AR 15 Suppressor | Suppressed vs. Unsuppressed

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We found this great video by Class 3 Ordnance that demonstrates the use of an AR 15 suppressor on an Adams Arms 7.5″ Tactical Elite upper and wanted to share. Below is a transcription of the video.


“Hey guys Class 3 Ordnance back here,

A friend of mine just purchased an Adams Arms 7.5″ Tactical Elite PDW upper. Adams Arms uses a gas piston system which is a little different than the direct impingement. Just want to give you a quick glimpse of the gun. He has built it as a pistol; I just took his upper and put it on one of my registered lowers. This gun is coming in at about 25″ like you see it here. It has the Samson quad rail on it and here you will see the Adams Arms gas block. One of the nice things about the Adams Arms, is the gas block is adjustable. So if you are going to shoot the gun unsuppressed, we have a top setting here. If we are going to shoot suppressed we just depress the button and turn it over here to the one o’clock position. You can depress the button again and turn it over here to 90 degrees which would be like an off setting so you can shoot single shots. You can also depress the button and turn it all the way counter clock wise and remove the piston. Again this is a short stroke piston system, 7.5” Adams Arms Tactical Elite. Let’s go take some shots with it!



Ok, we are here in the garage we are going to take a few shots with the Adams Arms 7.5″ upper. The first test we are going to do will be unsuppressed. We have Federal 5.56 55 grain bullets, and I think he has a Shark muzzle break on this. So we are going to shoot about 3-4 rounds unsuppressed, it is probably not going to be pleasant these guns are extremely loud, pretty violent shooting it inside of garage. One of the things I want you to notice is where it is dark outside, I want you to take a look and see how much muzzle blast you are getting off this thing. Then we are going to take the muzzle break off and put the suppressor on so you can kind of see the difference. Let’s take some shots.


That’s ruff, wow. 7.5″ in a garage, let’s put the suppressor on and try again. Alright, we are back again with the Adams Arms 7.5″ upper. We have installed the HTG Aris, it is a dedicated 5.56 can. When we were threading this on, one of the things I noticed and I don’t know if the camera is going to pick this up, because of the extension on the rail system, there is about a 1/8″ gap. So the suppressor is not all the way down on where the barrel crown right there. I did a quick check and it looks like the alignment is correct so I don’t think we will have any baffle strikes but I’m probably able to run a couple of rounds through it. See if you can tell how much quieter it is and let’s see if there is a reduction in the muzzle flash. Again we are running Federal 55 grain full metal jackets.

Ok, that was about 1,000% better with a suppressor on it. Matter of fact, because I love you guys, I am going to take my ears off and take 1 or 2 shots just to give you my impression of how loud this thing is again being shut in a garage with just the suppressor (I don’t recommend this). Ok, same comparison I’ve used before. It is similar to shooting a 22 long rifle unsuppressed. It is a very tolerable, no ringing of the ears, no ill effects. These are the first shots I’ve taken with this gun my friend just got it this week and I don’t know that he has run a lot of shots through it, but initial impression I like it! The gas piston system in theory should run cleaner especially if you are shooting suppressed. When you drop down to a short barreled rifle, especially as short as 7.5″ you are getting a tremendous amount of gunk carbon fouling gas blown back into your chamber with a direct impingement gun. With a piston gun it is mostly contained up here in the piston system which does a couple of things: it allows this bolt to run cool – the bolt is not even warm which is amazing- and it stays a lot cleaner. If you have ever shot a short barreled rifle 5.56, sort of a dirty round, your bolt after a mag it has gunk all over it. So a piston system allows it to shoot cleaner and cooler. Let’s take it over to the table and let me break it down and show you a little bit about the piston system and I’ll give you my initial thoughts and kind of a wrap up of what I think about this. Take a few more shots with it and then we will be right back.

He is going to take a few rounds with the suppressor on it as well. I’m going to move up, I’m not going to get in front of the muzzle but I am going to move up a little bit further for two reasons: so we can get a better feel for the sound signature up near the shooter and also so we can check the muzzle flash from a different point of view so here we go.


Alright we are back, we just finished shooting a whole mag through this thing and I am going to strip it apart real quick. Safety check. The bolt is as cool as it could be; I mean it is actually cold. We are in the garage, the temp is probably low 30’s high 20’s and the bolt is as cool as it could be. That is one of the advantages of the piston system. There is a little bit of build up on this but it is not bad and it actually just wipes right off. As you can see with the piston system there is no gas tube, your gas port is gone. There is just a flat area and your piston the rod (this is a short stroke system) hits against this and pushes the bolt back so there is a tremendous amount of gas that is not getting dumped back into your bolt carrier group. I’ve noticed here that Adams Arms also has a spring loaded bolt, looks like it has a track there to keep it from tilting. Sometimes with gas piston systems, when the rod is hitting the top of the bolt carrier group it can have a tendency to force the bolt carrier group to tilt back so you get carrier tilt. If you notice they have shaved a little bit off so it is sort of sloped, so it should help it ride in that channel and the slope will help keep it moving back and forth without rubbing on the lower part of the buffer tube.



Initial impressions, we have only taken a few shots, pretty impressed. I want to get a few more rounds through this gun because this is one of the guns I have been thinking about purchasing. Let me show you too, here is the upper itself. The total on this upper is right at 15″, that’s pretty amazing. One of the things I didn’t do, we were shooting on the unsuppressed setting and it ran fine. As you shoot more with a suppressor, if you get any build up in there you can just push this button right here and rotate to the one o’clock and this give you a more open setting to allow the suppressor to run. You can press this button again and rotate it all the way to the side and that puts you in an off position meaning it is single shot the bolt carrier would not cycle, you would have to manually cycle it similar to a bolt action rifle. The fourth setting, all the way to the right allows you to remove the top part of the system.


So basically as the gas comes up through here it enters this and this is what pushes back on the bolt carrier group. It is a pretty simple design called a gas piston system; it varies from the gas impingement obviously. Initial impressions on the Adams Arms so far I like it, we are going to put some more rounds through it and if my friend has a chance to bring it back out during the day time we will go to the range and put several hundred rounds through it. That’s it for right now. He has installed a set of Magpul sights these are Gen two’s, he’s got an EO Tech, and again that’s the Samson Tactical Elite rail that comes standard on this model. Samson also makes another version that Adams Arms uses called the Evo. It has the top rail but not the side or bottom rails. The rail is just at 7″, so again this is the Adams Arms 7.5″ Tactical Elite Upper gas piston. Thanks!”


Want to learn more about AR 15 suppressors? Read our article Gun Suppressors | What you Need to Know.

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