I come from the country where use of sound moderators is prohibited, so once I got my UK firearms certificate I bought a rifle with a sound moderator. I had initial objections as if it might be unsporting/unethical, but they all were gone after the first shot with a moderated rifle. Firstly, a sound moderator is not like a silencer from Bond movies… I know, I was deeply disappointed as well So it does not make a rifle totally silent, but the sound is suppressed to much lower levels and not unpleasant to shoot without any ear protection. Also added weight on the end of the barrel makes it easy to see the bullet strike. However, there are some drawbacks as well: added weight and length that affects rifle’s balance.
BR T8 Reflex sound moderator
T8 was the first suppressor I have ever tried. I got it with my Stayr Mannlicher Pro Hunter .308Win. There are two types of this moderator available. The old T8 was bigger and heavier and the new one slightly smaller, but still quite big and heavy at 600g. It is 260mm (10″) long but because it is over-barrel type design it extends barrel length only by 98mm (<4″). That is quite good if short overall rifle length is required. So with a short barrelled rifle it can make a nice and compact setup. However, there was a problem with older model to fit some rifles as it sleeves quite a long way back over a barrel so distance between end of stock and end of barrel cannot be too short… Also some people complained that Stayr Pro Hunter’s stock is too flexible and shooting off bipod with the T8 moderator makes rifles shooting inconsistently as the weight of the suppressor makes the barrel to touch rifle’s stock. It tried that in my rifle and it was never an issue and barrel was always free floating and rifle accurate. T8′s diameter is 50mm (2″) and because it is over barrel design it requires bush to support end of the moderators. I do not like the idea and it leaves very bad marks on blued barrels. Not quite so bad on stainless, but still visible. T8 has 8 baffles and sound attenuation is pretty good. It is not strippable so after use it requires a squirt of WD40 and drying before storage. T8 will also rust after some time and there is nothing that can be done in my opinion, but they can be cheap S/H, so you can always buy another one. New price is £240 which is a bit too much to be honest…
A-tec CMM-4 ALU sound moderator
When I was out stalking I noticed my deer stalking mate got a new moderator. Since we have the same thread on our rifles I swapped my T8 for his A-tec, and wow!! It really transformed the rifle. It was so much lighter in comparison to the T8 I just could not believe it. It weigths only 240g and is 160mm (>6″) long. It is muzzle can so extends overall length a bit more than T8, but does not require end bush that will mark your barrel… It is also strippable, but I have never cleaned it. It is aluminium so might wear sooner or later, but being modular it is possible to buy just a baffle or two, the ones that need replaced. T8 is steal but does wear as well… A-tec is also only 40mm (1.5″) in diameter. There are only 4 baffles, but additional baffles can be purchased if required. New moderator is currently £260.
A-tec is at the moment my favourite sound moderator and I use it on .308 and .223. T8 is probably a bit more quiet, but being twice the size it is not twice as good in sound attenuation. I still have Ase Utra suppressors to test and quite fancy CQB for my .223, so there might be another review if I find one at the right price.
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