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Old February 9, 2002, 03:48 PM   #1
DW Altom
Join Date: June 5, 1999
Posts: 24
Suppressor info, suggestions

I have a registered .22 rimfire suppressor of a simple Maxim design that we put together, geez, some 15 years ago. It's held up okay with about 2k rounds, some through a 10/22 and some through a High Standard Sport King. Lot of fun, practical and a good teaching tool for young shooters and folks who never get to see this kinda thing up close (re: "not on TV").

Building my tube was an exercise in absurdity and frustration, but still worthwhile. I personally find suppressors fascinating and think they should be mandatory issue with each firearm sold if for no other reason than good manners; you can shoot all day long and your neighbors -- be they five feet or five blocks away -- can't complain about all that ruckus you're raisin'.

Anyway, I'm getting the itch again and want to add a centerfire tube to my collection. Given that my purpose is 1) target shooting/plinking, 2) pest control/hunting and 3) experimentation here are the options I'm looking at purchasing (and not building!):

9MM -- Most common, economical choice. Either put this on a Glock (my preferred 9mm) or most likely a Beretta 92 Vertec, being how most tubes are supposedly designed to work on 92s without "recoil inducers" or similar such gadgets. Cheap to shoot, large variety of models of tubes to choose from. 147 grain subsonics can take out most of the critters I anticipate shooting in these parts.

45 ACP -- What can I say? The caliber speaks for itself, especially the "wow factor" with the tube. I'd much prefer a 45, but what platform to mount it on? 1911s require recoil inducers, the SOCOM isn't to my taste (or pocketbook), and the Glock as a suppressor platform is an unknown. There is always the HK USP tactical, I suppose, but that injects another shooting style into the equation and I'm just getting good with the Glock and 1911.

Does anyone have any recommendations, warnings or caveats? My ideal tube would fire from a reliable and practical .45 semi-auto handgun as the main platform, and then screw onto a second platform in the form of either a .45/.44 bolt action carbine or a Thompson/Center pistol. I like the Advanced Armament .45 tubes quite a bit. Their literature says recoil enhancers are not necessary, allowing use of a Glock, SIG or 1911 handgun. Neat. They're not too wide, so sights wouldn't be a problem, either. Prices are pretty decent, too.

One of these would be cool on a bolt/single shot .45 platform as well for ultimate quiet plinking and hunting.

Still, I'd like some feedback from users, either fun or real world. Anybody care to share? If I go .45 I'm thinking maybe SIG or Glock. Any comments?

Bottom line: Does anyone have any experience in this area and mind sharing the "does and don'ts" they've accumulated. There's not much info out there except what the manufacturers put out, and I'd like some feedback from real shooters.

DW Altom is offline  
Old February 10, 2002, 03:49 PM   #2
Join Date: June 3, 2000
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 81
DW Altom,

I too am looking for information on suppressors and agree that there is surprisingly little information available. I wish that I could offer answers to your questions, but my only experience with them to date is completing the Form 4 and waiting for news of BATF approval for a transfer.

I'd like to add another question to the one's you've posed. What is "first round pop"? I've read people's mention of it, but the reference is lost on me. Some suppressor manufacturers claim their cans do not present this (presumably undesirable) phenomenon. What causes it, and is it a feature of both rimfire and centerfire suppressors, in wet and dry cans?

By the way, Altom, I enjoyed your description of your experiment in making a can. It sounds like it was a real project.
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Old February 10, 2002, 06:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: November 9, 1999
Location: Tempe, AZ
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I'll try to help


First Round Pop (FRP) is a phenomenon common to almost all suppressors. The first shot fired through a suppressor (assuming it hasn't been fired in a while) is louder (but not always) than subsequent shots. The reason? Before the first shot, the can is full of oxygen. When you fire that first shot, the flash and combustion gasses of that shot consume the oxygen present in the can, making the suppressed shot louder and the flash coming out of the can brighter (than if the can was devoid of oxygen before the shot). The following shots will be quieter because there is less oxygen after the first shot. There are various ways to sidestep this issue (artificial medium [water or grease], blast of CO2 spray into the can prior to the shot, etc).


The AAC can would be a smart way to go. If I were to pick a can to go with, it would be the 9mm Omega GSG-9 can made by SWR Tactical. Given your parameters, I would go with a HK Tactical .45 and some sort of single shot or bolt .45acp or .45Colt (if the bullet passage of the can allows enough room). If you don't like recoil boosters (Nielsen devices), then you can forget using a Glock or 1911. Seriously, go with the HK Tactical. It is a dang fine weapon.
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Old February 10, 2002, 11:14 PM   #4
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Get ready for some noise when you start using centerfire rounds with a suppressor. The slide action on a gun is fairly loud. I still wear hearing protection when firing my suppressed weapons, especially indoors.

Both 9mm and .45 ACP have excellent suppressed models available, although I think the .45 would be the better way to go. If you are looking for real quiet shooting, look for a gun that has a slide lock (single shot).
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Old February 15, 2002, 12:00 AM   #5
DW Altom
Join Date: June 5, 1999
Posts: 24
Aw, hell, I dunno what to get ... I been looking at all sorts of options, found all sorts of great gear ... and have even MORE questions!!!


So many choices, so little money ... <sigh> You'd think a guy that read about this cr*p as much as I do could figger out which way to go.

I may just take the coward's way out and KISS it. If I go with a 9mm can on a Beretta 92/M9 I can keep the cost of basic package down and still have room to expand versatility. I've never been a fan of the 92/M9 due to ergonomics, but the Vertex looks and feels pretty good. 1911-style grip, dovetailed sights and light mount. Should be a decent platform for a suppressor.

FUN FACTOR: I just realized that the Beretta barrel is a direct decendant of the Walther P-38. Now that would be a hoot, a P-38 rigged to fit a silencer! Shades of "Man from U.N.C.L.E" and "I Spy"!!! Also, for even quieter auto use, the 9mm tube would fit either a Makarov or a Walther or SIG P230. All this in addition to a .38/.357 Thompson/Center barrel.

A fascinating site with suppressor info is ... Mark White, proprietor, gives all sorts of insight into what works, what doesn't, how and why. Most websites merely list their product and do not educate the buyer. I also read an interview with White in an old copy of Small Arms Review. Good stuff!

FWIW, my .22 tube is constructed from (don't laugh too loud) a Maglite 5-cell C cell tube cut off just shy of the button. An aluminum endcap was knurled and fashioned to press fit at the cut end and lock in with Allen screws. The original butt cap is the muzzle endcap. Twelve aluminum baffles were fitted with .5" to 1" spacers; .25" holes were drilled in the muzzle cap and baffles. Serial number is stamped on the unknurled portion of the tube. Overall length is 8.5", diameter 1.25. Bigger than store-bought, but fun (and a pain!) to build.

In spite of the turn of the century design (19th century, that is), my li'l Maxim tube has proven durable and fairly effective. Lacking scientific measuring equipment (I spent all my monies on barrels, threading, scopes and beer) its performance has brought plenty of smiles to my skeptical cohorts. On a 16" standard barrelled 10/22 RWS subsonic ammo produces an audible "click-clack" of the action, a slight hiss, and the "smack" of the round on plywood downrange. RWS induces malfunctions, however, due to excess wax. Yechh!

The action does not function at all with CCI CB longs, producing instead a "click" (hammer strike) and "smack" (round striking plywood) that is quite satisfying. Your desk stapler is no doubt louder.

Standard ammo, of course, produces a supersonic crack which nullifies the purpose of the project.

My new favorite round is the Aguila 60-grain "Subsonic Sniper" round. Reliable (no wax!), but smells awful. With the Aguila the High Standard pistol (4" barrel) sounds like an air hose under pressure. A few table spoons of water dampen the sound (pun most definitely intended) to a loud sneeze.

Understand that these impressions were at the range where observers quieted down with each firing with the intention of listening. In the woods or in urban environments firing with the suppressor goes unnoticed; foilage softens sounds and street noises overwhelm them.

While accuracy with the rifle is not effected by the tube, point of impact is. Thus the scope -- a Beeman 1.5-4x airgun scope -- is sighted in for suppressor use. I get sub-1" groups at 25 yards, meaning that I'm as bad a shot with the tube as I am without it. I'm convinced the gun has a crappy trigger ... I know, excuses, excuses. My bull barrel 10/22 gets same hole groups at that range, so it's not just me. (Yeah, right.) I'd like to thread a bull barrel and put a tactical stock on the rifle.

My next step would be to fit decent sights on my High Standard (maybe even install a Weaver base for a scope) and refinish both the tube and gun with a gray moly coating for that "OSS" look.

Well, that's my little .22 project. I can't wait to put some money down on a centerfire tube!
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Old February 15, 2002, 05:24 PM   #6
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First Round POP:

I always thought it was more of a function of air temperature in the can, than amount of O2. Since air is only around 20% O2 to begin with, there isn't much O2 in there anyway.
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Old February 15, 2002, 09:14 PM   #7
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Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Eastern, PA, USA
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I have one based on the Dr Phil Dater SG-9 and the BR Truote Reflex designs. A compilation of both. Ease of mountability is what you really need. Can make to mount on ANY gun that you can get a thread on and some that youcant thread. Can discuss some of the particul;ars if you wisdh . Have not had the time to draw the whole thing up. Only drawback would be in having someone else produce it for you. Probably would cost around $1500 if paying standard shop charges. Also have the CNC programming tapes. Would have to talk about that though. Would need to pay off my machinist to pry those from his hands. However could discuss the process and some dos and donts if you wish. Nite all.
An X is still an X with a Quarter Inch group at 100 yards
With a Quarter Inch Group on the keyboard an X could be - Z,S,D, or C.
I am a quarter inch typist - Please excuse the errors!
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Old February 15, 2002, 09:16 PM   #8
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Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Eastern, PA, USA
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BTW first round pop is a function of the O2 in the tube burning and alsoa functionof the bullet passing through a really tight exit hole. Easiest way to solve that is to make the end cap inthe largest possible bore for the largest gun you have and then a hair bigger. A hair being around .025
An X is still an X with a Quarter Inch group at 100 yards
With a Quarter Inch Group on the keyboard an X could be - Z,S,D, or C.
I am a quarter inch typist - Please excuse the errors!
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