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Old September 18, 2013, 04:58 PM   #1
Spats McGee
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Contemplating first suppressor purchase

Over the past few months, I have found myself itching to get a suppressor. I've done some internet research, and asked some of my friends for information. However, if I'm going to jump into a project that's going to cost me a few hundred bucks, plus the stamp, and I'll have to wait a while for the stamp to come in, etc . . . I want to be sure I've done my due diligence, and that I wind up with someting that I like. I hate buyer's remorse. I really, really do. Budget is a factor, but I'm not exactly sure what my budget is at this point. I'm just starting the research early (as I always do), and figuring that this is project that may just have to take a while, and be done in stages.

I'm also clever enough to know that if I'm getting all of my info from someone who has an stake in influencing my purchase, such as Advanced Armament's "Can U," then I need to double-check that information. I'm not knocking AdvArm, but they are in the business of selling suppressors. Accordingly, it's in their best interests to steer me towards AdvArm products. That may or may not be in my best interests, though.

I'm also clever enough to know my limits. I'm not an engineer. I'm not a metallurgist. I'm in no position to judge the quality of a suppressor design by myself. However, I'm sure that some of you smart fellers can explain to me why one design might be preferable to others.

So, with all of that said, here are my opening questions and comments:
1) Caliber -- I think I've settled on a .22LR suppressor. I've considered going with a variety of other calibers, but I think I'd get a whole lot more use out of a .22LR supressor that could be switched between a pistol and rifle than any other caliber. (Realistically, this would be a plinker more than anything.) Am I missing something here? How hard is it to move a suppressor from a pistol to a rifle? I'm what you might call "mechanically reclined," but that looks like a job even I could handle.

2) Host -- I own exactly zero guns with threaded barrels, so I need something to host the suppressor. As mentioned above, I'm thinking one pistol host and one rifle host. All of the Rugers that I've ever owned have run like champs, so I'm thinking maybe a Ruger 22/45 with the threaded barrel for the pistol. Unfortunately, the Ruger 10/22 doesn't have a model with a threaded barrel, so I'd have to either have the barrel threaded, or buy an aftermarket barrel. Both sound like they're going to make the project expensive in a pretty big hurry. I see that there's a bolt action Savage (Mark II FV-SR) that has a threaded barrel, but I'm not seeing many other threaded barrel options in rimfire rifles. Am I just overlooking some? I had a semi-auto rifle in mind, but with an MSRP of $260, that Savage looks pretty good. OTOH, I see some threaded barrels that will fit a 10/22 on gunbroker for ~$100-150.

3) Threads: I've been seeing stuff like "threads are 1/2 x 28." I take that to mean that threads are not standardized across barrels and suppressors? IOW, I have to be sure to match: (a) suppressor; (b) pistol; and (c) rifle . . . if I want to be able to move the suppressor around?

4) Wet vs. dry suppressors: I've just begun seeing some stuff about wet and dry suppressors. Running a wet one sounds like a huge, messy pain. Is there any real reason to even consider them?

5) Decibel ratings. I've seen sound reduction ratings ranging from ~18db to something like 42db. Is there any level below which I ought not to even bother looking?

6) Finally, the "can-o-worms" question: Are there any particular models or brands that: (a) are just so darned good that I just have to consider them? or (b) are just so bad that I should avoid them at all costs?

Thanks in advance for helping me out.
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Old September 18, 2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
How hard is it to move a suppressor from a pistol to a rifle?
It's a matter of unscrewing from one gun and screwing on to another.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the Ruger 10/22 doesn't have a model with a threaded barrel
They do occasionally make some. They have a "tactical" model with a flash suppressor with a 1/2x28 pitch.

Quote:
I take that to mean that threads are not standardized across barrels and suppressors?
With some guns and/or calibers, there's some confusion. However, 1/2x28 is the standard for every .22 I've seen.

In terms of wet vs. dry, it's hard to say. Some of the Gemtech cans I've shot are very efficient dry, while some of the older wet cans aren't so hot. The biggest difference seems to be in "first round pop," in which excess oxygen is burnt off with the first round fired through a can.

As far as decibel ratings, it's hard to say. There are so many variables of barrel length, powder, and velocity that the numbers are either a) taken from a specific gun and load, or b) an average.
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Old September 19, 2013, 04:28 AM   #3
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1) .22 will be the most fun gun to suppress by far. And due to the lead build-up it's usually not a good idea to run a larger-caliber can on a .22 (the SWR Octane is a notable exception).

2) The Ruger Mk III 22/45s with the threaded barrels are my favorite hosts, but it doesn't matter that much which pistol you use; with a .22 pistol, almost all ammo will be subsonic, even .22 Mini Mags, so they make great hosts. If you have a rifle then you're going to need subsonic ammo to keep the noise down. Ruger makes some tactical models with threaded barrels and even offers the Takedown with a threaded barrel now, but a lot of people buy aftermarket threaded barrels. The Tactical Solutions SBX barrel is a great way to screw on a suppressor without adding much extra length.

3) I've never seen a .22 suppressor that isn't threaded for 1/2x28 (yeah yeah, the Gemtech G5-22 doesn't count). There are a few .22 pistols with threaded barrels thinner than 1/2" thick (P22, SR22, M&P22), but it's easy to find an adapter to get them to fit the standard 1/2x28 thread pattern. Keep in mind that some .22 rifles have 1/2x28 threads that are too long (like the M&P-15 .22) and the suppressor either doesn't properly shoulder or it shoulders but the the crown is too close to the first baffle. If the suppressor doesn't shoulder properly it will be misaligned and you can get baffle strikes. And if the suppressor shoulders but the bullet exists the barrel too close to the first baffle, it can cause the bullet to be unstable and you could get baffle strikes. (I saw this happen with a Spectre II on a M&P 15 .22; the baffles on a Spectre 2 are asymmetrical, and the fact that the bullet exited too close to them cause it to keyhole in the target. Luckily there were no baffle strikes.) But this is all easy to fix with a $10 spacer like the one from Gemtech.

4) Almost all handgun suppressors these days are designed to be shot dry or wet (there are a few ones that are smaller and designed to be shot only wet, but they get really loud as they dry up and they're not popular at all). Older wet/dry handgun suppressors were much quieter wet but got a lot louder as they dried up. Newer designs are also really quiet when wet, but don't get much louder when they're shot dry, so most people don't bother with the hassle and mess of shooting them wet. Rimfire cans are already really quiet and really dirty, so most people don't shoot them wet. And it's not a good idea to shoot a center fire rifle can wet, there's too much pressure in both the can and in the rifle's gas tube.

5) I don't pay too much attention to decibel ratings, especially with .22 cans; first the host and the testing method can change a lot, and the actual tone matters a lot too. And also first round pop (FRP) matters a lot too; some great cans have a lot of FRP (the Sparrow comes to mind). That said, most good .22 cans these days provide about 40 dB reduction or more.

6) The current trend is to have .22 cans that are quiet but are also super-durable, are rated up to 5.7, and can be taken apart easily for cleaning. The SWR Spectre II and the Silencerco Sparrow are the two most popular, both have their pros and cons. I've shot them both and taken both apart when they were dirty and leaded up. These days more and more people are staying away from cans with aluminum baffles because of durability concerns and because some cleaning options are hard on aluminum, and they're also staying away from non-serviceable cans because they want to be able to take them apart to clean them.
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Old September 19, 2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both. I think I'm on the right track, given what you've posted. I did not realize that there is in fact a 10/22 model with a threaded barrel. I'm partial to Rugers, so that's looking like a good option, especially if I can set up a 10/22 (to which I'm particularly partial) and a 22/45 combination.

Now if I may bother you with a couple more questions:
1) First round pop -- This sounds self-explanatory, and perhaps it should be, but what exactly is it? First round ever through the suppressor? First round after cleaning? Is there ever a "second first round?"

2) "Rated up to 5.7" (Theohazard) -- 5.7 what? Given the decibel numbers, I don't think it's decibels, so what is it? 5.7 inches? Pounds? Never mind. Figured that one out.

Again, thanks in advance. You've been very helpful.
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Last edited by Spats McGee; September 19, 2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old September 19, 2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
1) First round pop -- This sounds self-explanatory, and perhaps it should be, but what exactly is it? First round ever through the suppressor? First round after cleaning? Is there ever a "second first round?"
The first round fired is somewhat louder than the next rounds. The quieter later rounds is due to there being less oxygen in the silencer chambers after the first round is fired. There is another "first round" after enough time has passed for the air in the can to reach equilibrium with the outside atmosphere.

There are adapters available for most all common handgun threadings to 1/2x28.
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Old September 19, 2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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The ruger SR22 is a fantastic pistol and it's host to my silencerco .22 sparrow suppressor. Really a fantastic host weapon and does a fine job on it's own as well. It's been said already but 1/2x28 is virtually the standard for .22 suppressors. There are a ton of aftermarket barrels for the 10/22 that will have those threads on them.

Be careful though, these things are like pringles. No one has just one

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Old September 19, 2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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I started out thinking my 22/45 LITE, and a 10/22, would be all I would need. I now have 14 pistols, and 3 rifles threaded for my SilencerCo SS Sparrow. Pay close attention to the Factory threaded 10/22. I have read that the threads are too long for most suppressors. .400 inch of thread is the standard. I have a Savage 64 TR-SR with a factory threaded barrel, and the thread length is .480- My Sparrow bottoms out before the suppressor reaches the shoulder. I had Jim Pixley make me a spacer, and now everything works as it should. Jim does an excellent job threading barrels. He also will do odd ball jobs, like my Beretta Neos, and Beretta Bobcat.

Jim Pixley JP Grips and Machine



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Old September 19, 2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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The GSG 1911-22 has a very convenient and well-executed threaded barrel standard, seems like it would be a perfect match for a suppressor.
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Old September 20, 2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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Thank you, one and all. Clearly, I still have more research to do, but you've all been very helpful.
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Old September 22, 2013, 08:47 AM   #10
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I have the GSG1911-22 and the Savage FV-SR and both are great host, the savage is crazy quiet with the SWR Spectre II. I believe all 22lr cans built today are user serviceable which is very important, it help extend the life of the can a long,long time.
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Old September 22, 2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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I would recommended you don't contemplate too much more. Sounds like you've already been mulling it around for a few months and you're going to have at least another 6 months after you finally make a purchase (add at least another 3 months to that if the one you want isn't in stock and has to be ordered by your dealer). You definitely want to make a good purchase, but the longer you wait, the more it will feel like an eternity before you actually get to use it.

For .22, just make sure it's user serviceable. From there, anything from the main manufacturers should do you well. I'd recommended stainless steel or titanium (if money's no object) just for durability/longevity. I bought my Spectre II a couple months ago and can't wait to be able to pick it up...
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Old September 22, 2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Are there any particular models or brands that: (a) are just so darned good that I just have to consider them?
SWR Spectre http://www.silencerco.com/?section=P...age=Spectre-ii

It is rated for full auto with .22 long rifle. It will handle a 5.7mm. I have the mk I version of this can. It is quiet and even with the older style baffle stack (like mine) it cleans up without to much trouble.

It is heavy being all stainless. There are titanium cans out there that are just as quiet and much lighter.
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Old September 22, 2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Spats, its not a ruger, but take a serious look at S/W ar-15 in 22 caliber.

Just a great plinking rifle - lots of fun. I put a gemtech on mine - works great!

But remember, you only get all the benefit of a suppressor if you have subsonic ammo. Like CCI Standard.
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Old September 22, 2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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Contemplating first suppressor purchase

A few words of advice. If you are set on .22 caliber then I'd buy a silencer capable of firing .223/556 NATO. It will suppress the .22 LR just as well only it will be built to handle the higher pressures of the center fire rifle rounds so you can use it for both. .22LR is good for LR and nothing else. The center fire one could be used for .204, .17HMR, etc. I'd actually recommend a Silencer Co device in .30 cal. That way you can pretty much run every common caliber you'd be likely to shoot through it. It will still make .22 cal rounds so quiet you hear the action of a semi operating over the round fired. One silencer purchase one tax stamp one time good for nearly everything the rest of your life and more(if in a trust).

I myself am a fan of Silencer Co products for their modular design and ease of cleaning. Additionally if and when you wear out the baffles you can just order more baffles, disassemble, replace baffles, and reassemble, for cheap. If you wear out the baffles on nearly any other one piece silencer it's pretty much a decoration and you need to buy another one which means tax stamp and wait allllllll over again.

Silencer Co tends to be less expensive than some up front as well. All around cost of ownership is definitely lower long term.
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Old September 22, 2013, 01:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
If you are set on .22 caliber then I'd buy a silencer capable of firing .223/556 NATO.
I would highly advise anyone to NOT do this.

Most center-fire rifle cans are sealed, meaning you can't take them apart: You don't need to clean a center-fire rifle can and they work better if they're sealed and can't be disassembled. The pressure is high enough that almost all the carbon fouling is blown right out of the can, and the thin layer that remains helps protect the baffles from heat and pressure and makes the can last longer, but this thin layer of carbon doesn't get too thick because of the huge amount of pressure going through the can with every shot.

But if you shoot .22 through it, lead and carbon will build up inside the can. The carbon can be removed by soaking the whole thing in solvent, but the lead is another story; it will be almost impossible to remove. Eventually it will get thick enough to affect performance and weigh down the can. This is why most people don't shoot .22 out of their rifle cans.

Just take apart a .22 can after only a few hundred rounds and see how much lead build-up there is. No way am I putting that lead in my rifle can with very little hope of ever getting it out.
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Old September 22, 2013, 02:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
I myself am a fan of Silencer Co products for their modular design and ease of cleaning.
Which Silencerco products are you taking about? The only Silencerco can designed to be taken apart and cleaned is their Sparrow, which is a .22 can. The Saker 5.56 has a modular mount design, but the internals can't be taken apart for cleaning and don't need to be anyway. SWR (which is now owned by Silencerco) has a few more cans that can be disassembled, but none are center-fire rifle cans.

EDIT: I just noticed that Silencerco finally absorbed SWR into their website and SWR's website now links to Silencercos's. This must be a fairly recent development. Even just about a month ago the Silencerco reps were talking about keeping SWR as a separate design philosophy; Silencerco was for unique and innovative designs, and SWR was for good, sturdy, more traditional designs. Interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
Additionally if and when you wear out the baffles you can just order more baffles, disassemble, replace baffles, and reassemble, for cheap.
This is completely incorrect: It is against federal law to have any extra baffles in your possession. You CANNOT order any extra baffles and if you found a way to get extras then you'd be breaking federal law. The ONLY way to have baffles replaced is to send the whole suppressor to the manufacturer, or to another properly licensed shop.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I want to keep anyone from following potentially illegal advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
If you wear out the baffles on nearly any other one piece silencer it's pretty much a decoration and you need to buy another one which means tax stamp and wait allllllll over again.
Whether the suppressor can be taken apart or not, if you ever wear out the baffles you have to send the whole thing in anyway. Most manufacturers can cut open or otherwise service their cans even if they're not designed to be disassembled by the customer.
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Old September 22, 2013, 02:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
I'd actually recommend a Silencer Co device in .30 cal.
I agree with buying a .30 caliber can for 5.56; it's much more versatile and just a bit bigger and louder. However, I would not recommend shooting .22 through it.

Also, Silencerco doesn't make a .30 caliber suppressor yet. They're almost certainly going to eventually offer their Saker in 7.62mm, but that's probably at least a year out or more. SWR (which is owned by Silencerco but still kept separate for the most part) just came out with their Specwar 7.62, which is a very durable can with a great mount that is actually included. It's also pretty cheap as suppressors like that go. But it is fairly long; I prefer a shorter can like the SDN-6 for use on a 16" barrel.

EDIT: I just noticed that Silencerco finally absorbed SWR into their website and SWR's website now links to Silencercos's. This must be a fairly recent development. Even just about a month ago the Silencerco reps were talking about keeping SWR as a separate design philosophy; Silencerco was for unique and innovative designs, and SWR was for good, sturdy, more traditional designs. Interesting.
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Old September 23, 2013, 02:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripnbst
.22LR is good for LR and nothing else.
What's great about the top .22 suppressors today is that most are good for a lot more calibers than just .22 LR. Many of the best and most popular ones are rated for .22 LR, .22 Magnum, .17 HMR and 5.7x28mm. Basically, with these suppressors you can shoot any caliber with a bullet diameter of .224 and smaller as long as it has the same or lower muzzle pressure as the most powerful cartridge it's rated for.
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Old September 25, 2013, 10:10 AM   #19
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Dave P: I've seen those, and heard good things about them. I may be partial to Rugers, but I try not to let brand loyalty close out other options, whether it be in guns, cars, computers, etc. I'll take a good look at the S&W. It's not like the name S&W has a bad reputation, either.

The Silencerco Sparrow and Spectre II both look really good and have been place on "The Short List."

Does anyone have any information about ARMTAC? http://thearmouryguns.com/rimfire.html Where possible, I like to buy locally, and this guy makes his suppressors in Arkansas. . .
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Old September 25, 2013, 10:42 PM   #20
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Suppressors aren't exactly rocket science, especially for lower pressure applications like a .22LR. Your local guy's is probably pretty compatible, really. Just make sure you can take it apart and clean it. Anything with similar db ratings will sound about the same. 3-5db won't be a big factor for the civilian user--heck probably not for a professional, either, in most cases. Also, compare his warranty, service policies, etc to the big brands, too.
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Old September 26, 2013, 04:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
Does anyone have any information about ARMTAC? http://thearmouryguns.com/rimfire.html Where possible, I like to buy locally, and this guy makes his suppressors in Arkansas. . .
I've never heard of that manufacturer, but I can tell you what stands out about their two .22 suppressors from what I read on their website:

The TC22:
-They only an claim an 18 dB noise reduction. Suppressor noise reductions vary based on different testing parameters (which is why I generally ignore them), but even a bad .22 suppressor in an unfavorable test can easily get a 30 decibel reduction or better, and a really good suppressor in a favorable test can get a 45 decibel reduction. Most good .22 suppressors these days get about a 40 dB reduction, so a claimed 18 dB reduction is terrible (and manufacturer claims tend to be high).
-The aluminum baffles aren't as durable as stainless steel and won't stand up to some of the harsh chemicals used to remove lead.
-Monocore baffle stacks tend to be easier to clean because they're all one piece, but they also tend to have more first round pop.

The FA22:
-A 28 dB reduction is better than the TC22, but it's still terrible compared to even outdated suppressors put out by other manufacturers.
-The baffles are stainless steel so they're much more durable than aluminum.
-But the baffles are still a monocore design, which tends to give more first round pop.
-And since this suppressor is sealed and can't be disassembled, the monocore design won't make it any easier to clean; it's still going to be extremely difficult to remove all the lead from inside the suppressor.
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Old September 26, 2013, 09:36 AM   #22
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Excellent points, TH. I like to buy local, other factors being equal. It frankly doesn't sound like other factors are equal. Looks like the price is the same, but the product may not be.
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Old September 26, 2013, 06:30 PM   #23
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All I am going to do is ask you to look at the Tactical Innovation Quest suppressor.

Its an all stainless steel screw on suppressor, that can be disassembled by the user for cleaning - for the .22 RF cartridge.

Just look at it, read about it and decide for yourself if this is right for you.

Personally I own two - I LIKE them THAT MUCH.

At $399 retail, I don't think you can find a better "can". Note - I am in no way affiliated with the company, just a very satisfied user.

http://www.tacticalinc.com/omega-sta...sor-p-552.html

Lastly - whatever you do, do not get a "sealed" suppressor. In my opinion they are a waste of money. With the one caveat being - unless you don't plan on shooting it often. Trust me when I say you want a suppressor that can be user disassembled for cleaning.


Regards,

Rob

Here's what a Quest looks like on a parkerized shortened Ruger MK II Target pistol.



And here is the Quest on a semi-custom Ruger 10/22 rifle.

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Old September 26, 2013, 07:35 PM   #24
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That one does look like it would do the trick, Rob62! I'll add it to the list.

From what I've seen so far, I think you're absolutely right on sealed suppressors for .22LR. User-serviceable looks like the way to go.
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Old September 27, 2013, 10:05 AM   #25
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Spats, this is after a few .22 full auto runs though my AAC Prodigy. I had to use the special take apart tool and put it in a vice to get it apart due to the build up User serviceable is definitely the ticket on a .22 can. All of the pieces on the bench are lead foulings that fell out when I opened it, and while not very visible the core is caked with the same crud.



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