SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

Pete
by Pete
SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM R45 Multi-Host Suppressor. Last weekend we were on the range with the newest SureFire rifle suppressor. We wrap up the series today with the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3, against the SureFire RC2, and the SureFire MINI2 on a bolt action rifle in an attempt to discern any differences. How does the new, low-back pressure silencer sound on a closed action host? Let’s find out.

Other gear used in this review:
More SureFire @ TFB:

SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

Today’s episode will be brief since we are on the eve-eve of the Christmas Holiday. From everyone here at TFB we wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season.

The SureFire SOCOM556-RC3 is specifically designed for battle/defensive carbine use, sturdy enough to handle heavy rates of fire, equipped with one of the industry’s best mounting systems, and designed with optimizing gas flow and reducing back pressure as a primary mission. It’s safe to say that the product designers and engineers did not optimize this suppressor for bolt action rifle hosts.

As we have discussed, tight bore diameters, baffle designs, and overall length are the primary considerations for sound reduction performance – if gas flow is not a concern. The less sound that can escape the bore, the quieter the report. Unfortunately, when it comes to supersonic rounds like the 5.56×45 cartridge, even the best suppressors will be overpowered by the sound of the bullet breaking the sound barrier. That happens at about 1,070 feet per second and above, and 5.56 rounds typically have muzzle velocities above 2,000 fps.

If you are looking for a hearing safe rifle-caliber platform, your best bet is a bolt action rifle in 300BLK and a quality suppressor. SureFire makes the SOCOM303-SPS which is a top performer for subsonic 300BLK.

SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

On a bolt action rifle, the gas and pressure from the cartridge only has one exit point – the muzzle. Adding additional vents to a suppressor allows the gas additional exhaust points, without having the issue of a pressure differential between the suppressor and a gas system or a chamber being unlocked. The question is, do these extra vents reduce the overall noise suppression performance.

Once again, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Specifications – SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

  • Model: Surefire SOCOM556-RC3
  • Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.surefire.com/socom556-rc3/
  • MSRP: $1799
  • Materials: Inconnel
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Diameter: 1.5 in (3.8 cm)
  • Length: 6.3 in (16.0 cm)
  • Length added to weapon*: 3.8 in (9.7 cm)

    * Actual length may vary, depending on which SureFire adapter is used

  • Weight: 17.0 oz (482 g)
Features:
  • 60% less back pressure
  • Virtually eliminates explosive flash
  • ast-Attach® design allows fast, secure, easy attachment and removal without tools
  • Backward compatible with SureFire SOCOM Fast-Attach muzzle devices
  • Durable Inconel construction delivers long service life
Specifications – SureFire SOCOM RC2 (Previous Model Comparison)
  • Model: SOCOM556-RC2
  • Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.surefire.com/socom556-rc2/
  • MSRP: $1,199
  • Materials:
  • Finish: OLC and Cerakote
  • Diameter: 1.5″
  • Length: 6.4″
  • Length added to weapon: 3.8″

    * Actual length may vary, depending on which SureFire adapter is used

  • Weight: 17.0 oz
  • Sound Data @ the shooter’s ear (from SureFire)
  • 10.3″ – 137.74
  • 14.5″ – 136 .40

Muzzle Devices:


SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

Using a suppressor on a 5.56 bolt action rifle with a longer barrel is surprisingly pleasant. It is an excellent reminder of why back pressure mitigation is so important on gas guns; the more sound and gas that gets pushed forward and away from the shooter the better. Keep all of that energy out of the action.

SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

All three of these suppressors, the RC3, the RC2, and the MINI2 performed well, bringing the noise down to the level of an unsuppressed rimfire rifle. The MINI2 was the loudest of the three by at least three decibels (my ear estimation. The RC2 was the “quietest” of the group.

SILENCER SATURDAY #309: Bolt Action Rifles and the SureFire SOCOM556-RC3

While the RC3 was louder than the RC2, it was only by about two decibels or less (again, my personal estimation). I had to switch back and forth between the two suppressors to really tell the difference. My guess is that most people wouldn’t notice.

The SureFire SOCOM556-RC3 was built for carbines, so my expectations for the bolt action performance were on the low side. But even with all of that forward venting, it sounded as good as could be expected.

Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.


SILENCER SHOPHANSOHN BROTHERS DEADEYE GUNS

MAC TACTICAL

ALL YHM PRODUCTS AT BROWNELLS

DEALERS: If you want your link to buy YHM suppressors included in future Silencer Saturday posts, email: silencers@thefirearmblog.com
Pete
Pete

Silencers - Science Pete@thefirearmblog.com

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Comments
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5 of 6 comments
  • Matthew Parrot Matthew Parrot on Dec 23, 2023

    what rifle is that?

    • See 2 previous
    • @Matthew Parrot Sorry guys. The details of the rifle and chassis are in the second paragraph under “other gear used in this review “

  • H538 H538 on Dec 23, 2023

    They say you no longer need lighter in your pocket or a flash light on your rifle if you have a RC3.

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