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Old 20 April 2018, 08:35
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Tuukka Tuukka is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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On suppressor cleaning, general information post

This is a post I made on other weapon & suppressor forums as well and also in our Facebook feed. Thought it would fit here as well.

With regards to endurance and fouling, what we have more often seen is that the effectiveness ( flash, sound and in some rarer cases accuracy ) is starting to be affected more, than what the actual erosion or wear is

ie. more dirty than worn to a point than a suppressor cannot be used.

One reference figure in increase in weight is 1 gram per 100 rounds from several tests done here across different calibres, so potentially the suppressor weight is c. 60-80 grams if fired for 6000-8000 rounds without any cleaning.

But this is just an average/example figure, it does appear from some of our recent .300 BLK specific use and testing that the cartridges burn quite clean.

Example pictures of one of our SL8i-BL .300 BLK suppressors that has several hundreds of rounds through it already ( both super and sub sonic )

Note first baffle cleanliness between new and used, definitely the least accumulation we have seen starting to gather.

But usually there is more fouling gathering on super sonic rifle calibres.

So far the most effective cleaning method has been ultra sonic washing, smart to perhaps starting to do it between for example 1000 Ė 3000 round intervals, to remove hopefully all or most of the fouling put in that round count.

But one can check themselves on how the weight is accumulating for their particular system, as we cannot know all suppressor type / design, weapon type, calibre, ammunition type etc. combinations and how they affect this.

Rate of fire and heat plays into this as well, usually baking on the fouling harder on assault rifles than on bolt action sniper rifles.

Also, shooting several thousand rounds in training & operations does not take very long on an assault rifle vs. a bolt action sniper rifle.

A simple way is just to weigh the suppressor on a small digital scale to see how the weight is accumulating.

Maybe they want to clean more frequently than other users, maybe their cleaning period can be longer.

Or maybe they donít want to clean at all if the rifle gets fired for example a maximum of some hundreds of rounds a year.

Accuracy can be in some cases be affected if the rounds / load are quite dirty and fouling gathers on the edges of the bullet channel.

This can be easily brushed clean or in absolute worst cases drilled with the right size drill bit.

With regards to affecting the sound suppression.

We have had an AUG rifle platform military customer send us an older generation jet-Z CQBS-QM suppressor back for examination and the suppressor had over 11,000 rounds through it without any maintenance.

Barrel length was 16" on the AUG's

When tested on a 16" M16 type rifle, the net sound suppression was c. 9 dB less at 1 m left of the muzzle, than with a new sound suppression. Meaning a c. 38% reduction in sound suppression ability.

At the shooters left ear, the net sound suppression was c. 7 dB less than with a new suppressor, meaning a c. 33% reduction in the sound suppression ability

Picture of a cutaway suppressor from the same testing batch, with c. 13500 rounds of M193 through it:

Note that this particular suppressor is not dirty at all in the bullet channel edges and the customer reported still very good accuracy, but the issue was the weight increase and effect on sound/flash performance.

Also, the testing firing cycle was quite punishing on that suppressor and probably caused a quicker rate of accumulation for the fouling, so not perhaps an average example but a worst case.

So to sum up, there is a lot variables involved, if you need to clean your suppressor at all or if it is needed, how often do you need to do it.
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