Under their slogan, “Fight the Noise!” the innovative company SilencerCo has developed a series of excellent firearm sound suppressors over just the few years since they were established in 2008. Their approach is simple, if revolutionary: make suppressors efficient, small and versatile. The SilencerCo Octane 45HD model, which we review here, shows just how successful they have been.
The Octane 45HD is a small, light suppressor: just 8.5″ long and 1.375″ in diameter, weighing in at 12.1 ounces. With those dimensions, it does not overwhelm host firearms (some users, accustomed to other manufacturers’ models, report that it even looks a little too small, at first glance). If you allow for a loaded pistol weight of, say, 40 ounces (about average for a 1911A1 or a Glock 21), the added 12 ounces wouldn’t throw the balance off. In fact, with a reported decrease in felt recoil, the suppressor dampens muzzle lift to provide a faster accurate follow-on shot. The diameter allows for continued use of standard iron sights, too.
SilencerCo designs their silencers to be used with a range of calibers. In this case, the Osprey 45HD can be used with firearms chambered for 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP as well as the 300 BLK subsonic round. It can also be used on submachine guns and carbines firing these calibers. The standard Osprey 45HD comes with a recoil booster that is designed to be used with Browning automatic pistol actions, but separate thread mounts can be purchased which will allow it to be used with fixed-barrel firearms.
The versatility goes even further. SilencerCo offers 11 different pistons to match different barrel thread types. A three-lug mount is also available for H&K submachine guns that use that system. Taken together, this modular design allows the same suppressor to be used with a very wide range of firearms — all for one $200 NFA tax stamp.
Internally, the suppressor is simple. There are 8 identical baffles, plus a shorter one in the front and an expansion chamber closest to the firearm muzzle (just in front of the piston). This design allows for extremely high internal pressures, which dramatically decreases muzzle noise. In addition, an o-ring is mounted inside the spring retainer. This seals the gasses inside the suppressor housing, further reducing sound levels during firing.
The average measured levels for this model are 130.4 dB for 9mm, 130.6 for .40 S&W and 132.0 for .45 ACP. For comparison (keeping in mind that the decibel scale is logarithmic, doubling for every 10 dB), the peak sound of a symphony playing loud classical music — think of The 1812 Overture — can be as high as 137 dB and peak levels of rock and roll can be about 150 dB. Or, in another example, a stock car race is typically 130 dB (which could lend itself to an interesting plot for a future Hollywood movie).
Cleaning and maintenance is also straightforward, designed for the shooter to perform. Remove the end pieces — the booster, spring retainer, spring, piston and front end cap — and slide the baffles expansion chamber out. The piston and spring can be cleaned with solvent; light gun oil, CLP or break free is applied to the thread and o-ring groove. SilencerCo recommends that cleaning should be performed at intervals of about 500 rounds, or more often when the suppressor is shot “wet” (that is, with 5cc of water added to the suppressor’s bore). When the o-ring shows wear or if it fails entirely, it can be easily replaced with a standard Viton size 18 ring.
Slim, light, reduced noise, dampened recoil, multi-caliber and cross-platform design, simple cleaning and maintenance: what’s not to like? If you’re thinking about buying a suppressor (and the number of first-time buyers is increasing rapidly, in recent years), the SilencerCo Octane 45HD should be on your short list.