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We recently got the opportunity to tour the SilencerCo research and production facility in West Valley City, Utah. Never one to miss something like that, we enthusiastically agreed. It helped that range time with SilencerCo’s new Velos Low Back Pressure suppressor was included. We were ably hosted by Public Relations Specialist Shauna Young, Marketing guys Caleb Gosnell and Cody Wootton, and, somewhat surprisingly, Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults. It was a good time.

SilencerCo Velos Low Back Pressure Suppressor
(SilencerCo Photo)

The New Velos Low Back Pressure Suppressor

Since many readers will mainly want to hear about the new suppressor, we’ll start there. But hang around for the rest because it’s exciting stuff for the future of suppressor manufacturing. SilencerCo introduced the Velos LBP in January. Designed specifically for the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges, Shults told us it’s the most durable suppressor his company has ever made.

That durability comes from the new patented Hoplon Blast Baffle, which deflects debris, extending the suppressor’s life span, even on fully automatic and short-barreled rifles. Speaking of SBRs, the Velos LBP has no barrel length restrictions, so you do you.

SilencerCo Velos Low Back Pressure Suppressor
SilencerCo’s new Velos LBP might be the AR-15 suppressor you’ve been looking for. (SilencerCo Photos)

The unique 3D printed Inconel 625 core is fully welded to the 17-4 stainless steel front and rear modules. As the name states, it significantly reduces gas in the shooter’s face. And when coupled with SilencerCo’s Gas Defeating Charging Handle, there seems to be no gas at all. Ask us how we know.

We fired the Velos LBP on several platforms, with and without the Gas Defeating Charging Handle. As you might imagine, we had some serious fun. SilencerCo has a nice indoor test range and we spent about an hour blasting away. Being indoors, we used ear protection, but we could tell that the Velos LBP is a high performer with 137.1 decibels at the muzzle. In case you aren’t aware, 140 decibels is considered hearing safe. The way decibels work (look it up), 137 is quite pleasant.

Even with the fully automatic FightLite belt fed upper, the Velos was a pleasure to shoot. Not that the FightLite wouldn’t be awesome anyway. But the Velos made it that much better. Bet you can’t guess which gun we liked best. But we have to say that the 12-Gauge shotgun wearing the SilencerCo Shockwave was a close second. Anyway, let’s take a look at the Velos LBP’s specs:

SilencerCo Velos Low Back Pressure Specifications

  • Length: 5.98 inches
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Decibels at the Muzzle: 137.1 dB
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
  • Full Auto Rated
  • No Barrel Length Restrictions
  • 17-4 Stainless Steel with a 3D Printed Inconel Core
  • Finish: V-Series Cerakote (Black)
  • Compatible with SilencerCo Charlie accessories

The V-Series Cerakote contributes to the Velos LBP’s durability by ensuring the finish will last a long a time. The suppressor ships with the brand-new Charlie Flash Hider Front Cap, Charlie ASR Mount, ASR Flash Hider in ½ x 28, spanner wrench, and Charlie Multitool. If you’re looking for a dedicated AR-15 suppressor, the Velos LBP might just be the one.

SilencerCo test range
The Velos LBP on the FightLite fully automatic belt-fed upper was the highlight of range time. But the 12-Gauge shotgun wearing the SilencerCo Shockwave was a close second. (Author’s Photos)

The New and Improved SilencerCo

Now that you’ve got the deets on the new suppressor, let’s talk about how SilencerCo is upping their game production-wise. Shults conducted the tour himself and let us look at whatever we wanted. He told us what everything did and answered all our questions, even if we didn’t always understand exactly what he was talking about. Engineering is mostly above our heads.

But we did understand and appreciate SilencerCo’s new approach to building their products. The company has invested heavily in automation and robots to improve quality and consistency. But that doesn’t mean they laid off their human workers. Nope, not even one. And Shults says that no one will ever lose their job to a machine.

Instead, those folks are being trained to operate and supervise the robots to ensure the best quality possible. Shults explained that automation creates “greater efficiency for our company and more enjoyable jobs for our employees. We are automating the parts of manufacturing that are mundane and tedious. Employees will work in conjunction with these new automations in a way that allows them to spend more time on creative and high-level tasks.”

SilencerCo Robot
The new robots allow SilencerCo’s employees time to be creative. (Author’s photo)

That high-level creativity is also spilling over to the machine tools themselves. Shults told us that SilencerCo only buys the best machine tools, but they also study those machines to understand how they work and how they might be made better by tailoring them to SilencerCo’s specific needs. The company is now building its own machines based on that analysis and at least one of those is already operating on the production floor. The effort to understand the machines on that level is yielding new insights into how future products might be made even better.

A Unique Commitment

Shults proudly told us that SilencerCo sources almost all its materials in the United States and that he is moving toward 100 percent American sourcing. “We want our business to support Americans on all levels: through the products that we sell and through the methods [by which] these products are made,” he said. The giant American flag hanging over the production floor reflects that attitude. The company holds its monthly “All Hands” meetings under the flag. Each meeting begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. We like that kind of stuff.

SilencerCo is also the only suppressor company that does all its manufacturing in the same facility. When asked why that kind of vertical integration was important, Shults replied that “By manufacturing our products in-house, we are actively bringing more jobs to the people of Utah. It also gives us the ability to control our products and thereby ensures that customers are receiving the very best that we can produce.”

Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults
SilencerCo Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults gives us the lowdown on his company’s new production advances. (Author’s Photo)

Like all good companies, SilencerCo backs up its products. Their warranty is among the best, if not the best, in the business. When we asked about it, Shults stressed its importance. All warranty work is done on-site, and the average turnaround is 48 hours. He chuckled and told us that they would even “fix stupid once.” That’s good stuff.

A Unique Morale Booster

SilencerCo does indeed look like a great place to work. Everyone was friendly and answered our questions. We also noticed that Shults seemed to be on a first-name basis with everyone, including the production guys. We appreciate that too.

But one thing that sets SilencerCo apart is the dogs. Yep, there were dogs there. SilencerCo not only allows their folks to bring their dogs to work, but they also actively encourage it. There’s even a dog station with supplies the employees might need for their pups. Now, we get that not everyone is a dog person. But if you are, how cool would it be to bring your good boy or girl to work every day? That has to help employee morale.

SilencerCo Dog
This is Blue. We met him in the SilencerCo hallway. (Author’s Photo)

We asked Shults why he implemented that policy. “It lowers stress levels and creates a fun space where people want to come to work,” he replied. “Our dogs are really part of our team!” Hard to disagree with that. We saw dogs in the offices, the hallways, and the production floor. The only canine-free space we saw was the range, which is totally understandable.

Moving Forward

It’s difficult to not be impressed by Shults and SilencerCo. The production facility is clean and seemingly well-run, even though the new machines have necessitated some rearranging. Shults doesn’t mind. He knows where he wants to go and has a vision of how he’s going to get there. The technological investments are already paying off and the workforce is motivated. High employee morale means pride in one’s work which means top quality products.

SilencerCo has come a long way since Shults and his business partner Josh Waldron started it in a garage. Fifteen short years later, their project is an industry leader. From what we’ve seen, Shults means to stay there for the long haul.

#Tour #SilencerCo

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