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The Quiet Cans of Suppressed Armament Systems

The world of NFA has changed in many ways over the past decade. Most of it is for the better. Silencers are now free from additional state regulation in 41 states and the list grows every year. With more acceptance of silencers in the firearms community, the dark days of manufacturers keeping this technology in the shadows is largely a thing of the past. However, in at least one instance it gave birth to a new silencer manufacturer: Suppressed Armament Systems.

Author firing Tavor with Suppressed Armament silencer

Author firing Tavor with Suppressed Armament silencer

Tim Humston had an interest in sound suppressors and 15 or so years ago found himself at Knob Creek with money to burn. It seemed like many of the suppressor guys would barely acknowledge him, let alone give him a chance to handle a silencer.

Most people would simply walk away with a bad taste in their mouths over that behavior; Humston took it as a challenge to make his own.

He spent his spare time combing the library, learning what he could from books about different materials and the manufacturing process. With a clear goal in mind of making his first silencer he filed the required Federal Form 1, paid his $200 tax and made his own can.

While shooting it at the range he was approached by a police officer who wanted to fire a few rounds. Tim conceded and when the officer was done he asked if he could make him one.

“I can't do that. I'm not a manufacturer; it would be against the law.”

The officer invited him to give a demo for the Evansville Police Department and numerous officers now wanted silencers of their own. As resourceful as he was in making his own silencer, he took that same spark and figured out how much it would cost to manufacture the silencers, apply for the appropriate licenses, machinery, etc. and divided it 20 ways.

Tim Humston, owner and founder, tests an SAS can on a Tavor

Tim Humston, owner and founder, tests an SAS can on a Tavor

He quoted the figure and each officer wrote a personal check for the amount. This was the seed money that begat Suppressed Armament Systems.

From left to right: Sentinel, Eadrom and Blast Diverter

From left to right: Sentinel, Eadrom and Blast Diverter

Twelve years later the company is flourishing 3000 miles away in the author's adopted hometown of Sparks, Nevada, and they make some of the most innovative and quiet silencers that we have ever threaded onto the end of a rifle.

We were shown 4 models on a recent range trip with Tim and Karen from SAS.

The first was an extremely short can that was designed as a Blast Diverter for short full auto rifles. We placed it on an FNP90 and the can was hearing-safe with the 5.7 round despite only extending an inch or so in front of the muzzle device.

 

SAS's Sentinel mounted on an FN P90

SAS's Sentinel mounted on an FN P90

Its drawbacks were shown when we switched it to the IWI Tavor. For those not familiar with it, the Tavor is a bull pup rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO that comes to us by way of Israel with a 16″ barrel and extremely short profile.

While the sound was definitely lower than an unsuppressed rifle, it gave a slight ring to the ears (that went away after 10 minutes).

Karen fires the suppressed P90

Karen fires the suppressed P90

According to Humston, “It’s not hearing safe. It meters at 148-150 on a 10″ 5.56 rifle. It is too quiet to sell as a Blast Diverter, too loud for us to call a suppressor.”

It would definitely do well for an LEO or Dot Mil type who is not concerned with complete suppression of sound, but not something that most civilian shooters would have an interest in for an M4, Tavor or other 5.56 rifle. However, it is right at home on the FN P90. Should a shooter were to SBR a PS90 in order to suppress it, it sure seems this would be a better choice than the typical 5.56 or higher end rimfire cans that shooters so often choose for that design. It may not have the versatility for those on a budget looking to get the most from a silencer purchase, but if you have the coin for a PS90 SBR project, you might as well keep it really short!

brake

SAS's Tomb Mount may play a role in keeping the noise down

Next up we tried the Titanium EADROM 5.56mm suppressor. At a few inches longer than the blast diverter we were expecting performance to be similar to other cans in this length for 5.56 and it turned out to be one of the quietest 5.56 cans we have ever shot despite the short length. Keep in mind; this was on a TAVOR where the can is closer to your head than on a 16” AR15. We feel it was a combination of the 16” bbl allowing all the powder to burn before the bullet leaves the muzzle, coupled with the amazing design of the silencer.

Tavor with SAS Eadrom

Tavor with SAS Eadrom

Yet, that particular specimen is the company’s shortest 5.56 can, and not their quietest.

The final two were the Sentinel and the Barricade, which is actually a 6.5 silencer, but works beautifully on 5.56 rifles. We only had two words for these two:

“Hollywood Quiet.”

The Barricade has an interesting look and we hope to see more of that “checkering” on future models. With cans this quiet, how else are you going to stand out in the crowd?

SAS Barricade designed for 6.8

SAS Barricade designed for 6.8

The only problem we had that afternoon was with the TAVOR. Gas notoriously bleeds from the left hand side ejection port and when shooting suppressed, there is an extra dose of hot gas coming back. We found a solution from Gear Head Works who specialize in TAVOR accessories after this shoot and it works extremely well.  It is known as the FLEX mount and it completely seals the unused ejection port. We will keep you posted.

The FLEX Mount from GEAR HEAD Works really keeps the Tavor's gas out of your face!

The FLEX Mount from GEAR HEAD Works really keeps the Tavor's gas out of your face!

As for SAS, they offer a full line of silencers from 22lr through 338 Lapua in addition to custom rifle work and barrel threading. This demo only whetted our appetite for more. We hope to see more of their products in the future, because you will barely hear them.

The P90 was a real fun one to shoot suppressed

The P90 was a real fun one to shoot suppressed


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