Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM R45 Multi-Host Suppressor. Last week we compared the YHM Turbo lineup with the YHM Fat Cat on 5.56 semiautomatic hosts. This week’s host is TFB senior staff writer Austin R. who has a very application-specific suppressor – the B&T MK23 suppressor. Let’s take a look.
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SILENCER SATURDAY #296: The B&T MK23 Suppressor
Just over a year ago, I was in Thun Switzerland sitting across from the B&T man himself, Karl Brügger. During the interview, he told me about the history of suppressors at B&T from its inception. During that interview he mentioned that HK wasn’t well represented I immediately asked a question and got the following response.
Austin R: Was one of these suppressors for the H&K roller locks produced during that time?
Karl Brügger: The suppressor was mainly for the MP5, and they started with the USP tactical at that time. And then they came to us with a Mark 23 request. They basically gave us the design of the recoil booster how it is today. I think they also gave that to Knights Armament, but they wanted to have a European supply for their cans, as the Americans had a hard time exporting that. So we made our own version of a Mark 23 can for HK with their recoil booster design, which we used also till today. But we had our baffle stack in front and our way of doing it.
Just over a year later, I have the B&T MK23 SOCOM suppressor in hand that’s very rarely seen on the U.S. market. Now there’s many ways to suppress an HK Mark23, but there’s some special engineering built into this suppressor.
To remove the piston you unscrew the collar at the rear, and that’s where things start to look different. There are three very important things going on here.
The suppressor’s round piston has been cut on one side, and the captive piston has flats cut out that have matching index points in the suppressor tube.
Now what does all this mean, and why would anyone want these notches, flats, or a captive suppressor spring? Well, this is all to control the point of impact (POI) shift that comes from adding a suppressor to a handgun (or other firearm). On a pistol where the piston isn’t captive, I can simply pull the suppressor away from the gun and turn it. The only problem is, if my gun was zeroed, it probably isn’t anymore.
The booster design is quite ingenious when you think about it. Let’s just think about the repeatability in regard to one of the Mark23s requirements. Accuracy. USSOCOM had an accuracy requirement for the H&K Mark23, it was required to shoot a 2-inch group at 25m (27 yards). Granted there a quite a few guns that can do that now, but this was a big suppressed pistol built in the 90’s
But I needed to see for myself and headed down to my local shooting range, Impact Guns, to put some rounds through this can and on paper.
I ended up being just one notch off from the factory. My first group was a little low to the left, so I adjusted one notch right, and the rounds started stacking up like they would if I were shooting it unsuppressed (don’t worry, I don’t do that).
Weighing in at 10.8oz (289 grams) and with an overall length of 7 7/8in (200mm) the MK23 suppressor from B&T is both lighter and shorter than I expected it to be.
While this isn’t “the original” design, I’m very happy B&T has continued to innovate and overhaul its legacy suppressor design. I’m not sure what Rev. 01 sounded like, but shooting Rev. 04 modern baffles sounded pretty good. While I absolutely love this suppressor there are a few things you need to know about it.
The threads are very short, and you only need to turn it 360 degrees three times to get it on and off. Yes, it’s a very cool operator-esque feature, but it also means that you have less surface area and therefore less surface tension. As a result, this can will want to walk off if you’re not re-tightening it after each magazine. Additionally, the captive piston acts as a small resonance chamber as that spring is under constant tension. The result is a semi-regular very low hum that quickly fades away after the shot has been fired.
Before I finished this article I had to reach out to Mr. Brügger and make sure there wasn’t anything I was missing. Here’s what I learned.
Austin R.- I noticed the suppressor was marked “Rev. 04”, so I take it you have made a few changes to the baffle design over the years? Also when you say the “recoil booster is made out of SS steel – the rest from alloy” what alloy are you referring to?
Karl Brügger: Yes, during the 25 years we produce the Impulse IIA some changes where implemented. Like the spacer is today part of the baffle itself. The earlier version had the baffle & spacer separately. The material of the housing changed from QPQ coated steel to Stainless steel.
Austin R.- Did HK have any special requirements for B&T when designing this European-specific suppressor? Firing schedules, accuracy, durability, performance wet, etc..
Karl Brügger: We did a torture test with 2 pistols in every caliber (USP9, USP40 and MK23) and shot 10’000 rounds through each.
Austin R.- I’m not sure if you can name any agencies that might have bought them, but if you could, our readers would love that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of documented MK23 use by countries that aren’t the United States.
Karl Brügger: Unfortunately most of the MK23 sales went to HK as OEM and they sold it to the End-Users – sorry
Austin R.- Lastly, what do you think this suppressor does best or makes it the best fit for the HK MK23?
Karl Brügger: Hard to say – the suppressor survived the 10’000 rounds without damaging the pistol or lowering their lifetime
Like Pete, I’m a full-blown B&T (and HK) fanboy, so I already had the MARK23 to match when I heard about this can. For those readers out there who will want to pick up one of these, they’ll be available very soon and will have an MSRP of $750. That’s all the details I have at this time. Thanks for reading Silencer Saturday, and thanks for letting me guest another one Pete.
Editor: Thank for for a great write up, Austin.
Have a great week. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.
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