Lovin’ the Quiet

Side Note: It’s now been nearly two weeks since my hip replacement surgery, and I have not felt this good in almost two years. Virtually no pain; all I need to do now is regain some strength and stamina. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Silencers…suppressors…whatever…are one of the fastest growing aspects of the shooting industry. I’ll not rehash their history and why they are an NFA device. Suffice it to say, they are here to stay, and our collective hearing applauds that.

I bought another silencer last fall to fit my Ruger Mark III Hunter pistol. This superb rimfire autoloader has been with me for about 12 years. Its 5-inch fluted bull barrel is very accurate, and topped with an Aimpoint red dot sight, I have taken chislers out to 140 yards by laser rangefinder. It is an almost constant companion to me in the spring and early summer.

It may look more James Bond than cowboy, but this Ruger Mark III Hunter pistol equipped with an Aimpoint sight and a KDM silencer is a varmint shooting racehorse!

It may look more James Bond than cowboy, but this Ruger Mark III Hunter pistol equipped with an Aimpoint sight and a KDM silencer is a varmint shooting racehorse!

So last year when I became acquainted with John Killebrew of Killebrew Design and Manufacturing (KDM) and saw how he was putting together a really nice shop in his hometown of Rutledge, Alabama, I decided to see what he had to offer. His suppressors are made by hand, and at least the stainless steel rimfire can is capable of being disassembled for cleaning and maintenance. I sent him my Ruger to have the barrel threaded and a thread protector fabricated and installed. Meanwhile I began the process of buying and taking possession of the can.

John wanted to shorten my barrel in order to guarantee subsonic performance and a quiet pistol, but I refused telling him this was a hunting pistol, and I needed all the velocity I could get. I understood that it would still have a supersonic bullet signature, but this is inconsequential. My purpose as to have a varmint pistol I did not need to use ear pro to shoot.

I finally picked up the silencer in December and played with it a bit. My hip situation prevented me from really wringing it out, but I can say that with the KDM can ear pro is not needed at all, even with the Winchester high-speed Power-Points that are my preferred hunting ammo.

Killebrew’s workmanship is flawless. I’m not sure of his background, but it would not surprise me to learn that he is either a tool-and-die maker or a prototype machinist by training. The thread protector on my Ruger is so perfect in terms of fit and finish that one really needs to look carefully to see any joint line. Fine-threaded fittings can be a bit fragile so I lubricate all of these with an anti-seizing compound.

Some of my buddies have been blowing the raspberries at me for touting a pistol more suited to James Bond than some dumb ol’ cowboy from Cowbleep, Wyoming, but I’m bettin’ that if they come shooting chislers or prairie dogs with me they’ll be trying to talk me out of it. Nope—not tradin’ or sellin’.

I bought this can and the threading job outright from KDM. This isn’t some industry sweetheart deal. If you are interested, contact Killebrew Design and Manufacturing, www.kdmcans.com, (334) 797-6810 or e-mail: John@KDMcans.com. John is a great guy to work with and I am absolutely sure you will be treated well.

Dave Campbell
Dave Campbell began his hunting career with a spear off the southern California coast in the late 1960s. It did not take long for him to graduate to the gun on land. Campbell is the founding editor in chief of the NRA’s tremendously successful Shooting Illustrated magazine. In 2006 he also edited the iconic book of terminal ballistics, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter—A Definitive Study. He returned to his beloved Wyoming in 2007 as a freelance writer, though he usually refers to himself now as a “recovering editor.”
  1. Brad Reply

    So happy to see you finally had the much needed hip replacement! I agree on the can deal, shooting suppressed is best, I just returned from a quick afternoon session with my 338 Lapua adorned with a Thunderbeast 338BA. My Ruger pistol also sports a can, actually I just did the count ATF has $1200 of our hard earned cash to sign paperwork affix stamps for what they themselves classify a “firearm”

    As you have already mentioned, that issue is another time!

    Thanks for another fine article, Dave,

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