Hearing damage is a serious problem with shooters. We wear plugs and muffs, and strap electronic devices to our heads, but sometimes, things get through or you forget. The obvious answer of course, is to use a suppressor, but they can be cost prohibitive for a lot of shooters, and in some places, they are illegal to own or possess. Here in the states, we have come a long way in the past few years, taking the “assassin” stigma away, and pushing for legal hearing protection. For home defense, it really is an obvious benefit. Nobody wants to hear a 45 go off in their home, deafening their children. But with hunting season upon us, there is another benefit to the everyday outdoors enthusiast. Hunting with open ears.
At Texas Gun Fest, we spent a little time with Yankee Hill Machine. They make fine products that may be a little out of our normal price range, but worth it. The star on display, was the new Nitro 30. The Nitro 30 is a 30 caliber suppressor, that is perfect for the .308 we shot through it. YHM claims that this can is also capable from .17hmr, all the way through .300 Ultramag. While that may seem like a bold claim, they back it with a lifetime warranty.
Alecia, who is not normally a rifle shooter, enjoyed shooting this one. They made an excellent choice in a host rifle for the Nitro30.
Now, when I am out in the woods, I rarely have a bench to shoot from, and I’m certainly not going prone every time I need to make a shot. Most of my shots are made off hand standing, or braced against a tree. This means I needed to know if the can was going to tip the balance of the rifle forward. It did not. The rifle pointed naturally, and still let me put three holes touching at 25 yards. My eyes are aging faster than the rest of me, so that’s good enough for me from an unfamiliar gun with a can. Just for clarification, I present the following in my defense.
The Nitro 30 is also a modular design, but not in the way I normally think of with suppressors. The tube is the baffle stack, and it is welded. The modularity comes in the end caps. The package comes with two muzzle caps, and two end caps. One muzzle is the typical flat cap, which YHM says is geared for tactical use. The second cap is the one installed on the rifle, and it is a functional muzzle brake. While this may seem odd on the end of a device that traps and slows the muzzle blast already, it does make a difference in use. On the other end of the can, we have two more caps. One is a quick detach mount, for ease of transition to quiet shooting, while the second is a more traditional, direct thread.
YHM also offers end caps set for the .223/5.56, for more optimal results, and maximum rifle interchangeability. While this does not give you the “one can” holy grail, those options are often not really good at their job, they can just do the job in more places. Yankee Hill’s Nitro 30 gives you extended options for use, while maintaining a higher standard on .30 caliber choices.
Pretty much, it’s a 900$ answer for your hunting needs, that lends itself very well to plinking and target shooting. I regret not trying it without hearing protection, but Yankee Hill’s bay was in the middle of everybody, and I wasn’t risking more tinnitus.