Bigger doesn’t always mean better. With silencers the general rule of thumb is that the larger the internal volume of the can, the better sound suppression you’re going to get, but there’s definitely a point where increased volume gets you diminishing returns. For example, slapping a Mystic-X on your Ruger handgun makes the thing whisper quiet, but the size of the can looks awkward and makes the gun a little front heavy. For the shooter who’s looking for a slimmer solution to their rimfire suppression needs, Liberty Suppressors presents the Kodiak TL . . .
As a preface, I want to point out that this is not a typical TTAG review. We usually reserve judgment until we’ve put at least a couple hundred rounds through something and tried it out in different conditions. Unfortunately the BATFE here in the U.S. prevents us from getting our hands on silencers for protracted testing unless we go through months of waiting, spend $200 per transfer, and live in certain states. It’s annoying, impractical and cumbersome.
Luckily, though, I recently had a chance to visit the folks at Liberty Suppressors and test all of their cans under their supervision. While the tests may not be as extensive as we would conduct in a standard review, I feel that they were sufficient to allow me to form an educated opinion on the product.
When you’re talking about a rimfire suppressor, there are three things that a buyer will look for: ease of cleaning, suppression, and weight — in that order.
Cleaning a rimfire can is more important than with any other caliber simply because rimfire ammunition is about the dirtiest stuff you can imagine — other than J-Roc’s amateur videos. Rimfire ammo leaves more carbon residue, lead dust, and even unburnt powder in the baffles than any other type of ammunition, and getting all that crap out of your can is essential to keeping it running and functional for years to come.
Just about every rimfire silencer on the market these days is designed to be disassembled by the end user for cleaning, but some do it better than others. For example, the AAC Pilot 2 uses a standard “K baffle” design with interlocking cups that makes for great sound suppression, but is a royal pain in the ass to clean. Disassembly also can be problematic, requiring a proprietary tool to remove the end cap and then you need to push all the baffles out of the tube before cleaning (they can get stuck after excessive range trips).
By comparison, the Kodiak TL is a pleasure to disassemble. The end cap is designed such that it can be cranked off using either the Liberty-designed removal tool — or really any old piece of scrap metal will do. Once free, you can either use the Liberty-designed baffle stack holder (that threads into the rear of the stack) or just push it out with whatever is at hand. The Kodiak TL allows you options.
Once the outer sheath has been removed, the monolithic core is fully accessible for cleaning. Just hit it with a hose or your favorite cleaning fluids, let it dry, re-assemble it and you’re good to go. Much easier than trying to individually clean the K baffles in the Pilot 2.
Being easy to clean is nice, but the real test of a silencer is how well it performs its eponymous job. In the case of the Kodiak TL, the answer is pretty damned well. Liberty claims that the can will run under 120 dB even for the louder first round pop, but out on the range it sounded almost whisper quiet. As good if not better than anything I’ve tested.
Where we start to run into a problem is with the Kodiak TL’s size and pricing. Take, for example, AAC’s Prodigy silencer — a can which is currently waiting on a form 4 for me at my local FFL. The Prodigy is easier to disassemble, shorter, weighs half as much, and costs $70 less. But while the Prodigy is a dedicated .22LR only silencer, the Kodiak TL is rated to also accept 17 HMR and 22 WMR. So there’s a definite trade-off when comparing the two silencers, and deciding which one works best for you is all about figuring out which one best suits your needs and shooting style. In the long run, though, the added weight and size seems to me to be an acceptable trade-off for the vastly expanded ballistic repertoire.
In the end, it all depends on what you want. If you need the lightest and smallest silencer possible for your Ruger .22LR handgun, this isn’t it. The Kodiak TL is definitely smaller and lighter than any of the centerfire pistol silencers on the market, but it’s heavier than AAC’s Prodigy. Then again, the Prodigy can’t handle anything above .22LR while the Kodiak TL is capable of much more. For me, the Kodiak TL wins the day due to the greater utility of the device. Then again, your preference may vary.
Liberty Kodiak TL
Sound Reduction: 41 dB
Ratings (out of five stars):
Sound Suppression: * * * * (*)
There’s an asterisk next to the asterisks here. For the first round, the sound suppression is at about a 4-star level – just about as quiet as anything else I’ve fired. And believe it or not, I’ve fired my fair share of .22LR silencers in my day. But from the second round on this thing is just unbelievable. 5/5 once the oxygen is gone. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t make it any quieter.
Build Quality: * * * * *
A solid monocore design for the baffle stack means an easy-to-disassemble silencer and a solid chunky feeling to the whole can. Overall it feels like this thing has been over-engineered and looks great.
Ease of Use: * * * * *
Cleaning might require some tools to get the can apart, but once you break the seal everything is very easy to clean.
Overall Rating: * * * *
It’s heavier and more expensive than the AAC Prodigy, but it has a wider array of calibers it will work with. I like it.