LAS VEGAS -- German gun-maker Heckler & Koch GmbH stole headlines at SHOT Show with an assault rifle featuring a new silencer made by the U.S. firm Operators Suppressor Systems.
Outfitted with OSS's new octagonal suppressor, H&K's MR556SD rifle redirects gas out of the front of the gun rather than the back, according to Jason Koon, a member of H&K-USA's competitive shooting team who demonstrated the technology to Military.com last week at a range in Boulder City, Nev.
"With most suppressors when you fire the rifle, the gas comes back through the charging handle and kind of smacks you in the face a bit," Koon said during an interview at the nation's largest gun show. "But with this gun, the gas is redirected through the can and back out the front. It physically pulls the rifle off the shoulder when fired."
The silencer includes a back pressure regulator, known as a BPR, as well as a sound reduction module, or SRM, according to Johnny Primiano, vice president at Murray, Utah-based OSS. The design lacks baffles, or compartments, and seeks to redirect rather than trap the firearm's discharge gases, he said.
The result is less recoil and noise, Primiano said. The system was measured near a shooter's ear at 137 decibels on a .556-caliber rifle and at 139 decibels on a .308-caliber weapon -- both below the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's standard of 140 decibels, he said.
"We are 100 percent ear-safe," he said.
What's more, the octagonal shape of the system is designed in part to give shooters better aim -- not simply to look different from other products, according to Primiano, who's a former member of the Army's Third Special Forces Group.
"Everyone looks at our suppressor and says, 'Oh, that's an octagon, that's easy marketing,'" he said. "There's a reason behind it ... it's because heat rises to your highest point.
"On your traditional cans, that highest point happens to be in your bore line in your center line of aim -- that's where you get the term false mirage from," he added. "What we have are these flat points ... whenever you have a flat surface on top, the mirage dissipates to the edges ... so your center line of aim is clear. What that means is more rounds down on target faster, more effectively. You're going to be able to shoot for approximately 60 percent longer than you would with your traditional-style can."
Here's a video of the new can in action: