Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to test several Wilson Combat rifles. Just about every configuration of their 6.8 SPC rifles has been through my hands. They have always been excellent rifles, so when a 7.62×40 WT rifle arrived, the expectations were high. There was definitely no disappointment. In fact, I asked to test their SBR Tactical in select-fire. All it really needed was a suppressor.
When using short rifles on entry duty over the years, I’ve attached a suppressor when possible. When a 10- to 12-inch rifle is fired in close quarters, it is loud and disruptive. The concussive effect can be significant, especially to the officer standing next to you. You are hoping like crazy for auditory exclusion. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that will occur. Suppressors deal with that nicely, especially on semi-auto. Most, however, come with a set of their own issues.
Simple physics tells us the quieter the suppressor, the more gas is sent back into the system. Given that most agencies are using gas impingement rifles, this compounds an already iffy situation. Sending copious amounts of gas back into the bolt group can really gum up the works. Depending on the ammunition, this can turn your rifle into a one-magazine gun. Some companies have alleviated this by having the “can” suppress less and deliver less gas. Most are so loud as to be about worthless. Many also come loose and shift your point of aim. Lastly, they can be pretty long, defeating the whole purpose. These suppressors tend to be large paperweights that spend a ton of time in the pack or car.
What you really need is a suppressor that is quiet, gums up the works as little as possible, and does not shift the point of impact much. It’s great if they are short and lightweight. Having it go over the brake would be nice, but it’s not necessary. My tendency is to leave it on if it works; if it doesn’t, it’ll stay off. That may no longer be the case, however, as Wilson Combat has just come up with an excellent solution.
While attending an annual writer’s event at Wilson Combat, I was allowed to see these suppressors getting built. They have a really interesting design. Completely machined from a billet of titanium, they are very lightweight at 17.8 ounces. At just a bit under 6.5 inches, they are not overly long. Threading over the proprietary muzzle brake, they only add 4.5 inches overall. That is close to perfect for a tactical suppressor. The Rapid Thread Muzzle Brake is available in the two most prolific thread patterns, 1/2-28 and 5/8-24, meaning one suppressor can be easily moved among different calibers.
Another really nice feature is the completely monolithic design. It makes these suppressors some of the most rugged and reliable ones you can buy. The internals are all cut from one solid billet. The outer tube goes over the internals and threads on to the back. Then it is simply capped off. Bill Wilson has really done a great job here to make them strong and reliable. As a side benefit, the suppressor is easier to manufacture this way. There is only one weld on the entire thing, the end cap, and even if it broke loose for some reason, it would not stop the suppressor from working. Coated in Armor-Tuff, the Whisper looks incredibly nice and will outlive most of its owners.
Whisper suppressors are a bit larger in diameter than most, but that is by design. This allows the suppressor to capture more gas in a shorter span. Having tested a Whisper556 suppressor that proved to be very effective, the real test would be on the larger calibers like 6.8 SPC and 7.62mm. Even more importantly: How does one work in select-fire?