As the relatively new kid on the block, Alpha Dog Silencers is not playing it safe. The Alpha 9 centerfire pistol suppressor avoids the plain-old tube design with an offset bore, styled end caps and a top or bottom positioned rail depending on which way you decide to mount your can. Yes, a rail. Designed around creating more surface area for faster heat dissipation, the rail can also be used to mount accessories like lights, lasers and optics.
Now, as everyone knows, gun owners can be a bunch of skeptical, knee-jerk reacting negative ninnies at times. Not you, of course – other gun owners. So the sight of a rail on a silencer, for better or worse, has created a buzz for Alpha Dog. My suggestion: keep an open mind and read on.
About three years ago, Alpha Dog CEO Aaron Bethlenfalvy, left his position as Vice President of Cycling Sports Group designing bicycles for Cannondale, GT, Schwinn and other brands, to start Alpha Dog. Tired of the big corporate culture and armed with a passion for the shooting sports, Bethlenfalvy saw the current U.S. silencer market as boring. “Tubes. We looked at the current silencers and all we saw were tubes,” said Bethlenfalvy.
Alpha Dog’s first silencer to enter the market, the Alpha 9, is certainly not a boring old tube. The mainstay of the exterior is a full length, open cut rail that can be oriented on the top to hold optics like a micro reflex red dot sight. The theory for mounting a optic to the the suppressor is that there is a large set of customers who want to run an RMR, but don’t want to mill their pistol slides based on cost or aesthetics.
Optics aside, personally my favorite feature of the Alpha 9 is the integrated sights built into the rail. Maybe you aren’t a fan of suppressor-height sights (based on cost, holster options or height) or they aren’t available for your host. Either way, embedding low profile sights into a suppressor is a great idea.
On the flip side, the rail can be oriented at the six o’clock position to use both lights and lasers. Whereas standard suppressed pistols have a tendency to block the path of a light from illuminating the most important part of the target, using a rail to move the light source closer to the muzzle eliminates those disruptive shadows. Even the iconic integrally-suppressed H&K MP5SD suffers from light-throw issues, sparking manufacturers like Brugger and Thomet (B&T) to manufacturer a mount that attaches to the suppressor.
Born and bred through rigorous research and development, design innovation, future-forward technology and materials, and the dogged pursuit of perfection, the Alpha Dog suppressor isn’t your run-of-the-mill add-on “can.” It’s precision engineered to look, feel, and act as a natural extension of its host gun— any pistol, any make and model. Learn more at Alpha Dog Silencers.
Ok, i’ll admit it: my first thought when I saw the Alpha 9 about six months ago was: “Wait. What?”. But, after thinking it through, silencer/accessory mounting options actually makes a lot of sense. I’m not saying it is a perfect fit for every application, but there is definitely a place for a rail on a suppressor. And, depending on any pending patents by Alpha Dog, I’d be willing to bet we will see other manufacturers follow suit in the next year or two, adding mounting options to their own models.
The Alpha Dog team is currently focusing on materials research for additional weight savings. “Especially in the rimfire market, I think we as manufacturers can do better,” says Chris Bollin, Chief Operating Officer at Alpha Dog. Currently, Bollin says they have no plans to include rails into any upcoming rimfire models, but nothing is off the table.
Without getting political, obviously being based in Connecticut creates its own challenges. But Bethlenfalvy, Bollin and the rest of the team have no plans to abandon their community roots. In fact, quite the contrary: Alpha Dog provides Connecticut residents with the opportunity to purchase the Alpha 9 at a discount and they even cover the $200 NFA transfer fee.
If Alpha Dog’s current research and design projects stay on track, there is huge potential to shake up the suppressor market, especially in the rimfire world. I wish I could say more, but for now we will all have to be patient and wait for their next release.
ADS is a great group of guys who love to shoot (quietly). Suppressor aficionados are lucky to have them in the marketplace.