A question our customers frequently ask is, “can I use my .223 silencer on my .22?” Technically speaking, you could. The thread pitch of both silencers is the same and a .22 LR bullet will fit through the bore of a .223 silencer. However, you will most likely find the results to be less than stellar.
The .223 centerfire round and .22 LR round are balistically very different. If you would put a standard .22 LR round next to a .223 round (in really any configuration) you will obviously see a large size difference. The standard velocity for a .22 LR is going to range from 1,000 ft/s to about 1,600 ft/s. A .223 will produce a velocity of 2,750 ft/s to about 3,750 ft/s.
One thing you can certainly determine is that the .223 packs a much larger punch than the .22 LR. To compensate for the increased amount of energy output, a silencer with a 1.5” diameter is required. A standard rimfire silencer, which is typically 1.0” in diameter, is made specifically to handle the smaller gas pressures with much smaller baffles and smaller tube diameter. The requirements to optimally suppress each caliber are different based on the energy output difference.
There are a few rimfire calibers that can be suppressed using either a rimfire silencer (one with a 1” diameter and often constructed of stainless steel or titanium) or a .223 silencer (one with a 1.5” diameter). Examples include .17 HMR, .17 Mach 2, .22 Mag, or 5.7 x 28. If you want to get into calibers such as the .17 WSM or .22 Hornet, you’ll want to check with the manufacturer of the rimfire silencer first to see if it’s rated to handle those cartridges. The Mack Brothers Lima, for example, is not rated for those two, which falls in line with many other rimfire silencers. You’ll definitely want to consider a .223 silencer for those higher powered rimfire calibers.
Another factor to take into consideration is the weight difference between a .22 LR silencer and a .223 silencer. The Mack Brothers Echo and Mack Brothers Lima, two of our top selling rimfire silencers, are 3.8 oz. and 7.1 oz., respectively. The Mack Brothers Varminter 2.0 in .223, on the other hand, is 16 oz. Can you imagine adding a full pound to the end of your Walther P22 or Sig Mosquito? Or how about the Coastal Gun XDS .223 which is 28 oz! That’s a lot of weight to hang off of the end of a little pistol. The same concept applies for .22 LR chambered rifles which are also usually built in a pretty light weight configuration. Rimfire silencers are also shorter than .223 silencers. The longest .22 silencer we stock comes in at 6.5” inches, but the average is 5”. The Varminter 2.0 in check here.223 is 7.2” long, which sits in line with many other in that caliber. All in all, the .223 silencers are larger in every category than is necessary for a .22 LR.
The final reason it’s not advised to use a .223 silencer on a .22 LR is that most rifle silencers are not designed to be user serviceable, as .223 caliber silencers will self-clean like a muffle and do not need to be taken apart. Your rimfire silencer will need to be user serviceable due to buildup of lead. 22LR ammo is often unjacketed and lead will build up within the silencer and will need to be cleaned occasionally. 223 ammo is jacketed and lead build up is not an issue.
It is ultimately up to you as the user to decide if you’d like to use your .223 silencer on your .22 LR. However, you should certainly take all of these factors into consideration before you do so! If you’ve got questions about silencers and various calibers, give us a call at 888-781-8778 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!