A special forces detachment was in search of a new suppressor. They had tried several suppressors and they found them either too long, too heavy, or they would cause a significant change in impact when attached. They would tend to cause reliability issues on some rifles, especially those with the short barrels. They also wanted to be able to use the rifle without the suppressor if necessary by simply removing it. One of the final requirements was that it suppresses the flash that’s so prevalent with the M4 rifles, or the even shorter rifles many of the Special Forces operators are able to field nowadays.
Enter Jet Suppressor, manufacturers of a line of titanium suppressors for various calibers. Jet Suppressors took their time creating the perfect product. They knew it had to be superior, flawless and that it is. They were tested in the Middle East and are now seeing action with great success. After having met the high standard demanded by this elite team, Jet decided to make them available to Law Enforcement. I learned about this and decided to obtain one and put it to the test.
I had been using a stainless steel suppressor for my sniper rifle for years and wanted something lighter that would not make the rifle so barrel-heavy and not shift the impact so much. In my case the change in point of impact was over 4 inches between suppressed and unsuppressed. We were using four more of these on the team rifles so if this was better I wanted to make the move. I jumped on the Internet and found a couple. I tried to buy one from an outfit in California, only my calls were never returned, so I gave Mike Brown from Jet a try. To my surprise he not only had one in stock, but it was actually pretty reasonable, so I purchased it and put it to the test. I was so happy with it I transitioned the whole team to them. From that point forward I was pretty sold on Titanium suppressors for duty use. They are a bit more expensive, but they offer some serious advantages. So, when Mike talked about a shorter suppressor for an M4, I was intrigued and asked that he get one to me when he had put it together.
Ever since the migration to the 5.56 round for entry teams I have been a strong proponent of suppressors on these rifles. Many teams have moved to M16 variants with barrels as short as 10.5 inches, and some even shorter. They serve their purpose well but they are loud and emit a rather bright flash. Some teams have moved to communications gear with hearing protection, but most field them hoping that auditory exclusion will save their hearing in a firefight. Some have moved to suppressors of varying designs. Most work well. Many want them to be “quick detachable” so they can be removed if needed. Others cause the shorter guns to malfunction, and in some cases they extend the length to the point that it negates the advantage of a short rifle. Another issue has been shifting points of impact if they come loose, or if they are removed. This requires the operator to adjust his sights for suppressed and unsuppressed fire and constantly make sure it has not come loose. That is simply not something you want to worry about amidst the gunfight. This suppressor seems to deal with all of those issues quite nicely.
About The Suppressor
This suppressor, like all of the Jet line is made of titanium. It is 6.25 inches in overall length and is 1.75 inches in diameter. Mike tells me that although there are fewer baffles than in their regular .223 suppressor (7.25 x 1.5) they have been redesigned to provide a greater level of suppression.
The Suppressor attaches over a muzzle brake that is threaded .75×24 making it a bit over 6.25 inches from the end of the muzzle threads. Mike explained that although the brake can be used by itself, it was not designed as a stand-alone brake. It is designed to integrate with the first chamber of the suppressor to eliminate flash. The suppressor alone weighs in at about 14 ounces.
How It Works
I first attached the muzzle brake and tried it without the suppressor. As one would expect with any brake it is perceptibly louder than the typical A2 flash hider (see chart for (Please turn to page )
details). It does however work incredibly well at stopping muzzle rise. The primary test rifle is my entry M16 with a 10.5-inch barrel and I was able to keep two- and three-shot bursts about in the same hole. The muzzle simply does not rise at all. I fired a 10-shot group at 25 yards using the iron sights without the suppressor as a point of reference. Then I attached the suppressor and fired another 10 rounds. They all landed in the same spot. I could see absolutely no change in the point of impact at that range. I moved back to 50 yards and fired a group using an EOTech with the 3.5x scope. Pretty much the same thing; there wasn’t a perceptible change in the point of impact with or without the suppressor.
Next, I moved on to the sound characteristics. Since the suppressor is shorter and has fewer baffles I wanted to make certain it would suppress enough sound and flash to make it worth the addition. It suppressed enough sound to make them usable without ears if needed outside. It was still pretty loud inside, but nothing that would cause distraction or damage on an operation. I would never advocate training without ears on an entry team regardless of suppressor use, but for operational use it was plenty quiet. It was only about 25db over the ambient noise level.
I next tested it for function with the short M16. This is a stock M16A2 rifle with a 10.5-inch chrome-lined CMMG Barrel. This is not a gas tappet or gas piston design so it should be a solid reflection of reliability with a Commando- or M4-type rifle. I fired 400 rounds in single and full auto fire over the course of the afternoon. I stuck mainly to bursts. That’s what you do in real life. I ran two 30-round magazines on one trigger press and there was not one malfunction. The rifle was dirty as all get-out as one might expect, but there were no failures to function. It held onto the target like glue, no rise to speak of and it was incredibly easy to control. I used mostly Federal AE 223 55-grain FMJ, but I also ran some Federal Tactical 62-grain ammunition. All ran without a hitch. Just for kicks I fired another ten-round group at 25 yards and there was no real shift in impact (not attributable to a very hot barrel).
Finally I ran some ammunition through it at night. Sure enough, no flash, kind of a poof of smoke but no orange flash. If you were to stumble into a firefight amongst a lab or something this suppressor would suppress as much flash as possible with these rifles.
I have also tried this suppressor on an XCR and my 18-inch Sabre Defence patrol rifle. Thanks to the light weight, it was barely noticeable. In the case of the XCR it was a 16-inch barrel so it was plenty easy to move around. Even the 18-inch tube on the Sabre proved not a real issue. As a side note, it allowed me to wring every bit of accuracy out of that rifle. As you can get the brake in a number of thread patterns you can have one suppressor and use it on multiple rifles. That is handy if, like me, you have a patrol rifle and an entry rifle, but it is also handy for teams who cannot necessarily afford to supply everyone with a suppressor. They interchange without issue so you could in theory assign the suppressor(s) to those making entry and leave the perimeter team unsuppressed. Not the best of worlds, but reality kicks in when purchasing weapons for teams; it’s better than no suppression.
As one should expect the action was filthy after all was said and done, and you suck up a lot of powder when using a normal M16 action (especially if you are a lefty). That is to be expected and an issue with the rifle that can be fixed with the use of one of the many gas tappet or gas piston variants on the market now. The XCR I used did not have that issue, and the same would be true with the HK 416 or similar.
This suppressor more than lives up to the expectations I had for it. Attached to a 10.5-inch barrel it extends to about where the flash hider would on a standard 14.5-inch barreled rifle and is shorter than a 16-inch barrel with a flash hider. It is as short and handy as one needs an entry rifle to be. With the weight so light it’s barely noticed on the rifle. It does not change the point of impact, about eliminates the flash, and does not cause the M16 to malfunction. That is about as good as it gets for an entry suppressor. They retail at $1,350, are a bit less for Officers (who can legally posses them) and even less for police departments. They are a lifetime kind of purchase, though, as they are about indestructible and need no real maintenance. I have a Jet in .308 that I’ve fired well over 10,000 rounds through without cleaning. It still functions as new.
If you are looking for an entry suppressor for a .223 rifle, this is a good bet. Contact Jet Suppressors, 361-758-9351; www.jetsuppressors.com.
A special forces detachment was in search of a new suppressor. They had…
by Jeff Randall / May 9, 2009