:us: Memorial Day Blowout Sale :us: Major Price Cuts and Free Shipping on top calibers. Shop now – sale ends May 31st!

Traditional VS Flow Through Type Suppressors

Blog Feature

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy wanted to compare traditional and flow through type suppressors. Suppressors are incredibly popular accessories among shooters these days. Odds are, you will encounter someone with a suppressor of some kind if you go to the range. These once obscure items are becoming more and more commonly used by shooters of all types. Everyone from hunters to casual shooters engage in suppressed shooting these days.

 

First, A Caveat

For the purposes of this blog post, we are going to use the term “flow through” to as a general term. The term is most often associated with HUXWRX (formerly OSS Suppressors) due to their patented Flow-Through™ technology utilized in their suppressors. When the shooting public describes suppressors which feature similar gas venting designs, they describe these suppressors as “flow through” as a general term. This term just so happens to be a better sounding general term than “alternative flow suppressors” or something similar. Each suppressor company which features a flow through type design provides this technology in a different way.

 

What are Traditional Suppressors?

Traditional suppressors can trace their lineage back to the design practices established by Hiram Maxim. These designs feature a traditional baffle system which aids in lowering the sound signature of the host firearm These baffles trap the gasses and allow them to cool and slowly expand during the firing process. Excess gas is pushed back into the system of the firearm and towards the shooter. Suppressors of this type yield increased backpressure when utilized. In some cases, this additional backpressure can be helpful and allow for reliable function with subsonic ammunition. In other cases, this additional backpressure can yield reliability issues and increase wear on the firearm. Some firearms are particularly sensitive to higher backpressure such as the Steyr AUG and FN SCAR 17S.

 

What are Flow Through Type Suppressors?

Flow through suppressors feature technology which departs from established practice. Suppressors of this type do not utilize a typical baffle stack. Rather than featuring a concurrent run of baffles to allow for expansion and cooling of gasses, these suppressors direct gasses away from the system and the shooter. An immediate result of this is the reduction of backpressure imparted on the action of the firearm. This trait allows for suppressors of this type to thrive on firearms which are generally suboptimal suppressor hosts.

Surefire 300 SPS
Surefire 300 SPS
HUXWRX HX-QD 762
HUXWRX HX-QD 762

Who Makes Traditional Suppressors?

When it comes to traditional suppressor, there are a number of companies who manufacture them. Notable manufacturers include Surefire, SilencerCo, and Otter Creek Labs. Surefire in particular is well-known in the world of suppressors, with many considering their SOCOM line to be some of the finest suppressors ever made. The offerings from other companies such as SilencerCo and Dead Air have built loyal followings since their inception, with many other companies being compatible with some of their components.

 

Who Makes Flow Through Type Suppressors?

While there are significantly less flow through suppressor options on the market, they are manufactured by a variety of quality companies. The most recognizable manufacturer of flow though type suppressors is HUXWRX. This is mainly due to their patented Flow-Through™ technology and the visibility of their products such as the HX-QD 556K, RAD 9, and FLOW 762 Ti. Other manufacturers of these types of suppressors include Sig Sauer, Griffin Armament, and recently Surefire with their new RC3 suppressor.

 

What are the Pros of Traditional Suppressors?

  • Established Technology – Traditional suppressors are a known quantity. Suppressors of this type have been utilized for well over a century and have proven to be a reliable design. Some of the traditional designs on the market, such as the SOCOM series from Surefire, utilize an established mounting pattern. Whether one has an older SOCOM suppressor or a recent RC2 offering, the unit will work with the established SOCOM muzzle devices.
  • Price – Generally, one will find that traditional style suppressors are cheaper than flow through type suppressors. One should be aware that price can also be influenced by the material, brand, and other features of a given suppressor. These factors may lead to some traditional suppressors being priced similarly to some flow through type suppressors. That being said, it is still generally true that traditional designs will carry a lower price than their counterparts.
  • More Options – At this point, there are considerably more traditional suppressors than there are flow through type suppressors on the market. This simply means that a prospective suppressor buyer has more options to consider before making a purchase.

 

What are the Pros of Flow Through Type Suppressors?

  • Innovative Technology – Rather than holding fast to traditional designs, flow through type suppressors represent forward thinking and innovation. HUXWRX in particular demonstrates innovation as they manufacture some of their flow through designs with 3D-printing technology.
  • Healthier – Flow through suppressors make the shooting experience healthier for end users due to gasses being vented away from the shooter. Essentially, harmful toxic gasses and airborne lead are directed away from the shooter due to the flow through design.
  • Compatible With Harder to Suppress Firearms – Due the fact that flow through type suppressors essentially eliminate backpressure, they will work with a wider variety of designs. To get a traditional suppressor to work on some of the more stubborn designs, some modification to the gas or recoil system may be needed. This is not the case with flow through style suppressors.

 

What are the Cons of Traditional Suppressors?

  • Backpressure Issues – Additional backpressure being introduced into a system can impact the reliability of the firearm.
  • Suboptimal for Some Systems – As mentioned earlier, some firearm designs are less optimal for suppression than others. These firearms, such as the Steyr AUG and FN SCAR 17S, are particularly sensitive to overgassing and will not benefit one bit from the addition of a traditional suppressor.

 

What are the Cons of Flow Through Type Suppressors?

  • Price – Generally, suppressors of this type will cost more than some of their traditional suppressor counterparts. This is mainly due to the research and development put into making them coupled with the newer technologies being utilized.
  • Compromised Performance in Some Aspects – Some flow through type suppressors may not produce sound or flash reduction on par with some of their traditional counterparts. Granted, this difference in sound reduction may be small and within a few decibels. Flash reduction is also more dependent upon the ammunition utilized than the suppressor itself. Generally, your average shooter isn’t going to be shooting ammunition loaded with low flash powder.
HUXWRX HX-QD 762 and Surefire 300SPS
HUXWRX HX-QD 762 and Surefire 300SPS

Commonalities

There are many things which are shared by both types of suppressors. Both traditional and flow through type suppressors are manufactured to be used with either pistol or rifle calibers. This means that they can be utilized on handguns, subguns, and rifles. Modular suppressors, meaning those with the ability to be run in a short or long configuration, are also available in both of these forms. Of course, even though they differ in their baffle design and how they deal with gasses, both types of suppressors will reduce weapon signature.

 

Conclusion

All in all, you really cannot go wrong with either type of suppressor. Traditional suppressors in one form or another have persisted for over a century. The newer flow through type designs have certainly proven themselves to be viable and popular among a variety of shooters as well. Ultimately, one should choose a suppressor which best fits their intended use cases and will work best with their firearm of choice. Some suppressors are more optimal than others depending on the host firearm. We here at True Shot offer a variety of subsonic ammunition which will function great with either type of suppressor. As always, we are here to help you get stocked up for your next outing and provide information. Happy shooting.

 

Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

5 Responses

  1. Great explanation of the types of suppressors in your article. I gained a lot of understanding on how the different types are used.
    Thanks for the great article.

  2. You may want to edit this sentence: “We here at True Shot offer a variety of subsonic ammunition which will function great with either type of ammunition.” That second use of ‘ammunition’ should probably be ‘suppressor.’

    1. Hello Daniel,

      Thank you for pointing out the error in our content. We appreciate your attention to detail and your effort in helping us maintain accurate and clear information on our website. I will forward your suggestion to our content team for review and correction. It’s customers like you who help us continually improve and provide the best possible service and information.

      If you have any more questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at (888) 736-6587. We’re here to help!

      Best regards,
      True Shot Ammo

  3. Great article.

    Has the law changed? Do you still require an expensive license?

    They are common on European ranges.

    But are rare on American ranges.

    Anything that lessens percussive hearing damage should be welcomed not restricted.

    Legislators have seen far to many James Bond movies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *