At the First Silencers Are Legal Shoot on April 28, 2012, SureFire showed us a brand new suppressor design, the SOCOM 556-RC. This silencer is so new, there is no mention of it yet on SureFire’s own website. SureFire representatives kindly allowed us to take photos and video of the impressive fast attach system. SureFire told us that this new design is so good, they are planning on switching over their entire line of rifle silencers to fall in line with the new features first seen here.
The fast attach system uses a locking collar that secures the silencer very firmly to the barrel without the need for a spline or threads on the flash hider, where they can be damaged. Full auto shooters, particularly military shooters who leave their silencers attached nearly all the time, can have difficulty detaching and re-connecting traditional silencers after large amounts of carbon fouling clog up their quick-detach mounts. SureFire moved the spline to the rear of the suppressor itself, where the suppressor body protects it. A small, user-serviceable lever rides the spline and attaches to a collar that twists just 180 degrees to lock onto the new SureFire flash suppressor mount. Instead of small, easily damaged threads, pins or splines, the flash hider has a robust ramp and tongue design mounted in a non-carbon area, so no matter how dirty or fouled the suppressor gets, removal will still be quick and easy.
SureFire engineered the 556-RC to minimize the first round pop that occurs when a silencer filled with air has the first bullet fired through it. The fireball from the shot ignites that air, creating noise. When the gun immediately fires more shots, the silencer is already filled up with the expanded gases from that first fireball. This makes subsequent shots quieter than the first one. There is no way to completely eliminate first round pop, but Surefire has worked hard to minimize it. The 556-RC features a patent pending new front plate design as part of this effort, which also helps reduce the first round flash that can accompany first round pop. Even in pitch darkness, observers can see very little flash no matter how much oxygen or propellant gas is inside the silencer body.
The SOCOM features a vented blast baffle to help prevent over driving the gas system of the rifle it is attached to. This reduces the cyclic rate of self-loading firearms using this silencer. Maintaining the rifle’s ordinary cyclic rate is particularly important to ensure reliability with full auto firearms, but the design carries a reliability advantage for semi-auto users as well. The internals of the silencer design are so advanced that the whole thing can be made shorter than previous models without a significant penalty to decibel reduction performance.
The 556-RC has a big brother as well—the 762-RC, intended for .308 Winchester/7.62NATO chambered firearms. A LaRue OBR and GA Precision bolt-action rifle were the hosts for these bad boys at the Silencers Are Legal Shoot. Both the 556-RC and 762-RC come in flat dark earth and black, and are already in use by special forces operators around the world. The 556-RC is used on the Navy’s Mk18 CQBR, and both models have their respected NSN numbers engraved under the serial number.
SureFire representatives told us they were surprised to find that operators were using their silencers as non-lethal weapons to chest strike aggressive but unarmed persons who did not represent a lethal threat. The new attachment system is so solid that the SOCOM silencers are able to soak up such abuse and keep going. SureFire decided to up the ante. They added spikes to the front plate for a chest strike option that is non lethal, yet extremely effective. They call the resulting silencer the Mini Monster. Ouch!
Cheaper Than Dirt! is proud to be the first to bring you images and video of this exciting new suppressor from SureFire. Once only available to the tip of the spear, the SOCOM 556-RC and SOCOM 762-RC will soon be available for civilian purchase!