Game-Changing 3D-Printed Suppressors from Thermal Defense – SHOT Show 2019

One of the most interesting finds of the 2019 SHOT Show was the suppressors offered by Thermal Defense Solutions (TDS). TDS leveraged design work conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in support of USSOCOM to produce a whole new breed of suppressors. New technology has finally reached the suppressor industry.

Bantam and Badger suppressors, 3D printed from high-temp-resistant Inconel 718.

TDS suppressors don’t have the traditional baffle stacks inside and are essentially 3D printed out of Inconel 718. Specifically, it’s called the selective laser melting process, an additive manufacturing process. What it means is no individual parts; no welding on caps, though the suppressor does have internal passages and chambers to control the gas flow designed by the ORNL modeling.  The entire can was printed as one piece.

Ports are outlets for internal gas and aid in sound and thermal reduction.

Testing indicates that these cans have less mass build up, less heat, and less backpressure which reduces flash more than conventional suppressor designs. The less mass also means Thermal Defense’s products are typically smaller and lighter. The surface design and internal passageways that vent out the front aid in the thermal dissipation.

Business card illustrates the small size of the Bantam suppressor.

The Bantam model is designed to be as small as possible and reduce the sound of a 5.56 to under the OSHA “hearing safe” level. It is a screw on model made of 718 Inconel, rated for full auto fire, weighs only 6.5 ounces, is 4.75 inches long, with a 1.2-inch diameter and has an MSRP of $699.

The Badger model can be had in 5.56 or 7.62 cal versions. The 7.62 model is designed to be full-auto capable while being shorter and lighter than conventional suppressors in its class. The Badger model screws on and is 6.25 inches long with an outside diameter of 1.5 inches. It weighs in at a feather-light 8 ounces. Really, a half-pound for an Inconel full-auto rated 7.62 can, that’s crazy. The Badger model in either 5.56 or 7.62 has an MSRP of $999.

Screw on mounting with crush washers are used for all models

Keep an eye on GunsAmerica for a full review, and visit ThermalDefenseInc.com for more information.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Doug February 6, 2019, 4:00 pm

    like the Daniel Defense it breaches a copyright for using 3d printing to make suppressors

    • CJ June 24, 2019, 11:44 am

      Could you cite your source, please?

    • MegaFaunaExtremist April 15, 2020, 1:10 am

      Bizarrely ignorant nonsense

  • JL February 1, 2019, 11:09 am

    How much faster can you turn these out as opposed to milling a similar can. Just wondering, in case the HPAct ever goes thru and causes demand to go thru the roof… (reminiscent of the years long .22 ammo shortage).

  • Michael Christensen January 30, 2019, 10:22 pm

    Any warranty or guarantee with these, besides from a baffle strike?

    • Ed February 1, 2019, 4:37 pm

      Lifetime warranty

  • Paul January 30, 2019, 9:22 pm

    Let’s see … I’m gonna spend $150.00 for a new barrel + $700 to a $1000 for a can + $200.00 for the right to do it … just to add it to a $500.00 gun???? Nah… I think I’ll buy some top of line muffs and five cases of ammo.

    • Jimi C. February 7, 2019, 1:50 pm

      I was going to make the same comment!! Those prices are complete bullshit. No need to worry that the left take will away our 2A rights when supposed supporters make this un-affordable!

  • Ben January 30, 2019, 4:58 pm

    So, I have a threaded barrel 6.5 CM that I hunt from a box stand with … can I use one of these made for the 7.62 on my 6.5CM or do I need to wait for a caliber specific version?

    • Tim January 30, 2019, 7:55 pm

      Normally you can use a 30 cal suppressor with a smaller diameter caliber such as the 6.5CM. Obviously the reverse is not so. You cannot use a 223 cal suppressor on a 30 cal rifle. I frequently use my 30 cal suppressors on a 223 cal rifle. The only issue would be if the barrel threads did not match. Typically a 30 cal barrel is threaded 5/8-24, not always but most are. Where in some smaller calibers have barrel threads of 9/16-24, 1/2-36 and (1/2-28 in the case of most 223 cal rifles). Keep in mind some foreign made guns might have barrels threaded in metric sizes and some in left handed threads. Hope this made sense to you.

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 9:11 pm

      Just use the 762 suppressors. At max you would loose 1 DB. That way you can use it on everything from a 243 to a 300 RUM.

    • Dr Motown January 31, 2019, 6:07 am

      No need for a “caliber-specific” version. The 7.62 will work on a 6.5 bullet. Most 7.62 suppressors actually are rated up to 300 Win Mag

  • Michael boggus January 30, 2019, 4:01 pm

    Do you have to pay a stupid ass tax stamp on these ass well?

  • Navin January 30, 2019, 2:49 pm

    Way too expensive.

  • Ed January 30, 2019, 1:03 pm

    No, these will last for 10’s of thousands of rounds. We don’t currently know how long as they have only been tested to 100,000 rounds. At that point they still had the same DB reduction and showed no signs of significant wear.

  • Bravo_Bravo January 30, 2019, 12:45 pm

    People tend to forget that SLM is essentially a giant weld. Much, much more controlled than dude in a garage but still a 3 dimensional weld. The design space is incredible with 3D ‘printing’, however consumers should not buy these cans. As designed they save size and weight but are irreparable should the shooter have an unstable projectile. Let the Govt. and Mil field these since they don’t have to pay $200 tax stamps or wait for months to buy or replace a suppressor.

  • JGinNJ January 30, 2019, 11:59 am

    I have two questions.
    1) Do these suppressors have any tendency to reduce recoil (aside from the weight they add)? It seems that in theory it is similar to the idea of a gas being emitted by a ported barrel, but then being redirected forward, this way back and forth through passages until ultimately coming out the front. Is this how it works?
    2) There are sounds of a shot that are bearable, such as from a 30-30, and there are sounds that are painful. such as that of a .300 Ultramag. Is there a market for an even shorter and lighter suppressor that would reduce the noise level of a “really loud” rifle down to “loud”? Still requiring ear plugs, but more tolerable to the shooter and others standing nearby.

    • Ed January 30, 2019, 1:11 pm

      The significantly reduce recoil. We will be doing some testing with Oak Ridge to see how much of a reduction there is but on a side note. My 7 year old Grand-daughter shoots my Ruger RPR in 6.5 Creedmore on Targets out to 300 yards. She shoots 40-50 shots in a day. She weighs 61 lbs.

      I have shot our Strix on my 300 RUM without hearing protection. It is a little loud but my ears didn’t ring. I will put a video up this weekend on our Facebook Page. I normally use muffs and plugs when I shoot it un-suppressed. The recoil is about a 308 with the suppressor.

  • bruce January 30, 2019, 11:58 am

    Just a question: Say I’m exercising my 2nd amendment rights but don’t want someone a block away to hear it. Would this suppresser keep them ignorant of what I’d just done?
    tks.
    bp

    • Ed January 30, 2019, 1:15 pm

      No, They would still hear it. The only Hollywood Silencers are in Hollywood.

    • Lamce January 30, 2019, 7:16 pm

      If you were shooting.22 with a silencer and that ammo was subsonic, your neighbors would not have a clue.

    • Dr Motown January 31, 2019, 6:10 am

      Only if you are using subsonic ammo with a can… but don’t expect great performance

  • BRIAN BERG January 30, 2019, 10:23 am

    Don’t understand what the high ticket price is for suppressor in general ? There really is not a lot of technology and technological breakthroughs since the advent. Cost to produce should be relatively low given that these are almost as much or more then the guns they are attached to. Not to mention the tax stamp on top of cost to purchase the suppressor. I am all for people making money, but this should not be anything more than a $100 item.

    • Dr Motown January 31, 2019, 6:14 am

      The”tax stamp” artificially keeps prices high because there’s no resale market for used suppressors. If there was a used market, manufacturers would almost be forced to drop prices

  • Zupglick January 30, 2019, 9:54 am

    Would like to see pistol (9mm) versions.

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 12:41 pm

      Look for pistol versions this fall. They will be lighter, quieter and shorter than the competitors. Keep looking for the announcement on Gunsamerica.com first.

  • John Weiss III January 30, 2019, 9:50 am

    Any plans for a QA system? You have my interest!

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 12:46 pm

      We are working on one but if you ask the experts, direct thread is the way to go. They always index the same and you will never have a baffle strike due to the QD not locking up. It only takes a second longer to take on and off. Because our suppressors working temperature of 980 degrees Celsius you don’t have to worry about over heating the suppressor. They are made to shoot. No reason to take them off. We put over 2500 556 rounds through one suppressor in one afternoon at an LE demo.

  • Brent January 30, 2019, 9:48 am

    Super light! I’d like to see a bantam model for .300blk!!

  • Strick January 30, 2019, 8:59 am

    Have the suppressor requirements been reduced any lately? I was under the impression that regulations for owning a suppressor are being reviewed by the law makers. Ranges would be much quieter if suppressors could be used.

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 12:52 pm

      The laws are pretty much the same. We were hoping for the hearing protection act to go through but with the current mix in the House it won’t have a chance. They are legal in all but about 7 states. You do have to wait for your NFA tax stamp. The wait before the Government Shutdown was about 9 months. If you want one, now is the time to get it. No telling what will happen in the future.

  • Tim January 30, 2019, 8:48 am

    I hunt almost exclusively with suppressors, I am ways looking for something lighter. The weight of these REALLY has me interested but like the other poster mentions how does one clean it? The ports look awfully small for soaking and shaking to work very well.

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 12:58 pm

      For cleaning, we just shoot them and get them hot. That burns everything out. You can also sonic clean them. I have demo cans that have 25,000+ rounds through them without cleaning. They still have the same db as the new cans. The 762 cans are good up to 300 RUM. They significantly reduce the recoil and muzzle jump. Most of my rifles have group sizes shrink by 1/4 to 3/8 MOA when suppressed.

      • Tim January 30, 2019, 7:13 pm

        I will never shoot 25,000 rounds through one in a lifetime of hunting so that takes care of any concern I had about cleaning. The 300 win mag is the largest caliber I use suppressed. Everything else is under that.

  • Joe January 30, 2019, 8:24 am

    Throw away item, like the ceramic pistol the israelis tried to make. Looks like no real world use, unless you can print it from home.

    • Retrocon January 30, 2019, 10:23 am

      Many Centerfire-only rifle suppressors are not serviceable, other than a good soak. You simply do NOT run unjacketed lead through them.

      Lead is the evil, not powder residue.

  • Oakland Tactical January 30, 2019, 7:33 am

    It’s a common misconception that you have to take a rifle suppressor down for cleaning. Many dedicated rifle suppressors have been cut in half after 10s of thousands of rounds with little buildup.

    On another note Delta P Designs have been doing additive suppressor manufacturing with inconel and titanium for at least 5 years.

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 1:00 pm

      The TDS Designs were first printed in 2007 by Oak Ridge National Laboratories. That is the patent that we have licensed.

  • Jon January 30, 2019, 7:04 am

    Are these the disposable cans I’ve read about?
    Lightweight in the field and good for a specified number of rounds before the internals wear out?

    • Ed at Thermal Defense Solutions January 30, 2019, 1:02 pm

      No, these will last for 10’s of thousands of rounds. We don’t currently know how long as they have only been tested to 100,000 rounds. At that point they still had the same DB reduction and showed no signs of significant wear.

  • Dan Barnes January 30, 2019, 4:50 am

    Obvious unanswered question would be, how do you clean it, given that it has a bunch of little passages and “no individual parts”.

    • Mark C. January 30, 2019, 9:30 am

      They’re self cleaning like the gas tube on an AR. Only when you shoot dirty .22 do you need to clean it, in which case you use the caustic “dip” solution.

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