When you make a 50 bmg suppressor, there are things to consider. Things that need consideration are like pressure, gas volume, weight and size. All these come secondary to sound suppression but must be considered.
These are the four main things aside from sound performance we looked at when we made the Behemoth 50 bmg suppressor. So lets take a little closer look at those specs.
Pressure… is a funny creature. It can do work, it can be destructive, it can be a byproduct of another job, all sorts of things but for us, it is a problem. We have to design the 50 bmg suppressor to handle incredible levels of pressure as this cartridge is propelling a 750gr bullet at almost 3000 feet per second. This kind of energy delivery takes a lot of pressure. Like from 9000 to 11,500 PSI in most modern bolt action sniper style platforms. So you have to design the silencer to absorb this pressure and then be able to mitigate the noise signature at the same time.
The gas volume of the 50 BMG cartridge is enormous to say the least. There is 290 grains of gunpowder in a 50 BMG round, compare this to a 308 Winchester which has 41 grains of gunpowder and you start to understand how massive the 50 bmg suppressor has to be to handle it. That is 7 times the gunpowder… So this necessitates that a good 50 bmg suppressor be fairly large. We need to be able to capture that gas column and hold onto it momentarily to be able to do the things with it we do and then let it go under controlled conditions.
Weight is an obvious spec that has to be addressed. This is because these guns are meant to be man portable and not crew served. Since we are having to carry this thing in a pack of some sort, we have to keep weight manageable or the soldier will not deploy with it. He will simply choose to leave it behind to conserve space and weight. This is why we chose to make it out of titanium, almost exclusively. We had to keep weight under 3 pounds and titanium allowed us to do that. Another great benefit to titanium is that it is incredibly strong as well as light, these two things made it the obvious choice for the Behemoth.
Size is the final spec we are talking about today with this design. The size is dictated by volume as well as bore t bore aspect ratio. When we decided to build a 50 bmg suppressor, we knew it would be fairly large, but we had no idea it would be as big as it turned out. This was in part due to us also wanting it to be hearing safe at the shooter’s ear. This basically means we wanted it to meter below 140dB at the shooters ear since that is the person that will be closest to the rifle when it is being used. We achieved this metric and then some with it consistency measuring 134 to 136dB at the shooter’s ear. This was only possible through the use of titanium and the size we finally chose to work with.
There was a lot more to designing the Behemoth 50 bmg suppressor, but these are some of the highlights and this gives you a glimpse into the world of making a suppressor for one of the largest rounds out there for civilian use today. Hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the curtain so to speak and until next time, keep your powder dry!