Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the YHM Turbo K 5.56 rifle suppressor. Last week we stepped back a bit to look at the Q Honey Badger PDW and Thunder Chicken suppressor. This week we get to discuss one of my secret fetishes – deep and dark over-the-barrel rifle suppressors like the AMTAC MANTIS. What makes them so special? Let’s take a look.
AMTAC @ TFB
Over The Barrel With The AMTAC MANTIS
Ok, you know how you’ve got that one box buried down at the back of your closet that you’ve been meaning to clean out before someone finds it? Not that one, the one you aren’t exactly sure what’s in it. Well, the AMTAC MANTIS actually arrived about three years ago and landed in one of those boxes that time forgot. My apologies to AMTAC, you are definitely not my dirty little secret.
Anyway, James Reeves likes to remind me that suppressors are the foot fetish of the firearms industry, an implication I’m strangely fine with. So, if that is true, over-the-barrel suppressors are like an infatuation with slip-on shoes or knee-high socks. Because they require a specific barrel diameter and length, over-the-barrel silencers are a much smaller subset of an already (comparatively) small part of the gun world.
Over-barrel or reflex suppressors are designed to slip over a portion of the muzzle end of the barrel, mounting either by using direct threads or a muzzle adapter. The main goal goal is to save overall length while having the performance of a full-size silencer.
Challenges arise with tapered barrel profiles, larger diameter barrels and feature placement of gas blocks, front site bases and hand guards. But if you can build a system that works, reflex suppressors can be very quiet – the quietest 5.56 suppressor I’ve ever shot is still the Allen Engineering AEM5 on a MK12 AR-15. If you can conform to the required specifications and are prepared to dedicate your suppressor to one or two hosts, a reflex design may be for you.
Obviously, one of the biggest aspects of these designs is the baffle stack and the use of the internal volume in the space over the top of the barrel. The AMTAC MANTIS baffle stack is novel, looking more like a honeycomb than the more traditional discs or cones. If I’m being completely honest, I am both biased and skeptical when it comes to some of the radical baffle or monocore designs that claim to be the next big development in suppressor technology. Not that I have seen any evidence of these claims from AMTAC, but I just wanted to point out my silencer privilege.
Available in several over-barrel variations, Mantis Series suppressors let you find the ideal balance between length, weight, and sound performance. The single-piece CNC-machined baffle structure threads directly to your rifle’s barrel, which delivers uncompromising accuracy at long ranges and adds durability for shooters who practice regularly. The over-barrel chamber increases performance and reduces gas blowback without adding length to your rifle. Rated for magnum calibers and available in both .30 and 6.5mm versions, the Mantis Series suppressors provide the versatility to go from an AR10 to a hunting rifle to a precision rifle with ease.
AMTAC MANTIS S
AMTAC MANTIS P
As you can see, the weight is a bit higher than some of the standard muzzle-attached suppressors that lead the market in 2021. While it would be nice to have these reduced, the over-barrel design pushes the center of mass back towards the shooter by three to four inches, reducing the weight felt by the arms and the rest of the upper body. A titanium design would dramatically reduce weight, but raise the price significantly. It’s all about balance, figuratively speaking.
I only have one rifle with enough barrel (damn you SBR’s) to put the MANTIS to work – a Remington Model 7 in 300BLK. It’s not the perfect host, but it does give me the chance to compare supersonic and subsonic .30 caliber performance.
At 21 ounces on an ultralight rifle, the MANTIS was a bit of the elephant in the room. This can is really meant for large PRS bolt guns and would be less noticeable on almost any other rifle.
Subsonic performance was average, leaving me neither unsatisfied or overwhelmed. I expected more until I realized that this suppressor wasn’t really designed for lobbing slow, heavy rounds. This is a PRS or hunting suppressor built for quenching the bite of high velocity ammunition.
I found the Mantis’ sweet spot with supersonic ammo, taming 125gr 2600 fps rounds down to near hearing safe levels. For a single shot out in the field hunting, you’ll probably be ok, but I always suggest hearing protection for any supersonic centerfire round.
Justifying a unique mounting style means you should be getting something in return. For me, that would be awe-inspiring decibel reduction. The Mantis performed adequately with supersonic ammo and below average with subsonic rounds. But this can isn’t built for me – PRS shooters may find POI repeatability with their precision rigs and hunters may like the short, solid over-barrel design. So while I may not buy a reflect style AMTAC silencer, others will be very satisfied with their purchase.
Thanks for reading. Be safe and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.
Silencer Saturday is Sponsored by Yankee Hill Machine