I have read and heard many outdoor writers and gun experts say the proper term for a noise-reduction device at the end of a firearm is suppressor, not silencer (Ask Petzal). Where does suppressor come from? If I remember my history correctly, Hiram Maxim invented the device and called it a silencer, even referring to it as such in his sales ads. If he invented it and called it a silencer, shouldn't that be the proper name?
Larry D. Hawkins, South Elgin, IU.
DAVID E. PETZAL RESPONDS: Hiram Maxim did invent it, and did call it a silencer. However, the term suppressor is more accurate because the devices don't eliminate sound; they merely reduce it. I've shot a suppressed .22 LR handgun that made no more noise than a soft snap of the fingers, but there was noise nonetheless. [For more on suppressors, see p. 20.]
After reading David E. Petzal's response--"Nothing punches through the thickets"--to the guy hunting with the .375 H&H, I was reminded of an old article entitled "Brush Busting Calibers" by a Maine outdoor writer. I forget all of the calibers he said were proven to blast through brush, though the .444 Marlin comes to mind.
I wrote him a letter (this was before the days of e-mail) and said that it was wrong to give hunters the idea that their guns had that ability. Just because you can stick your thumb down the bore doesn't mean that your round will go through an acre of alders.
I suggested that perhaps a better subject to write about would be taking only quality shots. He wrote me back and said, "Studies have shown that the .416 Rigby had proven effective in going through brush."
Ah ... what? We're in Maine, dude.
Scott Henry, Jefferson, Maine