Good evening everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM Turbo T3 5.56 rifle suppressor. Last week we brought you the second installment in the Spotlight series with a look at Dead Air Silencers. This week we dive back into the reviews with a look at the AAC Ranger 7 rifle suppressor. Does it live up to the famed Advanced Armament name? Let’s take a look.
More AAC @ TFB:
Above, the Ruger SFAR ($1,329 MSRP) is a lightweight .308 rifle that walks the line between AR-15 and AR-10. I have been using the stainless steel AR-10 magazines from DuraMag (below) in the SFAR and a few other platforms. They are strong without adding much weight over aluminum options and function flawlessly. You should give the Ruger SFAR and DuraMag magazines if you are in the market for some .308 goodness.
SILENCER SATURDAY #280: AAC Ranger 7 Rifle Suppressor
I always like to take a moment for a return to some basic principles and thoughts before kicking off a suppressor review. Let’s start with deciding between buying a 5.56mm suppressor or a 7.62mm suppressor. First, if you plan on shooting anything larger than 5.56 bullets, stick with a 7.62 suppressor. A 5.56 suppressor introduces certain defining characteristics that are incompatible with larger bullets and can lead to disastrous results.
Where the decision becomes less clear is when you shoot 5.56 and 7.62 hosts equally or at least plan on shooting smaller calibers in the future. The best sound performance will always come from a bore size that is just slightly larger than the bullet itself. The process is called “corking/uncorking” and occurs when the bullet passes through each baffle and contains the the blast until at last the bullet exits the end cap and “uncorks”. With a smaller bullet in a larger bore suppressor, the “corking” never really occurs because gases escape around the sides instead of getting fully trapped by the baffles.
In the end, if you can only afford to buy one suppressor, opt for the one that you can shoot as many calibers as you plan on suppressing. If you can afford two suppressors, buy a 5.56 can and a 7.62mm can and use them on the correct hosts for maximum suppression.
Today’s lesson is now finished.
Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) is known for some of the most important developments in the modern suppressor industry. After some time under the old Remington umbrella, JJE Brands (the owners of Palmetto State Armory and others) purchased AAC a few years ago and thankfully have started giving it new life.
The most recent AAC release is the Ranger line which is a hard-use rifle suppressor for either 5.56 guns (Ranger 5) or 7.62 guns (Ranger 7). They are tubeless silencers made from stainless steel that feature 1.375″ x 24 universal mount threads and a removable end cap.
Looking around at various suppressor communities, I was surprised at how many shooters are still running the 51T flash hiders from some of the legacy AAC models that are still going strong. A decade ago, as the “new” companies of today were on the rise, the 51T and its mounting system were criticized by some for having a wobble and latch failures. The wobble reports may have been overblown (I have never owned an AAC can myself), however the new Spring Tensioned Accessory Mounting Platform (S.T.A.M.P.) module and 51T muzzle devices are solid and lock up tightly. The AAC Ranger ships with a direct thread mount if you prefer a non QD option or you can use one of the compatible universal mounts from another manufacturer.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
AAC Ranger 7 – Specifications
At 14.5 ounces, the Ranger 7 weighs in decently for a stainless steel suppressor. That is without the direct thread mount which adds a little less than an ounce.
The 51T S.T.A.M.P. module adds almost five ounces bringing the whole system up to 19.2 ounces. That is on the higher end of other market options for hard use suppressors.
The Ranger 7 measures at just under 8″ with the 51T module and just over 6.5″ with the direct thread attachment. Not too long, not too short, but I’d pick a different mounting system unless you are fully invested in the 51T ecosystem.
The baffles are all clipped symmetrically with opposing cuts down the length of the stack. This should mean that the Ranger 7 won’t have any issues with point of impact (POI) shift. Today’s soaking rains kept me from doing any accuracy testing.
The AAC logo embedded end cap is removable but I did not have a tool on hand to inspect the last baffle.
The direct thread adapter has a single section muzzle brake as a type of sacrificial blast baffle. Neat idea.
Unrelated to the Ranger 7 testing, I experienced my first real mechanical issue with the MCX platform. Apparently the chamber was so dirty that rounds were not seating properly and preventing the bolt from locking into place (even with the forward assist). The result was a failure to fire (click of the hammer falling) and unfired rounds stuck in the chamber. I actually had to use the grenade technique to dislodge them. After a few repeats, I headed back to the shop for disassembly of the bolt carrier group, firing pin inspection, cleaning and lubrication.
Back out on the range after cleaning, the 6.75″ MCX Virtus ran perfectly with the gas setting on ‘+’. The Virtus would not cycle with the Ranger 7 and the gas set to the ‘-‘ position. A good sign of a lower back pressure design.
The Ranger 7 performed ok with 220gr subsonic 300BLK. It wasn’t loud, but it wasn’t the near the quietest 7.62 suppressor I’ve shot either. The temperature was cool and the humidity was obviously high, so that could have played a part in the perception of noise reduction. Where the Ranger 7 seemed to shine was with supersonic 300BLK and .308 Win on the Ruger SFAR with a 20″ barrel. It is difficult to identify suppression levels for supersonic ammo, but I do remove my left hearing protection for a shot or two. There’s a unique lower tone and the performance was definitely better than average 7.62 suppressors available today.
With a 1.5″ diameter, a 6.5″ (8″ with mount) length, and constructed with stainless steel, the Ranger 7 is built for hard use on the end of a defensive carbine that is going to see high rates of fire. So I’m not surprised that the subsonic performance is just average. Where the Ranger 7 excelled is with supersonic rounds, which fits perfectly with its intended design.The Ranger 7 is also reasonably priced and features the universal mounting threads.
All of which make it easy to recommend if you are looking for a hard-use suppressor that will protect your hearing and last several lifetimes with the proper care.
Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.