Taming the .450 Marlin with Dead Air’s New .46-Cal Suppressor, the Primal (PA Range Day 2021)

The .450 Marlin is a beast of a cartridge. Designed as a kind of souped-up .45-70, the Marlin hits with a whopping 37 foot-pounds of recoil energy—nearly twice the recoil of a .30-06.

Dead Air’s new .46-caliber suppressor can tame even this wild animal of a cartridge. Aptly named the “Primal” the brand new can is designed for big caliber, high-pressure rifle cartridges just like the .450 Marlin.

I was admittedly not looking forward to shooting the .450 when we stepped up to the booth at this year’s Primary Arms Range Day. I’ve shot my share of large calibers, but I’m no masochist. I like a functioning shoulder as much as the next guy.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the Primal turned the .450 Marlin from an exercise in teeth-gritting to an actually enjoyable experience.

I still felt a healthy recoil, and the weight of the rifle helped mitigate that energy. But the Primal reduced shot report and recoil impulse so much that I found myself looking forward to shooting another round.

The Primal is constructed with 17-4 stainless steel and finished with high-temp Cerakote. At 7.9 inches long and only 16.5 ounces, the Primal is compact enough to keep a rifle or pistol from being too front-heavy. It measures 1.618 inches wide, which is slightly thinner than their Nomad series.

The Primal is constructed with 17-4 stainless steel and can use a host of mounting options.

Dead Air has been marketing the Primal as a do-it-all can similar to the SilencerCo 36M. Company reps at the booth told us that while it can certainly be used to suppress pistol calibers, it shines in the rifle arena. It’s full-auto rated and can accept rifle calibers up to .458 with energies up to .338 Lapua.

The Primal ships with a 5/8”x24 direct-thread insert. It’s HUB mounting system compatible, and it can use direct thread, Xeno, or Keymo. With the included HUB to P-Series adapter, the Primal accepts 3-lug and booster adapters.

At $929 MSRP, the Primal is in the same ballpark as many of the other Dead Air cans. On the street, you can find the Primal for under $800.

Click here to check it out!

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Geronimo September 13, 2021, 10:12 am

    I have one with a ported 18″ barrel and it doesn’t bother me. The visible recoil that I’m seeing on the video looks the same as when I watch my buddy shoot mine.

  • Blue Dog (he/him) September 11, 2021, 1:52 pm

    I had a .450 Marlin not long after they came out. I think it was the 18” barrel? Definitely ported. The report from the porting was worse than the recoil. I traded it off a few years later – to another FFL of course – for a .45/70 after looking for ammo for it for nearly 2 years. Within 6 months, ammo was available for the .450 again. Oh well. I still have the .45/70 and have plenty of ammo for it.

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