Everyone agrees that silencers are awesome, and make the shooting experience way more enjoyable. Even so, silencer ownership is still relatively uncommon in the United States. The number one reason I keep hearing from people as to why they don’t buy one is that the barrier to entry is still way too high for the end result. Silencers are expensive, the wait while the paperwork is processed is a pain in the butt, and at the end you have a can with a limited capability. It seemed like you needed three silencers to cover all the bases, namely a rimfire can, a pistol can, and a rifle can. But what if all of those excuses suddenly disappeared?
As a preface, I just wanted to point out that this is not a typical TTAG review. 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 folks at Liberty Suppressors and test all of their cans under their supervision. While the tests may not be as extensive as a standard review, I feel that they were sufficient to allow me to form an opinion on the product.
Unauthorized EDIT by Jeremy S. — I have owned the original version of the Liberty Mystic since Nov, 2012. I’ve put many thousands of rounds through it to include .223/5.56, 9mm, .22 LR, and .300 BLK. It is absolutely freaking awesome and is as good as it was on day one. I’ve cleaned it in an ultrasonic tank a few times, scrubbed the heck out of the baffles with bore brushes, and shot 5.56 through it at a significantly higher rate of fire than Liberty suggests. It’s quite possibly the quietest 9mm can on the market, and it’s a top performer in most other calibers as well, including .22 LR although obviously it’s a bit larger than needed for that application. It is amazingly cool to have a single can with a few mounts that can go on ~8 different guns that are in my safe right now. That’s a lot of mileage out of your $200 tax stamp! …next up, I’m putting it on an M1894 Nagant revolver…
Liberty Suppressors came out with their Mystic 9mm silencer a while back, and while it was pretty good it wasn’t quite perfect. After some work on the internals and the materials, Liberty is now releasing their Mystic-X silencer. Rather than only being rated for one or two calibers, the Mystic-X is rated for fifty two calibers. And counting.
The concept behind the Mystic-X is that they wanted a silencer that would be perfect for the first time commercial buyer. Unlike the “big boys” that focus on military contracts and then try to sell the end result on the civilian market as well, Liberty’s suppressors are engineered from the ground up to be consumer focused. This specific model is designed to systematically eliminate all of the objections that a first time silencer buyer has, with the end goal of getting them hooked on making all of their guns quiet.
The first hurdle they tackled was getting their silencer to work on a wide array of firearms. The existing Mystic was great for 9mm and other lower calibers, but with the Mystic-X they’ve found a combination of materials and design work that allows them to certify this can for use on an insane number of calibers. Everything from .22lr up through .300 BLK and even subsonic .308 Winchester is now possible with this one silencer.
Part of the reason that the Mystic-X is capable of shooting so many calibers is due to the easy disassembly process. The can strips down into the constituent parts within seconds, allowing you to remove the built-up lead and carbon that accumulates when using rimfire cartridges, but it’s still strong enough to not come apart under pressure. Disassembly is achieved with the help of a special circular wrench (red above) that slots into grooves on the bottom of the can. Once that nut is removed, the sheath slides off and the baffle stack is directly accessible. Easy as pie.
An easily to disassemble silencer is probably one of the most important features that new silencer owners look for, and another barrier to entry that Liberty wanted to smash. The ability to clean and maintain their investment and thereby increase the service lifetime is important for a lot of people, and while some experts scoff at take-apart silencers there’s no doubting that they’re what the public wants. I’ve disassembled my fair share of cans, and Liberty’s Mystic-X is damn near the top of the list in terms of ease of maintenance.
While we have the can apart, let’s talk about the baffle stack. AAC and most of the other big names in silencers still use the old “k baffle” design, stacking identical cups on top of each other (and often welding them in place) to make the baffle stack. Liberty disagrees, and has committed to making every one of their silencers using a monocore design (a solid chunk of milled metal). Not only does it result in a more durable design, but it makes for a much easier to maintain silencer as well. There is one drawback, namely a more pronounced first round “pop” when using the can. Once the oxygen in the can has been exhausted, though, it works just as well as everything else. And they’re working on fixing the first round pop issue as well.
Part of that disassembly process is removing the adapter at the end of the silencer, a $95 part that can be replaced with any number of alternative threadings and mounts. There are adapters available for everything from boring old 1/2×28 through Uzi and H&K 3-lug mounts, all on the website available for sale. The best results come with direct thread adapters though.
The can is only guaranteed to shoot up to subsonic .308 ammunition, but thanks to the improved internal design it’s capable of much more. “We know people are going to push the limits, so we decided to be conservative with the calibers we listed” says David Saylors, owner of Liberty Suppressors. He told me of one event he went to where they slapped a Mystic-X on the end of a short barreled 7.62×39 AK-47 and loaded up a 75 round drum magazine. Apparently the silencer continued to work flawlessly as the materials heated up, but the can eventually turned cherry red and then the Cerakote finish literally burned off. Not something you’d want to do to your own NFA device, but it’s good to know that the product is capable of much more than “normal usage” will put it through.
So what we have is a silencer that is rated for an insane number of calibers, that is easy to take apart and maintain, and looks damn spiffy to boot. That’s all well and good, but the real question is how well the can works in the real world. To get an answer we flew down to Georgia to meet with the folks from Liberty Suppressors and test out their gear. As for how it went, well, you be the judge.
We tested the four main calibers people will use this can with, namely .22lr on rifles and handguns, 9mm, 300 BLK, and 5.56 NATO. In every case, the result was a shooting experience on par with anything else currently on the market today. Every round was hearing safe, and while the suppression with the larger calibers wasn’t as drastic as with a dedicated silencer it was still sufficient for anything from target shooting to hunting. In other words, it’s a true jack of all trades.
The last hurdle people have for silencers is often the biggest: the price. Cans can be expensive, but Liberty Suppressors prices their products extremely competitively. For example, the Advanced Armament Ti-Rant 9mm (which is a competing 9mm pistol silencer that still uses individual K baffles and is a pain to take apart) is priced at $850. The Liberty Mystic-X, which is rated for an order of magnitude more calibers including supersonic .300 BLK which the Ti-Rant can’t do, is priced at $799. It’s not a huge difference in price, but given the vastly improved utility it’s significant enough to get people to pay attention.
My standard recommendation for people looking to buy their first silencer used to be AAC’s 762-SDN-6. It’s a great rifle can, but the quick attach system wears out quickly and it can’t do rimfire calibers. Having spent some time with the Liberty Mystic-X, I think I’ve found a new go-to recommendation for new can owners. Liberty set out to make a product that would meet and exceed the needs of a first time owner, and I think they blew it out of the water.
Ratings (out of 5):
Sound Suppression: * * * *
The first round pop is still a problem, but it’s not a deal breaker. Due to the nature of the silencer’s design it isn’t the ideal can for things like .300 BLK and 5.56, but it does the job well enough.
Build Quality: * * * * *
I’ve got no complaints about the quality of their product. The mounts feel chunky and solid, and the tube itself seems durable enough for years of use in the field.
Ease of Use: * * * * *
Screw on, screw off. Cleaning is a snap too.
Overall Rating: * * * * *
If you’re a first time silencer owner, this is the can to get. Even if you own other silencers, it’s still worth a look as an every-day utility can.