Silencer Review: Liberty Suppressors Chaotic

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300 AAC Blackout is really starting to take off. Almost every manufacturer offers it as an option for their guns, and the ammo is now widely available in big box stores like Academy. It seems like 300 BLK is at the tipping point where, at the very least, it will be self-sustaining and hang around much like other “boutique” calibers like .243 Win and .357 SIG. Part of that appeal comes from the easily suppressed nature of the round, offering subsonic capabilities alongside supersonic capabilities without changing anything. With an eye especially on the 300 BLK market, Liberty Suppressors released their Chaotic 30 caliber suppressor . . .

As a preface, I want to point out that this is not a typical TTAG review. We usually reserve judgment until we’ve put at least 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 annoying, impractical and cumbersome.

Luckily, though, 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 we would conduct in a standard review, I feel that they were sufficient to allow me to form an educated opinion on the product.

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The concept behind the Chaotic was to create the best 300 Blackout suppressor that could possibly be made, and their execution is pretty much spot-on.

When it comes to making silencers, the key is volume. Not sound volume, but physical capacity volume. The bigger your silencer, the more effective it will be. Most silencer companies design their 30 caliber cans with an eye towards keeping the outer diameter (OD) small enough to fit inside the majority of rifle handguards on the market, a cool concept but one that requires a longer overall tube to get sufficient suppression.

With the Chaotic, Liberty decided to make their OD match that of the rails instead of trying to fit inside. That wider diameter (2 inches compared to AAC’s 762-SDN-6’s 1.5 inches) means the silencer can be shorter (6 inches compared to 7.66 inches for the 762-SDN-6) and therefore feel lighter. The farther out on a rifle you place something the more impact that added weight has, so keeping everything compact makes the can feel lighter — even when it’s not (21 ounces compared to 20 ounces with the 762-SDN-6). As a long time owner of the 762-SDN-6, I can definitively state that the Chaotic felt lighter on the rifle.

Another benefit of that extra diameter is increased surface area. As Kevin Brittingham (of AAC and SIG SAUER fame) likes to remind me every time I see him the two things that kill silencers are heat and pressure. The Chaotic manages pressure by having a larger interior volume, and the heat dissipation is aided by having a larger diameter. While the 762-SDN-6 is over an inch and a half longer, the Chaotic has 14% more surface area (100.5 square inches compared to 86.33) which means it dissipates heat faster.

 

There are, as always, some issues as well.

The Chaotic uses a sealed monocore design for the baffle stack. Monocore designs are excellent for take-apart silencers, but with sealed cans you have the ability to permanently weld together your baffles and make a more complex interior design. SIG SAUER is using that exact design concept for their first entry into the world of silencers, and until 3D metal printing comes of age welded K baffles are still probably the best choice for a quiet rifle can. There’s much more detail that you can put into a welded can’s interior designs than you can with a straight milled monocore design, and that detail is evident in the first round pop you hear with monocore designs that is absent from welded K baffle designs.

issue #2 is the adapter. I’m coming around to the idea that direct thread is the way to go with silencer designs, but there’s still something very appealing about a quick attach system where you can use the same silencer on a number of different rifles with different thread pitches for their threads. The SilencerCo Harvester series expertly bridges that gap by having replaceable end caps with different thread pitches for your different guns, and that same feature is also one of the things I liked best about the Mystic-X. The Chaotic has one thread pitch (5/8×24), and that’s it. If you have something else you’ll need an adapter to make it work.

Issues aside, the real test is how it does on the range. It works. On the range, the silencer feels light and works well. Suppression is excellent, and even supersonic 300 BLK is hearing safe.

Compared to the rest of the competition, it stacks up pretty well. It’s priced on par with the SilencerCo Harvester and the AAC Cyclone, both direct thread .30 caliber silencers in the same field, but the Harvester is rated for larger calibers than either the Cyclone or the Chaotic. As for Gemtech, the only comparable product is the Sandstorm and that is about 50% more money for the same suppression and calibers. Where the Chaotic falls down is the ability to move from one host to another. As long as the thread pitch is the same you’re good to go, but if you’re moving from 5/8×24 to 1/2×28 then you won’t be a happy camper.

Specifications – Liberty Chaotic
Length: 6″
Weight: 21oz
Diameter: 25″
MSRP: $750

Ratings (out of five stars): 

Sound Suppression: * * * *
The first round pop is still a problem, but it’s not a deal breaker. It’s perfect for 300 BLK, but it works for .308 Winchester and smaller as well.

Build Quality: * * * * *
I’ve got no complaints about the quality of their product. The tube feels solid, and everything looks great.

Ease of Use: * * * *
Screw on, screw off. Sealed tube means no cleaning, though. One star off for only one thread pitch.

Overall Rating: * * *
Compared to anything AAC has to offer, this blows them out of the water on every spec. But the SilencerCo Harvester has them beat on ease of use, caliber compatibility, and suppression for the same price. It’s a good silencer, but compared to the competition it looks to be the very definition of a “middle of the road” choice.

comments

  1. avatar Joel Bice says:

    You lost me at, “like other “boutique” calibers like .243 WIN.”

    1. avatar Sean in MT says:

      Yeah, the .243 is probably the most common caliber gun found leaning in ranch house doorways and in pickup gun racks here in Montana.

      1. avatar Joel Bice says:

        My best guess is that he was talking about AR type rifles. Which wouldn’t be too off base. I haven’t seen a large number of AR’s in .243 WIN. I still maintain that calling .243 WIN a “boutique” caliber is like calling a chicken a “rare exotic bird”.

      2. avatar dakiwi13 says:

        while true, there are more people that don’t live in ranch houses nor in montana than those that do

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          The .243 Winchester is probably the most popular deer hunting cartridge in the world. It’s used mostly in bolt action rifles, although there are a few AR conversions.

    2. avatar Indiana Mike says:

      You beat me to it. .243 Win is most likely the most used White Tail deer caliber in the Country. With varmint hunting, it’s a VERY popular , and capable, caliber.

  2. avatar ClayinUT says:

    Can’t clean it is a deal breaker for me. If I am spending a total of $950 including tax stamp, I do not want to throw it away when the baffles are full of crap, and it no longer suppresses. I am thinking about the OSS instead.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      From what I gather, you will only have to clean a can once every 10,000 rounds or so. Most users and customer support tell me that you should clean them as little as possible. They run quieter dirty, not as quiet as running wet, if you catch what I’m pitchin’. The most extreme of the answers I have received is a question; “Do you clean the muffler on your car?”

      http://www.silencershop.com/sonic-cleaners-suppressors/

      “Generally, the best approach is to soak it overnight in a gun cleaning solvent then rinse it out with water. (It’s easiest to just plug one end and fill it up with solvent.)

      Having said that, please keep in mind that less is more when you’re cleaning rifle suppressors. You should wait at least 2-3K rounds between cleaning, and it’s often better to go even longer. In most cases, we recommend not cleaning them at all – unless you’re using either corrosive or unjacketed ammo.”

      1. If it gets full we have a lifetime warranty and we can rebuild the can. You won’t ever reach that point, though. This also has the advantage of it will work on anything with a 5/8-24tpi thread unlike other cans that need a proprietary barrel. Something to think about.

  3. avatar Noah says:

    .243 WIN is a boutique caliber? Since when? The round has been around for a VERY long time and is a common deer round. Seriously author?

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Yeah I don’t know a single person who’s first deer rifle wasnt a .243win, it could be argued that it is THE Texas Whitetail deer round. Did you mean the 260Remington Nick? That’s the only -08 case child that could be considered a “boutique” cartridge. The 243 with a 100grain soft point is probably one of the 2nd or 3rd most common whitetail rounds in existence, if not that it is certainly comfortably within the top 10. Especially if you are talking youth hunters.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        “I don’t know a single person who’s first deer rifle wasnt a .243win”, too funny Tex, sounds like you might actually be the kid working the Gander Mountain gun counter.

    2. avatar Observer says:

      Perhaps “niche” would be more accurate than “boutique” for .243 Win. I’ve been shooting since I was 8 and have never had either occasion or desire to shoot a .243 Win. Then again, I’m not a hunter.

  4. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    Nick, isn’t the Harvester an aluminum tube with SS baffles? I have always heard it is more geared for low volume precision fire/ bolt guns. Liberty’s website says titanium tube and SS core, so I would assume the Chaotic is more geared towards AR shooters and rated for higher rate of fire?

  5. avatar Kory says:

    .243 is boutique because it was based on the .308 winchester. It was a wildcat round in 1955 until popular use made it a common caliber. He is only saying that the .300 BLK is in the same category. It will become mainstream and people will balk and say this isn’t a boutique round but it is.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      I would consider the .260 more boutique than the .243. Both are based on the .308 cartridge, but the .243 is by far more widely used by hunters. I guess today’s “boutique” is anything not chambered in a NATO spec.

  6. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    The artificially inflated price of 300 BLK ammo is killing my enthusiasm for the round. I find it hard to believe that the doubling and tripling of the cost for 20 rounds of 300 BLK ammo just happens to coincide with the complete and total removal of all 110gr and 125gr 30 caliber projectiles from the market by Hornady, Sierra, and every other bullet manufacturer. The collusion by ammo manufacturers to deny reloaders the ability to inexpensively reload the round using practical and affordable bullets coupled with willing idiots eager to hang onto the 300 BLK band wagon regardless of the price is the reason that a box 300 BLK FMJ is fetching 30 bucks and up when you can still buy decent .308 ball ammo for around 12 bucks a box. I refuse to be a victim of that type of price gouging scam and my 300 BLK AR will stay in the safe until the scam runs it course and prices come back down to normal expensive retail markup.

    1. avatar over-educated economist says:

      .300AAC was, is, and will be a boutique round like 6.5mm Grendel, 6.8mm Rem SPC, etc. Don’t expect prices to go down, and don’t expect your bullet choices to improve much. .300AAC uppers appear to have sold way better than the actual ammo to feed them – kinda funny how that works.

      I have no regrets about using 9mm as my subsonic round of choice. Cheap and easy to find, and it hards enough for my purposes. Lots of good platform choices, too.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Sooner or later the 300 Blackout cartel will be forced to give up the hold back and hold out scheme and revert to normal supply and demand retail pricing. The hype can’t last forever and there is no legitimate explanation for a box of 300 BLK to be 4 times the cost of .223 and up to 2 or 3 times the cost of .308 or 6.8. Same goes for bullet manufacturers removing the 110’s and 125’s from the market, sooner or later one of them will be unable to ignore the diminishing profits of the price fixing scheme and will resume production of 110 & 125gr 30 cal projectiles. The initial attraction of the potent little 300 BLK round for folks who like to freshen up their perishable CQB rifle skills was that ammo could be purchased or reloaded for less than .308 and a little more than .223, nothing has changed for us. I have reverted to frequent practice with .223 and occasional practice with .308, and both of those rounds are a hell of a lot cheaper than 300BLK since reloading with 110 or 125gr bullets is no longer an option. A protracted attempt of the price gouging scheme will kill demand for loaded ammo and has already started killing demand for uppers. Obviously the scheme participants want to believe the scam will go on forever and will keep on feeding that line of BS to the suckers who are still enabling the scheme.

        1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          What are you smoking? 4x 223 and 2-3x 6.8spc and 308? Comparing what type/brand/quality?

          I just shot over to MidwayUSA (hurhur shot over get it), and this is what I saw in the best apples to apples comparison I can find:

          Barnes Vor-TX 300BLK 110 Grain TTSX $28.99/20rds

          Barnes Vor-TX 223Rem 55gr TSX $20.99/20rds

          Doubltap 6.8SPC 95gr barnes TTSX $45.99

          Barnes Vor-TX 308win 150gr TTSX $34.99/20rds

          So with 4 different calibers using the same bullet (Barnes doesnt factory load the 6.8 SPC in their Vor-TX line so I went with doubletap because they are reputable and are usually priced similar to Barnes factory ammo).

          300 BLK is 28% more expensive than 223 from the same manufacturer/bullet type, 58% CHEAPER than a 6.8SPC load from a similar mfg but still the same bullet type, and drumroll 20% CHEAPER than a 308 from the same manufacturer with the same bullet type. So yeah… um… you’re wrong.

          This generally holds true across all manufacturers/ bullet types assuming you compare same to same. Obviously the lowest grade federal/remington with some no name bulk non bonded softpoint flat base (minute of dinner plate accuracy) is going to be way cheaper than a premium loaded 300 Blackout. Thats a stupid comparison though.

          Yeah the 308 and 223/556 have cheaper FMJ ammo, that has more to do with their military support rather than some vast 300Blackout Cartel conspiracy.

          Like I said below… you must be really fun at parties.

        2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          You’re obviously in the target demo that drives the 300 BLK market. If you can afford to buy ammo for $1.40 a round you’re either rich or you don’t shoot much. Right now at LAX ammo you can buy Federal, Fiocchi, or PMC .223 55gr FMJ for practice at less than 35 cents a round shipping included, that puts it at about $7.00 a box. Before the 300 BLK price fix began, .223 ammo was priced about like it is now and Remington 300 AAC 115gr FMJ was running 12 to 14 bucks a box, now you can’t touch it for less than 24 or 25 bucks a box. Don’t know where you went to school, but where I come that’s over three times as much as $7.00 a box. Save your BS for the kid working the Gander Mountain gun counter.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      I wouldn’t say it is artificially high at all. Its price is a function of component availability, specifically gunpowder. Have you looked at load data for it? There are maybe 3 powders that work with supers and really H110 is the only one that builds reasonable velocity across all the bullet weights, and I have to ask where have you seen H110 for sale at retail price recently? I see it on gunbroker from time to time and it is usually about twice as expensive as H335, Varget or CFE223 which are a few powders commonly used in premium 556 hunting ammo. H110 for supers or the pistol powders people use to load subsonic 300blk with may be the only thing harder to find than 22lr right now. So when you look at the ammo price you cant just look at the price of 556 brass and primers and the cost of 30 caliber bullets and extrapolate a price that falls somewhere in the middle of 556 and 308, because the manufacturers have the same problem handloaders have and that effects supply. Also there are really only a small subset of 30cal bullets that work in 300blk. Bullets that are designed to work properly over the entire usable range of the cartridge have to expand at lower velocities and have to have a specific ogive profile so that they stack properly in 556 magazines, so again that affects supply and as a result, price.

      Although honestly other than Barnes Vortex and some of the pricier DoubleTap offerings, good hunting 300blk isnt a whole lot more expensive than premium 6.8SPC hunting rounds, and its way cheaper than premium 308. I imagine if interest keeps driving demand then the prices will come down. Barnes Vortex is already hovering at or just below $30-32 anywhere I have seen it, which isn’t bad considering that round is designed from the ground up to work in the 300blk, and unless it ever gets adopted by the military, it will never be as cheap as FMJ 556 or 308 because there isnt the volume to drive the price down. You ever notice how the only calibers offered in FMJ (pistols excluded) are rounds with military use? So yeah, as a high volume shooter the 300blk is not that great but neither are any of the other non standard AR calibers as they all have the same issue, 6.8spc excluded to a lesser degree, but you should have a 556 AR anyways before you start talking about getting something like a 300blk.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Tex300BLK, that dog won’t hunt, let me guess, you’re in the retail end of the 300 BLK fad? The round wasn’t designed for hunting but was practical to adapt as a hunting round before the price fixing commenced, but that’s no longer the case. Like I said before, it’s not a coincidence that all 110 & 125gr bullets have been taken off the market by the bullet manufacturers. Sooner or later even the slowest and most gullible consumers will figure out that there are a hell of a lot more cost effective alternatives in rifle cartridges that are equally or more effective to use for killing a stinking hog.

        1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          Nope, I actually don’t even own a 300 Blackout, it is one of my favorite AR based cartridges (notice I said AR based, not favorite overall) hence picking it for my handle on here, and its on my list of things to build, but otherwise I have no dog in this fight.

          As for the rest of your response…. ummmm… you must be really fun at parties.

        2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Oh I see Tex, now I understand. Sorry you didn’t have the chance to enjoy the opportunity that existed a few short months ago when after forming your own 300 BLK brass from 223 brass and buying 110gr bullets for $12 a hundred, you could reload a box for around 7 or 8 bucks and actually put a couple hundred of practice rounds down range without going into debt (and it would be easier if you actually owned your favorite AR) . If you only shoot a box or two to tune up for hunting season then high priced ammo in not much of a factor. Don’t believe the hype, the 300 BLK is grossly overpriced as a moderately effective hunting round because that’s not what it was designed for, it was designed to easily adapt any AR in 5.56 to a 30 cal with 7.62x39ish ballistics for CQB applications, good stopping power at 100yds with limited performance at 200yds. If you start price shopping the online dealers, you’ll should be able to find a good deal on a 300 BLK upper or complete rifle since the ammo price fixing & gouging has already decreased demand. If you are going with 300 BLK strictly for hunting then you are being misinformed and misled by the bunch that is in the retail end of the scam, selecting a hunting round that doesn’t have much left at 200 yds is simply not practical.

    3. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Get into reloading it and it is not that bad.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Reloading is no longer an cost effective option for me after Hornady, Sierra, and every other bullet manufacturer completely removed all 110gr & 125gr bullets from the market. If you have any leads about the availability of those bullet weights for less than $20 per hundred count please share them.

  7. avatar Bdub says:

    How would this compare with the YHM Phantom Stainless QD? Its a sealed stainless core in this price range also, but they have the QD flash hiders for multi-caliber/gun use.

    I do like the shorter fatter design of the Chaotic though.

  8. avatar RT says:

    ” welded K baffles are still probably the best choice for a quiet rifle can.”

    Say what?????

    K baffles are the quietest in a center fire pistol, or rim fire can, but cones are where its at for quiet center fire rifle cans. Ever seen the inside of a Cyclone, SDN6, TBAC 30P1, or Specwar? No K baffles in any of them.

  9. avatar jimmyjames says:

    The 300 blackout is really taking off…every major etailer is discounting components and loaded ammunition as much as 50% trying to get rid of it.

  10. avatar A-Game says:

    Well opinions are like parts of our anatomy that stink.
    Take what you read with a grain of salt. Internet opinions smell like a GI Bleed. The stench just won’t go away
    The Silencer Shop has a youtube channel and the videos are longer than 35 seconds.
    They will show the measured sound level of different products.
    How can you say something is boutique and then start talking about cutting edge and new product design.
    300 AAC Blackout has literally been around for less than three years and maybe Nick is also calling Barnes a Boutique Ammo Company since they have only boxed ammo since 2010ish.

  11. avatar pete says:

    Any wildcat round that came from a parent case is a boutique caliber

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