Hello fellow shooters and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday, where we broadcast our quiet goodness around the world, even to California and New York. Today we finally take a look at a classic suppressor that is one of my personal favorites: the Allen Engineering AEM5 “MK12” model. As a special treat, we get to compare the classic 5.56 AEM5 alongside a newer version designed for the .224 Valkyrie cartridge. The goal here was to see if the extra length/volume as well as a slight baffle change would suppress the Valkyrie better than a standard AEM5. Without scrolling ahead, how do you think our initial comparison will play out?
SILENCER SATURDAY #36: AEM5 – 223 Remington Vs 224 Valkyrie
As far as history goes, if you haven’t had a chance to read our 2016 article on Ops Inc and Allen Engineering suppressors, I think it’s worth your time. As a more practical approach, the AEM5 is and over-the-barrel suppressor that uses a barrel profile and locking collar to mount on to a rifle as opposed to a more traditional muzzle/shoulder mounted suppressor. The resulting setup is often referred to as a reflex design that offers additional internal volume without adding excessive length.
On the other hand, Allen Engineering suppressors tend to be on the longer and heavier side of the spectrum and are usually found on barrels 18 inches or longer. There are exceptions with certain models and mounting systems that work on shorter barrels.
To date, the AEM5 on a MK12 is the quietest 5.56mm silencer host combination I have ever shot. I’d equate the relative report of a suppressed MK12 to an unsuppressed rimfire rifle. But I’ve never had a chance to collect some proper decibel numbers for an AEM5. To make the test more interesting, Ron Allen allowed me to borrow a new model .224 Valkyrie AEM5 that is a few inches longer with a slightly different baffle structure. How did they do? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Reminder: Observations posted here are specific to the time, location and hosts available. A tester at a different location or with different host weapons could record different observations for the same silencers. In addition, decibel readings are a small part of the decision process when shopping for a new silencer. Know your requirements and do your own research.
Finish: Black Oxide
Environmental: 82 degrees, 80% humidity
Meter: B&K 2209 Tested, Calibrated – A Weighted
- 126.8 BHO
- 133.6 BHO
Finish: Black Oxide
Ammunition: 223 62gr M855
- 138.9 BHO
AMMUNITION: 223 62GR M855
- 139.6 BHO
- 128.1 BHO
- 127.4 BHO
- 132 BHO
- 131.5 BHO
The AEM5 offers excellent .223 Remington and .224 Valkyrie suppression. Of course, a 24” barrel allows for more (all) powder burn and with the AEM5 attached puts the muzzle of the rifle almost 10” farther away from the shooter as opposed to the 18” BCM setup.
The more interesting comparison is swapping the .223 and .224 AEM5s in between the same hosts. In my limited testing, the extra volume and slightly different baffle structure made a negligible difference on either host/silencer combination.
In my discussions with Ron Allen, the AEM5 seems to prefer higher velocity rounds over slower moving rounds, but without chrony, we are left with only factory velocity data. In the end, the limited decibel data I collected probably speaks to the efficiency of the original AEM5 rather than to the inefficiency of the .224 Valkyrie AEM5.
If your host/silencer needs can accept a longer/heavier setup, the Allen Engineering AEM5 is one of the quietest 5.56 suppressors available. See you next week.