SAK and T8AR moderators
Though I have quite a wide choice of makes/styles of moderator at my disposal, the first fullbore can I bought was a BR Tuote T8 Scout from UK importer Jackson Rifles. Its all-steel, welded construction is criticised by some as being too prone to corrosion, but the one on my Steyr Scout rifle was with me for four years and still going strong on the day I sold that combo. They are near bomb-proof and every time I used it I gave it a spray of oil, which obviously kept the rust monsters at bay. And like anything else, if you take care of it, it will last a lot longer.
For a few years now I have had the compact T4AR (AR15 rifle) moderator, which proved to strike a good compromise between efficiency and size on rifles chambered in or around 223 Remington, the four baffles (T4) and short expansion chamber easily handling the nominal 22-25-grain powder charge of this sort of calibre. But I thought I would see what the slightly larger T8AR had to offer, as I have just bought myself a new SGC Speedmaster in 223 Rem. And one of its roles will be fox control.
In terms of size the T8 is 1 ¼” longer than the 7” of the T4, which is to accommodate the extra four baffles. The expansion chamber remains the same and the design still suits light/short 20” barrels as found on the AR15. By comparison a full sized T8 for, say, a 243 Winchester is 11 .8” long, with none of these reflex designs being overly heavy for their size, certainly in comparison to other makes.
In use, unsurprisingly enough the T8AR is quieter than the T4 version to the tune of 3 db. Given the price is the same as a standard T8 then you might think why bother, and in some cases you would be correct. But if it’s a 22 Centrefire and you want to keep it compact but efficient then the T8AR does strike that balance nicely.
Name: BR Tuote T8AR
As a reviewer I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to items I test. One Rimfire moderator I favour for both 22 and the 17 calibres is the SAK. Basic looking and less than exciting, this little can is rated for airgun/Rimfire use, which does sell it short in my opinion.
The success of the SAK is down to its build, which uses a solid aluminium inner matrix and shows seven large transverse holes that fluctuate off the central bore line, which in effect makes up the individual chambers/baffles. Combine this with a heavy outer tube and you have one dense design, which appears to soak up noise and vibration far better than most things I have used. This is one of the reasons I use it on my 17HMR, as well as my 22 Long Rifle and Hornady MACH 2.
I was considering all sorts of moderator for my HMR, as its high-velocity and 22 Magnum powder capacity made me think I would need something more Centrefire-orientated. I asked Pete Jackson (Jackson Rifles) what he thought and he said to try the SAK. Not expecting much I screwed it on and was instantly convinced. At this time many HMR owners fitted T4ARs to their rifles and, believe it or not, the SAK is more efficient with this calibre!
The main differences between the old and new SAKs is how the matrix is retained, plus a marginal drop in weight with the current version. My original used three Allen-headed grub screws that held the two components together, which made it a bit fiddly to take apart. Plus, as the inner was a sliding fit in the outer, small amounts of gas would bleed out front and back until enough fouling had built up to effectively seal the ends.
The new version has done away with this fixing system. Instead, the matrix slides in from the base and butts up to the rim of the outer body. Up front a screw-on plate is used to tension/seal the two components. This not only makes stripping easier, but also solves the initial gas leak problems too.
In use, I don’t think the new version is any more efficient than the old; it just offers a better and more practical design. If you’ve got a Mk I then don’t waste your money getting the Mk II. However, if you’re looking for an efficient Rimfire moddy that can do all the calibres then get a SAK; you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet.
Name: SAK Airgun/Rimfire moderator (new version)
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