Welcome fellow NFA junkies, thank you for joining us for episode #40 of TFB’s Silencer Saturday, where we do our best to show you why all barrels deserve quality cans. Last week we talked about the next installment [upcoming] in the Build Your Own Silencer Series. To help us on this journey, the ATF has fortuitously announced the return of Form 1s to the EForm online application system. If you have never used the EForm system, not to worry, I’ll writeup a walkthrough later this week to outline the steps. This week, however, I have the pleasure of reporting on the Discreet Ballistics Metering Event held last week. A number of industry leaders were on hand to perform real decibel science in the name of quiet shooters everywhere.
SILENCER SATURDAY #40: Discreet Ballistics Metering Event
As a novice decibel meter user, I still maintain that numbers are a small, but important part of the suppressor evaluation process. There are many other characteristics to consider when looking to buy a new can and none is more important than fully understanding your intended use case. Which is why I appreciated the time that Discreet Ballistics and other manufacturers took to obtain quality scientific data and then do some basic analysis of average decibel readings against internal volume and weight for each model tested.
Even though this is not my data and I have 100% confidence in the metering processes at the event, I would like to remind our readers that decibel numbers are geographically, environmentally and temporally unique. Meaning, the exact same tests could be run today and different numbers could be observed. Similarly, the exact same test could have taken place at the same time, but in a different location and different numbers could have been observed. The real power of quality scientific data comes from consistency and comparisons.
Discreet Ballistics went above and beyond in the metering department by inviting friend and Acoustical Engineer Erich Thalheimer (www.ErichThalheimer.com). For those of us who dabble in decibels on a part time basis, having a professional engineer with experience on hand is truly invaluable. As the old saying goes, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.
Lets take a look at the testing.
- Temperature: Ranged from mid 50Fs to low 60Fs
- Elevation: Approximately 1200ft above sea level
- Barometric Pressure: 29.7in
Discreet Ballistics – 300BLK Results
First up is my new found love: 300BLK. A dozen of today’s top performing silencers were tested with subsonic ammunition on a bolt action rifle.
- Discreet Ballistics 190gr Target Load for 16” barrels – http://discreetballistics.com/shop/300-blackout-target-50/
- Q Full Nelson – https://liveqordie.com/products/copy-of-half-nelson-by-q
- Q Half Nelson – https://liveqordie.com/products/half-nelson-by-q
- Sig Sauer SRD 7.62 – https://www.sigsauer.com/store/srd762.html
- Sig Sauer SRD 7.62 Ti – https://www.sigsauer.com/store/srd762ti.html
- Energetic Armament VOX – https://energeticarms.com/vox-centerfire-silencer/
- Torrent Suppressors T3 – http://www.torrentsuppressors.com/shop/t3/
- SilencerCo Omega – https://silencerco.com/silencers/omega/
- Dead Air Sandman K – https://deadairsilencers.com/products/sandman-k/
- Dead Air Sandman L – https://deadairsilencers.com/products/sandman-l/
- Liberty Goliath – https://libertycans.net/goliath/
- NextGen Max Flo – https://www.ng2defense.com/products/maxflo-3d-afd-suppressor
- OSS Suppressors HX762 – https://osssuppressors.com/suppressors/helix/
My one small nitpick would be the use of a five shot sample size. Ten shots would have given a better spread, but would have required a lot more time and ammunition. The range and standard deviation for each test string can be found below.
I really love the visual heat map of averages and comparing averages based on displacemeent and overall weight. If I were an Excel guru and would ask to steal these workbook hacks for my own future metering data.
The Q Full Nelson (the Thunder Chicken’s direct thread cousin) performed exceptionally well in raw averages while the Energetic Armament Vox both with and without the wipe really shined when displacement and weight were factored in to the decibel numbers. The Sig SRD762 Ti also performed really well. I would have liked to see the Dead Air Sandman S tested instead of the Sandman K – Kurz cans are almost always going to be a size over reduction scenario.
And in a surprise challenger scenario, the Torrent T3 performed just as well as some as some of the big brands. Judging by the numbers, they are worth a hard look.
Discreet Ballistics – Rimfire Results
Rimfire is life. Subsonic rimfire is life worth living. If you don’t own a 22LR Silencer and manual action host, you are truly missing out. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
- Energetic Armament Nyx – https://energeticarms.com/rimfire-silencers/
- Q Erector – https://liveqordie.com/products/erector-by-q
- Q El Camino – https://liveqordie.com/collections/rimfire-silencers-by-q/products/el-camino-by-q
- SilencerCo Sparrow – https://silencerco.com/silencers/sparrow-22/
- CGS Hydra SS – http://www.cgsgroup.com/product/hydra/-
- Ruger Silent SR – https://www.ruger.com/micros/silent-sr/index.html
- Dead Air Mask – https://deadairsilencers.com/products/mask/
- Torrent F22 – http://www.torrentsuppressors.com/shop/f22/
- Bowers Bitty – https://bowersgroup.com/product/bitty-22/
It is not surprising to see the Dead Air Mask perform so solidly – it is a market favorite for a reason. But the SilencerCo Sparrow was a bit of a surprise since I never thought it was one of my quietest rimfire cans. Several of the other tested silencers fell within a one to two decibel range of the top performers. If you remember from our earlier discussions, the human hear can likely only discern differences of three decibels or more. So 117.2dB and a 119.1dB would likely sound exactly the same to shooters and bystanders alike.
This was an excellent event that I plan on attending in the future. The opportunity to measure and compare silencers scientifically and independently is rare indeed.
In the coming weeks I will bring you the Delta P Designs metering and model comparison, a brand new, yet to be released silencer from a major manufacturer, a new rimfire silencer and more 300BLK Rattler and Honey Badger action. Stay tuned. Shoot safely and quietly.
TFB’s Silencer Saturday is brought to you by Sig Sauer