JTT: Making Them Wet

Just the Tip: Making Them Wet
November 8, 2016  
Categories: Learnin'

It seems even in this modern day of unprecedented knowledge being produced every second, there is still a concept that’s difficult for people to grasp: making a silencer wet. I have been asked countless countless times in so many different ways, I genuinely feel this notion is less understood than mating techniques of the Red Billed Oxpecker and its utilization of African plains herbivores.

Just The Tip: Making Them Wet

Alexander Crown

A brief summary on why you would want to souse your silencer: it makes it quieter. Good, we got that out of the way. What, you want to know how? Fine. The moisture of whatever you use will cool down the hot gasses significantly faster than a dry silencer, making it quieter for a period of time.

Wetting a silencer really only has one rule: don’t use flammable stuff.

That should be common sense, but our customer base has proven me wrong time and time again. So I’ll say it again: Don’t Use Flammable Stuff.

Silhouette of a pistol with a suppressor, plus sign, fire hazard sign, equal sign, silhouette of a person on fire.


The most abundant liquid is obviously water, but how much to use? Well, there’s no clear answer. Some say use 5cc (cubic centimeters). I don’t know about you, but a cc is hard for me to measure on the range when I’m pouring from a Nalgene or dipping the can in the river. So basically just pour a little bit straight down the muzzle end of your silencer, swish it around, and go about your business. Water is a decent choice and usually available. However, it isn’t recommended you leave it inside your silencer or pistol due to rust concerns. Water will typically last 5-10 rounds before being burned off.

The other option I highly recommend is good ol’ Vaseline.

Pistol with a suppressor next to a container of vaseline.

Turns out this stuff isn’t just for your chapped ass, it’s also exceptionally good at keeping things quiet. I bought a travel-size jar and kept it in my range bag. Applying the gel is dependent on the type of suppressor. Most pistol suppressors use changeable mounts, which coincidentally gives you access to the blast chamber, which, oddly enough, is where you want to put your wetting agent. Other silencers are a monocore design that can be exposed and properly lubed. I like to use roughly the size of an acorn. Petroleum jelly offers a few benefits over water; it stays where you put it, won’t evaporate, and usually lasts upwards of 20-25 shots. The downside is it will be fairly smoky, and if you use an MRDS, expect a fine mist of gel on the lens.

Demonstration of putting Vaseline on a suppressor.

This will look familiar to some of you.

Practically all modern pistol silencers will have a Nielson device, also referred to as a piston system, Linear Inertial Decoupler, booster, or whatever you want to call it. It is important to remember this is a moving part and requires periodic maintenance. This system is comprised of a spring and piston, both of which should be cleaned and lubricated every few hundred rounds.

Spring and piston.

GEMTECH uses white lithium grease at the factory, which is what ships on our pistol silencers. This acts as a wetting aggregate to a degree and will help with suppression, but optimal placement is in the blast chamber.

As stated, several agents are a good choice for your silencing needs. Wire-pulling gel, white lithium grease, soda, etc., all have merits and faults. The most important thing is, if you do shoot your silencer wet, be sure to clean it properly afterward to prevent corrosion.

Silencer wetting is usually reserved for pistols, both centerfire and rimfire, to alleviate first-round pop and give maximum noise reduction. Rifles and most submachine guns do not have an extreme first-round pop and won’t need wetting. Centerfire rifle cans shouldn’t be wet for the risk of overpressure because water isn’t compressible. Like your guts after a peppermint schnapps and Taco Bell bender, you might be able to handle it, but why chance it?

Silhouette of a rifle with a suppressor, plus sign, beaker with unknown substance, equal sign, silhouette of a person exploding.

Vehicle CQB with William Petty. On Sale Now!! Click here to watch. Streaming online only at Vimeo.

After all, you’re married to that silencer. And it’s like a marriage in the ’50s — pretty much forever.


Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!

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Alexander Crown

Alexander Crown

About the Author

Alexander Crown (@acrown509)is a frequent contributor to Breach-Bang-Clear, and is a patched Minion. He is the almost certainly the littlest big mistake Gemtech ever hired. Astonishingly, they continue to promote him to a succession of higher positions. Prior to his early retirement due to an enemy winning a marksmanship award at the cost of his hamstring, Alexander served in the 3/509 PIR out of Ft. Richardson and spent time in Iraq. In addition to dabbling in the world of silencers and science fiction, he has a BS in biology and is an avid gardener who grows prodigious crops of improbably might vegetables.


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