For those familiar with the AR-15, 5.56 NATO is a very loud round (mid-to-upper 160dB range), especially when shooting through a barrel shorter than 16” or if using a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. Now, if your AR has both a short barrel (the shorter the barrel, the louder it will be) and a muzzle brake, the incredibly loud sound and concussive force it produces will make it very uncomfortable for both you and anyone nearby, especially if shooting at an indoor range.
A good suppressor (aka Silencer) can reduce the sound of an AR-15 by as much as 30dB. While that won’t exactly make your AR “hearing safe”, it does make shooting your AR much more pleasant.
In the last few years, it seems like there has been much more interest in the suppressor market. One of the most respected and reasonably priced suppressors are those from Yankee Hill Machine.
Yankee Hill Machine
Yankee Hill Machine started out in 1951 as a small machine shop. In 2005, they entered the market with their first suppressor, the “Phantom”, a dedicated 5.56 NATO suppressor with a Quick Detach (QD) mount at a price that most gun owners could afford. Since then, YHM has expanded their line of suppressors as well as manufacture their own AR-15s and other firearm accessories.
Why Did I Get The YHM Turbo?
Since, I shoot mostly shorter barrel AR “pistols” indoors, I decided to take the plunge to begin the process of acquiring a suppressor. Ultimately, I decided on the original YHM Turbo (Gen 1) for the following reasons:
- The street price of the YHM Turbo was about $350 (plus the cost of a tax stamp), including choice of a QD muzzle brake or QD flash hider.
- YHM has a well-earned reputation for making quality suppressors (17-4 stainless steel with an Inconel blast baffle) that can take a beating.
- Overall length was 6.375”, diameter 1.5625” and weight of 13.5 oz.
- Full-auto rating in a tubeless design; QD mount; Rated at 134dB; Minimum barrel length of 10.5”.
- YHM offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
At the Range
Having shot a few hundred rounds through different AR-15 “hosts” (the firearm onto which you mount a suppressor) from 16.5” down to 10.5”, I can say without question, the YHM Turbo is AWESOME. When shooting indoors with 55gr 5.56 NATO from a 10.5” barrel, it significantly reduces the sound level. In fact, shooting a 10.5” AR pistol with the YHM Turbo is quieter than a 9mm compact pistol. And it also eliminates the concussive force that an exposed muzzle brake would have unleashed. The YHM Turbo, as with most any suppressor, also reduces muzzle flash that you would get if using the muzzle brake alone. As with most suppressors, the YHM Turbo does produce quite a bit of additional back pressure and blowback. For that reason, adjustable gas blocks were used on most of the hosts during testing of the YHM Turbo and that definitely makes a difference in terms of reduced blowback and felt recoil.
I also wanted to mention that YHM’s QD mount is really a great system. It uses a ratcheting system that securely attaches the Turbo to your host. It also enables you to easily remove the Turbo from your host. In fact, I never had any carbon lock up when removing the YHM Turbo.
Final Thoughts About the YHM Turbo (Gen 1)
If you are thinking about getting a suppressor that offers incredible value at a very reasonable price, you may want to consider the YHM Turbo. Please note that Yankee Hill Machine has since introduced the Gen 2 Turbo T2 and the smaller Turbo K which offer removable end caps and removable Phantom QD adapters. Unfortunately, the YHM Turbo and Turbo K are very hard to find in stock anywhere online or locally. So if you do find one, you may want to snag it.