Silencers 101

Titanium vs. Stainless Steel Suppressors

Titanium vs. Stainless Steel Suppressors

Variety is the spice of life. There are plenty of options on the market for suppressor host firearms, and there’s plenty of options on the market for suppressors. Both guns and suppressors alike are made from a wide variety of materials, and unfortunately, not all of those materials perform the same, leaving you with pros and cons that must be weighed and considered before making a decision.

When it comes to suppressors, the two most common construction materials you’ll encounter are titanium and stainless steel. We’ll take a look at a variety of aspects of each construction material in an attempt to help you decide which is right for you.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Titanium vs. Stainless Steel

As with all things, there are both good and bad aspects of titanium and stainless steel that must be considered when determining which material is best for your suppressor needs. This can include the type of host gun, predominant use of suppressor, preferred method of cleaning, and more.

So, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each material here.

Titanium Advantages

  • Lighter weight than stainless steel
  • Higher strength-to-weight ratio than stainless steel
  • Faster cooling than stainless steel

Titanium Disadvantages

  • Higher cost than stainless steel
  • Harder material to work with / manufacture
  • It can withstand the heat, but your projectiles might not

Stainless Steel Advantages

  • Lower cost than titanium
  • Extremely durable and resistant to wear
  • Easier material to work with / manufacture

Stainless Steel Disadvantages

  • Heavier than titanium
  • Not all stainless steel is equal, so be sure of the exact kind

How Fast Can You Shoot Through a Titanium Suppressor?

Well, that depends, and we’ve got some questions. Are you shooting a full-auto firearm? How fast can you pull the trigger on a semi-auto firearm? How many fully loaded mags do you intend to shoot? These kinds of questions come up because of titanium’s extreme durability when subjected to extreme heat.

A titanium suppressor can withstand higher temperatures than a stainless steel suppressor, but that doesn’t mean that the projectiles you may shoot through it can withstand the same temperatures. This means that even though your suppressor isn’t being damaged directly from the heat, it can cause problems with your projectiles that can cause damage to the suppressor because of the heat.

Running a suppressor on a full-auto firearm for an extended period of time or running a suppressor on a semi-auto firearm that has a high rate of fire for an extended period of time is a bad idea across the board. No matter how well made the silencer might be, heat is the ultimate enemy. It doesn’t matter if it’s made of titanium or stainless steel, heat will be the ultimate downfall.

That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the occasional mag dump through your suppressor. Just don’t make it the norm – and with ammo prices the way they are right now, it’s highly unlikely to be the norm anyway.

Which Material is More Durable: Steel or Titanium?

Steel and titanium are both super durable materials, and determining which one holds up better than the other isn’t cut and dry. For most people with normal shooting patterns and habits, a suppressor is going to outlive you regardless of whether it’s made from stainless steel or titanium.

Titanium has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, making it more durable while weighing less, but stainless steel is no slouch, either. It can be just as durable as titanium, but it will weigh more to provide the same degree of durability.

You need to figure out your exact goals and intended uses for a suppressor before deciding which one is best for you.

Is a Titanium Suppressor Worth the Extra Cost?

There are a lot of variables that need to be determined before answering this question, but we can break down a couple of the generalities and give some answers. If money is of no concern, then go with titanium – or buy one of each and get the best of both worlds. If you’re like most people and money is hard-earned and difficult to part with, then read on.

Are you concerned about weight? Then yes, titanium is worth the extra cost because of the vast amount of difference between titanium and stainless steel. Are you going to be running and gunning, using the suppressor hard, and not treating it like a safe queen? Then no, titanium isn’t worth the extra cost because, while durable, titanium isn’t as beefy or as durable as stainless.

It really all comes down to your specific needs and shooting conditions.

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Titanium vs. Steel: Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of questions that come up when deciding what material is best for a suppressor, so we take on some of the most common ones here.

Are titanium suppressors better?

That really all depends on how you define “better”, and that definition is going to be different from shooter to shooter. If lighter is better, then yes. If more expensive is better, then yes. If faster cooling is better, then yes.

Of course, we all know that just because something costs more doesn’t mean it is better made than something that costs less. Or just because something weighs less means it performs better than something that’s heavier.

It really all comes down to your specific needs and shooting conditions and where you put your priorities when it comes down to determining the “must-haves” versus the “nice to haves” in terms of suppressor qualities.

Is stainless steel stronger than titanium?

The short answer is yes, followed by “if.” The long answer is no, followed by “but.”

In terms of sheer strength, high-grade titanium beats low to medium-grade stainless steel. However, high-grade stainless steel is stronger than titanium.

When it comes to weight, though, titanium will be stronger than stainless steel in objects of the same weight.

What are most suppressors made of?

Stainless steel, titanium, and aluminum are the three most common suppressor materials on the market. Of course, the exact percentage of each material in any given suppressor will vary from one manufacturer. Some are made of different grades of these materials, or certain components are made from one material while others are made from different materials. An example would be the individual baffles being made from a different material than the outer tube.

Generally speaking, however, you’ll find that stainless steel, titanium, and aluminum are the big three materials when it comes to the vast majority of suppressors on the market today.

What is the difference between stainless steel and titanium coated?

There are a variety of different types of finishes (or coatings) that can be applied to a suppressor, which gives the can its overall final appearance. The different types exist because some metals accept certain finishing processes and coatings better than others.

Some different types include anodizing, Cerakote, and physical vapor deposition (PVD). Anodizing is most likely to be found on titanium silencers, while Cerakote will most often be encountered on a stainless steel silencer. PVD, however, is equally encountered on both stainless steel and titanium suppressors.

No matter which one of these coatings is used on a suppressor, they all have one big thing in common: that final finish adds durability to the suppressor, ensuring years and years of fun and enjoyment.

Of course, the different coatings also look nice, too. And let’s be honest, life’s too short to shoot an ugly silencer!

Having Trouble Deciding? We Can Help.

If you’re having trouble deciding if you should get a stainless steel suppressor or a titanium suppressor, don’t worry. You’re definitely not the first person to struggle with this decision.

Silencer Central can help you decide which option is best for you. Our staff has been shooting all kinds of suppressors for years, so they’ve got first-hand experience and knowledge with the ins and outs of different cans and how they perform. Give us a call and we can talk you through your options.

At Silencer Central, we’ve been helping people get the best suppressors for their needs for more than 15 years. We’re the largest silencer dealer in the country and we offer free NFA trusts with your suppressor purchase, an easy, no-interest payment plan, and will ship your new suppressor right to your front door once it’s been approved. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Call us today to get started!

 

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