If you listen to my Tuesday Evening Podcast (and why wouldn’t you?), you’d know that I spent the weekend before SHOT on the range with the new silencers and rifles that Q is officially bringing to market next week. Nick dutifully reported on Q back in March of this year, and if you’re looking for background, that’s a great place to start.
Given that Q’s founder, Kevin Brittingham, has been into silencers for the better part of twenty-five years, it should come as no surprise that after his departure from Sig, he’d focus on silencers first. Jeremy got his hands on the first product Q launched, the El Camino, in December. He liked it quite a bit and after shooting it, I agree – it is a very good .22 silencer.
In development now is another .22 can called the Erector. Unlike the El Camino, and really any of the other serviceable rimfire cans on the market, the Erector is a series of ten baffles, an end cap, and a threaded portion to attach it to your favorite host pistol or rifle. With the exception of the stainless steel blast baffle, the entire unit is made of aluminum making for a “barely there” bit of weight at the muzzle. The entire ten baffle setup weighs in at 2.6 oz and includes a specialty set of hinged wrenches to loosen each baffle.
What differentiates the Erector from all the other rimfire cans on the market is the ability to be ten different lengths. I took the opportunity and a couple boxes of ammo to try the Erector out in all of the configurations down to what I considered to be “damn that’s loud” territory on the pictured Ruger 22/45 as well as a sixteen inch barreled bolt action rifle.
With standard velocity .22 ammo, the five baffle configuration pictured above was about as loud as I’d comfortably go without hearing protection. Much shorter than that, and it got a littler onerous on the ole eardrums. Probably fine for a shot here or there, but for a day at the range, I would definitely run it at a minimum of five baffles. Taking it out to the full ten baffles provided one of the quietest rimfire experiences I’ve ever had. Even though it was a bit long, the lack of weight at the end meant that the pistol pointed quite naturally.
On the bolt action rifle, I was able to go even shorter, regularly running it with only two baffles – on par in length a long muzzle brake. Going to a single baffle was a touch loud, but since I didn’t have a meter handy, I can’t quantify the sound beyond saying that it was quiet enough for a squirrel hunt without ear pro, but not for the range. In either of the shortest configurations, there’s a noticeable first round pop, something they’re working on reducing as much as possible.
Two baffles was more than enough to tamp down down the sound of the bolt gun to comfortable levels, but the real magic happens when you got to the longest length setup. On the bolt rifle, the sound of the striker hitting the primer was the loudest noise, even with supersonic loads. I was absolutely astonished at how quiet it was.
What I didn’t get an opportunity to test, and will be the first thing I do upon getting one for review, is point of impact shift repeatability, especially adding baffles to the end while keeping the base screwed to the rifle. With this many baffles, there’s bound to be some tolerance stacking, and I’m curious to see how that plays out.
On the question of legality, there seems to be some uncertainty. The ATF seems to be somewhat indecisive on just what a silencer is or is not. If you’ll remember Kevin Brittinham’s time at Sig, they launched the muzzle brake with shroud to come later for the MPX that a judge ultimately decided was a silencer. Kevin fully admitted that he didn’t know how the ATF would interpret the Erector, but he’s hopeful they’ll be sane about the thing and allow it to go to market.
My unsolicited opinion is that if the ATF gave the all clear for the SilencerCo Salvo, the Erector should get an equal pass. With the Hearing Protection Act making its way through the legislature, all this talk might be for naught.
The other outstanding item related to release is how much torture the Erector can take. As it almost exclusively made of aluminum, it is only rated for .22 LR right now. Many of today’s small format silencers are also rated for 22 Mag, .17 HMR, and even 5.7×28. As the goal of the Erector is to as light as possible, they may not try to beef it up. If you are looking for a full auto rated can that can do all that for a bit more weight, Q already has the El Camino on the market. This is definitely a niche silencer, and likely not a perfect fit for the first time buyer. That said, it is an interesting concept, and one I hope to see come to market.