First Look: Gemtech’s New Integra Silenced AR Upper — NRA 2016

Gemtech's Integra is a suppressed upper receiver ready to go.

Gemtech’s Integra is a suppressed upper receiver ready to go.

One of the highlights of the NRA Annual Meeting is the (now) traditional American Suppressor Association shoot. This year, the range day opportunity to shoot a boatload of suppressors all at once took place at the famous Knob Creek Shooting Range. You’ve probably heard of Knob Creek – that’s where folks have that annual machine gun shoot that includes crew-served weapons, lots of tracers and explosives, and for all I know, the occasional Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

As the suppressor is part of the 16-inch barrel, the Integra makes a handy rifle.

As the suppressor is part of the 16-inch barrel, the Integra makes a handy rifle.

Anyway, at this year’s event, I happened to stop at the Gemtech station first, by pure chance and stumbled on some quiet coolness. New for 2016 is the Integra silenced AR upper receiver. These units are ready to go uppers with an integrated barrel and monocore suppressor. As you can see by the photos, the suppressor only extends a hair or two past the end of the handguard. As the total package results in a 16.1-inch “barrel”, you only need one Please Uncle BATFE tax stamp for the suppressor. The suppressor tube is welded onto the gas block, so the body is a permanent part of the barrel, thereby avoiding any short barrel rifle restrictions.

The outer tube of the integral suppressor is welded to the gas block so there are no issues with short barrel rifle restrictions.

The outer tube of the integral suppressor is welded to the gas block so there are no issues with short barrel rifle restrictions.

Don’t let the “permanent” part of my description make you nervous, though. See that square hole in the fiery end? Just stick a socket wrench driver in there and you can remove the monocore guts for cleaning and maintenance – it’s only the outer tube that stays attached to the barrel.

I had the opportunity to shoot both versions of the upper, the 5.56mm and the 300 Blackout. One word: fun. Both are hearing safe with the 5.56mm model measuring about 131 dB at the shooter’s ear and the 300 Blackout ticking off 128/129 dB using subsonic ammunition.

If you stick a socket driver in the end cap, you can remove the mono core "guts" for cleaning.

If you stick a socket driver in the end cap, you can remove the mono core “guts” for cleaning.

While both caliber options measure out to 16.1 inches, the internals vary just a bit. The 5.56mm model has a 10.5-inch barrel while the 300 Blackout uses a 10-inch barrel, but has a ½-inch longer suppressor core so things balance out to the same overall length.

The units come as an upper receiver, barrel, integral suppressor and hand guard. However, the bolt carrier and charging handle are not included. If you plan to use an existing 5.66mm AR-15, then no biggie – just use the bolt, carrier and charging handle you already have. If you intend to build a fresh rifle with the Integra upper receiver and suppressed barrel, you might consider checking out Gemtech’s 5.56 Suppressed Bolt Carrier. This nifty gadget is designed to bring suppressed bolt operation down to unsuppressed cyclic speed so you have less felt recoil, reliable operation and less wear and tear.

It's a beautiful package - virtually everything is contained within the hand guard.

It’s a beautiful package – virtually everything is contained within the hand guard.

Gemtech is officially launching the Integra uppers at the NRA AM meeting now, but it will take until late August or early September before you see them on store shelves. Manufacturer Suggested Retail price is $1,999. The word is that Silencer Shop has an exclusive on these for a while, so get on their mailing list for updates.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Phillip November 16, 2016, 2:03 pm

    Unless it’s as quiet as 22 then why not just get an $600 suppressor to go on the end of your ar

  • Archangel May 25, 2016, 12:54 am

    OOOOH!
    $2000 for an AR-15!
    What a deal.

  • Western Star May 23, 2016, 7:54 pm

    $1999? Wow.

  • Tom Zuppke May 23, 2016, 2:30 pm

    Looks and sounds a lot like the Leonidas from Liberty Suppressors…. Welcome to the integral market Gemtech.

  • Russ May 23, 2016, 8:21 am

    Looks great, but where can you get subsonic ammo?

    • JM May 23, 2016, 9:30 am

      Simple. You roll your own.

  • Dwight J. Garner May 21, 2016, 1:02 pm

    Is it on the market, yet? If not, when will it be? I’m “chomping at the bit” to get mine!

    • Tom McHale May 23, 2016, 11:18 am

      “Gemtech is officially launching the Integra uppers at the NRA AM meeting now, but it will take until late August or early September before you see them on store shelves. Manufacturer Suggested Retail price is $1,999. The word is that Silencer Shop has an exclusive on these for a while, so get on their mailing list for updates.”

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