Utah-based OSS Suppressors introduced their new Helix Quick Disconnect silencers at SHOT Show in Las Vegas last week, a short time after announcing a price reduction on the remaining inventory of their formative models.
Since new owners acquired OSS two years ago, they’ve been working on refining the company’s initial suppressor designs to both improve the product and cut down on any superfluous features, explained Randy Carothers, OSS’s marketing manager.
“(The old design) worked great in terms of flow through and how it functioned, but there were drawbacks to the design,” Carothers said. “For one, it was expensive to make and it was also a little heavy. And a little bit too complicated. Just too many parts, pieces and mounts. The mounts had more than one thread on the muzzle device. Just too complex.”
Although silencers are relatively simple in terms of construction, the old Helix models field-stripped into several pieces and had additional aesthetic features. For instance, the functional part of the silencer slipped into an external tube in the shape of an octagon (rather than a circle) and the muzzle had a pattern that looked like, as Carothers pointed out, an offensive symbol. The new team found that neither improved the device’s performance, even though some argued that they had.
“We kept everything that worked really well, if not we refined the flow through technology even a little bit more,” he said, adding that “not that our old models had much (of a performance issue) at all.”
Carothers explained the new designers “essentially combined a lot of things.” They “value engineered” the way the can is built, which is another way of saying they simplified manufacturing to reduce cost. They did this by welding certain internal and external components together, using a round tube instead of an octagon, and “developed a true QD mount using our torque block mechanism.”
“What we ended up with was something that was lighter, stronger, quieter and a lot more affordable for us to produce as well,” he said, adding with the changes allowed them to reduce suggested retail price by some $500.
Besides reducing cost, the changes sprouted from working with the Heckler & Koch on military contracts. The German gun maker won a contract to produce rifles equipped with an OSS suppressor. That effort along with getting feedback from law enforcement agencies and civilian consumers helped shape the new products. “We really just kind of listened to everybody. And looking at this design, we knew we could refine it and make it better,” Carothers said.
According to the company’s website, OSS offers three new suppressors — HX-QD 556k, HX-QD 762 and HX-QD Magnum Ti — which vary in price depending on caliber. They’re all full-auto rated. MSRP $899 to $1,599. But if patrons are just looking to get a can, OSS reduced the price on old inventory last November, putting eight models “on clearance.”