The AAC Illusion 9mm installed on my Beretta 92 FS

The AAC Illusion 9mm installed on my Beretta 92 FS

At first glance, you might think the guy drilling the bore in the AAC Illusion had a three Jaeger Bomb lunch before the afternoon shift.

That’s because the hole is not in the center of the tube. At first glance, it seems off, like a Dunkin Donuts French Cruller with the middle out of place. The suppressor body is round, like most other silencers on the market, but the suppressor itself is not concentric around the bore line. The idea is to have more of the silencer body below the bore line, which minimizes the amount of “stuff” above the bore line. Why? To reduce the problem of the suppressor body blocking a clear view of the sights.

The SilencerCo Osprey takes a similar approach using a more rectangular suppressor body. Most of the “box” is below the bore line with that too, again for the purpose of getting the body out of your sight picture. But while the Osprey is a squared design, the exterior of the Illusion is perfectly round.

It may look crooked, but that's for a good reason.

It may look crooked, but that’s for a good reason.

You might wonder, “How do you mount this so that the fatter part ends up below the bore line? That’s pretty simple. The illusion booster mount screws onto standard barrel threads as you would expect. When tightened down properly the can might end up in any orientation with the “thin” part on the top, side or even bottom. To re-orient the can so the thin section is at exactly the 12 o’clock position, just pull out the suppressor body, twist to the correct location, and let it snap back into place. The “timing” mechanism couldn’t be easier. It works somewhat like a three lug mount in that respect.

Mounting the Illusion on a Beretta 92FS, the body still blocked the iron sights, but far less than normal. That helped. Roughly speaking, the top of the sights were pretty darn close to the top of the suppressor body, so the sight picture was noticeably improved over that of most concentric can designs on this particular gun.

Shooting the Illusion

I shot the AAC Illusion with a Beretta 92FS. While the barrel on the Beretta 92 extends past the slide, the older 92 and M9 models don’t come pre-threaded. I bought a second factory barrel that was threaded from Tornado Technologies a year or two ago, but you can also have tour existing barrel threaded.

The Illusion is installed "upside down" here, but if installed correctly on this Beretta 92, the guide rod would just barely hit the suppressor body. Get the right booster piston to solve that.

The Illusion is installed “upside down” here, but if installed correctly on this Beretta 92, the guide rod would just barely hit the suppressor body. Get the right booster piston to solve that.

There is one issue with the Beretta 92 and AAC Illusion that you should know about if you’re buying one for that gun. When oriented properly, the Illusion body will block the recoil spring guide rod, interfering with the recoil operation. That’s an issue specific to the Beretta that you won’t find with most other pistols. The word is that AAC will be offering an extended mounting piston to avoid this problem. For my shooting, I just mounted the Illusion upside down so the guide rod had clearance. Bottom line: if you want to use this with a Beretta, check with AAC first to be sure you can get the right piston.

That issue aside, I had no function problems at all with my Beretta 92FS and the AAC Illusion. I shot loads of sub and supersonic 9mm ammo through the pair and experienced no failures to feed or eject.

First, I shot the Illusion 9mm “dry.” Right off the bat, I noticed that the Illusion is a very quiet sounding suppressor. That’s a subjective observation as sound pressure levels as measured by decibel meters might not correlate to what you ear and brain perceive. A silencer with a “louder” decibel rating might seem “quieter” to your ear as a result of tonal differences. The factory rates the Illusion with a 33dB sound reduction. The overall sound pressure level is 127dB, depending of course on your specific ammo and gun combination.

The Illusion was super happy with American Eagle's new 9mm Suppressor ammo.

The Illusion was super happy with American Eagle’s new 9mm Suppressor ammo.

The fun ammo for shooting this silencer dry included American Eagle’s new 124-grain 9mm Suppressor and Sig Sauer’s 147-grain V-Crown self-defense load.

Read the rest at GunsAmerica.