At risk of being exposed as a “B” grade cable TV junkie, I have to admit I enjoy seeing my favorite pistol suppressor on AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you’re a watcher of that particular serial carnage, you might have noticed that lead character Rick Grimes has one interesting looking silencer on his gun. That would be a SilencerCo Osprey. It’s easy to spot because it’s shaped a little bit like a smashed Twinkie. It’s not round like all those nifty silencers 007 used back when Bond movies were awesome. One could make the case that it’s reminiscent of saggy underarms you see on old folks – the bulk of the suppressor is hanging down below the bone, so to speak. Just to be clear though, the Osprey is a lot sexier!
There’s a good reason for the unusual shape. To suppress a gunshot, you have to control and slow down more gas than Piers Morgan ejects in an entire hour, and you have to do it in pico-seconds. Or maybe micro or milliseconds. No matter, you have to control the hot gasses quickly, and to do that, you need a certain amount of volume in the suppressor itself. The natural solution to creating volume is to make the tube bigger around, but if you do that, then the large tube blocks your front sights. Come to think of it, and the SilencerCo folks did, why not stray from that whole round tube concept and create more volume under the barrel and less on top of the barrel, thereby increasing visibility for the shooter? After all, people who know, know it’s good to see what you’re shooting at.
So that’s the reason that the SilencerCo Osprey is shaped like a squashed Twinkie. By the way, the Osprey has 30% more internal volume than a cylindrical suppressor of identical length.
There is a catch, however. When you screw that suppressor onto the barrel, how do you know that when it’s tight, it will line up properly so that the chubby part is on the bottom? The technical term for that particular engineering problem is “indexing.” Indexing is just a fancy word for “lining everything up, so it doesn’t look weird.” Here’s how SilencerCo solved the indexing problem.
The SilencerCo Osprey body has a lever that locks the body to the internal piston. When that lever is open, the body freely rotates around the piston, which remains in fixed position. When the lever is closed, the body is locked to the same orientation as the piston. It’s kind of like a clutch really. When you stomp on the clutch in your AMC Gremlin, the engine is essentially disengaged from those solid plastic wheels. See? It’s the same basic idea.
It nets out to this. To install the Osprey on a standard threaded barrel, just screw it on tight until it’s seated. At this point, the suppressor body may be right side up, upside down, sideways, or somewhere in between. No worries, just open that clutch lever, rotate the body til the fat part is on the bottom, and re-engage the “clutch” lever. It’s much simpler to do than describe.
The SilencerCo Osprey, like the SilencerCo / SWR Octane, uses internal pistons that you can swap in and out for different barrel sizes and threading patterns. The piston also serves as a “booster” which is a spring operated assist to help your gun operate properly with the extra weight on the suppressor on the end of the barrel. Semi-automatic pistol operation relies on a careful balance of pressure and spring action and the additional weight of a silencer on the moving barrel can interfere with proper operation. The booster system alleviates that problem.
When you fire the gun, gas pushes the suppressor body forward against booster spring pressure. As the pressure falls, the spring moves the suppressor backward, thereby assisting the natural recoil action of the pistol, allowing the barrel and slide to move backward properly.
If you want to mount the Osprey on a fixed barrel gun like a pistol caliber carbine or subsonic 300 Blackout rifle, then you insert an optional spacer which prevents the booster from moving backward and forward. If your barrel moves, use the moving booster assembly. If it doesn’t, use the spacer to keep the silencer rigid.
I ordered the 45 Osprey, although they are available in 9mm and .40 S&W also. The reason I chose the 45 is that I can always swap pistons and use the same can on smaller caliber pistols, even a .22LR if I want. You might lose a decibel in sound suppression using a larger suppressor on a smaller caliber, but the tone is different too, so to me, it’s an undetectable difference. The only other drawback to ordering the larger version is just that – it’s a bit larger than the 9mm version although the 40 and 45 are identical in size.
So far, I’ve tried the SilencerCo Osprey on a Beretta 92FS 9mm, a Glock 31 with a Lone Wolf .40 S&W threaded barrel and a CMMG 300 Blackout pistol using subsonic only ammunition. All turned out to be excellent fits. If you’re going to use the Osprey on a 300 Blackout, be sure to stick to subsonic ammunition only as it’s not rated for the higher pressures of supersonic 300 AAC Blackout ammo.
Oh, and did I mention it looks insanely cool?
Factory Specs – 45 Osprey
Calibers: 9mm – .45 ACP, .300 BLK Subsonic
Weight: 11.1 oz
Dimensions: 1.3”W × 1.75”H
Sound Level (Dry/Wet): 132.5 dB/123 dB (tested with an HK USP Tactical with Remington UMC 230 Grain Ammunition)
Finish: Hard Coat Anodizing Black Oxide
Materials: Core/Caps: 7075 T6 Aluminum Tube: 6061 T6 Aluminum
Piston/Mounting System: 17-4 Stainless Steel, Heat Treated,
MSRP: $849.95 (with piston)