Hands On With The Dead Air Wolverine PBS-1 AK-47 Suppressor

20160918_184257_1

That’s right, the brain child of Mike Pappas and Gary Hughes, a functional silencer for any AK-47 — but, but, that’s impossible! — is about to hit dealer shelves. Thanks to a heck of a slick mounting system and carefully-designed baffles and bore, Dead Air Armament will have the first silencer truly capable of working on the AK you already own, no modifications needed.

20160918_183501

The mount system has a two-piece locking collar. The front half acts as a lock nut to securely hold the rear half down.

20160918_183644

That’s because the rear half is spring-loaded.

20160918_183645

When in its fully down position, its serrated end locks onto the AK’s muzzle brake indexing pin. Pulling it up (forwards) allows the suppressor to be tightened without that pin getting in the way.

20160918_183619

It can actually be locked in its forward position, too, by indexing it onto one of the hold points machined into the mount. This is a nice touch in case you haven’t grown that handy third hand yet. Wrench flats on the thread insert allow it to be very snugly installed, although with the collar locked onto the muzzle brake pin it’s highly unlikely to work its way loose anyway.

Actually, Hughes and Pappas go through the installation process in this new Facebook video, so if you’re curious about how it works I’d recommend giving it a watch. Truly, the mounting system is a great piece of engineering.

20160918_183614

As you’d hope from an AK-47 suppressor, the thread insert is swappable. Dead Air is planning on offering inserts in a whole slew of thread sizes, including at least 14L, 14R, 24R, 26L, 15mm, 16mm, 1/2×28, 5/8×24, and 9/16L.

Now, AK-47s have two big things going against them when it comes to slapping a suppressor on. First, both the bore and the muzzle threads are notoriously not concentric. Bores can be off-center inside of the barrel, and muzzle threading can be — often is — at a slight angle to the bore rather than perfectly parallel to it. Second, the guns are heavily over-gassed already, and the added backpressure of a silencer can exacerbate that to the point where more noise literally comes out of the action than the muzzle.

20160918_184422

The Wolverine alleviates these issues in a couple of ways, but primarily by running a particularly large bore through the baffles. It starts out larger than what you’d normally use for a .312 caliber projectile, and it gets even bigger from there — to over .40 caliber — as it approaches the muzzle. Like the Sandman line, end caps can be easily swapped out for ones with different exit bore diameters (Dead Air currently makes a .30 cal, 6.5mm, and 5.56mm end cap, plus the larger-bored Wolverine one seen above, and they’re all swappable), which may knock down the dB a bit if a Wolverine is being run on an AK-74 or a 5.56 rifle.

Due to the larger bore and the baffle design, the suppressor adds very little in the way of backpressure. While, with a traditional .30 caliber suppressor, many AK-47s will meter ~130 dB at the muzzle, they’ll often meter nearly ~150 dB at the action. As in, where your ear is. By cutting down on the backpressure, Dead Air is seeing ~139 dB readings at the shooter’s ear with the Wolverine.

A hearing-safe suppressor that works on basically any AK-47 is, without a doubt, a huge achievement.

20160918_184320

These guys have a sense of humor, too. Not only does the Wolverine PBS-1 look just like the old school Russian military PBS-1 silencers, but the first half of the owner’s manual is in Cyrillic. At first I thought they meant it was in English but typed in that Cyrillic-looking font but, no, they meant what they said; it’s the actual instructions translated properly into Russian. And the Russian instructions come first. You’ll have to press 2 and flip to the back for English.20160918_184340

On your way there you’ll find a rations card similar to what was used during the USSR days. Tear off a coupon and exchange it for your foodstuffs and commodities needs. 20160918_184323

A modified Dead Air logo was made just for this commie can — maybe Pappas will paint one on his commie tank — and each Wolverine comes with a patch (seen in the lead photo) that won’t be available via any other means.

Overall, the Wolverine PBS-1 is an innovative and fun product. As they’re hitting dealer inventory in the next week or so, we’re probably a scant year to 18 months from seeing them out in the wild in the hands of ends users considering the ATF’s epic, historical NFA application backlog.

comments

  1. avatar James69 says:

    I wonder if it would tame the Russian bear 7,62x54r ? Very cool though.

    1. avatar TennTexan says:

      It’s a full Stellite baffle stack. 7.62x54r will not be a problem for this can.

  2. avatar Jolly Roger Out says:

    Been looking for a silencer for my Yugo SBR. This looks like it will fit the bill, as long as they don’t do the typical firearms-industry thing of promising a bunch of different conversions and kinda completely forgetting about it. Need me some 26L threads on this one.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I definitely saw a video or photo somewhere of Pappas shooting it on an SKS. 26L is specifically listed by them for the threads they intend to make inserts for.

    2. avatar Todd says:

      Yep, the 26 LH and 24 RH thread adapters and collars are ready to go too.

  3. avatar pwrserge says:

    I’m still wondering why nobody has made a mounting system for a Yugo M92 Krink. When you think about it, the booster cone on the Yugo is basically the first baffle of a suppressor so there is no reason why the same mounting system couldn’t be used to attach a real can.

    1. avatar TennTexan says:

      Dead Air is making a 26mm mount for the Wolverine that will work with your M92.

  4. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Review mirage ULR, a texas company. They make the quietest suppressors right now supposedly. Most expensive too.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    “As they’re hitting dealer inventory in the next week or so, we’re probably a scant year to 18 months from seeing them out in the wild in the hands of ends users…”

    Your definition of “scant” and my definition of the word vary enormously. Gotta love that ATF… gubermenting is usual.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      My use of it was sarcastic, so I think we’re on the same page 😛

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Duly noted.

  6. avatar Omer Baker says:

    I’m truly ignorant here. Why is a suppressor on an AK difficult? Anyone have a link or a quick explanation? I don’t want a huge comment on account of my ignorance. Thanks!

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Two issues.

      1. AKs are notorious for a lack of concentricity between the bore of the barrel and the outside threading. This causes the can to become misaligned and the bullet to hit the internal baffles.
      2. The AK gas vents are designed to vent the excess gas in front of the front trunnion. This means that the back pressure of the can can cause the exhaust gas to become sonically choked at the vents and cause a secondary exhaust blast where the vents are.

      The fist is not rally an issue with quality AKs or good Krink designs. The krink muzzle device uses a booster cone to force some of the exhaust gas back into the barrel effectively increasing the gas pressure dwell time, the cone is basically identical to a single suppressor baffle, just serves a different function. A good US made barrel should avoid the concentricity issues as well.

      The second is more of an inherent flaw in the design. While it’s possible to make an AK ear safe, the secondary exhaust blast will keep it from being as quiet as a suppressed DI gun as the pressure is not precisely regulated.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      “Why is a suppressor on an AK difficult? Anyone have a link or a quick explanation?”

      There’s a quick explanation in this article: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/09/jeremy-s/hands-dead-air-wolverine-pbs-1/

      Cheers,

      Jeremy

      😛

  7. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “A hearing-safe suppressor that works on basically any AK-47 is, without a doubt, a huge achievement.”

    Not to belittle the achievement, because this thing looks awesome, but is 139 dB six inches from your ear really “hearing-safe”?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      OSHA says 140 dB is the limit, and it’s the figure used by the industry to state whether something is “hearing safe” or not. That’s for limited exposure to very brief sounds (140 or under there’s no permanent hearing damage, over 140 there might be). I would personally wear earplugs when out shooting something like this for fun or training. However, were I hunting with it and planning on firing once or twice during the day or using it for home defense or something, I wouldn’t concern myself with ear pro and would be happy in the knowledge that a limited amount of shooting wouldn’t cause hearing damage. Long-term exposure to continuous noises above 85 dB can cause hearing damage though, like truckers who are basically deaf in their left ear in the frequency range of wind noise in an open driver’s side window.

  8. avatar pwrserge says:

    Oh a side note, that is the most broken Russian I have read in a long time. They literally translated “AK series” as “the Kalashnikov series of automatic rifles”.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      But you don’t know what it says on the English side of the manual. Maybe it actually says “the Kalashnikov series of automatic rifles” and the Russian translation didn’t change anything. I suppose I should have taken a photo of the first page in English and the first page in Russian so people who know both can argue about the translation quality haha. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, though, if even the English is very commie blok sounding just for fun. Should have read it, but didn’t think to…

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yeah… It’s just very bad Russian. The level of shtick is on a level I would generally aspire to in my own impressions of communist Russia. The best way I can describe this is that it’s to Russian what Yakov Smirnoff is to English.

  9. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I think I want one! When I get back home, I’ll have to see about ordering one.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email