In the search for a very small and useful rifle, my brother put together a 300 Blackout pistol. Though a deeply committed rifle junkie, I’m not exactly a huge Blackout proponent but I can surely see what the appeal is. One thing I do know for sure, is that unless you are going to run it suppressed, you are leaving most of the Blackout’s magic on the table. That is where todays subject comes in, the Sandman K was selected to go with this little project, and today we’ll take a look at how it performed the task.
The name suggests a peaceful slumber, I interpret that to mean the Sandman at a minimum won’t cause a huge disturbing raucous. Which is exactly what the Blackout was meant to avoid.
The Sandman family of suppressors was meant to provide heavy duty service to shooters who prefer suppressed fire. Dead Air claims the Stellite and stainless construction are among the most durable materials used in the suppressor market today. The suppressor is five and a half inches long, and weighs in at just under thirteen ounces. The Sandman has a thirty-caliber bore rated for cartridges up to 300 Winchester Magnum, and it also has available end caps with 5.56 and 6.5 bores. The Sandman mounts to Dead Air’s QD nitrided muzzle devices, they boast single-hand installation and removal that is simple and fast. All this comes with a Cerakote finish for a handsome and durable service life.
Once the Blackout pistol had been finished, it was time to install the KeyMount muzzle brake. This was a little bit of a challenge because the barrel was recessed inside the handguard, and to be sure it stayed there a serious thread-locking plan was undertaken. The KeyMount design is easy to understand, but I have had a couple issues with it. It uses a three lug ratchet cap that aligns with the muzzle device, and once pushed all the way down to the seat you can twist the suppressor a couple times tightening up the entire assembly on a tapered shoulder.
I say problems, but really it was just a lack of training or getting used to the function of the Sandman. Getting the lugs lined up properly can take a few tries at first, much like a USB you have to try it the same way a couple times to get it right. Once the can is locked up though, it is solid as can be. The system is indeed quick, and strong which explains why so many have switched to it. One thing I did find, which I think can happen with many of these QD type suppressor mounts is they get quite tight to the mount at times. Particularly when whoever installed it did so with significant exertion, the suppressor can be a bit of a chore to break loose and even more so if it has been on the host for a significant period of shooting and time.
One of the great benefits of this system and again what has made it so popular and prolific is the ability to switch the suppressor between hosts quickly and easily. Having extra muzzle devices can give you a great many options for using the Sandman and others that utilize the same mounting system.
On the Range
Once the K-Man was mounted, we set to test firing the host, and adjusting the gas system for optimal operation. As you might expect from a can this small, there was a little more noise than I was used to for suppressed fire. I also noticed a fairly prominent first round pop, with an accompanying flash. Super-sonic shooting with the Sandman K was definitely louder than what I am used to, but again that is a normal and expected occurrence for a suppressor this short. K cans are typically used for different situations where maximum suppression is not the main goal of the suppressor. They are more just to take the edge off for shooting inside buildings or similar situations where massive muzzle blasts are particularly unwelcome.
Sub-sonic shooting on the other hand is much more tolerable, and the real reason the blackout shines. Sub-sonic ammunition doesn’t have the noise associated with bullets breaking the sound barrier, and the Sandman K does just enough to break up the noise produced by the muzzle-blast to make it very pleasant to shoot. And it does it while adding as little as possible to the length of the host firearm.
The Blackout and Sandman combo turned out to be a excellent pairing. Much better I think than had we run the K on a regular centerfire rifle such as a 308 or something similar. While it of course would provide some suppression, it would certainly not be hearing safe. To be fair very few suppressors are hearing “safe”, but my personal position is; I don’t collect stamps and pay money to continue using ear plugs. So for me the Sandman K is going to stick with subsonic hosts, or at a minimum with diminutive cartridges.
There are so many excellent suppressors on the market today, but some I feel are better for niche uses. Would I recommend the Sandman K for a first time suppressor purchaser? Absolutely not. The S or L model on the other hand would be an excellent choice.
But if you are knee deep in stamps and trusts, there’s nothing wrong with having a few dedicated cans for very specific purposes or hosts. For that purpose I think the Sandman K is a bulletproof option, it is neither the first and certainly wont be the last can purchased for a calculated purpose around here. As for the little Blackout, it does its thing real quiet now.