Gemtech GM22 Suppressor
Oleg Volk 09.17.14
The rimfire silencer has not changed much since its invention in the early 1900s. Most silencers (now known more as sound suppressors in the US or moderators in the UK) are comprised of a robust machined blast chamber and lighter baffles in a stack.
Since oppressive regulations made silencers into durable goods (as opposed to disposables as in New Zealand), periodic maintenance is required to retain performance. Rimfire silencers are especially susceptible to fouling over time, filling up with carbon and lead. Since they are usually made out of aluminum for light weight, cleaning becomes a careful balance between dissolving the residues and protecting the anodized finish. It’s a lot easier to work on take-apart designs than on sealed models.
Gemtech GM22 is a good example of the newest generation of rimfire silencers. It uses a single-piece core of asymmetric baffles to slow down and cool the gas flow, which is what reduces the noise of the gun shots.
The single piece is more robust than individual baffles and harder to lose. The core and the tube are aluminum, but the threads for attaching to the muzzle are steel, both for durability and to avoid galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals at the threads. The square form on the front is to aid disassembly in case the threads become fouled up too much for unscrewing them by hand.
The entire device weighs 2.5oz and reduces the noise of gunshots by 33-36dB or about 500 times! Considering how much that protects the hearing of shooters and everyone around them, it seems that the restrictions on silencers are purely evil in intent — which is pretty much the motivations we’ve come to expect from government regulators. Fortunately, the state-level restrictions have slowly receded, and the $200 federal tax stamp isn’t as onerous now as it was in 1934 when it represented the cost of a decent used automobile.
The example shown here has been used extensively with a variety of .22 pistols and rifles, including a select-fire 10-22. While not rated for automatic fire by Gemtech, it worked fine to muffle the report of 3-6 round bursts. Like all sound suppressors, GM22 is excellent for introducing new shooters to the sport without jarring report. While ear plugs serve the same purpose, they are less effective and reduce situational awareness. Active electronic muffs keep up the situational awareness but cause severe overheating of the shooters’ heads during warm weather. As with cars, mufflers should be essential equipment whenever possible. This particular muffler — silencer — sound suppressor or moderator — call it what you wish, is a very good example of the modern hearing preservation technology.