Once you start using a suppressor with a combat weapon it soon becomes difficult to imagine life without one – the capabilities of modern suppressors are a world apart from those of 20 years ago.
Richard Brown reports: Suppressors are big business; hence serious players like SIG Sauer having whole departments dedicated to the science of sound reduction. Crucially, from an operator perspective, suppressors make the weapon ear-safe.Auditory exclusion (in plain speak temporary deafness) is common as a result of the discharge of weapons so eliminating this nasty side effect is a huge asset when team communication is critical. Additionally, an effective suppressor will mask muzzle report and flash which give your position away and (from a law enforcement perspective) the weapon noise will not disturb crowds if you must fire in a populated urban theatre.
With the new-found popularity of suppressors on military and police weapons it is no surprise that someone has come up with a way to defeat the only real issue found when permanently running a ‘can’ – i.e. suppressor heat and haze mirage. Suppressors get extremely hot, especially on burst fire as the gasses get trapped. This is dangerous, and many an experienced operator has suffered an impromptu burn. More important, the heat haze from a suppressor is particularly visible rising across the lens of a modern optic and it really distorts your view.Enter the Texas-based Rifles Only company with their outstanding HAD (Heat Abatement Device). This innovative tactical accessory is a double-layered heat shield which slips over the suppressor. It comes in multiple sizes and with different outer Cordura finishes. The inner core will withstand an eye watering temperature of 3000 degrees C and the outer sleeve will additionally take 2000 degrees.
The practical upshot is that when you cover your suppressor with a Rifles Only HAD you can safely handle the suppressor even after multiple shots and the rising heat haze which distorts your aim is eliminated. So effective is this product that a key UK armed unit has decided to equip all of their suppressed MCX assault rifles with HADs.
The inner and outer cores are made from highly advance heat-resistant soft materials which add almost zero weight to the suppressor. The HAD is currently available in 5″, 6″, 7″, 7.5″, 8, 8.5″, 9″ and 10″ (127 to 254mm) to fit suppressors from 1.3″ up to 2″ (33 to 52mm) in diameter. The cord which wraps round the two sleeves is also heat-resistant even beyond the temperatures of inner unit.The HAD is available in the UK through Second Skin Tactical (SST) in Derbyshire. SST are a low-profile organisation servicing Tier 1 UK and overseas Police and Government sectors with tactical firearms solutions. Their staff are highly experienced with firearms backgrounds from the UK Army, UK Government and major gun manufacturers.
Along with requests from the professional market SST will now consider civilian trade enquiries for HAD suppressor covers; for more details please contact them by email on SecondSkinTactical at aim dot com
¤ Richard Brown is a UK-based independent small arms technical consultant and operator trainer.