Hardy Gen IV Moderator
- By Pete Moore
- 14 Comments
- Last updated: 21/11/2016
Last year I tested the new hardy Gen III moderator. Made in New Zealand by Dan Hardy they have been picked up by Riflecraft Ltd who has an exclusive on the product. It’s an all-alloy reflex (over barrel) design and non-strippable, so god knows what’s inside. But I know one thing - it works - and at 12oz and 9.5” long it’s short, light and efficient. It also offers an integral, 3-port muzzle brake at the muzzle end of the can, which also works! I tested the standard model on both 308 Win and 300 Win Mag guns and it did the job. I was impressed enough to get one for my 6.5 Creedmoor custom and have no complaints!
TOPPED AND TAILED
Hot on the heels of this is the new Gen IV, visually identical it’s more compact at 10.5oz and 7.5”. In general terms it’s 15% lighter and 17% shorter and we are told it gives 5% more decibel reduction. I was very keen to see what the Gen IV had to offer and e-mailed Dan Hardy on the subject and this is what he had to say: “Although the design is completely different the principle is still the same. Gas is stripped off the centre line and funnelled in different directions into multiple compartments where it has to turn a number of corners to get back out, hence slowing its speed. The unit gets its strength from the mono core, baffle-less design.
When we design a moderator the core is rated to handle a lot of pressure, which includes a safety margin. In the early stage of development it’s only on paper. Once we have completed our decibel metering we double check the specs of the core and re-calculate its theorised max pressure. If we are happy with the results we move onto destructive testing. We have a purpose built rig for this; a 16” barrel 300 WSM. We run special loads to get the muzzle pressure up to 20,000 psi. This is very high as most 308’s run at 5000psi and most magnums at about 8000.
We shoot 100-rounds through a new designed suppressor and after, check for elongation, distortion etc. If we find NO issues at all, it’s a pass. A baffled suppressor uses the tube to hold all the parts together and all the forward pressure gets translated into the tube. This is why you have probably seen baffled suppressors stretching and spot welds tearing towards the muzzle end.
We rely on the core for strength and don’t take the tube into consideration when we look at strength of our new designs. In saying this, our tube adds an additional 12,000 PSI of yield strength to our suppressors. So to answer the question what suppressors are stronger: our light weight ones or heavy steel ones? Fairly cut and dry in our minds!”
TWO EARS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Testing was done with my 6.5 Creedmoor and a 30-06 Kimber Montana. I already use a Gen III to good effect. The Gen IV adds just 3.1” to overall rifle length and even though III is light at 12oz the reduction in weight by 1.5oz and length by 2” is to be appreciated. I tested in the usual manner using mine and another’s Mk I ears with both units.
Results were interesting. Firing 140-grain 6.5 Creedmoor Hornady factory ammo showed that the Gen IV was marginally quieter. The Gen III booms and does not crack like some other cans and the IV just took that noise down a little more. With the 30-06 using Remington factory firing 180-grain Swift Siroccos we could discern no appreciable difference in output. However, you must consider that The integral muzzle brake actually works and in general Hardy cans are tough and very strongthis load is burning around 60-grains of powder as opposed to the 40-odd of the 6.5. So if a smaller, lighter can give the same reduction as the larger one, then I’d say it’s working more efficiently with what is a reasonably big calibre. Like the Gen III the brake worked well and you can feel it. I’m going to get a Gen IV for my 6.5 Grendel as this light/short rifle does not balance well with larger/heavier cans so I reckon it could prove ideal as well as moderate very efficiently.