suppressor caliber rating question


May 1, 2013, 08:27 PM
Bear with me on this post, it is not going to be concise or elegant:

So we all know you can't really shoot a 223 in a 22lr suppressor because it will damage it. I assume is it because of the pressure?

And some 9mm suppressors claim they are rated for 223 as well, but some are not. Again I assume it is because of pressure.

So lets take the liberty mystic. 9mm can, rated for a whole host of calibers including 223, 300blk, 357 mag etc. From looking at the pressure generated by those calibers in my lee manual, most stay south of of both 40k psi and cup, while the 223 runs up around 50k (cup or psi, depending on the load. I know they are not the same thing, lets not focus on that), and from the 223 limitations on libertys website looks to be at the edge of what the suppressor can take.

So theoretically, would any caliber bullet that fit down the tube and generated less than 50k in pressure work on that can? Ex: 30/30 tops out around 40kpsi, fits down the tube, and so by my logic would work, but is not listed on liberty's website as supported, which makes me think my logic is probably wrong.

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May 1, 2013, 10:40 PM
I believe it has to do with a number of things, one of which is pressure as you mention, but gas volume/ size of the powder charge matters too. To much gas volume will overheat the can very quickly which may well be why the mystic is not rated for something like a full power 30-30. Don't know for sure, just a somewhat educated guess.

May 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
that makes a certain amount of sense I suppose.

Aaron Baker
May 3, 2013, 05:27 PM
There's probably a non-technical answer as well. I'm not extremely familiar with the suppressor business, but I had the good fortune to meet Richard Thompson and Brooks from Thompson Machine at a suppressor shoot. They had a new .45 can, the ISIS-2, and they let me shoot it on a short-barrel .458 SOCOM AR15. Their attitude was that if I was willing to risk the gun, they were willing to risk the suppressor, just to test it. It worked well, by the way. But half a dozen 500 grain pills through it from a single .458 SOCOM host doesn't mean they're going to "rate" it for .458 SOCOM.

My point is that responsible suppressor makers test their cans with all the calibers that they plan to "rate" them for. It's not enough for them to know that the pressure and gas levels are within a certain theoretical tolerance.

Now that's not to say that a manufacturer won't say it's okay to put a can rated for full-power .308 on a .30-30. But they know there's no danger there--it isn't a marginal case. But if the suppressor is nominally a 9mm can, then they probably would want to do some test-firing using full power .30-30 before they advertised that it was rated for that caliber.


May 4, 2013, 11:56 AM
I suggest you just give Liberty a call. You will find them most helpful on any question about their product!

May 5, 2013, 09:33 AM
I did call them, talked to a guy who said it was mostly about pressure, but he didn't really know and would ask somebody else there and get back to me. Haven't heard anything yet.

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