Who do you trust and why? Consumers trust different brands and resources on sound testing for a myriad of different reasons. The mysticism of silencer testing has always been a topic of contention. Many people don’t know who to trust and throw arrows up, down, and sideways in online rants with little to no knowledge or information due to the lack of understanding of how it all works. I’ll admit, it took me a few years to understand anything about it and I was doing it quite a bit. Going to the range often times several times a week to reset the meter, jam mags, jot notes down and make sure the proper settings were set in order to learn something. Trust is established over time. It’s hard earned and easily lost if you do the wrong thing or make mistakes. This is why Griffin has been doing so much testing over the years and will continue to do so. We can’t speak confidently and objectively about our products without knowing them inside and out, and our competition.
A lot of silencer companies don’t even know anything about sound testing. Think I’m bluffing? Look into it. There are currently sold suppressors on the market by known brands who are using decades old utility patents that were purchased from now defunct companies or individuals. Its laughable in a way until you realize how hard research and development is, testing, and even worse the manufacturing of it all. I feel sorry for them in a way, but they could have worked their way out of it if they cared. I digress. In the early days the industry people involved weren’t really in the industry, they hadn’t been accepted yet. They were on the fringe and so were we. But a lot of them were nice to each other, realizing that if they didn’t share ideas and information that no one would learn and the products wouldn’t get better very fast. Think about the Jet program post WW2. We took German jet engineers and pilots (top Aces) of the ME262 program and integrated them into the US industrial complex to jettison our technology ahead of the rest of the world. Luckily, we were able to play nice with those who we were just at war with, or the US wouldn’t be in as good of a place today. It wasn’t uncommon back then to drive all the way across the country to meet up with someone you had only talked to over email or a forum and do some testing and talk and learn some things. Those were the days. I don’t think we were very good at making quiet suppressors for at least 5-7 years of sound testing, and we did a lot of it. We needed to learn how to do it and use that knowledge in manufacturing for company survival. We weren’t the only ones with equipment, so you had to be true to yourself and reality and try to make things better all the time. Data was very comparable too from all sources in the old days because the only thing that people had unanimous respect for was the B&K 2209.
Fast forward to today and it’s a different beast. Digital equipment is the rage, and some of it is cobbled together by groups playing science with little knowledge in what they are doing. We don’t play that game. We have always relied on industry subject matter experts whenever needed. Whether it’s a machine, a cutting tool, a programming software, a laser machine, etc. We have always relied on the SME. In this instance Hottinger Bruel and Kjaer. They are at the top of the food chain. They have the best stuff, no question. The Lan-Xi is the unit to have and so we upgraded out of necessity at a point a few years ago. It was setup by factory techs, one of which was a scientist. Our instructions were simple, we want peak data from three microphones, and we don’t want to click a lot of buttons to get it. Our time is valuable so we want it to record pretty quickly and let us shoot again and again to display the data in five and ten round shot strings. Six weeks later the most gentlemanly technicians who ever visited Griffin Armament were escorted per security policy out the door. We shook hands, said thank you and we had what we wanted. They were on to the next customer.
What a life changer for R&D. We could test things really fast and get all kinds of data right away. Of course we decided videos would be nice for consumers to see what we were putting into the product in terms of time effort and results. So we started publishing videos. Fast forward some more and people wanted to start seeing more data, graphics, wave forms etc. Why not? The B&K has factory integrated software for that. We are a maintenance customer and are well supported so when we talked to B&K (now HBK), they recommended we look at the AHAAH (Auditory Hazard Assessment Algorithm for Humans). This is an impressive peer review model that was developed from the 1960’s onward. It makes a lot of sense if you read into it. The US Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory is responsible for the effort. I won’t bore you with too many details as the video we did talks a lot about it. However, I will say I’m proud of the effort we make to do our best. I’m proud of HBK and the Army for collaborating and offering a tool to defense manufacturers that allows them to showcase bona fide and trusted data.
Look for Griffin to support this testing method, the Silencer Testing Standard™ for many years to come. In fact, as I write this industrial building engineers are designing a new indoor range specifically for sound and ballistics testing for Griffin Armament. Its going to be a lot more expensive sadly than the sound testing hardware but will ensure tons of sound testing content will be developed over the coming years. We are dedicated to sound testing, because our customers depend on our suppressor products, our company depends on those sales, and our families depend on the finances that brings us. Sound testing in this way is a form of business security. We started nearly 18 years ago doing it. It’s a foundational bedrock to our suppressor program, one that we take with the utmost level of concern. This is why we employ the best hardware and practices that we can.