If you set out to build the best rimfire suppressor possible, regardless of the cost, you might just design the new SureFire Ryder 22-A. SureFire poured all of their research and development knowledge into this little gem. See, the problem with suppressing a .22LR is that the ammunition is so dirty. Lead and copper fouling get into the suppressor and create a gooey, mucky mix that reduces its effectiveness and can even make it difficult to attach and detach from the gun itself. The answer is to make the .22 suppressor easy for the owner to take apart, clean, and put back together. These user-serviceable suppressors are all the rage now, but they have always had other issues… until now!
SureFire’s Ryder 22-A is made almost entirely of titanium. Titanium is super light, super strong, and notoriously difficult to machine properly. This makes me appreciate how carefully made each piece of the Ryder is. The outer shell that you see when the Ryder is attached to a firearm is called the envelope. The envelope contains a sleeve inside it that holds the baffles in place. The sleeve is shaped like a long, extremely thin roll pin, with a lengthwise cut going straight down it. Once you unscrew the end cap, pull the sleeve out of the envelope and it pops open. All the baffles spill out all over the place, even if they are clogged up with lead and powder residue. They can now be easily cleaned up as individual pieces.
When it is time to reassemble the Ryder 22-A, you’ll be looking down at a pile of tiny baffles that need to be stacked up inside the sleeve again. How do they go together? SureFire makes it easy by marking the first baffle with a single machined dot, the second baffle with two dots, the third with three dots, and so on. You line up the dots in order and the baffles fit together like a titanium LEGO set. You can’t mess it up— it only goes back together one way, and the parts themselves tell you what to do. As you screw the end cap on one side of the Ryder 22-A, the threaded end that attaches to the barrel automatically interfaces with the other end cap using a spline design. This prevents one end from coming undone while the other end is tightened. The design ensures easy reassembly. If you find yourself putting much force at all on any part of the Ryder 22-A.
The Ryder 22-A’s sound reduction ability is very good. With standard velocity CCI ammunition, SureFire claims a sound level of 111 to 113 decibels at the shooter’s ear. This is about the same sound reduction as the best designs now on the market, and surpasses the silencer technology of only a few years ago. However, weight is where the Ryder 22-A really shines. It is absurdly light. Officially, SureFire lists the entire suppressor as weighing 2.3 ounces. This is hard to translate to real life, but it is about the same weight as a few .22LR cartridges. While we were talking about the Ryder 22-A with SureFire employees at the 2012 Silencers Are Legal Shoot, I saw one person pick it up and ask “Is that one made of metal?” He was absolutely serious. The Ryder’s incredibly light weight had me concerned about its durability and longevity, until I remembered the titanium construction. Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal known to man, so I shouldn’t have worried.
How much does all this cost? SureFire says the Ryder 22-A will sell for $439 MSRP. Compared to thousand dollar suppressors used for military and law enforcement applications on centerfire rifles, this sounds like a steal. The Ryder 22-A will actually be one of the most expensive rimfire class suppressors on the market, as most .22LR suppressors are geared towards value for the money and cost around $200. Don’t forget that Uncle Sam will require an additional $200 tax stamp, making the Ryder 22-A an investment of over $600 total. SureFire is gearing the Ryder 22-A towards shooters who only want to go through the long process of acquiring a .22LR suppressor one time, and are willing to pay more to have the best one money can buy. I’m guessing SureFire’s biggest problem will be manufacturing these little beauties fast enough to meet demand!