Suppressor 101 Part 2: Centerfires

After my introduction to the world of sound suppressors it was time to move up to a centerfire rifle suppressor.

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After my introduction to the world of sound suppressors, courtesy of the SilencerCo Sparrow for .22 LR chambered handguns and rifles, it was time to move up to a centerfire rifle suppressor.

Once again, I worked with Vance Outdoors Andrew Hyder. This time the SilencerCo suppressor was the Omega 300-which handles rifle calibers from 5.56mm through 300 Win Mag. We would be shooting it mounted on a .300 Blackout rifle.

The Omega 300 is another example of how far suppressors have advanced these days. The progression is akin to how much laser sighting systems have changed since the days of the very first Terminator movie.

The Omega 300 is the lightest full auto rated rifle 'can' on the market. In addition, the Omega 300 also is;

  • The shortest 30 caliber suppressor on the market when used in the direct thread configuration
  • The quietest .30 caliber suppressor on the market when using the included quick detach ASR(tm) mount
  • Features a Stellite(tm) blast baffle and titanium tube for exceptional durability
  • Warrantied for barrels as short as 8 inches (in .300 Blackout caliber)
  • Capable of reducing felt recoil by 20%-50% depending on caliber (which is something I didn't realize suppressors reduced in addition to sound)
  • Shipped with a 5/8x24 direct thread mount (1/2 x 28 sold separately), fast attach ASR mount, and 5/8 x 24 muzzle brake
  • Compatible with Omega and Harvester 338 mounts
  • Measures 7.09" in length, 1.56" in diameter (no special sights are required), and weighs only 14 ounces.

After learning all the things the Omega 300 "is", I learned from Hyder something the Omega 300 "isn't". The Omega 300 isn't serviceable by the user. I confess that I was surprised by that.

The Omega 300, unlike its smaller sibling the Sparrow, doesn't need cleaning-and the reason why is very simple. Bullets fired through the Omega are jacketed, instead of plain, soft lead like .22 LR ammo. In part what fouls the .22 suppressors is the lead. If somehow- after firing thousands upon thousands of rounds through it-your Omega gets so fouled that it no longer works correctly, you can send it back to SilencerCo for service.

Hyder showed me how easily the Omega 300 can be mounted on the test rifle, an M4 type AR-15 carbine from ATI. This particular ATI was, as mentioned earlier, chambered in .300 Blackout, and is built to Hyders specifications by ATI for sale by Vance Outdoors. Called the Mil-Sport, it features a 15-inch M-Lock forend and custom buttstock. Most importantly it featured a muzzle brake with integral threads, which means the brake doesn't need to be removed to mount the suppressor-the Omega 300 simply fits over the top. It screws down and locks in place with the lock ring located on the base of the suppressor.

With the Omega 300 in place, we were ready for live fire. Hyder had two Elite Match .300 Blackout loads from Sig Sauer to test. One was the 125 grain OTM load with a factory muzzle velocity of 2200 FPS, and a 220 grain OTM loaded to 1000 FPS. The 220 grain load is ear safe for firing indoors, while the 125 grain bullet load is not. Both are ear safe when fired outdoors.

This was the first time I had fired the .300 Blackout load. Hyder started me off with the 125 grain load.

It was hard for me to tell how much sound was reduced by the Omega 300 when shooting a supersonic cartridge indoors. This is because the very loud "bang" of the bullet as it hit the steel backstop, which overpowers the quieting effect of the suppressor. In unsuppressed fire you don't notice that backstop bang because it is overpowered by the bang of the cartridge being fired. The 220 grain Sig loading was a different story.

When Hyder handed me the magazine with the 220 grain ammo loaded up he said "this is more like what you would expect a suppressed rifle to sound like" -and he was right! Because the bullet had a much quieter backstop "bang" when it hit, it was very obvious that I was firing a suppressed rifle. I could actually hear the action cycling, and it was obvious that this combination was in fact indoor ear safe-and was more fun to shoot!

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