Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the YHM Turbo K rifle suppressor. Last week we got a preview of the new SIG Sauer SLH rifle suppressors – we’ll get back to shooting them next weekend. This week we finally return to the LMT-AT ION 30 silencers. Built for extreme use and eliminating back pressure, the latest release from LMT Advanced Technologies is feature rich and priced competitively. But is it right for you? Let’s dive in
Participate in TFB’s Silencer Saturday Suppressor Survey fora chance to win prizes. I’m still working on the giveaways, but at a minimum I’m paying for someone’s next NFA stamp.
LMT-AT & LMT @ TFB:
- [SHOT 2022] LMT Getting into the PCC Game: The LMT MARS L-9
- [SHOT 2022] LMT MARS-L9 Pistol Caliber Carbine (GLOCK Mags)
- SILENCER SATURDAY #208: Santa Delivers The LMT-AT ION 30
- LMT Advanced Technologies Debuts ION 30 Suppressor
- [SHOT 2022] MARS Rifle Update
SILENCER SATURDAY #214: Range Time With LMT-AT ION 30
When we last left you, the ION 30 had performed very well on the 6.75” MCX in 300BLK with subsonic ammunition. Perfect cycling, a deep tone, and no perceivable blowback made for a pleasant shooting experience. For me, the test of a quality semiautomatic .30 caliber suppressor is how well it performs with 300BLK subs. Is it smile-inducing quiet? If yes, proceed to the next challenge.
LMT is known for “military-grade” guns and gear. And I’m talking about the real miltary-grade designation, not what the media tends to use when describing firearms used in the commission of criminal acts. To me, that means fully automatic rates of fire. As such, the LMT ION 30 was destined for the end of an M-16. For this task I used a 13.6” Noveske barrel with mid-length gas and the SureFire Optimized Bolt Carrier.
The combination of the ION 30, the mid-length gas system, and the SureFire OBC made this setup one of the flattest shooting and quietest 5.56mm full auto combinations I’ve experienced. With other suppressors, this host is a good testing platform, but with the ION 30 there was a noticeable difference. The cyclic rate was definitely lower than other .30 caliber silencers with the same setup.
When looking at the ION 30’s end cap for the first time, my gut reaction was that the forward vent holes might be too small to make any real difference in blowback reduction. At this this year’s SHOT Show I discussed the venting and back pressure with Chris Estadt, General Manager of LMT-AT, he indicated that testing had shown that prototype testing larger end cap vent holes did not effect overall suppressor performance. If it hadn’t been so cold, a video of the ION 30 in action would show the forward vent holes clearly working as designed. I promise you that a video and microphone setup is coming this spring.
Long story short, the ION 30 is very well suited for select fire 5.56mm hosts.
- MSRP: $899
- Manufacturer’s Site: https://lmt-at.com/product/ion-30/
- User Manual: https://lmt-at.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/ion-man-FC-2-10.29-all-web.pdf
- Approved for use in calibers from .17 to .300 Win Mag
- Length: 7.14″
- Weight: 19 oz when using the 17-4 stainless steel cap and the 4140-steel alloy base
- Keeps heat, flash, and dust/debris kick-up low
- Shoot multiple cycles of full-auto
- Made of 17-4 stainless steel, 4140 steel alloy, and Inconel
- Regulator SP Mount – compatible with Dead Air Xeno Mounts
- The body is coated with Cerakote Armorer Black C-192 and the removable cap and base are treated with UltraOx.
- Laser welded construction
The ION 30 mounting system is compatible with the Dead Air XENO muzzle devices. The select fire platform used for today’s test was outfitted with a Dead Air XENO flash hider. It is also compatible with all defacto industry standard 1.375×24” mounting systems.
- Sub 139.9 at Shooter’s Ear
- Multiple Mounting Options
- Use with Regulator muzzle device
- Install directly onto the barrel using the 1.375×24” Regulator Direct Thread Adaptor
- Use preferred mounting device
- Barrel Length Restrictions: None
- Full Auto Rated
- Optimized for Accuracy
- Zero Back Pressure
Using a bolt action host with both subsonic and supersonic 300BLK ammunition, the ION 30 performed much better than I had expected. Typically, suppressors designed for semiautomatic and fully automatic fire aren’t as quiet on closed action hosts. But LMT-AT’s first rifle suppressor was surprisingly good on both 300BLK rounds. The tone was higher than both the Dead Air Nomad and the SureFire SOCOM300-TI, but just as quiet. Aside from a slight weight penalty, I would have no problem recommending the ION 30 for bolt action hosts. I could shoot subsonic 300BLK all day if my wallet would allow it.
For this host I used the YHM direct thread mount.
Today’s final test was on the end of the SIG 716i AR-10 – a rifle I enjoy so much that I bought two of them. A good .30 caliber rifle suppressor should be able to eat a steady diet of .308 Win ammunition with heavy semiautomatic rates of fire. I’m still looking for an AR-10 receiver with an M-16 pocket, so we’ll have to settle for a fast trigger finger for today’s experiment. While the recoil was noticeable, the ION 30 suppressed the SIG 716i just as well as the Dead Air Nomad. In fact, I’d say the ION 30 is a blend of the Sandman S and Nomad 30 suppressors – the internal volume of the Nomad with the hard-use build (and weight) of the Sandman.
Aside from an extra few ounces, I can’t think of a reason not to invest in the LMT ION 30. It is built to eliminate back pressure, it can handle heavy rates of fire, it is compatible with both the Dead Air XENO mounts and any 1.375”x24 system, it is priced competitively, and it sounds great on both 5.56 and 7.62 hosts. I’m looking forward to seeing what LMT-AT brings us next.
Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back her next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.