The suppressor market has exploded in the past few years, with a dizzying number of new companies and new models being introduced. This is because of a changing perception in the shooting world—suppressors are considered much more benign than their Hollywood depictions—and inflation, which has reduced the financial sting of the $200 transfer fee.

As more people buy suppressors (especially the muzzle-mounted .22 rimfire “cans” that represent the bread and butter of suppressors), increasing use leads to a demand for newer features—in this case, the ability to disassemble them. While I’ve generally had good results with sealed cans, .22 ammo is dirty as sin, and, coupled with the tendency of soft .22 bullets to hiss and spit little pieces of lead into suppressors, it makes sense to be able to one down for maintenance. Otherwise, the standard protocol is to regularly weigh the suppressor and send it in for service when the scale tells you there’s an unacceptable amount of lead deposited in the baffles.

Enter Gemtech, which has offered suppressors of all sizes and calibers for years. Alongside their popular .22 LR Outback and Outback II models, Gemtech’s new Alpine is a thread-on .22 LR suppressor that can be quickly and easily disassembled for cleaning. Running about a half-inch longer than the Outback, the all-aluminum Alpine weighs in at 3.7 ounces, has a 1-inch outside diameter and an advertised 38 decibels of sound suppression when shot dry.

Quiet Science

Firearms make noise in several different ways, but the two loudest things are the sonic crack of the bullet breaking the sound barrier and the report of the gases produced by the burning gunpowder as it exits the barrel behind the bullet. Preventing the first comes down to selecting ammo that travels slower than the speed of sound, which is about 1,100 feet per second (fps). This is easy with a round like the relatively slow-moving 147-grain 9mm, tougher with a .223, and manageable with the .22 LR, which comes in either hypersonic or subsonic versions.

Preventing the sound of the escaping gas is where the suppressor comes in. Suppressors trap the hot, fast-moving combustion gas until it cools, usually by encircling the path of the bullet with a series of chambers commonly called baffles. Introducing a liquid into the suppressor also helps cool the gas, making it quieter still. While the Alpine can be shot “wet,” like the Outback, its suppression is measured dry and is quite good even without the addition of a coolant.

The rear exterior of the Alpine’s body has a series of machined-in dimples, something along the lines of golf ball dimples with sharp edges. They aren’t simply ornamental—they give your fingers some texture to hang onto when you’re screwing the suppressor on or off. This is especially helpful after a long session of shooting, since cans tend to get pretty hot, and you don’t exactly want to wrap your entire palm around that smooth cylinder and squeeze tight to unscrew it.

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