Ukrainian “IMKAS” Suppressors with Floating Baffles

Ukrainian company IMKAS is known for their advanced research of silencer technologies. Perhaps most interesting products they have developed are the suppressors with floating baffles. As you can see from the images, there are springs between baffles and during the shot, baffles can actually move back and forth.

9mm version of IMKAS suppressors

They key engineers of the company have a number of published articles with in-depth analysis of the history and technology of silencers. In one of these articles, they explain the theory behind this floating baffle technology. So the advantage of this system is that the expanding gasses spend some of their energy on moving the baffles and compressing the springs. By doing a mechanical work, gasses cool down and come to rest quicker thus allowing better sound suppression at a given internal volume of the suppressor.

.22LR IMKAS suppressor

IMKAS admits that there already was a similar suppressor called MAE Kilwell Whisper designed by a company located in New Zealand. So IMKAS suppressors are further development of this concept with a lot of scientific research and tests put into it.

MAE Kilwell Whisper (New Zealand)

What looks great in theory, sometimes fails in practice. That was the case during the initial development stages of these suppressors, too. While .22LR models worked fine, the 9mm versions had some problems. The first models showed an extensive wear of the baffles and springs. From the images below, one of the baffles looks to have suffered from a baffle strike. So based on these experiments, IMKAS reworked the design. The final versions have baffles and springs made of materials better suiting the task: with more wear resistance and capability to operate in high pressure and high temperature environments.

Damaged baffles and springs from first tests of 9mm models

The company also states that this technology needs more refinement and testing. Particularly, they need to measure the actual advantage compared to similar suppressors with traditional baffle systems.

I think this system also somewhat self-adjust the volume of each chamber, which may possibly aid the suppression too.



Hrachya H

I was born and currently live in Armenia, where I work in a family business of leather goods manufacturing. Being a retired sergeant of my country’s armed forces and a lifelong firearms enthusiast, I always enjoy studying firearms design, technology and history. Also my knowledge of Russian allows me to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact me, feel free to shoot me a message at TFBHrachyaH@gmail.com


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  • BFG3000

    It’s a shake weight with threads?

  • BattleshipGrey

    Very interesting. Even if it becomes vaporware, I hope the publish a follow up someday with a comparison between conventional suppressors.

  • SGT Fish

    I’m not the only other person who played around with this idea. in the end, I really didn’t see the benefit being worth it after you have to come up with springs that can survive such high temps without being too stiff, as well as adding moving parts to a machine with no moving parts and dealing with the associated wear and tear

    • bobtail101

      I used to use valve springs from car motars(reneult 5) to keep baffles in placeThey worked very well I used 5 series of 6 baffles on 4x 5mm guide rods each separated by a valve spring in a 30cm long SHOCK ABSORBER tube from a reneult 405 car
      They were heavy almost 4 pounds but verry quiet in .223

  • RSG

    Just about all major suppressor manufacturers are aware of this concept. The problem exists where the baffles can’t have any side to side movement, while maintaining enough flexibility to move forward and back. Maintaining rigidity for piston like action has its own hosts of troubles. Still, science tells us that larger cans with more internal area is the only way to reduce raport.

    • raz-0

      Hmm, I wonder if you did fixed baffles and replaced the coil springy bits with something leaf springy that he expanding gasses could expand, but when fully extended resulted in an opening of a larger diameter than the baffle openings to prevent strikes, if you’d actually get any benefit.

  • jakes astur

    This is not a new concept. About 35 years ago, I remember my uncle had a Brno (Now CZ) Number 2 bolt action 22 LR with a Unique (french) suppressor with springs and washers. It worked quite well, but in those days you didn´t have subsonic ammo to buy, so the crack was still very noticeable. Regards from Argentina.

    • iksnilol

      IIRC those springs were there to only keep the washers in place. Not an uncommon config for cheap suppressors.

  • Someone

    Well that sounds cool. Finally some creativity.

  • Gary Kirk

    Great, now my suppressor can make the same boing as my buffer tube..

    • roguetechie

      You know, if you could time the pulses right you could actively cancel spring noise using destructive interference from… More spring noise!

      • iksnilol

        It’s a wicked path you traveleth. Be careful lest ye get lost in the void of spring noise.

        • roguetechie

          Nothing but the sounds of sproing issued from the front lines in the forests at night, and America’s enemies came to dread and fear the nights filled with the sounds of sproing and rifle butts crashing into skulls….

          • iksnilol

            I was thinking more along the lines of the users themselves being driven mad by the incessant sproings of their rifles.

            Mere broken shells of men they were, as they marched and brought death, only the sproings drowned out the sounds of the screams.” WHY. WON’T, THEY, STOP, SPROINGING!?” -he screamed, but his comrades only heard the sproinging.

          • roguetechie

            Oh yeah, that too…

    • JP will have a silent captured spring for your silencer shortly. ?

      • Gary Kirk

        Yeah, have heard about first round pop.. Now we have continuous boing..

  • *Looks at header image* Looks like a great way to get a baffle strike
    *Scrolls down further* CALLED IT!

    Neat idea, but too many engineering challenges to overcome to make a practical can.

    I am surprised that they didn’t see this coming, anyone that has dealt with springs knows that they rarely compress in a perfectly straight line. There will be some bending. The only way to ensure that the baffle remain perfectly straight as they move back and forth would be to put them on some fairly tight fitted rails. But then you have the issue of lubrication, carbon build up, and spring life.

    • RocketScientist

      Or make the baffles axially long enough that their outer surface acts as a bearing interface with the inner bore of the tube. Would keep axial alignment and prevent rotation of the baffles elements about transverse axes (and rotation about an axial axis is of no concern as, assuming they’re concentric with the bore it poses no risk of baffle strike). Of course this would require maintenance of fairly close tolerances between baffle element and tube, and any debris in there would interfere with motion. So would need to deal with fouling somehow. Maybe material surface treatment of some kind.

      • noob

        I’d like to know if this could work in one of those underbore suppressors that you see attached to pistols so normal height sights can stil aim.

        My idea would be to have a small volume with conventional fixed baffles along the bore that deflect gas downward into a series of chambers with vertically oriented sprung pistons in them – one piston per baffle.

        The pistons act as a hydraulic accumulator, soaking up energy from the moving gas and then releasing the energy over time. If the pistons were correctly tollerenced they could even have a damping effect so they resist the gas over time and then spring back into position when the gas pulse has dissipated.

  • Some Rabbit

    When you’re too cheesy to measure out proper spacers, fix the resulting slop with a spring.

  • roguetechie

    This has got me thinking about some sort of unholy Belleville washer blast baffles

  • Vet for Trump

    To keep things straight during spring compression, I think that if the baffles have 4 equidistant holes (90°) near the rim with SS guide rods to keep them from twisting, that might help.
    Also titanium baffles. Not sure what the springs could be made from to withstand the temperatures and pressure.

    • noob

      Good old spring temper 301 stainless.

  • Vet for Trump

    Maybe like this?
    Guide rods just inside the springs and through each baffle near the rim.
    I assume the right side is the threaded end for the barrel.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3bbf439b7d7d8ce1108f269dd01cd560045f58ea7aaa8279c295a6002307b2e.jpg

  • Steve

    With a proper bearing surface on the baffles, this would probably work better.

    • Vet for Trump

      Hard Chrome plating?
      Baffle edges and inside the tube, after polishing?
      Like an engine cylinder.

      • iksnilol

        Makes my gas piston analogy to car cylinders even more appropriate.

  • nova3930

    there’s also potential for the springs to act as turbulators in the flow, further dissipating flow energy.

    • mazkact

      They could ad a reciprocating dingle arm.

  • Vet for Trump

    I’ve already built 2 Form 1 suppressors, fixed baffles, one for 5.56 and one for 30 caliber.
    I think I can improve on their design and make it work.
    Something to do in my spare time, of which there is plenty since I’m retired.
    Especially the top picture which uses a muzzle brake.
    My 30 Caliber suppressor is built that way with a muzzle brake and large blast chamber.
    Picture before assembly.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af0e6e401f359e41d93899bedf5be06025ae2d221d15c0aac4cfe7d0ddec1f09.jpg

  • randomswede

    Reminds me of an idea I had a while ago, I couldn’t figure it out mechanically (sound) but basically a telescoping suppressor with a spring to absorb some of the force and collapse the unit back down.
    Construction similar to the archetypical spyglass, or “pirate monocular”.
    I was hoping for a shorter unit with less weight offset without sacrificing sound suppression.

  • wetcorps

    I have a small 22 suppressor which uses such a system. Unmarked, I got it for 30€.
    Even with subsonics it doesn’t suppress much, to the point I quickly stopped using it because the weak suppression wasn’t worth the cleaning afterwards.
    I don’t know if it’s because of the system though. Could be because the thing is very small and has like two baffles.

  • Vet for Trump

    The good news is that all the parts in SS (except for baffles) can be found online.
    I’m not thinking freeze plugs will work in this design.
    I would need a metal lathe to make custom baffles out of SS.
    Then not to mention the cost of polishing and hard chrome plating the inside of the tube and the baffles.
    I’m not even sure what compression rating would be needed on the springs to function correctly with a large caliber muzzle PSI. I don’t understand those ratings.
    wetcorps, I don’t think there is enough pressure generated by a .22 to compress the springs.

  • gunsandrockets

    How clever. What immediately ‘springs’ to mind (heh) is a version of this system that eliminates the baffles+spring combination with a single flat-coil spring, with each coil of the spring functioning as a baffle.

  • Southpaw89

    Hmmm… Magnetize baffles, wrap can with copper wire, and charge your red dot with each shot. Or not.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Someone finally found and ransacked my first Civic hatchback in the junkyard.

  • Mark Horning

    The “sproing” from my AR stock is bad enough. Now you can buy a suppressor that goes sproing as well.

  • Colonel K

    Moving parts in suppressors can be problematic. I had a very similar spring loaded floating baffle suppressor years. It was a .22 and it worked for a few rounds but quickly fouled and got stuck in the tube.

  • LilWolfy

    Nevuh been dun befo……

  • uisconfruzed

    Failed to follow KISS.

  • Tony

    We already tried that many years ago. It didn’t work as well as a conventional stack.

    Tony Rumore
    Tromix

  • Core

    flatsprings would fix that issue.

  • JJ

    You’d think baffle strikes would be very common. Wouldn’t want one deflected out the side of the can. I could see a upper/lower guide rod or rail for the baffles to move and remain in proper alignment. I would also wonder if a pneumatic spring built into a guide in between each baffle vs conventional springs would keep working as temp are high. A lesser heat affected gas in the spring could keep compression more consistent than air.

    Regardless, neat idea. Hope to see more info on this in the future. Would be nice to see newer designs that don’t just look like a tube also. Not a football or weird thing. Maybe hidden under an AR handgaurd. Maybe run gasses back to butt to a hidden one inside.