SHOT Show: The Latest From SilencerCo, Kraken Ballistics, and Franklin Armory’s Providence

Kraken Ballistics bullets

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Kraken Ballistics is a relatively new company on the bullet market. They make bullets quite literally by hand with a +/- 0.0001″ variance. Yes, you read that right. They currently offer rebated boat tail bullets in .308 and 6.5mm and are 100% veteran owned and operated.

Kraken Ballistics brings a craft level of production quality to the bullet business. Their research and dedication to producing the best bullets possible was immediately evident upon handling a few.

The rebated boat tail is a feature sadly lacking in virtually all modern bullets and it offers the benefit of distributing propellent gases in a ring around the bullet base instead of flowing around the projectile as with standard boat tail designs.

New SilencerCo Suppressor

Josh Wayner for TTAG

SilencerCo showed me their new nameless suppressor that was rifle rated, but also suitable for pistols. There isn’t much information about out there yet aside from this somewhat poor quality photo, so enjoy this all you can until the company releases more information.

SilencerCo Suppressor guns garand m1

Josh Wayner for TTAG

As always, SilencerCo had a number of cool items in their booth including some guns you don’t usually see suppressed including an M1 Garand and some lever actions.

Franklin Armory Providence prototype

Josh Wayner for TTAG

I got to put my hands on the new Franklin Armory Providence. This is a brand new type of non-semi-automatic gun that has an action similar to both an AR and a double action revolver. It’s not technically a semi-automatic, as the gun doesn’t rely on the force of the cartridge to operate and instead is fired through digital pressure.

The take-up is long and somewhat mushy, but in pulling the trigger you’re also moving the bolt assembly to the rear. When the trigger reaches the end of the pull, it releases the bolt forward.

It doesn’t slam fire as there is mechanical locking taking place before a separate action strikes the primer. So no, it is not a machinegun in waiting. We can’t wait to get a production model to test.

Tops knives shot show

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Passing by the TOPS Knives booth, they had a number of new products out for display that are both stylish and functional. While many of these are prototypes, the stand-out examples include the straight razor-style folding comb and a Japanese style gardening knife.

TOPS knives shot show

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Everything made by TOPS is, well, top quality and heavily built. They boast dozens and dozens of models that suit any taste. Knives aren’t the focus of TTAG, but gun guys are frequently knife guys and these were just so damn cool that I had to include them here.





  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    +/- 0.0001″ aka 2.5 microns? I call bullshit. I can change the diameter of that bullet by more than that just by holding it.

    1. avatar JMR says:

      Vortex apparently ran into this problem as well, just measuring certain parts would deform them more than they deemed acceptable.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        The problem is the order of magnitude rule. To hold a 2.5 micron tolerance, you need a gage accurate to 0.25 microns. For an OD measurement that’s really hard, but doable. For an OAL measurement of an asymmetric object? Good luck

        1. avatar Detroiter says:

          I work in pistons. We hold a tolerance of +/- 3 microns on pin bore diameters. Those are also barrel shaped profiles, and they have an interrupted cut.

          It is possible, especially on a simple part. quality control is challenging, but overall length, and max bullet diameter are not the difficult parts: a simple digital micrometer, in a temperature controlled room can do that. Accuracy down to .0005mm or better.

          More than likely, they have a digital go no go gauge on the line- if they measure at all- and I’m assuming they don’t 100% check the profile.

          Also more than likely they sort a great deal, and essentially grade the bullets.

        2. avatar JMR says:

          Detroiter, you’re boreing i’m Assuming? Boreing is a lot different than shaping and forming.

        3. avatar Rumblestrip says:

          Detroiter are you at Mahle or Diamond?

    2. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “I can change the diameter of that bullet by more than that just by holding it.”

      To say nothing about the temp differences of an air-conditioned home vs. a garage in summer…

    3. avatar Joshua Samuels says:

      How much is the loading press going to change the diameter during bullet seating?

      1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

        Or a roll crimp?

  2. avatar JMR says:

    “+/- 0.0001″“ in what exactly? Diameter? Length? Bearing length? Ogive length? Base to Ogive? Boatail length? Meplat diameter?

    1. avatar JMR says:

      I forgot runout. And probably a few other things.

    2. avatar TejasVet says:

      Their website makes that claim on the diameter.

      Length is +/- .002

      I don’t get that they are handmade, unless they mean a human runs a machine that mass produces these things.

      Don’t think you are getting anything all that spectacular at $0.60 each.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        Corbin Mfg in Oregon made precision, hand-lapped dies to make rebated boat tail bullets for decades. Still do (Corbin’s,com). These look like they were made with their swaging dies.

  3. avatar Rocketman says:

    .0001 tolerance dimension is absolutely phenomenal. I spent nearly 20 years drafting and designing parts for fighter jet engines and that approaches the level of what I used to do.

    1. avatar JP says:

      Yup, I was thinking the same thing… The bearing guys work to those tolerances, but the rest of jobs were only down to thousandths.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      It’s complete bullshit for any mass manufactured product. Bearing manufacturers would love to reliably hold those kinds of tolerances. 2.5 micron runout is semicon optics land.

      1. avatar Jeremy D. says:

        Handmade bro!


      2. avatar Detroiter says:

        OD ground wrist pins…..

        1. avatar Detroiter says:

          Ball and needle bearings also

      3. avatar ai338 says:

        The article said they were handmade so it’s probably one man, one lathe, one bullet at a time.

        1. avatar WVA Coal Miner says:

          Check their website, they sell them for $59.99 per hundred.

          One man can’t make a living on a lathe selling at that price point.

          I would bet that they use the same machinery that most all the other bullet manufactures use.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          It’s probably just a modern swiss lathe / screw machine and the machine is advertised for that sort of tolerance. Actually maintaining it in the product would require a lot of effort in temperature control and tool maintenance and more, obviously.

        3. avatar Defens says:

          I doubt they are lathe turned. They look swaged. Check out Corbin’ for more info on swaging and rebated boat tails.

  4. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I would love to see that “rebated boattail” concept tested!

    1. avatar Joshua Samuels says:

      Rebated boat tail bullets have been around for a long time. They’re well known and proven, just not commonly mass produced. Probably more expensive to make than a regular boat tail.

  5. avatar possum says:

    I am amazed of the capabilities of humans . How small can they make stuff,? Amazing.

  6. avatar Scott C. says:

    You’ll probably be waiting for the Providence as long as you’ll be waiting for the Reformation… forever

    1. avatar Evey259 says:

      I thought the Providence came out but no one gave a shit because it was a crappy gun that got bodied by any and all AR pistol?

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        Its meant for my people as big middle finger to the powers that be.

    2. avatar Gadsden says:

      So, what next they name the next one the rapture…

      1. avatar Defens says:

        Modular single shot with one-round mag, no-grip grip, and non threaded muzzle. The Capitulation.

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