Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM Turbo T3 5.56 rifle suppressor. Last week we listed off ten of the top suppressor myths floating this series of tubes we call the internet. This week we take a look at the characteristics of suppressor ready guns and what makes them plug-and-play. Should you buy a firearm ready to suppress or is it easier to just modify a standard model? Let’s take a look.
It’s rained three out of the last four weekends here which makes for poor silencer testing. I hope to get back out on the range soon with a few new cans.
Above: Ruger American Ranch (5.56×45), MDT LSS-XL Chassis, YHM Turbo T3.
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SILENCER SATURDAY #283: Buying Suppressor Ready Guns
If you could graph the number of new firearms sold by manufacturers, the number of models that ship with threaded barrels would plot a steep incline since the turn of the century. In 2023, we take for granted that our favorite guns come with precision threads that can provide a solid base for a direct thread suppressor or a muzzle device for a mounting system. But there are other characteristics that are important, especially for shooters who are new to the silencer/NFA world.
What Is ‘Suppressor Ready’?
It goes without saying, but there are many firearm modifications that require the services of a trained and competent gunsmith. For example, even though swapping a barrel on an AR-15 can be done with basic hand tools and some online research, it should be completed by a gunsmith. Altering firearms without the proper tools and training can have deadly consequences; please know your limitations. Also know your local, state, and federal laws before buying or modifying firearms. Especially those that involve the National Firearms Act (NFA). If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have these laws, but we do, and you should know the boundaries.
As we discussed above, offering firearms from the factory with threaded barrels has become more and more popular over the years. In the past, some firearms came with course threads that were meant only to mount flash hiders, muzzle brakes, or compensators. Some of the biggest offenders were combloc import guns and kits that included barrels made by people and machines that never considered the need to mount a suppressor. Today, most barrels come with fine concentric threading which are suitable for mounting suppressors. If you stick to the major manufacturers and read the owners manuals, you won’t have any issues.
The recent changes to the pistol stabilizing brace rules have some deep (un)intended consequences that indirectly affect silencer owners. The quietest suppressed firearms shoot subsonic ammunition and many of those firearms take advantage of shorter barrels to reduce bullet velocity and eliminate unneeded barrel length. With firearms laws regulating rifle barrels under 16″ in length, the category of braced firearms with short barrels are now all but eliminated unless you opt for no stock/brace at all. Most of us are forced back into 16″ barrels with the option to apply for an ATF Form 1 for a short barreled rifle at a later date. However, a suppressor ready firearm with a stock and a short barrel will require an ATF Form 4 transfer application which means that buyers can’t take home their new gun until many months later.
The diameter of the suppressor and the corresponding center boreline means that many silencers today will block iron sights of host firearms, especially on pistols. Many of us are comfortable using the ‘shooting through the can’ technique that relies on a correct sight picture and aiming with both eyes open. The result are aligned sights overlaying the target. An alternative setup is taller suppressor-height sights that raise the sight picture over the diameter of the silencer. And another option is using a red dot or optic that elevates the aiming system over the height of the suppressor.
If you are planning on shooting very heavy bullets to reduce velocity to subsonic levels, the rate of twist of the barrel can become important. A heavier bullet usually means a longer bullet, which requires a higher rate of twist for stabilization. It’s a good idea to identify the ammo you are planning to use and pick the rate of twist required for proper stabilization.
Semiautomatic firearms with certain suppressors can create gas blowback that can be uncomfortable or affect the operation of the firearm. As a way of addressing gas blowback, some manufacturers are including adjustable gas systems on suppressor ready firearms.
And if your suppressor is part of your overall signature reduction plan, your host firearms should include a means to attach lasers, illuminators, or other night vision equipment.
Know Your Mission
I’m sure you all are sick of hearing me say this by now, but it is important to understand your needs and buy the suppressor ready firearm that meets those needs, instead of just buying the most advertised platforms. In truth, there are many suppressor ready guns on the market, even if they aren’t labeled specially as “suppressor ready”.
My suggestions for you today are just a small sampling of those available, with a focus on overall noise reduction (an action/operating mechanism that maximizes the use of a suppressor), accuracy, ammunition availability, and pure enjoyment.
There are many guns that I wish were on this list. For example, my personal favorite pistol maker GLOCK does not have a suppressor ready model, even though I have been hand-writing letters to Mr. Glock for years. There are a few GLOCK distributor releases that include suppressor height sights.
Let’s take a look at the list.
Savage MARK II FV-SR
This Savage rifle won’t win any beauty contests, but it has been a fan favorite amongst precision rimfire shooters for many years. A bolt action rimfire with a threaded barrel means hours of inexpensive fun.
Ruger American Rimfire – .22LR
Ruger is known for legendary rimfire performance. I picked the Ruger American Rimfire over the classic 10/22 semiautomatic based on pure noise reduction capabilities.
Ruger MARK IV Tactical – .22LR
The Ruger MARK line of rimfire pistols has decades of respected service and now includes several versions with threaded barrels.
Ruger American Ranch – 300BLK
This is a fantastic rifle for the money. Every silencer aficionado should have a bolt action rifle chambered in 300BLK.
SIG Sauer MCX-SPEAR LT – 300BLK
When it comes to semiautomatic 300BLK hosts, the SIG MCX Virtus/MCX-SPEAR LT is still my favorite. Unfortunately, if you want a stock, you’ll need to submit an ATF Form 1. Thanks Bin Laden.
- Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.sigsauer.com/mcx-spear-lt-300-blk-9-pistol.html
- Caliber: 300 Blk
- Barrel Length: 9 In (228 Mm)
- Mag Type: Ar-15
- Twist Rate: 1:5
- Overall Length: 18.8 In (476.3 Mm)
- Overall Width: 2.9 In (73.7 Mm)
- Height: 7.5 In (190.5 Mm)
- Threads: 5/8 In – 24
- Operating System: Gas Piston
- Weight: 5.6 Lb (2.5 Kg)
- SKU: PMCX-300B-9B-LT
Beretta M9A4 – 9mm
Unlike its tilting barrel counterparts, the Beretta 92/M9A4 makes for optimal noise reduction. The newer A4 model includes an optic mounting system that helps with obtaining a clear sight picture.
- Manufacturer’s Page: https://www.beretta.com/en-us/m9a4-full-size/
- MSRP: $ 1499.00
- Model Name: M9A4 FDE Optics Bundle
- Action: Dbl/Sngl
- Barrel length: 5.1″
- Caliber: 9×19
- Magazine: 10 – 15 – 18
- Overall height: 5.4″
- Overall length: 8.7″
- Overall width: 1.5″
- SightRadius: 6.3″
- Weight unloaded: 33.4 oz
- Model Code: JM9A4G18CO
Heckler & Koch SP5 – 9mm
Again, no stock without the ATF’s blessing, but the semiautomatic version of the MP5 could be one of the best 9mm suppressor hosts ever invented. And it has the classic 80’s look and feel of an anti-terrorist toolkit.
- Manufacturer’s Page: https://hk-usa.com/hk-models/sp5/
- MSRP: $3,398
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 17.8 in.
- Height: 8.66 in.
- Barrel Length: 8.86 in.
- Weight (without magazine): 5.1 lb
- Magazine Weight Empty: 30 rd – 6.3 oz/10 rd – 3.5 oz
Henry Big Boy X – .44Mag
Whether you are hunting or plinking, shooting heavy .44 Magnum or .44 Special rounds with a silencer is a blast. Henry has gone a long way to bring the lever action rifle into the modern world and the X series of rifles doesn’t disappoint.
Let me hear about your favorite suppressor ready firearms in the comments below.
Have a great week. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.
SILENCER SHOP – HANSOHN BROTHERS – DEADEYE GUNS
ALL YHM PRODUCTS AT BROWNELLS
DEALERS: If you want your link to buy YHM suppressors included in future Silencer Saturday posts, email: [email protected]
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