Do you want to go partially deaf in an old age, or do you want to buy a new toy for your rifle? Maybe that is a bit dramatic, but a suppressor will help reduce the loud bangs. They’ll also help control the muzzle rise and recoil. Letting you place follow on shots nice and central. And of course, they also reduce the muzzle flash.
Contrary to what most people see in movies, suppressors only reduce the sound of the gun — it doesn’t totally make the gun silent. So remember to use hearing protection when you can.
Here’s a summary table of the best 5.56 suppressors that you can buy today.
|YHM Turbo 556 Suppressor|| ||$399 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|SureFire SOCOM 556 Suppressor RC-2|| ||$989 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|OSS HX-QD 556 Suppressor|| ||$862 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Thunder Beast Dominus SR|| ||$1430 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Silencer Central Banish 223/556 Suppressor|| ||$849 Shop NowClick to read my review|
But if you’re new to suppressors on a firearm, you might want to check out our quick guide to suppressors.
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Silencer vs. Suppressor: What’s the Difference?
Suppressors are usually constructed of metals like stainless steel or titanium. They feature a cylindrical shape equipped with sound barriers and a hollow bore where the projectile can exit.
Some folks believe suppressors have something to do with the muzzle flash. Meanwhile, some say silencers can substantially reduce the sound of your gun.
Some also say that silencers can make the guns quieter than a suppressor.
But whatever you call them — suppressor, silencer, or sound moderator — all are interchangeable and refer to the exact same thing.
There is no difference between a suppressor and a silencer. Both terms refer to a device that helps reduce the sound of a firearm shot.
How Does a Suppressor Work?
Let’s first talk about what happens in a typical gunshot.
When you shoot a gun you create a mini-explosion releasing a lot of high-pressure gases. These propel the cartridge forward but also create the big bang we hear.
Suppressors work by lowering the pressure and velocity of the gases by slowing them down as they exit the barrel. They basically lead the gas through a long and convoluted path before it can exit the barrel while allowing the bullet to go straight through. This reduces the energy in the gas and we get a much lower thud instead of a big bang.
Here’s a video showing how suppressors work:
Why Get a Suppressor for My AR-15? Pros and Cons
- Reduced noise: A suppressor substantially reduces noise which is ideal for indoor shooting and home defense.
- Versatile: Some multi-caliber suppressors enable you to swap between calibers.
- Reduced recoil: By trapping the explosive gases that leave the barrel after a gunshot, a suppressor helps reduce felt recoil.
- Reduced muzzle rise: Trapped gases in the suppressor lead to less muzzle rise and a more comfortable shooting experience.
- Increased accuracy: Less recoil and less muzzle rise result in easy handling and tighter target groups.
- Still loud: You might still need to use subsonic ammo to make it even quieter if you are James Bond on a mission.
Below is also a video about the basics of getting a suppressor for your AR rifle:
How to Install a Suppressor on Your AR-15
Before we talk about how to mount a suppressor on your AR-15 rifle, we need to discuss the two types of suppressors out there. They are direct thread and quick-attach.
Direct Thread Suppressors
The simplest and common form of a suppressor. It’s so simple to install that you only need to screw it directly on the AR-15’s threaded barrel. Quick and easy.
Here’s a video below showing how to attach a direct thread barrel suppressor:
Quick-attach suppressors are also called Quick Detach or QD Suppressors. They’re the ones you can install using another muzzle device, such as a muzzle brake or a flash hider.
To install QD suppressors, first, you need to thread the muzzle device on the barrel of the gun. Then, you can mount the suppressor on that device — and you’re ready for some action — a quieter one, that is.
Direct Thread Vs. Quick Attach: Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and shorter
- No need for a muzzle device for attachment
- Consistent return to zero
- Straightforward to install and use
- Easy to maintain
- More affordable
- Can come off unscrewed on their own if you are lucky enough to have a lot of ammo for a long session.
- You can only install a specific suppressor in the same specific thread pitch
- Getting a flash hider or muzzle brake on your rifle
- Does not need to reattach the added muzzle device when not in use
- Less likely to back off from the barrel
- As in the name, it is quick to attach and remove
- Offers a way to attach suppressors to unthreaded barrels
- Usually costs more
Here’s a thorough video by Shoot Wise about the suppressor types.
Are Suppressors Legal?
Suppressors are legal to buy and use in almost all states.Â California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are the eight states that don’t allow private ownership of silencers. You can take a look at the American Suppressor Association’s map to see the rules for your state.
The Best AR-15 5.56 Suppressors
Now, let’s get down to the details of the best AR-15 suppressors.
YHM Turbo 5.56 Suppressor
|Material||Stainless steel + Inconel|
|Mount Type||Phantom QD|
The YHM Turbo 5.56 silencer is one of the most cost-effective suppressors on the market without compromising on quality. I love the durable stainless steel of this one. It has a lightweight feature and an easy ratcheting QD mechanism. Even though it’s tubeless, this silencer is durable due to its solid construction.
In addition to its tubeless design, this suppressor improves the firearm’s internal volume.
The YHM Turbo also sports a strengthened baffle made of Inconel. It’s a machined hard nickel alloy commonly used in suppressor construction.
I can say that the YHM Turbo is a highly effective and flexible suppressor. This suppressor sports efficient concussive force and gun noise reduction. It also has excellent features like its 1/2-28 threaded 3-port muzzle brake and simple installation. With this gun attachment, you can quickly and easily switch between mounting types.
- Durable stainless steel build
- Strengthened baffle made of durable Inconel
- Reduces force
- Versatile to use
- Warms up quickly after several shots
- Hard to install at first using its Phantom QD mount.
SureFire SOCOM 5.56 Suppressor RC-2
|Mount Type||Quick-detach locking collar|
The SOCOM 556 RC2 has long been a favorite among gun owners for its exceptional longevity and flash suppression. Its ability to hide flash makes it stand out from other suppressors.
This one goes above in terms of delivering repeatable points of impact shift and reliability. You can also depend on this one for heavy-duty shooting.
The new SOCOM556-RC2’s enhanced internal venting is an excellent addition for a lower cycle rate and less gas blowback. The revised model features a blast shield integrated into the back panel. Therefore, improving this suppressor’s durability.
It’s a true technological feat because its patent-protected front-plate design and unique gas flow dynamics improvement almost prevent first-round flash.
- Exceptional performance
- Fats and easy QD attachment
- Can hide muzzle flash well
- Needs to be lubed often
OSS HX-QD 5.56 Suppressor
|Material||Grade 5 Titanium and 17-4 Stainless Steel|
|Mount Type||OSS HX-QD|
This suppressor’s biggest selling point is the heavily reduced back pressure. Plus, it’s versatile, you can use it on either an AR or AK rifle.
I like the way that this silencer is tough and light, constructed of Titanium grades 5 and 9 and 17-4 stainless steel. It also has a redesigned flash cap that nearly eliminates any flash.
Aside from these features, it has a full-auto rating, superior sound suppression and accuracy, and excellent repeatability. It is safe to say that the OSS HX QD-556 Ti enhances the performance of your firearm.
- Offers reduced back pressure on firearm
- High quality and durable build
- Eliminates flash
- Excellent sound suppression ability
- Easy to install and remove
- Great option for sports and tactical shooting
- Threading can be confusing to use
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Thunder Beast Dominus-SR 5.56 Suppressor
|Mount Type||SR series brake|
Thunder Beast Arms is known for producing suppressors with excellent repeatability and zero-return. The Dominus-SR has a tubeless construction with a light and durable build due to its high-grade Titanium material.
I find the SR mount a nice feature. It helps to swiftly detach the mount and its robust retention mechanism locks in place. Talk about ease of installation and convenience.
The Beast Dominus efficiently minimizes the blowback without sacrificing noise reduction. Its SR brakes also work with all SR suppressors.
- Excellent repeatability
- Great zero-return
- Lightweight and durable
- SR mount makes it easy to remove and reinstall
- Efficiently minimizes blowback and gun noise
- Not recommended to use on an SBR or any type of rapid-fire or full auto weapon
Below is a video demonstrating Thunder Beast Arms suppressors:
Silencer Central Banish .223/5.56 Suppressor
|Full-Auto Rated||Limited full-auto rated|
|Mount Type||Conventional 1/2Ã28 (Class A)|
The Banish 223 is compatible with calibers from .224 and smaller. But for gun owners who possess a variety of rifles in various calibers, Silencer Central has the Banish 30 for you to check out.
This is one of the greatest sound suppression gadgets on the market, and I really like using it! It’s very quiet, and it’s one of the most flexible suppressors available in the Silencer Central product line. It also features durable Titanium as its main material, making it very durable. I also quite enjoyed cleaning this suppressor. I disassembled it easily with no pain so maintaining it should be a breeze.
The Banish 223 provides significant advantages in terms of sound suppression which is very helpful in hunting. It’s lightweight, compact, and reasonably priced. The Silencer Central Banish 223 is an excellent choice that almost ticks all the boxes of the qualities you need for a suppressor.
- Reduces gun noise substantially
- Made of durable Titanium material
- Excellent choice for hunting use
- Extremely lightweight
- Mitigates recoil
- Compatible to use with rimfire rifles
- Easily disassembled for easy cleaning and maintenance
- Affordable price
- Heats up fast
The Silencer Central Banish 223 is my top recommendation for the finest 5.56 suppressor. When compared to the other suppressors on our list, the Banish 223 offers a greater number of options. Its lightweight construction, effective sound suppression, recoil reduction, and ease of disassembly all contribute to an overall improvement in the shooting experience. It is also simple to clean and maintain. Banish 223 is a low-cost suppressor that will survive for a long time in your arsenal.
Which 5.56 suppressor on our list is your personal favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!