Blinded by the pure glee of purchasing my first suppressor, I didn’t head warnings of ejection problems in my AR-15 rifle after installing a silencer. I purchased a Thunder Beast Arms Ultra 9 .30-caliber suppressor, which is one awesome piece of titanium engineering. I screwed on the matte-black suppressor, drove to my buddy’s property, set out a target to check my point of impact and fired only three rounds before my Daniel Defense Ambush 6.8 SPC rifle jammed! I’ve shot this rifle a lot. I’ve killed deer, hogs and a pronghorn antelope with it, as well as, spending a bunch of time punching paper with it, and it’s never jammed. I fired two more rounds and another jam! My glee had subsided to a level of frustration. The suppressor was doing its job perfectly, but that also causes more gas to rush into the gas tube and accelerate the bolt speed to an ineffective level, thus causing the spent casings to regularly jam. This is my go-to hunting rifle, so a jam is no good.
The good news is there are a couple quick fixes to this problem. One option is to purchase an adjustable gas block for your AR when you order your suppressor. There are a number of adjustable gas blocks on the market and they all pretty much do the same thing — restrict or increase the amount of gas that goes through the gas tube then into the bolt to eject the spent casing. While I was waiting on my suppressor purchase to be approved by Uncle Sam, I was busy building a 300 BLK rifle to use with my new suppressor, as well. I went ahead and ordered an Odin Works adjustable gas block ($90) . This gas block is made from carbon steel, weighs 2.15 ounces and has 20 adjustment settings for fine tuning. Because my goal was to shoot sub-sonic ammo in this rifle, it was imperative that I had an adjustable gas block to open all the way and allow as much gas as possible to enter the gas tube and chamber in order to eject the slower round properly. I’ve had zero ejection problems so far shooting Freedom Munitions 300 AAC BLK 208-grain Hornady A-Max bullets. I plan to test more sub-sonic rounds in it soon.
An easier option, though a little more expensive, is to install a GEMTECH Suppressed Bolt Carrier ($249) . The GEMTECH bolt carrier has suppressed and unsuppressed settings that are adjusted with a small screwdriver. When shooting suppressed you simply turn the dial to the “S” setting and the weapon fires and ejects spent casings with no trouble. If you remove the suppressor, simply change it back to the “U” setting for unsuppressed shooting. This is the option I went with on my Daniel Defense 6.8 SPC. I simply removed the charging handle and slid the old bolt carrier group out and installed the new one. I’ve since shot dozens of rounds through the same rifle without even one jam. I’ve even taken a coyote and a big doe with the setup this fall and it worked great.
If you’re thinking about purchasing your first suppressor, check out Silencer Shop. It has hundreds of suppressors for sale and can help you with the paperwork and even help you set up a gun trust to make things easier. Check out the Thunder Beast Arms Ultra 9 suppressor when you visit their website, too.