AB Suppressor Raptor (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
AB Suppressor Raptor (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
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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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
Raptor, Reflex Mount, Flush Mount and 6 Pin Tool (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor on a Nosler M48NCH (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Reflex Mount on a Black Collar Pork Sword (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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?

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor with Flush Mount (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
.375 Endcap (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor with Reflex Mount (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor with Flush Mount (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor internals (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

AB Suppressor raptor silencer review
AB Raptor Reflex Mount and Baffle Design (image courtesy AB Suppressor)

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″
Material: Titanium
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.

 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. This looks interesting. I’ll check out the videos. I’ve been waiting for a review of the Thunder Beast Dominus CB which looks like the best combination of size, weight, and suppression. If this does as well, or better, for less $ then I’m interested. I don’t need larger than 7.62.

  2. Am I wrong to ask if there’s any peril in the ATF being jerks about this and saying that you’re getting more “parts” due to things like the end caps?

  3. I wish they would have made this design for larger calibers. I’d like to be able to use one suppressor to mount on both a .308 XP100 pistol and a 444 Marlin with an 18″ barrel shooting HEAVY cast loads. Any plans to make a .475 version that you are aware of?

    • No, but they are pretty friendly folks. A call to them would answer your question. I think it is unlikely, as they would need to move to a larger tube diameter.

  4. The only other reflex design I’ve seen on the market is the S2 Reflex / Ti Reflex from CZ. I thought maybe they had a patent on it, so I’m glad to see this very adaptable alternative.

  5. Welded cans are lighter, but if you get a baffle strike it’s going going to be a bear to fix, also, as good as titanium is there will be baffle erosion, especially with supers. Would like to see a blast baffle made of inconel or 17-4. I think reflex cans are cool though. This looks a LOT like maxims original design minus the reflex.

  6. What metrics did they or you use to validate there’s less “barrel whip” using a reflex design? And send one over to Pew Science for sound testing. Peak dB doesn’t mean anything, especially when coming from the company trying to sell you a silencer.

    Every company that sound tests silencers has one job. That’s to sell you more of their product. Only trust independent sources for sound data. Skip over the YouTube and social media reviewers.

    • I did the research to determine that less mass at the extreme end of a lever applies less force to said lever. My research has been exhaustively verified by Isaac Newton.
      Feel free to send your silencer to whoever you want for independent testing and refer to the results here. As for me, watching comparisons side by side on video is good enough.

      • Stating a law of physics and not showing how it’s actually applied to barrel harmonics is not the same thing. This is especially true when it comes to shifting the center of gravity. Your article states that poi is small, but that’s not verified if you haven’t tested every configuration.

        I like the write up, I really appreciate folks taking the time to review gear. But reviewing and actually copying the marketing lingo from a manufacturer is not the same thing. Especially when one of those contributors to TTAG sells that particular item. Some might say it’s even a conflict of interest.

        Make no mistake I’m not attacking your work, or TTAG, but if you’re going to report on equipment and then say “watching comparisons side by side on video is good enough” that actually isn’t good reporting.

        Once again I’m not attacking anyone, and I appreciate TTAG especially when they cover gun rights. What I am saying is publishing something that hasn’t been verified is dangerous to unbeknownst consumers. Especially when one of the contributors to TTAG sells those items.

        • The easiest way to demonstrate what Jdub said is to observe the “width” of nodes formed mid-pole by a wind-whipped flag on a tall flagpole… lowering the flag decreases both the size, location, and frequency of said oscillations. Moving a portion of the mass closer to the polar base of the barrel amounts to “lowering the flag”. ( at least the way I remember from physics class 45 years back)

        • You’re being silly.
          Also note that, although they have several retailers, my article links only to the AB website, and nowhere else for purchase.

        • @Justin

          The correct answer to your question is not the very incorrect “that less mass at the extreme end of a lever applies less force to said lever. My research has been exhaustively verified by Isaac Newton.”

          The answer is more than one path away.

          If Newton were correctly interpreted and applied here:

          Newton’s third law of motion: “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This means that whenever an object interacts with any other object, there exists a pair of interaction forces acting on both objects.

          So what is the PAIR of interaction forces acting ON BOTH OBJECTS?

          The PAIR of interaction forces acting ON BOTH OBJECTS is…

          meaning, the barrel AND suppressor – what are the pair of interacting forces acting on the both the barrel AND suppressor and common to both?

          The answer to that is – the bullet (projectile) and momentum. And the answer for the interaction leads us to the physics laws of conservation of momentum which requires that the total momentum of the fired firearm and projectile is the same as before firing which means it is zero – In other words, immediately after firing the momentum of the firearm is equal and opposite to the momentum of the projectile – this is what recoil is and where it comes from.

          e.g., normalized, example, where:
          momentum of fired projectile = (-1) (forward from 0 on the number line thus right, behind 0 on the number line a negative integer)

          momentum of the firearm is equal and opposite to the momentum of the projectile = +1 (rearward from 0 on the number line thus left, in front of 0 on the number line a positive integer)

          Thus (-1) + 1 = 0

          The correct answer to your question is: A reflex suppressor does NOT provide less “barrel whip”. A reflex suppressor affects the equal and opposite to the momentum of the projectile (bullet) we know more commonly as “recoil impulse” or just “recoil”.

          There are no valid metrics to show a reflex suppressor provides less “barrel whip”, because it doesn’t.

          This is not a new design. BR-Tuote of Joensuu, Finland created the first commercially made reflex suppressor in 1999. Its the same design of the now AB suppressor. The design was originally intended for military use for a range of weapons from rifle/handguns to machine guns using regular military ammo. Its an old design.

          The reflex suppressor design was intended to be used with supersonic high-powered ammunition (but also works well with subsonic ammunition) to reduce firing impulse noise and dampen recoil as the bullet passes through it.

          Generally reflex suppressors are more complicated and expensive to manufacturer, this is why they were not very common in the public commercial market. The more common separate chamber/baffle commercial type can overall be milled via CNC or cast/molded faster and more cheaply.

      • “I did the research to determine that less mass at the extreme end of a lever applies less force to said lever. My research has been exhaustively verified by Isaac Newton.”

        hmmmm… you need to go back to your research and be a little more careful in your interpretation.

        He’s asking about “barrel whip” as in “barrel harmonics” – barrel motion (when fired) is referred to as “ringing”, “harmonics” or “whip”. A rifle’s barrel changes shape and moves in multiple directions every time it is fired. You have (a clue here) changing mass direction, “less mass at the extreme end of a lever applies less force to said lever” has nothing to do with it.

        You misinterpret Newton, or you missed part of it. Newton’s third law of motion: “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This means that whenever an object interacts with any other object, there exists a pair of interaction forces acting on both objects.

        So what is the PAIR of interaction forces acting ON BOTH OBJECTS?

        Justin’s question is valid: What metrics did they or you use to validate there’s less “barrel whip” using a reflex design?

        • “So what is the PAIR of interaction forces acting ON BOTH OBJECTS?”

          meaning, the barrel AND suppressor – what are the pair of interacting forces acting on the both the barrel AND suppressor at the same time and common to both? Realizing those will lead you to the correct answer to Justin’s question.

  7. @ 40 cal Booger Thanks for the detailed responses. The reflex design is interesting to me, it’s aesthetically pleasing. I don’t think TTAG understands reviews based on actual information and science. It’s my fault. I didn’t manage my own expectations. I wish media sources including gun blogs who “review” items did so under a little more scrutiny. Think Consumer Reports or Edmund’s. I’d even love to see a Top Gear (the good trio) version but with firearms.

    Looking at reflex designs and data for the CGS Hyperion, at one point they made a reflex version for some group but I don’t recall who. That’d be cool to have.

    Anyways thanks again for the explanations and physics lesson and application.

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