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Thread: .22 Suppressors and Rifle Precision

  1. #1
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    .22 Suppressors and Rifle Precision

    I just saw this video today, and it reminded me that this is something that I've been wanting to see if others have found the same problem.



    I've been a big fan of running .22 suppressors anytime I'm shooting .22, but I started paying a lot more attention to .22 accuracy/precision last year shooting NRL22 and local precision rimfire matches. At first I thought it was just a fouling issue. Anyone who has a .22 can knows how dirty they get, especially with unjacketed/plated match ammo. I've put my rifle in a rack a few times at a match where I've heard some fouling break free in the can and assumedly fall down the barrel. That can't be great for accuracy.

    But, the problem seems to go beyond fouling. I've shot quite a few 6x5 targets back-to-back with the can on vs off, and I consistently shoot better with the can off, even with a clean suppressor.

    The difference isn't huge, and I've shot some great groups with the can on (plenty around .25 at 50 yards), but I've definitely noticed enough of a trend to ditch the can for matches. It seems that most of the top rimfire shooters have noticed the same because very few are running a suppressor.

    This isn't to say that rimfire suppressors don't still have a place, I'll continue to run them for plinking and hunting.

    Has anyone else noticed this loss of consistent precision?

  2. #2
    I haven't been able to test this enough to have an opinion.
    most of my accuracy testing has been with the can ON, and only occasionally checking for POI shifts. Couple of thoughts:

    -Not all .22 cans are created equal. Just about all are disassembleable down to individual baffles which means assembly and manufacturing tolerances are important. I wonder if a monocore design could provide better accuracy? You could always thread a 5.56 can on for comparison. 50 rds of 22lr won't kill it.
    - I recall some people claiming that rotational baffle alignment (for asymmetric/clipped baffles) mattered. Maybe it does at the limits of 22LR precision?
    - Maybe it's a harmonic tuning thing? You could try hanging your can near the end of your barrel with tape to see if the added mass is the culprit, or try using a barrel tuner with the can.

  3. #3
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    My tikka bolt gun, with a SRD22x can and CCI 0056 ammo prints just under .5MOA at 100 yards.

    Clean your can well, and understand that your rifle may like different ammo comparing suppressed vs unsurpassed.
    Nice people fall to the manipulator. The manipulator crumbles under the assertive. The assertive shrinks before the aggressive. The aggressive have no plan for the assaultive. The assaultive are unprepared for the homicidal.

  4. #4
    I have not noticed any big issues using suppressors. I remember watching that video linked above and thinking "Really?"

    One thing I have noticed is when I leave my can on for a really long time (say over 1000 rounds) carbon will build up on my barrel muzzle. The crown was pretty caked up so I took everything apart and cleaned it taking special care on the muzzle.

    When I went back out the next time I could see a noticable difference in accuracy.

    Given that was partially (or more like completely) my fault but it gave me something to think about.

    The actual muzzle/crown is a vital part of things and it can easily get gummed up resulting in the creation of a false crown when enough carbon builds up. I'm sure my case was extreme but who knows if others notice a similar thing but a lot earlier on. I would imagine that people that are shooting for extremely small groups will be the most sensitive to it.

    I said "no" originally on the basis that someone is aware of this and doesn't let it get out of hand.

  5. #5
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    Outsiderís perspective.

    Suppressors slow the flow of gas out and cool it.

    We know suppressors increase the pressure back in semiís and increase the cyclic rate.

    In a bolt gun that particulate and debris either goes (ETA back in the barrel or slows and out the suppressor.

    I feel like this have more to do with that than anything shaking loose.

    This was readily apparent in that video.

    I think the design of the suppressor and how itís baffle stack imparts gas on the projectile is one thing. Another is whatís blowing back into the gun itself and the barrel?

    I think this will be harder to discern with higher velocity cartridges and wonder if him shooting subsonic rounds exacerbated or alleviated the issue.

    The evidence is irrefutable in my eyes.

    Does it matter for your purposes? Probably not. Unless youíre trying to gain every competitive advantage to have smaller groupings.

    Very cool find! Thanks for sharing.
    God Bless,

    Brandon

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWT View Post
    I think the design of the suppressor and how itís baffle stack imparts gas on the projectile is one thing. Another is whatís blowing back into the gun itself and the barrel?
    I'll argue that it's not relevant at all in a bolt gun. The chamber stays sealed under pressure, as the action isn't worked until there is 0 pressure - meaning from the breach to the muzzle is under pressure.

    Pressure gradients move things, which is why you can't inflate your tires to 32 psi if the compressor's tank is storing 30 psi. The pressure gradient in this case is from the breach to the atmosphere OUTSIDE of the silencer, and then an equilibrium is reached followed by the bolt working, and repeating the process.

    This is the reason why I can open the chamber and there is smoke from firing the cartridge at the action, and at the muzzle of the can. If the pressure gradient went from the silencer to the bolt, then the outside air would displace the smoke and carry things into the barrel leaving no smoke behind.


    I've generally seen an increase in accuracy with silencers - and granted I just clicked skipped the video, but if he doesn't show the ammo he's using, and loaded the test by using ammo his rifle doesn't like for the silencer but used ammo it does without it, that's a easy peasy way to load the video for views and monetization. If he is changing ammo, the lubricant type applied to the bullet, and the changes thereof, would play havoc on his groups until the fouling left in the barrel remains relatively consistent. There's a lot of factors at play here.


    When I get a day off I'll show mine at 50 and 100, same ammo I've been using, unsurpressed and surpressed, and we can get some more data to go off of.
    Nice people fall to the manipulator. The manipulator crumbles under the assertive. The assertive shrinks before the aggressive. The aggressive have no plan for the assaultive. The assaultive are unprepared for the homicidal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlejerry View Post
    I haven't been able to test this enough to have an opinion.
    most of my accuracy testing has been with the can ON, and only occasionally checking for POI shifts. Couple of thoughts:

    -Not all .22 cans are created equal. Just about all are disassembleable down to individual baffles which means assembly and manufacturing tolerances are important. I wonder if a monocore design could provide better accuracy? You could always thread a 5.56 can on for comparison. 50 rds of 22lr won't kill it.
    - I recall some people claiming that rotational baffle alignment (for asymmetric/clipped baffles) mattered. Maybe it does at the limits of 22LR precision?
    - Maybe it's a harmonic tuning thing? You could try hanging your can near the end of your barrel with tape to see if the added mass is the culprit, or try using a barrel tuner with the can.
    I'm using a SiCo Specter 2 and an EA NYX Mod 2. The video shows a TB and SiCo Sparrow (I think). We have a Sparrow and Gemtech monocore at work, so I might test with those to see if monocore makes a difference. Suppressor design definitely can matter, as numerous people have reported accuracy issues with the SiCo Switchback in the stupid quiet baffle configuration. Both of my cans are K-baffle designs with specific alignment. I'm also using an ATS Tuner to ensure that it isn't a harmonics issue. If harmonics were the culprit, some can/barrel/ammo combination should shoot substantially better suppressed because you would get to positive compensation with that combo.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeep45238 View Post
    My tikka bolt gun, with a SRD22x can and CCI 0056 ammo prints just under .5MOA at 100 yards.

    Clean your can well, and understand that your rifle may like different ammo comparing suppressed vs unsurpassed.
    I've notice the effect with a perfectly clean can and across numerous ammo types including: CCI Standard, Federal GMM, Lapua Center X, Lapua Midas Plus, SK Rifle Match, and various Eley match ammo.

    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    I have not noticed any big issues using suppressors. I remember watching that video linked above and thinking "Really?"

    One thing I have noticed is when I leave my can on for a really long time (say over 1000 rounds) carbon will build up on my barrel muzzle. The crown was pretty caked up so I took everything apart and cleaned it taking special care on the muzzle.

    When I went back out the next time I could see a noticable difference in accuracy.

    Given that was partially (or more like completely) my fault but it gave me something to think about.

    The actual muzzle/crown is a vital part of things and it can easily get gummed up resulting in the creation of a false crown when enough carbon builds up. I'm sure my case was extreme but who knows if others notice a similar thing but a lot earlier on. I would imagine that people that are shooting for extremely small groups will be the most sensitive to it.

    I said "no" originally on the basis that someone is aware of this and doesn't let it get out of hand.
    A dirty can/crown can defintely cause problems, but I'm seeing it even with a clean can (just like the video).

    Quote Originally Posted by BWT View Post
    Outsiderís perspective.

    Suppressors slow the flow of gas out and cool it.

    We know suppressors increase the pressure back in semiís and increase the cyclic rate.

    In a bolt gun that particulate and debris either goes (ETA back in the barrel or slows and out the suppressor.

    I feel like this have more to do with that than anything shaking loose.

    This was readily apparent in that video.

    I think the design of the suppressor and how itís baffle stack imparts gas on the projectile is one thing. Another is whatís blowing back into the gun itself and the barrel?

    I think this will be harder to discern with higher velocity cartridges and wonder if him shooting subsonic rounds exacerbated or alleviated the issue.

    The evidence is irrefutable in my eyes.

    Does it matter for your purposes? Probably not. Unless youíre trying to gain every competitive advantage to have smaller groupings.

    Very cool find! Thanks for sharing.
    As I mentioned above, there are some known .22 suppressor designs that cause accuracy/precision issues. The problem with supersonic .22 is that you are dealing with transonic bullet flight issues at very short ranges. There are some shooters that do not think this is as much of an issue with common .22 bullet shapes, but almost all "match" .22 is subsonic. By switching to supers you're likely going to take a hit on velocity SDs compared to most Lapua or Eley match ammo. The exception is potentially Eley Force, but I haven't been able to find enough of the same lot in sufficient quantity to buy to test/shoot for awhile.

    Since my purposes include winning .22 precision rimfire matches, yes.

  8. #8
    If you have a center-fire can available I'd be interested to see if you see the same effect.

    1). I would expect a welded baffle stack to have better alignment vs. a disassembleable can
    2) Overbore for a .264 or even .30 cal projectile my minimize any turbulence acting on the projectile.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeep45238 View Post
    I'll argue that it's not relevant at all in a bolt gun. The chamber stays sealed under pressure, as the action isn't worked until there is 0 pressure - meaning from the breach to the muzzle is under pressure.

    Pressure gradients move things, which is why you can't inflate your tires to 32 psi if the compressor's tank is storing 30 psi. The pressure gradient in this case is from the breach to the atmosphere OUTSIDE of the silencer, and then an equilibrium is reached followed by the bolt working, and repeating the process.

    This is the reason why I can open the chamber and there is smoke from firing the cartridge at the action, and at the muzzle of the can. If the pressure gradient went from the silencer to the bolt, then the outside air would displace the smoke and carry things into the barrel leaving no smoke behind.


    I've generally seen an increase in accuracy with silencers - and granted I just clicked skipped the video, but if he doesn't show the ammo he's using, and loaded the test by using ammo his rifle doesn't like for the silencer but used ammo it does without it, that's a easy peasy way to load the video for views and monetization. If he is changing ammo, the lubricant type applied to the bullet, and the changes thereof, would play havoc on his groups until the fouling left in the barrel remains relatively consistent. There's a lot of factors at play here.


    When I get a day off I'll show mine at 50 and 100, same ammo I've been using, unsurpressed and surpressed, and we can get some more data to go off of.
    How does a seal remain in tact to exhaust through the chamber with a hole on the other end?

    To me that further emphasizes the amount of gas, etc. going back into the gun if vapors come out of the chamber on cycling the action.

    First Round Pop only happens at the first shot in a string - to a point. After awhile oxygen permeats the barrel and suppressor to once again have another FRP.
    God Bless,

    Brandon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWT View Post
    How does a seal remain in tact to exhaust through the chamber with a hole on the other end?

    To me that further emphasizes the amount of gas, etc. going back into the gun if vapors come out of the chamber on cycling the action.

    First Round Pop only happens at the first shot in a string - to a point. After awhile oxygen permeats the barrel and suppressor to once again have another FRP.
    It's a pressure gradient - an average of 14.7 psi exists at sea level, and there's a max of 24,000 psi in the brass upon ignition. That pressure pushes the bullet, and drops to ambient rather quickly once the barrel is no longer plugged by the bullet.

    There is no seal - it is that there is no pressure gradient, so the residue and smoke remain in the barrel until the action is opened, or sufficient time passes to allow thermodynamics to evacuate the smoke (hot air rises, nature loves things to be in balance). Things don't go BACK into the gun on a bolt action at all, which would require the barrel to have a vacuum in order to pull things INTO the barrel.

    Pressure gradients move things when we're talking about pneumatics or hydraulics.
    Nice people fall to the manipulator. The manipulator crumbles under the assertive. The assertive shrinks before the aggressive. The aggressive have no plan for the assaultive. The assaultive are unprepared for the homicidal.

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