Multi Caliber Suppressor vs Dedicated: What Suppressor to Buy?
There are dozens of suppressors that work on multiple calibers, for example, the SilencerCo Omega300 is a .30 caliber suppressor, but will also work great on 5.56 rifles. As the nation's largest NFA item distributor, customers constantly ask, “Is a multi caliber suppressor worth it?” Multi caliber suppressors are incredibly versatile and can cover a majority of firearms that might be in your safe, with a few trade-offs to consider. Generally, a dedicated-to-caliber suppressor, such as the Surefire SOCOM556 RC2, will have better sound and flash reduction performance compared to a universal suppressor but is limited to only one caliber.
Silencers like the SilencerCo Hybrid 46M can work on nearly any firearm in your arsenal, being rated for pistol rounds up to 10mm and rifle rounds up to .338 Lapua, including large bore calibers like .450Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .45-70 Govt. Multi caliber silencers like the Hybrid are often top contenders for the best suppressor for the money, due to their extreme versatility. While these large bore models will work on nearly any gun you have access to it is important to note that you might be leaving some performance on the table if you want to maximize suppression on smaller caliber firearms such as a .223 AR15.
Universal Suppressor: Pros and Cons
If you are looking into suppressors for the first time you’re probably wondering, is there a suppressor for all calibers? Some suppressors can come close to suppressing all calibers, usually topping out at .45 caliber. These interchangeable suppressors, like the Dead Air Primal, are often jacks of all trades but masters of none (with the exception of large-bore rifle rounds). While you could have one suppressor to rule them all, these cans are often larger, heavier, and louder than dedicated suppressors. Because these large-bore silencers are designed for high-power rifle rounds they usually use heavy, durable, materials and are longer than some other designs. Moving a single suppressor to different hosts also requires a plethora of mounts and adapters, 1/2x28 for your 556 rifles, a piston and booster for your handgun, 3/8x24 for your .30cal, and maybe an obscure thread pitch if you fancy European firearms. These mounts and adapters add complexity and a headache when wanting to shoot multiple firearms suppressed at the range. Instead of quickly swapping from .223 to 300BLK, you’re waiting for the suppressor to cool down, using tools to swap out the mounts, then moving the can over to a different host.
One Stamp, One Wait Period
Less Optimized for Sound
Order Your Multi Caliber Suppressor
One can to rule them all. Quite your safe of firearms with one silencer!
Universal cans are an excellent entry point into the NFA world, but after you hear how quiet your suppressed AR15 is, you may want to see how you can maximize that suppression, that is where dedicated suppressors are king. Setting your rifle up with a correct-to-bore, meaning the bullet diameter and the suppressor bore match (.223 bullet with a .223 silencer like the Huxwrx Flow556k), will offer an even quieter shooting experience. Dedicated units also do not need to be as large, so you will generally save weight and length compared to a universal can. When a silencer is built for a specific job it can be better optimized than a unit that has to work across different calibers and even different weapon platforms.
Smaller and Lighter
Multiple Wait Periods
Less Swapping Between Hosts
How to Choose a Suppressor
When you’re trying to decide which suppressor is right for you it is important to consider which firearms are in your collection, which ones you want to shoot suppressed (all of them, duh), and which firearms you may add in the future. If you only own a .308 rifle for hunting, a dedicated .30 caliber suppressor could be the right choice for you. If you’re constantly looking at larger safes because you can’t store all of your guns, you may want the most versatile suppressor available. Many folks find that they start with a multi-cal silencer and then -- once they are bit by the suppressed shooting bug -- they start to add more specialized suppressors down the road. If you're looking for the best multi caliber silencer or want to look into dedicated caliber silencers we have published our top 5 picks in every category, check them out below.