Tag Archives: silencer

First Round Pop – Why The First Shot Is The Loudest Using A Suppressor

The whole reason you bought a suppressor was to get rid of the noise involved with shooting right? Today we are going to discuss one of the phenomenon that comes with suppressors, and one not everybody is familiar with. First Round pop (FRP) as it is most commonly known, is the additional sound that comes when the first shot of a string is fired from a suppressed firearm. But is it something you need to worry about?

What Causes FRP?

FRP is caused by the presence of unburned oxygen in the suppressor when a shot is fired. The available oxygen inside the suppressor is ignited by the burning gasses and pressure from the muzzle. Subsequent shots are typically less volatile due to the combustion of the oxygen during the first shot. As you continue to fire cartridges, the suppressor body is filled with burnt gas from previous shots, eliminating secondary combustion inside the suppressor. Obviously, if your shots are spaced out enough, the gasses can leave the suppressor and be replaced by fresh air, allowing the cycle to start anew.

What Effects FRP?

FRP varies between suppressor type, cartridges, velocity and other variables. A larger suppressor can house more oxygen, and higher pressure cartridges can cause additional pop volume. You could also experience additional pop from using a suppressor of a larger bore than necessary, as it allows faster ventilation of the suppressor body. The size of the cartridge and the powder charge inside it can also effect the significance of FRP.

Sub-sonic vs. Supersonic

Subsonic shooting is the apex of suppressed shooting, movie-quiet suppression is the goal with sub-sonic suppressed weapons. So as you might imagine, FRP is the adversary of sub-sonic shooters. Some folks even go as far as purging their suppressor with inert gasses prior to shooting to avoid it. Other things such as suppressor wipes can also help keep oxygen from entering the suppressor body and causing FRP.

Supersonic cartridges are already quite noisy, so it is less likely as big a concern for those shooters. Personally I don’t worry too much about it, and for the most part I rarely even notice.

Living with FRP

If your like me, you probably don’t worry much about a few extra decibels when you start a shot string. But if you are one of those who like to play sniper in the back 40 with raccoons or hogs, then you may go to extremes to avoid this pesky pop. Make sure you have the best suppressor for the host you intend to shoot with, some are much better matched to your host than others. The right suppressor can produce less FRP, and if you use some of the other practices to reduce it you can get some very unsuspicious results. There are suppressor gels that you can squirt into the suppressor prior to your first shot that will aid in suppressing FRP. You could also purge your can with inert gas before heading out, and cover the muzzle to keep it inert. You could also do something as simple as adding a touch of water to the inside of your suppressor prior to shooting to help keep down the FRP. Just make sure that whatever practice you use is approved by the suppressor manufacturer, this will help you avoid costly repairs and additional wasteful NFA taxes.

Final Pop

First round pop is simply a biproduct of suppressor design, it can be a problem if you are a CIA spook or suburban hunter. But in the end it is mostly a manageable problem for some, and very minor inconvenience for others. Fuss with it if you must, and enjoy the pleasant sound of silence when it seems least likely.

-CBM

Dead Air Sandman K

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 Sandman
The name suggests a peaceful slumber, I interpret that to mean the Sandman at a minimum wont 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.

Installation
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.

The Sandman and the Keymount brake

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 complete Sandman clan

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.

Conclusion
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.

-CBM

The Tiny Terror of the Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22

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-threads 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.

Score-Card

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.

The Phantom 22 next to the author’s Spectre II and Mask, both excellent company for comparison.

Conclusion
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.

-CBM

Yankee Hill Machine R9 :A great first or fifth suppressor

One of the biggest questions when buying a suppressor, is selecting one out of the hundreds of options. I’ve been through a bunch at this point in my life, so let me shed some light on the subject for you. What caliber? what configuration? And so many other questions you’ll be asking yourself. With so many options how can you pick one that is best for your purposes? The right answer is that there are always too many good choices to pick only one, but today we are going to look at the subject as a first time suppressor buyer, and a suppressor that might just cover all your bases.

The YHM R9 mounted direct on a Browning X-bolt 6 Creedmoor

Why the YHM R9?
What makes the YHM R9 a perfect can for an NFA Greenhorn? I’ll get right into it. Todays gun owners come from every walk of life, our modern world has given them overwhelming opportunities for firearms and accessories. That said, there’s a good chance that most firearm enthusiasts looking into a suppressor probably have an Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) of one kind or another. That rifle is probably chambered in the extremely popular 5.56, or one of the other calibers that are growing in popularity like 300blk, 6.5G, 6 ARC, etc.
The R9 from YHM is ideal for using with any of these calibers, it can suppress large frame cartridges too, like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester. It is rated to suppress pretty much anything under 308 Winchester really, even with limited amounts of full auto. But Wait! There’s more! The R9 is also a perfect fit for a 9mm pistol or carbine, it’s stainless construction is more than enough to retain pressures generated by the cartridge, and other 9mm rifle cartridges like the 350 Legend.

The way I see it, it is pretty damn likely that your apprentice level prospective suppressor purchaser would benefit greatly with an R9. One could swap it back and forth from various rifles, and install a booster and run it on their Glock as well.

The R9 is ideal for the Desert Tech MDRX and its assorted calibers

Adaptation
YHM is one of many manufacturers that has embraced the uniformity of threads. The threaded rear end of the R9 can be fitted with a direct thread cap (1/2-28 or 5/8-24), or it can fit a Nielsen booster assembly and run with one of various piston manufacturers. It doesn’t end there, it can also use YHM’s Phantom QD system, which allows rapid swapping of the suppressor from various YHM muzzle devices. Further still, the can uses the same threads as other major manufacturers like Dead Air and SilencerCo, so you could also install those devices. I have all three options for my R9, I have both thread caps that I use when shooting the R9 on my precision guns, and I also have the QD mount so I can swap it back and forth on my carbines as well. I run a Rugged suppressors piston inside my Nielson Booster assembly, which makes my Canik TP9 quiet and smooth as ever I could ask.
The R9 is only threaded on the breach end, the rest of it’s construction is solid baffles welded together making it simple and no non-sense. The provided tools allow the user to tighten down the various assorted mounting options, and perhaps more importantly disassemble them after being used.

Shooting with the YHM R9
The very first shots I fired through the R9 were with my pistol. It was the first mounting adaptor in my possession so I went straight to the range to try it out.
The R9 tamed all the sounds produced by my pistol, adding of course its due weight and a bit of added backpressure. But the heavier muzzle sure made the pistol smooth and even more controllable. Shooting the pistol in closed quarters was very tolerable, the sound reduction was everything I’d hoped for, and the function was flawless.

The R9 seen mounted direct on my SRS M2 6mm GT

Shortly thereafter I received the 5/8-24 direct thread adaptor, and the R9 went straight to my SRS M2 chambered in 6mm GT. It stayed there for quite some time, hundreds of rounds sent through the R9 from fifty to seventeen-hundred yards. The accuracy of the rifle was if anything enhanced by the presence of the R9, this is typical in my experience. Cartridges like the 6mm GT were easily suppressed by the R9, making precision even more pleasant.

The QD mount for the R9 is perfect for running the suppressor back and forth between rifles. I ran the Phantom flash hider on my 308 carbine threaded 5/8-24. and on my 5.56 chambered carbine I use the Phantom Turbo 556 muzzle brake. This made it easy to swap the R9 back and forth between the two rifles, both of which sounded great when suppressed with the R9. With the gas turned down a notch on both rifles, they functioned perfectly without gassing me out at the breach.

Carbines like this 350 Legend are a perfect host

First or Fifth?
Ya, I said first or fifth. The reason I put it that way is because even though I have a dozen or so cans at any given time, the R9 is still an excellent addition to my collection. It is very useful on better than half of my gun collection, and with an MSRP of only $494.00 it is pretty economical compared to many other cans.
I’m at a point in life where I seldom go places without a rifle, and much of the time I have two or three rifles. Having an additional suppressor that will fit most of my rifles makes it an easy choice for me.

Conclusion
If my positivity is hasn’t been obvious enough about my feelings about this little suppressor, let me make it clear; I think this is the perfect suppressor for a first time NFA victim. It has everything most people need, multi-caliber, adaptable, tough as nails, and all at a very reasonable price. If I had to say something about the R9 that I dislike, you’d really have to force it out of me. The only issue I’ve ever had was keeping the thread caps tight, this was almost certainly due to me not tightening them on using the supplied tools as I’m a lazy ass. But I wouldn’t put that at the feet of the boys over at YHM.

So there you have it, the R9 is nearly a flawless purchase in my opinion. Short from needing magnum capabilities or a bunch of machine guns you need to suppress, this is an excellent suppressor for your typical firearms consumer. Best get yourself one.

-CBM

QD Suppressors VS. Direct thread

We keep hitting on suppressors here on the blog, partially because we are suckers for suppressors, and also because everybody else is also joining the trend. Some trends are just trends, but the suppressor craze is one I can get behind fully. One of the big questions many new suppressor users ask, and one that often still perplexes those of us after decades is; should I get a direct thread can, or a brake mounted one? Hopefully by the time your done reading this, you’ll have a suitable answer. Continue Reading Here…

X2 Dev Group Orion X suppressor

Imagine being born before the age of manned flight, and then witnessing man walk on the moon. We live in an exciting age for sure, but even so there hasn’t been any earthshaking developments in the firearm industry for some time. But that doesn’t mean folks aren’t trying to innovate. Today’s subject is about one such product from a group of people with innovation on the mind, the Orion X suppressor from X2 Dev Group. But is the innovation all it’s hyped up to be?

The Orion X
The Orion X is a sound suppressor for centerfire rifles, it is a baffle-less design made from stainless steel, inconel, and aluminum. It is available in three calibers according to their website; 556, 6.5, and 7.62. Instead of the traditional baffle stack that reduces the speed of exiting gasses, the Orion X instead uses their Quantum Flo technology. The gasses that exit the muzzle are directed through a series of passageways that slow the gas down, while allowing the bullet to pass through to do it’s dirty work. The modular core of the Orion X is made of several pieces that amass inside the outer tube, the threaded end that attaches to the host is part of this core, and the outer tube with its threaded end-cap go around the core.

The disassembled Orion X (from manufacturer website)

First Impressions
When I first picked up the Orion X, the weight was the first thing I noticed. It wasn’t particularly heavy, and its light construction made it seem lighter in weight than it really is. I have lighter cans for 556, but this one is by no means heavy. The next thing I noticed almost made me think something was wrong, the outer tube of the Orion X is machine-fit to the core. The tube has the slightest movement between it, and the core. The tube is prevented from turning around the core by a square boss at the rear around the mounting point. I could feel a slight rattle when shaking the suppressor, apparently this is all part of the design for no matter how tight you snug the end-cap with the supplied tool the fit is the same. The end-cap itself features a series of vent holes, where the redirected gasses are released. The model I tested had a nice FDE Cerakote, but it is available in other colors.

To the Range
As usual, I was eager to get this new suppressor to the range. I ran the suppressor on a couple different carbine rifles, all in 556. The first rifle had a sixteen-inch barrel, I threaded on the Orion X and got straight to shooting. One of the many purposes of baffle-less suppressor designs is to reduce backpressure to the host firearm, this is accomplished by allowing the gas somewhere to go without spiking the pressure up to unreasonable levels. The obvious benefits to this design is to avoid altering the function of the host, allowing it to function as designed. It also helps keep the host from becoming excessively fouled, which is a common side effect of suppressors.
That being the case, I left the gas setting of my rifle right where it always is. The first few shots through the Orion X went off exactly as expected, the rifle cycled as it always does and no additional effects were noted. If anything the recoil impulse was subdued slightly due to the additional weight and diffusion. Unfortunately I was at a public range which meant I had to wear ear protection, this robbed me of the opportunity to hear the report made by the Orion X. But I would soon get another chance.
With the Orion X in hand, I took another rifle into the country to see what kind of performance I could expect, both rifles this would feel the heat on this trip. With nothing but the trees to hear me, I put the Orion X through several shooting positions and several magazines worth of ammo. The sixteen-inch rifle was much more pleasant to shoot than the eleven-inch one, the bullpup configuration of my Desert Tech MDRX brought the muzzle closer to the ear than a traditional AR style rifle. With the ejection port in front of the face a few inches, and the muzzle of the rifle at least sixteen to twenty inches in front of that, the Orion X was quite tolerable. Rifle function was flawless with zero adjustment to the gas system. But when the shorter bullpup rifles were used, it was a little less tolerable. The sixteen-inch rifle had a fairly loud first-round pop, but was fine after that. The eleven-inch rifle on the other hand was another story, with the ejection port just under the ear and the muzzle only a foot or so from your nose, it was unbearable without ear protection. That’s no surprise I would say, but it is unfortunate because I think that configuration is where the Orion X would shine. And I love it when host/suppressor combinations allow for open ear shooting.

Aftermath
After shooting enough ammo to make my wallet hurt, I decided to check out one of the other interesting features of the Orion X. The tool provided with the suppressor allows the user to completely disassemble the suppressor, giving you the opportunity to see how it works, and clean out any carbon buildup. Holding the square host-end of the suppressor in a vice, I used the tool to engage the end-cap and loosen it off. You can then remove it from the vice and pull the core from the front of the suppressor, and disassemble the various stages of the suppressor core. It is a fascinating design, almost like a puzzle for guys. You can see the way gasses are directed around the inside of the suppressor, and out the muzzle end of the can. I hadn’t shot enough to make cleaning the suppressor necessary, so after figuring out the reassembly I tightened the cap back down for the next range trip.

Final Thoughts
The Orion X is a great example of innovation in our market. While it may not be an earth-shattering development like rail-guns or case-less ammo, it is still a step into the next generation. I can only wonder what the next step beyond these type of suppressors will be. With an MSRP of $1195.00 it is not an entry level suppressor, but it would be an great addition to your NFA collection to run on your hosts that may be sensitive to suppressors.

-CBM

Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20

You could definitely say that I am a fan of Yankee Hill Machine, my very first suppressor was a YHM, and my most recent purchase is beginning to show a trend. My experience with YHM suppressors has always been a simple no-nonsense one, but much like some others in the industry, the good people at YHM are evolving their products. This is welcome news for all of us who endure the tiring infringement by authoritative acronyms from the federal government.

Yankee Hill Machine

Yankee Hill Machine has been in the business since the 1950’s, a family business that has grown over the last seventy years. The Graham Brothers have recently broadened the different offerings from YHM, as well as spun off another brand of bolt-action rifle accessories called Graham Brothers Rifleworks

The Nitro N20

The Nitro N20 is a next generation suppressor as far as I can tell, it is following a brilliant trend in the suppressor industry. The Nitro is a modular suppressor, meaning it can be adapted to whatever host you might install it. The back end of the Nitro features the same common threads from other suppressor manufacturers, allowing the user to use an assortment of mounting configurations. The YHM offerings include a direct thread cap in popular thread pitches like 1/2-28 or 5/8-24. You can also install a Nielsen Booster to run on your semi-auto pistol , or one of the Phantom QD muzzle break devices that YHM offers. 

In addition to its diverse mounting options, the Nitro also has a detachable forward segment, allowing the user to run it in a long and quieter composition, or it can be removed to run the host shorter, lighter, and with maximum maneuverability.

The internal bore of the Nitro is cut for 9mm, and its all titanium construction makes it very light at ten ounces. The length of the suppressor is as much as 7.5 inches without removing the front portion, I found it to be more than adequate on pistol calibers without the front segment. The suppressor is rated for up to 308 Winchester rifle cartridges, which makes it an extremely versatile suppressor. It could be used with a QD break on your AR15, or it could go on your 9mm pistol using the booster and piston, or you could direct thread it to your 308 precision rifle. I have done all three and more! The front end cap is even designed to allow the use of suppressor wipes if you should choose to use them.

Unboxing the Nitro N20

My first impressions upon opening the box were how unbelievably light this suppressor felt in the hand. Its simple design and titanium construction make it as light if not lighter than most pistol cans, and it can be used on a rifle as well. The suppressor came with some paperwork and the tools required to disassemble it, I tossed them into my tool kit, and packed everything up for a range trip.

I opted for direct thread caps in two thread pitches because I planned on using this can on my hunting rifles due to its weight. But I also wanted to run it on my pistols, so I also got the booster and a Rugged piston. I was happy to find out that there are a multitude of manufacturers that make compatible pistons and other accessories for this and other suppressors. It may be the best idea yet, for all these suppressor companies to use standardized thread pitches so that end users can accommodate the mounting solutions that best fit their needs.

Nitro Rangetime

I literally could not wait to shoot the Nitro, having brought everything needed to test it out I went directly into the range after opening the box. I installed the booster and piston, and mounted the Nitro to my Canik TP9. After a couple test shots to ensure everything was inline, I started dumping rounds through the pistol. Both sub-sonic and super went through the Nitro, and boy could you tell the difference. Both types of ammo were very quiet, but I decided to remove the front section of the Nitro to see how much of a difference it made. To my surprise it was just as quiet in the shorter configuration, so I left it thus and continued banging away. Several trips into the field with the Nitro mounted to my pistol gave outstanding results, and I was in love immediately.  

I’d be lying if I told you I was already satisfied, I am a rifle junkie at heart, so I had to see how the Nitro performed on an assortment of rifles that I had in store. Most importantly, was my 257 Blackjack, which is my lightweight hunting rifle. The lightweight of the Nitro was a perfect match for this short action wildcat, with its carbon wrapped barrel and chassis. I also ran the Nitro on my 308 carbine and 6.5CM bolt gun, where it worked flawlessly and with hushed results. The Nitro is not full-auto rated, which is fine with me. But I don’t think I’d want to leave it on a carbine if shot duration is expected to be heavy. For pistols and bolt action rifles I think the Nitro is absolutely ideal, and it would be fine on a semi-auto as well, provided you have the self control to not cook it. 

The Nitro added a few inches to my Blackjack, but it also tamed it down quite nicely. The report was very manageable, it could be that I’m deaf but out in the open country of the mountains I found no need for ear protection. It also helped settle the rifle down upon recoil, making it easier to spot hits, and even helping tighten up the groups a bit.  The Nitro will definitely be on whatever rifle I take into the hunting woods this coming fall.

Nitro Gripes

It cant all be rainbows and sunshine every-time right? Well here are just a couple negatives I might add to the Nitro, but they are indeed minimal for at least this guy.

I found the finish on the Nitro to be not as robust as I expected, I don’t know if its a bake on finish or some other kind of material. But I found to be easier to scratch/chip than I would expect. I imagine YHM is aware of the situation, and since my suppressor is a very early production (single digit serial) I’d imagine they may have already corrected the issue. It’s not a huge deal to me, I frequently redo the Cerakote on my suppressors anyways. The other issue I have with the Nitro isn’t so much a YHM thing as it is a titanium thing. Titanium is easily galled or damaged when threading, and having three threading points on the Nitro make the possibility  of screwing something up more possible. This is of course a very minor concern, and I only mention it so that new owners are aware and avoid damaging it.

Overall Impression

If you cant tell already, I love this suppressor. It is still fairly new to me, but after a few months of good use, I still love almost everything about it. The Nitro fills a great place in the YHM lineup, and would make an excellent addition to any suppressor collection. It is only slightly more expensive on the street than some of its competition, and yet much lighter. 

Yankee Hill Machine continues to build quality products right here in America, and they are keeping a close eye on the market so their product lineup is in line with what people want to buy. I cant wait to get back on the firing line with the Nitro, and I’m excited to see what else the boys in Massachusetts come up with.

-CBM