Navy

Retractable rifle suppressor

Adjustable, retractable suppressor is compatible with MIL-STD-1913 rail systems

Military Technology

A law enforcement officer fires an M4 carbine with a traditional muzzle mounted suppressor during training.

Tactical assault weapons are often fitted with a sound suppressor and these devices have various performance characteristics and configurations based on the expected use or mission needs. Most sound suppressors are fixed in length, which means the suppressor always adds the same length to the weapon. Fixed suppressors do not allow a firearm to be adjusted to the environment where it is being used and most of them are fully-welded units that are incapable of being disassembled. This makes them difficult to clean leading to degradation of performance over time and eventual replacement.

A typical short barreled AR-15 has a suppressor mounted on its muzzle brake/flash hider. The suppressor is attached directly to the forward end of the weapon at the furthest end of its barrel where the muzzle brake/flash hider is formed. This existing device combination suffers from a variety of disadvantages including (1) inability to rapidly swap-out or remove the suppressor for any number of reasons (2) incompatibility with different types of weapons due to a myriad of suppressor mounting designs (3) suppressors out of tune with the weapons’ motion or force dynamics during interior and intermediate ballistic phases (increasing baffle or suppressor structure strikes) (4) weight disadvantages (5) difficulty in using in restricted space environments, and (4) center of mass moved farther way from an operator which increases difficulty in use. Many of these negatives are compounded when associated with other weapons with longer barrels.

As a solution to these problems, Navy small arms engineers have developed a retractable suppressor. In close quarters, such as a vehicle or ship, the suppressor is easily retracted to conserve space and aids in concealment during stealthy operations. Further, the new suppressor has no dependence on the muzzle brake/flash hider. Many of the sound suppressors currently on the market use the muzzle brake/flash hider as a mounting surface. As a result, a specific muzzle brake/flash hider must be used with a specific suppressor. The improved suppressor allows the use of any desired muzzle brake/flash hider and accommodates variable muzzle lengths allowing the user to alter the center of mass of the weapon.

Unlike other sound suppressors, this device can be used on different caliber weapons, provided, in some cases, a bore restrictor is changed. Importantly, this suppressor can easily be disassembled, cleaned, and repaired. Repair operations can include simple replacement of suppressor chamber springs and/or floating baffles which provide a shooter with design and sustainment alternatives.

This US application number 20170307322 is a continuation in part to US patent 9,733,035.

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