What do fine jewelry and suppressors have in common? George Koumbis is the only thing that comes to mind. George designed and patented the ARIES suppressor. Koumbis has had a remarkable life as an internationally known jeweler and designer, including winning the prestigious DeBeers Diamond competition several times, and creating complicated pieces for a European royal house. But a hobby led George to shooting sports. George was on the Canadian National Pistol Team and, for 8 years, owned the largest gun range in Toronto. Retiring from fine jewelry, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. George continued to dabble in firearms. Dabbling for Koumbis led to Shooters Depot, a well-known dealer in Class III and the manufacturer of the world’s finest suppressors. George’s challenges were to build a suppressor that did not touch the barrel and did not change the point of impact. He succeeded on both counts.
ARIES uses a special carbon fiber tube for both the outer shell of the suppressor and the barrel shell. Yes, that is carbon fiber. Stronger than steel, 80 times stronger than stainless steel, and 40 times stronger than titanium. Carbon fiber also dissipates heat quicker than metal. Like most materials, carbon fiber absorbs heat. But, unlike metal, the carbon fiber does not retain the heat. During normal shooting conditions where an all-metal suppressor could burn, an ARIES can be handled with bare hands since it rapidly dissipates heat.
The RRA/ARIES was evaluated in both suppressed and unsuppressed mode. Lapua ammunition, the standard for suppressed ammunition, and Federal Match, renowned for its accuracy, was used.
An ARIES is noticeably lighter than even an all aluminum job. Where metal components are attached to carbon fiber, Shooter’s Depot uses both threading and epoxy. This carbon fiber tube uses a specially formulated resin that can withstand temperatures of up to 750° Fahrenheit.
There are three principal components to the ARIES. These are the baffle stack, the suppressor outer and the barrel shell. Starting with the barrel shell, a carbon fiber tube is fitted over the barrel from 2 inches past the muzzle to the front of the receiver. This tube will later form a large expansions chamber. The tube is threaded onto a collar that is fitted to the weapon for this purpose. At the muzzle is a steel fitting that has internal threads to accept the suppressor unit. However, the heart of the ARIES system are four unique coaxial fingers that touch the outside of the barrel or flash hider. The fingers secure the barrel shell in alignment with the barrel. When the suppressor is screwed into this fitting, it is also aligned with the barrel. The ARIES suppressor’s finger design means that no modification to the muzzle of the rifle is required.
The barrel shell starts sound suppression in that the initial blast from the muzzle occurs inside the tube where the hot gases are contained and allowed to cool. Cooling gases is one method to reduce the sound. The fingers of the barrel shell also achieve the goal of preventing the suppressor from touching the barrel. When the suppressor unit is screwed on, it is 2 inches in front of the muzzle. The expansions of the gases already started in the barrel tube then proceed into the baffle stack.
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