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Two questions: recoil and end cap strikes Login/Join 
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It is a commonly repeated that silencers reduce recoil. Is this a bolt gun phenomenon? I know a silencer sure as heck (less sure now that conversation has progressed) doesn't reduce recoil in a semi-auto. I don't shoot any bolt guns, so I have no experience with one suppressed.

I came across a discussion about someone shooting a suppressed 9" 5.56; they said end cap strikes were common, and they'd periodically re-form the "crown" of the can with a mallet. I have read about short barrels supposedly not being able to stabilize the round, which can lead to silencer damage. However, I shoot at least four guns with barrels of nine inches or less, and have never had a problem. Is it something exacerbated by heavier bullets, perhaps?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Suppressors reduce recoil on any platform. Been shooting matches for over ten years have not have or seen a baffle/end cap strike on a suppressed AR. Myself and fellow competitors have many many thousands of rounds on suppressed AR's. A couple years ago a friend and I bought 18K pieces of once fired 223/556 brass from fellow SF member fritz, he too has never had a baffle strike Wink
 
Posts: 3197 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How can you say that recoil is reduced across all platforms? How can most semi-autos avoid the increase in back-pressures associated with silencers? I have shot plenty of guns that have a very noticeable increase in recoil, when suppressed. A 553 is coming to mind most prominently; it felt like the gun was going to hurt itself. This is mitigated by adjusting the gas, but the saying doesn't go "reduces recoil after gas is adjusted to compensate".
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have also never experienced a baffle or end cap strike. I was hoping to hear from folks like you, as to what might contribute to that event; you guys know more about bullet behavior than I do. It seems as though others have experienced it enough that it has made it's way into silencer lore. How many of your tens of thousands of rounds have been through a suppressed gun with a barrel less than ten inches? I know, based on our previous conversations, that y'all aren't necessarily fans of the shorties, which is fine; that leads me to believe that the tens of thousands of rounds through cans aren't relevant to this particular question though. I wish I could shoot as much as y'all, and experience conditions created by matches. Until then, my experiences are based on my guns and my conditions, which are evidently different-enough from yours to create different impressions.
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t have the practical experience with suppressors that many here do, but I can attest that the one I have does reduce felt recoil with the bolt action rifles I use it on. Part of the reason is obvious: I’m hanging an additional 16+ ounces on the barrel and the heavier the gun the less felt recoil there will be. In addition there is the effect that’s discussed on the Silencer Central site:

“Silencers Reduce Recoil

“When a gun is fired, the explosive gas that propels the bullet will exit the barrel right behind it. This is part of what causes recoil. When using a suppressor, that explosive gas is trapped and dispersed through its internals before finally exiting the muzzle of the unit. That brief trap and dispersal of the gas will reduce the energy it has upon final exit, which reduces felt recoil.”


https://www.silencercentral.co...r-reduce-gun-recoil/

Heavier bullets are more difficult to stabilize. According to the ballistician Bryan Litz it’s also not uncommon for bullets to yaw more close to the muzzle and to stop yawing as much farther in their flight. I have a Thompson/Center Contender barrel in 300 Blackout that I can also use with my suppressor, and I have attempted to check for excessive yaw at close range by firing heavy bullets through witness paper.




“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
— Plato
 
Posts: 45495 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Every gun I've shot has less recoil with a suppressor than without a suppressor. Every one. Bolt action rifle, semi auto rifle, semi auto pistol -- doesn't matter. Off the top of my head, the semi auto rifle types I've shot:
- 22lr, 10/22 and AR
- 223, DI and piston
- 6 Creedmoor
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- 308
- 300 Win Mag
- 338 Lapua
- 375 Cheytac
- 50 BMG
I agree with Sigfreund's listing above on why cans reduce recoil.

Increased back pressure is just part of using a suppressor, regardless of platform. Increased back pressure exists in suppressed bolt action rifles, too. Bores and actions show more carbon fouling. It's physics and there's no getting around it. After tens of thousands of suppressed rounds, I just accept it. For me it means additional cleaning of actions, bolts, triggers, mag wells, and bores. I do see a shorter life for AR firing pin retaining pins.
 
Posts: 7281 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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suppressors reduce recoil by reducing the gas and gas jet forces. Recoil calculators I've seen show those two effects are about 35% of the recoil force for a .308. but of course you can't get rid of it all so the reductions are much less than that.
There must be some potential issues on very short barrel AR's as surefire makes a different suppressor for short barrel ar's than the normal SOCOM one. and one of the advertised differences is a "larger bore diameter".


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10020 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Similar to offgrid's note above, I have never seen a baffle strike in competition, training, or practice. Maybe a true boatload of suppressed rounds.

A few years ago I toured the Thunderbeast suppressor factory. Talked a bunch with the engineer who led us around. Talked a bunch at matches with Zak, who owns Thunderbeast. Talked a bunch about cans with Jacob (owner of Rifles Only), who sees a crap ton on suppressed rounds fired each year. Before I bought my first cans, I talked a bunch about suppressors with guys at a local gun store -- they sell a bunch cans from various manufacturers. According to the folks who analyze the results, the common themes are:
- The can was loose, or installed improperly on the muzzle.
- The can's bore wasn't properly aligned with the barrel's bore. Could be that the barrel's threads were cut off center. Or the muzzle attachment device was installed off center -- possibly cross threaded. Or the can wasn't meant to work with the muzzle device.
- The gun owner installed the wrong can or end cap for a given caliber. For example, using a 6.5 can on a 308 rifle.

According to the can folks, the webz reports of baffle strikes are pretty much always due to a screw up on the gun owner's part. But the posters don't want to admit they were at fault, so they try to blame the equipment.

Supposedly, among the most infrequent reasons for baffle strikes was bullet yaw upon exiting the bore.

If I were ever to get a baffle strike, I suspect it would be shooting heavy subsonic 300blk ammo from my 11" barrel AR15. I find subsonic 300blk ammo accuracy to be shit. Lots of vertical variation, noticeable at distances as close as 25 yards. I've seen keyhole strikes on targets at 150-200 yards with 200-220 grain bullets -- so at some time in their flight, they start wobbling. Maybe my barrel needs a faster twist for subsonic rounds. I doubt I will change twist rates, as the barrel performs well with certain 110 and 125 grain loads.

I have no use for AR15s in 223 with barrels shorter than 11 or 12 inches. Never shot one with a barrel shorter than 11-12", either. From what I've read/seen, I suspect most people using really short SBR 223s have barrels with 1/7 twists. And are likely using 55 or 62 grain FMJ ammo. Now in theory, there should be no problem stabilizing a 55 grain FMJ in a really short barrel. But who knows -- with the possible exception of Lapua's products, I consider ball ammo to have crappy quality.
 
Posts: 7281 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It seems everyone is in agreement on the short barrel end cap strike: User error or very heavy projectiles yawing.

I understand the effects of the silencer on gasses exiting the muzzle, and the resulting recoil-mitigating effect, thanks to your explanations. Based on my experiences with some semi-autos though, I am inclined to think that some operating systems are adversely affected enough by the added pressure, that the positive effect at the muzzle is outweighed. The Sig is a long stroke gun; perhaps that system doesn't vent extra gas in a way that favors the addition of a silencer. The logic in my head says extra pressure in the operating system means the BCG is hitting the back of the receiver that much harder, which means a meaner recoil whallop. I know increased carrier speed is a thing; how is it that would not contribute to harsher recoil, if the effect at the muzzle isn't enough to cancel it out, on a particular gun?

I appreciate all your replies.
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
I have also never experienced a baffle or end cap strike. I was hoping to hear from folks like you, as to what might contribute to that event; you guys know more about bullet behavior than I do. It seems as though others have experienced it enough that it has made it's way into silencer lore. How many of your tens of thousands of rounds have been through a suppressed gun with a barrel less than ten inches? I know, based on our previous conversations, that y'all aren't necessarily fans of the shorties, which is fine; that leads me to believe that the tens of thousands of rounds through cans aren't relevant to this particular question though. I wish I could shoot as much as y'all, and experience conditions created by matches. Until then, my experiences are based on my guns and my conditions, which are evidently different-enough from yours to create different impressions.


Ya, nobody around me is shooting anything shorter then a 10.5 suppressed or unsuppressed. There's reasons why!

The guy banging on his end cap.... who knows what's actually going on? My first thought is the muzzle pressure is way too high, can/end cap can't handle that pressure?

I don't have Quickloads. I believe it'll calculate muzzle pressure. Buy it! Would be interesting to see the increase in pressure from a 10.5" to 9" barrel and the pressures changes with different weight bullets.
 
Posts: 3197 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can't create energy (force) that doesn't exist. Nothing about the operating system can make more energy than was there to start. You can change the shape of the curve (and many guns do that in both positive and negative ways) so that it feels better or worse, but the absolute value can't be increased.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
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Posts: 3197 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Doesn't more velocity mean more energy? We talk about bullet velocity and ft/lbs of energy at the target; in that relationship, doesn't more mean more? Wouldn't the same apply to a carrier contacting the rear of a receiver? The faster it's going, the more energy it transfers on contact?
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I will read that article with my morning coffee.

Just kidding; I read it now. They do somewhat reinforce my supposition, in the following excerpt...

"Secondly, with shorter barrels, tuning of the gas port for weapon cycling becomes far more critical. Adding a suppressor, which does slightly increase bore pressure, will result in more erratic and forceful cycling of the weapon leading to earlier weapon failure."
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Doesn't more velocity mean more energy? We talk about bullet velocity and ft/lbs of energy at the target; in that relationship, doesn't more mean more? Wouldn't the same apply to a carrier contacting the rear of a receiver? The faster it's going, the more energy it transfers on contact?

Sure for the same mass going faster is more energy. But in this case we are merely taking energy from one place (the recoil forces and the gas and gas jet created by firing) and moving it to a different place. Some goes to moving the rifle (which is why heavier guns recoil less), some goes into moving the bolt carrier (if there is one), some is potentially redirected by a muzzle device or a suppressor in directions that aren't rearward. The bolt carrier has no way to make its own energy. So the maximum amount of energy it can have is defined by the maximum created by firing and extracted to push the bolt carrier. Sure some systems may put more of that energy into the bolt carrier moving (like versus a bolt action) But in the end every part of this is a net loss so you can have a system that has harsher recoil forces (like a lighter gun) but you can't have a system where adding a reducing component (like a brake or suppressor) then adds force to another component like the bolt carrier to make the total greater.
All the above if I understand your question properly.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10020 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That article makes me very curious about the racket at the shooter's ear with an unsuppressed twenty-inch gun, compared to a suppressed nine-inch gun. It has been forever since I shot a twenty-inch gun.
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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hrcjon,
If I understand you correctly, the recoil forces could never exceed their original level, by merely adding a silencer. Even if the silencer creates a more forceful rearward movement of the action in a semi-auto, it would be negated by the mitigation of the jet force originally present at the muzzle, and the overall recoil impulse likely ultimately lessened by the addition of the silencer's mass to the mass of the firearm itself.

I need to shoot that 553 again. Apparently my memory has done me a disservice.
 
Posts: 917 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you don't believe that suppressors reduce recoil, you can always perform your own tests. One of my favorite videos on the webz:
APA brake demo on a 30-06
I doubt most people would allow their rifle to perform a backward half-gainer from the bench....

With less energetic cartridges, a sled and measuring its movement is an option:
308 muzzle break shootout
 
Posts: 7281 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
If you don't believe that suppressors reduce recoil, you can always perform your own tests. One of my favorite videos on the webz:
APA brake demo on a 30-06
I doubt most people would allow their rifle to perform a backward half-gainer from the bench....



I gave it a '5'. Sloppy entry and low degree of difficulty.


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Posts: 13813 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I just did a tiny bit of my own "testing". Shot a 20" AR for the first time in probably fifteen years; definitely not too compromising without hearing protection. I only fired one shot, but I wouldn't be scared to fire more, so long as they weren't rapid, and I wasn't in a confined space. The ten inch AR with a can was of course way quieter.

Shot one round out of a G36E1 right after the 20" AR. It was noticeably louder. That is a nineteen inch barrel though, I believe. Just a trivia comparison there, I guess.

Shot that 553 one round with the can and then two without. I want to say it did indeed have a sharper recoil impulse with the can, but I am going to go ahead and assume that was my pre-conceived bias misleading me; I will say, with confidence, that there was certainly no discernible difference between regular and suppressed recoil impulses.
 
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