When most people think about suppressors, the first thing that comes to mind is a removable device that attaches to the end of a firearm’s barrel and reduces the volume of the gun’s report. It’s true. Most silencers are relatively small units that aren’t necessarily intended to permanently live on a particular gun. However, thanks to the massive growth in suppressor ownership over the last half decade, another well established type of silencer has experienced a resurgence – the integral suppressor.
Integral silencers have always had a moderately large following in the rimfire world. While they do offer increased performance, the ease of barrel changes on rifles like the Ruger 10/22 makes barrels with dedicated suppressors appealing even to people who don’t always want to shoot with a silencer. Furthermore, some of the integral .22 LR barrels feature ports that help to reduce the speeds of high velocity, bulk ammunition to inside the subsonic range for optimum performance. In centerfire guns, this concept has mostly been exclusive to Heckler & Koch’s MP5SD as few other pistol-caliber long arms have taken full advantage of integral suppressor design.
Spike’s Tactical’s new Brown Recluse 9mm AR-15 is the MP5SD’s newest rival. Like the SD, it features a ported barrel fronted by a traditional, baffled silencer. Meanwhile, it maintains the same familiar controls and comfortable ergonomics of common ARs. On the surface, Spike’s gun seems to be a winner, but hearing is always believing. Thankfully, the folks at Silencer Shop have a demo Recluse for just this sort of evaluation and were kind enough to send it my way for a few days.