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Why are Surefire silencers controversial? (and general Surefire observations) Login/Join 
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I recently got my approval on a SOCOM556-RC2; it's my first Surefire can, and I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet. It's my 11th silencer, over more than ten years of silencer ownership. In reading more about Surefire silencers in general, it seems there are those who swear by them, and those who think those people are fools. A "carbon lock" phenomenon is often cited as a huge flaw in the design, with NSWC Crane tests to back the claim. Are these silencers a case of not-so-good equipment proliferating in SOCOM due to a logistical convenience and politics? I know there are folks who speak highly of them, on SF; if you are one of those people, why do you hold them in high regard? I became interested due to the supposed "fail safe" baffle design, after I had an apparent baffle strike in one of my direct thread cans. The fact that you don't have to twist the silencer itself against the mount in any way also appeals to me, but that's rendered moot, if the carbon lock issue is as problematic as Crane implies.

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Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know anything about all of that, but what I can say is that when a flashight company starts making silencers, I just can't take them seriously.

It's not what you asked, but that's my take. They should just stick to making freaking flashlights, which they do quite well. If their silencers end up getting fused to muzzle devices, I have to say I'm not surprised, because they make freaking flashlights.
 
Posts: 106800 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have never found my Socom can to carbon lock any worse than my M4-2000 or my Saker. Usually if it's cool to the touch and I can't get it off i just shoot a round or two to warm it up and it comes off pretty easily.




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Posts: 952 | Location: Western NC | Registered: July 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Surefire's suppressors are an absolute standard in the industry. There is a good factory tour video out there somewhere that details their manufacturing process. The level of precision and attention to detail is significant. Everything is automated, to include things like media blasting and welding. They have immense data on the accuracy capability of their suppressors. Their warranty is also well established.

That said, pretty much any suppressor can carbon lock. I've seen it with the four different 5.56 suppressor mounts I use (51T, YHM, Dead Air, and HUXWRX. Surefire's solution to carbon lock is to loosen the locking ring and fire a round to jettison the can.

B&T, the largest suppressor manufacturer in the world, has recently licensed Surefire's mounting system so they can make cans compatible with Surefire's mounting system.
 
Posts: 5123 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I own a Silencerco Saker and had a shaky start. SiCo made it right by replacing the mounting system and multiple muzzle devices, but not before I blew the can downrange and wedged it in to a bullet trap. I've also spoken to people who have continued issues with the newer mounting system on current SiCo cans, just not sure the specifics. Overall, I'm happy with the sound suppression aspect of the Saker.

I see a TON of Surefire cans at local shoots, I've always considered them to be the gold standard in Suppressors. When I talk to people about them, they either love them or have no complaints. Just my opinion, but they've never seem to be the quietest and I think people get bogged down in the idea that a suppressors sole function is to be as quiet as possible. So when folks get to doing research, they look at decibel ratings, Surefire isn't the quietest but they're probably the most expensive...

I'm not one to have two suppressors that perform the same function for the same caliber, so I'm not interested in buying another dedicated 5.56 can, but if I were or if I could do it all over again, I'd just pop for the SF.




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Posts: 9647 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I first used suppressors on my own rifles at Rifles Only training courses. Some of their courses are only open to rifles with cans -- however they did loan cans to those of us with rifles with threaded barrels. RO put a SOCOM RC2 on my AR15. After 2 such courses, and after seeing how well the SOCOMs performed compared to other brands, I bought a Surefire. I believe I now have 3 of them.

SOCOMs aren't perfect. They're not the quietest can out there. Heavy carbon fouling on the brake attachment and on the inside of the suppressor will result in a can that is challenging to remove. A quick wipe down of both with the solution one uses to clean bores or BCGs does the trick.

But SOCOMs have a lot going for them.
- They are built like tanks. I've seen a few launched down range 50-75 yards because the owner didn't engage the locking ring before firing. Brush off the dirt, and the cans were ready to go again.
- With most rifles I've seen them on, accuracy improves with the can on. I still prefer ThunderBeast cans over Surefire cans for the most demanding precision shooting, but it's splitting hairs.
- For my rifles, there is little to no change in POI after installing the can. Meaning 1/4 MOA to 1/2 MOA shift down. As the Surefire cans are mainly used on my ARs, that's a shift that really isn't worth considering.
- The locking system keeps the can on tight, even through extended shooting. I no longer use my direct thread ThunderBeast cans on high-volume ARs, as direct-thread cans eventually loosen up from the firing process. I found out the hard way on a couple of matches, when my POI shifted down almost 1 MOA from a TBAC threaded can that loosened up only slightly half way through a long match.

In the field -- matches and formal training -- I've never heard anyone downplay a Surefire SOCOM can. The only negative comments towards them have been the price. I always hear good things about them from high-volume shooters.

I do see negative comments towards Surefire SOCOMs on websites -- costs too much, not as quiet as some other brands, "I don't have a good reason, but I don't like them", the locking ring locks the can down too hard.

If my SOCOM cans magically disappeared today, I'd buy them again -- no questions.
 
Posts: 7821 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm with fritz. I run surefire on the semi's and TB on the bolts. I think I have 8 of them. The only downside is that they are not the lightest, quietest things you can get. But I accept that because I'm pretty sure they are among the most durable cans you can buy. I don't have any issues on carbon lock, but I run only the FH mounts, clean the mounts on a regular basis and always toss a bit of lube on the mounting surface. And I'm pretty sure the cure for the carbon lock is to shoot the sucker off and carry on Smile. Given my experiences with other cans and mounts I wouldn't buy anything else for the calibers and guns I use the surefires for. That the B&T now uses the surefire mount makes me tempted to try one for its (alleged) RBS properties, not that I think the B&T can will be better (I have a bunch of those and its not particularily good in some ways). You will be very happy with the RC2. Don't use the warcomp because it sucks per some tests I've seen.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I recently went to a shoot and tried a guys surefire can. It had a nice tone but it also turned his m4 into a hookah when you really got on it. Not being crappy and its certainly not the only gassy can I've shot but that was my impression. We were shooting next to a Hux so that probably made it stand out even more.
 
Posts: 3011 | Location: Pnw | Registered: March 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think Surefire got a lot of boost from the military back in the day when there weren’t as many options as they are now. What the military wants isn’t necessarily the same thing as civilian users. They want rugged 100% soldier proof cans. They aren’t worried as much about chasing decibels, and usually rarely remove the cans, so things like carbon locking are less of a big deal.
 
Posts: 3302 | Location: South FL | Registered: February 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Like Dwill104, I don't shoot without a silencer attached, and don't really switch one can between hosts. However, I do appreciate QD functionality when performing weapon maintenance, and for storage and transport of the weapon. Historically, I have viewed the shoot-off ability as a feature of KAC and Surefire cans, and have always speculated that it could be applied to any silencer whose latch mechanism can be undone without having to turn the seized silencer body (Griffin M4SD, original Gemtech HALO, etc), though I understand why a company wouldn't want to encourage users to do that. However, I see where folks are coming from, who mock it's touting as a feature, when the Crane data is taken into account. Crane found that the silencer became seized after only 120 rounds; so it seems logical that someone would point to the possibility of a necessary mount interface redesign, before patting them on the back for being able to shoot the thing off. Overall, I am a fan of what the Surefires have to offer, and I intend to make use of the shoot-off feature, the first time it is relevant. I was drawn to them by their rugged reputation, combined with flash performance, and the "fail safe" baffle design, and the potential of a carbon-locked can isn't enough to scare me away, considering the shoot-off cure, and the fact that I deal with other hard-to-remove cans from other manufacturers already anyway. I think any mount interface can become stuck. When it comes to current silencer offerings, I don't much care for what could be considered the big commercial brands like SiCo, Rugged, Dead Air, and Griffin (though Griffin's M4SD gets a pass, because it's a poor man's NT4), and am more drawn to the brands with military reputations. I had been leery of Surefire for years, due to the price and the vocal haters, but am glad to have this one now, and am actually about to file on two more.

Thank you everyone, for your comments. Interesting how SIGforum seems to lack the anti-Surefire attitudes seen in other forums. Though Para's observation is a thought-provoking one: that a company whose main body of product is comprised of lights and lasers would opt to venture into silencers, and become a flagship in that industry, is an interesting thing.
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK its been long enough that you should have put 50K rounds through that RC2 where's your report?


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hahaha; I wish. I haven't put even one through it yet. I ran into some trouble with the rifle I am using it on. Long story short, the muzzle threads needed some reworking by the gunsmith, who didn't cut them quite right to begin with; so the rifle was out of action for about a week and a half. Got it all squared away on Thursday, and intend to shoot tomorrow; I'll likely need to re-zero first, and then I'll do some other shooting too. Of course SIGforum will hear all my impressions, whether they like it or not.
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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haha as a person with lots of experience on it, I know your going to be more than satisfied. (borrowing one of my favorite lines from my cousin vinny the movie).


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As another fun note on SF silencers: A friend just got a SOCOM762 in titanium. Upon handling it, it's MUCH lighter than expected. I hadn't looked at advertised numbers, so I had only preconceived notions based on people's moanings about SF silencers being on the heavier side. After being blown away, I weighed it on the kitchen scale; 10.8oz. What's incredible is that it has a QD mount. The Dead air Nomad and Rugged Alaskan both come in lighter WITHOUT a QD mount; HEAVIER with one.
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Titanium cans are great for weight, (I use the Thunderbeast ones on my bolts and give those the highest marks). I'm sure the surefire ones are great as well. But I don't think the traditional surefire attributes of durability and indestructibility apply to the TI ones.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A couple other observations, considering my Surefire silencer exposures of late:

The friend with the 762Ti also has a 762mini, which is one I am filing on soon, for my only gun in 7.62x39. We were trying the Ti on his LMT .308, and threw the mini on, for a comparison. The mini is quite loud, on a .308; it actually seemed to have a discernable gunshot muzzle report sound. I have shot short and long 5.56 cans on short and long 5.56 guns; some are louder than others, but they all have the distinct suppressed sound. The mini on that LMT had a "bang" to it. Considering my application of the mini, I am not deterred by this performance; my only .308 AR has a full-size direct thread can, and I have a 762 SDN6 as well, so I am covered, when it comes to proper .30 silencers.

Also, the SF cans' latch collar is very useful, when it comes to verifying the can remains properly attached. The fact that people have launched these cans downrange unintentionally, due to improper installation, is baffling. If you properly time the device, the hinge for the ratchet is at 6 o'clock on installation/removal, and at 12 o'clock when properly secured. You can verify this at a glance, as well as easily see that the collar is properly "eclipsing" the flash hider flange; all it takes is a look at the back of the silencer. I have yet to experience any issues removing the silencer, warm or cold; I have yet to try to remove it "hot".
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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of the surefire cans I own (which I think is most of the current product catalog except the MG ones) the mini's are the ones I don't understand at all from a design point. Maybe it knocks the absolute edge off when inside a building and saves a bit of length? I have no idea. The longer suppressors on a shorter barrel are so much better overall.
IMO.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The short cans are indeed an odd thing. The 762 mini has the same form factor as a 556RC2, and, as previously observed, it's not enough on a proper .308. However, it still beats pulling the trigger with nothing on the muzzle, especially if the user doesn't have ear protection. Mine will find a home on a 13" barrel 7.62x39 SIG 553R; I think it'll be well-suited, and the shorter/lighter factor will be appreciated, as compared to the SDN6 previously used on that weapon.

The 5.56 mini is odder, as it's applications aren't as broad as a .30 silencer. I have one of these in the pipeline as well, as my local dealer gave me a good buy on it and the 762 mini. OAL is almost identical to my Gemtech Trek-T, which I know (assume) has better sound performance; however, Trek is DT, while Surefire is QD. This highlights the QD debate; is QD functionality worth the large performance sacrifice? Weapon maintenance is made easier, we see advantages in storage/transport, perhaps some "tactical" advantages in equipment scavenging from an otherwise disabled weapon in the field, and, as Surefire seemingly implies, making the tiniest configuration possible, with just enough silencer to take the edge off (which I never intend to do). As of right now, I intend to try it on a 16" gun of mine, in hopes that it'll still provide enough suppression on that barrel length, while making the gun a bit shorter than it would be with any other QD silencer I currently have.

As a note on small 5.56 cans: I have a Griffin M4SDK and YHM TurboK; they both offer, IMO, outstanding performance, for their size. In the context of this discussion, they lack features that make Surefire cans appealing to some, but their sound performance is quite good.
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some part of the whole mini design and specifications makes no sense.
Using the 5.56 example you can give up a single db according to surefire (that's right a whole db on a 16") and get back 1.3" of length. Now I would actually get the idea that we can take off some length but then we can't then tolerate really short barrels. And surefire says "optimized for 14.5" but they don't actually come out and say 'it will suck badly for you and your suppressor life if you run this on a 10.5" SBR' under volume fire. So some part of the design equation is missing using the available published information. In any case I almost never use the mini except on longer barreled guns so I guess I'll never experience whatever the issues really are.
In terms of QD in my personal circumstances leaving a suppressor on the gun in longer term storage is problematic so I take them off all the time and the surefire QD has been awesome.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 10906 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was wrong to say that they imply it be used to make the smallest setup possible, which would be (presumably) a MK18 equipped with the mini. It would certainly suck for the shooter, to use it on a 10" barrel, but I don't know that it would be any different for the can, compared to the RC2. I'd imagine the areas taking the beating are the same, between the two cans, with the mini just having less baffles/volume past the primary wear zone; I guess the whole thing would get heat soaked a little faster though. In looking at the specs and flow chart on Surefire's website, you're absolutely right, concerning the 762Ti; they seem to recommend it for bolt guns only. Deliberate semi-auto fire would be no different, I suppose; I wonder what a steady diet of more rapid fire would do to that thing? In reading more about the Ti, it really is quite different; it is not merely a titanium SOCOM. It seems everything about it is prioritizing use on precision rifles; it even uses a different baffle design, and tighter tolerances all around.
quote:
leaving a suppressor on the gun in longer term storage is problematic

What problems have you run into, with your other silencers?
 
Posts: 1959 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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