Hearing loss is permanent, and the more you damage your hearing, the worse it gets. The threshold for hearing loss is 140 decibels, and considering that rifles produce 160 to 170 decibels of sound, the need for good hearing protection and a well-made suppressor becomes readily if not painfully apparent. When it comes to big-bore shooting, sound issues can become more intense. It is worse for police and military teams that must be able to search buildings, engage threats and maintain communications. Here suppressor use is a necessity. Fortunately, there are many new and advanced big-bore suppressors on the market today. Here are some of the best currently available.
Advanced Armament Corp.
Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) has truly taken on a leadership role in educating the public about the important benefits suppressors offer and how they are legal to own in a majority of states. The new fast-attach SR7 suppressor is designed for the 7.62mm NATO, but it will function well with 300 Blackout, 6.8 SPC and 5.56mm weapons. AAC’s ratchet-tooth QD attachment system is fast and easy to use, providing a solid platform with improved accuracy and less point-of-impact shifts. The SR7’s welded baffles have been designed to reduce annoying backpressure, and the blast baffle provides greater erosion resistance on short barrels. This suppressor is 7.6 inches in length and weighs 19.6 ounces. It provides between 25 and 39 decibels of sound reduction.
Anyone who wants really big bore suppression can opt for the Cyclops, which is designed for .50 BMG rifles. It takes a big suppressor to tame this cartridge, and the Cyclops is 15.75 inches long and weighs nearly 5 pounds. The QD system is designed with a proprietary muzzle brake with a secondary latch. Other benefits include reduced recoil, 32 decibels of sound reduction and CNC-welded construction for strength and durability. (advanced-armament.com; 770-925-9988)
Dead Air Silencers
As long-range shooting and ARs chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO have increased in popularity, so too has demand for .30-caliber suppressors. Dead Air Silencers’ award-winning 7.62mm Sandman-L is near the top of that heap. This QD suppressor features fast one-handed removal and 31 decibels of sound reduction. The baffles are made from Stellite as a solid welded core. This material is a cobalt-chromium alloy that is extremely tough and corrosion resistant. The front cap of the suppressor body, which is Cerakoted for improved corrosion resistance, is removable and replaceable and also acts as a flash suppressor. The 7.62mm Sandman-L, 8.9 inches long and weighing 23.4 ounces, can be used for rifles up to .300 Winchester Magnum. (deadairsilencers.com; 877-892-7544)
Delta P Design
If suppressors have a downside, it’s that they add extra length to the weapon, which can make handling in confined spaces all the more difficult. You can go with a shorter barrel and sacrifice performance or use one of the new super-short suppressors from Delta P Design. The company’s Brevis II in 5.56mm is only 3.7 inches long and weighs 7.5 ounces. (It is also available in 7.62mm NATO.) But if you really want to scale up, you can try the Brevis II Ultra 8.6mm rifle suppres- sor for the .338 Lapua. Even at this level, the suppressor is short and lightweight, measuring 5.5 inches and weighing only 10 ounces. It is made from a titanium and nickel alloy with a durable ceramic finish. (deltapdesign.com; 503-487-0007)
Desert Tech makes big-bore precision rifles and offers high-quality suppressors to match them. The company’s .375 CheyTac and .50 BMG suppressors are built to take the extreme pressures of these ultra-high-velocity rounds while reducing sound and recoil. The .30 and .338 suppressors are designed for snipers who want minimal point-of-impact shifts and improved accuracy up to 0.25 MOA. These suppressors are built from titanium for maximum durability and weight reduction. The .30-caliber model weighs only 1.15 pounds, making it the lightest available. Deployment is also made easy thanks to the SRS-QD brake, and the baffle design uses the expanding gases to actually tighten the fit so no ratcheting lock is needed. A new .50-caliber suppressor is also available and promises to deliver high-level accuracy. (deserttech.com; 801-975-7272)
Constructed from rugged stainless steel, the aptly named Battledog from EliteIron delivers suppressed .30-caliber performance in a com- pact package. Measuring in at 6 inches in length, the Battledog has a 1.625-inch diameter and weighs in at 16 ounces. The suppressor, which is designed to deliver 28 decibels of sound pressure level reduction, features a matte-black finish over the stainless steel for a low-key appearance. The result is a com- pact and unobtrusive suppressor ready for tactical applications. In addition, the use of stainless steel makes for a potentially stronger and longer-lasting suppressor that is lower in cost than a comparable titanium suppressor. (eliteiron.com; 406-244-0234)
Gemtech has built quite a reputation for manufacturing high-quality suppressors, thanks in part to its continued commitment to innovation and improvement. The company’s Extreme Duty line is just the latest example of this. Built to strict USSOCOM requirements from titanium, these suppressors offer customers value and quality. The aptly named “The One” suppressor seeks to cover all the bases and is rated to handle everything from 5.56mm and 300 Blackout to 7.62mm and even the .300 Winchester Magnum. It offers 32 decibels of sound reduction and weighs just over 16 ounces with a QD mount system and a black Cerakote finish. (gem-tech.com; 208-939-7222)
Putting its gun-making expertise toward producing sound suppressors, Sig Sauer has upped the ante in the industry with new and innovative thinking. These suppressors feature a tapered design as well as a direct-thread system that allows users to do without crush washers, providing a more secure fit with significantly less point-of-impact shift. Sig was able to replicate this effect in its QD suppressors as well and added an adjustable mount that allows for the user to easily change between a flash suppressor and a muzzle brake.
In the big-bore category, Sig Sauer offers the SRD338Ti-QD, which is rated for the .338 Lapua Magnum and is made from Grade 5 titanium. It features the QD fast- attach system for easy installation and removal, and will reduce the sound signature of your rifle to 138 decibels. The suppressor will also work with .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 5.45x39mm, .300 Win Mag, 7.62x39mm, 300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.8 SPC and .260 Remington ammo. A smaller and lighter option is the SRD762Ti-QD suppressor, which is rated for the 7.62mm NATO. (sigsauer.com; 603-610-3000)
Go big or go home they say, and SilencerCo took that challenge seriously by developing the first commercially viable shotgun suppressor, the Salvo 12. This is truly a feat of engineering, as it’s designed to work with just about any type of 12-gauge ammunition and shotgun. The modular nature of the suppressor allows the user to remove sections to adjust for the sound reduction level, weight and length. With all of the sections attached and at its full 12-inch length, it will reduce the shotgun sound to 136 decibels. The Salvo 12 can be attached using improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full chokes. (silencerco.com; 801-417-5384)
SureFire is already well known for its full line of extreme-duty flashlights, and in recent years the company has expanded into tactical equipment, such as extra-high- capacity magazines and suppressors. SureFire’s SOCOM 2 series offers full-time use in a compact and lightweight design with reduced backpressure and near elimination of first-round flash. The fast-attach system is also designed to minimize point-of-impact shifts, and the SOCOM 2 is available in 5.56mm, 7.62mm and 8.6mm for .338-caliber rifles. The SOCOM300 SPS Fast-Attach suppressor provides great all- around performance for different calibers, from 5.56mm to .300 Winchester Magnum. (surefire.com; 800-828-8809)
It seems like Wilson Combat does everything meticulously well, from its renowned handguns and long guns to its ammunition and suppressors. Indeed, if the company can’t find something that meets its exacting standards, Wilson Combat tends to make it itself, and its suppressors are no exception. Wilson Combat’s Whisper suppressors are fully machined from titanium and deliver better sound suppression and lighter weight than many competitive models. The monocore baffle design improves accuracy, eliminates point-of-impact shifts and reduces backpressure. Whisper suppressors come with Melonite-treated QD muzzle brakes, in a variety of colors, in 5.56mm, 6.8mm, 7.62mm and 9mm. (wilsoncombat.com; 800-955-4856)
Yankee Hill Machine
Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) manufactures rifles, parts and accessories, and even sound suppressors. The company’s .30-caliber Phantom LTA (Light Tactical, Aggressive) sound suppressor works equally well on .308 Winchester, 300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm and 6.8mm rifles as well as those in 5.56mm NATO. This one suppressor can fit all your needs, and it’s both lighter and smaller than previous offerings. This suppressor features CNC welding, a thicker blast area, a QD mounting sys- tem and stainless steel construction. The QD mount is included, and the suppressor is backwards compatible so it will fit on 5.56mm mounts as well. It is less than 8 inches long and weighs 20 ounces while providing 35 decibels of sound suppression.
For even bigger chamberings, YHM offers its QD Phantom in .338 Lapua Magnum with 28 decibels of sound reduction and the same high-quality QD design. The QD mounting system supports the suppressor in two places so that misalignment is impossible. (yhm.net; 877-892-6533)