Having to defend your home can be a scary situation. Most likely, you’re caught by surprise in the middle of the night, and the bad guy has the upper hand. 

While most of us think we know what to do in this situation, there are factors that many of us have not considered. One is how loud a gunshot is without ear protection, especially indoors.

That may lead you to question if you should run a suppressor for home defense.

And that’s an understandable debate topic, with many valid questions left to answer on both sides. Let’s talk about those questions, and I’ll tell you what I think.

Don’t You Want Your Neighbors To Hear You? 

You most definitely want your neighbors to hear you. If you haven’t been able to call the cops yet, they will be the ones to get on the phone and dial 911. 

Of course, the action will likely be over by the time they get there, but if you weren’t the victor of the battle, you’ll need someone to help you. 

Either way, your neighbors will likely still be able to hear what’s happening even if you have a suppressor, as they don’t silence firearms, only lower the sound by a couple dozen decibels. 

What About The Extra Length A Suppressor Adds? 

Suppressors are long. Most are more than five inches long, which, with a 14.5-inch barrel, would total 19.5 inches- way too long for home defense. 

What can you do? Buy a rifle with a shorter barrel. Or, just buy an upper receiver specifically for home defense. It sounds expensive, but you can pick up a 10.5-inch Aero Precision M4E1 upper receiver/barrel for $300 and run that as your home defense build. 

15.5 inches is a whole lot better than 19.5 inches. Still, you’ll want to ensure you train with it.

still remain compact with the addition of a suppressor

Your build can still remain compact with the addition of a suppressor. Source: silencershop

Are Suppressors Difficult to Acquire?

Yes, they are hard to acquire in some places and can be expensive. It’s not uncommon for people to wait for months just to get the ATF’s nod to pick their suppressor up from their FFL. It’s definitely not the most convenient piece of equipment to add to your collection. 

But it does help a lot in a home defense situation. And I think shooters who use their firearms frequently can benefit from a suppressor in the long term. None of us want to be old and deaf; a suppressor can help prevent that. 

In the short term, a suppressor can be a complicated and pricey purchase to justify. But your ears will thank you later.

pistol suppressed

Expect to fill out paperwork. Source: silencercentral

Can’t A Suppressor Cause Malfunctions?

Suppressors alter the way your firearm functions. Your firearm gets dirtier quicker, and if it isn’t tuned correctly, it could cause your rifle to malfunction. And a home defense situation is not the best time for any type of failure.

But you should be testing your home defense gun before you trust it to save your life anyway. You will know if your firearm is ready for a defensive situation by taking it to the range, throwing your suppressor on, and firing several magazines

If you’re having issues, you can start going down the list of reasons why it’s firing that way. That way, when the time comes, you won’t have to worry about malfunctions. 

Won’t The Loud Noise Scare Away Any Other Burglars? 

Potentially, it will. One would assume the loud gunshots and screaming would scare them away. But if it doesn’t, you’re still in the fight.

And without a suppressor, the light flash and noise will be like a flashbang to you. And every time you shoot, it gets worse and worse. 

It is wise to run a suppressor to mitigate the possibility of taking yourself out of the fight. 

What If The Police Take Your Suppressor? 

This is a fear I have when thinking of the outcome of using my home defense gun. In most cases, your firearm and everything else you used to take out the would-be robber is entered into evidence until they can conclude that it was justified.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t use a suppressor on your firearm? Well no. Odds are you’ll never find yourself in a home defense situation, and even if you did, with everything you know now, would you rather not have one? 

It’s a viable fear but should not stop you from using a suppressor on your home defense gun. While suppressors can be difficult to acquire and pricey, they are replaceable, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

I would hate to lose a setup like this, but it can be replaced. Your vision, hearing, or life cannot. Source: silencerco


Using a suppressor on your home defense gun has more benefits than drawbacks. It protects not only your hearing but also your eyesight by mitigating the flash that comes out of the barrel of your firearm.

Suppressors come in all different sizes

Suppressors come in all different sizes. Source: silencercentral on IG

Of course, you reduce the likelihood of your neighbors hearing that you need help, but since suppressors don’t silence weapons like some movies lead people to believe, your neighbors will probably still hear the action.

Home defense situations can be scary and stressful. A ton of decision-making has to happen in a matter of seconds, and it can be confusing. The last thing you need is to go blind and deaf while trying to fight for your life. 

Run a suppressor. Train with it. Be prepared

Be good and take care.

Brian Zerbian
Brian is a USMC Veteran and avid gun enthusiast from New Jersey who loves to spend his time shooting, writing, listening to classic rock, and learning new things.
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