Dead Air PBS-1 Wolverine AK Suppressor

The Soviet Union produced and issued (on a quite limited basis) a suppressor for the AK platform, designated the PBS-1. It had a rather distinctive shape, and used a combination of baffles and wipes. Unfortunately, these original Soviet silencers are quite rare, and I have not had a chance to examine or disassemble one myself…so I have the next best thing. Today we are putting a few rounds through a PBS-1 Wolverine suppressor from Dead Air Silencers, a suppressor made specifically for the AK platform today which mimics the look of the original Soviet can.

However, since this isn’t an original Soviet can, we decided to cover it in depth on InRangeTV instead of Forgotten Weapons. So if you are curious about the quirks of suppressing AKs and military use of suppressors in general as well as their commercial use today, check out the video on InRange:

22 Comments

  1. While apparently “produced and issued (on a quite limited basis) ” by the USSR, allow me to add that it would seem to be issued relatively widely–and who knows? perhaps even produced?–in Cuba. It is illegal under state security laws to photograph uniformed personnel in Cuba, and so one has to scrutinize those official photos and large-scale military parades where the restrictions are overlooked with the regime putting out all of its hardware to impress onlookers, etc. Such “official images” frequently show such suppressors–or very similar–used by the FAR, the MININT, and even the MTT militia.

  2. ” I have not had a chance to examine or disassemble one myself”
    PBS-1 was spawned by PBS. PBS-1 is for AK family only, when PBS iteration existed for SKS, AK and RPD.
    Some photos and drawings:
    https://gollicin.livejournal.com/26847.html
    4th from top: device for 1 – AK, 2 – SKS, 3 – RPD
    5th from top: cut-away drawing of PBS
    6th from top: PBS disassembled

    • Some more photos and drawings:
      http://gollicin.livejournal.com/26491.html
      2nd from top: SKS with PBS
      3rd from top: AK with PBS
      4th from top: RPD with PBS
      5th from top: blueprint: PBS for AK
      6th from top: PBS for SKS (left-most)

      Some data for УС (“lowered velocity”) cartridge:
      Mass: 21,12 – 20,32 g
      Length: 55 – 56 mm
      Force needed to remove bullet (Пулеизвлекающее усилие): 35 – 100 kg
      Bullet mass: 13,15 – 13,35 g
      Bullet length: 33,10 – 33,50 mm
      Average maximal pressure of powder gases: no more than 1600 kg/cm2

        • Some additional information https://gollicin.livejournal.com/26231.html
          before PBS for AK/SKS/RPD were developed there was attempt of making “device of noiseless fire” for RP-46, to make weapon cycle it was supposed to be used only with magazines (not belts) and with gas regulator fully opened, but it was impossible to make it full-fill technical-tactical requirements.

          Addendum (data from link with PBS-1 images):
          7,62-мм патроны обр. 1943 г. с пулей УС has index ГРАУ 57-Н-231У, bullet tips and ammo-crates containing it are marked with black and green colors. Old pattern ammo-crate holds 1200 cartridge and 6 обтюратор [I don’t know English name, that is part of suppressor which require swapping after firing], while in new pattern ammo-crate capacity of cartridges was increased to 1360.

          • For обтюратор, you may pick one from the list
            -valve
            -shutter
            -obturator

            (but I’m not expert in English weapon terminology)

    • They discussed that. The audio recorder clips the sound level to below the suppressed level; therefore, both suppressed and raw sound too close to tell the difference.

      • If correct then what’s the point of shooting it on camera? If the suppressed sound appears quieter than in reality doesn’t that give ammunition to people who say or think the movie portrayals are accurate?

  3. Karl states that the 7.62 x 39 wobbles before it stabilizes. A few questions, how would you know? Does it wobble the same out of an AK and a VZ-58 or some other gun? With the AK’s well known muzzle dip, can you be sure the suppressor isn’t moving when when the bullet is inside it? If the barrel is moving before the bullet exits, would the torque produced on the gyroscopic bullet cause the wobble? I don’t know, just asking.

    • This is true for any gyroscopic stabilized projectile fired from rifled barrel.
      Even ideally rigid barrel won’t help(but good crown and bullet will).

  4. Alas, the general public seems to have a limited understanding of suppressors in terms of professional use and intended purpose. Most ordinary folks I know first thought suppressors were assassin tools, but I bothered checking up on the original Maxim Silencer, a hunter’s companion in noise reduction. We’ll just say that suppressed rifles for both civilian hunters and snipers/designated-marksmen serve one purpose: take out specific targets without spooking the neighborhood. For the former, no sensible hunter wants to have his ears blown out by his own weapon (and no doubt he doesn’t want to attract unwanted attention from whatever dangerous game he doesn’t have lined up in the sights). For the latter, Ian already told us: suppressor wipes mask the gunshot source and therefore don’t have to cancel out the sonic crack from the projectile as it whizzes past someone. The intended victim won’t hear the bullet coming anyway, if it is supersonic at that point!

    Weapon of choice scenario [fictional setting]:

    Setting: Fort Wooster, a mountain army base taken over by the “Kingdom of True Enlightenment” extremist group.

    I hate this winter storm and I hate the fact that our current unit includes 14 rookie contractors. Why the barely qualified recruits? Most of our regular operatives are dealing with assignments across the country that might be related to this particular problem. If only our platoon didn’t have to deal with a nasty mission about now. The “Kingdom of True Enlightenment” has conquered Fort Wooster and declared it to be the capital of their “country” in anticipation of the end of the world. The mission is to take back Fort Wooster and destroy the ring of anti-missile ion laser towers, all of which have been modified so that they can fire upon ground ICBM’s, aircraft, and ground targets. The reason this must be done by a private contractor group is because the local gendarmerie and the national army have been compromised by “Enlightened” moles. The occupied laser towers, which were set to be scrapped per disarmament talks last week, have destroyed several waves of attacking aircraft. But thankfully, this repeated firing has overheated the towers, allowing us some time to sneak into the facility and take out the occupiers.

    Objectives:

    Sneak a team of 5-8 operatives (yourself included) through the woods, up the mountain and gain access to the fort through the supply tunnel. Eliminate any hostile personnel or guard dogs if you must (the place is crawling with bad guys). Upon entry, you are to find the controls for the laser towers and disable them. Free any hostages you may find in the facility and evacuate them (we were told not to bombard the castle). Ultimately, whether the terrorist leader is captured or assassinated is up to you.

    Enemy information:

    200 militants (Equipment appears to be mostly FN P90’s, I don’t know why)
    12 ion-laser towers (cannot target anything on fortress grounds!!!)
    15 pickup trucks (one of them is a flak wagon with a Flak Vierling in the truck bed)

    Weapons from the supply truck for you and your squad:

    1. RPD or RPK with PBS-1 Wolverine
    2. Kar98K with scope and HUB-23, Winchester 1894 with Maxim Silencer
    3. Sykes-Fairbairn dagger
    4. Smith & Wesson Mk 22 Mod 0
    5. Bundles of stick grenades, C4, and dynamite
    6. Stechkin OTs-38
    7. Mauser Schnellfeuer or Reihenfeuer 08 Luger (both customized with suppressors)
    8. FN Model D
    9. SIG MKMO
    10. Get something else!!

    This activity is completely voluntary. You are not required to respond if you do not wish to do so. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.

    Thank you,

    Cherndog

    • “checking up on the original Maxim Silencer, a hunter’s companion in noise reduction.”
      According to https://medium.com/war-is-boring/hiram-percy-maxim-was-a-firearms-suppressing-genius-6b01240d614c
      (…) Maxim began designing a silencer that could moderate the report of a Springfield M1903 rifle. He believed that the growing number of American men joining the military from cities — men who lacked experience with shooting — were struggling to master the .30–06 M1903 because of its loud report and recoil. Maxim felt that a silencer would prevent recruits being intimidated by their own rifles.(…)While these silenced rifles could not prevent the supersonic crack that occurred downrange, they were able to mitigate muzzle flash and moderate the rifle’s report.

      • Well the tunnel is supposed to allow supply trucks into the fort, so space should not be too confined. Two way traffic is possible during normal times but these are not normal times. Come to think about it, maybe one should try to infiltrate with a truck…

        • “Come to think about it, maybe one should try to infiltrate with a truck…”
          Ok, but this would need intelligence gathering and deception. Just “borrow” truck transporting ICBM or fuses or fuel to it, then sabotage it to make boom on launcher, similarly to Project Eldest Son but in bigger scale.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Eldest_Son
          This need ability to make enemy unable to detected “borrowing” of truck.
          Free any hostages you may find in the facility and evacuate them (we were told not to bombard the castle). might work as deception, in case infiltration was detected.

    • “mission is to take back Fort Wooster and destroy the ring of anti-missile ion laser towers, all of which have been modified so that they can fire upon ground ICBM’s, aircraft, and ground targets.”
      For that get Device DM
      http://modernfirearms.net/en/grenade-launchers/russia-grenade-launchers/izdelie-dm-eng/
      (…)Device DM was to be used against military facilities such as C&C posts, ammunition and fuel storage depots, radar instalations, parked tactical aircrafts, and most important, tactical / medium range ballistic missile launchers.

    • Hello Cherndog, here’s my take on your crazy scenario: l like Daweo ‘s suggested DM devices for the squad. At least one magazine each of silent ball ammunition, and one of grenade blanks with 5 grenades to match. I would pick the most reliable squad member to carry a suppressed RPK, and select an RPD for myself. My sidearm is a MK 22. Stetchkins for the troops. FS daggers all around, NVGs for every one. One lucky guy carried the explosives. If it all goes South, my job is to suppress the cultists while the others extract, using the Stetchkins to be loud and break contact as well. Cluster grenades for the control room, grenade launchers for the technical and the towers.

      • Well, if by the Stechkin you refer to the APS machine pistol, yes it is loud. I listed the OTs-38 silent revolver, but the APS is probably more affordable (ammunition wise, as the OTs-38 uses a moon clip of special captive bolt cartridges), and I’ll give you credit for selecting the more tactically flexible option (the APB version of the APS can be suppressed). If one of the squad members carries a suppressed Kar98k with a ZF-41 scope, aimed shots at guards just outside the facility are possible during the initial infiltration phase from the woods (unless you wish to use the DM’s silent ball ammunition on the guards first). How would you accomplish the bonus objective of capturing/assassinating the cult leader? I understand that his personal helicopter should be back from a “business trip” within a few hours…

        • I was planning on using the suppressed RPK for those sentries and the silent weapons for any closer encounters. A cluster grenade does fine for a control room; if we can capture the flak gun intact it will do for the helicopter . If not then a satchel charge under the landing pad should do nicely. Also we can collect P90s as we go to augment our firepower in case of emergency.

  5. Back in the early 90’s silencers were completely unregulated in france and ar15s in 222 and aks in 7br could be bought by anybody over 18
    Somebody up in paris maybe universal arms brought in a bunch of these silencers
    I think the sales price was only about 500 francs

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