Spike’s Brown Recluse is an impressive 9mm pistol caliber carbine. While the majority of the gun is similar to many other 9mm ARs, the integrally suppressed barrel is where it truly shines. Sure companies can chop a barrel and add long barrel extension to make it a rifle length barrel. Then add their baffle stack making it a single stamp gun. However that is only what you see from the outside of the Brown Recluse. The barrel is vented. Why would you vent the barrel? So that the gas from super sonic rounds can be vented away and lower the speed to sub sonic levels. Thus making regular off the shelf ammo much quieter. In fact there is no need to buy sub sonic ammo for the Recluse since it makes ammo sub sonic.
This design is nothing new though. The H&K MP5SD is renown for performing this exact same feat. The problem with the H&K MP5SD is H&K. It is very difficult to buy a real MP5SD. There are some replicas out there expertly crafted and created to the same H&K design, but they are clones. One of the major issues with those MP5SD clones is the price tag. They are easily over $2,000 just for a decent MP5 clone. Then add the vented barrel and suppressor. Another issue with the MP5SD is that it is a two stamp gun. The suppressor is removable which makes the MP5SD an SBR. Not an issue with the Recluse.
Other than the barrel and suppressor the Recluse is still a 9mm AR at its heart. The lower receiver has an ambi safety and the mag well is made for Colt SMG magazines. The magazine that comes with the Recluse has a tab on the follower to activate the last round bolt hold. You can modify UZI mags to work with the Recluse mag catch but the bolt will not lock back on the last round.
The upper receiver has the smaller dust cover and large gas deflector which helps keep gas from coming back into the shooter’s face. Due to the large outer diameter of the barrel and suppressor, the free float rail is rather large and has full length rails at 12, 3, 6, and 9 O’Clock positions. I wonder if it would be possible to have a MLOK or Keymod handguard to sleeve over the large suppressed barrel?
The Recluse came with Magpul MBUS but I prefer using red dots so I mounted my Trijicon MRO on the top rail. With a quick 10 yard zero it was easy to hit targets at a USPSA match. I primarily use pistol caliber carbines in USPSA matches so I do not need to hit targets out to 100 yards. However my friend Brian showed that it could be done.
The Recluse using 115gr factory ammo was just as quiet as other suppressed pistol caliber carbines shooting sub sonic ammo. Now there are some setups with the right can, right gun and right ammo that will be much quieter than the Recluse. That does take a bit of research as well as trial and error to find the right combination. With the Recluse I do not think you are compromising much. The report of the gun and noise of the bolt traveling is noticeable but this is not made to be truly silent. It is a hearing protection device and it does a very good job. I shot the Recluse a number of times under a roof and not the slightest bit of discomfort. Compared to shooting my Sub2000 with 115gr through a SilencerCo Osprey that was slightly uncomfortable.
When I tested the Recluse at a USPSA match I came across two issues. The first issue was that the gun was too quiet for the shot timer to pick it up. This can be alleviated if I shoot 9mm major loads where bullet would still have a super sonic crack. The other issue was more alarming. The hammer pin walked.
This caused an inadvertent two round burst followed by a dead trigger. I have heard of this happening on ARs. I did not catch it the first time but on the second stage I noticed the burst. When I finished the stage I took the gun to the safe table and noticed the hammer pin had walked. I stopped shooting it and fixed it when I got home. If this had been my gun I would have ordered KNS anti walk pins that same day.
Other than those two issues, the gun performed great. I did have a couple of fail to feeds but that could be due to the gun being dirty and the cheap ammo I was using. It was steel cased Winchester USA Forged. Below is a picture of what it did to an aluminum cased Federal 9mm round. It only did this once though, it was not a common problem with the aluminum cased ammo.
The Brown Recluse was provided by Silencer Shop. It is currently out of stock but sells for $1,805.00