SHhhhhhhOT Show 2016 – The Silencers of SHOT Show

SuppressorsThe popularity of gun mufflers has exploded over the past few years thanks, in part, to efforts by manufacturer conglomerates, silencer demos and events, social media hash-tags that bring awareness (#SilencersAreLegal, #FightTheNoise), and the relative ease of procuring them – despite the blatantly unconstitutional  restrictions placed on them by laws and BATFE rulings.  There is even legislative action to make them even easier to procure – requiring only a 4473 instead of the tedious NFA paperwork and wait time (contact your reps!).

As such, it is no surprise that recent years at SHOT Show have seen an increase in suppressors in display, and the 2016 show was no exception.  

New Player Has Entered the Game – Ruger SILENT-SR

SHOT16range_6172It came as a bit of a surprise to us when Ruger announced that they would be working on producing a can, although maybe it shouldn’t have.  The undisputed heavyweight champion of the .22LR firearm arena making a rimfire suppressor just makes good sense, even if it may seem incongruous with the late company namesake’s tenuous footing on some Second Amendment issues such as magazine capacity.  Water under the bridge, I suppose.

In any case, Ruger was at SHOT Show Range Day to show off their latest toy:  The Ruger SILENT-SR – pronounced, cleverly, “silencer.”  The dash is as silent as subsonic ammo out of the 22/45 that I tried out on the firing line, which is to say that you just don’t hear it unless you’re doing something wrong.

The SILENT-SR is constructed of a stainless mount, front cap, and baffles and aluminum rear cap, all enclosed within a titanium tube.  The somewhat oddly-shaped 17-4 PH baffles snap together (in any order, with any rotation, with no POI shift according to the rep) to keep fouling from escaping around them and effectively welding the can together.

The company claims a reduction of up to 40 db on the .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR calibers that it is rated for.  I asked if it would handle 5.7×28 rounds, like some .22 cans will, and the rep said that they did not know and were not particularly interested since, after all, “we don’t build a 5.7”.  It was tough to tell just how movie-quiet it was with all of the other action going on along the firing line, but it sounded nice on the 22/45 that I fired and the 10/22 being fired at the next bench.  We didn’t take any scientific measurements, but hushing a .22 isn’t rocket surgery, so it’s probably quiet.

SilencerCo’s Integrally Suppressed 9mm – the Maxim 9

In an attempt to prove that the Maxim 9 isn’t vaporware constructed from unobtainum that puffs out quiet little unicorn farts, SiCo brought one of their most buzz-worth new toys with them to Range Day.  Although it wasn’t available for Joe Attendee to fire, it was available to fondle and a company rep ran two magazines through it right before our very eyes.

The integrally suppressed pistol has a similar form factor (until you get to the front end, of course) and similar controls as a CCW or duty sized Glock G17 and is designed to have the ability to be holstered.  It uses Glock magazines and accepts Glock sights – making the ability to find usable aftermarket accessories out of the box easy.

The suppressor part of the pistol is modular, much like the company’s shotgun suppressor – the Salvo – and it comes apart in the same way.  This modularity serves a dual purpose: allowing the length (and thus, suppression) to be tailored to the user’s carry or ammo needs and to allow it to be easily cleaned and serviced – something that will be important if the Maxim 9 makes its way into the LE department contracts that the company hopes for.

Performance-wise, the Maxim 9 was pretty impressive.  The Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club sits about 2500′ above sea level and Range Day conditions during the demo were 54°F at 30.8 in/hg of pressure.  For the demo, the company shooter ran two magazines of bulk 115 grain FMJ ammo from the main SiCo firing benches.  The shots definitely all seemed to be hearing safe; quiet enough, even, to hear not only the rounds hitting steel but also to hear the shutters of the gathered press members’ cameras.

SilencerCo also had their new HyBrid suppressor on the line, which handles nearly every round you could think of – including the .45-70 lever gun I got to shoot without ear protection during our visit to their shooting lane.

Dead Air Silencers Introduces a Ghost in the Machine

Dead Air had their new modular silencer – the Ghost M – on hand to demo at Range day.  The Ghost-M is a multi-caliber pistol can that will handle just about everything you might want to through through a pistol suppressor, from .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm to 10mm and 300 BLK subs.

With the growing popularity of shorter (and louder but lighter and more maneuverable) cans, the Ghost features a patent pending modular design that allows users to remove the forward module so that the suppressor can be shortened to suit the needs of the user.  Since the baffles and end-cap are large enough to accommodate bigger rounds, an alternate front endcap can be used that houses a wipe to boost the sound suppression performance when shooting smaller rounds – a big help, especially in the shorter configuration – as well as reducing first round pop (FRP).

The stainless steel and titanium can is 1.375″ in diameter with a length of 8.75″ and weight of 12 oz in its full configuration.  With the front portion removed, that shrinks to 6.2″ and 9.6 oz.

Yankee Hill Machine’s YHM Nitro

When we stopped by the YHM booth on Day 1 of SHOT Show, it was with the intention of visiting “my” Phantom LT that I purchased sight unseen to “celebrate” 41P growing up into 41F.  While I did get to fondle a Phantom LT – and grow even more impatient in the wait for the stamp – we were also greeted by a brand new model:  The Nitro .30.

The Nitro is a 22 oz 7.62 silencer that is backward compatible with YHM’s older 5.56 and LT-style mounts with a direct-thread version in the works. The target price is under $1000 – not bad for a can rated up to .300 Ultra Mag. Not many concrete performance details were available since the Nitro isn’t 100% polished and ready for public consumption.  In fact, it’s early enough in the process that YHM had (one of) the original Nitro prototypes in their booth that was still had Phantom markings and a longer length than the newer version with Nitro markings.

Separate endcaps area available, including ones with a smaller aperture that help boost the sound suppression performance of the .30 can when used with smaller calibers like 5.56, as well as an end-cap with a nearly 360 degree compensator.

LaRue Tactical S.I.R.G-es Ahead with New Suppressor

We stopped by the LaRue booth for a chat with the LT crew, a piping hot cup of fresh coffee, and a look at the new Suppressed, Indirectly Removed Gas (S.I.R.G.) suppressor.  It looks like a stubbier version of the recent LaRue Tranquilo silencer, except that instead of handling the higher calibers of the Tranquilo, it will be available for 5.56 and .300 blk and weighs in at approximately one pound.

We spent the Monday before SHOT Show Day 1 at the official Range Day while the LaRue Crew spent the day at a separate event, so we didn’t get to see either the Tranquilo or the S.I.R.G. in action.  They thoughtfully left the can dirty, however, so we could at least have a few sniffs and use our imagination about all the fun they had.

Liberty Introduces New Cosmic

SHOT_6483Down in the SHOT Show Dungeon, we got to stop by and see the new Liberty Suppressors Cosmic model – an 8″, 9.5 oz mono-core .45 ACP suppressor constructed from stainless and titanium.

Billed as “the most versatile 45 ACP pistol suppressor available”, the Cosmic boasts an impressive list of compatible calibers that it can handle.  Importantly for existing Liberty users, the Cosmic is backwards compatible with all existing Liberty mounting solutions.

Et Cetera

SHOT16range_6201Given the aforementioned growing popularity of suppressors, this was certainly not the extent of the cans being showcased at SHOT Show 2016.  Our intent, of course, is not to give those manufacturers short shrift but there are only so many hours of wandering that one can do in four days of wandering the massive show floor and not all of them can be devoted silencers.

We got to shoot a suppressed Browning 1919 in the Witt Machine lane at Range Day, so that was fun.  We stopped by the AAC booth, but spent more time trying to figure out a fixed-barrel spacer issue that we’re working on than looking at suppressors.  We saw an incredibly machined can that I’m fairly certain was from Warrior – although now I can’t find any info about it – and we saw the equally impressive flow-through design from OSS.

SHOT_124552We also meandered by the booth with Jesse James’s suppressors, but no photos turned out because we were laughing to hard at how phallic it looks and how he never wants any independent parties to meter the performance of it or shoot it side-by-side with competitors.

There wasn’t a whole lot new in the field of things to stick all these cans on, although we did get to stop by the ATI booth and see their new dedicated 9mm AR lower as well as the only threaded Glock G43 Barrel that we know of.

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