The first time I heard the name Phantom, I assumed like many of you probably did that the name implied a ghostly illusion of anonymity while shooting. Having shot quite a bit of suppressed rifle-fire over the years, and having heard other’s shots from various angles and distances gives the name more credence in my mind.
The latest suppressor to join my NFAmily is the Phantom 22 suppressor from Yankee Hill Machine, and another Phantom it surely is.
The Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22
The aggressive suppressor market is doing an outstanding job of giving end users the great gift of choice, and the Phantom 22 is an excellent example of giving customers what they want.
The Phantom 22 is constructed of both aluminum and stainless steel, the outer tube being made of aluminum and the baffles themselves being machined from stainless steel. The attachment to the host utilizes a stainless steel threaded insert as well for robust mounting and durability. The suppressor uses a threaded end-cap at the muzzle, and the main tube is comprised of two sections that thread together just ahead of the blast chamber. Inside the main-tube is the baffle stack, with indexing tabs to keep them all aligned in the same orientation. The blast chamber also has a stainless steel liner that slips into place at the back of the baffle stack. The short section of the main tube at the rear features all the serial numbers and identifying marks.
The Phantom 22 weighs in at a miniscule four ounces, which is a good two ounces lighter than most twenty-two suppressors on the market. The diameter of 1.1 inches and only five and a half inches long make it not only light but less intrusive into your shooting. The suppressor is rated at 114 decibels (which I assume was with a 22Lr), because the suppressor is also rated for 22 magnum, 17 HMR, and even 5.7×28.
All this at a street price not far from three-hundred dollars makes the Phantom 22 a great option for those looking to get quiet in the rimfire game.
Opening the box
I managed to get my hands on one of the very first production model Phantoms, with a single digit serial number I knew it was at the head of the line. I couldn’t believe how light it was as I lifted it from the box, before I even got it opened I was worried I had been shipped an empty box. But there it was, the beautifully anodized little tube I had been anticipating for some time. After admiring the exterior of the suppressor for a moment I decided to get right into the guts of what makes it so light. The front and rear tube sections are undone by hand without tools, the compression and friction of the assembly keep it quite snug.
Upon removing the rear section of the tube I noticed that the breach of the suppressor has an embossed tool as part of it to be used in loosening the end cap which I also threaded carefully out. The smooth stack of baffles slid smoothly out the front, making one of those soothing metallic slipping sounds. I took a couple of them off the stack, to see exactly how it was that they went together. And at the back of the stack was the blast chamber sleeve.
Basically the liner and stack of baffles contain the entirety of the gasses and rimfire debris, the outer tube is simply there to align and hold it together. It was immediately apparent that the idea was to keep all carbon and lead buildup contained inside the blast chamber sleeve. This would keep buildup from locking the assembly together as carbon builds up, which it of course it will, at an impressive rate. So even if you shoot thousands of rounds through this can, and stack the crud deep into it, you will still be able to disassemble it for cleaning.
Another feature that quickly manifest to me was the location of the legal markings, they were all part of the short portion of the main tube at the breach end. This made a lot of sense to me, in the unfortunate event that the can should come loose under fire, and you suffered the dreaded baffle strike, it would be very unlikely to damage the serialized part of the can. This would make repair or part replacement very easy, with something like 85% of the suppressor being easily swapped out for a new part.
Head for the hills!
I couldn’t wait to get the Phantom mounted on a rifle and outside, but it’s first host actually turned out being my Taurus TX 22 pistol. I had shot thousands of rounds through my two TX pistols with various suppressors so I figured it would be a great place to start my comparison. I installed the 1/2-28 thread collar on my pistol, an threaded up the Phantom onto it. Two ounces doesn’t seem like much, but it sure seemed like I could feel a difference between the Phantom and the Dear Air Mask that had been on it last. And it was definitely a noticeable difference from the SiCo can that also frequented the muzzle of my TX’s. There are lighter suppressors sure, but who wants a suppressor that looks like anal beads?
I wasted no time burning through a paycheck’s worth of ammo, a couple mags later I needed to swing by the house to pick up more. Shooting the TX with the Phantom installed was similar to what I was used to, the increased backpressure caused by suppressors was noticeable. Particularly when dumping large quantities of ammo through the gun I could see and feel plenty of gas and debris in my vicinity. (Note: always wear the appropriate safety equipment when shooting)
I will say that with this pistol, you better be wearing glasses when shooting suppressed because you WILL feel stuff hitting you in the face.
I don’t recall how many rounds I’ve put through that pistol/can combination since, but it is no insignificant number. And yes there tends to build up carbon and other crud around the breach and ejection port of the pistol, but not so much as to deter me from keeping them married.
I’m more of a rifle guy than a pistol guy though, so I really wanted to see how it would do on a rifle.
The first rifle I was able to use with the Phantom was a Tikka T1X in 17 HMR, a very smooth little rifle you can read about here shortly. The rifle was fairly heavy for a rimfire, making recoil non-existent. The noise was still there though, the higher velocity of the 17HMR obviously creates quite a bit more racket than a 22Lr. But it was plenty quiet for my ears, shooting with the Phantom in the open country of the Rocky Mountains needed no hearing protection. The cold winter snow seemed to help soak up some of the sound as well. The Tikka saw no decrease in accuracy with the Phantom installed, which I expected to be the case.
Next I threaded the Phantom onto a Ruger RPR 22Lr to give it an additional workout. The Ruger shot outstanding with the Phantom installed, watching all my impacts one-hundred and fifty yards away was beautiful, and the icing on the cake was the thud sound every-time I pulled the trigger. I tried both super-sonic and sub-sonic ammunition through it and the results were outstanding. The anonymity that comes with shooting that quiet can certainly inspire the sensation of a Phantom presence.
Shooting long strings of fire barely heated the Phantom 22 up at all, though that could have something to do with the below freezing temperatures around here.
I’ve shot a few cans, but the other two rimfire cans I have are in the same competitive league as this one, so I think they are a great comparison.
I have to give the Phantom all high marks, it is just as if not quieter than my other cans. And the significant weight reduction cannot be ignored when compared to the others. And the price on the Phantom is hard to beat, if you can find one they are priced around $325 up to near the $400 mark.
The sound is outstanding, and the ease with which you can disassemble and clean this can makes it a perfect suppressor for just about any rimfire need.
As usual with YHM cans, this one is an obvious winner in my opinion, at least when compared to those that I’m familiar with. There may be better cans, there may be lighter cans or some other feature that outperforms this one. But I’ll have a hard time justifying to myself looking for a better one with this spectacular little suppressor in my stable, it is an absolute joy to shoot.