The Aerocharger Ballistics (AB Suppressor) Raptor suppressor is one of those rare examples of elegant innovation in the silencer industry. Despite the company having several patents, there’s nothing here that’s earth shatteringly new. Instead, much of what’s here makes me wonder why I haven’t seen all of this put together on more cans. And that right there is the real genius. The AB Raptor combines materials, technology, and ideas that seem so easy and perfect, it all just makes sense.
And the Raptor makes a lot of sense.
Given the long government-imposed wait times and unconstitutional hassles involved with purchasing a silencer, lots of people try to buy just one can for use with many firearms. AB Suppressor has pushed the envelope of this concept, providing an extremely versatile solution for a whole lot of noise-related problems.
First, there are multiple mounting options.
The AB Reflex mounting option is an over-the-barrel mount. That means there is 3″ of tube over the barrel prior to reaching the threaded mount itself. This is one of those ideas that’s so simple and elegant, you wonder why we didn’t see it 20 years ago.
Not only does the reflex mount provide tons more working volume without adding hardly any forward length, it shifts some of the mass of the silencer behind the muzzle, spreading it out and reducing whip.
I’ve been running the Raptor on my M48 Nosler Custom Handgun (NCH) since early this summer. The 15-inch, fairly stiff barrel, combined with the relatively low mass of the Raptor means that my point-of-impact shift when shooting with and without the can is less than 1″ across a wide variety of loads, at 100 yards.
The AB Raptor’s Reflex Mount ID measured 1.043″ with my Brown and Sharpe calipers. The AB Reflex mount gives the shooter a whole lot of volume for little additional forward length.
What if your barrel is too thick (doubtful) to slip into the Reflex mount? Or what if you are mounting it on a rifle — like many ARs — with a handguard or stock that ends close to the barrel?
No problem at all. Instead, unscrew the Reflex mount (no tools required) and attach the flush mount using the supplied six-pin tool. Mount that directly to your barrel and it will sit flush with the shoulder. Then fire away. Each AB Raptor suppressor comes with both one Reflex mount and one flush mount.
But what if the Reflex mount and flush mount thread pitch you bought don’t match the firearm you want it to go onto? Not a problem. Simply purchase a different flush mount in the thread pitch of your choice. They cost $45 a piece.
Oh, but what if you want to switch calibers? Again, not a problem. Obviously you can shoot a smaller caliber with the larger .375″ diameter end cap, but you’ll gain a bit of noise and gas. Again, easy fix. Use the supplied six-pin tool to remove the end cap and replace it with the appropriate caliber end cap of your choice, sold separately by AB. They cost $65 a piece.
But, but, but, you want to use your QD muzzle device, you say. Cool. For $42 you can purchase the Raptor Adapter and throw on any device with an “industry standard” 1.375×24 pitch.
Putting a .375″ diameter end cap together with a separate flush mount of a different thread pitch may have a few of you asking a smart question. And the answer is yes, you can attach it to your 9mm pistol.
But you don’t want such a long can? Again, still, not an issue. The Raptor comes in sizes all the way from 2 spiral baffles (3.9″) to 10 (7.2″), and the Reflex mount comes in a 3″ and 5″ size as well.
The end result here is a fantastically capable, incredibly adaptable silencer. You can go all the way from a 9mm pistol to a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle, with varying weights, lengths, and mounting options, all with one can. Pretty awesome.
Picking up the Raptor is a bit of a surprise. The configuration I’m reviewing is their 8 spiral version, with a 3″ standard Reflex mount. They make several shorter versions than this one and one longer version as well, with 10 spirals.
This version looks like a big ol’ hunk of metal, and in terms of external dimensions, it is. With the 3″ Reflex mount attached, this 8 spiral version is close to 9 1/2″ long and 1.6″ wide.
When I picked it up out of the box, I expected it to be hefty. It isn’t. This configuration, one of the larger that AB offers, weighs only 12.75oz. Take off the Reflex mount and it’s down to 8.05oz. That’s pretty light.
It’s that light because the AB is a welded tubeless design with a 100% titanium spiral stack. The welded tubeless design simply requires less material to begin with and, of course, titanium itself is relatively light weight.
I not only reviewed the M48 Nosler Custom Handgun (NCH), but I’ve hunted almost exclusively with it since June. That single shot pistol has a 15″ barrel, and is chambered in 7mm-08. It’s taken pigs, white tail deer, and black bear since then.
Most of the time I’ve practiced and hunted with the M48NCH, it’s had the AB Raptor attached. That’s hundreds of rounds through this suppressor without any issue, and without cleaning, with a full 90 degrees of ambient temperature change during the time I’ve had it. The Raptor has performed flawlessly.
I’ve also run the AB Raptor on a 12″ .308 Win Remington 700 pistol in a Pork Sword Chassis and on a 12″ Black Collar Arms Pork Sword Pistol chambered in 375 Raptor. Finally, I put 20 rounds as fast as I could through a 20″ barreled AR10 in 6.5 Creedmoor. Zero issues.
The AB website states that the minimum barrel length is 16″, and that at this length, the AB Raptor is full-auto rated. I didn’t shoot anything full-auto, but I certainly got well under the minimum barrel length. It really looks like AB is being overly cautious with that barrel length minimum, because I shot hundreds of rounds through this silencer without any cleaning and it still looking great inside. I haven’t had to so much as tighten the end cap.
Instead of K-baffles, the AB Raptor uses a much less commonly seen baffle design. The Raptor uses spiral baffles to keep the gasses moving while reducing back pressure. That really does work. Even when shooting the AR10 as fast as I could, I didn’t get much gas blowing back at me at all.
So how quiet is it? As quiet or quieter than any 7.62 or larger caliber suppressor I own or can compare it to. I don’t have access to quality sound equipment right now, so I can’t give you my objective measurement of decibel level. Heck, few people can, since there are so many variables in testing.
However, go to the ABsupressor channel on Youtube, and you’ll find quite a few videos of head-to-head decibel level tests between the AB Raptor and other suppressors. In these tests, the same ammunition is fired in the same gun on the same day, with the microphone in the same position. The shots are shown and the results are shown as they are recorded. A couple of my own personal favorites, attached to guns I shoot all the time, underperform when compared to the AB Raptor.
Beyond the value of smart materials and smart design, Aerocharger Ballistics (AB) is a true American company, making an American product. That means they don’t just assemble products from someone else and put their name on it. They design, test, and manufacture the suppressors in-house. As their website claims, “Bar stock enters our facility and finished product leaves”.
The end result is one of the rare “do it all” silencers on the market that really do it all, and do it all well. With so many options, there aren’t many compromises to make. It’s lightweight, durable, quiet, easy to service and vastly more adaptable than most other cans on the market.
Specifications: AB Suppressor Raptor (as reviewed)
Caliber: Mulitple (bored for .375 caliber)
Weight: 12.75oz with Reflex Mount
Length: 9.5″ with Reflex Mount
Outside Diameter: 1.625″
Full Auto Rated: Yes
MSRP: $1,035 (8 Spirals, as Reviewed on loan from Black Collar Arms, though now I’m buying it)
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
Intelligent design and exceptional quality. If I had just one suppressor to buy, the AB Raptor would be it.