Good morning everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM Phantom 22 rimfire suppressor. Last week we discussed the upcoming ATF eForms migration to a new system that promises speed, efficiency, and Form 4 consumer-focused capabilities. This week we get back behind the gun to spend some time with the Griffin Armament EXPLORR ET3 .300 rifle suppressor. Does it deserve to live on one of your barrels? Let’s take a look.
Griffin Armament @ TFB:
- SILENCER SATURDAY #174: Griffin Armament GP-N – Long Live The Birdcage!
- Griffin Armament Releases New CAM-LOK Adapter for Fixed Barrels
- Griffin Armament Announces New SR-RIGID M-LOK Rails
- TFB Review: Griffin Armament CAM-LOK – One Can, Multiple Caliber Hosts
SILENCER SATURDAY #206: The Griffin Armament EXPLORR ET3 T-300
In the last ten years the firearm suppressor industry has seen dramatic growth supported by exponential consumer acceptance of the benefits of decibel reduction. On top of the increase in sound performance, mounting systems, geometries, and overall weights top the list of advances across all manufacturers. My point is that it is becoming increasingly hard to evaluate quality suppressors for consumers. Most provide great all-around performance, leaving buyers to choose between brand loyalty, cosmetics, and personal preferences.
Evaluation systems like Pew Science and the B&K Impulse are excellent scientific processes that produce data that can display a silencer’s strengths and weaknesses. However I struggle with understanding the consumer-level usefulness of laboratory-like testing. There’s no doubt in my mind that processes like Pew Science will help manufacturers design and build better suppressors, benefiting all buyers. But when it comes to making single purchase decisions, I feel that there are too many variables to make a choice on data alone.
I still would like to have the silencer industry come together to decide on a set of universal reference suppressors based on calibers and/or cartridges. The “suppressors” would be nothing more than direct thread tubes, made from the same metal stock, with the same bore diameters and dimensions. These reference suppressors would be tested in a controlled environment and given a Underwriters Laboratories (UL) type of certification. Manufacturers and testing labs could purchase these sets to test alongside new models as a type of universally accepted control suppressor. Maybe then we would give the community an easier way to evaluate prospective suppressor models.
All this is to say that the Griffin Armament EXPLORR ET3 .300 rifle suppressor is a strong performer in a field of strong performers. Using the same host, ammunition, and environmental conditions, I would have an extremely tough time picking a clear winner out of a blind test. Of course, this is based only on my ears, which means any “data” is relies only upon how much you believe my personal opinion. Like everyone, I have personal biases that may effect my evaluations.
As I have stated several times in the past, you should pick the suppressor that is right for you and your use cases. Have realistic expectations. And, if at all possible, find a way to shoot the suppressors in your candidate lists before making a decision. As an added bonus, bring a friend to mitigate your own personal biases.
My apologies for the rant. Let’s take a look at the Griffin Armament EXPLORR ET3 .300 rifle suppressor. But first, we’ll go over the details and specifications.
The EXPLORR® series was built on years of prior experience and R&D with tubeless designs. Relatively unknown, Griffin started pushing the limits on modern suppressor engineering when in 2010, they designed the first tubeless silencers in the US. Tubeless designs, although relatively featureless, provide the most optimal strength to weight ratio of any construction method. With a solid background in tubeless suppressor engineering, Griffin sought to push the limits of what was capable by creating the EXPLORR® series of suppressors that hit titanium weights with a more durable material. Lower weight means smaller point of impact shift, higher unsupported position accuracy potential, and less fatigue to the user when carrying equipment.
It features our utility patented ECO-FLOW™ baffle system offering the apogee of multi-caliber sound performance. This baffle system reduces back pressure which alleviates much of the blow back through semi auto actions providing a more comfortable experience to the end user. This baffle system is tuned such that performance at the muzzle of the suppressor and the ears of the operator are balanced for a uniform and low sound signature in the immediate vicinity of the shooter.
Elite tactical units requested minimal flash signature and Griffin responded by developing a low-profile flash reducer integral to the suppressor end cap. This flash reduction device adds only a couple tenths of an inch in length and reduces first round flash considerably vs flat end cap (featureless) designs.
Another notable improvement in the EXPLORR® (Gen 2) family is the integration of the backward compatible Taper Mount-RI™ interface (Rapid Index). The Griffin Taper Mount interface is a gold standard in the industry, providing secure attachment, and unbeatable accuracy to consumers for over a decade. This interface has been improved however, being 3X faster to mount than the original by engineering a precision indexing feature in the interface and using fewer machined thread rotations in a more optimal position within the body. The original Griffin Taper Mount took roughly 15 seconds on average to mount and the new system can be reliably mounted in 5 seconds. Accuracy, and POI shift have been improved while the secure attachment the Griffin Taper Mount is known for has not changed, resulting in a next generation Taper Mount-RI™, an ideal system built on over a decade of taper mount manufacturing and research.
The EXPLORR® T-300 is fully CNC machined, and is now laser welded to reduce weight but increases the overall durability of the suppressor. The benefits of laser welding include a much deeper penetrating, evenly distributed precision weld to greatly enhance the strength of the attachment bond, while also creating a more polished appearance to the exterior of the suppressor.
The EXPLORR® Taper Mount editions are slightly lower weight than the EXPLORR® Utility Mount versions for users seeking the lightest weight possible.
At 10 ounces, I would consider this version EXPLORR to be fairly light, especially when you factor in no barrel length or caliber restrictions. To me, this is one of the more important attributes for silencers that will spend their time on longer barrels
- MSRP: $895 – Buy @ Silencer Shop
- Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.griffinarmament.com/explorr-et3-taper-mount-300/
- User Manual: https://www.griffinarmament.com/info/manuals/
- Diameter: 1.5″
- Overall Length: 6.5″
- Length Added: 5.2″ when using EZ Brake 4.2″ when using longer devices
- Weight: 10 Ounces
- Materials: High strength, high temperature, corrosion resistant 17-4PH Stainless Steel
- Attachment: .30cal/7.62mm Taper Mount devices
- DB Attenuation: 7.62mm (29DB)
- Finish: High Temp Cerakote
- Full Auto Rated: Yes
- Caliber Rating: Up to .300WIN MAG
- Barrel Length Restrictions: None
I am not going to get into the whole ‘threads before or threads after the muzzle device taper surface’ debate. I do like Griffin’ minimalist-style brake mount that is compact and secure. The left hand mounting threads make unscrewing the EXPLORR a stress-free event. In theory the brake will act like a sacrificial blast baffle that will prevent an excessive rate of wear. And since the mounting threads are the de facto industry standard 1.375×24 TPI, you are free to add any compatible system from other manufacturers.
The end cap is not removable, but it does incorporate an external flash reduction system
Below is the 1.375” mount insert. You can see the shiny taper mating surface that will seal in expanding gases.
The taper mount is nearly flush with the back of the suppressor. Again, with the mounting threads being left hand as opposed to right hand, you won’t need to worry about the muzzle device unthreading first.
Shooting the EXPLORR is a pleasant experience. At 6.5” it is neither K sized nor full size, but lives somewhere in the middle. Still, it performs closer to an eight inch suppressor when it comes to noise reduction. For today’s article, I only used subsonic ammo in a 16” bolt action rifle. Before it heads back home to Silencer Shop, I will put it in front of a semiautomatic with a shorter barrel.
The tone is very good, but a little hard to discern. I’d say this EXPLORR model is basically whisper quiet. How’s that for a scientific observation.
Overall, especially if the street price drops to mid $700 levels, the EXPLORR ET3 .300 suppressor offers great performance without sacrificing weight, length, and mounting options. It is well made and has no barrel restrictions and can handle a lot of different cartridges.
Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.