Review: LaRue Tranquilo .308 Suppressor
September 08, 2015
LaRue Tactical is known for precision machining, quick-'‹detach mounts and very accurate rifles. A logical expansion of its precision-'‹oriented product line would include a suppressor, and that day has arrived. In true LaRue Tactical fashion, the company took a step back, thought hard about what would make an ideal suppressor, then set about executing. The product that came from its effort is the LaRue Tranquilo.
A key component to a pleasant suppressor shooting experience is to minimize the amount of gas that comes back toward the shooter's face. Gas stings the eyes, isn't great to breathe and makes it hard to focus on hitting our target. It is especially difficult to manage on an AR-'‹pattern rifle because the direct-'‹impingement system directs gas in our direction.
The best way to manage gas issues is to minimize the amount of backpressure a suppressor adds to the rifle. Backpressure causes more gas than normal to move down the bore out the ejection port, and into the shooter's face. Suppressors struggle with backpressure because they add length to the barrel and increase the amount of time a bullet has pressurized gas behind it. The more time our bore is pressurized, the more gas we get in our face. As soon as the gas has a place to go instead of being stuck behind a bullet, backpressure drops and the gas ceases to be a problem.
LaRue Tactical's solution to handling backpressure was to design a suppressor that has multiple gas-'‹flow paths inside it. Normally, gas gets trapped in a series of baffles as a bullet traverses the suppressor. The LaRue Tranquilo suppressor has those same baffles but also several alternate paths that wind down the perimeter of the suppressor and out the frontcap. The distance the gas travels drops the pressure significantly so that by the time it exits the frontcap, it just oozes on out in a whisper. This alternate path gives gas that would otherwise wind up in our face a place to go.
LaRue Tactical uses a dual-'‹shouldered muzzle adapter that also serves as a muzzlebrake. The suppressor slips over the muzzlebrake and threads down onto it. There is a locking nut at the back of the suppressor that, once the can is firmly seated in place, threads back in the opposite direction to lock everything in place. It is the most secure attachment method I've seen on a suppressor. It also prevents any gas from leaking out around the muzzle device.
LOOK, MA, NO WELDS!
Another unique feature of the LaRue Tranquilo is that no welds exist anywhere on the suppressor. I spoke to Mark LaRue about why he built it that way, and he said, "There's no way to maintain consistent heat treating once you start welding metal together. It's impossible to predict what changes will occur in the material. Sometimes it gets real brittle, especially thin metal like we find on a suppressor. If your suppressor has welds, find a new engineer."
The suppressor is made from a combination of Incoloy A-'‹286 and 17-'‹4 PH stainless steel. The Incoloy material is an alloy of iron, nickel and chromium designed for applications requiring high strength and good corrosion resistance. The stainless steel is the precipitation-'‹hardened type that handles heat and pressure very well.
Shooting with the Tranquilo proved to be a pleasant experience, especially with the absence of gas coming out of the ejection port. I tested the suppressor on a LaRue PredatOBR and found that I could detect no additional gas from the ejection port. Most 7.62 ARs send a lot of gas out the ejection port when suppressed.
I've never experienced a time when shooting with a suppressor was as comfortable gas-'‹wise as shooting without one on a direct-'‹impingement rifle — until I shot with the LaRue Tranquilo.
The rifle did exhibit a repeatable point-'‹of-'‹impact shift 3½ inches down each time I put it on the rifle. The shift was so consistent, I could remove and install the suppressor for each shot in a five-'‹shot string at 100 yards and see no increase in group size from control groups I fired with and without a suppressor attached. Those familiar with LaRue products probably expect the Tranquilo to have an MSRP exceeding $1,000, but you'll be glad to know that it will sell for $700.