‘Let’s get an X-ray and see what’s going on’. In a LinkedIn post entitled Lead deposition in an A-TEC CMM4(6) rimfire suppressor: Part 1, Diagnostic Radiographer Brandon Bertolli uses a medical X-ray machine to chronicle the effects of shooting .22LR rimfire ammunition in a suppressor without any cleaning intervals. Although the results are somewhat obvious (it gets heavier and filled with lead), the use of the X-ray shows the location of the deposits and the gradual buildup over time.
I got this suppressor brand new and before I used it for the first time, I X-rayed it and weighed it. My intention was to weigh it and X-ray it after every 500 rounds of use, with no cleaning at all of the suppressor. I used 300 rounds of Eley Sport™ and 200 rounds of CCI Mini-mag™ ammunition per session. Obviously the Mini-mag will not suppress properly because the projectile remains supersonic through the suppressor, but the Eley suppresses just fine. I wanted a mix of copper-washed and waxed lead projectiles, so that’s the reason for this choice of Eley and CCI.
By 3000 rounds there are residues even on the exit side of the suppressor:
I have combined all the radiographs (one control and six follow-ups) into one image, along with the round count in red and the weight in yellow. The scale I have access to is only accurate to within 1g, nonetheless the results are interesting: