With my trip to AAC coming up at the end of the week, I thought I should take a little time to give you guys some background information on the company and their products. So, what exactly does AAC do?
AAC is a manufacturing company; they make stuff. Based in Georgia (the state, not the country) they produce firearms related products for both the civilian and military markets. Their products can be broken down into three distinct categories: cans, accessories, and ammo.
In the civilian firearms community, the #1 thing AAC has been known for is suppressors. AAC makes cans for everything from .22lr through .50 BMG, including some very nice quick attach versions for 5.56 rifles. They don’t just make one can per caliber either, they have different models available depending on the budget and the expected rate of fire.
While AAC’s suppressors are somewhat popular among us civvies, they seem to be selling like hotcakes to the military. For example, when the Army awarded the contract for their new sniper rifles to the Remington MSR (pictured here at NDIA) it was AAC’s can that was fixed to the muzzle. They also sell cans to law enforcement around the U.S.
The other thing AAC is well known for is making muzzle devices, which is a natural extension of their suppressor sales. The vast majority of their muzzle devices are threaded to accept AAC suppressors of one kind or another, and typically of the “quick attach” variety. This makes them able to be quickly attached or detached in the middle of a firefight without all that mucking about with wrenches and vicegrips. There’s even a muzzle brake available for .50 BMG rifles to quickly attach a corresponding AAC suppressor.
The final product that AAC is best known for is their new .300 AAC Blackout round that launched on January 17th of this year. The design goal was to be able to fire a .30 caliber projectile at medium distances using the existing M4/M16 lower and magazines. Other wildcatters had tried before, but none has gained so much traction in such a short time as the .300 BLK round. I had a chance to fire some of this ammunition at NDIA and it was absolutely delightful.
It’s effective in supersonic form out to 600 yards, but the subsonic is only good to about 300. Or so they claim. Naturally we’ll have to get our hands on some to confirm it once I get back.
AAC makes a couple really interesting products, and is the parent of a new caliber that is doing pretty well in the industry. But what sets them apart from other firearms companies isn’t their products: it’s their style.
AAC is to firearms what Google is to the internet. It’s a funky company that does quirky stuff and has really interesting products. Their reception area and conference room, for example, are modeled after the Death Star. They take Call of Duty breaks. There’s a company dog that’s pretty bad-ass. They have a fan base and a following that is so fanatical that they actually tattoo the company logo on themselves. Oh, and they get to make and play with suppressors. All. Day. Long. The kind of company where an employee can just hang out at their desk with an MP5 and no one raises an eyebrow.
So what is it really like to work there? What’s their product quality like? What are their testing and quality control procedures? All these questions will be answered and more as I travel down to view the factory and play with the toys this Friday.
I’m holding the plane tickets in my hand right now, the bags are packed and the camera lenses are freshly cleaned. I feel like a kid again, counting the days until I go to Disneyland (well, in my case it was Euro Disney, but close enough). I just hope I have enough memory cards to get everything on tape to share with you all…