No surround sound - Bruce Potts puts five .22 rimfire sound moderators through their paces

As far as noise reduction goes, the humble 
.22 rimfire has reached its peak, yet the shooting industry continues to enhance, modify and improve methods of suppressing its signature report.

Now all we need to do is consider the price, material used, longevity, balance and strippability of the newer designs. And with today’s technology, some quite bizarre and amazing baffle systems (noise-reduction chambers) are possible, whereas in the old days they had to be machined one at a time..

I have selected five .22 rimfire moderators of varying prices, ranging from under £40 to £150, each designed primarily for subsonic cartridge use, though some can be used for .17 HMR or .22 Hornet cartridges..

I tested using Winchester Max 42-gr subsonic ammunition as this has a velocity of 1,061fps and 105ft/lb energy from the Sako Finnfire rifle — so, subsonic to gauge each moderator in turn — and I tested each one for noise at the ear (in other words at the firing point), 50 yards at right angles and then down range at 100 yards.

 

A-Tec Wave

A-Tec Wave Price £34

A-Tec Wave
Price £34

Supplier: Jackson Rifles
Tel: 01644 470223
Weight: 95g
Calibre sizes: 17 HMR, .22

Ease of fitment 4/5

A barrel-mounted direct thread-fitted moderator that is easy to fit directly to the muzzle. It weighs just 95g and when fitted only adds 123mm to the rifle.

Design and handling 4.5/5

The baffles are made from non-strippable aluminium (there is 
a carbon fibre option).

Noise reduction 4.5/5

Very quiet and dull report due to its good size and extensive internal baffle system. Some moderators resonate, this did not.

Verdict

Lightweight and compact. Warranted for two years with a 5,000-round maintenance interval, it achieves a very impressive performance for its size.

Score 13/15

 

MAE LR 22 STS Price £99

MAE LR 22 STS
Price £99

MAE LR 22 STS
Price £99

Supplier: JMS Arms
Tel: 07771 962121
Weight: 170g
Calibre sizes: .17 HMR, .22LR

Ease of fitment 4/5

Muzzle mounted, the total length 
of 175mm is reduced to 162mm when threaded on and is slim with 
a diameter of 22mm.

Design and handling 4.5/5

Being stainless steel (the only one on test here) it will remain rust-free. Easily strippable with a baffle stack of self-aligning cones and large primary expansion chamber.

Noise reduction 4.5/5

Good noise reduction and all you really need from a .22 rimfire moderator with a great low-frequency report.

Verdict

If you want a long-lasting and hard-wearing sound moderator with classic looks for a good price, this could be one for you. For longevity, it wins hands down.

Score 13/15

 

Wildcat Panther Price £149

Wildcat Panther
Price £149

Wildcat Panther
Price £149

Supplier: UK Custom Shop Ltd
Tel: 01905 797060
Weight: 222g
Calibre sizes: .17 HMR, .22LR
to .22 Hornet

Ease of fitment 4.5/5

Being an over-the-barrel design, 
it only extends 112mm in front of the muzzle but has a large diameter of 38.5mm.

Design and handling 5/5

Full aluminium construction except the threaded section and primary expansion chamber (which is made of stainless steel to eliminate flame erosion). There are three pieces: the rear over-barrel sleeve, a one-piece machined complex baffle stack and an aluminium outer case. Thanks to the over-barrel design 
it balances very well.

Noise reduction 4.5/5

Very good noise reduction, as 
you would expect from a larger, heavier moderator.

Verdict

The most expensive tested but superbly made and very effective with all tested calibre sizes.

Score 14/15

 

Schultz & Larsen Rimfire

Schultz & Larsen Rimfire

Schultz & Larsen Rimfire

Price £70 and £105 (subsonic and supersonic)

Supplier: Alan Rhone Ltd
Tel: 01978 660001
Weight: 74g and 110g
Calibre sizes: .22LR (subsonic and supersonic)

Ease of fitment 4.5/5

Simple muzzle cans that fit with positive-cut threads. The subsonic is 106mm long and the supersonic is 167mm; both are 30mm diameter.

Design and handling 5/5

Individual baffles screwed together to form a tower with no outer casing that can be exchanged or replaced at any time; a simple idea that works superbly. Fully aluminium.

Noise reduction 4/5

The subsonic is very quiet with a dull 
“phut” sound, good for its size. The supersonic makes a low-tone report.

Verdict

Probably my personal favourite. Cost-effective, quiet and can be 
custom-made to suit your needs.

Score 13.5/15

 

Aim Sports Rimfire 22

Aim Sports
Rimfire 22

Aim Sports
Rimfire 22

Price £68.99

Supplier: Highland Outdoors Ltd
Email: sales@highlandoutdoors.co.uk
Weight: 153g
Calibre sizes: .17 HMR, .22LR

Ease of fitment 4/5

Made in Sweden and muzzle-mounted so the 116 x 33.5mm dimensions only adds 101mm to the muzzle when threaded on.

Design and handling 4/5

This is a three-part aluminium outer shell and one-piece aluminium baffle stack, with two-tier pierced baffles and a removable stainless steel rear threaded section.

Noise reduction 3.5/5

Muted note that improved with more shots, though it had a slight resonance when new.

Verdict

Well-made moderator, easy to strip and clean and suitable for both a .22 rimfire and .17 HMR if you have that calibre too.

Score 11.5/15

All prices were correct at the time 
of going to press.