What Is Baffle Strike And Easy Ways To Prevent It
Two of the most unpleasant words in the suppressor world are “baffle strike.” To many, they’re right up there with “tax stamp.” Yuck.
While there’s no way around having to deal with tax stamps, you can most certainly avoid having to deal with a baffle strike. To do so, you’ll need to understand what baffles are and how they work. Then you’ll be able to take steps to avoid such unfortunate circumstances.
So, without further ado…
What is Baffle Strike?
A baffle strike is when a bullet is fired through a suppressor but it strikes the internal components of the suppressor before exiting.
Thankfully, there are varying degrees of baffle strikes, and most of the time they’re not ruinous to a suppressor. Most baffle strikes are small clips on the edges of the baffles that occur when the projectile makes light contact with the baffle. These small strikes will not have an overall negative impact on the integrity of the suppressor or its ability to reduce decibels.
On the other hand, some baffle strikes can be catastrophic. Some particularly bad cases of baffle strikes will result in the projectile punching new holes in the baffles and exiting either the suppressor body itself or through a newly-created hole in the end cap. At any rate, when this happens, the suppressor can no longer perform properly and should not be used anymore.
What Is a Baffle in a Suppressor?
Baffles are the most important part of a suppressor. They’re what enable the unit 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 after the bullet. Since the gases are moving slower, they have less energy and produce less sound.
Can You Replace Baffles in a Suppressor?
The short answer is yes, you can replace baffles in a suppressor. That said, any time you’re dealing with an NFA item like a suppressor, it’s best not to take the repairs into your own hands for a variety of reasons. It’s far better to send the suppressor back to the manufacturer to have it worked on.
First off, the ATF gets a little squirrely when it comes to suppressor parts, so having extras on hand as replacement parts could land you in hot water. I know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense given that baffles aren’t the serialized part on most suppressors, but that’s just the way it is.
The second reason you shouldn’t work on replacing your own baffles is from a safety standpoint. Most people do not have the proper capabilities or tools needed to make a new baffle or repair a struck one. Plus, putting DIY parts into a commercially-made suppressor will probably void any warranty offered by the manufacturer.
How to Prevent Baffle Strikes
Now that we know the importance of baffles, let’s go over what you can do to help prevent a baffle strike.
Baffle Removal Tool
If you’ve run so many rounds through your suppressor that you’ve lost count and you’re only just now deciding to take it apart for cleaning, you might find that the excessive amount of carbon buildup is making it very difficult to remove your baffles from the main suppressor tube.
While baffles are built out of tough material, they’re not invincible. If you try to force the baffles out using the wrong tool for the job, then it’s possible that you could damage them. As a result, they might not go back into the tube correctly and this misalignment could lead to a baffle strike.
Thankfully, Silencer Central offers a Baffle Removal Tool to prevent such damage. The tool provides a quick and easy way to get even the most stubborn baffles unstuck while ensuring that no damage comes to them in the process.
Suppressor and Baffle Alignment
The easiest way to prevent a baffle strike is by ensuring that your baffles are properly installed and aligned in the suppressor tube, that is if you have a suppressor that comes apart for user service, such as all of the offerings in the BANISH lineup.
Once you know that the baffles are properly aligned and installed, you need to make sure that the suppressor itself is properly aligned on your barrel. This means taking care to avoid any cross-threading when installing your suppressor onto your firearm. Unfortunately, you can do everything right and still have a misaligned suppressor. This could be due to issues with the way the suppressor adapter was threaded or the way the barrel threads were cut at the factory.
Using an alignment rod will help you make a quick visual determination that your suppressor is aligned properly on your firearm. These rods go down through your suppressor and into your barrel while still sticking out the muzzle end of your suppressor. You’ll be looking for clear visual gaps all the way around the rod at the muzzle end. If the rod is contacting the end or you have trouble even inserting the rod into the suppressor and barrel, then you likely have an alignment issue that needs to be rectified before shooting.
Get the right silencer for your firearm at Silencer Central
At Silencer Central, we’ve been selling silencers all day, every day for more than 15 years. In that amount of time, we’ve sold countless silencers to people for all sorts of different firearms. Our staff has shot hundreds of different models over those years. If you’ve still got questions about baffles or suppressors in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re happy to help you understand them more clearly.
Then, when you’re ready to buy a suppressor, let us get you started on the process without ever having to leave your home. We’ll handle everything and mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval!