Suppressed 223


March 26, 2008, 04:28 PM
I have a couple of questions.

1. How effective is suppressing a .223?
2. Can the .223 can be used on 22LR? If so, how effective is it?


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30 cal slob
March 26, 2008, 04:35 PM
most .223 cans are still pretty loud and you'll still have the sonic crack and muzzle flash at night.

i've shot .22 LR through .223 cans ... and they're pretty quiet, even quieter if you use subsonic loads.

March 26, 2008, 04:39 PM
A silenced .223 on a 16" barrel with standard loads will sound like a .22lr rifle. No large muzzle blast, etc. With subsonic loads, it's pretty much silent.

Running .22lr through a .223 silencer is a bad idea, because most .223 silencers are sealed you have no way of cleaning the lead from .22lr out.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 26, 2008, 05:45 PM

1. How effective is suppressing a .223?

I have the Ops Inc. 16th model and it reduces the sound down on a 16" barrel down to about .22LR levels. It also tames recoil and blast nicely. On the other hand, it heats up faster, adds backpressure, cycles the rifle harder and is dirtier.

2. Can the .223 can be used on 22LR? If so, how effective is it?

Haven't tried it personally; but I know guys who do it. Considering the low cost of a dedicated .22LR suppressor, I think I would probably prefer the .22LR model myself; but I imagine a .223 suppressor would be very effective given the extra volume compared to a .22LR suppressor. That also means extra weight and balance issues though.

Zak Smith
March 26, 2008, 06:09 PM
Ooh, Ooh, can I play too? (
............... Larger version of above photo. (

Seriously.. A suppressed 223/556 AR is cool, but less overall useful to me, IMO, than a .22LR or a 308/260/etc bolt gun. For high volumes of fire typical to assault courses, the can gets extremely hot and holds heat in the gun, and the blowback can be prohibitive. (
............... Larger version of above photo. (

(note "mustache")

March 26, 2008, 06:12 PM
I shot a suppressed .223 bolt gun with a very late-model suppressor last week and it was astoundingly quiet. That's my opinion, and 'quiet' is a relative term.

I was shooting standard velocity ammo also.

March 26, 2008, 06:23 PM
Zak Smith

Please tell me you have since that photo was taken either purchased a "Gas Buster" CH or siliconed the one you have?

Zak Smith
March 26, 2008, 06:24 PM
I tried the GB but didn't see much improvement. Also remember that gas streams back through the breech when open-- that is the primary path for gas. Also, running the gun "dry" helps.

March 26, 2008, 10:33 PM

that's my current blaster with a smith/fisher enterprises can and i hold with those who think full-power 223 sounds about like 22lr. i also reload a lot of subsonic rounds and they make less noise than your avg bb gun.

I had a previous upper that looked nearly identical, except it was a carbine-length gas system where the one above is a middy. on my previous upper i used a ceiner kit and fired probably 3000 or so rounds of 22lr through it. it was TONS of fun to shoot and made almost zero close to hollywood quiet as you get.

however, i wasn't happy with what it did to my BCG/upper over time so when i built the new upper, i stopped shooting the ceiner kit in it.

edit: also, the black streak on the side of my face after a day at the range is WAY worse than Zak's. :)

March 26, 2008, 10:41 PM
Ditto on the Gas-Buster charging handle not being very effective.

Without the GB charging handle, I can fire two or three shots before gas is wafting up my nostrils and into my eyes.

With the GB, I can get four or five shots off before the gas is in my face.
Not sure that was really worth it.

If you are shooting high-volume .223 in a SUPPRESSED semi-auto, you REALLY need a gas-piston upper unless you are able to shoot accurately while holding your breath and with your eyes closed. Got quite a bit invested in this one before I finally accepted the fact that the complaints about gas blow-back were not just hype by the gas-piston cheerleaders. Its real.

March 26, 2008, 11:10 PM
heh, yeah. in High Power they teach you how to breathe to get the optimum accuracy out of your physiology.

with an AR and a suppressor, you learn an entirely different respiratory rhythm :)

March 26, 2008, 11:13 PM
OK, for folks like me who don't have an AR, much less a suppressor to put on it, tell me if I'm getting this straight-
The suppressor increases back-pressure in the gas system because the natural path of the- "exhaust" shall we call it?- is being partially obstructed or at least impeded by the can, and the result is that the gas finds its way back through the breech area of the rifle? Where does it ultimately come out of, the charging handle area?
I'm guessing something with an actual gas piston, like say a HK416 or SiG 55x wouldn't have the same problem?

TIA for explaining this to me.


March 26, 2008, 11:26 PM
Any way a New Yorker...not from NYC, could get a suppressor for his M-4?

March 27, 2008, 12:33 AM
jason, gas goes through the gas tube, back through the carrier key, past the bolt and then generally "vents to atmosphere" where atmosphere==the inside of your upper/lower receivers.

where does it come out? everywhere! it comes out through the gap between the upper and lower. it comes out through the charging-handle area. it goes out past the magazine in the magwell. it goes out through the hole your trigger sticks through.

but when you have a tighter upper/lower fit, you tend to get a lot more gas going past the charging handle and depositing soot on your face.

yeah, pistons don't have that problem

Zak Smith
March 27, 2008, 01:54 AM
Gas comes through the bore, too. (Unchamber an unfired round after firing a bunch suppressed-- it has soot all over it.)

Friends of mine have tried some piston uppers and reported similar gas characteristics, hence I am hesitant to believe piston systems have no problems.

March 27, 2008, 10:06 AM
Pistons still have gas problems. A significant portion of the blowback comes out the chamber. At the last AAC shoot, they were running their "low-blowback" .223 can on an HK 416. It still had huge quantities of gas billowing into the shooter's face. There are vids on youtube of it.

The longer your barrel and gas system, the less blowback you get. If you're putting a can on an SBR, you should be prepared to "get gassed."

Bartholomew Roberts
March 27, 2008, 07:29 PM
Gas in the face is just part of the fun of rapid semi-auto/full auto of a suppressed weapon. The MP5SD has the same issue - shooting it indoors will make your eyes tear up like watching "Old Yeller."

The Gas Buster mitigates; but doesn't totally solve the problem.

The real advantage of a piston/suppressor combo is that it handles pressure variations better than the DI/suppressor combo (particularly in SBRs where you end up either having the gun cycle too soft without the can or too hard with the can).

March 27, 2008, 08:36 PM
shooting it indoors will make your eyes tear up like watching "Old Yeller."

looks better in front of the jury; they can't tell the difference between emo and over-gassed

March 29, 2008, 01:21 AM
I plan on Suppressing my 16" Saiga .223 with my TAC-16. We shall see what happens, but I am confident that the AK will not have much of a "gas in the face" problem.

March 29, 2008, 01:31 AM

The gas problem comes from a different area on the AK, that's about the only difference.

March 29, 2008, 08:54 AM
TheGunGuru Any way a New Yorker...not from NYC, could get a suppressor for his M-4?

NY doesn't allow them as fram as I am aware to civilians. A police officer may but, needs his chief to sign off on them. I was going to see if my chief would entertain suppressors for our departmental AR's but we will see.

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