Hands On With The SilencerCo Maxim 9

Capitol Armory and SilencerCo shared a bay at the end of the expansive (well over half a mile of shooting lanes!) Texas Firearms Festival. It was a very popular destination, but I pushed an old lady out of the way and snagged the most recent prototype of SilencerCo’s integrally-suppressed 9mm pistol, the Maxim 9, and put a few rounds through it.

20161016_121447

As it approaches final form, the Maxim 9 sports the following features:

• Accepts GLOCK magazines (the demo gun was using Magpul PMAG 17 GL9s) and sights
• Suppressor length is configurable, just like the SilencerCo Salvo 12 and Osprey Micro
• Ambi slide stops
• Truly excellent grip ergonomics and oversize trigger guard

To be added prior to production are an optics mount area, likely to go on top of the suppressor body just in front of the ejection port, and an option for an integral light/laser in the bottom of the suppressor body. While the frame of this late prototype is still 3D-printed, the production versions will obviously be injection molded FRP like any other polymer pistol frame.

On the range, I was extremely impressed with how the Maxim 9 shoots. Due to the short length of the integral suppressor, it doesn’t have the feel of a pistol with a typical suppressor attached. The weight is there, but the inertia of all of that mass way out in front of the gun isn’t. It swings and points quickly and accurately, and I did not feel like I was being dragged around by the nose of the gun.

However, the benefits of the extra mass were very obvious. The pistol shoots extremely softly and flat as can be. There’s almost no muzzle flip at all, and felt recoil is nothing. In fact, with the front sight located on the stationary suppressor section and that lack of muzzle rise, the sight is imminently trackable. I believe I could shoot this gun very quickly and accurately, never losing focus on or track of the front sight during shooting. With a red dot mounted on that same, fixed part of the pistol, it would be even better yet.

The plan for the Maxim 9’s release is to launch it with a handful of holster options ready-to-go, and I must say that I fully plan to purchase this firearm and CCW it (once verifying reliable function, of course), likely in the suppressor’s shortest configuration. Placing an optic in front of the ejection port will require some clearance accommodations in the holster, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

MSRP is expected to be in the neighborhood of $1,500.

comments

  1. avatar YZAS says:

    Duuude, you got to shoot a Maxim! Awesome. Man, they have to hurry up and get them shipping! I think i’m all in for one.

  2. avatar Geoff PR says:

    No built-in light or laser?

    In all seriousness, I can see it as a popular nightstand piece…

  3. avatar Rabbi says:

    I’m in once they are available!

  4. avatar Lcsw says:

    I’m in once I move to a state where suppressors are legal.

  5. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Just think about tens of thousands of paid for guns, sitting in a warehouse, just waiting, waiting . . . for at least a year.

  6. avatar Anon in CT says:

    In CT new pistols cannot have threaded barrels, but integral silencers are legal. So there is a custom shop near me that does them with Ruger .22s.

    1. avatar Lib lurker says:

      I had no idea of that fact

      I was all set to thread a lever action, which may still be a fine idea

  7. avatar RocketScientist says:

    Hmmm… any mention of plans to expand to other calibers (specifically .45)? Make one of these in .45 and I’ll have a new nightstand gun (assuming quality, reliability etc are there). If I’m going to be shooting suppressed, with no ear pro, I’d like to use a subsonic round. And if i’m limited to about 1,000 ft/s, might as well use the biggest heaviest damn bullet I can.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      How much more gas volume is .45 vs. 9mm?

      That may impact ability to suppress…

      1. avatar RocketScientist says:

        Don’t know, just getting into the suppressed game myself. I’d imagine it would be more, the .45 has almost double the cartridge capacity of a 9mm (like 13 vs 25 grains of water, from memory). That being said, a .45 version would likely require a larger/beefier framed handgun anyways, so the supressor section would presumably be proportionally larger, and theres nothing stopping them making it larger than that even, if need be. Of course then you start getting into issues of weight/length/balance, etc. Hell, as shown now, they indicate the length is modular… so if it suppresses a 9mm reasonably effectively at its “smallest” setting, maybe at its “largest” setting it already has enough volume to accommodate a .45? All very interesting topics of speculation. Can’t wait to find out more!

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          9mm is typically quieter because of the smaller bore diameter meaning the baffles can block more of the gasses from escaping the muzzle before cooling down. With modern self-defense ammo, I’ll happily run the higher-capacity, softer-shooting, 147 grain subsonic 9mm options like Federal HST and feel like I’m leaving absolutely nothing whatsoever on the table vs. .45. I get the “larger bullet” thing when speaking of being limited to FMJs, but I’m not. Velocity is a side note, when a subsonic 9mm round penetrates to 18″ and expands to 2.5x its pre-expanded diameter.

        2. avatar RocketScientist says:

          Jeremy S – I get what youre saying, and certainly not trying to say subsonic 9mm is ineffective by any means (I’m not fanboy of either 9mm or .45… I’ve got some pistols in each, and more in .40 and 10mm…, no caliber wars here). But just on general principals if we’re limited to a max velocity (for subsonic), I’m gonna go with the bullet that comes to the table with about 50% more mass (and hence 50% more energy). The best-expanding subsonic 9mm round I can find (147 gr Winchester Ranger-T) expands to about .75″, whereas thats about 1.02″ for the best-expanding .45 round I can find (winchester 230 gr Ranger-T). Again, I’m sure 9mm is certainly sufficient and very effective. But if I’m crippling myself with a velocitylimit, seems sense to make the best of what I got, and its hard to argue against 50% more weight/energy and about 35% more expansion. The downsides are the reduced ammo capacity, increased weight, and increased expense of .45. The capacity and weight are fine for a bedside gun (its just there to get me to the hall closet where my arsenal is stored 🙂 ) and the cost difference doesn;t really come into play for me… I reload for practice ammo, and don’t mind paying a little more for the occasional carry ammo practice. Now, your notes that 9mm is general QUIETER than .45 has me interested… I’m VERY hearing-safety conscious (hence my subsonic req’t) due to my work and family history. If there is a significant difference in volume and eharing safety with 9 vs .45 I may have to reconsider things. If its more of a “yeah, you can notice its a little quieter, but both are perfectly fine and safe without ear-pro” thing, then don’t know that would sway me. Anyways, thanks for the feedback

        3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Most modern .45 ACP cans are hearing safe. Typically, shot dry (no liquid/gel medium inside the can to further reduce sound), you’re in the 133 to 137 dB range. In 9mm, it’s more like 125 dB to 128 dB. Technically, every 3 dB is a doubling of actual sound pressure. Every 9 dB up, to the human ear, “sounds” like twice the volume level (sounds twice as loud, subjectively). So…the difference between 125 dB and 135 dB is huge. But both are “hearing safe” according to OSHA for impulse noise.

      2. avatar Anner says:

        Not exactly sure, but from shooting 9mm and 45 suppressed pistols, across a variety of barrel lengths and suppressor designs, the 45 is always quieter. Significantly quieter, even compared to 147gr subsonic 9mm.

        Make one in 45acp, load it with 230gr (insert your favorite HP design, mine is GD or HST) standard pressure loads, and I’ll order 2.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Waaa? 9mm typically meters like 6 dB quieter than .45. Sometimes as much as 10 dB quieter! Heck, even when shooting 9mm through a .45 can, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a result where the 9mm wasn’t quieter than .45 through the very same can, and usually fairly significantly so.

    2. avatar JayHu says:

      Ahhh, leave it up to a Rocket Scientist to make a good point and spoil all the fun

  8. avatar Sailboatfool says:

    Needs a weapon light, laser, beer can opener, multi-tool. Hmm what else?

    1. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

      Titanium toothpick? Cable box remote? No, scratch that last one…there’d be way too many blasted TVs, and not all negligently.

  9. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    Perhaps I missed seeing them, but are there any other integrally suppressed pistols in the works from other manufacturers, announced or leaked?

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        There have been many integrally suppressed pistols over the years, but I can only think of .22 lr ones (going back maybe to the Hi-Standard used by the CIA and other groups during the Cold War). This may be the first factory integrally-suppressed centerfire pistol that I’m aware of (not counting, of course, things like AR “pistols” or HK MP5SD types, but only looking at true, normal format handguns).

        Btw Geoff, we covered that Fightlight gun, too. Could have linked to TTAG there 😛

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          K, sorry, but I’m not hip on attributing links from other sites to a third site.

          (If that is what you were referring to…)

        2. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

          Thanks, JS. Yeah, I was thinking of self-defense / center fire pistols, say anything from .380 on up. This Maxim in 9mm is quite an attractive idea. If it turns out that the production model is as good as seems likely to be, I’ll give serious thought to trading up.

  10. avatar Other Tom in Oregon says:

    I’m sure it was pretty loud out there but did you get any feeling for sound reduction?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Sounded extremely quiet.

  11. avatar SilencerScott says:

    I had the privilege of hanging out in the Capitol Armory booth a little and spent a lot of time handling the Maxim 9.

    First the Cons (Remember it’s a prototype):
    – The trigger was a little long and gritty. It reminded me of a stock Glock trigger but without the safety tab in the middle. It needs a sharper break and reset. The SiCo Rep said this is being worked on for the production model.
    – The ambi slide release/stop was stiff to press to drop the slide. Again, this is being addressed on the production model.

    Now the Pros (Remember it’s a prototype):
    – It feels like a real gun. Firing it feels like shooting a low recoil full size pistol. It’s not heavy but the half slide and rails had almost no play. It did not feel delicate.
    – The barrel is fixed and is designed to keep supersonic ammo subsonic. When running supers they encourage using the full length suppressor setup. When using subs two slices of the suppressor can be removed resulting in about an inch shorter package. They are working to keep +P subsonic but I’ll be happy with 115 grain being subsonic.
    – 147 grain American Eagle was used throughout the weekend. I saw around 6 people run mags of 5 through it without a single malfunction. Hardly a torture test but the Remington R51 gen 2 I shot at the event failed on me after the first trigger pull (I was one of the first people in their line Saturday morning!).
    – The sound is a lot like my P226 running an Osprey 9, but quieter.
    – The slide serrations are very deep and positive with a slight bulge in their profile looking down at the top of the slide. I hope they don’t change their shape as they work really well.
    – Takedown is very simple. Press in on a button on the rear of the slide and lift a lever on the top of the pistol located just in front of the chamber. With the lever up pull back on the slide and off it comes!
    – They are working with a well known holster maker to ensure it can be readily carried.
    – “Blue” guns are being made for training and aftermarket support.
    – SilencerCo is focusing a lot of resources on this project to bring a reliable and durable product to market.
    – There are other “projects” planned after the successful release of the Maxim 9.

    This is my first comment! (Long time lurker.)

    1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Welcome to the comment section. And thanks for coming to the Festival. Hope you had a good time.

      1. avatar Wilsontx says:

        Well I for one feel duped. When I read that SilencerCo would have their Maxim 9 at the Capital Armory Bay, I finally broke down and bought a VIP ticket.

        When I arrived Saturday morning it was the first booth I went to (farthest from the entrance). To my dismay, I was told I could handle it but could not shoot it. They would only allow one person per hour to shoot the gun, Each shooter would be randomly selected from a sign-up list. Of course I was the first name on the list, but never chosen.

        I had two other guns on my short list that I’ve been considering and I wanted to test drive, a FN SCAR17s and FNX-45. Both of which were not available. I stuck around long enough for lunch and the Galil drawing.

        So much for the “try it before you buy it” marketing. After attending all three years, I’m done.

  12. avatar Lib lurker says:

    Does it still spit powder and such back at you as much as threaded supressors?

    1. avatar SilencerScott says:

      No, I didn’t notice any at all (but I only fired 5 rounds through it). My Ospreys produce a lot less blowback than my round cans due to a large internal volume. The Maxim 9 amplifies this effect due to having such a large blast chamber and overall volume.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        I didn’t notice any blowback either.

  13. avatar peirsonb says:

    I’m a little surprised they’re still RP’ing the frame at this stage of the game. A prototype mold good for a couple thousand shots would run them around $10K, and something I’d have done at this stage of development to start refining the manufacturing process…

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      They may very well have been doing that for a long time at this point. Just not sharing it publicly. Actually, if they’re still shooting for a retail sales launch of this gun in December, then I’d have to assume they’ve been testing out production versions of the frame for a while now.

  14. avatar Ben says:

    I’m actually starting to want one of these. If only it didn’t take glock mags, but that’s not a deal breaker.

  15. avatar Pman5k says:

    If the HPA passes, these will be selling like hotcakes… and i will def be picking one up, and my wife said OK to that as well!!!! I was shocked!

    Sure it is not the most quiet thing, but considering it is the same length as a glock 17, roughly speaking, in the short configuration, and that the shape may even make it look more like a smartphone in a holster, its a def gonna get one… just may wait a short bit let them work out the inevitable kinks, possibly improve the suppression even.

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