Choosing Stellite vs Inconel for Your Silencer Baffles
Suppressors are an investment, both in terms of time and money. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best value for your hard-earned dollars so that the product you buy will last for decades to come.
To ensure this, you want to buy a silencer that’s made from the most durable materials on the market. There are a bunch of options to choose from: aluminum, stainless, steel, titanium, Stellite, and Inconel, just to name some of the most prevalent ones.
Out of all of those materials, you’ve probably heard that Stellite and Inconel are the two most durable ones from which you can choose.
We’ll take a look at both Stellite and Inconel and see how they compare to one another when it comes to silencer baffles. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of which one is right for you and your suppressor needs.TITANIUM VS. STAINLESS STEEL SUPPRESSORS
What are Silencer Baffles?
Silencer baffles are the most important part of a silencer. They’re what enable the silencer to quiet down the sound of the gunshot. Silencer baffles do this by temporarily trapping the gases that are expelled from a fired cartridge and slowing them down before they exit the end of the silencer. Since the gases are moving slower, they have less energy and produce less sound.
How Many Baffles Does a Suppressor Need?
Determining how many baffles a suppressor need is a subjective question. Ideally, a suppressor should have as many baffles as you can fit inside of the outer tube. The more baffles it has, the quieter the suppressor will be.
Of course, you have to balance this with the extra weight and length you end up with as each baffle that is added to the suppressor makes it heavier and longer.
Since Stellite is such a strong material and can withstand a ton of abuse, you’ll usually find Stellite baffles in suppressors that are designed for use on firearms with shorter barrels. Additionally, suppressors with Stellite baffles are usually rated for extended durations of full-auto fire.
In some cases, you can even find suppressors made with all-Stellite baffles that are rated for belt-fed firing and have no minimum barrel restrictions. If that’s the kind of shooting you’re looking to do with your suppressor, then a silencer made with Stellite baffles is the way to go.
What is Stellite?
Stellite is a cobalt-based alloy that has a history of use in the firearms industry dating back to World War II when it was used to help extend the lifespan of barrels for the Browning M2 .50-caliber machine gun.
Stellite is also one of the most expensive and difficult materials to machine in terms of all suppressor baffle material options. However, if you’ve got the money to do a bunch of belt-fed full-auto shooting, then the extra cost of this material probably isn’t an issue in the first place!
How Strong is Stellite?
Stellite is a very strong material. It has a tensile strength of up to 160,000 psi. That’s more than double the tensile strength of stainless steel, which is generally rated at 73,200 psi.
How Long Does Stellite Last?
When used to make suppressor baffles, Stellite will last a very, very long time. So long as you take proper care of your suppressor and don’t push it beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations (like ignoring minimum barrel lengths or spending all day doing full-auto mag dumps), it’s more than likely that your suppressor’s Stellite baffles will outlive you.Join our Newsletter
Inconel baffles in a suppressor are remarkably durable. In high-end suppressors, you could find that the entire baffle stack is made of Inconel. For a suppressor priced in the mid-range, you might find that the blast baffle is made of Inconel to absorb the initial blast and the other baffles are made from a different material. This allows you to get the best initial corrosion resistance while saving some money by making the other baffles from something other than Inconel.
What is Inconel?
Inconel is an extremely durable alloy that performs very well in suppressor baffles. It provides a nice balance between not being too heavy while also being able to withstand a lot of heat and corrosion. Because it’s such a durable material, it is similar to Stellite in that Inconel can be a harder material to work with.
How Strong is Inconel?
Just like Stellite, Inconel is a very strong material. It has a tensile strength of up to 160,000 psi. That’s more than double the tensile strength of stainless steel, which is generally rated at 73,200 psi.
How Long Does Inconel Last?
When used to make suppressor baffles, Inconel is similar to Stellite, in that it will last for an extremely long time. Provided that you take proper care of your suppressor and don’t push it beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations (like ignoring minimum barrel lengths or spending all day doing full-auto mag dumps), it’s more than likely that your suppressor’s Stellite baffles will outlive you.
Stellite vs Inconel for a Suppressor
Stellite and Inconel are very similar materials, and you’ve really got to drill down into the details to find where they differ. Time is money, though, and your time is valuable! If you’re looking for the TL;DR version of the comparison between Stellite and Inconel for suppressor baffles, take a look at the chart below.
|Tensile Strength||Up to 160,000 psi||Up to 160,000 psi|
|Hardness||Up to 45 HRC||Up to 40 HRC|
|Service Temp||Up to 1,800 Fahrenheit||Up to 1,800 Fahrenheit|
|Melting Point||Up to 2,491 Fahrenheit||Up to 2,460 Fahrenheit|
|Cost (out of 5)||$$$$$||$$$$|
Which Baffle Material is Best? You Decide!
It’s no secret that both Stellite and Inconel are two of the best baffles materials you can find in a suppressor. They’re both remarkably durable, can withstand a ton of abuse, will outlive a suppressor’s owner, and are similar in price. So which material is right for you? That’s a question that only you can answer after looking at how you plan on using your suppressors.
You might find that another material altogether – such as titanium, stainless steel, or even aluminum – will work just fine for what you’re hoping to suppress. Look at it this way: an F350 pickup truck has a ton of power and hauling capabilities, but if you’re only using it to tow an eight-foot aluminum fishing boat, you really don’t need it.
If, however, you’re the kind of person who simply has to have the best of the best no matter what, then a suppressor made with Stellite or Inconel baffles is definitely the right choice for you!
When you’re ready to buy that new suppressor, give us a call. We’ll handle the entire buying process for you from the comfort of your own home, and we’ll even mail your silencer right to your door once it’s been approved! Get started today!Find Your Suppressor!