monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

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kohalajohn
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monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by kohalajohn » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:35 pm

Hello all. First time posting.

I'm planning on paying friends who have a machine shop, to machine up a few of them for me.

Looking for the simplest and therefore cheapest way, as I'll be paying for their time. I'm not a garage hobbyist with lots of my own time to use. I'm paying pros.

Plan to use 304 or 17-4

The choice is cones vs monocore.

A series of cones turned on a lathe and then welded together to avoid the weight of the tube is one way.

But am tempted by monocore as you can just have your cnc machine cut out the gaps and then slide a tube over it.

I keep hearing how up in the centerfire rifle world, cones are better than monocore. But then to my surprise, the Liberty Leonidas monocore creates excellent 121db results. Amazing.

So what's best for the paid machine shop? Cones or monocore? Has monocore design finally overtaken cones?

Or is it hunting rifle vs AR 15 thing? Sig Sauer makes welded cones and their focus is more on military guns.

This is for hunting hogs with the Ruger American Ranch bolt action in 300 blackout.

Thanks

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by John A. » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:31 pm

If you are in the USA, you can't exactly pay a machine shop to make it for you unless they are licensed by the government as a manufacturer. This alone makes it cost prohibitive to make a single can to say the least by the time they pay for their manufacturer license, $2500 ITAR fee's and lawyer fees etc. And there is a lot of programming time that goes into making a CNC program.

As for which is better, cones or monocore, they both can be good, either could be bad.

There is a little more to it than just sliding a tube over a monocore baffle stack. The end(s) are also typically threaded too so it doesn't all fly apart when you pull the trigger.

I hope you don't think my reply is snarky because it's not meant to be.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by T-Rex » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:42 am

I hate to say it, but John is correct. Unless you're purposely leaving out pertinent info, your idea is very felonious.

Cones will yield the best all around results; Monocores are typically tuned for a specific function. Your example of the Leonidas isn't a good one for comparison. First, it's an integral design and was made specifically for that rifle, most likely with that ammunition in mind. This can be done with cones as well. However, if you're looking to market and sell a "30cal suppressor" it shouldn't be tailored to a specific purpose/round.

Also, I may be wrong, but I'd think a production CNC lathe w/ autofeed could crank out baffles (enough to equal a can) would be faster than CNC milling a monocore. Not saying a CNC mill is slow, but the 2 operations are completely different animals.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by kohalajohn » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:22 pm

Hi John. Your reply didn't come across as snarky at all. It was helpful.

So clearly I won't hire a machine shop.

I've been thinking of buying a lathe and just learning this stuff anyway. I'll apply for my own legal paperwork.

It's this forum that gives me the confidence to think I can learn these skills.

Looks like it will be cones, purchased tubes and threaded end caps.

I'm not a welder so I won't try welding the cones together. I'll just use a tube as the girdle.

It's fascinating, that point about the Liberty Leonidas working so well, only because it's tuned to a certain rifle and certain ammo.

I'm only going to be using this myself in a Ruger American Ranch bolt action with 220 sub 300 Blackout. Will be interesting to find how different designs work differently for this set up.

It really looks like you have to build one type of can for bolt action sub blackout and a very different can for rapid fire and powerful supersonic.

I'm purely a bolt action hunting guy, so I think that makes my job here easier.

Thanks. Look forward to more conversations.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by jlwilliams » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:35 pm

I'd never discourage anyone from learning and building anything, but...... A lathe is going to cost as much or more than a good commercially made silencer. Once you buy a lathe, you need lots and lots of other tools to use with it. Bits, chucks, holders, measuring instruments...lots of stuff. Yes, once you have it you can make all sorts of things and you would learn a whole lot. There would be time spent learning, mistakes made and so on, in addition to the time spent waiting for the stamp. Owning machine tools is great, but machining is its own pursuit. How much "spare time" do you have? Do you want to spend that time hunting?

If you want a lathe, buy a lathe. If you want to hunt with a silencer this year, buy the silencer.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by garredondojr » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:11 pm

jlwilliams wrote:I'd never discourage anyone from learning and building anything, but...... A lathe is going to cost as much or more than a good commercially made silencer. Once you buy a lathe, you need lots and lots of other tools to use with it. Bits, chucks, holders, measuring instruments...lots of stuff. Yes, once you have it you can make all sorts of things and you would learn a whole lot. There would be time spent learning, mistakes made and so on, in addition to the time spent waiting for the stamp. Owning machine tools is great, but machining is its own pursuit. How much "spare time" do you have? Do you want to spend that time hunting?

If you want a lathe, buy a lathe. If you want to hunt with a silencer this year, buy the silencer.
Tis true :D But....there is also the pride in doing it yourself abit alot of frustration along the way. :lol:

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by John A. » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:16 pm

There are a lot of tools that can go along with it.

My little lathe is pretty basic. Nothing fancy at all. I only paid $225 for the 7x12 lathe from a friend which it used to belong to his late father. I bought some cutters and other bits and bobs. It's painfully slow going compared to what a big shop could zip out in a couple minutes might take me an hour to do manually.

But, once it's done, it's done.

And standing over a machine gives a guy a lot of time to reflect and think about things.

I often remember a story that my fourth grade teacher used to tell us about how Einstein smuggled out his notes and documents from Germany.

The short of the story is the nazis couldn't find his notes because he didn't have any. He had memorized it and knew it.

Just about anyone can buy a silencer. It takes a little something more to design and build a good one.

And can't nobody take that away from you. Knowledge is power.

Thank you Mr. Smith.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by kohalajohn » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:58 pm

I am retired and would like to have a new hobby.

I would just get a simple lathe for making cones. The local college has evening courses. And I have you guys.

I know it will be fun.

Get prepared to be bothered with a lot of questions.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by ECCO Machine » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:13 am

kohalajohn wrote:I am retired and would like to have a new hobby.

I would just get a simple lathe for making cones. The local college has evening courses. And I have you guys.

I know it will be fun.

Get prepared to be bothered with a lot of questions.
Machines are a buy once, cry once proposition. I don't know for sure what you mean by "simple", but if that's somewhat synonymous with "cheap", I'd advise you to reconsider with the stated intent of a new hobby in machining. Nobody ever wished they'd bought a cheaper or smaller machine.

Keep your eyes open for an old but solid American lathe. Southbend is the name everyone knows, but there have been many other makers of good quality home shop sized machines. Something in the 9"-12" swing range, and I'd suggest looking for at least 30"-36" between centers. Geared head machines in the smaller sizes tend to be cheap imports, so you're gonna be seeing mostly belt drive back geared lathes. Quick change gear box for threading and power feeds is a big plus, but as a hobbyist, a slower gear changer is no big deal. If you absolutely have to go benchtop size, search for the Atlas 618/Craftsman 101.200, which are 6" swing x 18" centers, well supported in new & used parts, and probably the best baby machines available without spending a small fortune.

Not trying to come across as a lathe snob, but the Asian machines just won't hold up or hold tolerances like quality American or European stuff. You don't have a spend a ton to get quality, either, just have to be patient, might be on the lookout for awhile.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by k31user » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:52 pm

[quote="ECCO Machine"][quote="kohalajohn"]I am retired and would like to have a new hobby.

I would just get a simple lathe for making cones. The local college has evening courses. And I have you guys.

I know it will be fun.

Get prepared to be bothered with a lot of questions.[/quote]

Machines are a buy once, cry once proposition. I don't know for sure what you mean by "simple", but if that's somewhat synonymous with "cheap", I'd advise you to reconsider with the stated intent of a new hobby in machining. Nobody ever wished they'd bought a cheaper or smaller machine.

Keep your eyes open for an old but solid American lathe. Southbend is the name everyone knows, but there have been many other makers of good quality home shop sized machines. Something in the 9"-12" swing range, and I'd suggest looking for at least 30"-36" between centers. Geared head machines in the smaller sizes tend to be cheap imports, so you're gonna be seeing mostly belt drive back geared lathes. Quick change gear box for threading and power feeds is a big plus, but as a hobbyist, a slower gear changer is no big deal. If you absolutely have to go benchtop size, search for the Atlas 618/Craftsman 101.200, which are 6" swing x 18" centers, well supported in new & used parts, and probably the best baby machines available without spending a small fortune.

Not trying to come across as a lathe snob, but the Asian machines just won't hold up or hold tolerances like quality American or European stuff. You don't have a spend a ton to get quality, either, just have to be patient, might be on the lookout for awhile.[/quote]

I'm the opposite. I have run lathes for the last 40 years and while some of the American stuff was good in it's day, it will now be 50+ years old on the used market. Jet Lathes aren't bad. Phil Seberger from Ops Inc gave me a 1240 Jet lathe and bought an Enco Special. The jet still runs fine and can make good parts if you are a moderately good machinist 15 years after the Enco gave up. Victor, Acra-Turn, Cadillac, Goodway, are all decent if they haven't been abused. The Korean Mori Seiki clones are as fine a lathe as you will find. Equal to the original. Cheap is cheap. Check condition of ways, lead screw backlash, and 1/2 nuts, roll the dice and pick one.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by John A. » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:05 pm

I was kinda the opposite.

While I wanted a lathe for years, I didn't want a top of the line Bridgeport (well, I do) but for my budget and for me to basically teach myself about lathes and the basics, the one I bought used has done well enough for me.

The one I bought is a Cummins, though they're essentially a Chinese lathe that has been sold under a half dozen different makes and model numbers. The one that most people will recognize the fastest is the Grizzly G8688 model that usually sells for around $550.

Since there were a bunch of other tools and parts with it, I didn't go wrong for what I have in it. And now I know more from experience what I want and need if I ever want to step up to a bigger or nicer lathe.

I can thread barrels, make small parts, and now that I made a milling table on mine, it does most everything I want it to do. I only wish it had more room between centers.

And lets face it, if you can't build a suppressor using a simple basic lathe, you're not going to build one using a bigger fancier one either.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by kohalajohn » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:20 pm

Yeah, this is exactly the information I was looking for.

It's starting to look like I can get equipment for making cones and threading barrels, with an investment of two grand or maybe a bit more. I'm not interested in buying a can at all. I'm interested in learning this myself.

There's a lot of choices out there. This process alone is fun.

The hive mind has changed everything.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by John A. » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:52 pm

Once you figure out how to make one, they get a bit addictive. Constantly wanting to get more quiet, more effective, lighter.

I did my first probably close to 12 years ago. At first, I said I was going to do one and done. Essentially have one can that I can use on everything.

While that worked very well, but by all intents and purposes, is so dang heavy that it's impractical for a lot of things I use it for these days.

I have fired virtually every gun that I have through it, rifles, handguns, full auto 9mm and 22, etc etc etc.

Now I'm waiting on my 5th suppressor stamp. And I've said it for my last two that I've made, this one might be my last one LOL

But there is a lot to be said for taking the time to learn everything you can at what works and how and why, and to sit down and make a can that is as good (or often better) than what you can buy, I think that's what keeps most of us guys coming back.

There are several folks on here that have the history and background doing this stuff that are a virtual encyclopedia of things you'll never read about in a book.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by AndreyKramer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:40 pm

hi
if you have opportunity / money then better to buy lathe or even CNC machine
if you have a lathe, then you can experiment. Experiment with materials (Titan/aluminium/heat resistant steel/Inconel), forms, shapes and length. Also, nothing prevents you from turning 10-20-30 suppressors for you, your dog, wife and children with grandchildren. And after - to sell the lathe for 80-90% of the original amount.

about monocore vs cones...
as for me - monocore is easier to produce (especially in mass produce). This requires a previously prepared metal cylinder (aluminum-titanium-steel) in which the threads is already cut. And 3D model of suppressor. The control program is written no longer than 5 minutes.

Here you can see the general principle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyc37aHNZ7k (he can save time by milling all the way through)
Last edited by AndreyKramer on Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by T-Rex » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:46 pm

AndreyKramer wrote: if you have a lathe, then you can experiment.
nothing prevents you from turning 10-20-30 mufflers for you, your dog, wife and children with grandchildren
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by AndreyKramer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:39 pm

T-Rex wrote:mg]
make 80% version in a way to use Dremmel and receive 100% when all documents-papers will on hands :roll:
;-)

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by ricsmall » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:33 pm

The biggest problem with the old American iron is the ways will most likely be worn in the first 8-10” from the headstock. I went through that. I ended up buying a PM 1236 from quality machine tool, with DRO and don’t regret it at all. If you could find old American iron that’s not worn out that is the way to go,but in my part of the world they’re as scarce as chicken lips!! My lathe holds great tolerances, enough to build some pretty accurate rifles for long range precision shooting. If you can swing the cash for a tawain made machine that’s even better. All these guys advice is spot on, just do what fits your budget, needs, and wants the best.

ETA: forgot to mention, I met a guy in Florida several years back that built an F1 can for blackout, he had 3-60° cones then 3 k’s to finish off. Not sure about blast chamber size but diameter was either
1-1/4” or 1-1/2”. It was very quiet with subs and supers. Hollywood with subs. Hope this helps

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by ECCO Machine » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:25 pm

AndreyKramer wrote: And 3D model of suppressor. The control program is written no longer than 5 minutes.
Even a veteran CAM user plugging in a very simple monocore from an existing CAD file will take more than 5 min.
AndreyKramer wrote:hi
Also, nothing prevents you from turning 10-20-30 suppressors for you, your dog, wife and children with grandchildren.
Except, you know, federal law.
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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by mr fixit » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:11 pm

ricsmall wrote:The biggest problem with the old American iron is the ways will most likely be worn in the first 8-10” from the headstock. I went through that. I ended up buying a PM 1236 from quality machine tool, with DRO and don’t regret it at all. If you could find old American iron that’s not worn out that is the way to go,but in my part of the world they’re as scarce as chicken lips!! My lathe holds great tolerances, enough to build some pretty accurate rifles for long range precision shooting. If you can swing the cash for a tawain made machine that’s even better. All these guys advice is spot on, just do what fits your budget, needs, and wants the best.

ETA: forgot to mention, I met a guy in Florida several years back that built an F1 can for blackout, he had 3-60° cones then 3 k’s to finish off. Not sure about blast chamber size but diameter was either
1-1/4” or 1-1/2”. It was very quiet with subs and supers. Hollywood with subs. Hope this helps
I have only owned a lathe for a short while, but I have already figured out that the cautions against the ways being worn aren't nearly as bad as they sound. Fact is that wear only really causes an issue if you are profiling the outside over a long length. Most of the work is done without the carriage moving so the wear on the ways is a non issue.

Something to consider, especially on making baffles, is that if the material is too large to fit through the spindle you will need as much length between centers as you can get as well as a steady rest.

Smaller lathes will work but may require more time and effort to get things done. Larger lathes will also work and possible do the work faster. Buy as big as you can afford and have a place for.

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Re: monocore vs welded cones. 300 blackout

Post by cdhknives » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:59 pm

My lathe is a late 1940's era Atlas 10x36. By the time I was good enough to notice wear issues I was good enough to work around them. Now the tooling to stiffen the toolholding and carriage was a much bigger issue. There is nothing like a badly worn lantern toolpost to make you beat your head against chatter and alignment...all while figuring out basic operations. The old lathes will have wear all over, not just the bed. Gears. Leadscrew. Bearings. I have probably $2000 invested in my "free" lathe but it works very nicely...and I learned a heck of a lot on the journey...for the same money as a new Taiwanese lathe and a quarter the tooling.

They can be quite the project...but with all the horror stories out there about cheap chinese castings I still think anything short of a completely trashed old lathe (and they are certainly a lot of them out there) can be a better buy for anyone with the patience to work out the kinks.
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