Shooting P22 and P99 with suppressors
So, this weekend I had the opportunity to shoot two suppressed handguns. Oh, what fun! This was my first time ever shooting with a suppressor. It presents some interesting challenges.
The weapons in question were a Walther P22 and a P99. I should do a proper review of these guns, but some quick notes. Both guns shoot like a dream. Very low recoil, super ergonomic designs. Each gun had its quirks, but on the whole I rate these models very highly.
Challenge number one is the extra weight on the barrel. It is difficult to keep the gun steady, especially after putting a couple hundred rounds down range.
Challenge two is that the suppressor messes with your sight picture. The attached lasers made this less of a problem, but for the laser-less I found that it was possible to shoot a 1" group at about 8 yards by just pretending that big black circle wasn't there. With the P99, that is; I had no such luck with the P22.
Now, I'm referring to it as a suppressor, not a silencer. These things don't work like they do on TV. The 9mm was still loud, I would say about like a 16-penny pneumatic nail gun. With subsonic rounds, it was possible to hear some of the rounds hit the backstop, if you were straining for it.
The .22, on the other hand, was truly quiet. With subsonic rounds, the loudest noise was the plink of the bullet on the backstop. I'm pretty sure I could hear the paper target being hit, too. With normal rounds, you definitely hear the sonic boom before the backstop is hit. I'd rate it approximately like the crack of a bullwhip.
Shooting with suppressors is definitely impractical, from a self defense perspective. They are bulky, expensive, and increase the amount of overall maintenance. But, they are really cool to play with. It was a great experience, and made for a very fun day of shooting.