Hey silent superfans and welcome back to the 133rd edition of Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the Nitro N20 modular rifle suppressor set to be at dealers in a few months. Last week we got an introductory look at the Pen15 integrally suppressed pen gun from Cotton Branch Custom Firearms. We’ll get back to some velocity and video testing in a few weeks. This week we discuss the benefits and complications of modular suppressors and where they are most useful. Let’s take a look.
Recent Modular Suppressors @ TFB
- New Modular Lunar® 9 Suppressor from GEMTECH
- SILENCER SATURDAY #119: Gemtech Lunar 9 And M&P 9 Suppressor Ready
- [Big Daddy Unlimited 2019] Microtech R2K9 Modular 9mm Silencer
- Griffin Armament Introduces New Resistance 22 Modular Rimfire Suppressor
- SILENCER SATURDAY #83: Odessa Vs Wolfman – Modular Suppressors
- SILENCER SATURDAY #118: Suppressing Rimfire With The Rex Silentium SEG
What Is A Modular Silencer?
While there are a range of definitions of the term modular when it comes to suppressors, my opinion is that two or more functional length options, not just interchangeable mounting systems or end caps, is a modular silencer. A few years back there were discussions about the ATF and the the legal viability of silencers that can be configured to multiple lengths. There are a couple important specifications when it comes to the NFA registry and silencer length is a required attribute. However, manufacturers have successfully requested manufacturing variances to produce modular silencers and I haven’t heard of any issues recently.
The “trick” is that no matter how many length combinations that can be made, only one functional suppressor can be configured at a time. This means that the threads on the mount/blast chamber assembly will be different from the threads on each the baffle segments.
Repeal the NFA.
Many Suppressors For The Price Of One.
Obviously, configuring for various lengths gives the the user the ability to adjust to different hosts or use cases. Quietest possible setup: full length. Balance between suppression and maneuverability: mid-length. Minimum footprint: smallest length. Added length also means added weight, so having the ability to shave a few ounces off of the end of a barrel can be important for hunting or defensive setups.
Instead of investing in two or three different suppressors, as well as two or three tax stamps, modular silencer owners can swap between a variety of different hosts and roles.
Modular Silencers Available – July 2020
- Rugged Oculus – $499
- Q Erector -$449
- SilencerCo Switchback – $499
- Rex Silentium MG22 – $389
- Rex Silentium SEG – $249/$349
- Thompson Machine Horizon – $449
- AAC Halcyon – $449
- Dead Air Odessa – $899
- Dead Air Wolfman – $965
- Gemtech Lunar 9/45 – $616/$959
- SIG Sauer MOD X – TBD
- Rex Silentium SEG 9/45 -$479
- Rugged Obsidian 45 – $850
- Rugged Obsidian 9 – $799
- AAC Ti-Rant – $799
- Griffin Revolution 9/45 – $799/845
- YHM Nitro N20 – $1,249
- SilencerCo Omega 36M – $1,187
- Rex Silentium Mod X – $999
- Rugged Surge 762 – $1300
- Rugged Radiant 762 – $1300
- Rugged Micro 30 – $1049
- Griffin Optimus – $1095
In the event of catastrophe, modular silencers can usually be retuned to the factory and repaired with a “simple” part swap. One-length suppressors may require cutting, welding and permanent tube shortening. Modular suppressors can be fixed with a parts replacement like an end cap or baffle section. Unfortunately, because of ATF NFA regulations, the serialized suppressor must be sent back to the factory for repair: even though replacement baffle sections could easily be shipped and swapped by the end user.
The ability to adjust the length of a metal tube that is designed to withstand extreme pressure and heat changes requires a bit more engineering over one-piece models. Each mating surface is a possible failure point. Each section must firmly connect to the next section to prevent gas leakage. Wrench flats or tool surfaces must be designed to be unobtrusive but also withstand enough force to tighten securely.
From the user standpoint, the possibility of losing silencer pieces can cause a bit of anxiety. Proprietary tools are sometimes required; if you want to change lengths at the range, a crescent wrench may not get the job done.
Some modular setups have the baffle structure integrated into the removable sections. The possibility exists that the baffle geometry like mouse holes won’t line up after disassembly/reassembly, effecting point of impact (POI). While the POI shift on pistol setups may be negligible, shifted baffle setups on a rimfire or centerfire rifle could be a problem for precision shooters.
While most modern-day rimfire and pistol suppressors can be disassembled for cleaning, centerfire rifle cans are usually sealed. Modularity allows for a limited amount of disassembly for cleaning. Modular silencers on pistol and rimfire caliber models can allow for somewhat easier cleaning since there is no tube to push fouled baffles through – each section may be its own baffle.
Modular Pistol Setup In Today’s Episode:
- Rating: 22LR, 22MAG, 17HMR, 5.7X28MM (FNH), 32 AUTO, 380 AUTO, 9MM
- Length (With Piston / Without): 8.59″ / 8.50″
- Weight (With Piston & Spring / Without): 10.6 oz. / 8.75 oz.
- Diameter: 1.1 in.
- Finish: Black Nitride
- Min. Barrel Length: No restrictions
- MSRP: $899.00
- Pistons: 1/2×28; M13.5X1 LH
- Fixed Mounts: 1/2×28; M13.5X1 LH
Even with the few downsides, modular suppressors are worth the extra effort to be able to have two or more setups for the price of one tax stamp. In my opinion, modularity shines the most in the rimfire and pistol categories. Care should be taken to follow the manufacturer recommendations when disassembling and reassembling the sections of the silencer. Keep the proprietary tools handy or invest in a set of quality aftermarket tools like those from SuppressorTools.com. And, as always, keep your expectations realistic – the issues solved by modular suppressors can create additional considerations that may not be appropriate for every user.
Thanks for joining us for another installment of Silencer Saturday. Have fun, be safe and we’ll see you back here next weekend.
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