As an industry, I think we’re in a golden era for silencers. Ten years ago, our options were somewhat limited if we wanted to suppress our rifle(s). Fast forward a decade to this year’s SHOT Show and you couldn’t throw a business card without hitting a silencer manufacturer. As a guy who likes options, this pleases me greatly. Speaking of great pleasures, thanks to the generosity of the team at Silencer Shop, I was able to spend a few hours at a private range putting rounds through several of Griffin Armament’s silencers. As Griffin offers quite a few options, I’ve elected to break the results of that trip into several posts, the first of which will focus on their muzzle device attached Recce series . . .
I started seriously looking at acquiring silencers of my own about a year and a half ago after a weekend spent shooting exclusively silencer-equipped rifles. Laid out prone under my favorite shade tree, I had my road to Damascus moment as I smacked steel a quarter mile away without the need for hearing protection.
Around that same time, I noticed that the guys at one of the local NFA dealers, Silencer Shop, were aggressively marketing Griffin Armament silencers. Several months later, I introduced myself to the brothers Green, owners of Griffin Armament. They were instrumental in brokering a relationship between Silencer Shop and TTAG that allows me the ability to head out to a range and do some testing. After shooting nearly everything in the Griffin catalog over the course of a few hours, I came away with several favorites, and the Recce series is at the top.
The Recce silencers are constructed of 17-4 PH stainless steel and feature a taper mount attachment system. As I’ve spent more time researching suppressors, it’s become apparent that any company claiming to minimize changes to point of impact shift uses some manifestation of a taper mount attachment system.
Giffin offers about half a dozen different taper mount compatible muzzle devices, some of which Jeremy has tested in his exhaustively researched and documented series. They’re fine muzzle devices on their own, and should you elect to purchase a Griffin Recce can at a later date, you’re already ahead. Simply thread the Recce over the brake or flash hider of your choice, and give it a firm twist to ensure that it locks up on the taper mount. No ratchets, no collars, no fuss.
Having only shot a few suppressors on 5.56 guns prior to my day at the range with Silencer Shop, I had a certain preconceived notion about the topic. Namely, I’d never shot a silencer-equipped AR-15 that didn’t make my ears ring. As the whole purpose (in my mind) of spending the money and time (not to mention navigating the bureaucracy) to acquire a silencer is to have the luxury of running without hearing protection, a dedicated 5.56 can never really made sense.
While I weighed and measured the Recce 5, Silencer Shop’s Media Manager Jeremy Mallette talked to me about the various pros and cons of a dedicated 5.56 can. Naturally, many buyers are hesitant to buy a dedicated 5.56 silencer as their options are limited quite a bit for any guns they own larger than 5.56. Many first-time buyers — myself and Nick included — buy a .30 cal silencer even though the majority of their shooting will have that silencer screwed to the end of a gun that shoots 5.56/.223.
As a result, their guns end up being louder, longer, and heavier than they realistically need to be. That’s why Silencer Shop sees a lot of their first-time customers come back later for a dedicated 5.56 can. This number goes up drastically once they get to shoot one as part of a demo.
As part of my measurements, I wanted to see how accurate Griffin was in their published specs. So I brought along my scale and a set of dial calipers to see how they measured up. Results below.
- Diameter: 1.47” (measured: 1.489 inches)
- Overall Length: 6.2” (measured: 6.3 inches)
- Weight: 14.5 Ounces (measured: 14.2 oz)
All told, I was pleased to see that Griffin’s advertised numbers were within a few percentage points of my real world results. Out of some sort of odd curiosity, I took the opportunity to measure the aperture of the Recce 5. Right at .278 inches for those also oddly curious. Thanks to its all steel construction, the Recce 5 is full-auto rated down down to 7.5″ barrel lengths while only adding four to five inches to the overall length, depending on the muzzle attachment method. This puts it in the territory of the SilencerCo Specwar K which is roughly the same price and length, but an advertised couple oz lighter.
Out on the range, the extra fourteen ounces were noticeable, but not so much as to be a bother on a sixteen-inch gun. And from my research, going to anything lighter would likely mean getting something that isn’t full-auto rated (read: not as durable). Shortening the barrel to twelve inches or so and filling out the necessary paperwork will give the end user a fairly well balanced suppressed rifle that feels very close to a sixteen-inch gun at the expense of some terminal ballistics.
We elected not do any metering for several reasons. First, Silencer Shop was happy to share their own data with me. Second, there’s a lot of metering data already out there published by people with equipment that we don’t have. And most importantly, this was the first time out for me testing silencers. We needed to keep it simple and save further technical testing for a later date after some lessons were learned by yours truly. That said, from Silencer Shop’s own testing, they metered the Recce 5 at 129.7 dB. Griffin’s video above has it at 133.42 and the super-thorough guys at Military Arms Channel clocked it at 133 dB.
To my ear, the Recce 5 was simply shocking. I removed my ear pro before shooting it because I owed it to myself (and you) to see what it was like. I cringed a little while pulling the trigger, having had my ears rung by other cans on 5.56 guns. But I was astounded at how quiet it was. No pain and no ringing in my ears. Only the sound of the bullet flying through the air and impacting the berm.
Gas blowback was definitely present with the Recce 5, a somewhat inescapable fact of running a silencer on a semi-automatic gun…and one that can be mitigated with a combination of silencer-specific charging handles and an adjustable gas block. The Recce 5 will run you less than $700 and includes a mount, pouch, and shim kit in that price.
The Recce 7 is the bigger brother of the Recce 5 and, as such, it’s a scaled up version in length, weight, and aperture size. It uses the exact same mounting system as the Recce 5, so a simple twist once the can locks up on the taper mount and you’re ready to rock. The Recce 7 is full-auto rated too and safe to use on the following barrel lengths:
- 5.56 – 7.5 inches
- 300 BLK – 8 inches
- 7.62 x 39 – 8 inches
- 6.8SPC – 8 inches
- 7.62×51 – 12.5 inches
- 300Win Mag – 22 inches
The Recce 7 is advertised as being the same diameter as the Recce 5 and roughly an inch-and-a-half longer. My hands-on testing indicated that their advertisements were within a few percentage points, just like the Recce 5 model. For those curious, the aperture of the Recce 7 is .371 inches.
I shot the Recce 7 on the same 5.56 host as the Recce 5 and a nine-inch 300 BLK. Shooting the two models back-to-back on the 5.56 gun, the extra weight (3 oz), length (1.5 inches), and noise further convinced me that I’m going to end up with a dedicated 5.56 can in my safe at some point. The tone was a bit sharper with a touch more crack than it was with the Recce 5 screwed to the end.
Switching over to the 300 BLK upper and shooting 125 gr supersonic loads, I found the Recce 7 to be on par with firing supersonic .30 caliber projectiles from semi automatics. In short, it’s tolerable, but if I had a long day of shooting planned, I’d still opt for a pair of muffs. I didn’t have a chance to run subonic 300 BLK or .308 WIN through the Recce 7 during our testing, so I’ll rely on Silencer Shop and Military Arms Channel for their data.
Silencer Shop indicates that the Recce 7 meters at 134.9 dB on a twenty-inch .308 firing 168 gr ammo. Military Arms channel metered it at 139 dB on an eighteen-inch bolt gun firing 147 gr. ammo. Moving to a 300 BLK firing 187 gr subsonics, Silencer Shop found the Recce 7 to meter at 127.3 dB. Griffin claims that 220 subsonics on their meter were at 123 dB which is astoundingly quiet. On a 5.56 host (the same from the aforementioned Recce 5 test), Military Arms Channel metered the Recce 7 at 135 dB, two dB louder than the Recce 5.
I could tell a difference in tone on the 5.56 gun, but only if I shot them back to back. There’s a bit more crack and noise on the Recce 7 which is to be expected. The Recce 7 is available from Silencer Shop for a touch over $700 and, like the younger brother, includes a taper mount as part of that price.
The most exciting piece of data I’ve seen on the Recce 7 — and one that we’re working on replicating — is the above photo from Griffin’s Instagram page. We can’t necessarily take that at face value, but if that’s something we can replicate, it indicates that the Recce 7 is capable of delivering repeatable point-of-impact shift in a relatively light and very durable package.
No final conclusions or star ratings here yet. We’ll update this review with Part 2 once we get back to the range with a couple of suitable hosts and a case of Federal Gold Medal to test point of impact shift. We might even be able to swing some metering of our own. Stay tuned.