If you’ve ever fired 5.56mm, you know it’s surprisingly loud for such a small round, especially from a short barreled rifle. And if you have a muzzle brake, well…
Let’s just say that if you plan on using your AR-15 as a defensive rifle (home defense or otherwise), using a suppressor is a VERY good idea.
If you fire a short rifle with a muzzle brake inside your house, it’s going to do the job. But it’s also going to blow your face off, your family’s face off, and all your dog’s fur off.
Okay, that’s hyperbole. But it’s ridiculously loud and produces a lot of pressure. A suppressor is more than worth the money. And you get tons of cool guy points at the range for running a can on your AR-15.
SPOILER—let’s get to the point, then. If you want a solid suppressor that will save your ears (and your family’s faces) from the muzzle blast, get the SilencerCo Specwar 5.56 Suppressor. It does a good job of suppressing 5.56mm. And it’s pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of price.
If you’d like to scope out the other options, keep reading. We’ve rounded up all the best 5.56 suppressors for your perusal.
Top 5.56 Suppressor on the Market Today
Best 5.56 Suppressor Reviews: Toning It Down
The best 5.56 suppressor is up first. The best runners up are organized in order of price.
The most affordable suppressors are closest to the beginning.
Scroll to the end to see the suppressors for cool guys with the coolest stacks of cash.
Let’s see how these sound.
1. SilencerCo Specwar 5.56 Suppressor - Overall Best 5.56 Suppressor
SilencerCo is one of the cornerstone companies in the suppressor industry. The SilencerCo Specwar 5.56 Suppressor is sort of the median for 5.56mm suppressors. It’s got the right combination of price and performance to make it the ideal all-purpose suppressor.
The sound reduction is good enough. But not GREAT. This suppressor brings the report of a 5.56mm round down to 133 decibels, which is right at the hearing safe level.
The sound suppression is fine for defensive shooting. But you’d still need hearing protection for training or recreation where you’re shooting more than a handful of rounds.
To be fair to this suppressor, there aren’t any suppressors that make it safe for prolonged shooting without hearing protection. But there are suppressors that bring the report down a few more decibels.
However, this model uses stellite baffles which last longer and require less cleaning than inconel baffles. So this suppressor will give you a very long service life, with minimal required maintenance.
Additionally, this suppressor comes with a quick detach flash hider. You get everything you need to put this suppressor on your rifle right in the box.
Lastly, SilencerCo has their own TrueBore manufacturing process which is known to produce suppressors that very minimally affect your point of impact. This suppressor will also work well if you need to use your rifle for longer range applications.
In the end, this suppressor is the overall best because all the relevant specs—sound reduction, size (7.3 inches long), and price—are at least slightly better than average. So it’s a suppressor that you could put on any 5.56mm rifle and be satisfied.
2. SilencerCo Saker 5.56 Suppressor - Value 5.56 Suppressor
The SilencerCo Saker 5.56 Suppressor is one of SilencerCo’s older designs. So you can get them at remarkable prices right now. But it should be noted that the price may change in the future.
First, this silencer brings the report of a 5.56mm round down to 134 decibels. It’s exactly at the hearing safe rating. This is fine for defensive shooting. But don’t go out training or shooting for fun without your hearing protection just because you’ve got this can on your rifle.
This suppressor is also built with SilencerCo’s stellite baffles to reduce cleaning and maintenance requirements. Stellite also increases the service life of your suppressor. So this suppressor gives you a lot of worry free suppressed shooting.
The MAAD end cap is also a flash hider to further reduce the visual signature from your rifle. And the end cap can be swapped out for a different end cap accessory or to replace a damaged cap.
Also, the MAAD mount can also be changed out if you want to use a different mounting option. It makes this a great suppressor for those who want one suppressor for multiple rifles.
Lastly, this suppressor is a mere 6.76 inches long. It’s remarkably compact given how good the sound suppression is. This suppressor will work well on SBRs and home defense guns where keeping the rifle short is important.
Ultimately, this SilencerCo suppressor offers remarkable performance for the current price. But, even at full price, this suppressor is still a great deal that’s ideal for home defense and short tactical rifles.
3. OSS BPR26 5.56 Auto Suppressor - Budget 5.56 Suppressor
The OSS BPR26 5.56 Auto Suppressor addresses the issue of back pressure. However, added comfort for the shooter comes with tradeoffs.
Notably, this suppressor reduces the report of a 5.56mm rifle to 136 decibels. It’s technically not quite hearing safe. But it’s just a couple decibels short. So, in a defensive situation, you probably won’t notice.
This suppressor is also 8 inches long. So it’s not as compact as some other models.
However, the added length is because it’s equipped with an end cap that works as a flash hider and reduces back pressure. It reduces your visual signature. And you get less gas in your face when you shoot.
The end cap also has a cool helix design which gives this suppressor an aggressive aesthetic.
This suppressor is also rated for full-auto operation. Most civilians won’t need it. But the reduced back pressure makes this suppressor MUCH more pleasant to use on full-auto rifles.
Most civilians don’t have fully automatic rifles. However, this is still a great suppressor for the money, especially if you have a short rifle that blows a lot of gas in your face when it’s suppressed.
4. Sig Sauer SRD556TI-QD Suppressor - Compact 5.56 Suppressor
The Sig Sauer SRD556TI-QD Suppressor isn’t the shortest 5.56 suppressor on the market. However, it’s almost the shortest suppressor. And the performance is excellent.
It reduces the report of a 5.56mm rifle to 134 decibels, which is right at the hearing safe level. It’s not as quiet as some larger suppressors. But, even though it’s just 6.8 inches long, it will protect your hearing if you need it to.
Then, it’s constructed from grade 5 titanium. So this suppressor is lighter than most other suppressors. And the titanium lasts longer than stainless steel.
Lastly, this suppressor ships with a Sig Taper-Lok muzzle brake. So it’s ready to install, right out of the box.
This isn’t the quietest suppressor. But it’s very compact. And it’s remarkably affordable. It’s an excellent option for anyone who wants a suppressor for a full-size, all-purpose rifle, or those who have short rifles that they want to keep short.
5. SilencerCo Omega Suppressor - Multi Caliber 5.56 Suppressor
The SilencerCo Omega Suppressor is easily one of the best multi-caliber suppressors on the market. It’s not too expensive. And the sound suppression is excellent.
This quiets a 5.56mm rifle down to 130.1 decibels. That’s better than hearing safe. And some of the best sound suppression available. It’s still not a good idea to shoot without hearing protection. But it’s great for defensive use.
Also, since this is a multi-caliber suppressor, you can suppress everything up to a 308 Winchester. And even a 308 Winchester report is reduced to 133.9 decibels with this suppressor, which is almost exactly hearing safe.
So this is a great suppressor if you’re looking for a suppressor that will work on an AR-15 and an AR-10 or bolt gun.
Also, this suppressor is just a tad over 7 inches long. It’s not the shortest suppressor around. But it’s fairly compact for a 30 caliber suppressor. And, it’s probably got the best sound suppression of any suppressor this size.
This suppressor also comes with two end caps: a flat cap and an Anchor Brake cap. The Anchor Brake cap works like a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. If you use the muzzle brake end cap, it will make your rifle ridiculously soft shooting, since the added weight of a suppressor already minimizes felt recoil.
Lastly, this suppressor is made of titanium with stellite baffles for maximum service life and minimum cleaning requirements.
There’s a reason this is the best selling suppressor in history. It’s almost impossible to beat the value this suppressor provides for the money.
6. Nemo Arms Operator-HD-QD 5.56 NATO Suppressor - 5.56 Suppressor for SBR
The Nemo Arms Operator-HD-QD 5.56 NATO Suppressor is a solid, no-frills suppressor that comes with the nicest muzzle device of any suppressor, I think.
First, the important stuff: this suppressor reduces the report of your rifle by 32 decibels. That means that this suppressor will make a 5.56 rifle with a 16 inch barrel hearing safe. From a 10 inch barrel, it will be about 3 decibels above hearing safe.
The sound suppression is enough for defensive use with an SBR. Though, wearing hearing protection is still ideal if you’re training or recreating with this suppressor on your rifle.
Next, this suppressor is made of titanium with inconel baffles. So it’s a tad lighter than a suppressor made from stainless steel. And the inconel baffles deliver a standard service life.
This model is exactly 7 inches long. It’s compact enough to use on a longer rifle. But it’s just about right for an SBR, since you’ll be at about 16 inches overall with a 10.5 inch barrel.
However, the standout feature is the included flash hider. The performance is normal. But it looks better than any other included flash hider. So you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to mount a suppressor on your rifle.
Overall, this Nemo Arms suppressor performs well. And the included muzzle device is nice even when you’re not running your suppressor.
7. Surefire SOCOM556-RC2 Suppressor - Tactical 5.56 Suppressor
The Surefire SOCOM556-RC2 Suppressor needs no introduction. It’s the suppressor that the USSOCOM selected as their operational suppressor.
There’s a lot to like about this suppressor. But the sound suppression is only decent. It reduces the report of a 5.56mm rifle to below 140 decibels. It’s designed to work with barrels that are 10 inches or longer. So it may be truly hearing safe with a 16 inch barrel.
But this suppressor is definitely best for tactical or defensive use where hearing protection may not be an option, not prolonged shooting without hearing protection.
On the bright side, this suppressor is just 6.2 inches long. It might be the most compact suppressor available. That makes it a great choice for those who want the most compact suppressed rifle.
It also produces a very small shift in the point of impact. Each suppressor is verified to move your point of impact less than 1 MOA. So this suppressor is also viable in situations where you may need to shoot a bit further.
Lastly, this suppressor is compatible with all of Surefire’s quick detach muzzle devices, which gives you by far the most options when it comes to which muzzle device you can put on your rifle.
Unfortunately, Surefire muzzle devices are pretty pricey. So plan for that additional cost.
But, even with the extra cost, this Surefire suppressor is an excellent option for tactical professionals and those who want to keep their defensive rifle as short as possible.
A suppressor might make your rifle a bit less compact. But it’s unlikely that you or your family will be wearing hearing protection when you fire your rifle, if you need it for defense. A suppressor protects both you and them from the sound and pressure of firing a rifle inside a house.
If you want a suppressor that will do the job without severely damaging your bank account, get the SilencerCo Specwar 5.56 Suppressor. It’s enough to make your 5.56 rifle hearing safe. And it’s reasonably priced (for a suppressor).
There you have it. If you’re still running a compensator or muzzle brake on your AR-15, it’s time to fix that, and make your rifle safe for everyone (except your target).