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Suppressors are expensive. Tax stamps are expensive. Bullets are expensive. Everything about guns is expensive right now. So cost-efficiency is a big deal.
And therefore, the best option for most people is to use a single suppressor for all of your guns. That way you’ll have more money to buy bullets.
That’s where the SilencerCo Omega 36M Suppressor comes in. It handles everything from .22 Hornet up to .338 Lapua Magnum, including pistol calibers. For most people, this means that the Omega 36M will work on every gun you have.
But how does it perform? Nobody wants a suppressor that doesn’t suppress, no matter how many guns it works on. How much work does it take to run this suppressor on multiple guns? And why are suppressors regulated under the NFA, anyway?
Well, now that the tax stamp on my Omega 36M has cleared, and I’ve put quite a few rounds through it (on quite a few guns), I feel qualified to answer almost all of these questions.
Here’s what I know about this suppressor:
Interchangeability and Included Hardware
The caliber compatibility of this suppressor intrigued me. However, I was wary about the process of using this suppressor with multiple calibers. Some suppressors require a different end cap or a separate mounting adapter for each caliber.
That’s not necessarily bad. But it does make the suppressor a bit pricier, since you often need to purchase these end caps and mounting adapters. And this makes it inconvenient to move the suppressor from gun to gun.
Well, my suspicions were somewhat correct.
First, there are multiple end caps for this suppressor. But it only ships with one: the largest end cap. That means that you don’t need to purchase an additional end cap to run larger calibers. That’s nice. More on whether or not you should purchase additional end caps in a minute.
However, the 36M doesn’t ship with a piston. So you’ll need to buy a SilencerCo piston if you plan on mounting this suppressor on a pistol.
To be fair to SilencerCo, I understand why they don’t ship a piston with the suppressor. Pistons are caliber and thread-pitch specific. And they have no way of knowing which one you need. They might as well just sell the pistons separately, so you can get what you want the first time.
Additionally, there’s no way around needing a piston for using a suppressor on a pistol. You have to have it.
However, I was disappointed that the suppressor doesn’t come with an ASR muzzle device.
Yes, muzzle devices are somewhat caliber and thread-pitch specific. But a 1/2×28 thread pitch muzzle device will fit a lot of rifles. And this suppressor retails for about $1,100 bucks. An included muzzle device doesn’t seem like a huge ask.
But—lack of included muzzle device aside—the overall interchangeability is pretty good, right out of the box. You could easily use this suppressor on multiple rifles with just the hardware SilencerCo sends in the box.
ASR Muzzle Devices and Mounting
For me, one of the standout features on this suppressor is the ASR quick detach system.
The quick detach mechanism is a combination of threads and locking teeth. You thread the suppressor onto the muzzle device, then turn the locking ring to engage two sets of teeth that prevent the suppressor from backing off.
It’s a super secure system that’s hard to mess up. The ASR threads are a pretty coarse pitch. It seems unlikely that you’d be able to cross thread this suppressor without applying a stupid amount of force.
It’s also pretty much impossible to get a false positive with the ASR mount because the locking ring simply won’t turn if the suppressor isn’t screwed on properly.
The only little hang up with the ASR mount is that the locking teeth have to line up. On some muzzle devices, where the threads stop and where the ASR locking teeth line up won’t be quite the same spot. So you may need to back the suppressor off or crank it down another eighth of an inch to get the locking ring to fully engage.
But, as long as the suppressor is screwed all the way down and the locking ring slides completely into the locked position, your suppressor isn’t going anywhere.
Then—even though you don’t get one in the box—the SilencerCo ASR muzzle devices are excellent.
The ASR flash hider looks cool. And it has asymmetrical tines to prevent the tuning fork effect when you rack your rifle.
If you prefer the ASR muzzle brake, it’s a solid muzzle brake. The recoil reduction is excellent, even if it is a bit loud.
The ASR muzzle brake doesn’t have any vertical vents to act as a hybrid compensator. But you can get the LANTAC Dragon ASR Muzzle Brake if you want a muzzle brake that keeps your muzzle a bit flatter.
There’s also a 9mm muzzle brake, for those who want to run this suppressor on their AR9.
Ultimately, installing and removing this suppressor is ridiculously easy. And the muzzle devices offer plenty of performance for unsuppressed shooting. The Omega 36M gets two thumbs up for ease of mounting and muzzle device options.
Here’s another selling point of the 36M: it’s a two-piece suppressor that can be configured in a full-size or short configuration.
And the short configuration is super short—just 5.1 inches. It’s one of the shortest suppressors on the market.
However, you may find that you simply leave this suppressor in whatever configuration you use most often.
The section with the extra baffles is super easy to remove and install. But the end cap can be a little bit tricky.
The included end cap wrench works very well. The end cap has really fine threads, though. I found that it took me several tries to install the end cap without cross threading it, every time I installed it. I never got good at it.
Though, even with my struggles, it still only took me a few minutes to get the end cap installed. It’s not a deal-breaker. But it can be inconvenient.
But, even though I suck at not cross threading the end cap, I’m a huge fan of the modular design, given the broad caliber compatibility of this suppressor.
The full size configuration would be bulky and unwieldy on a pistol or 16-inch AR-15. But the short configuration works great for keeping your rifle manageable, even with the suppressor installed. I found that the short configuration also worked great on short-barreled rifles, since it kept everything as compact as possible.
On the other hand, the long configuration has the sound suppression capabilities you’d want if you were shooting a larger caliber.
So I think SilencerCo did a great job of designing a suppressor that meets both the suppression and size requirements for large caliber shooting and more tactical rifles. High marks for modularity.
But I suspect that most people will leave this suppressor in one configuration or another most of the time, unless you frequently move your suppressor from a short gun to a large caliber gun.
I don’t do many drop tests or burn downs. I just use my stuff the way I ordinarily would (which might involve a bit more abuse than most ordinary use).
So far, this suppressor has been nothing but awesome. It gets hot fairly quickly, especially in the short configuration. I noticed that the larger SilencerCo suppressors tended to resist heat buildup a bit better.
But every suppressor gets hot. And, even when the suppressor is hot or dirty, the ASR mount has never locked up.
Also, the finish hasn’t even started to show any wear, even though I’ve gotten it hot enough to get shiny. So far, the finish has retained its matte appearance through a lot of heating and cooling.
Also, this suppressor requires surprisingly little cleaning. It has inconel baffles, which supposedly resist carbon buildup. That might be true, because this suppressor has stayed clean through some number of thousand rounds.
This is a full-auto rated suppressor. So I expected strong durability. This suppressor hasn’t disappointed me.
We’ve finally arrived at the big show. How quiet is this suppressor?
Well, I don’t have a sound meter. It’s also nearly impossible to get good sound readings without some sort of sound room.
But I do have ears.
Based on my unsuppressed shooting, this suppressor sounds hearing safe. I know that’s super unscientific. But hear me out (see what I did there?).
In the short configuration, shooting standard 5.56mm from an 11.5-inch barrel, the sound is sharp. But it’s not painful or uncomfortable. And it produces no long-term ringing after several rounds. There is some first round pop, but not enough to cause any discomfort.
I suspect that there would be less first round pop, and potentially a less sharp sound with the 5.56mm end cap. But I don’t think the difference would be so great that you NEED to get one of the smaller end caps, even if you’re shooting a smaller caliber like 5.56mm.
With 9mm—from a pistol or rifle—the sound is much less sharp. And it’s quiet enough to produce almost no ringing.
However, the short configuration only seems hearing safe for limited exposure. I suspect that you could still get hearing damage if you did a lot of unsuppressed shooting, especially with rifle calibers like 5.56mm.
On the other hand, the full configuration produces a very mellow pop. It’s much less sharp than the short configuration, even with 5.56mm. It’s possible that the long configuration is completely hearing safe, or almost completely hearing safe, unless you’re shooting super large calibers.
Ultimately, the sound suppression is excellent. If you need a suppressor to put on your home defense rifle or handgun, this suppressor will definitely keep your hearing intact through the limited volume of fire we see in most self-defense incidents.
But, regardless of what I hear when I shoot this suppressor without hearing protection, I recommend using hearing protection with this suppressor whenever that’s possible.
My overall impression of this SilencerCo suppressor is that it’s a super high performance suppressor that can be configured to work in a lot of different contexts, on a lot of different guns.
This suppressor is awesome in almost every aspect—ease of installation, compatible muzzle devices, durability, sound suppression.
And the massive caliber compatibility makes it a solid value, despite the relatively high price.
Really, my main gripe is that it doesn’t come with an included muzzle device. Even though the price is reasonable for a suppressor that works with so many calibers, I think the price point demands an included muzzle device.
However, that’s not enough to stop me from recommending this suppressor.
If you need a one-size-fits-all suppressor, or even if you just want a really short suppressor, this is one of the best—if not THE BEST—suppressor on the market right now. Once you get the Omega 36M on your gun and start shooting, the pain of the price will go away, I promise.