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Old July 16, 2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Shooting a silencer wet

Today I went and shot my friend's silencer, wet three ways.

I must admit that I hated it.

First, if you shoot it with water, you have to keep it initially a bit tilted so that the water doesn't all fall out. This to me seems a bit dangerous, as the idea of tilting a barrel is a bit dangerous.

I then shot it with gel. I used some cheap hair gel from Walmart. Big bottle for $1.99. This made a huge mess. And the splatter made the gun eventually sticky. Maybe would have performed better with silencer gel.

Then we shot it with some oil. This is absolutely the worst! It's very messy.

The enhanced performance was almost negligible. Maybe, maybe 2-5 decibels quieter, in my educated guess.

Does anyone prefer shooting a wet silencer? I found it a terrible experience.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:09 PM   #2
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I think shooting wet sucks too.
How much water are you putting in that can? When I wet a can (22lr, 9mm) I would attach it to the barrel with action open, dunk it in a cup of water then shake the water out. The baffles in front are still wet after a few mags.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:28 PM   #3
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I didn't know that having a little bit of water would be sufficient. We had a little bottle that had a little cone shaped head, and we would squirt the water inside. We didn't dunk it.

My friend was amenable to shooting it wet bc the silencer came with a gun that he bought (for which he had to pay a separate stamp, btw, but that was the only way the seller would sell the gun). He didn't really want it, so he didn't care if it was damaged. He said shooting a silencer wet will shorten the life span of a silencer.

I would think that dunking a silencer in water would damage the silencer, in the long run. The reason being that the silencer becomes really hot when you shoot it. By then dunking it in water, you aren't causing it to cool really quickly? Do it enough times, and wouldn't the metal become brittle, or at least weaken?
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Old July 16, 2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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When shooting a can wet you don't use much liquid; a small capful is plenty. Or just pour some water in it and then shake it out. You don't want enough water in there that it's sloshing around.

Some cans are noticeably quieter shot wet, and with some it barely makes a difference. And shooting a can dry can already be messy with the extra back pressure and carbon and condensation, so shooting wet will make it a little more messy (or a lot more messy if you use WAY too much water like the OP and his friend did )

The messiness is affected mostly by what host you're using. For example: For some reason the 9mm PPQ shoots a little bit of condensation and carbon right in my face when shot with a dry suppressor; and when wet it's a little bit worse. But with most hosts you'll only get your hands a little dirty.

Also, you shouldn't shoot a center-fire rifle can wet; if you get water in it make sure to shake it all out before using. Supposedly that's due to the extra pressure produced by the water and it can cause the suppressor to be over-pressured. But a buddy of mine pointed out that it's more an issue with the rifle gas system; on a DI AR-15 the water being blown into the gas tube from the extra back-pressure of the suppressor can cause the gas tube to rupture. I'll take his word for it; I have no interest in testing it myself.

And as hot as a centerfire rifle can gets, I would NEVER dunk it in water after shooting it. But a pistol can doesn't get anywhere near as hot, so it's not as much of an issue. Even then, I would never put more than a capful of water into a hot pistol can.
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Old July 16, 2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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This is so interesting.

Thanks for all the info.

Yes, now it seems we used wayyyyyyy too much water, gel, and oil.

With the gel, we were opening the back end and literally coating the baffles with gel, since the gel was gelatinous and globbed together. And yes, we would get a gob full of gel blowback. Since we were using hair gel, which we were told was ok to use, combined with our sweat and heat, after a while, we were a sticky mess.

I'm not sure which was worse. Being sticky and sweaty from the gel or being greasy from the oil.

I'm curious. Next time I'll shoot it with just a little bit of moisture and see what happens (I was wondering why we didn't hear much of a difference). Maybe using too much wetness decreased performance because it caused the sound waves to circumvent the baffles. I don't know. I will see if we see a bigger difference next time.

Today, I learned something new again.

Many thanks.
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Old July 17, 2013, 02:50 AM   #6
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Try using thicker oil and don't use so much. It shouldn't be so messy.
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Old July 17, 2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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The best stuff to use is cheap hand sanitizer. It is mostly alcohol, but in gel form (it will not combust) which stays in place and doesn't get all over everything. It's not sticky, and mostly just evaporates with little to no residue.
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Old July 17, 2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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My AWC Thunder-Trap (45-70)is much quieter when wet. I usually dunk it in water then shake it out. The water usually lasts about 10-15 shots.
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Old July 17, 2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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When I shoot my SilencerCo SS Sparrow on a pistol, I use a nasal spray bottle filled with water. One simple spritz in the front opening of the suppressor is all it takes to quiet the FRP. I tried wetting it with water from the sink, and shaking out the excess, but the nasal spray bottle is just as effective in eliminating the FRP, and it uses very little water. Either way works, but the nasal spray bottle is better IMHO.
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Old July 18, 2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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If the silencer is kept wet, then it should not exceed 212 F. Wet it down every few mags and it stays cool. It also collects much more gunk and spits back into the face of the shooter. A combination of high temp gases and water will also corrode aluminum and mild steel faster.

I no longer shoot any silencers wet.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:50 PM   #11
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Depends on design

I learned how to build my own silencers as far back as my tours in Viet Nam, many had wet silencers/suppressors/can/word of the generation. I always preferred a dry can using steel wool, rubber and galvanized washers to make chambers for the gas to push through tennis balls in a simple metal cylinder. Once we got the length and circumference the issue came down to mounting.

Course I did not need a tax stamp to produce them.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:59 AM   #12
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I have three "wet" cans, and they are all specialty type, for tactical use. For all day use, you can use a larger suppressor with a piston or Nielson device as would be needed to operate on a most guns. I have an AAC Evo-9 that can be wet or dry, but it still more efficient wet. My tactical cans are AAC's a Spider II and Scorpion. They are smaller, lighter, and only one inch in diameter, designed to be shot wet, and function on all guns used without a boosting device. The downside is diminishing suppression: as the liquid is blown out, they get louder (usually after 4-5 shots). For plinkers, this is unacceptable. For serious use, 4-5 shots is probably plenty, or making noise at that point (a full blown gunfight?) is moot. For taking the blast out of a shot indoors, etc, the small wet cans are fine. I love these small cans, and do not mind reloading them (I use a light application of thick lithium grease, applied with a synthetic bore brush a size or two larger than the bore of the suppressor). These older AAC cans do not require disassembly, and are dirt simple; just soak with 409 cleaner after use, and blow it out with an airhose. All the cleaning you need. .......... [IMG][/IMG]
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