Getting started with your universal silencer
Congratulations! You have just purchased or received your universal silencer. Or, you are being a responsible adult by researching and budgeting your expenditures. I get asked, almost daily, on what adapters, gismos, and pistons to get for a universal silencer to be used on all the firearms that a customer owns. In this article, I will go over the most efficient way to get your universal silencer up and running. I will be referencing the Optimus® 9, Bushwhacker® 36, and Bushwhacker® 46 suppressors. However, these same principles apply to nearly all silencers. Let’s start with the easiest type of firearm to adapt your silencer too.
Fixed Barrel Firearms
A fixed barrel firearm is a firearm that has a barrel that does not move or reciprocate in its order of operations when firing a cartridge. Examples of this are AR15s, PCCs, bolt action rifles, ETC. Both the Optimus® 9 and Bushwhacker® suppressors come with the necessary components to mount directly to a fixed barrel firearm right out of the box. Let’s dive into each suppressor to get yours up and running with fixed barrel firearms.
The Optimus® 9 Gen 2 will come with a Taper Mount Minimalist Blast Shield, 5/8x24 .30Cal Taper Mount EZ-Brake™, and a .30Cal rifle blast baffle. When you install the Taper Mount Minimalist Blast Shield onto your Optimus® 9, you will be in the “Mid-Size Configuration”. This blast shield gives you the ability to use Taper Mount muzzle devices with your Optimus®. The use of the included rifle blast baffle is pretty much determined on the diameter of the cartridge you are shooting. If you are shooting a caliber that has a bullet diameter smaller than or equal to .30Cal, go ahead and use the .30Cal blast baffle. It will give you more decibel reduction and the ability to use your Optimus® on shorter barrel lengths. Once you have your Optimus® 9 in the “Mid-Size Configuration”, you will need to install your 5/8x24 .30Cal Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ on your rifle. This muzzle device is compatible with most .30Cal rifles for example, .300BLK, .308WIN, 30-06, .300WM, ETC. This muzzle device does not need any shims, Loctite, or crush washer of any kind. It's easy, hence the name. All you need to do for installation is tighten it down to 45ft/lbs of torque with a 13/16" standard socket wrench (35ft/lbs for 1/2x28 threads). After you have your muzzle device installed, just install your Optimus® 9 by threading it onto the Taper Mount EZ-Brake™. Once you feel resistance, torque it down to approximately hand tight and then BOOM! You are running your Optimus® 9 on a fixed barrel firearm.
The Bushwhacker® 36 and 46 will come with a 5/8x24 .30Cal Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ and a Plan-A™ Taper Mount Interface for 1.375x24 threaded suppressors. The Plan-A™ Taper Mount Interface will be installed from the factory. I like to call this the Plan-A configuration for the Bushwhacker®. This piece may have loosened up in shipping so give it an approximate “umph” with the included Bushwhacker® wrench (spanner wrench) to ensure it is tight. The Plan-A™ Taper Mount Interface gives your Bushwhacker® the ability to use minimalist Taper Mount Muzzle Devices (I will explain what a minimalist Taper Mount Muzzle Device is later). To get your suppressor mounted on a rifle is very similar to the Optimus® 9. So much so that I can just copy and paste the text from the above paragraph. Which is what you’re about to read. Once you have your Bushwhacker® in the “Plan-A Configuration”, you will need to install your 5/8x24 .30Cal Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ on your rifle. This muzzle device is compatible with most .30Cal rifles for example, .300BLK, .308WIN, 30-06, .300WM, ETC. This muzzle device does not need any shims, Loctite, or crush washer of any kind. It’s easy, hence the name. All you need to do for installation is tighten it down to 45ft/lbs of torque with a 13/16" standard socket wrench (35ft/lbs for 1/2x28 threads). After you have your muzzle device installed, just install your Bushwhacker® by threading it onto the Taper Mount EZ-Brake™. Once you feel resistance, torque it down to approximately hand tight and then BOOM! You are running your Bushwhacker® on a fixed barrel firearm.
Now how do I achieve quick detach and “hot swapping” ability with my suppressor onto all my rifles?
Simple. Just pick up a Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ for each one of the fixed barreled firearms you intend on using your suppressor with. Just make sure to select the correct thread pitch and bore diameter of Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ for the specific firearm you are installing it on. If we do not have the correct thread pitch and bore diameter of Taper Mount EZ-Brake™ for your firearm, the Taper Mount Minimalist Stealth Flash Suppressor should have you covered. We offer the Taper Mount Minimalist Stealth Flash Suppressor in a myriad of different thread pitches to be compatible with most commercially available firearms. Installation of this muzzle device is just as easy as the EZ-Brake™. The Taper Mount Minimalist Stealth Flash Suppressor does not need any shims, Loctite, or crush washer of any kind. All you need to do for installation is tighten it down to the recommended torque value with a Bushwhacker® Wrench (included with the Bushwhacker®) or with a Griffin Armorer's Wrench (included with the Optimus® 9).
I want to use the longer Taper Mount Muzzle Devices, what should I do?
The Optimus® 9 and Bushwhacker® suppressors are only compatible with the “Minimalist” Taper Mount Muzzle Devices out of the box. What this means is that any Taper Mount Muzzle Device that is shorter than the Taper Mount Hammer Comp, in terms of overall length, is compatible with the Optimus® 9 when using the Taper Mount Minimalist Blast Shield and .30Cal rifle blast baffle. In the Plan-A™ configuration, the Bushwhacker® is compatible with any of the Taper Mount Muzzle devices that are equal to or shorter than the Taper Mount Hammer Comp, in terms of overall length.
|Taper Mount Muzzle Device||OAL (Inches)||Optimus® 9 with Taper Mount Minimalist Blast Shield and .30Cal rifle blast baffle||Bushwhacker® with Plan A|
|Taper Mount Direct Thread Adapter||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Minimalist Brake|
(17-4 & Ti)
|Taper Mount EZ-Brake||1.4||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Minimalist Stealth Flash Suppressor||1.8||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Paladin®, 2 Port Brake||1.883||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Hammer Comp||1.94||No||Yes|
|Taper Mount Tactical Compensator||2.2||No||No|
To be able to use the longer Taper Mount Muzzle Devices with your Optimus®, you will need to remove the .30Cal rifle blast baffle. Removing the .30Cal rifle blast baffle will accommodate for the extra length of the muzzle device inside the suppressor. When you remove that .30Cal rifle blast baffle, just keep in mind that it does change up your barrel length and rate of fire restrictions for rifle calibers (check the Optimus® 9 product page for more info regarding barrel length and rate of fire restrictions). To be able to use the longer Taper Mount Muzzle Devices with your Bushwhacker®, you will need to purchase a separately available Plan-A™ XL Taper Mount Interface. The Plan-A™ XL has an increased overall length to accommodate for the longer Taper Mount Muzzle Devices.
|Taper Mount Muzzle Device||OAL (Inches)||Optimus® 9 with Taper Mount Minimalist Blast Shield without .30Cal rifle blast baffle||Bushwhacker® with Plan A XL|
|Taper Mount Hammer Comp||1.94||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Tactical Compensator||2.2||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Stealth Flash Suppressor - 2.25"||2.25||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount Linear Compensator||2.27||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount OTB Bayonet Flash Hider||2.3735||Yes||Yes|
|Taper Mount FlashComp||2.375||Yes||Yes|
A firearm is a tilt-barrel firearm when it has a barrel that moves or “tilts'' in its order of operations when firing a cartridge. Examples of this are most pistols that operate in the same way as Glocks, P320s, P365, Springfield Hellcat, 1911s, 2011s, ETC. Even firearms with reciprocating barrels like the Beretta 92 or LWRC SMG 45 can be lumped into this category. To use a suppressor with a tilt-barrel firearm, a booster assembly (Neilsen device) needs to be installed in the suppressor to retain the semi-automatic functionality of the host firearm. The booster assembly I am talking about today is only meant for pistol calibers, typically 9mm through 45ACP. This assembly allows the suppressor to be effectively weightless, for a split second, to allow the host firearm’s barrel to tilt or reciprocate to eject the spent casing and load the next cartridge. A booster assembly in a Griffin Armament Suppressor consists of the Booster Housing, Booster Piston, Booster Spring, and Booster Retaining Nut. The actual way this assembly attaches to the firearm is via the piston. Griffin Armament offers three types of pistons, direct thread, CAM-LOK®, and EZ-LOK™. I am not going to go too in depth about the pros and cons of each system. That is a whole other topic to write about (we also have a video on it). To quickly summarize, direct thread pistons are antiquated, ineffective, and cumbersome. CAM-LOK® is a universal piston system that gives you true quick disconnect functionality and a tapered surface to keep your suppressor tight and aligned. EZ-LOK™ is another universal piston system that gives you quick detach functionality (although not as fast as the CAM-LOK®), intuitive design, and a tapered surface to keep your suppressor tight and aligned. With all that being said, let's go in to see how to outfit your tilt barrel pistols for your universal silencer.
The Optimus® 9 Gen 2 will come with all the necessary components to complete a booster assembly right out of the box. The specific piston that is included is a CAM-LOK® piston. This piston requires a separately available CAM-LOK® Barrel Adapter to be installed on your host firearm. We offer the CAM-LOK® barrel adapters in a whole host of different thread pitches to suit your specific needs. The most common thread pitches for 9mm tilt barrel pistols are 13.5x1LH, 1/2x28, and 1/2x28 Special (I will explain the “Special” designation later). Once you have purchased a CAM-LOK® barrel adapter in your host firearm’s thread pitch, installation is a breeze. All you need to do is torque it down to 20ft/lbs with a 3/4” socket. The barrel adapter does not need any O-Rings, Loctite, timing, or shims for installation. When you have the barrel adapter installed on your firearm, you are now able to mount your Optimus® 9. Just insert the barrel adapter into the piston by aligning the three patches of interrupted threads. When the piston cannot go onto the barrel adapter any more, back it off just a hair so the piston and barrel adapter threads can interface with each other. Once those are all lined up, give it less than a quarter turn until hand tight and then BOOM! You are running your Optimus® 9 on a tilt barreled firearm.
With the CAM-LOK® system, you do not need to “Piss Reef” (overtighten) the piston onto the barrel adapter or do the pistol suppressor “Snap”. Simply tighten the CAM-LOK® piston onto the CAM-LOK® barrel adapter for the threads to engage.
The Bushwhacker® will come with all the necessary components to complete a booster assembly except the piston. You will need to acquire one of the three piston systems that we offer to complete the booster assembly. Since we have not talked about EZ-LOK™ and because I am a big fan of the mounting system, I will talk about EZ-LOK™. EZ-LOK™ is my preferred mounting system between the three. Mainly because it is very easy for new shooters, or shooters that are not familiar with the nuances with suppressors, to become familiar and proficient in using the equipment. I always give the hypothetical scenario of handing your firearm and suppressor to your friend (if you have friends) to try out. You should have no concern of marring, cross threading, damaging, or questioning if the suppressor is even installed correctly with EZ-LOK™. EZ-LOK™ is very similar to CAM-LOK® in the way that you will need an EZ-LOK™ piston installed in your suppressor and an EZ-LOK™ barrel adapter installed on your host firearm. EZ-LOK™ barrel adapters are installed the same way as CAM-LOK® barrel adapters by torquing it down to 20ft/lbs with a 3/4” socket. The barrel adapter does not need any O-Rings, Loctite, timing, or shims for installation. Mounting your Bushwhacker® to your firearm using the EZ-LOK™ piston and barrel adapter is very similar to our Taper Mount Muzzle Devices. Just install your Bushwhacker® by threading it onto the EZ-LOK™ barrel adapter (righty tighty, lefty loosey). Once you feel resistance, torque it down to approximately hand tight and then BOOM! You are running your Bushwhacker® on a tilt barrel firearm.
Now how do I achieve quick detach and “hot swapping” ability with my suppressor onto all my tilt barrel firearms?
Simple. Just pick up the respective barrel adapters for the universal piston system you decided to go with for each tilt barrel firearm you intend on using with your suppressor. Just make sure to select the correct thread pitch and bore diameter of barrel adapter for the specific firearm you are installing it on.
Although it would be super cool, CAM-LOK® and EZ-LOK™ are NOT cross compatible. Using CAM-LOK® with EZ-LOK™ (and vice versa) will cause damage to your barrel adapter, piston, or suppressor.
What is 1/2x28 Special? Am I special?
Normally, a muzzle device will index off the shoulder of the barrel on a firearm. Some firearms have thinner profile barrels that do not allow for the proper mounting of a muzzle device. Generally speaking, firearms like the Glock 43, P365, and Hellcat will have this thinner barrel profile. For this we have made the 1/2x28 special. This muzzle device indexes off of the face of the barrel instead of the shoulder, allowing it to be properly mounted on a thinner barrel. The special WILL WORK on a normal profile barrel. It just indexes off the face instead of the shoulder of the barrel. If you have a longer threaded surface on your barrel, you may see a thread not covered on the rear end of the muzzle device when using the special.
I hope you enjoyed gettin’ learnt about universal suppressors. Those who appreciate Trailer Park Boys will liken to that reference. Like I said in the introduction, this article is about getting your universal silencer up and running in the most efficient way possible. Are there cheaper ways? Yes. Are there more inclusive ways? Also, yes. The world is your oyster when talking about and configuring universal silencers. What is that saying? It’s like adult LEGOs?
If you have any questions on this topic or need further assistance, hit up our customer service team at CS@GRIFFINARMAMENT.COM.
About the Author
The article was written by Jack Rapala. Jack is a USPSA carry optics shooter, night vision enthusiast, firearm salesman, suppressor connoisseur, and a customer service representative for Griffin Armament.