The second-generation model of Surefire’s SOCOM 556 RC suppressor adds to the design while reducing the overall cost.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Or so the old saying goes. One might wonder, then, why Surefire updated the SOCOM RC to the RC-2. The advancements of competitors may have been one motivator, but increases in technology and experience at Surefire were likely strong factors as well. When The Silencer Shop offered to send me the RC-2 to evaluate, I jumped at the chance. Back in 2013 I used a Surefire RC suppressor in a 3-gun match with good success. The RC had a solid quick-detach (QD) mechanism that attached to the Surefire muzzle brake installed at the factory on my Colt Competition CRP-18. The original RC was quiet, accurate, and performed well. It was marketed as the SOCOM556 RC, indicating it had been awarded a SOCOM contract for use with the Mk18 and M4.
The Surefire SOCOM RC-2 has improved on the original design in several areas. Back pressure, a source of excess gas in the face, was reduced in the redesign. Less back pressure also reduces the cyclic rate of the action, which is of importance to those shooting full auto suppressed. Most civilian users don’t really need a dampened cyclic rate, but having less gas pressure in the action to deal with is a welcome improvement. Durability was improved with the addition of a blast shield in the rear of the suppressor.
The QD mechanism was upgraded in the RC-2 to provide a more solid lock up by using tapered bearing surfaces. This is something several manufacturers have moved to in the past few years. It seems nobody likes a wobbly suppressor. A less obvious improvement in the RC-2 QD system is that now the index tab is in a low carbon build up area. This makes the suppressor easier to remove after extended shooting sessions. As a seasoned suppressor shooter, I can attest to the utility of this design change. QD suppressors exist that are anything but quick-detach after a few hundred rounds, and there is nothing more irritating than having to take a pipe wrench to a “quick-detach” suppressor.
Point of impact (POI) shift when going from suppressed to unsuppressed varies by brand and model of suppressor, sometimes significantly. The Surefire RC had minimal POI shift in this regard, and the RC-2 retains this feature. The test unit used in this evaluation shifted POI down a little less than an inch at 100 yards when going from unsuppressed to suppressed fire. This shift was consistently repeatable. While many of us simply shoot suppressed almost all the time, this feature is desirable for some users.
One of the most noticeable differences between the Surefire RC and the RC-2 is the price. The RC-2 is cheaper! With MSRPs of $1,395 and $1,095, respectively, the $300 reduction is a welcome change. Made in the USA, the Surefire SOCOM 556 RC-2 is a solid addition to any collection.
Surefire SOCOM 556 RC-2
Caliber: 5.56 NATO
Full Auto Rated: Yest
Attachment: Brake Mount
Weight: 17 oz.
Length: 6.2 in.
Diameter: 1.5 in.
Sound Level: Not stated
Materials: High temperature alloys and stainless steel
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the November 2016 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.