GSL SWAT-5 Suppressor Review
September 29th, 2022
5 minute read
I, like most people, love shooting suppressed. That tone you get, the fact you don’t really need ear protection, and the overall cool factor just makes it special. I also am a huge fan of the AR-15 platform.
I picked up a Springfield SAINT Victor a few months back because I was looking for an AR to keep by the side of my bed. It was the perfect rifle for my home defense needs and a great gun to grab on the way out of the house in an emergency.
However, one concern I had was noise if forced to use the rifle in my home in close quarters. You wouldn’t want to completely blow your ear drums out while trying to defend yourself in a fight. Your ears are part of your toolset needed to win a fight, so if they are ringing you just gave yourself a disadvantage.
Clearly, my solution to the problem was a suppressor. The issue I was having was most 5.56 cans are big and bulky. I didn’t want to add a bunch of mass to the rifle. So, what suppressor was going to be right for my specific needs and wants for this application?
I needed something small, compact, lightweight and built well, but all I kept finding were the larger heavy cans that may work very well but could end up getting in the way if needed in the middle of the night. The Victor is sleek and sexy with no extra bulk or mass, so I needed a can that matched that profile.
My solution came from the same company that builds the smallest suppressor in the world, GSL Technology. I have played with their tiny Pill Box on .22 pistols before. It defies everything we know a suppressor to be, so of course they had a solution.
I bring you the SWAT-5. Or as I started calling it, my problem-solver. GSL Technology has been making some of the most innovative suppressors for years now. The SWAT-5 is a purpose-built can that was designed with door kickers of the first responder world and military use in mind. It is a can that will tame muzzle flash and take the noise levels down while still being lightweight and tough.
The SWAT-5 is a direct-thread suppressor, with the ever so standard ½x28mm thread pattern. The can is only 1.5” in diameter, with a total length of only 6.3”. The can is built using 6AL4V titanium and weighs just 13 ounces. All the baffles except for the blast baffle are also titanium. GSL makes the blast baffle out of Inconel, which is a super alloy that holds up well to erosion. Obviously, the strength and erosion resistance make it an excellent choice for a blast baffle.
GSL designed the can as a simple, sealed design, which is nice because there is very little maintenance needed in sealed cans. The direct thread design is as simple as screwing on your thread protector. In fact, it is literally no different. Simply unscrew your thread protector or muzzle device and screw the SWAT-5 on the end of your barrel and you are ready to shoot suppressed. Yes, it really is that easy thanks to GSL’s patented retention system that uses a washer and a locking collar that is engineered to keep your can in place without tools. Just hand tighten it on the barrel and you are ready to shoot suppressed.
The SWAT-5 requires a minimum barrel length of 10.25”, which is also why the 16”-barreled SAINT Victor is a good choice. It has plenty of barrel to run the can properly. Shooting the Victor with the SWAT-5 is an incredible experience. Not only does the can look incredible on the front of the rifle, it also boasts a 30-decibel sound reduction so it makes it more than hearing safe and much more comfortable to shoot.
I swear Springfield designed the handguard on the Victor to match the GSL SWAT-5 perfectly. It just matches up so well. If the barrel was ½ inch shorter on the SAINT Victor, the SWAT-5 would literally tuck right inside of the handguard and look like it was manufactured with the can on it.
At the range I immediately noticed that the gas blowback shooting the SWAT-5 on the 16” barrel was not terrible at all. I was really expecting to be a bit blinded when dumping a mag, but it really wasn’t bad. I was able to test the can with a few different types of ammo including Black Hills 5.56 50 grain, Federal Fusion 223 62 grain, Hornady Black 5.56 62 grain, Fiocchi FMJ BT 223 55 grain, Wilson Combat HPBT Match 223 77 grain, and good old Remington UMC 223 50 grain.
The gun ran flawlessly with all ammo and the suppressor stayed relatively cool compared to other cans I have shot in similar situations. I did get a chance to shoot some rounds at dusk also, and the flash reduction is fantastic. Since this can is really designed to be used in tight spaces in defensive situations, cutting down that flash to nearly none is a huge advantage.
The SWAT-5 has an MSRP of $999, which puts it in what I think is a good price range for most gun enthusiasts looking to tame their AR-15. If you are in the market for an AR-15 suppressor that is perfect for home defense or taking to the range daily, the GSL Technology SWAT-5 should really be on your lists of NFA wants.
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