SUPPRESSOR DO’S AND DON’Ts

Life is not easy, for a boy named Sue – or who wants to write informative posts and articles about such things as suppressors. Certainly more difficult than, say embarking on a career as a product tester at a slinky factory! You DO remember the slinky toys, right? Well, suffice it to say that suppressors are more complicated, in many ways.

As a sort of “independent” in the world of outdoor and gun writing, I usually have to get by without a lot of “factory support”. With sound reduction devices for firearms, this is hard to do, but almost necessary, because it is sort of an emerging industry. One thing I have been made painfully aware of, is that not all suppressors are created equal in the most basic of areas – attachment to the firearm! Of course, some companies use quick connect mounting devices, while others stick to the tried and true direct thread method, but what they don’t do is make it easy for us by using mounts or threads that are more or less universal – or even compatible in some cases. With .22 LR suppressors, things are fairly simple, as the mounting threads are actually the same for all direct thread types, but getting into centerfires can get tricky.

The first stumbling block I found was while attempting to get the barrel threaded on my Para 1911 .45 ACP. Para does not offer a threaded barrel, and some barrel makers do not deal with the public – requiring you to go through a dealer. I chose to order a barrel from Bar Sto Precision, because they do sell to the public. The Para Expert Carry I have had a 3″ barrel – with no barrel bushing. On this model, at least, Para uses a tapered or bull barrel. Bar Sto knows this, and made a nice stainless barrel for me that was a little longer, just a bit over 4″. They give you the option of ordering a barrel to be custom fitted at their shop, or a “semi-fit” barrel you might be able to install yourself. I say, “might”, because I planned to have them “fit” this barrel to my gun, just to be sure, but it took longer than I expected for it to be ready, and when they told me 70% of the semi-fit barrels were actually drop-ins with no fitting required, I tried to hurry things by installing it myself. Bad move. The barrel arrived with a feed ramp that was too thick and shaped wrong, will not even “semi” fit! Now I have to arrange to send the barrel back – with my pistol – to have the Bar Sto gunsmiths do the job for me – at a slight cost, of course.

The good news is the threading matched the .45 auto suppressor just fine – which I soon realized is a pretty big deal! AS an update, I just got off the phone with Bar Sto, and they are emailing me a form to send my gun in with to get the job done by the pros!

Hoping to move things along and get to the testing of .45 ACP with the suppressor, I began shopping for a used pistol that had a threaded barrel, and discovered there are quite a few of them on the market. I could choose between Sig Sauers, HK, Springfield XDM, and Glock. I did see one Kimber 1911, but the threaded barrel for it needed fitting – nope, not going there! Next was caliber consideration, as I wanted to test a .45 auto ‘can”. I did see some Sigs and HK’s in .45 ACP, and just missed a chance at a couple of XDM’s. There were more 9mm pistols with threaded barrels for sale than .45s, by far. Well, a bit of checking revealed that a .45 suppressor works fine with 9 mm – also with .40 S&W. Since I have never seen anything written about suppressing a .40, I chose to buy a Glock 23 in that caliber, with a threaded barrel. Influencing my choice was that I could also get a threaded 9 mm barrel for the same gun, allowing me to later test this caliber, also. The G23 will also take a .357 Sig barrel, which is an interesting caliber, but one that is loaded to much higher velocity. The .40 S&W 180 gr loads I looked up were almost all sub sonic, just as are the .45 auto loads – so both of these should be excellent candidates for suppressor use.

Well, I bought the gun, came home, and prepared to screw on the Ti-Rant .45 suppressor – but it would not thread on! It seems those Austrian devils at Glock use a metric thread on the threaded barrels! In case you wonder, so do Sig and HK. Although there probably are adaptors to allow a Glock barrel to screw into a Ti-Rant suppressor, I am told this is not the way it should be done. Instead, a “piston” – which is built into the back end of the suppressors – must be found that allows for its use on said metric threaded Glock barrel. Since the Silencer Shop did not have any of these pistons on hand, I am back to a waiting game for testing the .45 auto suppressor. For inquiring minds who wish to know, The standard .45 auto threading is supposed to be .578 x 28. For .40, companies like Storm Lake thread their barrels 9/16 x 24. The Glock Store in California told me that for threaded barrels, Glock uses metric thread pitches of 13.5 x 1 for 9 mm barrels, 14.5 x 1 for .40, and 16 x 1 for .45. Although I agree with others who have more Glock experience than I do that Glock pistols run better with Glock barrels, if wanting to suppress one, I might look after market, just to get thread pitches that are more easily matched. This also goes for Sig and HK.

Stay tuned for an update on making the .40 S&W and the .45 auto quieter.

Actually, testing those slinkys sounds very easy and relaxing, doesn’t it?

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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