ASA Hosts 3rd Annual Media Day Ahead of NRA Show

NRA16_7416NRAAM Starts Off With a pffffttt.

The American Suppressor Association (ASA) hosted their third annual media day in tandem with the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Louisville, Kentucky, today – one day ahead of the exhibit floor opening to attendees – and the GunLink team was there to take part in the invitation-only event.  The Media Day event, held at Knob Creek Gun Range, was an excellent opportunity to get hands on experience with some of the newest gun mufflers on the market.  Now is a great time to buy and own NFA items like suppressors, despite some of the new hurdles placed in front of some owners by the 41F ruling.

The ASA touts itself as the unified voice of the suppressor industry with a mission “to unite and advocate for the common interests of suppressor manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and consumers” by lobbying at the state and federal levels, educating the public, and providing industry research.  ASA’s main objectives include raising public awareness, relaxing ownership laws in the 9 remaining states which do not allow private ownership, relaxing hunting regulations that prohibit the use of such hearing protection equipment, and fixing issues with the NFA – including the bottlenecks that result in lengthy wait times.

Among the industry participants at the event – which featured live fire demos – were Advanced Armament Corp. (Booth 3947), Daniel Defense (2401), Gemtec (2819), Liberty (4561), Sig Sauer (5333), SilencerCo (2430) and sister company SWR, Silencer Shop (5835), Thunder Beast Arms (2941, and Yankee Hill Machine (5940).

While here, we got to see and shoot some of the new silencers that we saw at SHOT Show in January – as well as some that we somehow missed – and some even newer cans and guns.   

On the Firing Line

NRA16_7419Although we still don’t have our YHM Phantom LT in-hand yet, we got to shoot the titanium model with some 300BLK, which should hopefully hold us over for a little while.  Even cooler, though, at the Yankee Hill bench was trigger time on the new Nitro can and – always fun – an integrally suppressed 10/22.

Over at the Daniel Defense booth, we got behind the DDM4V7, which is always a treat, but the real treat was the integrally suppressed DDM4ISR, which handled great at just over 7.5lbs and sounded great in the .300BLK chambering.  If only we had an extra three grand laying around…

NRA16_7445Sig Sauer let us shoot a few of their guns.  On the pistol side, we shot one of the Legion series, which had about as smooth of an action and short reset as anyone could ask for.  We also got to handle and shoot the MCX and MPX, the latter of which was on our short list for a 9mm SBR, but is likely going to move to the wish list in favor of one of its contenders.

At the Liberty bench, we got to shoot the Cosmic, which was still pretty new when we saw it at SHOT Show in January.  Apparently it dazzled us enough then that we somehow missed the new Centurion there, but we made up for lost time behind the trigger with it.  The Centurion is a well-performing short pistol can at only 6″ long – think a Mystic X that lost a third of its length.  Since it comes apart, it is well suited for .22 duty in addition to 9mm and .300BLK use.

NRA16_7484Perhaps the most impressive can in terms of noise and felt-recoil reduction was on the Thunder Beast Arms line, where they had a few rifles (very nice rifles, I might add) set up with their 338 Ultra can.  On the AI chassis, the .338 Lapua was tamed down to something that seemed more like a .22LR instead of a 3000 fps round in use by long-range military snipers in the GWOT – which is probably about in line with the 138 dB claims on their website.  If the 338 Ultra knocked the .338 down a .22, then it would be safe to say that it turned the .300 BLK rifle next to it into a Daisy Red Rider.

SilencerCo, sadly, didn’t bring the integrally suppressed Maxim 9, which we got to see in action at the SHOT Show 2016 Range Day, so still no trigger time on it.  The company rep did, however, tell me that they are relentlessly torture testing it and working to develop some new gizmos to add to it while keeping the size and shape fixed.  We also got to shoot an Octane-equipped CZ Scorpion Evo, another entry in our 9mm SBR short list.  Incredibly fun, and something I could get used to… if only it used Glock mags.  We also got to try out the Osprey Micro in both 3″ and 4″ configurations, respectively, on a 1911-22 pistol and an MP-22 rifle, on which I would estimate the sound of the hammer falling to be about twice as loud as the round’s report.

NRA16_7493In addition to hands-on demos with their suppressors, SilencerCo also gave us a first-hand look at the SilencerCo Weapons Research inaugural product: the Radius – a rail-mounted rangefinder capable of ranging distances up to a mile in the right conditions.  We didn’t have a very long range to play with, but we had enough to demo the basic functionality of live readings and instantaneous range “snapshots.”

AAC hadn’t brought anything we hadn’t at least seen recently at SHOT Show, but we did get a chance to try out a few of their cans, including putting some .300 BLK rounds through their 762-SDN-6.  More fun – or perhaps saddening – was shooting the offset Illusion 9 can on their Glock host.  We shouldn’t need to explain why shooting other people’s ammo through other people’s guns with other people’s suppressors is fun, but it was saddening because I don’t have one.  I kind of wish that the Illusion was available when we got our 9mm AAC suppressor.  Sighting “through” the edge of the suppressor isn’t very fun and I am not very interested in getting tall suppressor sights after we went through the trouble of going to Atlanta to have Glock put new sights on our hosts; the Illusion’s offset hangs most of the suppressor body below the bore axis so that it does not interfere with the sight picture.

NRA16_7504At the Gemtec booth, they had a few integrally suppressed rifles, including the Mist-22.  The Mist is a nice integrally suppressed 10/22 barrel, and suppressed .22 is “movie quiet” – which is a ton of fun but, to be honest, suppressing .22 isn’t rocket science.  The really cool stuff on the Gemtec table was the integrally suppressed AR uppers in 5.56 and .300 BLK.  Sold as a nearly-complete (no BCG or charging handle), they go for $1999 and offer great suppression in a short, “drop-in” package.  These will warrant another visit to their booth once the exhibits open up tomorrow.

And the Award Goes to…

The ASA’s media day wasn’t fun and games with free ammo, suppressed weapons, and giant stinging insects.  It was also the industry group’s opportunity to recognize some of the key players that are moving the suppressor industry forward and helping to fight for our rights by handing out six awards:

  • Firearms Manufacturer of the Year was awarded to Yankee hill Machine
  • Suppressor Dealer of the Year was awarded to Silencer Shop
  • Suppressor Distributor of the Year was awarded to AcuSport
  • Suppressor Manufacturer of the Year was awarded to Gemtec
  • The J. Guthrie Award was awarded to Sean Utley for his writing on suppressor issues
  • The Hiram Percy maxim Award was awarded to SilencerCo CEO James Waldron

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