browning's Max Point, Silver Series Rifle Ammunition

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

New Hunting Ammo from Remington: 360 Buckhammer

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

New from Browning: X-Bolt Pro LR McMillan

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

New Hunting Blades from Buck Knives

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Hornady's Hot New 7mm PRC Cartridge: SHOT 2023

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Hawke Optics' Frontier LRF Laser Range Finding Binoculars

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

New from LaRue Tactical: Siete Chassis Rifle

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now