Three-Dimensional (3D)-Printed Suppressors Designed to Work on Machine Guns

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January 28, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: January 28 on

GOODSPRINGS, Nevada — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) militaries are testing a new line of suppressors using a superalloy and a patented 3D-printed design that works on automatic weapons.

The most challenging task for a suppressor is to work on machine guns, said David Strong, vice president for business development at Delta P Design Inc. “It’s easy to suppress a rifle. It’s easy to suppress a semi-automatic weapon, but to suppress an automatic weapon—the stresses, the temperatures, the pressures are extreme.”

The Waterville, Oregon-based company demonstrated the Brevis III suppressor on January 19 for reporters on a M2A1 machine gun at a private range in the Nevada desert prior to the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

A NATO working group has tested the suppressors and focused on the toxicity of the gas that is a byproduct of shooting rounds. When shooting at a slow pace, there is a burst of gas that comes out of the suppressor without any problems. But when firing rapidly with a normal suppressor, the gas backs up and blows back into the operator’s face, Strong said. It can also speed up the gun’s cyclic rate, he added.

Delta P has several patents that allows the suppressor to quickly process high volumes of gas. The “Quick Drain” technology can only be achieved with 3D printing. It could not be done in a machine shop, he added.