Well, at least the rifle was okay....but what's up with the suppressor?

Mar 25, 2008
I had a little fright/puzzlement last Sunday. Went to plink with a Ruger 10/22 that is mostly stock; it's mounted with a Leupold 3-9X40 VX1 on Talley 10/22 mounts. It also has a Tacticool threaded adaptor on the front sight. It normally shoots about 1.5 MOA at 50 yards with CCI Standard. It was sighted in last year so I threw on a Tactical Solutions suppressor and fired away and it was nowhere near on paper at 50 yards...a foot low and left at least. I'm pretty sure previously it was fine with this suppressor; no POI shift appreciated. I adjusted and adjusted and found that I didn't have enough movement in the scope to get it any closer than 6 inches low and left. Perplexed and out of time, I put it up for the weekend.

Today I didn't use the silencer and was back on target in 8 or 10 rounds. So I did a little experiment...removed the thread protector....and it's still on target. Got the suppressor and put it back on....way off low and left again. Removed the suppressor without adjusting the scope and it was back on target. So it's not the rifle, at least.

I've had this suppressor for years. It never affects POI on 22lr pistols or a Charger that I notice. On some 10/22's with threaded barrels or a S&W MP 15-22 with a similar Tacticool adaptor, it raises POI about an inch but doesn't affect windage at all. So what gives?

I'm going to go back this weekend and put it on other rifles again....Just to see if something has changed with the suppressor.
Have you disassembled the suppressor to see if it's clogged up and you're getting baffle strikes? You have to clean a .22 suppressor. I don't want to make the assumption that you know this.
Once, I had one work itself ever so slightly loose, and resulted in the situation you are having.
I now check them often during range sessions, especially the direct threaded cans…the QD mounted cans have had no similar issues …
You have baffle strikes, is my guess. If it was me I would check that the suppressor "shoulders" cleanly to your barrel. That means no dirt in the threads of the suppressor, and it needs to tighten up snug to your barrel with no slop. Stuff I have seen happen at the range where I shoot:

1) Slop developed with a suppressor because threads had been damaged. We think it was cross-threaded onto a gun.
2) I tried various washers and spacers to prevent a suppressor from unscrewing under sustained fire. This was in the early days when I knew very little about suppressors. That caused the z-axis of the suppressor to no longer be parallel to the barrel axis and I got baffle strikes.
3) Cheap thread adapter used, same effect as point (2) above.
4) In a multi-component suppressor, you could have some internals misaligned or even segments not properly screwed together.

I don't think a dirty suppressor by itself can do this, unless the connection is affected. Well, not to the extent that you are witnessing rounds going off course. I have one suppressor which is now at almost 37k rounds without cleaning and it is now showing me a 1 round out of 20 deviation from target, but only an inch or two at 25 yards, not the foot you are getting. That suppressor was 130g new and is now 244g!

If all your rounds go off target, you've got to suspect there is a problem between the z-axis of the suppressor and that of your barrel. It can't be your gun.
I thought baffle strikes would tear up the suppressor? Like catastrophically. Am I wrong there? Is everyone saying it could be just glancing off a baffle and making it out with only a little deviation?
I thought baffle strikes would tear up the suppressor? Like catastrophically. Am I wrong there? Is everyone saying it could be just glancing off a baffle and making it out with only a little deviation?
The least amount of a baffle strike CoULD cause what you are experiencing…
Yep, in the cases I have seen, you cannot even see where the bullet has touched the baffle. Even in circumstances where you can take the can apart and scrub each individual baffle. That has been the case even with aluminium baffles.

There was one incident at the range where a can had been reassembled incorrectly or there was some other major connection issue. In that case, the bullet never made it to the target and there was a trail of suppressor components from the bench out towards the target. The bullet had hit the end cap and taken it off the suppressor.

That's the only suppressor I know of that was irreparably damaged during firing at our range. We shoot 99% .22LR or air rifle suppressors though. I have seen some 9mm cans and two of those integrally-suppressed reproduction .45 De Lisle rifles.

There have been plenty of cases of eroded baffles on centerfire rifles though. The last one I saw was a well-used ASE Utra can for a .223 rifle.
That had steel baffles and the holes were no longer round!
I thought baffle strikes would tear up the suppressor? Like catastrophically. Am I wrong there?

Usually not, especially with rimfire & pistol. The misalignment has to be severe for the bullets to not be "guided" by the baffles. Sometimes end caps get it, though, as there's typically more distance there than between baffles.

Even with rifle suppressors its usually not catastrophic. Nicks out of distal baffles and front cap damage most of the time. But if the misalignment is bad enough, they can be severely damaged. This is an AAC Cyclone we repaired via semi-tubeless recore a couple months ago:


This Liberty can took a pretty good hit, too. They are monocores with really thin tubes:


But the worst we typically see is some deformation of baffle apertures and/or front cap. Very often the contact is enough to send bullets off course but leave little or no evidence of strikes. I've had to use Dykem or sharpy on the front cap bore to be certain at times, though jacketed bullets often leave a copper wipe mark.