This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
Walking down the row of long-distance bolt action rifle displays, my husband and I were focused on allowing the participating manufacturers get set up for Industry Day at the Range tomorrow and trying to stay out of the way.
Many reps and employees were huddled over rifles, sending last-minute zeroing shots down range in preparation for the barrage of firearms buyers and media arriving in less than 24 hours, while an RSO always watched closely nearby.
We were so focused on seeing who was available to talk that we didn’t even HEAR the shots being fired at the very end of the bench rest area.
Good thing, too. Because the name of the company test firing was Suppressed Weapons Systems…and we never even knew they were shooting a rifle downrange until someone pointed it out.
Stop Children. What’s That Sound?
Eric Tonkin, owner of SWS and his crew took the time to show us around (and by “show us around”, I mean let us shoot some seriously cool rifles).
.338 Lapua, 7mm Mag, you name the rifle caliber and SWS can create a barrel to suppress it.
That’s right, kids. if you can wait the 3-4 months it takes for average turnaround time…on a custom rifle barrel…built for the chassis of your choice…starting around $1500…your INTEGRALLY-SUPPRESSED go-to tack driver for hunting (and any other firearm application) is now within reach.
Do You Suffer From EMBARRASSING Gas Issues?
These custom barrels aren’t just for bolt action, either!
The SWS team also brought AR-15s, AR-10s, and even a 10/22 rimfire to demonstrate how effective, yet amazingly accurate (and fun…did I mention FUN???) their barrels are.
On the AR platform, these guys are truly a game-changer.
With the gas block attached to the top of the barrel, rather than sliding over it, cleaning the suppressor is as simple as removing the handguard, unscrewing 2 screws from the block, and off she comes!
Are you getting this? No more lining up gas port and block! No more feed and gas issues from improper gas block alignment (and potentially one less trip to get the gunsmith to fix it if you install your traditional block incorrectly)!
But Wait, There’s More!
But its not just about function. There’s a lot of form to consider here, too!
Think about the weight distribution benefits as well! Gone are the days of front-heavy firearms once a traditional suppressor is attached.
These baffles are built into the barrel, machined as one piece with ribbing without fluting for strength enough to easily hold 12 MOA at over 1000yds when we shot their 7mm on a Savage action with a McMillan stock.
So you get the benefits of a bull barrel without the droop or weight that a heavier stand-alone bull barrel would bring.
Cleaning is a snap too, since the cover of the barrel is the actual serialized part suppressor, and intentionally comes off in a few easy steps.
The Rest Of The Story
Bottom line, if you always believed that integral suppression on your favorite bolt action or semi-auto MSR was a financial impossibility, you’re about to be pleasantly surprised.
Oh…and that rifle they were shooting downrange that we didn’t even know was being fired? Yeah, it was a 22-250…being fired less than 5 feet behind us.
This girl’s Christmas list just got a little bit quieter…