SureFire SOCOM suppressors were never designed for hobbyist shooters.
The truth is, a lot of suppressors are adequate for plinking at the range or in your backyard. If reduced sound is your only goal, you can probably purchase dozens of models that will satisfy your need.
In stark contrast, SureFire’s mission is to build suppressors that will stand up to tens of thousands of rounds fired in the harshest combat environments on Earth without fail. Our goal is to provide a suppressor that any combat soldier can trust to save his life. Our job is to design and engineer suppressors to be all that they can be. And that takes a hell of a lot more than merely reducing sound.
The proof that we are succeeding lies in our indisputable record: SureFire SOCOM Series Fast-Attach® suppressors have been used on the Mk18 and M4 by U.S. Special Operations Command since 2011, and they earned that endorsement by placing first among all competitors in the most extensive and demanding suppressor evaluation in history. This test covered all aspects of suppressor performance, and SureFire beat every other entry, hands down, to win the SOCOM suppressor contract in 2011; that contract was subsequently renewed in 2017. SureFire SOCOM Series Fast-Attach suppressors are used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marines because they are built for combat. Our suppressors are battle-tested and proven to provide unmatched performance, durability, and reliability.
IN THE BEGINNING
The first firearm suppressor was introduced by Hiram Maxim in 1909. Maxim had previous expertise in the science of sound attenuation, as he is also the inventor of the automobile muffler. Ironically, while the automobile industry continued to improve the design of the muffler over the next 100 years, suppressor design was comparatively stagnant. The devices were best suited for short-term, close-range engagements because they drastically affected bullet trajectory and could not stand up to repeated firing without loosening from the host weapon or overheating.
The status quo would change when former U.S. Marine and national 3-gun champion Barry Dueck raised the idea of building a new generation of suppressors that could meet the urgent needs of the U.S. military to SureFire founder and president Dr. John Matthews.
“I saw a need for a better suppressor, one that repeated zero and had minimal point-of-impact shift,” Dueck says. “It had to be strong yet lightweight, and it needed to be small enough, so it was practical for the operator. I had been working suppressor R&D in my off time for the previous seven years, and I knew I could do it. So, I pitched the idea to Dr. Matthews and got the go-ahead. His only guidance was, ‘Build the best.’”
Under Dr. Matthews’ sole guiding principle, the SureFire Suppressor Division began in 2002 with the goal of manufacturing the world’s finest and most innovative suppressors. Its first suppressor model, the M4FA556 immediately redefined what was possible in suppressor design and engineering. The M4FA556 reduced sound tremendously compared to an unsuppressed .223 round from the same weapon, but the real innovation was its unparalleled accuracy. While state-of-the-art suppressors had a propensity to shift point-of-impact of the weapon as much as 12 MOA compared to the same weapon unsuppressed, the M4FA556 dropped that impact shift to under 1 MOA.
The M4FA556 also drastically redefined suppressor durability by incorporating special high-temperature alloys that withstood the 2,000° F temperatures generated during extended full-auto fire and guaranteed that the M4FA556 would last 30,000 rounds—triple the United States Special Operations Command requirement.
Last but not least, the M4FA556 introduced an entirely new attachment system for rapid suppressor installation. This unique design, which became known as Fast-Attach®, featured a unique locking ring and tension bar design that secured the M4FA556 to a SureFire-designed flash hider with a simple twist. The suppressor could be installed or removed in seconds, hot or cold.
TOTAL SIGNATURE REDUCTION
All suppressors will attenuate sound to some degree, which is fine for casual use, but it’s a different story when lives are on the line. In addition to providing tremendous sound attenuation, SureFire SOCOM Fast-Attach® suppressors have been designed, engineered and built from day one to reduce muzzle blast, provide minimal and consistent point-of-impact shift, securely attach/detach with no tools, minimize gas blowback, and effectively reduce muzzle flash with near total elimination of first-round flash. Is that just marketing hype or is it really important? That depends on whether you might have to rely on your suppressor’s performance to save your life.
While pursuing Dr. Matthews’ mantra of “Build the best,” SureFire has not only produced the world’s finest suppressors and related accessories, it has essentially developed the science by which all suppressors should be judged. This science includes a set of principles known as Total Signature Reduction® (TSR), and it guides the design, engineering and construction of every SureFire suppressor.
The primary goal of TSR is to minimize the signature of the end-user, increasing safety and the odds of survival. It’s an undeniable fact that soldiers are safer and deadlier when their presence and location are unknown to the enemy. In law enforcement, where a weapon is more likely to be discharged in an urban environment, TSR can enhance the safety of officers and innocent bystanders. But what are these signatures? There are many, including audible signatures, such as gunshot, and visible signatures such as muzzle flash and or the movement of debris or dust.
Arguably the most important area of signature reduction concerns a warfighter or peacekeeper’s rifle. When fired, it produces two strong signatures that can be easily detected at great distances — muzzle flash and muzzle report. It also produces secondary signatures visible at significant distances — e.g., raised dust and debris and/or foliage movement from muzzle blast. There are suppressors on the market that mitigate these to some degree. SureFire suppressors virtually eliminate all of them.
SureFire SOCOM Series sound suppressors use improved gas-flow dynamics and a patented front plate design that eliminates up to 99% of first-round flash. This an undeniable technological breakthrough that provides a life-saving advantage in combat because it helps to conceal a shooter’s location from the enemy. SureFire SOCOM suppressors also provide four additional benefits: 1) reduced sound levels protect shooters and their team members against both temporary and permanent hearing loss; 2) reduced muzzle flash preserves the shooter’s dark-adapted vision; 3) attenuated muzzle gas blast minimizes raised dust, keeping the shooter’s view unobstructed; 4) attenuated recoil allows bullet impact observation and faster follow-up shots.
SUREFIRE SCIENCE APPLIED
No one tests their suppressors more than SureFire. Our R&D team is on site at our private testing facility every day of the week, firing thousands of rounds in live-fire testing. Our onsite lab and state-of-the-art testing equipment ensure that every SureFire suppressor and accessory is tested for adherence to the requirements of the most demanding end users. The bottom line is that if we wouldn’t trust it with our own lives, we don’t make it available to our customers. That said, here’s what you can expect from every SureFire suppressor:
Minimal & Consistent Point-of-Impact Shift: Every SureFire suppressor maintains strict standards for accuracy, even with repeated attachment and removal of the suppressor.
Unmatched Durability: Cutting-edge materials, redundant welding and advanced engineering ensure that a SureFire suppressor will withstand the punishment of extreme combat. With a service life exceeding tens of thousands of rounds, a SureFire suppressor can be trusted to outlast the barrel on which it is mounted.
Combat-Proven Fast-Attach® System: Our proprietary Fast-Attach mounting system provides rock-solid attachment without requiring any tools. Simply slide the suppressor over the SureFire muzzle adapter indexing on the built-in slot and secure the lock ring at the base. It’s on or off in seconds, and when it’s mounted it stays mounted, solidly and securely, regardless of the number of rounds fired.
Next-Generation Design: We require more of our suppressors than merely suppressing the gunshot. SureFire suppressors also significantly reduce flash and dust signature. Our groundbreaking engineering results in significant flash reduction — up to 99 percent, which helps keep the shooter’s position virtually undetectable. Our suppressor design also reduces recoil.
High-Temp Certified Alloys: SureFire suppressors are constructed from stainless steel and Inconel alloys that stand up to the extreme temperatures and pressures generated during prolonged suppressor use in combat. They also resist erosion from superheated gases and particles that can render other suppressors useless. For precision rifle use, SureFire also manufactures the world’s finest titanium suppressors.
Factory Test Fired: We know that our suppressors are used in the most extreme combat conditions on the planet. We won’t release SOCOM Series suppressors until we verify that it performs to our rigorous standards. That means test-firing each and every unit to ensure that it achieves the desired minimal point-of-impact shift, as well as overall group size, before it is shipped to the customer.
Enhanced Gas-Flow Dynamics: Managing gas flow is critical to suppressor performance and reliability. SureFire suppressors are designed to effectively minimize back pressure and reduce gas blowback on the shooter for improved reliability and combat marksmanship.
High-Performance Baffles: SureFire’s carefully engineered baffle design significantly reduces a weapon’s report. Exactly how much depends on many factors, but our exclusive testing methodology and state-of-the-art equipment are employed to make SureFire suppressors as quiet as possible without compromising their performance in other areas. Our baffles are also carefully designed to allow an unstable projectile to pass through and travel safely downrange instead of penetrating the suppressor tube.
THE BOTTOM LINE
SureFire builds the world’s ultimate suppressors. They are the choice of elite military units worldwide, and we intend to keep it that way. We won’t sacrifice our principles or compromise our standards in search of a cheaper version of our products. We know what’s at stake for the warfighters and peacekeepers who keep Americans safe and depend on SureFire to provide them with the tools they need to win the fight. Our suppressors and tactical accessories are proudly designed, engineered and made in the U.S.A. Like the folks who use them, they stand for something, and we stand behind them all the way.
For more information on SureFire’s comprehensive line of suppressors, related tactical gear and tactical illumination tools, visit SureFire.com.