Welcome to the New Age: SilencerCo’s Maxim 9 Integrally Suppressed 9mm

Times have changed. In the past, there’s was a claim about pistol suppressors that, up until recently, still had relevance. The claim was that compared to rifle suppressors, pistol suppressors made less sense. Yes, a suppressor adds length and an uneven weight to a pistol but neither of those is the real gripe. The real gripe was that in a world of practicality, the suppressed pistol was void because you couldn’t holster it. Instead, you’d have to thread the suppressor on your pistol at the range, and then lay it on a table or something similar in between shooting sessions. This would make serious training with a suppressed pistol less likely to occur. On the other hand, a suppressed rifle can hang harmlessly and comfortably on a sling or sit on a bipod allowing the operator to load mags, and do other administrative duties without having to put the firearm in a less than ideal location. This theory held water until now, with the release of SilencerCo’s Maxim 9.

SPECS

  • Type: Striker-fired semiautomatic; recoil operated
  • Cartridge: 9mm
  • Weight: 2 lbs., 5 oz./ 2 lbs., 7 0z.
  • Overall Length: 9.54 -10.75 inches
  • Barrel Length: 4 in.
  • Diameter: 1.58 x 5.41 in.
  • Capacity: 17 +1 rds.
  • Magazine: Glock 17 Type
  • Sights: 3-dot tritium inserts
  • Mfg. Noise Rating: 139.9 dB (hearing safe with subsonic)/ Hearing safe with all 9mm ammo
  • MSRP: $1,499
  • Manufacturer: Silencer Co.

The Maxim 9 is an integrally suppressed pistol chambered in 9mm. Let’s address the obvious; the Maxim 9 looks otherworldly. At the risk of dating myself, it first reminded me of the pistol wielded by RoboCop. Actually, RoboCops’ automatic pistol looks less futuristic than the Maxim 9. Just like any gun-guy would, I immediately sent out pictures to other gun-guys to get a gauge on the aesthetics of the Maxim 9. A good friend said it best “I honestly think those are cool, maybe they are a gimmick, but at least it’s *****  innovative.” Innovative, that’s it. If you could design an integrally suppressed pistol, would it look much different from the Maxim 9?

The Maxim’s aesthetics aside, it’s actually full of features that we’re used to seeing and they all culminate in this one product. The feature that is less familiar is the integral suppressor. The Maxim 9 uses stackable baffles that rest on two guide rods. These guide rods thread into the front of the frame and allow the baffles to be placed in different length configurations. If you’ve seen the also-innovative SilencerCo Salvo shotgun suppressor, it’s very similar. Individual baffles cut from 7075 aluminum stack one in front of the other.

In its full glory, the Maxim is 10 3/4 inches long. In this longest configuration, the Maxim 9 is at its quietest. At this length even supersonic ammunition falls under the magic 140 dB hearing-safe threshold with an average rating of 136 dB. Keep in mind that this rating can vary with ambient conditions and altitude.

The full-sized Maxim is an angular beast and close in length to a 6-inch barreled revolver. But in all honesty, it doesn’t feel any less balanced than a typical full-size pistol. SilencerCo has done an excellent job of distributing the weight of the Maxim. It makes sense when you consider that basically all of the internal workings are situated over the grip itself. The Maxim 9 weighs 39 ounces, which while isn’t svelte, is a nice weight for an 1911 chambered in 9mm. This weight should help tame recoil.

Balance is slightly improved by removing two baffles and reducing the Maxim to its 9.54-inch length, but naturally, you lose sound reduction performance. Less volume means less sound attenuation. This short configuration requires the use of subsonic ammunition to be hearing safe. It’s a fair trade-off though.

The Maxim 9 features a 4-inch barrel. Forward of the barrel is a lightweight series of baffles. Only the rearmost 3 inches, which is the slide of the Maxim, actually cycles. The barrel is fixed and does not tilt, much like a Beretta 92. The Maxim 9 has dual recoil guide rods and springs which are located in the uppermost portion of the slide and extend into the forward portion of the frame. There they are captured by a recoil rod lever latch. Lifting this latch while pressing a button on the rear of the slide allows the Maxim 9 to be field stripped. It’s fairly simple and another sign of solid, forward-thinking innovation form SilencerCo.

The Maxim 9 is a striker-fired pistol with a trigger that was developed by SilencerCo. If there is one complaint about the pistol, this is it. A few days of dry firing and handling the Maxim 9 and it begins to feel like any other pistol and its uniqueness becomes a welcomed excitement. But during dry-fire sessions, the trigger almost feels like a bad joke in an otherwise very serious firearm. It’s stiff, gritty and feels like it wants to get stuck—and that’s just in the first stage. Then it hits a wall and takes what seems like another 9 pounds to get it to fire. An assumption can be made that a trigger upgrade will be made available for the Maxim 9. Let’s hope so because the rest of the pistol is so good. I should note the Maxim 9 utilizes a trigger safety much like other striker fired pistols, as well as an internal drop safety.

The grip was designed for average-sized hands. I fall in the category of smaller hands and found the Maxim 9 grip to be acceptable. Trigger actuation was made easier by choking up on on the grip and inserting more finger in the trigger guard. It’s unclear whether this is due to a larger grip or the bad trigger. My intuition tells me a trigger fix will fix a lot, including any grip challenges. Feeling the backstrap of the Maxim 9 from inside the magwell you get the feeling there may be room for interchangeable backstraps in future iterations.

The magazine release can be relocated on the left or right side of the grip. The Maxim 9 is fed by Glock 17 mags. Longer, Glock compatible magazines will fit, and SilencerCo. provides a Magpul PMAG GL9 with each Maxim 9. The slide lock is ambidextrous and the Maxim 9 sports steel sights with 3-dot style tritium inserts.

Advanced pistols need to be accessory-ready and SilencerCo addressed this with a removable plate on the top of the slide, for the attachment of miniature red dot optics. On the bottom, three KeyMod slots sit at the ready for the attachment of a light or other accessory.

Presto Change-O

Shortening the Maxim 9 is an easy chore. After confirming the pistol is unloaded, loosen the two hex bolts in the front of the suppressor. After that, you can slide the baffles off of the two baffle guide rods. Next, you unscrew the guide rods and replace them with the shorter versions included with the Maxim 9. Secure the shorter rods, replace the baffles in the short configuration, and tighten the hex bolts in the front.

Shooting

There are no surprises when shooting the Maxim 9, which seems to be the expectation, based on its unconventional looks. It shoots like a good pistol should, minus all the noise and concussion. The extra weight helps keep recoil down. The trigger becomes less of an issue as well.

Firing the Maxim at 25 yards revealed that the sights on this sample were off by quite a bit with all groups printing on the left side of the target. We didn’t have the best targets for testing so it was difficult to make out a point of aim. Regardless the Maxim 9 managed smallest groups in the 2-inch range, with three different types of ammo. The SIG Sauer V-Crown 147-grain  worked well with the Maxim 9 and had the best average at 2.6 inches.

Lasting Impressions

The Maxim 9 is a departure in conventional thinking, and a welcomed one at that. It’s a true viable suppressed pistol that is practical in its function and use. Whether you use it for carrying, which can be done with the proper holster, or for home defense, the worry of permanently damaging your or someone else’s hearing is eliminated. More pistols like this need to be developed. With all the available technology there’s no reason for manufacturers not to continue moving toward hearing safe firearms.

The Maxim 9 represents what’s possible and maybe more so, what’s necessary in the gun world. Is it perfect? No. But it’s more than a good start. Nice work, SilencerCo.

For more information about SilencerCo, click here.

For more information about SIG Sauer ammunition, click here.

For more information about Federal Premium ammunition, click here.

To purchase a Maxim 9 on GunsAmerica, click here.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Patrick McWilliams October 24, 2017, 2:45 pm

    That incident in Las Vegas will keep developments such as this out of the hands of the average shooter.

  • WhiteFalcon October 23, 2017, 6:47 pm

    That’s great. When can I get my 45?

  • Phil October 23, 2017, 12:02 pm

    While having a suppressor integral to the firearm is a great idea I don’t think I’d want to wait around for 9 months for a tax stamp to get my new handgun!

    Additionally, the manufacturer would need a hell of an order back load to stay in business or be selling a whole lot of unsuppressed guns.

    • Don October 23, 2017, 8:50 pm

      They will probably spend your money while you’re waiting for your stamp. In the rare case the government turns you down they will (probably) refund your money then.

  • KurtW October 23, 2017, 11:05 am

    The early unit I tested was about the worst trigger I’d ever felt. Lots of potential, though.
    One other change I’d want: For the vast majority who DON’T hang stuff under our barrels, I’d rather have the space wasted by the KeyMod slots added to the internal volume of the chambers.

  • Ryan October 23, 2017, 10:16 am

    What this thing looks like is a really big Taser. Put some yellow on it somewhere and you’d be able to confuse quite a number of people.

  • Paul D Ruffle October 23, 2017, 10:15 am

    An integrally suppressed semi-auto pistol is a great idea and I’d like to have one. But, definitely not this one. I really like a good trigger on my firearms, so the really bad trigger on this one: ” It’s stiff, gritty and feels like it wants to get stuck—and that’s just in the first stage. Then it hits a wall and takes what seems like another 9 pounds to get it to fire.” would be a deal breaker for me. This gun needs more development work – they introduced it to the market too soon. If SilencerCo. would fix the trigger, make the suppressor less bulky and reduce the price they might have a winner.

  • Norm Fishler October 23, 2017, 10:10 am

    The title of the article says it all: “Welcome to the New Age.” Of firearms? No, not hardly. Marketing . . .

  • Qhorse13 October 23, 2017, 9:30 am

    WAY WAY WAAAAY too bulky, ugly and weak for me to chuck out $1500 for. It needs to be at LEAST a .40 cal. My preference is .45. But a gun that bulky needs to have some knock down. And yes ( to all those that defend the 9mm ) a well placed shot with a nine will have knockdown. But as bulky as that is. I’m sure it won’t allow you to move as well tactically. So at least with a .45 wherever you hit the ba guy, it’s going to hurt. And hurt bad. A nine in the arm or leg can most times just piss him off. A .45 he will KNOW he’s been hit, and will hurt enough that he will think about being hit again. “Hey. That $hit hurts ” , I’ll take weight (230gr) over speed anyday of the week!! . It’s a weak FUGLY clump of polymer for $1500!! Good luck with that!

    • Jay October 23, 2017, 1:42 pm

      None of the calibers you mentioned or can mention posses Knock Down power with enough force to do one bit of good. Bullet placement is key with any caliber of choice! A heavy weight boxer on the other hand has Knock Down power!

      • JCitizen October 23, 2017, 9:34 pm

        I want my bullet to be subsonic so it will do some good to have a silencer in the first place – that is why I’d want a .45, because most factory loads are under 1100 fps, or wherever that sonic limit is. I can hack a .45, as it has enough knock down power for me.

        • Jay October 24, 2017, 9:28 am

          Jc, please educated yourself and stop believing and repeating myth, it doesn’t matter if a cartridge has 200 or 4000 foot pounds of energy, none posses Knock Down power! Knock Down power can only exist if the physics are there, the projectile, bullet, would have to weigh as much, or close to as much, as what your aiming at and arrive with enough energy to knock it down! Stopping power however is the ability of proper bullet placement doing enough trauma to stop it in it’s tracks from said trauma!

          • Leighton Cavendish October 24, 2017, 4:37 pm

            That is absolutely correct…there are so many deluded people that think the .45 (or any handgun cartridge) has” knock-down” power.
            Some myths are hard to kill.
            I saw a video where they shoot a guy wearing armor from about a foot with a rifle…and he is balanced on one leg…and he remains on that one leg after being hit.
            A second one showed the results of shooting a boxing heavy bag (200 pounds)with a rifle as well…it moves about 1/4 inch when hit.

  • Zorro lives October 23, 2017, 7:58 am

    Just can’t wrap my head around that by looking at pictures would need to hold in person and demo …

  • SteveK October 23, 2017, 6:30 am

    Hang a laser/light on that puppy and you have a perfect bedside gun!

  • Dave Seligson October 23, 2017, 3:40 am

    “If there is one complaint about the pistol, this is it.” (Referring to Trigger)
    This is the understatement of the review. First of all — there’s no “if”. It’s a major complaint.
    That trigger is bad — and I have an original S&W Shield, so I know bad triggers.
    And the trigger on the Shield is no where *near* as bad as the Maxim trigger. It’s a deal-killer for sure.
    It’s so bad it brings the whole integrity of the gun into question — Personally, I think SilencerCo should have stuck to Silencers. If they would market a gun with a trigger like that, what else is wrong with it?

    • Duray October 23, 2017, 8:03 am

      According to my dealer, only the first batch had the crappy triggers. He says the ones currently shipping are much more like you’d expect.

      • T Fish October 23, 2017, 8:33 am

        Sure . . that is what any dealer would say to make sales.
        I have 3 SilencerCo Suppressors and believe they are the best but after spending $1,499 for this gun who would want to upgrage a major component like a trigger to make the gun what it should have been at that price?

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend