Versatile and affordable, Ruger's Silent-SR makes going suppressed simple.
How the Silent-SR out performs other rimfire suppressors:
- Compatible with .22 LR, .22 WMR, .17 HMR and 5.7×28 FN.
- Manuverable 5.37-inches long.
- Durible titanium tube.
- Snap-together stainless-steel baffle stack.
- Pig-nose baffles increase noise reduction.
You have no idea of the changes we old shooters have had to go through lately. New shooters, perusing the racks of gear, haven’t a clue of the past. Oh, old timers will moan about the loss of “quality craftsmanship,” but for most applications, a CNC machine is better than a silver-haired craftsman.
And the choices? If you had told me, back when I was learning gunsmithing, that someday Ruger would be making 1911 pistols, AR-15 rifles — and holy cow, suppressors — I would’ve laughed so hard I would have squirted coffee out of my nose. Back in those days, that possibility didn’t even appear on the horizon.
And yet, here we are.
At the moment, Ruger (they are not free and easy with rumors, hints or leaks about what’s coming, so always pay attention) offer two suppressors, both for rimfires. One is a super-cool, super-trick integrally-suppressed Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle. But it only works on the 10/22 Takedown.
The other is a “regular” threaded suppressor for use on any properly threaded .22 or other rimfire firearm. The Silent-SR (you all saw what they did there, right?) is, at first glance, just another rimfire “can.” From the outside, it looks like any other.
Well … appearances can be deceiving.
On The Inside
The Silent-SR is a basic design: a tube with baffles and end caps. However, it’s rated for an impressive list of the small stuff. It can take .22 LR and is full-auto rated for that. (Those lucky enough to take advantage of such an option, please keep it to yourselves. The rest of us are jealous enough as it is.) It can handle .22 WMR, .17 HMR and the big one here, the 5.7×28 FN cartridge. That means you 5.7 fans can now get a suppressor on your favorite tiny centerfire blaster, one that will stand up to the extra work over normal rimfires that the cartridge puts on a suppressor.
Lightweight and compact, the Silent-SR is 5.37 inches long, the slightest whisker over 1 inch in diameter (1.06 inches) and weighs 6.3 ounces. Finished in flat black Cerakote, it will fit in with pretty much any rimfire firearm you care to park it on. It comes in the Ruger box, with a nylon carry pouch, with owner’s manual and a disassembly tool.
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The mount is a vanilla-plain ½-28, that is, a half-inch thread twenty-eight of them to the inch, which is the common thread pitch on all threaded rimfires — and that includes a bunch of centerfires as well.
Which brings me to a minor point: Rifles chambered in .22 LR and .223 Rem./5.56 NATO will both have threaded muzzles with a pitch of ½-28. If you’re taking a bunch of friends to the range and they’re new at this, do not let them assemble suppressors and firearms unsupervised. They won’t know not to do it, and you will be quite unhappy with the results of a .223 Rem. /5.56 NATO rifle combined with your .22LR rated suppressor.
However, in a rimfire, you’ll all have a blast. (Or not, so to speak.)
Proven Design, With A Twist
The Silent-SR is constructed the old-fashioned way, with an outer tube, internal baffles in a “stack” and front and rear end caps. But, the old-fashioned approach has been given some new twists by Ruger, and the end result is greater than the sum of the parts.
First, the tube is made of titanium. The traditional material for the external tube of a rimfire suppressor has been aluminum. Aluminum is light, easy to machine, durable enough and inexpensive. However, Titanium is much stronger, while giving up a small but acceptable amount of weight. It’s also a lot more forgiving of heavy-handed cleaning and use, which is the one downside of an aluminum tube. Why do we worry about cleaning? Simple: Short of blackpowder cartridges, rimfire ammo — especially the lowly .22 LR — is the dirtiest ammunition you will ever shoot.
A rimfire suppressor, left uncleaned, will collect an impressive amount of powder residue, wax lubricant and flakes of metallic lead in short order. Building up range session after range session, it will soon “carbon weld” your suppressor into a single lump. That is, the buildup of gunk will make it impossible to take the suppressor apart, and the buildup will also add weight and cut down on your suppressor’s efficiency. That’s why all rimfire suppressors are made to be disassembled and cleaned.
Taking the Ruger Silent-SR apart is easy. Remove the Silent-SR from whatever firearm you’ve been using it on. Use the included disassembly tool to unscrew both the front and rear caps. Push the baffle stack out of the tube to the rear. One extra detail of the Silent-SR is that the rear cap — the mount end — has been designed so that when you wrestle the Silent-SR off of your firearm, you can’t inadvertently disassemble it.
And the extras continue: The baffle stack has been designed so each of the components snaps into the one behind it. The stack comes out as one piece, and you have to snap each baffle off of the stack to get it apart. And when you go to reassemble, you snap them back in. If you don’t snap one in, it remains misaligned with the stack, a clear indication that you are doing it wrong.
Along with the snap-apart and snap-together design, the Ruger engineers also gave you another boon. The skirt of each baffle, which is the cylindrical part that rides in the outer tube, is as close to the ID of the tube as possible. Combined with the snap-together design, it prevents the vast majority of the powder residue and other gunk from getting to the outer tube. Older designs that did not do this as well (or some, at all) meant that the powder residue was acting to lock the baffle stack inside the tube. The Silent-SR design removes almost all of that. You only get what few gases and residues that can squirt through the tiny gap between the baffle snap joints.
So, as a result, pushing the stack out of the Silent-SR for cleaning is a lot easier.
The baffles, just like the thread mount part of the rear cap and the entire front cap, are made of 17-4 stainless-steel so you can really scrub them clean. In fact, if you want to dump them into an ultrasonic cleaner, they won’t care. (Use the correct, recommended solution, of course.)
Reassembly is also easy: just snap the baffles together. You have three types: the rear cap, the blast chamber and all the rest. The rear baffle, obviously, has to go into the rear cap, because the baffle is the thread mount. Next, you have to place the blast chamber into the mount baffle. You can tell which is the blast-chamber baffle because it’s the one that has a simple central hole through it. The rest all have what are call a “pig-nose” shape, which is meant to induce turbulence in the powder gas flow, and as a result, increase noise-dampening. All the rest can be assembled in any order.
Ruger made this easy: If you get it wrong, the assembly won’t fit. If you have to force something, stop. Needing force is a big clue that something is wrong. Find out what, correct it, and get back to proper assembly. You might notice in reassembling the stack that the rear baffle — again the mount baffle — also has a rubber O-ring on it. This is more cleverness, and it’s there to keep the gases from leaking back out of the stack, getting into the threads of the cap and seizing it to the external tube.
Installing the Silent-SR in a firearm is also easy. Make sure you have the suppressor aligned with the barrel, and rotate it until you feel the threads catch. Then spin it on until it stops, give it a snug by hand to tighten it, and get to shooting. After the first couple of magazines, check tightness again. The heat and vibration of shooting might have loosened it a bit. Snug it up again and spend your day shooting.
Silencing The Range
Unless you’ve been living in a cave someplace, you know that Ruger also makes firearms. In fact, they were making firearms with threaded muzzles before they were making suppressors, so it should come as no surprise that they can also provide you with a firearm on which to mount your Silent-SR, should you so choose. They list eight firearms families that can readily accept the Silent-SR.
I have both a 10/22 threaded for suppressors and an array of Ruger pistols, so I took the 10/22 and a new Mk IV pistol off to the range to test with the Silent-SR.
What resulted was yet another uneventful and fun day of plinking … just expending ammo. I took a bit of time to shoot some targets, but the results were pretty boring: the same size groups, and in the same location, as groups fired without the Silent-SR in place. And the best part: Even if you don’t have a threaded-muzzle Ruger rimfire, if your current rimfire is threaded and properly aligned, you can put your Silent-SR on any other rimfire.
How much is the Silent-SR? The list price is $449. Now, buying a suppressor is a bit more involved than buying a firearm (unless you happen to live in some horrible place like New York City or Southern California. New Jersey we will not even speak of.) You have to find a dealer in suppressors, and not every gun shop is licensed to do so. You’ll need to fill out an application called a Form 4 with the assistance of the dealer and mail it to the ATF, along with a check for $200. This is the transfer tax. Then you wait.
Once the transfer is approved, you then fill out the 4473 (the Silent-SR is considered a Firearm by the Feds, and thus requires a 4473 for the purchase) and then you can take it home.
Now, you may have heard of the “HPR” or Hearing Protection Act. This is proposed legislation that changes the status of suppressors at the Federal level and makes them just firearms. No $200 tax and no long wait — just the NICS check and take your suppressor home. This is proposed legislation, and until it has actually been passed, it’s no reason to delay your application and purchase.
When the Hearing Protection Act was first proposed, a lot of people just put their suppressor purchase plans on hold, waiting for the law to pass. Well, it hasn’t yet, and only a fool defers fun waiting for Congress to do the right thing.
So, we see that progress can be good, and that change might not need to be avoided. Ruger is hard at work making your plinking and other shooting less work. Such efforts should be rewarded. Get out there now and buy what you want. The fun you are otherwise putting off is your own.
Overall length: 5.37 inches
Net length added to firearm: 5 inches
Diameter: 1.06 inches
Material: Titanium tube, aluminum rear cap, stainless mount, baffles and front cap
Weight: 6.3 ounces
Calibers: .22 LR, .22 WMR, .17 HMR, 5.7×28
Full-auto rated: Yes
Mount system available: Direct thread, ½-28