Wandering around the bowels of the SHOT Show, a stack of tubular goods caught my eye. Especially exciting was that right next door to said tubular goods was an intricately machined rifle chassis. Given that I’ve been charged by Nick to find “all the cans” at SHOT, I stopped in to see what the Sturgis, South Dakota Mack Brothers had to offer . . .
Starting with rimfires, new for 2016, Mack is offering the Zulu .22 can. Designed for .22 LR, it provides a budget oriented option for those looking to put a can on their .22, but aren’t necessarily worried about super duper light weight, or the ability to run 5.7 or full auto through the can. MSRP is $325 and it attaches via standard 1/2-28 threads
Further upmarket is the Vapor can rated for 5.7, .22 LR and .22 WMR, as well as 17 HMR. One of the two Mack brothers tells me that the Vapor is full auto rated. These extra features translate to a slightly higher MSRP of $525. Both the Vapor and the Zulu are user serviceable so you can clean out the gunk that dirty rimfire ammo will leave all over the shiny K baffles inside.
In the 5.56 line, Mack offers a short and a long configuration of their dedicated 5.56 can, perfect for your ARs and bolt action .223s. The short can, designated MB556FAS, comes in at an advertised length of 6.5 inches, a diameter of 1.5 inches, and a 14 oz. weight. Advertised reduction in sounds is 32 dB, though they don’t list a “raw” number for what that 32 dB reduction starts life at. As you’d expect, the L configuration, designated MB556FAL, maintains the same diameter, but picks up an inch and a half and 3 oz over the shorter one. From their literature, it appears this extra length nets you a 34 dB sound reduction.
On the .30 cal side, they currently offer a similar short and long configuration with the associated weight/sound tradeoff. The short version (MB762S) is 8.5 inches and weighs 17 oz while the long version (MB762L) is 9.75 inches and 20 oz. The short version claims a reduction of 29 dB while the long is advertised at 32dB. MSRP for the L model is $995 while the S model will set you back $950.
New for 2016, they’ll be rolling out a new 30 cal can, the Helium that will ship with various baffle packs, end caps, and attachment methods. This will allow a user to buy one serialized part and have a short direct thread 556 can or a long, brake attached 30 cal can. Release date is forthcoming, but expect them soon.
Speaking of brake attachment, Mack Brothers seems to have a winner on their hands as their brake attach method uses a taper mount, known for creating consistent and repeatable lockup with a very robust locking collar that engages a trio of ball bearings against a machined groove in the muzzle device. I had a chance to fiddle with it a bit at the table and it seems to be very strong, with no play, rattle, or shakes. Each brake attached can ships with one muzzle device, and additional muzzle devices are available for $95.
Mack Brothers has only recently invested heavily in their silencer business, adding another 10,000 square feet to their manufacturing capabilities. A large part of their business is doing contract machining services for the likes of GA Precision, Manners stocks, and Badger Ordnance. Anyone who has used products from those companies knows that they are ridiculously strong and well built.
MB would have you believe that their nearly twenty years of manufacturing experience will translate to solid, accurate cans, and from the limited exposure I had at their booth, I have no reason to think they won’t be. We’re going to try to get schedules aligned to get on the range with some of their cans to see how they do. Cross your fingers for a 2016 range day with results to follow.