What Are Suppressor Wipes And How To Replace Them?
There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of suppressor wipes before, and that’s OK.
Most people don’t use them anymore because they tend to view them as an antiquated part of suppressor history. While it’s true that suppressor wipes date back almost to the very beginning of suppressor development, it’s not true that they’re antiquated.
Just as suppressor technology has evolved over the decades, so, too, has the technology used in suppressor wipes.
What Is A Suppressor Wipe?
OK, so now you know that suppressor wipes aren’t just a blast from the past … but the bigger question you may be asking is, “What is a suppressor wipe?”
Wipes are a consumable, physical barrier that a projectile must pass through as it travels the length of the suppressor. Often made of neoprene, silicone, or urethane, wipes are a really simple product and concept and they’re actually tremendously effective in containing explosive gases caused by firing a gun.
Wipes are made from materials that are durable (to a point), meaning that shooting through them doesn’t destroy them. As a result, they kind of act like extra baffles which, as we know, play a key role in decibel reduction.
Benefits of Suppressor Wipes
The whole point of a suppressor is to quiet down the sound of a gunshot, and while regular baffles do a great job of this, suppressor wipes offer even more capacity for sound reduction.
In terms of sound reduction, a wipe most noticeably helps to reduce the decibel level of your first-round pop.
As was mentioned above, the suppressor wipe creates a barrier that your bullet must pass through. Because the bullet is moving faster than the gases behind it, it gets temporarily trapped by the wipe after the bullet goes through. This trapping of the gas helps to quiet down the report of the gunshot.
How Long Do Wipes Last?
Unlike baffles, wipes are consumable, meaning that they don’t last forever. After all, you’re making contact with the wipe each and every time you shoot through it. Over time, this causes the wipe to break down and it needs to be replaced for optimum performance.
Unfortunately, even the best wipes don’t last terribly long. Most need to be replaced after 20 rounds and you’re lucky if you can push it to 50 rounds.
The bad news is that suppressor wipes don’t last very long. The good news is that they’re easy to replace. The confusing news is that there are specific regulations you must follow to replace them legally.
How To Replace the Wipes on A Suppressor
Before we explain exactly how to replace suppressor wipes, it’s important that you know that the ATF considers a wipe to be a suppressor part. As a result, they cannot be legally sent directly to the end user. Instead, the suppressor company has to send the wipes to an FFL and the suppressor also has to go to an FFL and have the work done there.
However, it’s also legal to make your own suppressor wipes – with one legal caveat. Because wipes are suppressor parts, you cannot make a bunch of replacements and have them on hand for when you need them. Instead, it has to be a one-for-one situation. For example, if you’re replacing two wipes, you can make two new ones, but not three.
Is it silly? Yes. But it’s the law, and you’re not a law-breaker. You’re a responsible suppressor owner.
- Push Rod
- If you’re using a suppressor that has multiple wipes throughout the length of the suppressor, you’ll use the rod to push each wipeout of the suppressor body.
- In some instances, you can use certain kinds of rubber (or similar material) washers from a hardware store that are the correct diameter and thickness for your suppressor. Otherwise, actual wipes from the company that made your suppressor will be used.
- DIY Wipe Material
- If you’re making your own wipes (one-for-one, remember), you can buy sheets of neoprene, silicone, etc online. Just make sure you get the proper thickness or reassembly may not go as intended.
- If you’re buying sheets of material, then you’ll also need something to create wipes of the proper size, and an arch punch is a perfect tool for the job. Find one that will create a piece of material that is the correct diameter for your suppressor.
- Backing Board
- Don’t set this up on your kitchen table. Arch punches are sharp and the marks you’ll inevitably leave on the furniture are sure to upset your significant other. Instead, use a backing board, such as a plastic cutting board to work on.
- Strike your punch with the hammer through the wipe material on the backing board. If you do it right, you’ll make a wipe of the correct diameter and thickness.
Read The Manual For Your Suppressor Model
This should go without saying, but be sure to read the manual for your specific suppressor model before attempting to do any of this kind of work. If you threw the manual out, there’s a very high probability that you can access it from the manufacturer’s website.
Upgrade Your Suppressor Today
Whether you’ve decided on which wiped (or unwiped) silencer to buy or not, the next step is to get ahold of us here at Silencer Central. If you know what you want to buy, we can start your order right away. If you’re still deciding, our staff can help you pick the right suppressor for your needs.
Silencer Central is licensed to sell suppressors in all 42 states where they are legal. We’ve been doing this all day, every day for more than 15 years, and have sold countless thousands of suppressors in that time.
Let us handle the entire purchase process for you and even deliver your suppressor right to your front door once it’s been approved. It really doesn’t get any better than that, so what are you waiting for? Call us now!
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