View Full Version : 22lr Suppressor: clean or not?

February 15, 2011, 11:43 AM
I'm considering a Ruger 22/45 and suppressor. My local shop sells two different Gemtech suppressors, one is $300ish and can be taken apart for cleaning, the other is $150ish can can't be taken apart. I understand the need for cleaning, but Gemtech's website indicates this shouldn't be done or done often (via docs for their 22lr models).

1. Is this something that really needs to be done?
2. How often (number of rounds)?
3. Can sealed cans be cleaned "good enough" via soaking or compressed air?

I probably won't put much more than 500 rounds through one each year since I'll only use it when I'm shooting outdoors away from other shooters. Otherwise, I'll be wearing hearing protection and won't benefit from the suppressor to begin with. I don't mind spending the extra $150ish for the other can, but given my usage, it might not make sense.


February 15, 2011, 12:48 PM
I admit I'm kinda new to the suppressor game, but here's my $0.02.

.22LR is pretty dirty. Rather filthy, actually. So I'd rather have a can I can pull apart and de-gunk. I've heard that there's ways to clean sealed cans (my 5.56 is sealed), but I figured for the rimfire stuff, I'd rather have something I can brush out. I went with the YHM Mite- not the quietest one, but reasonably priced and it allows disassembly.

On these things, given the NFA hassle and expense of the tax stamp, I am of the mind that if you can swing the extra, you're better off buying the nicer can.

February 15, 2011, 08:27 PM
If I do not take my 22lr can apart every 200 rounds or so, it may never come apart and I will have to perform less effective means of cleaning with it assembled.

If you intend to use it alot and want it to last tens of thousands of rounds, get one that comes apart.


February 15, 2011, 08:40 PM
Take apart is the way to go. The Silencerco Sparrow has a very nice unit that takes down nice and clean. The tube that carries the serial number is protected by the design and has no threads that can become crossed, and virtually no ware on the tube itself. Smart design, considering if you have an issue with any wear part of the can, it can be replaced WITHOUT paying an extra transfer tax.

The stainless steel mono-core baffle is nice because you can soak it in peroxide to dissolve the lead that builds up on the baffles. Can't do that with aluminum.


Buy once, cry once....

February 16, 2011, 07:53 AM
I understand the logic of cleaning one, but in the face of this statement by Gem-Tech, I wonder if it is necessary. This is going to be a low volume device.

As a general rule (and contrary to popular opinion), suppressors have a longer life is no attempt is made at cleaning. There are no perfect solvents for the carbon deposited on the internal parts by the burning of the powder, and some carbon residues will slightly enhance performance.

This was straight from the manual for their Outback-II and is echoed in the manual for the Alpine.


February 16, 2011, 08:34 AM
Take apart is the way to go. 22 rimfire is very dirty. The market has swung clearly to the take-apart route because there is a definite need to clean any can that shoots lead bullets.

February 16, 2011, 11:24 AM
Rim-fire is a MUST clean suppressor. The performance degrades when the volume decreases. Its been proven time and time again. As well as centerfire pistol cans. John @ silencerresearch.com tested a used trident9 vs his used one and the difference is astonishing, from the build up of carbon on the baffles.

The only can you dont need to clean is a centerfire rifle can, the temps are very high and thus do a great job at keeping things tidy inside. Of course you need to keep carbon off of the quick attach mounts but the can baffles themselves are fine as is.

February 16, 2011, 07:07 PM
Here we go, found some pics over at silencertalk of crudded up rimfire cans

Poster claims this is lead buildup after 1k-1.5k of 22 rimfire.



There are some really nasty photos that show buildup after 5K of ammo, but I can't find them yet.

February 16, 2011, 08:59 PM
The only can you dont need to clean is a centerfire rifle can, the temps are very high and thus do a great job at keeping things tidy inside. Of course you need to keep carbon off of the quick attach mounts but the can baffles themselves are fine as is.

Cool, thanks for the info. I was wondering why so few centerfire rifle cans seemed to be made to be taken apart.

February 17, 2011, 12:08 AM
The dirtier they get the quieter they get. My only advice to you is this: If you get one to take apart and clean, you may want to consider going all stainless because some of the good cleaning solvents are hard on aluminum. Tactical innovations makes one called the Quest that is all stainless and comes apart for $399 and after much research and debate, this is the can I just ordered recently myself. Just my 2 cents.

February 17, 2011, 09:09 AM
www.22sparrow.com The new sparrow from silencerco is the only 22 can id buy right now if I intended to use it on a pistol and a rifle. Its THE easiest can to clean out there period. Its short, light, multicaliber stable, and quiet.

And the dirtier they get the LOUDER they get. Its been proven by metered data.

I recommend going to silencertalk.com and nfatalk.org and educate yourself.:)

February 17, 2011, 11:04 AM
I've heard that dirty silencers get louder, but I've never understood why. First, as nasty looking as that silencer is above, there just isn't that much "stuff" that you'd think could make it louder or quieter. I guess, if it starts clogging up the holes, that could make it louder, but that's not what that picture shows above.:confused:

February 17, 2011, 11:43 AM
The volume inside the can available to slow down the gas is reduced when it's dirty, and .22 cans don't have a lot of volume to start with. The dry particulate lead and carbon doesn't serve a useful sound deadening purpose such as the baffles or a wet medium would. That's why it gets louder when filthy.

FWIW, I went with a S/S takedown SWR Spectre for my first can.