Moderators - do I really need one and are they legal abroad?

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I am very much an amateur stalker, shooting last year on the bit of ground I have permission on 4 roe and 5 foxes. Total number of shots with .243 was 9.

My ground does have a number of houses nearby and plus horses and sheep grazing.

I also normally have a couple of days on the hill.

I am not interested in taking more than one beast at a time. Disturbance I think is minimal and a .243 is certainly less than a 12 bore in noise. Horses don't seem too worried - yes they start and trot around for 30 seconds, but no more than if somebody walks through their field. To be honest if I go and shoot rabbits with subsonic silent .22s they also trot about.

Plus there is the expense - £350 by the time you have bought one, threaded etc, plus it ruins the balance and looks of a fine rifle.

Thus do I really need a moderator?

Also if are moderators legal overseas?

Thoughts please.


Well-Known Member
There's a lot of positive aspects to having a mod fitted - they reduce recoil, and muzzle flip. You wont damage your hearing the same way you would without a moderated rifle.
I think I anticipate the shove in the shoulder a lot less on my .308 now it's been tamed a bit,so my groups are more likely to be consistent.
There is less chance a member of the public will report shots being fired to the police,because the muzzle report will be muted.
The downside is they are heavy,mostly designed last century & upset the balance of the rifle for off hand shots.
I don't think you are allowed to take sound moderators to croatia. DL


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Moderator are legal here in Sweden. They were made legal last year. There has not been the rush to fit them like in the UK . You can't have a mod for ,22rf though.


Well-Known Member

Interesting to know moderators are legal in Sweden on full bore rifles and not .22RF, curious to know why that is?
Also be interesting to see if full bore mods do catch on in Sweden.

I always have a moderator on my .22, I have full bore mods as well but do notlike them so never use them.

I would agree with everything DL said in his post about the + and - for using one but just not for me, guess im too old school.



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as a relativly novice stalker aswell my experiance is not great but here it is all the same
i use a t8 on my mannlicher 243 and have little problems with the weight even when hillstalking ( but i am only young). i also think that if your rifle is a tool for stalking (as is mine) looks should come second to performance and whatever insures a clean kill is best , i do however understand that rifles can be buetifull and a wooden stocked gun can be an object of art. on the cost side i bought a ase ultra s5 on saturday for £165 if your gun is not screw fitted then thats 50 odd fish, but in the long run, its an invesment imo. i use one a lot of my scotch freinds dont, but its alldown to your and your prefence


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I think the answer is in two parts. Although from the outset I'll state I detest the things and think them an abomination! I would sooner not shoot than suffer one on any of my rifles. However:

Will your rifle have iron sights fitted when you buy it? If it does and you intend to use them then any further "debate" about moderators is pretty much irrelevant. You can get screw on and screw off Williams ramp sights and mount them back behind any muzzle threading. But it is a lot of effort!

If it doesn't have iron sights and you don't ever intend it to have iron sights then we come to the second part.

It is probably better to have a thing and not need it than to need it and not have it. Just because your rifle is threaded for a moderator it does not mean you have to use it at all. But it is fitted for it if you need it.

If it is "the looks" that worry you it is quite possible to have a threaded barrel shroud made that will mask the threads and restore the usual barrel profile to the gun when you use it without the moderator.

If you apply for a "rifle and moderator" at time of asking for the FAC variation only ONE FEE is payable. If you get the rifle and then've a fee to pay just to get the variation for the moderator.

Today is a buyer's market. If you say to the gunshop "I like rifle XX...but can you get it threaded and re-proofed as part of the deal" you may have a better margin. Either to have it done by them or to then negotiate a discount if they say they won't.

Personally where I shoot I don't have a need. But in your circumstance or if lamping then I can see the argument. Especially as with high velocity loads the moderator will cut down muzzle FLASH.

What a moderator won't eliminate, of course, is the "crack" of the bullet as it passes through the air.

Also neighbours change. You may later acquire in the houses somebody who does get alarmed hearing a rifle report and start causing bother.

Moderators are illegal in some countries. But taking the rifle ONLY, even if threaded for one, especially if you have the shroud I described, shouldn't be a problem.

BASC will be able to advise.

As an aside however it is illegal to possess any rifle in France able to be fitted with a bayonet by virtue of being equipped with a functioning bayonet bar or lug regardless of whether you have a bayonet for it.

So beware of laws that ban rifles not "equipped with a moderator" but "equipped for a moderator".


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I returned from a moose hunting trip to sweden in oct ,I decided to take the .270 with the t8 mod and every one in the hunt was very interested, some of the lads even had a go just to see what is was like,most were impressed but didn;t feel the need to use one while there were out hunting,having seen the country I would tend to agree, sweden or britain for hunting............. sweden every time , they have the right balance. :D :D as for croatia I will have to check ??? going boar shooting in april so will have to make sure..

pheasant sniper 1

Well-Known Member
The experience i had whilst attending a large and popular stalking ground was that of the four or five stalkers i met there a preferance was given to those with mods fitted as to the high seats they were placed in with the chap without the mod clearly being placed in a disadvantaged position near the road where he did not have the numbers or day the rest of us enjoyed.. It seemed clear on this occasion he was disadvantaged by not having a mod fitted..


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Max , you could get a moderator for a full bore rifle on medical,hearing grounds before they made them openly available. They said that a .22cf did not make sufficent noise to warrent a moderator:confused: . Of course i don't have mine anymore ;)
I won't shoot without one now. I grew up on an -06 and shot all of my rifle shot deer with it. My ears are still ringing from not wearing any ear plugs (because you can't hunt with ear plugs in). Despite the disadvantages of a moderator (extra weight, looks), my hearing is more important. Frankly, I don't mind the looks and if you start with a little shorter barrel and go with a reflex design the weight/length is minimal.

Forget about one in the US. While the aren't illegal, they are specially regulated (with a tax stamp) which costs $200 and takes 6 months to get. And, you have to be a resident of a state that allows then (I think 22 or so states do). If you do end up with one there (as a resident) you have to notify the feds if you want to cross state lines with it. So for a visitor, forget it.



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It's not legal to have a moderator for driven boar/deer shooting in Poland. Besides, participants and the guides want to be able to hear where in the line or in what part of the forest shots are being fired. If the shots come from people on pegs nearer and nearer to you, with any luck the pigs are coming your way!


Well-Known Member
It's not desirable (not sure about legal) to have a moderator for driven boar/deer shooting in Poland. Besides, participants and the guides want to be able to hear where in the line or in what part of the forest shots are being fired. If the shots come from people on pegs nearer and nearer to you, with any luck the pigs are coming your way!

roe steak

Well-Known Member
My 223 has a mod for vermin near the towns which is great but my heavy barrel 308 with big scope is already a log, wouldn't fit a mod because it's a lot to carry and where I stalk is a long way from anything anyway.

It's a question of necessity vs practicality. If you're foxing late at night it demands a mod to avoid disturbing people but open hill stuff I guess is a personal choice and whether you're looking to get a second shot in for culling or just the the one for yourself.