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Silencers and Semi-autos – A Parable

Imagine that you have a friend who is ready to buy his first AR15. Instead of following any reasonable advise, they go to a gun show and buy a random AR from one of these fly by night companies no one has ever heard of before or will hear of again.


Then they have some issues. Not being the sort to just settle, they work them out. Now your friend goes online and is is an “experienced expert” on the AR15. They go into great detail on how you have to take the gas block off and open up the gas port with a drill to get the gun to be reliable. How you need to take a file and open up the back of the mag well so that magazines will seat correctly. How there are so very many things you need to do to make an AR15 a reliable combat worthy firearm.

You try to tell them that none of that would have been necessary had they bought the right AR15 to begin with, but instead they insist that this work needs to be done to ALL AR15s.

Wouldn’t that be pretty damned infuriating? In the good ol’ days you might punch a man in the face for being so obstinately wrong, but we are more polite than that now.

There are people out there who claim that you have to use an adjustable gas block with a silencer. That all silencers cause excessive back pressure. That you need to switch buffers or change the gas system when running a silencer on an AR15.

This isn’t a matter of someone buying a cheap junky silencer to put on a cheap junky rifle, this is a matter of compatibility. Someone can buy a top of the line silencer and throw it on a semi auto and run into issues because the silencer was designed with bolt actions in mind. It might be the best silencer to put on a bolt action, but no consideration was made as to back pressure with that design. So when they throw it on a semi-auto, suddenly they have an over gassed gun. Now this expert tells everyone that every silencer will cause an over gassed gun. No, your bolt gun silencer will cause an over gassed semi-auto.

I saw a post on a forum today where someone was wanting to suppress a standard M4 configuration AR15. They said that they knew that a mid length 14.5 would be better for being silenced (WTF did that come from? Someone show me the research that says that.) This person was worried if it would even work at all, or if they would have to get an adjustable gas system and tune the buffer weights, etc.

Fortunately several people responded that they had the same setup and didn’t have to change a thing.

Yes, all guns can be tuned and improved, and that isn’t what I am talking about. I’m talking about those loud mouthed know-it-all’s, that once tried to make a soup sandwich and failed, that now claim that all sandwiches are bad.

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