What is Suppressor Alignment & How Do You Do It
Proper suppressor alignment is an absolutely essential aspect of suppressor safety.
Failure to align your suppressor correctly with your firearm’s barrel and chamber can lead to damage to the gun or can at best and injury to the shooter at the worst.
Luckily, suppressors are easy to align and it’s equally easy to check the alignment before you pull the trigger.
In case you’re unsure of what suppressor alignment is (or if you just want a quick refresher), we’ll explain it below and then go over how to check for proper alignment, what to look for, how to do it, and even some tools that can make it even easier.
What Does Suppressor Alignment Mean?
Suppressor alignment is actually quite simple. It refers to the alignment of your suppressor with your barrel and the chamber. Proper suppressor alignment is when your suppressor is aligned concentrically to the bore of your gun’s barrel. If it isn’t, then your suppressor is not properly aligned.
It’s important to note that if your suppressor isn’t properly aligned, it doesn’t automatically mean that there’s something wrong with your gun or your suppressor. Sometimes it’s a user error and is a very easy fix. If that’s not the case, then you can look to the gun or the suppressor to diagnose the problem. More on that in a bit.
How Does The Alignment of A Silencer Affect Your Shot
Suppressor alignment has a huge impact on your shot. If things are out of alignment, then you won’t hit where you’re aiming and you’ll also likely be causing damage to your equipment. The damage could be excess wear, baffle strikes, or even suppressor wall penetration.
Signs Your Suppressor Is Out Of Alignment
The biggest sign that your suppressor is out of alignment is a baffle strike. This occurs when the fired projectile comes into contact with one of the suppressor baffles. In that same vein, if the alignment is really off, you could experience a baffle strike and penetration of the suppressor wall. These things happen because the suppressor is not concentric to the bore and the flight path of the projectile.
Another sign that your suppressor is out of alignment is if it is hard to thread onto your barrel or attach to your quick-detach muzzle device. This could be due to damaged threads on the gun or suppressor or threads that were not cut properly to begin with on the gun or suppressor.
How To Align A Suppressor
You can start aligning your suppressor 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. If your suppressor does not come apart, you can skip that step.
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.
How To Use A Suppressor Alignment Rod:
These rods go down through your suppressor and into your barrel while still sticking out the muzzle end of your suppressor.
Here’s a quick rundown of the steps, with details below:
Ensure that your firearm is unloaded with no magazine inserted and the chamber empty. This is important not only for safety reasons but to ensure that the rod will be able to run the whole length of your barrel.
Step 2: Attach
Attach your suppressor to the end of the barrel of your firearm, either with a quick-detach muzzle device or by threading it directly onto the barrel.
Step 3: Insert
Insert the alignment rod from the muzzle of your suppressor, lowering it down until you reach the breech of the gun. You should be able to do this easily. If you encounter any resistance, do not force it. If the rod is difficult to insert or remove, you most likely have an alignment issue that needs to be rectified before shooting.
Step 4: Inspect
With the rod fully inserted in the chamber, barrel, and suppressor, you’ll be looking for clear visual gaps all the way around the rod at the end of your suppressor. These gaps indicate that everything is aligned properly. If the rod is contacting the end of the suppressor and you’re seeing spots where there are no gaps, then you most likely have an alignment issue that needs to be rectified before shooting.
Step 5: Remove
Pull the alignment rod out of your suppressor, barrel, and chamber. Visually inspect that everything is clear and unobstructed. If you saw gaps and everything is properly aligned, you can now go shooting. If you didn’t see gaps and suspect that things are out of alignment, you’ll need to address these issues before you can shoot safely.
Alternatives To A Suppressor Alignment Rod
Suppressor alignment rods may seem expensive, but they’re certainly cheaper than having to repair or replace a damaged firearm or suppressor.
That said, you may still need or want to find an alternative. In that case, you could opt to use a tool steel rod of the appropriate length and diameter for your barrel-and-suppressor length and caliber. You could also use a fiberglass or carbon fiber arrow shaft, so long as it is of the appropriate length and diameter.
In theory, you could use a wooden dowel from a hobby shop, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find one that’s perfectly straight and reliable.
Buy The Right Can For Your Firearm
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 the 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!