U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- The performance of rimfire suppressors is almost entirely dependent on ammunition, but the OSS RAD-22 suppressor changes all that. Utilizing a modified version of the flow-through technology used on its big-bore brethren, the RAD-22 literally makes rimfire firearms quieter than a pellet gun. But how exactly, and what downsides does this design suffer as a result? Let’s take a closer look at the OSS RAD-22, and find out.
At a glance, the RAD-22 looks like any other suppressor. But it’s what’s under the hood that really makes the difference. Tipping the scales at a scant 5.5oz, the RAD-22 is constructed from both titanium and heat-treated steel which makes the suppressor both incredibly durable and lightweight. The reason OSS used steel for the internal components, is so shooters can use an ultrasonic cleaner on them. But don’t just drop the whole thing in a cleaner, because I’ve always been told titanium and aluminum can be damaged in them. Is this true? I’m not entirely sure, but to be honest, the risk isn’t worth the reward.
Back to the RAD-22, this suppressor is designed for .22LR but also works on 22 Winchester Magnum, 17 HMR, and 5.7mm. The folks over at SilencerShop.com who provided the can for the review, stated that their ultra-expensive sound meters measured the suppressed gunshots (at the muzzle) as low as 125db on a handgun, and 112db on a carbine. With readings at the shooter’s ear much lower.
If these numbers appear meaningless to you, take this real-life example as a point of comparison. A standard Red Ryder BB gun measures 121.4db at the muzzle. Meaning that the OSS RAD-22 mounted on a 10/22 is quieter than a BB gun. Seriously.
While I lack the scientific testing equipment to objectively confirm this, when I put the RAD-22 on my 522 and fired it alongside an old Crossman pellet gun, the actual firearm is noticeably quieter.
RAD-22 Really Different?
But suppressors are basically just durable mufflers, and the only thing that affects their performance is the caliber of cartridge used, size, and internal volume, right?
The engineers at OSS built a better mousetrap, and their flow-through baffles not only reduce the sound of the shot, but they also capture and expel extra carbon away from the gun. And if you’ve ever neglected to clean a firearm having shooting a few hundred rounds suppressed, you can undoubtedly appreciate this. But does it actually have a real impact on the cleanliness of the host firearm?
To test this feature out, I ran 250 rounds through my personally owned SIG 522 rimfire carbine. This is a simple blowback design SIG used to make around 10 years ago, that aesthetically resembled their P556 guns that were based on the SIG 550 assault rifles. I chose this gun, because normally after 150 rounds or so suppressed, the gun becomes very unreliable, since the carbon buildup slows the bolt assemblies velocity, and the magazine becomes so fouled up that rounds don’t reliably feed.
I ran standard velocity CCI 40gr lead nose ammo through the SIG / OSS RAD-22 combo because these rounds are very quiet suppressed, and since they use exposed lead projectiles, should make the gun foul up even faster. I could have used Remington high-velocity Thunderbolt ammo, but the additional mess of the wax coating might complicate the test. Since said wax will build up regardless of whether a suppressor is mounted on the gun.
So how did it perform?
Nearly flawless. The SIG 522 experienced no malfunctions whatsoever when the OSS RAD-22 attached save for one – a single round that failed to detonate. Though since the round had a visible strike on its primer, the issue is clearly one of bad ammo, and not the firearm or the suppressor.
But weight, cleanliness, and sound reduction aren’t the only important factors on a suppressor, what about accuracy?
I compared the point-of-aim / point-of-impact of my SIG 522 and my Henry Frontier Threaded carbine with and without the RAD attached and found the shift to be less than a quarter MOA at 100 yards. Meaning, there could very well be no change, but neither gun is accurate enough for me to truly determine either way. So while I would still suggest shooters re-zero their firearms with the RAD-22 attached, for anything inside of 100 yards, it doesn’t seem to matter at all.
Verdict – Is the RAD-22 Worth a Buy?
Quiet, clean, lightweight, and versatile, the RAD-22 seems to be the perfect rimfire suppressor – so there has to be a catch, right?
Well, yes and no. The only real drawback of the can is its price. With an MSRP of $449.99 (though SilencerShop has it for $50 less), the RAD-22 is more expensive than lower-end, non-user-serviceable rimfire suppressors on the market. But it’s also lighter, easier to maintain, and vastly cleaner. So I would argue the little OSS suppressor is 100% worth the cost. Especially since you’re going to have to wait six months or more for it to arrive, you might as well spend the extra little dough and get a higher-end can.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife, son, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.