DEAD AIR ARMAMENT PRODUCT LINE UP
Dead Air Armament is the fastest growing newcomer to the suppressor industry. While the company is new, the expertise behind it is not, as it was founded by Mike Pappas, a silencer legend and a co-founder of SilencerCo. Pappas sought out the most experienced in the industry to help build and shape Dead Air into one of the best silencer manufacturers in the country.
To date, Dead Air has released two families of suppressors: the Dead Air Mask HD and the Dead Air Sandman series. Within the Sandman series of suppressors, three models are available: the Sandman-L, the Sandman-S, and the Sandman-Ti. They are all aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly, they all offer best in class sound reduction. In the suppressor industry, it's our opinion the most important attribute of a suppressor is its sound, or lack thereof, and the Sandman and Mask perform amazingly well in that category. Dead Air suppressors are made of some of the strongest materials available to ensure flawless results under the harshest conditions. Dead Air also offers an unconditional, no questions asked, lifetime warranty on all of their products.
The Mask HD silencer is Dead Air’s first entry into the 22 rimfire category, and it’s capable of firing .17, 22lr, 22Mag, and 5.7x28mm rounds. The Mask is constructed of a blend of titanium and 17-4PH stainless steel and is full auto rated on 22lr hosts. This suppressor can be completely disassembled and offers longer than normal cleaning intervals due to its captured baffle design. Most importantly, the Mask offers some of the best performance we’ve seen from a 22 rimfire suppressor, and there is virtually no noticeable first round pop. Performance isn’t limited to one platform/host either; the Mask suppressor performs whether you’re shooting a pistol or rifle. Our testing found the Mask averaged about 110dB on both a pistol and rifle while using subsonic 22lr ammunition.
For sound testing and a more thorough review, check out our video review of the Mask suppressor.
SANDMAN-L & SANDMAN-S
The quick attach mounting system utilized on the Sandman-L and Sandman-S suppressors is one of the industry’s best because it allows for a true one hand on and one hand off mounting solution. The dual taper mount ensures center bore alignment each time the suppressor is attached to the muzzle device maintaining accuracy and prevents seizing, point of impact shift, precision loss, and wobble. There are no latches to depress or locking rings to disengage while attaching or removing the suppressor from your host firearm. For those looking for an intergral look, the one hand on, one hand off mounting system allows you to easily mount the Sandman underneath the handrail of an AR/MSR type platform.
Both the L and S versions of the Sandman are constructed of 17-4 stainless steel and Stellite, a material that is 3 times stronger than Inconel. Inconel is a strong material and is frequently used in the suppressor industry, but Stellite helps prevent early baffle erosion and allows the Sandman series of suppressors to not impose a minimum barrel length restriction. From 5.56mm to .300 Win Mag, the Dead Air Sandman line of suppressors can be shot and warrantied on whatever barrel length you choose.
At 8.9 inches, the Sandman-L weighs in at 21.8 ounces and offers some of the best performance (sound attenuation) that we’ve seen in our shop. The sound meter says it’s 1.9 dB louder with 300 blackout subsonic ammo than the SilencerCo Specwar 762 (current 30 caliber performance leader), but its tone is completely different. Keep in mind the meter can’t decipher tone, and to us, the tone is very pleasant. To our ears, the Sandman-L has a deeper tone vs the higher pitched, wispy sounds of competitor suppressors. On 308 the Sandman-L held its own clocking in at 135dB.
The Sandman-S is the short, quick attach version of the Sandman series. At 6.8 inches in length and a weight of 18.5 ounces, the Sandman-S is the perfect compromise for those looking for a shorter alternative. Many of our customers rank the Sandman-S as the perfect suppressor for their short barreled rifles because it keeps the complete package as short as possible. To our ears, the Sandman-S produces better, more pleasant tones than most 30 caliber suppressors in the 7-8” length category. With that said, the Sandman-S averaged 129dB and 139dB on 300 blackout subsonic and 308.
The Sandman-Ti is the direct thread version of the Sandman series. It offers the same performance and sound as the Sandman-L, but in a smaller, lighter and less expensive package. The Sandman-Ti lacks the quick attach adapter and features a Titanium tube, which results in a lighter, shorter suppressor. The Sandman-Ti weighs 16.8 ounces and is 8.2 inches in length. Threaded in 5/8x24, the Sandman-Ti is the perfect solution for those looking for a dedicated solution for 30 caliber firearm hosts.
We recommend direct thread suppressors if you intend to suppress a small amount of host firearms and do not plan on shooting those hosts unsuppressed. You will experience a point of impact shift when shooting unsuppressed without a muzzle device after removing a direct thread suppressor. If you wish to shoot unsuppressed as well, a quick attach type suppressor (one that leaves a muzzle device on the host firearm) will eliminate a point of impact shift after suppressor removal.
GHOSTThe Ghost is Dead Air’s first pistol suppressor offering and is scheduled for release in 2016. The Ghost will use the same compressed baffle stack as the Mask. If the Ghost is anything like the Mask, it should be a worthy competitor to the best selling SilencerCo Octane 45.