The more I learn about silencers, the more I start to agree with Kevin Brittingham– fast-attach is a terrible idea. There’s no way to make it as accurate, effective, or long-lasting as a direct thread can, and what you’re left with is a series of compromises. But there’s still a market for quick-attach suppressors, the idea of buying one can quickly mounting it to all of your guns is extremely appealing, and so to service that market Liberty Suppressors introduced the Torch QA . . .
As a preface, I want to point out that this is not a typical TTAG review. Here at TTAG we usually reserve judgment until we’ve put hundreds of 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 just not practical.
Luckily I recently had a chance to visit the folks at Liberty Suppressors and try out 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 educated opinion on the product.
Everyone who makes suppressors makes a quick-attach can of some sort. AAC has their 51 tooth mount, SilencerCo has their Saker system, and Gemtech has their nifty twist-lock mount thing. Liberty went a different direction with their mounting system, and instead of having the silencer use a proprietary muzzle device to do the mounting, they went with a ring that slips behind the muzzle device. This provided a larger mounting surface and bigger threads for the can, but also tends to severely gunk up whatever muzzle device you decide to use.
The mounting system itself is definitely different, and there are some improvements over AAC’s design as well. The biggest benefit is that there is a ton more material helping line everything up. With AAC’s design, there’s only a small amount of material used to index the silencer and keep everything in line with the barrel. With the Torch QA, there’s damn near an inch and a half of material doing the job. It may not be the prettiest solution, but it works.
Out on the range, the silencer does its job. It makes an otherwise obnoxious SBR AR-15 as close to hearing-safe as I have seen, and the mounting system seems solid and easy to use. There are, however, some issues.
The primary reason someone buys a quick-attach system silencer is to use it on multiple firearms. That’s the reason I bought the AAC 762-SDN-6 as my first can, since I could stick it on any rifle I owned. The Torch QA kneecaps itself a little by being a sealed and dedicated 5.56 caliber suppressor, meaning that .300 BLK and .308 Win need not apply and .22lr is inadvisable. It only works for 5.56 rifles, and more specifically it is really designed for AR-15 rifles.
Given the extremely specialized nature of the Torch QA, it’s hard to see a reason to use the quick-attach feature over a dedicated direct-thread silencer. The only real application I could see for this is using it on a trunk or suitcase gun — a short AR-15 designed to be as compact as possible yet easy to put together and use in the field. Being able to quickly snap on a silencer would be ideal in that situation, and for police departments that might be reason enough to buy one of these. But for civilians? Eh.
Liberty Torch QA
Ratings (out of 5 stars):
Sound Suppression: * * * *
The first round pop is still a problem, but it’s not a deal breaker.
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.
Overall Rating: * * *
I’m having a real problem figuring out a use case for a dedicated 5.56 quick-attach silencer. But if that’s what you need then that’s what you need.