In the second installment of the ‘Spotlight’ series we take a look at Thunderbeast Arms, arguably the manufacturer of the best precision silencers in the world. I am willing to bet that if you take a walk down the line at a weekend long-range match, a strong majority of the suppressed rifles would wear a Thunderbeast can. And there is data to support that bet: in the last eight years, Thunderbeast has doubled its growth every ten months.
If you remember from the last post, my goal of this series was to highlight the work being done by silencer manufacturers that don’t have massive advertising budgets like some of the other companies. And while this is true for Thunderbeast, it’s true by design. “I’d rather spend our money on a new CNC machine so we can keep up with our current demand,” said Zak Smith, co-owner of Thunderbeast Arms.
At times, keeping up with demand has been challenging for Thunderbeast. Headquartered in the shadows of the Rocky Mountain foothills of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Smith and his team are setup in some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. However, the company’s rural location creates its own challenges. “We can have a hard time finding skilled workers to run our machines,” said Smith. As a supplement, Thunderbeast just invested in a new CNC machine that can crank out parts for their Take Down 22 rimfire model at impressive pace, leaving the rest of the team time to focus on the science and art of their centerfire offerings.
“Our reputation is built on precision and repeatability,” said Smith. “We’ve had offers to outsource parts so we can make more [silencers], but then we give up some control over our quality standards.” Besides, Smith and his two partners are completely self-funded and debt free, allowing them full control to make business decisions that focus on their customers. Outsourcing might have an effect on their independent mindset.
For example, last year Thunderbeast decided to recall all of their .338 Lapua Magnum silencers that were manufactured between specific dates. Even though the the weld in concern effected only a fraction of one percent of the .338 silencers in customers hands, Smith and his partners made the choice to either repair or replace all of them. “It’s our reputation,” said Smith. “It wouldn’t be right to leave [those suppressors] out there even with a very small chance they would fail.”
Even though Thunderbeast has multiple new products in the works (*cough* quick-disconnect *cough*) Smith likes to focus on designing and building silencers that are relevant for at least three or four years. “As a consumer, it has to be hard to buy a suppressor, not be able to use it for months because of ATF paperwork delays, and have a newer model be released in the meantime,” said Smith. “We focus on releasing on models that will perform and that people will be happy with for many years.”
Model 22 Take Down Suppressor
Grade 9 titanium and 17-4 stainless construction
5.7×28 Pistol rated
Rock-Solid POI Repeatability
May be completely disassembled
Labeled and keyed baffles to ensure proper assembly
Assembly tool included
TBAC ULTRA Baffle Technology
Full-auto rated on .22 LR
Direct thread attachment option
CB series muzzle brake and flash hider attachment option
Ionbond DLC coating on CB muzzle devices
Conical shoulder surface on CB mount
100% titanium construction
360-degree fully-welded baffle core
Helical Baffle Technology
Rock-Solid POI Repeatability
30CB Flash Hider
I happen to believe that the best products are made by people who love their work and who aren’t focused on growth or sales. Even though I had already seen Thunderbeast’s quality in action, talking with Smith made me a believer: these guys make precision silencers because they are shooters themselves and they strive to make their customers happy.
I don’t have a precision bolt action rifle at the moment, but when I do, it will have a dedicated Thunderbeast Arms silencer all to itself.
MAIN OFFICE: 307-287-2052
8214 HUTCHINS DR.
CHEYENNE, WY 82007