You may have seen photos of them in different combat environments. Multicam cloth wrapped around a suppressor. In most cases these are suppressor covers. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to suppressor covers and their intended purposes. A suppressor cover is a heat-resistant material that covers the suppressor, often it is made of fiberglass or some other material rated for very high temperatures. Over these many have an additional camouflage sleeve in to help hide the cover itself. There are of-course variations throughout the industry. The reason one might choose to have a suppressor cover can be one of many.
Pros of the Suppressor Cover
Suppressors get hot. Really hot, many sources state around 7 degrees Fahrenheit per shot fired for 5.56×45. As these suppressors heat up they put off heat, these rising heatwaves can hinder one’s ability to make precision shots when looking through a magnified optic. A well made suppressor cover can help get rid of that heat mirage for more shots.
If you’re rocking a single or two point sling and you transition to your sidearm that rifle is going to swing down and make contact with your leg. Suppressors can be dangerously hot and have been known to burn holes in pants. You’re having a bad / good day if your suppressor is getting that hot. The cover also helps your buddies so that you don’t brand them during training in close quarters environments. In either case a suppressor cover helps protect you from the heat during transition
Thermal heat signature
A suppressor glows bright on thermal imaging devices. A suppressor cover will allow more shots before it shows up as hot on imaging devices.
The suppressor cover quiets the sound of gear or anything else contacting it. Making for quieter movement in a claustrophobic / close quarters environment.
Cons of the suppressor cover
The suppressor is going to become hotter much faster due to the fact that the suppressor cover is insulating the heat.
The suppressor will not cool off nearly as fast with a suppressor cover on.
There are a variety of manufacturers. Some work well, others melt to the suppressor. One manufacturer that has recently come out with some excellently made suppressor covers is Bergspitze Customs. Bergspitze Customs is a small batch and custom gear maker specializing in made-to-order products. For the inner core of their suppressor cover they use a braided fiberglass which is sealed with high temperature silicone. This portion insulates and protects you from the heat of the suppressor. The inner core is surrounded by a fire-retardant Nomex sleeve. Depending on the pattern wanted Nomex may not be available and Cordura will be used. While Cordura is not as resistant to heat, it’s more wear / tear / abrasion resistant. In the case of my particular cover, it’s multicam. The outer shell is uses an aramid fiber cord with excellent heat resistance.
In practice the cover works extremely well. Over the course of several days of training I used the Bergspitze Customs Suppressor Cover on my Daniel Defense MK18 (10.3 inch barrel) with a Surefire SOCOM556-RC suppressor. The cover worked well on dampening noise and for preventing me from burning the hell out of my buddies or myself. I’ve done around 1200 rounds to date with the suppressor cover attached. I haven’t had any problems with the cover melting, burning or in any way damaging my suppressor. In short, the suppressor cover works as it should. It also lessened heat mirage quite a bit. And while I didn’t do any shots over 150m. I’ve no doubt that it would work excellently in that capacity.
Suppressor covers have their pros and their cons. Figure out if it will work for you. If you need one, you can’t go wrong with Bergspitze Customs Suppressor Cover. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/bergspitzecustoms/
In the following months I’ll be testing out other suppressor covers and comparing them. Stay tuned!