At risk of being exposed as a “B” grade cable TV junkie, I have to admit I enjoy seeing my favorite pistol suppressor on AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you’re a watcher of that particular serial carnage, you might have noticed that lead character Rick Grimes has one interesting looking silencer on his gun. That would be a SilencerCo Osprey. It’s easy to spot because it’s shaped a little bit like a smashed Twinkie. It’s not round like all those nifty silencers 007 used back when Bond movies were awesome. One could make the case that it’s reminiscent of saggy underarms you see on old folks – the bulk of the suppressor is hanging down below the bone, so to speak. Just to be clear though, the Osprey is a lot sexier!
There’s a good reason for the unusual shape. To suppress a gunshot, you have to control and slow down more gas than Piers Morgan ejects in an entire hour, and you have to do it in pico-seconds. Or maybe micro or milliseconds. No matter, you have to control the hot gasses quickly, and to do that, you need a certain amount of volume in the suppressor itself. The natural solution to creating volume is to make the tube bigger around, but if you do that, then the large tube blocks your front sights. Come to think of it, and the SilencerCo folks did, why not stray from that whole round tube concept and create more volume under the barrel and less on top of the barrel, thereby increasing visibility for the shooter? After all, people who know, know it’s good to see what you’re shooting at.
So that’s the reason that the SilencerCo Osprey is shaped like a squashed Twinkie. By the way, the Osprey has 30% more internal volume than a cylindrical suppressor of identical length.
There is a catch, however. When you screw that suppressor onto the barrel, how do you know that when it’s tight, it will line up properly so that the chubby part is on the bottom? The technical term for that particular engineering problem is “indexing.” Indexing is just a fancy word for “lining everything up, so it doesn’t look weird.” Here’s how SilencerCo solved the indexing problem.