Issue 55 CGS Group Hyperion QD 762: Top of the Class Dave Merrill Join the Conversation “We’re not going to get lightbulbs from candles if everyone is making the same stuff,” said Bobby West, founder and owner of CGS Group. “Everyone doing the same designs the same way doesn’t push the ball forward.” Right in the middle of our first conversation about new engineering tools, manufacturing, materials science, and, importantly, silencers, West managed to distill his philosophy of life, and by extension his company, into two sentences. West founded CGS Group at the tail end of 2014, and their first product was the opposite of quiet — the Pandora detonator, most commonly used for breaching charges. It would be 2017 before their first suppressor, the earliest example of the Hyperion, would go through testing for a USASOC small-frame sniper rifle project. Though they didn’t end up with that contract, it solidified their decision to continue their work with silencers. That original Hyperion, though not without its warts, would be the basis of all that came after for CGS. HOW IT’S MADE CGS Group isn’t shy about using exotic materials. Their first foray into this arena was with the carbon-fiber tubed 22LR Siren silencer. With the Hyperion QD 762, we’re not talking exotic materials so much as a more-exotic manufacturing method. The Hyperion QD 762 is manufactured using direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS. This amounts to a Grey Poupon way of saying “3D printed.” Through the years, we’ve seen other silencers made with additive manufacturing, but many of those designs would translate just as well to traditional machining methods. 3D printing can be more than CNC-in-reverse — designs that were either difficult, expensive, or impossible to machine can all become a reality. West explained, “With subtractive manufacturing, you’re limited by the confines of your material. With additive manufacturing you’re only limited by your imagination.” There are generous wrench flats on either end of the Hyperion QD 762. For example, in RECOIL Issue 43, we covered the Thermal Defense Solutions Bantam-II, an Inconel 3D-printed suppressor. While it’s technically possible to machine that design, it would cost in the neighborhood of five figures in machine time per unit, which would only be economically viable for a Russian oligarch. CGS Group isn’t using only Inconel; the Hyperion QD 762 is formed from 3D-printed titanium. Titanium and centerfire silencers have had a tenuous relationship through the years. It wasn’t so long ago that it would’ve been considered an inexcusable combination due to how quickly Ti erodes under high heat and pressure. Have you ever shot a titanium silencer and sparks shot out from the end? Those are little pieces of titanium eroding away. In order to mitigate this damage, starting in 2018, CGS began coating the internals of their silencers with S-Line. Using dynamic compound deposition (DCD) to synthesize boron nitride, we’re told S-Line increases hardness erosion protection while decreasing friction. From what we’ve seen from internal testing at CGS Group, it works well for this purpose. That said, we’ve seen a veritable laundry list of über-coatings before, some better than others, but keep your eye on this. DESIGN & OPERATION Check out the cutaway of the Hyperion QD 762 to get a peek at what’s going on here. 1) Immediately after exiting the muzzle, the gas first hits a sharp baffle to force gas through ports into the exterior annulus/bore evacuator.2) This section consists of relatively steep baffles designed to accommodate higher pressures. 3) A transition zone, there are ports for gas exchange between the core and the annular cavity. 4) Unlike the baffles in section two, these baffles are more shallow and radiused for lower pressures. Also, note the increased annulus volume. 5) Gas exits the replaceable endcap. Immediately, we can tell this isn’t a traditional silencer full of 60-degree cones. There’s a cavity space between the baffles and the outer shell of the Hyperion, called an annulus. Though, there’s more to it. Firstly, it serves as a bore evacuator, a place to temporarily hold gas that’d otherwise contribute to muzzle blast and sound. Initially developed for large guns such as those on tank or artillery pieces, a bore evacuator is a space where high-pressure gas flows due to an induced pressure differential. Prior to firing, the gas in this cavity is initially the same as atmospheric pressure until the projectile passes. When the projectile exits the silencer, both the vacuum of the wake and the lower pressure outside pulls the gas from the annulus out into the open air. We first saw this used for suppressors with the Gemtech Integra (see RECOIL Issue 35). Then, Dead Air incorporated a bore evacuator in their NOMAD silencers (see RECOIL Issue 51). CGS went a step further by consolidating this feature and more into one unit. Let’s walk through the Hyperion QD 762 for a bit: Traditional silencer designs have a larger blast chamber in the first several inches of the silencer to accommodate the higher pressures of centerfire rifle rounds. But in this design, the first place the gas hits is a very sharp, shallow baffle. Gas loves to travel in the path of least resistance and will try to move around any obstacle that hinders it. This first flat baffle intentionally increases pressure early on in order to divert some gas into holes immediately following the threads, to the annular cavity where it can be further directed. From inside the cavity, the gas, still attempting to move forward, hits a series of constrictions along the path designed to slow and direct the flow. You can safely think of the Hyperion QD 762 as having a core within a core. This temporarily contained gas won’t flow into areas with higher pressures, so it can’t freely flow back into the core of the silencer until internal pressure is reduced after the projectile exits. The next series of seven baffles are intended to deal with the rest of the high-pressure gas put out by your centerfire rifle cartridge. Then, we hit a transition zone about two-thirds through; it’s about here where the initial gas pressure starts to drop and the increased volume helps the process along. There are additional ports where gas can be exchanged between the bore evacuator/annulus and the center bore of the silencer. At this point, the baffles more closely resemble a pistol silencer because these radiused, more-shallow baffles do better with lower pressures. The lower pressures toward the end of a silencer are also the reason why you’ll sometimes see silencers use different baffle materials depending on where they’re positioned inside the suppressor. Area 419 does something similar with their Maverick precision silencer (see RECOIL Issue 47), except that the Maverick comes in multiple pieces. It’s in this section that the bore evacuator or annular cavity increases in volume, allowing the gas to linger further still before finally exiting the silencer. Finally, everything exits the replaceable endcap. Not only does this mean endcap strikes can be fixed, but gas flow can be further conditioned. Among all of this new/shiny is a common, but not yet universal feature: wrench flats on both ends. Yes, indeed, there’s an awful lot going on here! QD? Admittedly, when we first opened the box, we were a little confused. Despite having “QD” right in the name, the Hyperion has what first appeared to be standard 5/8x24mm threads. A quick internet search also showed the silencer listed as “direct thread,” so what the heck is going on here? In short: government contract mucky-muck. As mentioned, the original Hyperion was developed specifically for a DoD semiautomatic sniper project. Most of the silencers submitted for consideration were .30-caliber silencers lightly reworked (or not) for what was at the time 260 Remington (later changed to the nearly ballistically identical 6.5 Creedmoor). West felt he had the best design, with the conspicuous exception of a quick-disconnect muzzle device. Between direct-thread and QD silencers is an odd in-between space we’ll call hybrid mounting systems. These systems usually entail a muzzle device that’s affixed to the barrel but has exterior threads (often thick ACME threads) to which the silencer is attached. You’re still threading and spinning, just onto the device itself and not the barrel. The U.S. government considers a suppressor “QD” so long as it can be attached faster than its direct-thread brethren. CGS simply developed a taper hybrid mount with external threads but instead of proprietary threads, they’re also standard 5/8x24mm. Since this new mount includes a 25-degree taper, it ends up being a more solid solution than standard direct-thread. QD by government standards? Yes. Can you use it on your direct-thread Griffin Armament, Q LLC, or SIG silencer that also uses a taper mount? Also, yes. ON THE RANGE Since the Hyperion QD 762 was originally designed for a .260/6.5 gas gun, that’s exactly what we tested — a Grey Ghost Precision GRIM MKII in chambered 6.5CM served as the host. The added 9 or so inches of additional length makes for a friggin’ harpoon of a rifle but less than other precision silencers. Normally, when we say “gas gun” and “precision silencer” in the same sentence, we’re interrupted by a boatload of leaded gas to the face. We didn’t have that problem here for two reasons: The Hyperion is designed to be low-pressure for use in semiautomatic rifles, and the GRIM MKII has an adjustable gas block. The Grey Ghost Precision GRIM rifle chambered in 6.5CM is similar to the rifle the Hyperion QD 762 was designed for in the first place. On the indoor range, the Hyperion QD 762 sounded similar to an unsuppressed 22LR, with the notable exceptions of a deeper tone and the sound of the much-larger projectile smacking the steel trap. Outdoors? Much of the same — hearing safe from the firing line but more noticeable downrange. It isn’t “movie quiet,” but it’s the best 6.5CM suppression on a gas gun we’ve ever heard. Excellent, low tone and extremely comfortable without ears — you can use this one all day. Frankly, this shouldn’t be that surprising, as we had a conversation without hearing protection while firing a Barrett .50BMG M82A1 equipped with a CGS Group silencer just a few months ago. Sure, it increases overall length, but auditory signature was reduced far, far more than a sub-10-inch silencer should be capable of. How about recoil? No perceivable increase. LOOSE ROUNDS The majority of silencers on the market are no-new-innovation copies of someone else’s more successful product, in the same way it sometimes seems the latest striker-fired wonder-nine is just a variation of a riff on a Glock 19. But that’s not what the Hyperion is. While we’ve seen many of these elements in previous designs, we’ve never seen a company put them all together in one place before — even if you discount all of their new additions. CGS Group bet they could make something that was more than simply a summation of parts, and they bet right. They push the limits of what’s possible by using all the new tools and tricks modern manufacturing gives them. In the future, we’d love to see a 1.375×24 HUB mounting system to drastically increase mounting options. CGS Group has set a high bar in terms of both design and manufacturing, and there’s no doubt in our minds that several of the features you see in these pages will become standard within the next several years — and our ears will thank us for it. CGS Group Hyperion QD 762 Length: 9.5 inchesDiameter: 1.75 inchesMaterial(s): Titanium Weight: 15.1 ouncesCaliber: Up to 300RUMMount: Direct-threadMSRP: $1,379URL: cgsgroup.com More Suppressors SilencerCoHybrid 46MOmega 36MOmega 9KDead AirThe PrimalNomad-TiNomad LSandman E-BrakeOdessa 9Stealth Project SuppressorsJK ArmamentSBR Pro Solvent Trap KitGemtechIntegraSuppressor Maintenance with Curtis Tactical Explore RECOILweb:The FBI Clinton Probe: Curiouser and Curiouser YetKilling ISIS: In and Out of America's Ugliest Shadow WarSmart, Compact, on Task: MultiTasker ToolsRifle Dynamics new DMR NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). 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