The Quiet Continues: Suppressed Pistols

When discussing silencers or suppressor we need to accept the fact that the noise is merely a byproduct of the cartridge igniting. Hiram Percy Maxim (his dad made the machine-gun) had it figured out in 1908, but we here in the United States still seem...


During the last installment we talked about keeping our gunshot noise to a minimum so as not to scare the citizenry.  This month we’re going to continue with a similar theme, however, we’ll focus on protecting your ears and the ears of those around you.

When discussing silencers or suppressor we need to accept the fact that the noise is merely a byproduct of the cartridge igniting.  Hiram Percy Maxim (his dad made the machine-gun) had it figured out in 1908, but we here in the United States still seem to be struggling with the fact that noise is just noise.  Maxim’s patent was granted for the “Silent Firearm” in 1910.  I suppose it’s the curse of humanity that we have to continually relearn our history lessons.

Suppressed Pistols

Those who’ve never used a silenced or suppressed handgun often share the misconception that adding a ‘can’, as they are known in the industry, does two things; hinder reliability and makes the gun unwieldy. 

Let’s tackle the unwieldy part first.  Yes, back in the old days, several years ago, a stainless steel suppressor did indeed add a considerable amount of weight to the front of the gun.  That has changed with the use of modern materials such as Titanium and aircraft aluminum.  I’m not going to get into metallurgy, but modern Titanium silencers weigh a fraction of the older steel models.  The new TiRant silencer from Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) weighs a total of 8.6 ounces.

Yes, a suppressor does indeed add extra length to the handgun.  Until some savvy manufacturer comes up with an integrally suppressed handgun length is something with which we must deal. 

Let’s discuss the reliability issue.  Again, the answer is yes, in times past lack of reliability could have been a consideration.  Modern pistol silencers are built to for functionality.  Referring back to the AAC TiRant can, the unit is constructed with a spring cushioned piston.

AAC TiRant 9mm™ Silencer

I’m sure you have figured out by now that one of the specific pieces of hardware we going to highlight in this review is the Advanced Armament Corp. TiRant 9mm™ silencer.  As we mentioned previously, the TiRant is a Titanium sound suppressor.  The TiRant is actually built using a combination of Titanium, stainless steel and 7075 aluminum. Total weight is only 8.6 ounces.  Overall length for the can is 7.9 inches and is it 1.38 inches in diameter.

AAC has built this new pistol silencer with interchangeable threaded pistons.  The pistons have various thread pitch to mate with different barrels.  When I got my TiRant it came with a 1/2x28 TPI piston and on their suggestion I ordered an extra 13.5x1 TPI left-hand metric version.  The 13.5x1 fits the SIG Sauer factory threaded barrel for the P226 in 9x19mm.   The 1/2x28 TPI version fits most “Made in the USA” threaded 9mm pistol barrels.

Hardware

During this review I would use two pistols; the S&W M&P9 and SIG P226.  In order to use the suppressor on the M&P in had to order an aftermarket threaded barrel from KKM Precision.  I’ve used the stainless steel barrels from KKM in the past and knew I could expect top notch quality.  The threaded barrel for the P226 came directly from SIG’s factory.      

For ammunition in the 9x19mm department you have two basic categories; sub-sonic and super-sonic.  Both styles will run through the TiRant.  However, for actual hushed quiet you’ll need to use the 147 grain sub-sonic versions from numerous makers.  Super-sonic ammunition will always produce the distinctive “crack” when the bullet breaks the sound barrier.  The shot is naturally much quieter than a normal gunshot but not ‘quiet’.  

If you know your firearms history, you’ll remember that the 147 grain 9x19mm cartridge came into being specifically because the US Military wanted a sub-sonic round to fire through the HK MP5SD.  The 147 grain load is made for quiet, not power. 

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