Celebrating more than a decade of being in business, Griffin Armament has rolled out an impressive spread of new silencers in the past year, most notably the Optimus Micro – a rimfire can that can handle 5.56mm on a 12 inch barrel. The Micro is both unique and useable – a good fit for veteran suppressor owners and new customers alike. Compact and quiet enough to perform on .22LR hosts but robust enough for an AR15. But as innovative as the Optimus Micro is, this isn’t the first time the guys at Griffin have shaken up the suppressor market – many of the new silencer advances we enjoy today started with the Griffin team in Watertown, Wisconsin.
For example, the biggest trend in recent years from the silencer industry has been focused on modular designs that basically allow shooters to own one silencer that can be configured in different lengths. In 2011, Griffin rolled out the Revolution, the first modular silencer available in the United States.
Of course, the modularity trend caught on, opening the door for other manufacturers to design and build adjustable length cans. But, due to a more laid-back marketing style, most NFA consumers don’t associate the the start of modularity with Griffin Armament.
The Revolution 9 and 45 silencers were first to market with the modular length feature concept. The removable booster extension allows the user to configure the length of the suppressor to fit their needs. The silencer is user serviceable ensuring long, high performance service life. The front caps can be interchanged for a smaller 22 caliber front cap, available separately.
Owner/operators Austin and Evan Green started thinking about suppressor design during their multiple deployments in Operation Induring Freedom – both as soldiers and later contractors. Using government-issued, heavy and sometimes loud, silencers, the brothers discussed ways to engineer quieter designs for the U.S. civilian market. Then, in the mid 2000’s, Evan and Austin returned home and started Griffin Armament.
Griffin’s most recent release is a pair of no-nonsense, direct thread, rifle caliber “General Purpose” suppressors: the GP5 and GP7. Priced at about $500 retail, both of the GP suppressors come ready to be pin and welded if need be – popular among many shooters who want to avoid a second text stamp for a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR). For the money, the GP line will be hard to beat for shooters looking for a solidly built thread on rifle silencer.
The GP (General Purpose) suppressors were designed to provide the customer with a lightweight, durable, and affordable suppressor for general use. Constructed entirely of 17-4 stainless steel and utilizing our patented baffle technology, GP suppressors are both durable and high performance. Front and rear 3/4″ ( or 19mm) wrench flats provide options for traditional use or forend rail integrated applications. GP suppressors come pre-drilled with a .125″ hole for pinning to create “one stamp guns”. The GP5 can be pinned on a barrel as short as 10.5″ The GP5 is a .22 caliber aperture silencer rated for use up to and including 220 swift. The GP series provides quality, engineering, construction, versatility, and affordability in one.
Expanding on the now popular modular trend, in 2015 Griffin launched the Optimus – a silencer that performs on both handguns and rifles. For under $1K, the Optimus provides the power of three or four silencers in a single tax stamp package. New NFA owners get a complete setup for all their hosts, allowing them to try different setups without committing to multiple tax stamps while experienced suppressor owners get a single suppressor that can be packed for a simple range trip to cover all their hosts. The Optimus also allows for four different mounting types – the SD A2 flash hider mount, taper mount, three lug and direct thread.
The Optimus™ silencer transforms into multiple configurations to suit the shooters requirements on various platforms from rimfire to 300 win mag. Full spectrum versatility, in a single, durable, user serviceable silencer is now possible with the Griffin Optimus.
And, as we discussed at the beginning, the innovative trend continued for Griffin, when they released the Optimus Micro – a rimfire sized takedown silencer that can handle 5.56mm rounds in a 12” barrel – for about $500. At first glance, the Micro seems counterintuitive – a short, narrow diameter can for 5.56mm that is heavier than the average rimfire silencer. However, those who have firsthand experience with the new build are impressed:
The truly impressive part of this tale is that the Micro sounded downright phenomenal on the AR. We’re talking no bullsh*t hearing safe performance. Writing this, I can already see readers’ eyes rolling at that last sentence, but trust me, this isn’t fake news. I’ve used plenty of 5.56mm suppressors and at the ear this one was one of the best – up there with the YHM Turbo and at least as good as (and perhaps better than) my SilencerCo Specwar 556. It’s truly remarkable. Moreover, the Micro is one of the least gassy silencers I’ve used on a 5.56mm host. Read Modern Rifleman’s full review of the Griffin Armament Optimus Micro here.
The Optimus Micro re-defines the rimfire class of suppressors by offering the most durable and versatile rimfire suppressor ever designed. Utilizing state of the art manufacturing and heat treated 17-4 stainless steel throughout, the Optimus Micro supports 5.56mm cartridges out of the box using the included 1/2×28 direct thread mount.
Of course, Griffin has a complete lineup of more ‘traditionally designed’ silencers outfitted with quick detach, reflex and other muzzle brake or flash hider mounts.
Griffin also offers complete AR15 rifles, handguards, sights and other accessories, a unique option for most suppressor manufacturers who only build silencers, muzzle devices and mounts. Besides a more standard taper mount, they also offer an A2 flash hider mounting system for their rifle silencers. This means that users can opt to change out their crush wash for shims to time their existing A2 flash hiders, and mount their Griffin can across multiple hosts cheaply and easily.
For no other reason than personal budget, I don’t currently own a Griffin silencer, but with the price and performance of the Micro, I could see that changing in the near future. I do have a Sportsman Ultra Light in for review, so stay tuned to TFB in the following weeks for a comprehensive look at its features and performance.
While the Griffin Armament crew doesn’t always get the credit they deserve, their innovative designs are worth a look if you are shopping for adaptable silencers for multiple hosts. Having spent some time in their booth at the 2018 SHOT Show and listening to their new product ideas, I’m looking forward to seeing what silencers come out of Watertown, WI this year.
Griffin was founded by two brothers, combat vets from OIF. Both are Army Sniper qualified and have deployed numerous times overseas in military and other govt capacities. Their time in govt. service left them both with hearing loss, driving them to manufacture silencers to protect the hearing of fellow shooters. Their knowledge in manufacturing, design, and understanding of silencer applications allows them to create industry leading silencers and firearm solutions.