"How'd You Think of This?" Why Predator™ Silencers are different.
People often ask, “How’d you think of this?” as they hold the pieces of one of our silencers in their hands. Since they don’t really want the long answer, the usual response is, “I just do.”
Suppressor/silencer manufacturers churn out some of the most creative and well made devices in the firearm industry. In most cases, the designs are inspiring and manufacturing quality impressive at the least. Shooters, gun enthusiasts and engineers with over a century of silencer history to draw upon continue to take Percy Maxim’s design to new limits.
So how is it that a newcomer can show up with a different technology and turn heads away from the top names in the industry? The big secret is the advantage I had over the others - I didn’t know anything about silencers.
Heck, I didn’t know much about guns at all. Like many at that time, I paid MSRP for a rifle because I still could and feared that the right to do so might soon expire. I stared at the endless rack of guns cluelessly. The young Marine-turned-firearms-salesman suggested the Colt M4A1. If it’s good enough for the Marines… Now it's time to shoot.
AR-15s are loud. I became a silencer shopper.
Most who don’t know anything about suppressors research them thoroughly before giving up and asking someone else what they should get. Even asking the guy behind the counter didn’t help. When I asked what I should buy, he asked me what I wanted. How the heck should I know? I just Googled “firearm silencers” for two days and all I learned is that only Goobers call them silencers. When I asked another clerk behind the counter what the difference was between brand A and brand B, she looked at me and seriously replied, “About $500.”
I went home.
To understand what happened from this point on, one must know a little bit about me. I’m a degreed mechanical engineer with broad technical exposure, a colorful history, and a reputation for out-of-the-box solutions. Successes include designs and solutions in aviation, orthopedic and spine surgery, marine turbine propulsion, oil/gas exploration and even diapers. My mother called me stubborn, my wife calls me obsessive and people I’ve fired call me a “picky S.O.B.” As a kid I used to blow stuff up (including my brother, George).
In each of the successes cited above (except for George), I was asked to come up with a solution when industry experts couldn’t. As a frustrated regional manager for a well known oilfield service company put it, “I don’t care who you piss off, just figure it out.”
This time, the challenge was my own; design silencers for regular people.
I have a very simple design philosophy; understand both the need and the available resources. After that the design just comes together.
Defining the current need was fairly obvious; there are a lot of people just like me who want to be able to shoot without dangerous and painful noise exposure. For the most part, we’re not going to jump out of a plane holding onto our guns with a bunch of other guys and, for the most part, the things we’ll shoot at won’t be shooting back. As it turns out those guys already call them suppressors and seemed to be very well represented in the market.
I also discovered that, just like me, a lot of people are concerned about accuracy and that suppressors had the infamous reputation for somehow disturbing the bullet or rifle. The design parameters were beginning to define themselves; a simple, easy to use suppressor that preserves/improves accuracy.
People like me also call them silencers.
But, people like me don’t know anything about silencers, so I asked experts. I consulted with competitive precision shooters and “3-gun” competitors, law enforcement training personnel, US military special forces personnel (active and retired), civilian firearm safety experts, gun store owners, SWAT team members and trainers, state police and sheriff’s department armorers, and gun geeks. I received input from gunsmiths, professional and sporting hunters, sport shooters and even shooters who train kids.
What I found is that some people wanted a silencer that was accurate, small/lightweight, simple and, quiet…in that order. Some wanted accurate, quiet, simple and small/lightweight. They all wanted it to perform a