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This entry was posted on October 7, 2019 by Alex Hege.
Firearms are loud; we all know this. What if there was a way to tame all of that noise? Just like the muffler on your car keeps it from being overly loud, suppressors lower the sound signature of firearms. Suppressors are firearms accessories that provide options for more comfortable shooting and ultimately make the firearms lifestyle more enjoyable.
What are Suppressors?
A suppressor is any firearm device, accessory, or part that lowers the decibel (noise) level of a fired shot. Suppressors are usually removable, giving folks the option to use their firearm with it attached or not. This removable feature is important because just like firearms themselves, suppressors need periodic cleaning and maintenance. Suppressors come in all shapes, sizes, types, and calibers.
FNX 45 pistol with Gemtech GM-45 suppressor.
Who Invented Suppressors?
Around the turn of the 20th century, Hiram Percy Maxim started tinkering with the idea of a gadget that could lower the sound levels of firearm shots. If the name Maxim sounds familiar, it should, because Hiram Percy is the son of Hiram Maxim of Maxim machine gun fame. Working on and with firearms was in Hiram Percy’s blood and around 1909, he patented his first suppressor design. While we call them suppressors today, Hiram Percy Maxim named his device the Maxim Silencer. Maxim’s suppressor quickly became popular with target shooters, hunters, and anyone that appreciated a quieter shooting experience.
How Do Suppressors Work?
Suppressors function by slowing hot gasses from the fired round enabling them to expand before they exit the suppressor. As the hot gasses behind the bullet expand into the suppressor, they hit obstructions, called baffle cores, inside the suppressor. The slowing of gas exiting the suppressor muffles the concussion of the gunshot, which lowers the sound level.
PTR91 rifle with Yankee Hill Phantom .30 Suppressor.
How are Suppressors Constructed?
Suppressors typically feature a cylindrical outer container (or less commonly, a rectangular-shaped box). The internal baffle core used to slow down expanding gases fall into two configuration types: monolithic baffle cores and stacked baffle cores.
Gemtech GM-45 showing monolithic baffle core.
Regardless of whether suppressors use a monolithic baffle core or stacked baffle core, suppressor designs also fall into sealed and unsealed categories:
Do All Suppressors Work for All Calibers?
While the internal diameter of the baffle core must be big enough for bullets to pass through and not strike them, manufacturers rate and label their suppressors for what calibers they can safely use. For instance, some suppressors accept centerfire calibers up to a specific caliber size. Other manufacturers might rate their suppressors for usable with only rimfire ammunition. Another suppressor rating is for fully automatic fire use. Higher-end suppressors usually give an increased performance from caliber flexibility and a noise reduction standpoint. At the end of the day, always consult manufacturers to see what calibers work with their suppressors or if you have questions about their ratings/capabilities.
Daniel Defense MK18 SBR with Yankee Hill Phantom .30 Suppressor.
How do Suppressors Attach to Firearms?
Other than specialty firearms that feature permanently attached suppressors, most suppressors are removable. For attachment methods, suppressors fall into two categories, direct thread and quick detach (QD).
The Gemtech GM-45 pistol suppressor on top features direct thread. The Yankee Hill Machine Titanium Phantom .30 suppressor below is quick detached.
Quick detach suppressor with compatible muzzle device.
Suppressors make shooting more fun since they take away most of the concussive blast and noise of gunshots. Suppressors are one of the most practical accessories that one can add to a firearm and folks around you will appreciate how quiet you’ve made your favorite hobby.
This entry was posted in General on October 7, 2019 by Alex Hege.
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Why is it that ATF gets involved with the purchase of suppressors and why do they take so long to approve in this age of computers and instant info. Thanks, Frank