I am looking for a suppressed 9mm AR. What are my options? I want it to be super quiet and reliable. Are there any truly integrally suppressed 9mm AR's or are they all SBR's with a suppressor? In this case, what is the best 9mm AR host and the best 9mm suppressor? I am thinking that I'd probably like a RRA for the host weapon. Please let me know what you think and any other recommendations/suggestions that you might have. Thank you.
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June 15, 2011, 12:15 PM
There are a number of options out there, but an integrally suppressed upper is likely to be quieter than a seperate can would. The downside is that unless the suppressed barrel is at least 16" under the can, you will have to also register the lower as a SBR to be legal. John's Guns (http://www.fullysuppressed.com/arplatform.html) is one source. I personally run an AAC can on a number of my guns...another plus of the detachable suppressor; I can move it from gun to gun as the mood/need suits.
RRA is a good choice as a host. They build a very well constructed basic AR. If you buy an integrally suppressed upper and it has a length of at least 16", you can just pop the takedown pins and go back and forth as you like. The RRA is probably $200 or so more than cheaper competitors, but is still better than some of the high end guns. They build a dedicated 9mm model which has a block in the magazine well that can be removed with minimal tooling (a hex wrench...included, I believe) and it runs the standard Colt pattern magazines or you can use modified Uzi magazines, which are relatively cheap. Another option is the Bushmaster Carbon-15 which is made of "high impact composite" (read 'plastic') and has the magazine well molded to take only the Colt magazines or converted Uzi variants. They are lightweight and available as carbine or pistol models. The latter would obviate the need to register it as a SBR since it isn't a rifle to start with. I have both versions and use the AAC can on them.
Olympic Arms builds two versions of dedicated 9mm guns. One uses a proprietary magazine that has extra plastic to fill up the standard AR magazine well. If you wanted to use the lower with a 5.56mm upper at some point, the conversion would be easy and will allow the use of mil-spec magazines. Their second option is a Glock magazine model that uses any of the Glock pistol magazines for the 9mm/.40 pistols.
Lastly, just about any AR lower can be adapted to use 9mm magazines. Some have a block with a paddle release, like that of HKs, that will allow the removal of the magzine. The problem with some of these is that they are not locked into the magazine well and actuation of the 'normal' magazine release will drop the entire unit, magazine and all, which makes combat reloads somewhat dicey at best. The original Colt adapter units required drilling holes in the receiver and driving in a couple of pins to hold it in place. They hold, but if you ever wanted to sell it to someone who wanted a 5.56 lower, the holes might kill the deal.
The AR15.com board has a whole forum section on pistol caliber builds. You might want to read some of that at your leisure.
And www.silencerresearch.com will get you some relatively unbiased reviews of various silencers on the market. Keep in mind that there is really not an industry standard for "quiet" as test set-ups don't easily adjust for a lot of variables. But the reviews are still valid in most cases. Another option is ask on www.sturmgewehr.com. There are a lot of folks there from the NFA community. They have as many purse fights as would be found on any board these days, but there is some good infomation to be had as well.
If I can help you, give me a shout.
June 30, 2011, 07:05 AM
As a non-US-resident, I might add my $.02 from an "open" point of view - SBR:s aren't regulated differently than any other rifles around here and suppressors are freely available to any gun license holder so I've tested quite a few...
My 9mm AR is a 10.25" RRA semi auto platform, meaning that the gas pressure at the muzzle is somewhere between a short pistol barrel and full length rifle barrel.
My current favourite is Vaime/MW aluminum lightweight suppressor, about 12" long and 1½" diameter. It isn't the quietest but quiet enough and extremely light. You can hardly notice it's there when handling the gun and the point of impact doesn't change at all up to ~100 yards compared to shooting without a suppressor. These are also cheap, at €100 (USD140 or so).
Another favourite is BR Reflex suppressor. It's all steel, much heavier but somewhat shorter (8-9") and approximately as effective in suppressing the noise as Vaime. The fantastic feature of this design is that it makes the gun virtually recoilless, much like a very good muzzle brake. Emptying a full 32rd (modified UZI) magazine is sheer joy, just point and shoot, without really having to think about re-acquiring the sight picture. It just returns after each shot. This would be my #1 choice for full auto. I think I paid €150 for it, mint, second hand.
B&T is another good choice. Much more expensive than the other two but it can also be used in pistols that don't have a fixed barrel. Build quality is excellent.
I've also been thinking about building a dedicated suppressed upper. Properly done, they're extremely quiet (think MP5SD:s) and when the suppressor covers the whole barrel, 2-3" of the barrel can be perforated to aid bleeding the gases to suppressor's first chamber and lower the muzzle velocity so that, with some luck, regular 9mm ammo will leave the barrel subsonic.
Those rifles/carbines/SBR:s are whisper-quiet, the loudest noise being the bolt slamming back and the (audible!) noise of the recoil spring.
The only downside for fixed suppressor I can think of is that IMO they look like cr*p; I'm a die-hard fan of original "9mm SMG" -look with plastic handguards, triangular front sight base and carrying handle upper. Deviations from that may be practical, especially flat top uppers with optical sights, but I regard them more as utilitarian tools than "real", classic Stoner AR:s. But that's just me.
June 30, 2011, 09:33 AM
I built the one I have on a model1sales kit. I didn't want two stamps so with the end cap off it's 16". It makes less noise than an AAC EVO.