Desert Tech DTSS .30 Cal
When considering suppression, it is best if you can take the weapon system and apply suppression during the design process. Tailoring of sorts can greatly enhance the efficacy of both. Unfortunately, this cannot be the case in every instance but in a perfect world, this is what we would do. Manufacturing a suppressor specifically to one weapon limits the opportunity to get the suppressor into the hands of a large number of potential customers. Proprietary designs always have their challenges and limitations.
Ideally, a suppressor would only improve the performance of your weapon whether it be bolt or gas operated and more often than not, this is the case. But it is difficult for manufacturers to make specific performance claims when they don’t know exactly which gun their product will be used on or who will be using it. With this in mind, it could be beneficial for a manufacturer to design and produce their own suppressor for their particular weapon system. We found one who did…Desert Tech.
Desert Tech’s bullpup design though not new, is still unique in the shooting world. My first exposure to this design was back in 2010. It was the first time I had shot at a mile and with several shots landing soundly into an IPSC silhouette target. Sadly, right-handed bullpups don’t mix with left-handed shooters. But in 2015 that all changed with DT’s release of the SRS A1 left hand.
The SRS is an extremely accurate rifle, to the point that it’s difficult to find the threshold of its capabilities that I mentioned earlier and it’s so good that it clearly defines the shooters capabilities as well. Assuming you’ve narrowed down the optimal ammunition, what more can be done to improve on the performance of the gun? Clearly; by adding a suppressor. The more specific you design a suppressor for a particular weapon system, the more you can optimize its overall performance. It’s a good concept, however, to put it in writing is an entirely different story. DT’s digital and print information clearly states improvements of nearly .25 MOA. For a weapon that already guarantees ½ out-of-the-box if using their branded ammo, that’s a bold statement. I had a brief session with this rifle last year and have never shot it before, using some years old HSM ammo, I shot a ½ minute, five round group right out of the gate. No warm up, no familiarization with the unfamiliar ergonomics and an unconventional trigger.
The DTSS’s stats are good: it weighs 1 pound and is just under 8 inches in length. It has an all titanium mono-core construction, one that is typically reserved for pistol suppressors. It attaches via a proprietary muzzle brake adapter, threaded at 1 1/16×18. The baffle design, outside of being optimized for sound allows the suppressor to tighten as it shoots. A common problem with thread on attachments is that the suppressor can work its way loose while shooting; in this case…is the exact opposite. A quick fix to the not so secure thread attachments are products such as Loctite or Rockset. With any solution though come concerns of their own; any thread filling medium needs 24 hours to set prior to shooting. This is less than ideal in most situations due to the natural progression of spontaneity that comes with shooters. The ability to attach your suppressor and know it will stay securely in place creates confidence with the end user and ultimately compromise progressing as a shooter or worst, needing to repair your suppressor after a baffle strike; or worst case scenario, you could send a round in an unintended direction.
Desert Tech also claims that vertical shift is less than 2 MOA. Being a suppressor nut of sorts; this claim sparked some interest in the vernacular of this data. Are they implying that due to its design that any POI shift is vertical? If it’s consistently that predictable, that’s a bonus for the shooter. I must dig deeper into this. However, the rifle itself has a 26-inch, 1:11 twist barrel, pretty standard for the cartridge it shoots. The bullpup design takes some getting used to but is easily adaptable. The shooter will find that their bolt actuation will be slightly altered, compared to typical rifles that shoot distances as great as this rifle. The design was not for nothing; it was designed the way it was to reach the bolt handle which is near the shooter’s shoulder.
The DT SRS A1/DTSS combo was tested using Winchester 168 gr. BTHP (Boat Tail Hollow Point) match ammunition. Consideration was given to shoot their specified three shot groups but five-shot groups were performed instead. After taking some time to get acclimated to the bullpup’s ergonomics, we settled in and started our process.
Unsuppressed, the SRS A1 was comfortable and the muzzle device worked just as designed to curtail recoil. The design of the rifle creates a different type of recoil impulse, often the shooter experiences shift throughout felt recoil, which antagonizes greater effort to keep one’s sights on target for follow-on engagements. The felt recoil seemed as if it were more abrupt and was over as soon as it started; some would call it “snappy”. Our unsuppressed groups averaged 1.06 inches with a best of .740 inches.
As expected [due to all the published claims and information we have read up to this point] our suppressed groups were considerably smaller. Spreading the calipers, the average group was smaller than our best-unsuppressed group measuring .62 inches. We managed to slam the 168-grain loads into our targets measuring an amazing .364 inches with a called flier that came after removing the suppressor and reattaching it. All my interest surrounding Desert Techs claims were soon put to bed after our accuracy testing.
Point of impact did change and it too was within the manufacturer’s specs. Groups shifted low roughly 1.5 inches.
The DTSS suppressor has a good sound and posted good numbers as well.
Desert Tech builds serious weapons systems meant for hard end use. The results of taking a suppressed-system approach are evident in the improved performance of the SRS A1. Their suppressors could easily be overlooked because they are designed specifically to be used with their weapon, and for most; the bullpup is a love or hate type of relationship.
While its design is non-traditional, it has its merits especially when suppressed.
As a self-proclaimed suppressor nut, I have spent countless hours shooting, testing and getting extremely familiar the virtually every can on the market; it is almost obsessive compulsive. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than behind a suppressed bolt gun. They will always be quieter than gassers even though I am a huge fan of the Direct Gas Impingement and piston driven systems. Bolt guns also offer a much cleaner experience while shooting suppressed than any gas gun can, the operator will experience no ill effects of gas blowback or other peripheries commonly found while shooting gas guns.
If a complete suppressed weapon system is on your future wish list; one that is particularly accurate, reliable and I implore you to look at what Desert Tech has to offer. Their rifles feature interchangeable barrels to cover as much “caliber ground” as possible and they also
offer their own suppressors in .30 and .338 caliber.
|DTSS||Best Group (inches)||Average Group (Inches)|
|POI Shift||1.5 (low|
|Average Noise Reduction||31.24db|
|Atmospherics||87 Degrees F||974 Feet [ASL]||64% relative humidity|
Desert Tech DTSS
|Mfg Noise Rating||N/A|
|Attachment Type||Muzzle device thread|
|Finish||Hard Coat Anodized|