Rimfire silencers are tricky things. They have to be lightweight enough to fit on a tiny little gun without changing the balance, and yet strong enough to contain the force of the escaping gases when you light off a round. Most of the rimfire silencers on the market accomplish this by using a series of baffles held together by the endcaps. The prodigy, on the other hand, is something completely different.
As a preface, I just wanted to emphasize that this is not a “full” review of this product. Here at TTAG we usually reserve judgment until we’ve put a couple hundred rounds through something and tried it out in different conditions. Unfortunately the BATFE here in the U.S. prevents us from getting our hands on silencers for protracted testing unless we go through months of waiting, spend $200 per transfer, and live in certain states. It’s impractical. Luckily I recently had a chance to visit the Advanced Armament Corp. factory and test all of their cans under their supervision. While the tests may not have been as complete as I want, they were good enough for a brief review.
The biggest thing the Prodigy has going for it is the “mono-core” design. With other rimfire silencers all of the baffles are separate, meaning that they come out one at a time and are a pain in the ass to put back together. With the Prodigy, the baffles are made out of one solid piece of 7075-T6 aluminum and the aluminum sheath simply slides off. Cleaning is a breeze, as all the user has to do is remove the dirt and grime, wipe the thing down, and slide it back into the sheath. Even a trained monkey could do it.
Mono-core designs are not something new at AAC. For the larger calibers, such as centerfire pistol and rifle, sealed solid inner cores are the gold standard. The force of the expanding gases requires a solid and sturdy framework to push against and trap them inside the can to cool down. For rimfire the expanding gases weren’t the problem, but the mono-core solution seemed like the perfect way to make cleaning easier and the construction more solid.
The mono-core construction brought with it an interesting quirk as well: the second shot out of the silencer is quieter than the first. The reason (according to John Hollister) is that the first shot burns off all of the available oxygen in the silencer. The next round fired, having only the oxidizers at hand in the powder available to burn, is a little quieter. This quirk means that in order to get the most out of your can it’s probably best to use it on semi-automatic firearms.
So how does it perform? Skip to about 1:28. Fast forward to about 7:20 to see it on an SBR Ruger 10/22 rifle.
In terms of sheer sound reduction, it’s on par with the Element. So quiet your neighbors will never know the horrors befalling your varmint population. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most of the noise coming off that gun was due to the action cycling and not the firing process.
The Prodigy seems to be a well thought out and constructed silencer for the .22lr platform that performs great in the field, which is exactly what you want out of a rimfire silencer. The only drawback is that it takes .22lr only, and not any other rimfire calibers.
Prodigy – .22lr Silencer
Sound Reduction: 40 dB
Ratings (out of 5):
Sound Suppression: * * * * (*)
There’s an asterisk to the asterisks here. For the first round, the sound suppression is at about a 4 star level – just about quiet as anything else I’ve fired. And believe it or not, I’ve fired my fair share of .22lr silencers in my day. But from the second round on this thing is just unbelievable. 5/5 once the oxygen is gone. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t make it any quieter.
Build Quality: * * * *
The solid mono-core design gives me the warm and fuzzies like no other .22lr can ever has. It looks and feels to be solid as a rock. Well, solid as a .22lr silencer. It still feels a bit… light. But then again I’m a rifle guy, so pistol folks may find that to be a positive feature.
Ease of Use: * * * * *
Screw on, screw off. Cleaning is a snap too.
Overall Rating: * * * *
It’s cheaper than the Element, more solid and well constructed than the Pilot 2, and goes great with a pink shirt. The Prodigy only loses a point because it’s .22lr only and can’t handle any other rimfire caliber.
(Pictures courtesy Advanced Armament Co.)