By Jeff Johnston
Hiram Percy Maxim invented two products in conjunction with each other in 1903. One—the automobile muffler—has since been mandated by our government for use by anyone who drives a car, while the other—the firearm suppressor—was outlawed for all but those willing to pay a punitive $200 tax. What’s the difference? Politics. Cars good, guns bad.
Contrarily, most guys like us happen to think guns are good but hearing loss is bad, so we tend to pay the bullshit tax anyway. Still though, if you’re going jump through the hoops to buy a suppressor that costs five times what it should, you might as well get a great one.
Frankly, from about 1903 until roughly 20 years ago, not all that much had changed from Maxim’s original baffle design. But then advances in metallurgy, laser welding and CNC machining came along, and now the best cans in terms of weight-to-strength ratio are made of titanium. One is Gunwerks’ new 6IX+ Titanium model because in addition to it being short and light, it can accept the forces of .30-caliber magnums, all while making these rifles safer to use without hearing protection.
There are a few things I look for in a suppressor, and the 6IX+ has them all: No. 1, it must be short and light so it affects a hunting rifle’s handling qualities as little as possible while still mitigating noise to safe levels. At just 6.5 inches long and weighing 8 ounces, Gunwerks’ can is near the top in both categories. It is a little fatter than some longer suppressors at 1.7 inches, but the diameter of a rifle suppressor is much less noticeable than extra length.
Second, it must be modular so it fits on a wide number of guns in a wide range of calibers. The 6IX+ comes with two popular thread adaptors (1/2×28 and 5/8×24) and a modular “bore reducer” muzzle insert that, when matched to the caliber being fired, maximizes the suppressor’s efficiency by limiting the amount of excess gas that slips past the bullet as it exits.
Finally and most importantly, the suppressor must be effective. Gunwerks’ engineers are nerds about design, and they studied this shit at length before ever building a prototype. Then, according to company reps, they tested it, blew it up, made it lighter, made it stronger, tested it again and ultimately got it right. I believe them because I have tested it against many others.
Maybe new technology will come along in another 100 years, but for now, the 6IX+ Titanium is just about as good as suppressors get for hunting. $1,145
Pros: Short, light, tough, versatile on a wide range of calibers and effective at saving your ears
Cons: I’ll be damned if I can find any.