Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the YHM R9 multi-host suppressor. Last week we gave you a look at the B&T RBS .30 caliber QDR silencer that runs on Surefire mounts. This week we finally get our hands on the Dead Air Sierra 5, a dedicated 5.56mm rifle suppressor that fans have been begged Pappas and crew to bring to market for years. Is it worth the wait? Let’s find out.
Dead Air Sierra-5 @ TFB:
SILENCER SATURDAY #231: The Long Awaited Dead Air Sierra 5 Rifle Suppressor
Once again, my weekly TFB series is a day late and several dollars short. At this point I’m wondering if the universe wants me to switch the series to Suppressor Sunday. Thank you for your patience.
Arriving this week is Dead Air’s entry into the 5.56mm market, the Sierra-5. At less than five inches and under 11 ounces, I would classify the Sierra-5 as a ‘K’ sized silencer. In fact, I was shocked at how tiny it was when I first opened the box; I expected a full-size can that would offer the best chance at peak performance.
I happen to love the knurling – The entire suppressor is an aesthetic throwback to classic lines and simple designs. My suggestion would be to offer a plain/knurling option on a limited run of the Sandman, Nomad, and Primal suppressor lines. Visually, I think a diameter of 1.52” would help blend the HUB mounting system and attachments, but this is a very minor nitpick that I would guess no one else cares about.
The Sierra-5 is available for purchase with either the Xeno or KeyMo mounting systems and comes with a corresponding flash hider in the box, At a time when some manufacturers have been removing mounts and muzzle devices altogether, the inclusion is a nice touch. With a fairly significant length and weight savings, my preference is the newer Xeno thread/taper mounting system. Even though I can’t seem to commit the left hand threads to memory.
The Sierra-5 is modular, meaning that it can accept a large variety of mounts that are built around the 1.375 x 24 HUB system, including mounts from other manufacturers. So if you are married to another company’s muzzle devices, the Sierra-5 has you covered. As an added bonus, the front end accepts the R-Series E-Brake and caps.
There are some intangible characteristics around guns and silencers that can be hard to describe. The way a GLOCK or a 1911 feels in your hand, an AR-15 SBR hanging on a sling, or a fully loaded MP5 magazine. Be honest, there are some silencers or guns that you enjoy just looking at or holding independent of their actual performance. For me, the Sierra-5 has that certain quality that I just can’t put my finger on – it just feels good.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
This is a hard-use silencer. We are not cutting costs or decreasing lifespan by using stainless steel baffles. We are not sacrificing durability in search of saving a few ounces. The Sierra-5 is full-auto rated with no barrel length restrictions. Love or hate the knurling, it’s function over form, directly inline with our goal when developing the Sierra-5. Frankly, if you don’t get the Sierra-5 red hot each time you shoot it we might be offended.
From the owners manual, a look at the different mounts, caps, and adapter options.
Here’s a visual size comparison of the Xeno and KeyMo Sierra-5 versions as well as the brakes and flash hiders for each of them.
Let’s compare some of the other Dead Air family members to the newest arrival. From top to bottom is the Nomad L, Primal, Nomad, Sierra-5 (KeyMo), and Sierra-5 (Xeno).
And a size comparison with the iconic Surefire 556 RC2.
A sub-five inch, 1.5” diameter 5.56mm suppressor can’t actually be quiet, right? I’m glad you asked.
The Sierra-5 only arrived a few days ago, so here are my “first shots” impressions. First, the host platform specifications.
- Ammunition: 62gr M855
- Barrel Length: 13.7”
- Gas System: Mid-length
- Rate of Fire: Semi and full automatic
The Sierra-5 is impressive. With my right ear plug in and my left plug halfway out I was genuinely surprised at the level of noise reduction out of such a petite silencer. This upper receiver has hosted at least 15-20 different 5.56mm suppressors (excluding the Allen Engineering AEM5) and the Sierra-5 appears to best them all.
As a reminder, no supersonic rifle rounds will be hearing safe or even what a normal person would consider “quiet”. The goal is to reduce the report enough that shooting a few shots without ear protection will not be a traumatic or memorable experience. And the Sierra-5 seems to handle the challenge very well.
After we get through the KAC reviews, we will grab all of the 5.56 suppressors in the inventory and put together a comparison video. Let’s see if we can pick out a winner.
Thanks for reading. Be safe and we’ll see you back next weekend for another Silencer Saturday.