Dirty dirty .22 suppressors

    I know from experience that .22 suppressors accumulate a lot of dirt. Federalist shares the lessons he learnt about cleaning .22 suppressors

    This is a big mistake for a .22LR suppressor, and here’s why: .22 rimfires are very dirty. Over time layers of condensed lead, hardened with powder byproducts and bullet lubricant, will accumulate on the baffles that are supposed to disperse the propellant gasses inside the can. After thousands of rounds the silencer can double or triple in weight and lose most of its sound attenuation as it clogs with lead.

    A few years ago one licensed manufacturer, SRI, began to “jailbreak” old suppressors that weren’t originally designed to be cleaned: for a few hundred dollars they clean or replace the old core and fit an endcap that can be easily unscrewed. Curious as to just how bad the problem can be I decided to open my Outback II. (Doing this in a non-destructive fashion took quite a bit of work, a lot of penetrating lubricant, and a few special tools.) Here is what the baffles looked like:

    I am not suggesting this as a solution, but once when I had a suppressor at least as terrible, if not more so, than the suppressor pictured above, I put the baffles into a mason jar along with the contents of an entire bottle of Hoppe’s #9 and left it for a year. I don’t know how long it took for the solvent to work but when I found it again they were clean. I did not intend to leave it so long but I forgot about it, buried behind other shooting equipment (I have a number of .22 suppressors so I did not realize it was missing).

    What are your suppressor cleaning tricks?

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!