Reports and Reviews

Radical Firearms Does Silencers, Too

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Radical Firearms Does Silencers, Too
Mike the Mook

Radical Firearms is a firearms manufacturing company based in Texas, best known for their value based line of AR rifles. Two years ago we assembled a 300 Blackout Pistol using one of their uppers and have been nothing but pleased with our choice, so much so that it’s become our “go-to” gun for reviewing 30 caliber suppressors on 300 Blackout.

Radical announced its own line of suppressors at SHOT Show 2016 and while some silencer snobs may cringe, they really did it the right way. They didn’t go the route of giving them fancy names like “Whispering Death ” or “The Hellion”; instead, Radical made these without proprietary QD mounts and aesthetically they are a simple black tube with no checkering, fluting, gimping, etc. Radical Firearm’s strictly utilitarian, direct thread suppressors designs are made to be used, period. That keeps the costs down as well.

We reached out to our good friends at Silencer Shop for some review samples and despite their Herculean workload at making life easier for everyone who wants to own silencers, they got two base models out to us.

Radical Firearms RF-556
Radical Firearms RF-762

Again, their names belie their simplicity: the Radical Firearms RF-556 is the 5.56 can and the Radical Firearms RF-762 is their 7.62 silencer.

These are completely sealed and direct-thread monocore units. Because they’re machined from 304 stainless steel, these cans have a bit of weight to them. The Cerakote finish acts as a nice protective coating.

Before you start thinking Radical is some “tacticool” entity based on the price, think again. The company recently became a Tier One supplier to USSOCOM for 150 rifles based on the Mk18 platform, so this little company is now playing with the big boys.

As avid NFA enthusiasts, we like the simplicity of the Radical Firearms RF Silencer designs. Reviewing rifle suppressors that use a proprietary mounting system can be pain in the ass when you’re testing things out on loaners or even your own firearms, and you end up with stuck parts. For that reason our preference is direct thread, without the hassles of using Rocksett Adhesive (only to have to remove it in a week or two).

Surprisingly, we found the weight beneficial on our 300 Blackout pistol. It was so beneficial that we may look into permanently attaching the Radical Firearms RF762 to the barrel. Should we do this we’ll add a longer rail to use it as a dedicated suppressed rifle. We may do a BHD Build with an 11.5” A2 upper and go the same route with the RF-556.

The Radical Firearms RF-556 Silencers took the sound reduction down about 30 decibels. We metered it with a 16″ barrel at an unsuppressed level of 167 dB, with the can that dropped to 136 dB with an occasional shot at 140 dB.

We ran the RF-762 on an AAC Remington 700 as well and found decibel reduction to be in the 27-29 dB range, with the rifle coming in at 169 dB without the can and 137 to 139 with it mounted. 300 BO subsonics took that noise level dow to 126 on our Frankenpistol. The can is suitable for use on a 7.62 X 39 barrel as well.

The Radical Firearms RF Silencers’ best feature is their low cost: $399 for the RF-556 and $499 for the RF-762. That’s MSRP, actual pricing may be a bit cheaper. Silencershop is currently running a sale on the RF-762 at $332.

Our only real complaint is the weight issue. We fully felt the weight on the 5.56 rifle, whereas on the pistol it was not as noticeable. The thing is, Titanium costs money, as does Inconel and Stellite, not to mention the machining with regard to tooling and labor involved in those materials. We would not recommend either of these for use on a precision rifle unless your plan is to leave it attached all the time and never remove it, as that extra weight will affect your barrel’s harmonics and throw off the strike of the round every time you reattach it.

Neither of these cans are full-auto rated. Radical says that we may see that in a future model, just not today.

A few words about baffles and longevity:

There is one fact about rifle suppressors: their baffles will wear down with use. It doesn’t matter who makes your can, high pressure rifle rounds will eventually erode the baffles from the center, out. As that hole gets wider, the level of suppression deteriorates as if you’re sandblasting the metal.

Some materials are more resistant to this than others. Stellite and Inconel are at the top of the list and will be more resistant over time. Aluminum alloys are probably the least resistant. Stainless steel makes a good middle ground, but definitely adds weight. Shorter rifle barrels will increase this erosion as well, as does the lack of a blast chamber or sacrificial baffle in the form of a QD Muzzle Brake mount.

If you’re looking for a dedicated rifle silencer for occasional use and don’t mind the extra weight, a Radical suppressor might do it for you. If you don’t shoot 10,000 rounds a week, it’ll last for many years.

We found these two as perfectly functional utilitarian cans at a price point that will let any shooter give each rifle its own dedicated silencer. We’re fans of running 300 Blackout with .308 suppressors, only so we don’t have to worry about destroying a pistol can with an “accidental” supersonic load.

Currently these are available directly from Radical Firearms and Silencershop.com. If you’re looking for a low cost, dedicated silencer for one rifle, one of these may be the answer.  You can easily buy both of these for the cost of a higher end silencer plus the QD mounts to allow two rifles to share one can.

Specifications:

Radical Firearms RF-556
Calibers: 5.56 NATO, 223 Remington, FN 5.7
Weight: 20.4oz
Length: 7″
Diameter: 1.5″
Thread Pitch: 1/2×28
Finish: High Temp Cerakote
MSRP: $399

Radical Firearms RF-762
Calibers: 7.62 NATO, 308 Winchester, 7.62 X39, 300 Blackout
Weight: 20.4oz
Length: 8″
Diameter: 1.5″
Thread Pitch: 5/8×24
Finish: High Temp Cerakote
MSRP: $499 (on sale at Silencershop.com for much less)

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Searson 1About the Author: Mike “the Mook” Searson is a veteran writer who began his career in firearms at the Camp Pendleton School for Destructive Boys at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire life, writing about guns and knives for numerous publications and consulting with the film industry on weapons while at the same time working as gunsmith and ballistician. Though seemingly a surly curmudgeon shy a few chromosomes at first meeting, Searson is actually far less of a dick and at least a little smarter than most of the Mad Duo’s minions. He is rightfully considered to be not just good company, but actually fit for polite company as well (though he has never forgotten his roots as a rifleman trained to kill people and break things, and if you look closely you’ll see his knuckles are still quite scabbed over from dragging the ground). You can learn more about him on his website or follow him on Twitter, @MikeSearson.

 

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Mike the Mook
Mike “the Mook” Searson is a veteran writer who began his career in firearms at the Camp Pendleton School for Destructive Boys at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire life, writing about guns and knives for numerous publications and consulting with the film industry on weapons while at the same time working as gunsmith and ballistician. Though seemingly a surly curmudgeon shy a few chromosomes at first meeting, Searson is actually far less of a dick and at least a little smarter than most of the Mad Duo’s minions. He is rightfully considered to be not just good company, but actually fit for polite company as well (though he has never forgotten his roots as a rifleman trained to kill people and break things, and if you look closely you’ll see his knuckles are still quite scabbed over from dragging the ground). You can learn more about him on his website or follow him on Twitter, @MikeSearson.

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