A Look at SilencerCo’s Saker 556 Suppressor

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The SilencerCo Saker 556 with included wrenches for assembly / disassembly.

The SilencerCo Saker 556 with included wrenches for assembly / disassembly.

For a little baby bullet in a little baby cartridge, the .223 Remington / 5.56mm sure makes a lot of noise.

Unsuppressed, you can figure the noise level at about 165 decibels, varying, of course with rifle type, barrel length, etc. That’s  louder than a 12 gauge shotgun, a jet taking off or a jackhammer. It’s way louder than the noise level you would experience sitting inside of a speaker box at a Def Leppard concert. Really, I checked.

When you mount a SilencerCo Saker 556 to an AR rifle, you can expect the noise level to decrease to somewhere around 132 decibels. That doesn’t sound like a lot of progress from 165 decibels, so you have to remember that decibels operate on a logarithmic scale. Without getting too geeky here, you can think of that 33 decibel increase (unsuppressed vs. suppressed) in terms of being over eight times as loud as the human ear perceives volume.  Bottom line? Using a silencer on an AR rifle is a big deal. Safety for the ears is a primary concern as a single shot at 140 dB, or more, will permanently damage your hearing. Repeated exposure to lower decibel noises will also cause hearing damage, so wear protection always – even when using a suppressor like this one.

Use of a suppressor makes all the difference with an AR-type rifle.

Use of a suppressor makes all the difference with an AR-type rifle.

The SilencerCo Saker 556 is the original family member. Now there is a Saker 762 and Saker K model, also for 5.56mm, which offers a smaller and lighter package with slightly less sound reduction capability. This model is not designed to be taken completely apart, nor will you need to do that. Baffles are made from something called Stellite, whatever that is, which is apparently 30% stronger than Inconel, whatever that is. The net net of the fancy metal names is that you don’t have to worry about cleaning the baffles. The end cap on the front and the mount body do come off for cleaning and accessorizing, but we’ll talk about that later.

Don’t get frustrated, get MAAD

On paper, the whole MAAD mount concept can be confusing. In reality, it’s a piece of cake. I’ll take a crack at making sense of how it works here.

The Saker body is the main part with the checker pattern that you see in these photos. The ring at the back is the mount section. To change the type of mount, you simply unscrew the mount section from the main body. SilencerCo includes two wrench tools to facilitate this process. Use some oil or anti-seize when attaching the mount to the body to prevent galling. You may want to change mounts down the road, and the hot and dirty conditions inside may make separation hard later.

The standard configuration of the Saker includes a Trifecta Flash Hider and Trifecta MAAD mount. Just replace the muzzle brake or flash hider on your rifle with the Trifecta, and now you have a platform for quick attach and detach. To attach your Saker, set the body and mount over the Trifecta Flash Hider. You’ll see that the bottom of the Trifecta Flash Hider has a ridge or shelf that is roughly rectangular in shape. This serves to orient the suppressor mount to the flash hider in one direction only – the shelf fits into a mirror image indentation in the bottom of the MAAD mount. There’s a good reason for this. Detaching and reattaching the suppressor has no effect on change in point of impact. To be clear, point of impact changes when you shoot without the Saker. However, when you put it back on, it will shoot to the same spot as before when previously mounted.

To complete attachment, twist the body to move interior locking levers into position, and you’re good to go. You can do this with one hand. Likewise, you can remove the Saker with one hand by reversing the steps. Careful, this guy gets hot after some rounds.

You’ll also notice that the three prongs on the Trifecta Flash Hider are all different lengths. This is by design and is intended to prevent the flash hider prongs from singing like a tuning fork. I didn’t hear Free Bird when shooting, so I suppose the design works as intended. If you prefer a muzzle brake, SilencerCo offers a MAAD compatible version of that too.

Note the ridges on the Trifecta Flash Hider. The silencer can only mount one way. This ensures that point of impact will not shift if you detach and reattach the suppressor.

Note the ridges on the Trifecta Flash Hider. The silencer can only mount one way. This ensures that point of impact will not shift if you detach and reattach the suppressor.

The Trifecta MAAD mount installed on the Trifecta Flash Hider.

The Trifecta MAAD mount installed on the Trifecta Flash Hider. Simply twist the suppressor body and the MAAD mount locks onto the flash hider.

The neat thing about the MAAD system is that you can install different mounting bases on the Saker body. You can order a direct thread mount base that allows you to simply screw the silencer onto any .223 / 5.56mm rifle that has a 1/2″x28 threaded barrel. Other optional MAAD mounts include a 51T version for AAC gear, a Y-Mount for Yankee Hill compatibility and an ASR mount for SilencerCo / SWR Specwar muzzle brakes and flash hiders.

MAAD capping

The front cap unscrews to allow attachment of accessories.

The front cap unscrews to allow attachment of accessories.

You’ll notice that the front cap on the Saker has indents. As you might guess, this means the front cap is removable using the supplied wrench. 

The first benefit of this approach is to protect your investment from baffle strikes. The baffle strike is when something goes wrong in the projectile hits the inside of the suppressor instead of exiting cleanly through the fiery hole in the front. With many designs, a baffle strike will pretty much wreck your silencer. Since the silencer itself is ridiculously regulated that means you have to send the whole thing back to the manufacturer to get it repaired or replaced with a new unit with a new serial number. With the Saker design, odds are that a baffle strike will simply knock the cap off the front. A non-regulated spare part fixes that problem.

The second benefit is that you can use different designs of and caps on the Saker. SilencerCo offers both flash hider and standoff breaching / rebar cutting attachments.

Performance

To identify point of impact and/or accuracy shifts, I chose three different hand loads of .223 Remington that have been proven consistent performers out of my Smith & Wesson M&P15 VTAC test rifle. Two were 77 grain loads and the third a 55 grain load, all using Sierra Matchking projectiles.

For each load, I fired groups with the rifle’s “before” configuration of only a Surefire muzzle brake. I then fired the exact same loads with the SilencerCo Saker 556 suppressor installed. I put the target 50 yards down range to increase optical precision and minimize issues related to my aging eyes. Using a 1-6.5x Bushnell Tactical Elite scope, I was confident in my ability to hold each shot at the exact same point of aim and minimize aiming error.

With all three loads, I detected a point of impact shift downwards about ⅔ of an inch when the silencer was installed. I couldn’t detect any lateral change in point of impact.

I couldn’t detect any change in accuracy as measured by group size whether the silencer was on or off, so the Saker appeared to have no impact, positive or negative, on accuracy.

I also checked velocity, suppressed and unsuppressed, with all three loads using a Shooting Chrony Beta Master chronograph placed 15 feet downrange. With all loads, average velocity of multiple shots was about 15 feet per second higher when using the Saker 556.

Since I had a Rock River Arms LAR-15 rifle handy that was also a proven shooter, I mounted a second Trifecta Flash Hider on that one and moved the Saker back and forth between rifles. With numerous outings over a couple of months, I observed no changes in zero or point of impact even though I attached and detached the Saker from each rifle a dozen times or so.

Just the specs

The Trifecta MAAD Mount (installed) and the direct thread MAAD mount (right)

The Trifecta MAAD Mount (installed) and the direct thread MAAD mount (right)

Caliber: 5.56

Weight: 18.0 ounces

Diameter: 1.500”

Length: 6.76”

Average Sound Level: 5.56 NATO – 132.2 dB

Finish: Black Oxide

Mount: Trifecta RS Flash Hider Mount

Optional mounts: 51 Tooth Mount, Direct Thread Mount, Y-Mount, Specwar Mount

Full Auto Rated

Lifetime warranty

MSRP: $1200 (with Trifecta flash hider mount)

Summing it up

I’m now officially spoiled. I’m not only keeping this silencer, I’m also adding Trifecta Flash Hiders to every 5.56mm rifle I have so I can just pop the Saker on whatever rifle I’m using. Plinking, competition or home defense – no matter, all scenarios are better with the massive reduction in sound and muzzle blast. Your rifle will get dirty faster, but for the pleasurable experience of shooting with a silencer, I’ll take that tradeoff.

Once you shoot an AR suppressed, you’ll never go back.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Dave January 12, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Wonder if Dan will ever comment again? Not that he’ll be missed.

  • Randall January 12, 2015, 2:19 pm

    I am also quite irritated by the uninformed comment about suppressors and criminals. Honestly, I can’t remember EVER hearing about a criminal using a suppressed weapon during a crime, and I’m now 53 years old and have had firearms all of my life! Suppressors are a great thing for all the reasons others have stated. The only reason I do not yet have one is the cost. If you break down the manufacturing cost, there’s no way they can justify that much money with a strait face. Hopefully one day, an honest manufacturer will start producing them and sell them at an honest profit margin. Then I will buy one.

  • Brant January 12, 2015, 2:12 pm

    I own a legal 7.5″ SBR suppressed with an SDN-6. Without the suppressor, it is extremely loud. But it’s still really loud shooting suppressed. Even suppressed, it is still not safe to shoot without hearing protection. So why do I suppress it??? Because it looks cool and because I can!!! These are reasons enough. People that believe in the hollywood hype that suppressors make all guns silent are ignorant. To think that only criminals and lawbreakers need to use suppressors is one of the most ignorant comments I have yet to hear. I have two other suppressors and I own them for the same reasons. Not only are they are fun, they help reduce noise, muzzle flash and recoil. IMO, you’re missing out if you haven’t fired a suppressed 9mm AR with a Slide-Fire stock. Rock-N-Roll, Baby!!!!

  • Carl Todd January 12, 2015, 1:21 pm

    I now have 4 suppressors. Two are for .22LR, on is for any .22 caliber up to 5.7×28. The other is the Saker 762.
    I can shoot my .22s and people inside my house cannot hear it. I am told that my Saker 762, on a .223 AR, sounds about like an unsuppressed .22lr from a distance. I can’t describe it exactly since I haven’t seen it fired – I have only fired it myself. I can reduce this a bit further by changing the end cap from 762 to .223.

    There are a number of great reasons to own a silencer (The ATF calls them “silencers” – not suppressors). These include hunting, target shooting or plinking. With population densities here in the east it is easy to irritate neighbors. A can will help your hearing and your neighbors!

  • Jeff January 12, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Suppressors are for law abiding citizens, firearms owners, and whoever has the cash to pay for the device and tax. Criminals of the kind the average person concerns themselves with won’t be buying these for several reasons including price and background checks to name a couple. Plus, if they really wanted to it would be a lot easier to build their own illegal DIY suppressor for pennies comparatively. Dan, real life is not what Hollywood has you envisioning in your head. I’ve known hundreds of law enforcement members over the years and not one of them has ever mentioned the use of a suppressor in the line of duty. Again, fantasy has crept into your reality. Special ops; yes they do use them on occasion, but not often. Simply put, the use of these devices best suits the average shooter far more quatitatively than criminals, law enforcement, and even spec ops. This is for all the reasons mentioned above and more; Hearing safety, being a good neighbor, game management, accuracy, fun factor, and others to name a few. They make perfect sense for the average user and if not for the price, I cannot think of a single good reason why they shouldn’t be a standard part of any rifle sold today. They certainly don’t promote illegal activity among legal firearm owners. Amazing how much ignorance fills the world these days.

  • Jeremy January 12, 2015, 11:35 am

    This suppressor seems like it has it all. I have AAC 51t mounts on two guns that I use my buddies can on when we shoot together. So, by getting this model all I need is an adapter, rock on! I’m sure the adapter is around $200, but so what. Through in a direct thread adapter and…….man I NEED this can!!!

  • BIGKIELBASSA January 12, 2015, 11:17 am

    If my Ford has a loud exhaust or my bike has a loud exhaust I get a ticket. If I try to quiet my gun I’m a criminal ?? But them who really needs a suppressor anyway ? The same people who appreciate lots of horsepower. And why you may ask ??? FOR FUN ! They say guns kill. Well so does speed ( fast Fords ) , but at least you die with a smile on your face

  • Robin January 12, 2015, 10:26 am

    Sounds like a great item, I can certainly relate to the need for one with regards to the neighbor situation. Over the Christmas holiday, 5 of us were shooting our AR’s on the back forty and got complaints we were upsetting our neighbors goats, needless to say our shooting fun ended way too soon. Too bad there is so much red tape involved with owning one, as well as the high prices.

  • Ken D. January 12, 2015, 9:49 am

    I agree, Suppressors are great for keeping the neighbors from calling the law every time you shoot. I am a CCDW instructor in Ky and I love keeping the noise down even though the closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away. But to say that they are for criminals is a load of crap. I guess everyone has an opinion but thats the dumbest excuse I have ever seen.

  • Pete in AZ January 12, 2015, 8:30 am

    Suppressors are fun. All mine are 22 lr and they make most ammo as quiet as an airgun. I’ve never fired a suppressed 223 but I wonder about the sonic noise. Also I am not a criminal, just someone who enjoys shooting in my back yard without upsetting the neighbors.

    • Tom McHale January 12, 2015, 12:02 pm

      There is still a supersonic crack, but I would describe the overall sound as much more of a “whoosh” than a “blast” when using a suppressor like the Saker on a .223 / 5.56mm. I guess since the mini sonic boom is also moving downrange, you don’t really have the sonic noise in your face either. Long way of saying that (in my observation) most of what the shooter hears is the high speed gas expulsion.

    • Sam January 12, 2015, 10:47 pm

      the silencer i had on my 223 was as loud as a 22 long rifle.On 22 long rifle all i heard was click.they’re great

  • Dave Soltysiak January 12, 2015, 8:25 am

    Not only are silencers good for shooters they also make the neighbors a little happier and pets and livestock !

    • Chuck January 12, 2015, 9:03 am

      Don’t forget that throughout Europe (at least the handful of countries that allow guns) silencers are considered considerate good neighbor policy.

  • tim January 12, 2015, 7:57 am

    Why would a criminal worry about his hearing? If ANY product other than a gun was manufactored in the USA the government would shut them down as unsafe for anybone’s hearing including someone who claims hearing is not damaged by gunfire. It is ridiculous to have to have extensive background checks to determine whether or not a product should or should not damage hearing. Without liberal meddling silencers would be included with a gun and the price would plummet.

    • Martin January 12, 2015, 8:49 am

      Suppressors are for criminals? Hollywood thinking at best, blatant stupidity at worst. I own 3 and haven’t committed any crimes with them.
      Suppressors are NOT silent, but are great at protecting hearing and make for good neighbors. Even in gun hating England and EU, suppressors are legally available over the counter at hardware stores. Hunters are using them over there and are encouraged to do so. So why not here? People that espouse ideas like Dans, help those leftists wanting to polarize gun owners.

  • Dan January 12, 2015, 7:37 am

    I have fired both the 222 and 223 for more years ten I would like to say . Let say I stared in the late 50s. There were ear plug out then as well as not . If your afraid of the noise then your afraid of the gun also. The only need for a silencer and that what they are is for the crimminals or lawbreakers . In the military or police its a whole different ballgame.
    By the way I can hear a deer walking at 100 yards a person a lot farther away . My hearing according to the doctor is well above average for my age. So now what is the sales pitch for your produce.

    • Mike January 12, 2015, 8:59 am

      Dan, I would say to you! Good for you on your excellent hearing. Animals have better hear than you, and even better eye sight I’m sure. So you must have some ear protection to keep that above average hearing if not you will loss it. I wear amplifying ear muffs, which are uncomfortable. Now that suppressers are legal to hunt with, in my state, I have gone to them. To each his own but I love my suppressor on my 308.

    • bill January 12, 2015, 9:40 am

      that might be fine for you Dan, but people that have hearing problems from working around heavy machine basically all there life need to protect what is left of there hearing. so , Dan you are wrong to lay claim only lawbreakers and criminals want silencers. in my case i need one to protect my ears since i like shooting. you are lumping everyone who want a silencer into one box. shame on you.

      • Chuck January 18, 2015, 5:01 pm

        If you can’t take the sound of the round then you should buy some ear muffs. I shoot a 30-06 at least a 1000 rds at the range every month, I am 61 years old drive an old 86 pickup with no muffler . spent 35 years cutting trees on right of ways for power company Husky’s mostly and have perfect hearing suppressors are fine but don’t stand behind the bull that you need it to protect your hearing cause you are full of it. y the way I don’t care if you want to spend your money on them but at least be honest they are for paramilitary not hunters. because at 61 I still deer hunt with a bow, never been skunked

    • Whyawannaknow1 January 12, 2015, 11:23 am

      Dan-

      Good on you and your 60 years of shooting and no hearing loss. I wonder why no one I personally know our age who shoots very frequently has your (claimed) lack of hearing damage?

      Does your wife agree about how good your hearing is? 🙂

      I wear Peltor comtac active muffs, and I want to shoot more often while bothering my neighbors less- and saving what hearing I have left.

      Police, military and criminals only? How about people who DON’T WANT TO IRRITATE THEIR NEIGHBORS.

    • Jeremy January 12, 2015, 11:45 am

      Dan, you have your right to an opinion, but I can assume you have not been around suppressors. I know it’s easy to criticize something you don’t understand, but please don’t feed the anti-gun (suppressor) flames. I use a .22 buckmark and my 10/22 with a suppressor to help new shooters that are afraid of the report, it helps them considerably! We step up from there, but overcoming the initial fear is very important. Don’t hate what you don’t know!

    • Bob January 12, 2015, 4:34 pm

      Really? I am sorry, but your comment is completely off the scales on ignorance. Only for criminals and lawbreakers? Well thank you Einstein. Ya them gang bangers be just like James Bond. Also, I call TOTAL B.S. on your “mule deer ears”. How do you like the constant ringing? Good chance you are a total gas bag. You cannot hear a frigging dear walking at 100 yards unless it is wearing tap shoes and playing a boom box. That comment alone speaks volumes about your veracity (devotion to the truth : truthfulness 2 : power of conveying or perceiving truth 3 : conformity with truth or fact) … Talk about pissing in a tornado. That is total horse manure. Your doctor is Vinny Boombatz. If you fire without hearing protection your an idiot, to the core.

      • Sig_guy_with_suppressor January 12, 2015, 6:33 pm

        An elderly couple were attending a church service. About halfway through, she leans over and says, ‘I just had a silent fart – what do you think I should do?’ He replies, ‘Put a new battery in your hearing aid.’

    • ksdfjsak January 12, 2015, 11:10 pm

      You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitro-glycerine factory

    • David Pittelli January 13, 2015, 11:54 am

      There are European nations where suppressor use is encouraged for hunting. It’s better for the hunter. It’s better for his dogs. It’s better for maintaining good relations with non-hunters.

  • Guy smalley January 12, 2015, 7:29 am

    Well my collection includes a 50cal, a full auto thompson, my point is i know what a loud round sounds like and know exactly the ordeal of the gauntlet of ownership of those items., While it looks fine and does its job if i am going to do the paper work, form 4 letter, etc its for another machine gun but thats me.
    As a C&R collector i shoot a wide variety of guns, i like the boom if it comes to self defence in the home the noise is my allie imo but for this author its a fit so cool, but can i get the same price? ; )

  • Resolute January 12, 2015, 7:14 am

    As much as I want to own a suppressor (or multiples), I can’t justify the expense. Someone explain to me how it’s better to sell one unit at $2000, than 30 units at $300 per unit. Tax stamps are what they cost. The most obvious solution is scale of production. The better the availibity, the higher the interests.

    • steve a. January 12, 2015, 6:09 pm

      uh…because it’s far cheaper and easier in every way to sell one for $2000 than 30 for $300? not to mention they wouldn’t make a profit selling them that cheap, no matter how many they sold? have you ever taken an economics class? like, how they develop price points at the place where the amount of products they sell intersects with the price of the product on a graph for maximum profit/efficiency?

      • David Pittelli January 13, 2015, 11:51 am

        Maybe federal regulations up the price, but there’s no other reason a suppressor itself (i.e., not the tax stamp) should cost more than a cheap .38 revolver. Suppressors are certainly easier to build than revolvers, with less machining and looser tolerances.

        • Kyle January 14, 2015, 4:02 pm

          Suppressors being an NFA item, they require a lot more expensive licensing, and a lot more paperwork per item. This is essentially where the cost are inflated. Also since most people are already put off by the high cost and registering with the ATF, the market is borderline niche. Also factor in the market is inflated by military and police spending. I agree even the “high end” suppressors shouldnt be over $600ish. You can however make your own and register it with the ATF to save money. There are plenty of web sites that sell some of the parts that are beyond the manufacturing capability of the garage tinkerer, just add baffling and an end cap. Now you’ve saved yourself a thousand dollars

  • Briman January 12, 2015, 4:16 am

    YO DUDE IS THAT THE CHEAPEST VERSION U CAN COME UP WITH. I CAN MAKE ONE JUST AS GOOD FOR A $100TO $150.00 WITH A GOOD TIGHT FIT. LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS..JUST A SPECIAL BLACK OPPS CLASS I HAD ONE YEAR.CAN’T SAY ANYMORE ON THAT SUBJECT…RANGERS ALWAYS.THINK ABOUT IT FOR AWHILE. GOD BLESSTHIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OUR…AND WE PLAN ON KEEPING IT THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME…”..

    • Robert January 12, 2015, 2:48 pm

      Briman, The only word that comes to mind is BULLSHIT!!! Unlike you I actually served with the Rangers. and we NEVER built suppressors nor did the armorers . They were built and provided to the unit from a contracted company. You, “its classified” clowns are a fukn joke. A class on building suppressors, LMFAO yet another lie. More like youtube in your moms basement. Try not to blow yourself up or get caught by ATF or your a$$ will be crying in the pokie. Come back to reality loser. As you can tell I REALLY HATE POSERS

      • Kyle January 14, 2015, 3:55 pm

        With or in? If so what Batt

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