Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the YHM R9 multi-caliber/multi-platform suppressor. Last week we got out our pocket protectors and explored the depths of MCX Virtus gas piston system. This week we get a look at the AB Suppressor Raptor 556 – a light, modular, and quiet rifle silencer that can be used in either reflex or muzzle mount configurations. Is the AB F-22 Raptor right for you? Let’s take a look.
AB Suppressor @ TFB
Future Silencer Saturday Preview.
I now have more money invested in Knight’s Armament muzzle devices than I care to admit. And that doesn’t count the three new KAC silencers that are either here or on the way. I’ve lost my mind.
SILENCER SATURDAY #227: AB Suppressor Raptor 556 – Light, Modular, Quiet
I am a walking contradiction. Rimfire and subsonic 300BLK silencers aside, I spend every Saturday proselytizing about how mount options, features, and weights and measures are more important than overall “quietness”. Yet when I find a supersonic host/silencer combination that is as quiet as Yankee fans are in October, I forget about everything else and focus on that sweet report. Case in point, a MK12 suppressed with the AEM5.
While the AEM5 is one of the quietest 5.56 silencers ever built, it has unique characteristics that make it very host specific. Barrel length, profile and mount options are all very limited which means if you want to enjoy that silence, you need some specific parts, gunsmithing, or both.
The AB Suppressor Raptor design is a tubeless spiral baffle system which is both efficient and weight saving. The baffle design is known as “Spiral Tech” that attempts to keep the expanding gasses swirling in on itself as opposed to traditional designs – what the company calls “dead-end baffles” – that terminate in a narrow point. I am not an engineer, so I can’t weigh in on any advantages that the spiral design offers over the cones found in most rifle suppressors, but I do love the idea. It’s reminiscent of Hiram Percy Maxim’s original designs.
By peeling gases off of the bore and sending them into a spin, we can greatly reduce the energy of those gases quickly and efficiently. As the gases lose energy, the spiral can be fed with more gases. This spinning effect burns off energy rather than trying to stop it. AB Spiral Technology significantly reduces the back pressure created with each shot. The reduced pressure also creates a much lower tone, making for a more pleasant resonance at the shooter’s ear.
The AB Suppressor Raptor 556 combines the the internal volume of of traditional reflex suppressors, with the weight savings, modularity, and mounting options of the current market-leading traditional silencers. To start off, the Raptor is built with a titanium alloy giving it an approximate 50% weight savings over other models.
Over-The-Barrel Reflex Suppressors – Weight Comparison:
- AMTAC Mantis: 21 oz
- Allen Engineering AEM5: 21 oz
- Otter Creek Labs OCM5: 16 oz
- AB Suppressor Raptor 556: 10-12 oz
II. Mounting Options
The Raptor 556 has the ability to switch from a reflex system to a traditional flush mount system for hosts that have shorter barrels, gas blocks that are close to the muzzle, or longer stocks or hand guards. The flush mount turns the Raptor 556 from a reflex to direct thread mount.
In addition, AB Suppressor offers the near industry standard 1.375×24 thread pitch adapter to utilize other manufacturers muzzle devices and QD mounting systems.
While seemingly minor, the ability to add flash hider end caps can be a significant option for those who hunt at night using night vision devices. Using an included six pin tool, the end caps and mounts can be detached and and reattached with a few spins,
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
AB Suppressor Raptor 556 Specifications:
- Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.absuppressor.com/rifle
- User Manual: https://www.absuppressor.com/_files/ugd/96ac65_7a0f29996ad14514a9d84f31531e966b.pdf
- MSRP: $895 – $1095 (depending on length)
- Sales Contact: [email protected]
- Materials: Titanium
- Full Auto Rated: Yes
- Caliber: 5.56mm
- Minimum Barrel Length: 5.56NATO/.223REM – 10.5”
- Diameter: 1.625”
- 2 Spirals – 3.9”/4.45 oz
- 4 Spirals – 4.7”/5.6 oz
- 6 Spirals – 5.5”/6.85 oz
- 8 Spirals – 6.3”/8.05 oz
- 10 Spirals – 7.2”/9.5 oz
- Flush Mount – 1.6 oz
- 3” Reflex Mount – 4.7 oz
- 5” Reflex Mount – 6.1 oz
- 1.375×24 Mount Adapter Available? Yes
Three years ago we tested the CZ-USA 7.62 Ti Reflex suppressor that was designed, manufactured and licensed by AB Suppressor to CZ and what I will unofficially call the first generation of Raptor suppressors. At the time, I found the performance of this model to be impressive – the massive amount of internal volume kept supersonic rounds tame and subsonic ammunition whisper quiet.
Suppressing semiautomatic 5.56 AR-15 hosts is a different animal – all of the internal volume is still helpful, but are there enough baffles to be truly effective? And are there any back pressure concerns?Since that last review, the latest generation of Raptor suppressors added the ability to swap end caps and made the QD adapter available. From the layman’s view, the overall design appears to be unchanged.
In the reflex configuration, the Raptor is impressively quiet, even on shorter barrels. Granted, the supersonic crack of the 5.56 bullet traveling over 2,000 fps will always be an impossible challenge, but the AB Raptor tames the expanding gasses nicely. If you are one of those shooters who are always chasing decibels, you will be impressed. I’d estimate the report being just over an unsuppressed supersonic rimfire round.
In short form on shorter barrels, the Raptor performs as a K-sized can is expected to perform – it knocks the blast down enough to be bearable. On a longer barrel the Raptor regains some of that performance as the extra powder burns away and the baffles are allowed to do their job.
There aren’t many downsides to the AB Suppressor Raptor. It’s reasonably priced, feature rich, and light. While the Raptor 556 is full auto rated, I probably would not classify it as a hard use suppressor. And by that I mean it’s not a belt fed rated can. Titanium is strong, until it is subjected to extended times of high temperatures. But this is a user selection choice rather than a feature limitation – you wouldn’t choose an all wheel drive car for technical off-roading when four wheel drive trucks exist.
If you want the ability to switch between a reflex suppressor and a muzzle mounted suppressor without sacrificing performance, the AB Suppressor Raptor just might be the choice for you.
Update: As I usually do right before I publish, I just ran back out to the range for a few more shots through the Raptor 556. I’m still impressed. It makes me question whether or not shoving as many baffles into a tube is worth the weight when four baffles and some space does a great job of suppressing 5.56 rounds.
Stay tuned for the Raptor 762 and full auto testing in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.
Who has time for sights or optics when you are testing cans?