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Multicaliber Suppressor vs Dedicated Suppressor

Multicaliber Suppressor vs Dedicated Suppressor

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Kat Ainsworth

Kat Ainsworth

Whether you’ve considered purchasing a suppressor or simply perused the offerings at the counter of your local authorized dealer, you probably noticed there are different types of suppressors. And while there are a few types, there are two broad categories: the multicaliber suppressor and the dedicated suppressor.

So, what is the difference between multicaliber and dedicated suppressors? And does it really matter? Those are the questions we’ll answer today. Consider this your guide to the differences between multicaliber and dedicated suppressors. By the time we’re through, you’ll have a much better idea of which type of suppressor to focus on for your firearm.

Types of Suppressors: Salvo 12, Sparrow 22, Hybrid 46M, and Osprey 2.
Do you need a dedicated suppressor or a multicaliber one?

Can you use one suppressor for multiple calibers?

A common question is whether you can use a single suppressor for more than one firearm. The short answer is yes, you can. The longer answer is a bit more involved.

Basically, some suppressors are designed for use with multiple calibers. However, even a multicaliber suppressor can’t suppress literally every caliber in existence. They are designed for compatibility with a specific range of calibers. If you’re ever in doubt regarding whether a multicaliber suppressor will work for certain calibers, ask your authorized dealer or reach out to the SilencerCo Customer Service team.

handguns in multiple calibers
Have more than one handgun you’d like to suppress? Are they different calibers? You might want a multicaliber suppressor.

What is a multicaliber suppressor?

A multicaliber suppressor is a suppressor designed to be compatible with more than one caliber, but that doesn’t mean it will work on just any gun. The SilencerCo Omega 36M is a good example of a solid-performing multicaliber suppressor. It’s designed for compatibility across an incredible range of calibers, from 5.7x28mm to 9x19mm Parabellum and from 5.56x45mm NATO to 338 Lapua Magnum and 350 Legend. Shooters can use the Omega 36M on handguns, rifles, and submachine guns, and it’s full-auto rated. 

Here's how it works.

To be compatible across such a wide range of calibers, this multicaliber suppressor is modular, has versatile mounting options, and has Front Caps for fine-tuning sound suppression. That means you can customize the suppressor’s length to suit the platform and there are far fewer worries about whether or not it’ll be compatible with your mounting system.

Mount compatibility is a common concern among shooters considering a multicaliber suppressor, and a model like the Omega 36M solves that problem. This model works with Charlie ASR Mounts, Charlie Direct Thread Mounts, and with the use of the Charlie Piston Mount, 3-Lug Mounts and Pistons.

SilencerCo Omega 36M, a modular multicaliber suppressor
The SilencerCo Omega 36M is a great option for those interested in a modular multicaliber suppressor.

Understanding the distinction in suppression abilities between a multicaliber suppressor and a dedicated one is crucial. While a multicaliber suppressor is capable of delivering excellent sound suppression for a range of calibers, it does have an optimal suppression performance specifically tailored to a particular caliber.

For instance, the Hybrid 46 and the Hybrid 46M are multicaliber suppressors optimized for .45 caliber firearms. These suppressors are designed to provide the best sound suppression when used with .45 caliber weapons. While multicaliber suppressors tend to have larger bores, allowing them to function with other calibers, they are primarily engineered to deliver the highest level of suppression for a specific caliber. However, utilizing a multicaliber suppressor remains a great option for many firearm owners seeking versatility and effective sound suppression across multiple calibers.

What is a dedicated suppressor?

A dedicated suppressor is designed for the greatest sound suppression possible on one specific caliber. These suppressors have bullet diameter and suppressor bores that match, as opposed to the inside of the suppressor being potentially far bigger than the bore of your gun’s barrel. That means they can and will drop the decibel level of live fire with greater precision than a multicaliber suppressor is capable of.

The SilencerCo Osprey 9 is an example of a quality dedicated suppressor. It’s made for guns chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum, and the details of its design go beyond just bore size. For example, the Osprey 9 2.0 has a polygonal shape that not only provides superior sound suppression but keeps the uppermost portion of the dedicated suppressor out of the shooter’s line of vision. That means it’s compatible with most iron sights, which isn’t something all suppressors can promise. It’s a sleek, sophisticated pistol suppressor that demonstrates just how ideal a dedicated suppressor can be.

best home defense handgun suppressor SilencerCo Osprey 9
The Osprey 9 is compatible with iron sights and can drop the sound of 9mm ammo to 127 decibels.

What are the differences in performance?

The two most obvious differences between a multicaliber suppressor and a dedicated suppressor are that the former can be used on a wide range of calibers while the latter is compatible with only one. However, the differences in performance and design go deeper than that.

A benefit of using a multicaliber suppressor is that you can run it on any gun chambered in a caliber that’s within its range of use. And, if you choose one like the Omega 36M, it’s compatible with a lot of different mounting systems as well. Conversely, when you run a dedicated suppressor, it’s only going to work on the caliber it’s made for. That means it may be necessary to spend more money to buy multiple suppressors for your various firearms.

SilencerCo Hybrid 46M multicaliber suppressor broken down.
The SilencerCo Hybrid 46M is another possibility for shooters looking for a multicaliber suppressor.

Of course, there are significant benefits to using a dedicated suppressor. First, you get optimal sound suppression when you use a model that was created for the greatest possible performance for that specific caliber. Also, with a dedicated suppressor, you can set up your favorite gun and leave it. Compared to the time you might spend changing a multicaliber suppressor from gun to gun, altering its length, adding or removing front caps, and zeroing the new gun — a dedicated suppressor can be a time saver.

Which is best for you?

Just like buying a firearm, the suppressor you choose depends on your specific needs and use for it. Maybe a multicaliber suppressor will get you into the world of suppressed shooting and allow you to run more than one gun without investing in multiple NFA items. Or, maybe you would prefer more finely-tuned suppression for your caliber of choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to weighing your options and making a personal choice. Whatever your suppressor needs are, SilencerCo has a model for you. Suppressors are a stellar way to protect your hearing — and the hearing of those around you — while leaving a far lower audible footprint on an area. What are you waiting for? Start suppressor shopping today!

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