The truth about welds, Gemtech's version...

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cyclone72
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The truth about welds, Gemtech's version...

Post by cyclone72 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:21 pm

This was posted on another forum and I thought it might be interesting to discuss it here:


Master Blaster commented: I'm curious about baffle welding for the added durability. f they do not weld them, then probably a better question would be why not?
Then bigbore replied:
The welding paranoia is bullshit started by competitors to make tax stamp buying folks think Gemtech is a weaker suppressor.... I have yet to hear about any Gemtech can failing for any reason.
***Thank you, bigbore, for injecting some learned reason into an issue that I would generally prefer not to get involved in. :)

But what the heck, since I'm off traveling to SHOT Show and free... tonight maybe I'll make an exception and type a bit.

MasterBlaster - You asked a question, perhaps I can offer some commentary that might answer it. If I cross the line in answering this question and it becomes too much of a plug, moderators, feel free to delete my response here with no hard feelings... That said - Like most things in life, there are ups and downs, two sides to an issue. Fully welding cans has both merits and drawbacks. Fixing a simple baffle strike? Gotta cut apart and gut the whole can in many instances (we won't go into a tangent of whether or not it's illegal to replace the exterior tube). A fast turn around time / sub-hundred dollar repair job for a struck G5 endcap compares how to a probably-not-warranty-work complete $$$ gutting and $$$ rebuild of some fully welded cans? It's not a problem to repair a modular suppressor like the G5 is. And, regardless of what some might have you believe, Gemtech DOES weld many parts of our suppressors - just because there aren't gobs of weld seams and marks all over your can doesn't mean it doesn't utilize welding where it's needed.

Like you commented, I'm curious about about baffle welding [being touted] for added durability too. Welding alone isn't where the Gemtech units get their strength from. The G5 has a core suppressor of inconel, stainless, and titanium, and this "suppressor within a suppressor" is redundantly encased into a high grade stainless exterior shell with hydraulic torquing into place. A note here concerning material: Gemtech often purchases what's called "mill runs" or large custom-made runs of unique tubing to obtain the qualities we're looking for. (As a for-instance, even the economical little Outback is constructed with mill runs of 7075 tubing - the same stuff ARs are made out of - while smaller manufacturers will use 6000 series aluminum. Why would they do that? Because it's cheap, off-the-shelf-available in small quantities. And hey - I'm certain it's probably good enough - we just go the extra mile in various areas. The high-grade stuff is not a size commercially available from most raw metal tubing suppliers. We could cheap out too, but it's not as strong as we wanted, so we have to buy custom runs - tons of the good stuff - to make your Outback suppressors the best value out there.)

The point of that particular subject-matter veer: If you're listening to someone that says that our cans are corner-cutting or weak, I'd suggest pondering a bit about the above sorts of business decisions we make here. Our guys have been making, servicing, supporting, and shooting suppressors for decades, and generally what we do and how we do it is for good reasons. Selah!

Forgive the tangent.

The G5's double-wall construction and material choices makes for a very strong unit. In all the time I've been in the suppressor business, I can't recall ever having seen a Gemtech G5, M496D, HVT, or TPRS "blow out" or rupture a tube. I have, however most certainly, seen a not-insignificant number of guys messing around with trying to make subsonic handloads, mounting their suppressors cockeyed, shooting highly questionable mil-surp ammo that has ended in routine clipped endcaps, baffle strikes, etc.

Simply stated: You put enough ammo downrange for years on end, you *will* experience a squib, or a double charge, or some sort of ammo-induced problem. In the three million-plus rounds I've obtained to be sent into berms, baffletraps, and bodies, I have observed ammo from most every major ammunition manufacturer simply have a bad day. Point being? One day, no matter who's suppressor you buy, you might just clip an endcap. It might be prudent to ask your manufacturer of choice if this is covered under a warranty. It probably isn't - so ask what method is used to repair a damaged baffle. Then ask what that sort of repair might cost you. Our suppressor is designed to stay together under extremely hard use. It's also designed to be easily factory-serviced without financially penalizing a civilian end user if/when something eventually happens.

I'm reminded here of an anecdote worth sharing for the benefit of the readers. There was a USAF trial a couple years back where a Gemtech M4 suppressor was competitively tested against two "all welded construction" suppressors. After a number of tests were performed, I received a call from the procurement officer telling me "Your suppressor was damaged in testing, where can we send it back for repair?"

Naturally, I was disappointed at that outcome, and inquired as to who 'won' the trials.

His response was both encouraging and enlightening: "Oh no- I said your can was DAMAGED - the all-welded competing units CEASED TO BE SUPPRESSORS. Since you're the only suppressor still functioning, we're probably going to go ahead and issue you a sole source on this one".

We received the damaged suppressors back. They were, indeed, screwed up! Significant endcap strikes happened as ammo had gone squirrely and tumbled a bit during their fairly abusive endurance tests. Again, the modular design of a Gemtech unit allows for a quick and economical repair. The two competiting suppressors which utilized welding alone's disposition? The first suppressor's welds softened under the extreme heat and pressure. One or more baffles collapsed from their plug/spot welds and flew forward, stacking up in the nose of the suppressor, making it.... "quite loud". The second suppressor, an all-welded single wall design (that admittedly saved a few ounces as compared to our suppressor), when subjected to the intense heat and blast pressures had it's welds go "plastic" and as a baffle tore away from where it was welded to the suppressor tube wall, it ripped a large tear inside along with it, rupturing it's tube completely to the outside.

I suspect both of these competing units would be difficult and probably impossible to fix, no matter what kind of warm fuzzies the respective company's paper guarantee offers.

I make it a policy of this company to never publicly disclose or advertise the specific names of our U.S. end-users, but perhaps if anyone is really, really bored and likes to google enough, you might find one of the multiple USG contracts that were competed fairly and won by Gemtech to supply hundreds of those weak, unwelded, inferior cans to our troops after these tests...

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Post by cyclone72 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:23 pm

more related stuff

Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
kel - Thank you for that direct & enlightening response. I appreciate that greatly.

One more question: are there any maintenance needs for the G5 QD design? I ask because the original bi-lock had internal springs & (I think) 2 seals which required maintenance/replacement after some number of rounds. Does the new G5/HVT QD design eliminate/mitigate all that?
I'll answer this. There is little ot no maintenance for the G5. The mount does have a spring. However, there are no longer any O-rings and there is no longer a movable sleeve (which is what would get stuck). The only moving part looks like a large, thick washer that moves freely under spring tension to retain the lugs.

The only maintenance is to periodically scrub the bore portion of the mount with a cleaning brush designed for 3/4 inch copper pipe fittings. This is to remove the carbon that exits through the flash hider slots.

As Kel pointed out, repairs are fairly eaasy to perform. Our charges are for parts only, and about 75% of .223 suppressor repairs are for a strike to the front end cap (around $45). A modular welded baffle stack can be just as easily replaced.

The claims of one vocal critic who has not looked closely at the G5 mount notwithstanding, the spring is not subject to the heat and flame of the entrance chamber. It is not only isolated from the entrance chamber, but our thermal measurements ahow that it remains minimally cooler than did the spring in the older M4-96D (where we had no spring failures either).


Philip H. Dater

Disclaimer: I am a founding member of Gemtech (1993) and operated Automatic Weapons Company (the original AWC) in New Mexico since 1976. I have been in the silencer business for over 30 years. I have no current relationship to my esteemed competitor and friend, AWC Systems Technology in Arizona.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:26 pm

Image

Not sure what kind of can this is but the tube blew out right above the Gemtech logo. Wonder how much they charged to repair it, and if they replaced the 'modular' tube.
Last edited by silencertalk on Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by cyclone72 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:28 pm

yikes!

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Post by HandyMan » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:36 pm

That picture looks to be a pistol can. The baffle bore looks too large to be for a rifle can. Wonder what happened.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:44 pm

Who was it that emailed me that Gemtech charged them almost three hundred for an end-cap strike? And they elected not to do it because of the cost? Can you remind me who you are? I lost your email. Now in their post they are saying $45.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:45 pm

rsilvers wrote:Image

Not sure what kind of can this is but the tube blew out right above the Gemtech logo. Wonder how much they charged to repair it, and if they replaced the 'modular' tube.
What happened? if you don't know what happened, how do you know if it's related to welding? If it's not related to welding, why did you post it in this thread?

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:48 pm

It was just posted on AR15 that Gemtech has never had a rupture. I was told this was a 5.56mm can. If this is a 45 ACP can then you are correct that it is not related to their post.
Last edited by silencertalk on Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 1928A1 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:48 pm

Probably the result of too much 22LR in a can that is meant for something else... :shock:
07FFL 02 SOT

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:48 pm

rsilvers wrote:Who was it that emailed me that Gemtech charged them almost three hundred for an end-cap strike? And they elected not to do it because of the cost? Can you remind me who you are? I lost your email. Now in their post they are saying $45.
Yeah, they're saying it's $45, so I guess it's $45 and not the exorbitant amount you vaguely seem to remember hearing about from someone, somewhere.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:53 pm

rsilvers wrote:It was just posted on AR15 that Gemtech has never had a rupture. I was told this was a 5.56mm can. If this is a 45 ACP can then you are correct that it is not related to their post.
Kel posted that he wasn't aware of a rupture (please quote people accurately; not doing so makes you seem underhanded).

Has the person who told you the can is a 5.56 can contacted gemtech? What was their response?

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:58 pm

AAC's welds are structural quality. Here is a VIDEO showing the welded-together core of an AAC SCAR-SD being fired without the outer tube!

No doubt you can make a strong suppressor without welding, but it will be heavier than an equally strong suppressor welded as AAC does. That is one of the reasons why AAC suppressors are so light -- especially in 2007 form. Another reason is that the BiLock mount is heavy. They now use Titanium to reduce the weight, but at the cost of using a metal not rated for high-temps. (Ti is 650 to 800 degree when it loses most of its yield strength while 316SS is about 1550 degrees). You can get a can up above 600 degrees with just two mag dumps.
Last edited by silencertalk on Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:02 pm

That was a pretty lame dodge.

I have no problem with you and AAC touting theoretical benefits of design and construction choices. But running down your competitors with spurious photos and vague memories is bush league.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:04 pm

Slick wrote:running down your competitors with spurious photos and vague memories is bush league.
I am simply trying to recontact the person who told me how much they were quoted to replace an end cap.

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Post by pawtner » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:07 pm

Slick wrote:But running down your competitors with spurious photos and vague memories is bush league.
I think you mean Ted Kennedy league there, Slickster

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:13 pm

rsilvers wrote:
Slick wrote:running down your competitors with spurious photos and vague memories is bush league.
I am simply trying to recontact the person who told me how much they were quoted to replace an end cap.
Why? Dater himself said it's $45. Who cares what someone said they were quoted previously?

Or are you suggesting that Dater lied in his post and will not honor the price he himself quotes?

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:19 pm

Slick wrote:
rsilvers wrote:
Slick wrote:running down your competitors with spurious photos and vague memories is bush league.
I am simply trying to recontact the person who told me how much they were quoted to replace an end cap.
Why? Dater himself said it's $45. Who cares what someone said they were quoted previously?

Or are you suggesting that Dater lied in his post and will not honor the price he himself quotes?
I am saying that he has charged a lot more and I would not count on $45. Hard to call it a lie since he said 'around' $45. However, if he posts 'From now on we will always charge $45' then I will consider it fact.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:25 pm

rsilvers wrote:
Slick wrote:
rsilvers wrote: I am simply trying to recontact the person who told me how much they were quoted to replace an end cap.
Why? Dater himself said it's $45. Who cares what someone said they were quoted previously?

Or are you suggesting that Dater lied in his post and will not honor the price he himself quotes?
I am saying that he has charged a lot more and I would not count on $45. Hard to call it a lie since he said 'around' $45. However, if he posts 'From now on we will always charge $45' then I will consider it fact.
You're saying that based on what kind of proof? none that I can see just more slander. Pathetic.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:50 pm

The general basis of Kel's response is that welded cans are harder for the manufacturer to service. That seems true, but it is like asking someone to get an inferiorly-constructed automobile because it might cost more to repair if you crash it. Who shops for cars like that? Also, just because a can is more difficult for the manufacturer to repair, it does not mean you will be charged more for service -- that is just trying to cause fear of a possible future expense.

Funny thing is, not many have accused Gemtech of having inexpensive service. I know Gemtech charges around $675 to upgrade an M4-96D to a G5 spec can, while AAC charges $397 if you want to turn a Ranger into an OMNI spec, or $447 to turn a Ranger into an M4-2000 spec. So while Gemtech is hoping to appeal to frugal customers, that is flawed for two reasons. 1, because in my experience people just want the best. And 2, because AAC repairs and upgrade fees seem to be lower cost in many cases.
Welding alone isn't where the Gemtech units get their strength from.
That is true -- you can always make up for the lost strength by adding more material but that adds more weight. When the Shot Show comes and makers release their new products, pay special attention to the weight specs. Full penetration welding helps give AAC a decisive weight advantage.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:58 pm

Slick wrote: Kel posted that he wasn't aware of a rupture (please quote people accurately; not doing so makes you seem underhanded).
Ok, I stand corrected. Kel, Gemtech's head customer service guy who has been there for about 4 years, may not have been aware of the rupture.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:11 pm

rsilvers wrote:
Slick wrote: Kel posted that he wasn't aware of a rupture (please quote people accurately; not doing so makes you seem underhanded).
Ok, I stand corrected. Kel, Gemtech's head customer service guy who has been there for about 4 years, may not have been aware of the rupture.
Was it brought to Gemtech's attention? What was the result? What happened to the can to make it burst? (second time asking those questions)

You're good at calling people liars, without actually being man enough to state it plainly.

I'm shocked they won't post here, LOL.

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Post by Kevin/AAC » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:17 pm

Slick wrote:
rsilvers wrote:Image

Not sure what kind of can this is but the tube blew out right above the Gemtech logo. Wonder how much they charged to repair it, and if they replaced the 'modular' tube.
What happened? if you don't know what happened, how do you know if it's related to welding? If it's not related to welding, why did you post it in this thread?
It is a rifle suppressor.

"...plastic welds...and modular design"? I wonder if they would drive modular cars with their kids in them if they were not welded? Soldiers depend on our silencers to save their lives, not to be the cheapest to repair if you get an endcap strike.

It is completely false that a non-welded rifle silencers with "hydraulic torquing" are as strong and as durable as units that are welded. I don't take offense as a manufacturer, I understand it from a marketing standpoint, but I would not be happy to read that as a consumer. The funniest part of thread is a Gemtech dealer claiming that welding silencers is BS to make Gemtech suppressors seem weak.
Last edited by Kevin/AAC on Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Slick » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:20 pm

Kevin/AAC wrote:
Slick wrote:
rsilvers wrote:Image

Not sure what kind of can this is but the tube blew out right above the Gemtech logo. Wonder how much they charged to repair it, and if they replaced the 'modular' tube.
What happened? if you don't know what happened, how do you know if it's related to welding? If it's not related to welding, why did you post it in this thread?
It is a rifle suppressor.
Whose suppressor is it? Which model is it? What happened? What was Gemtech's response?

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Post by Kevin/AAC » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:20 pm

Slick wrote:
rsilvers wrote:
Slick wrote: Kel posted that he wasn't aware of a rupture (please quote people accurately; not doing so makes you seem underhanded).
Ok, I stand corrected. Kel, Gemtech's head customer service guy who has been there for about 4 years, may not have been aware of the rupture.
Was it brought to Gemtech's attention? What was the result? What happened to the can to make it burst? (second time asking those questions)

You're good at calling people liars, without actually being man enough to state it plainly.


I'm shocked they won't post here, LOL.

Where did he call them liars?


They don't post here because of claims such as non-welded silencers are stronger than welded.
Last edited by Kevin/AAC on Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by silencertalk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:20 pm

Would an unwelded car pass a crash test? I doubt it. I mean you could probably design one to avoid welding if the welding was too expensive or difficult but it would make the car weigh a lot more.

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