Q&A: Silencers with Kevin Brittingham of AAC & Q

I am excited to have the opportunity to talk suppressors today with Kevin Brittingham. He has been working with them for more than 25 years, over that time founded Advanced Armament, sold it to Remington, and then founded his current company, Q. He was responsible for the commercial popularity of the .300 Blackout cartridge and his Honey Badger was adopted by various Special Forces units to replace the MP5SD – and that is only a small part of his contribution to the world of silencers. My visit with Kevin was prompted by a book project we are starting about the history of military silencers, which I am very excited about – but we will make a formal announcement of that later on in the process. For now, let’s answer some of your questions about silencers!

01:59 – Why are suppressors included in the NFA?
02:39 – How will additive manufacturing impact suppressor design?
06:48 – What is “first shot pop”, and can it be eliminated?
08:46 – Thoughts on universal military silencer use
14:02 – Measuring sound consistently
17:48 – Thoughts on USMC suppressor adoption
19:28 – Impact of a .30 caliber suppressor on a .22 caliber bore?
22:14 – Potential to use heat and pressure from a suppressor to power electronics?
23:48 – Shooting original Maxim Silencers
27:49 – “Generations” of suppressor design
31:18 – Volume vs number of baffles
32:56 – Suppressor cleaning
34:07 – “Silencer” vs “suppressor”
36:36 – First military suppressor use
37:33 – Effectiveness of multi-purpose muzzle devices (“Smuzzle”)
40:55 – Thoughts on Russian suppressed ammunition
42:25 – Are wipe-based designs held back by legal rulings?

25 Comments

  1. Suppressors aren’t really one of my main interests, but this was an amazing interview. Mr. Brittingham is obviously brilliant, but also impresses with his modesty and respect for the achievements of others. His attitudes toward his customers, patriotism, R&D, integrity, practicality, etc. are spot-on. Casual, passing insights like “barrel length is the best silencer” were fascinating, at least to a novice like me.

  2. Why isn’t the industry pushing the government required muffler on vehicles vs. horribly restricted on firearms conundrum to get legislators to stop the stupidity? Noise pollution is noise pollution.

  3. Actually the books written by J. David Truby and John Minnery in the 1970’s and published by Palladin Press and Desert Publications give us a good background on maxim the oss and WW11 and sionics and vietnam. I can still remember the thrill of receiving my first brown paper wrapped book on silencer patents from Desert Publications. Almost more thrilling then opening my new Playboy each month but then I was only 17

    • I remember getting Truby’s books on inter library loans at about the same age.

      All the hocus pocus in the designs that were shown, like spiral baffles.

      In my college days, there was a pristine playboy with the Madonna pics in, left behind by a previous occupant of the house. I left it behind as well, I dread to think what it would be worth in pristine condition now.

  4. “(…)Thoughts on Russian suppressed ammunition(…)”
    It should be noted that in Soviet Union also more classically suppression were developed.
    For example ПБС was tested with SKS, AK, RPD see photos:
    https://coollib.net/b/252803/read
    These need effort to make it working as intended, however finally it was deployed in limited number, under name SILENCE
    https://modernfirearms.net/en/grenade-launchers/russia-grenade-launchers/bs-1-tishina-eng/
    It has not only suppressor for 7,62 mm barrel but also suppressed grenade launcher.
    Note that last does belong to captive category.
    Interestingly very early БраМит Nagant were also captive, see 2st image from top
    https://histrf.ru/biblioteka/b/tikhiie-i-smiertonosnyie-istoriia-otiechiestviennogho-biesshumnogho-oruzhiia
    New cylinder was added in front of weapon, it does rotate in unison with original cylinder. Special ammunition is used with bullet in basket-like sabot, when it reaches front cylinder there is necking which halts said sabot and bullet travels freely.
    Most production suppressed Nagants have more classic suppressor with baffles – see 3rd image from top.

  5. The Honey Badger never won the contract and was never adopted, it lost the contract to the SIG MCX. Brittingham likes to allude to people that the Honey Badger won but it didn’t.

    There are people available that are significantly more knowledgeable about silencers and their history that you could be talking to and working with, people that don’t have a vested interest in trying to literally rewrite the history of silencers through a book as Brittingham does.

    You should get with Neil R. Parker. He is someone that is a real authority on silencers and their history. He knows the truth about the history of silencers and the truth about where things come from and he doesn’t have any reason to lie about it. He has already written a book on silencer patents and will provide the truth about the real history of silencers without contorting and twisting things. He’s the guy you should interview.

  6. Ian,
    Excellent presentation. I listened to this while driving to work this morning. Perhaps a follow-up video on silencer construction is warranted? Actual video of some the machine work taking place? Actual testing?

    Please, keep up the excellent work.

    • If Kevin wants to combine additive manufacturing and casting, he can look up Humtown Products. Contact Brandon, he can help you out.

  7. When I left Canada and came to France in 1972 I thought I was in
    silencer heaven Most gunshops had unique or diskreet 22lr silencers for sale The unique had thick discs separated with springs and one version used a bayonet mount that would fit on most rifles if you sandpapered the barrel. The diskreet was a copy of the prewar parker hale which was a copy of the concentric maxim
    There were other makes too One of the biggest still in busness is STILL Their silencers use nylon baffles and they even sold a excentric model for .222 bolt rifles
    In the 80’s we could buy those russian silencers for the ak for just over a hundred dollars us and uzi and sten silencers surplus from Isreal About a year ago I even saw an original oss silenced sten that had been dropped to resistants around perigieux in the dordogne. Obiously the gun had been neutrilized but the can was intact

  8. Beginning at 23:48 is not only talk about shooting Maxim’s silencers, but their qualities in general.

    Why does nobody copy those old designs? The patents have long run out and are freely avaiable at the US Patent office. And the still exisiting examples have shown to be quite durable as well. Yes, many people want a silencer on a short barrel, whioch leads to heavier more durable silencers to stand the pressure, but there are also people who want a compact lightweight silencers for their long rifles.

  9. Silencers? Nooo. Call them “moderators/ mufflers” and that’s fine with me. There is nothing wrong with them, to contrary. They should be legal everywhere.

    I have read booklet Science of sound years ago by protagonist of GEMTECH, a pioneer in the field of the time. In conclusion, it is a “black science” for most part. That is why you see such “artistic” creations inside of mufflers. Let’s not forget – the rate of moderation is on logarithmic scale. Therefor when expressed in numbers, the pressure drop may look significant but it is quite small.

    And yes, I tend to agree with statement that “barrel length is the best silencer”. I do not like ultra-short barrel rifles in particular; good we as civilians (in Canada) have minimum bbl length restriction.

  10. Denny yes silencers/mufflers have usually been unregulated in France
    About 4 years ago they were supposed to be all registered but that lasted about 2 years Now if you own the gun and have the licence to prove it you can buy a can for it.
    About 2 years ago they said we can use them for hunting but 22’s are forbidden for hunting so this means shotguns In the early 1990’s I talked to the Hushpower silenced shotgun people in the UK about selling their cans in France
    However I may have good ideas but as a salesman forget it I sold 2 to a local gunshop thats all but I handed out lots of publicity and low and behold shotgun silencers started to appear in France At least I can be proud about starting something

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