The Avtomat Kalashnikova or AK was first introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army in 1948 and officially adopted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949. The AK and its variants remain the most popular and widely used assault rifles in the world due to its comparatively low productions costs and ease of manufacturing, reliability under harsh conditions, ease of use and availability in nearly every geographic region. More AK type weapons have been produced around the globe than all other assault rifles combined.
Rifles based on the Kalashnikov design have always presented some unique challenges for use with a sound suppressor. Thread diameters and pitches vary greatly as does the thread concentricity with the bore. Kalashnikovs provide a large amount of gas pressure to the piston in the long stroke gas system. Although this is generally associated with great reliability in adverse conditions, adding a typical sound suppressor to the mix compounds the over gassing. The resulting blowback makes for unpleasant shooting experience.
Many sound suppressor manufacturers choose not to warrant their products on Kalashnikov pattern riffles because of the thread/bore concentricity issue. Other companies simply choose not to offer mounting solutions in Kalashnikov thread patterns in order to avoid the concentricity problem altogether..
Mike Pappas, Founder of Dead Air Silencers® has long been a fan of the Kalashnikov. Mike, who co-founded another sound suppressor company in 2008, teamed up with silencer designers Todd Magee and Gary Hughes with the goal of building the best sound suppressors on the market. the company has established a reputation for doing just that.
Dead Air Silencers Wolverine PBS-1
Dead Air Silencers Wolverine PBS-1 sound suppressor for Kalashnikov rifles features classic COMBLOC looks. But looks can be deceiving. The Wolverine PBS-1 is a state-of-the-art suppressor designed to overcome the issues faced in suppressing the world’s most popular assault rifles.
The Wolverine PBS-1 was designed from the ground up for use of use on Kalashnikovs. Not only does it eliminate the need to buy multiple suppressors to fit different threaded COMBLOC rifles, it strikes an ideal balance between suppression and minimal back pressure. And it accomplishes this while remaining true to the overall external size and appearance of the original Soviet military PBS-1 sound suppressor for AK-47 and AKM rifles.
The Soviet PBS-1 suppressor was designed for use with the AKM. Introduced in the 1960s, it was used primarily by Spetsnaz forces and the KGB. The Soviet PBS-1 is a two chambered suppressor using baffles and a rubber wipe.
In designing the Wolverine PBS-1 the varying degrees on non-concentric threads needed found on Kalashnikovs to be accounted for to prevent baffle strikes. This was accomplished via a specifically engineered bore taper that allows the Wolverine PBS-1 to be used on all but the worst examples of non-concentric threads.
In testing conducted on a large number of foreign and American barrels, Dead Air Silencers achieved what it believes to be the optimum bore diameter and taper to prevent baffle strikes on the vast majority of rifles without major sacrifices in sound reduction performance. You can simply screw the Wolverine PBS-1 on and shoot it with confidence that damage to the unit is highly unlikely. It the event that baffle strikes should occur, any damage to the suppressor is covered by the company’s lifetime warranty.
Kalashnikovs are hugely over-gassed. This has turned off many users from suppressing their weapons, since a typical sound suppressor only makes the problem worse. The Wolverine PBS-1 addresses this with a baffle stack that’s designed to have minimal back pressure and to be balanced between the muzzle and ejection port. The Wolverine PBS-1 has been optimized to equalize the two and thus provide effective muzzle suppression without unnecessarily increasing sound pressure levels and blowback. The result is a much more pleasant suppressed shooting experience.
Dead Air Silencers didn’t cut any corners when it comes to strength and durability. The Wolverine is multi-caliber rated up to 7.62x54R. It is full-auto rated with no restrictions on minimum barrel length. Like the Kalashnikov, it has been built for ruggedness.
The Wolverine PBS-1 has a tough stainless steel exterior with a Cerakote® High-Temperature Ceramic Coating and nitrided parts. Cerakote is a high-performance thin-film ceramic composite coating. It’s very-tough and durable. The Cerakote coating is capable withstanding temperatures greater than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093ºC).
The baffles are Stellite®, a cobalt-chromium alloy specifically designed for wear and heat resistance. Stellite is exceptionally resistant to heat erosion making it the ideal material for suppressor baffles. It costs more and is harder to machine than most other baffle materials but provides maximum baffle life.
The Wolverine PBS-1 maintains the compact form factor of the original Soviet PBS1-suppressor. It has an overall length of 7.4 inches (18.8 cm) with thread adapter and a 1.93-inch (4.9 cm) outside diameter with a 1.5-inch (3.81 cm) tube. Weight is 19.8 to 24.4 ounces (561.32 to 691.73 g) depending on mount. Installation of the Wolverine PBS-1 is toolless and takes only seconds.
The Wolverine PBS-1 comes with two external locking collars to accommodate widely varying thread diameters and pitches associated with Kalashnikovs. The collars work with the rifles’ existing front sight block pin to help prevent loosening of the suppressor from recoil under sustained fire.
A 14x1LH thread insert is included with the Wolverine PBS1, making it compatible with most threaded 7.62×39 AK variants right out of the box. Additional thread inserts to accommodate other common COMBLOC pattern threads are available (24mm RH AK-74, 26mm LH Yugoslavian M92, etc.), as well as common American threads (1/2×28 and 5/8×24) at a minimal cost.
The discharge of a firearm two main sources of sound that need to be considered when “silencing” it — the weapon’s report, i.e., muzzle blast, and the “crack” caused by a supersonic bullet passing the sound barrier. The sound from the cycling of the firearm’s action is a third consideration for some specialized applications.
Muzzle blast is the most significant source of sound generated by a firearm. It’s the consequence of the shock waves resulting from high-pressure gases exiting the barrel. If the pressure is reduced immediately before it exits, the weapon’s report will be reduced. Muzzle blast is also reduced by decreasing velocity of the gases and either absorbing the sound waves or canceling them by interference with reflected waves coming from the same source.
No suppressor can eliminate the ballistic “crack” of a supersonic bullet. For maximum sound mitigation, subsonic 7.62x39mm ammunition is available from several manufacturers that allows both semi-auto and full-auto fire with a suppressed Kalashnikov.
OSHA limits impulsive or impact noise at 140 dB peak sound pressure [29 CFR 1910.95(b)(1) or 29 CFR 1926.52(e)]. Without hearing protection, exposure to any impulse noise over 140 dB causes varying degrees of permanent noise-induced hearing loss. It can also lead to tinnitus.
Although a number of variables will impact sound suppression, Dead Air Silencers states that the sound pressure levels with the Wolverine PBS-1 will range from 136 to 138 dB at the muzzle and 138 to 142 dB at the ejection port, across varying hosts with standard military 7.62x39mm ammunition. For purposes of comparison, these sound pressure levels are roughly equivalent to that of an unsuppressed .22 rimfire rifle shooting hi-velocity .22 LR cartridges
Dead Air Silencers tests all its suppressors to MIL-STD-1474D This is the standard military test to measure potential hearing damage from noise and is the industry-accepted standard for testing firearm sound suppressors. Testing is conducted with a sound meter be placed one meter to the left and level with the muzzle, with the microphone oriented in an upward position, and 1.6 meters off the ground. Tula 122 grain FMJ 7.62x39mm ammunition was utilized by Dead Air Silencers during testing of the Wolverine PBS-1.
At the Range
I met up with Josh Locatis, Creative Director of Tap Rack Bang Creative, and gunsmith Kyle Pritchett, Operator/Founder of Down Range Customs LLC, for some range time with the Wolverine PBS-1 at C2 Tactical in Tempe, Arizona..C2 Tactical has been voted Best Indoor Range in Arizona.
The Wolverine PBS-1 was mounted on an Arsenal 7.62x39mm SAM7R-65 semi-auto AK-47 for my testing. The Arsenal SAM7R with the Wolverine PBS-1 provided outstanding performance during our testing, especially considering the platform and compact size of the suppressor.
First round pop (FRP) was very minimal. FRP results from the burning off of the oxygen in the suppressor by the first round. FRP occurs with all suppressors to varying degrees. Other than very slight flash on the first round, no muzzle flash was observable to the naked eye.
Gas blowback, while definitely noticeable, was less than expected for a suppressed AK. In the opinion of all present, Dead Air Silencers definitely has met its intended design parameters for the Wolverine PBS1.
Reliability not accuracy is the strong suit of the AK. There were no malfunctions, not at all surprising with a well-made AK-47 like the Arsenal SAM7R-65. The addition of the Wolverine PBS-1 did not effect reliability in any way.
Century Arms provided us with a 180-round Range Pack of Red Army Standard Elite 123 grain. FMJ 7.62x39mm ammunition for our testing. Manufactured by the same factories that produced billions of rounds of ammunition for the Red Army of the former Soviet Union and her Iron Curtain regimes, Red Army Standard is available in many popular Warsaw Pact calibers such as 7.62x39mm, 9mm Makarov and 5.45x39mm.
If you are looking for reliable, comparatively inexpensive ammunition for your COMBLOC caliber weapon, Red Army Standard fits the bill. Although not match-grade, it has more than acceptable combat accuracy.
The 7.62x39mm Red Army Standard Elite is Red Army Standard’s premium 7.62x39mm ammunition. It features a lead-core copper full metal jacket bullet, brass case and is non-corrosive, boxer primed. Muzzle velocity averages 2287 fps (677.08 m/s) out of a 16.25-inch (41.275 cm) AK-47 barrel, producing 1428 ft. lb. (1936.11 joules) of muzzle energy.
You won’t find a better or more versatile suppressor for COMBLOC weapons than the Dead Air Silencers Wolverine PBS-1. It even comes with an instruction manual written in both Cyrillic and English! The Wolverine PBS-1 has a MSRP of $1099.00. It’s made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty
Dead Air Silencers www.deadairsilencers.com
C2 Tactical www.c2tactical.com
Down Range Customs www.downrangecustoms.com
Tap Rack Bang Creative www.taprackbangcreative.com.
Dead Air Silencers Wolverine PBS-1
Manufacturer: Dead Air Silencers
Model: Wolverine PBS-1
Rating: Multi — Up to 7.62x54R
Length: 7.4 in. (18.8 cm) with thread adapter
Weight: 19.8 to 24.4 oz. (561.32 to 691.73 g) depending on mount
Diameter: 1.5 in (3.81 cm) tube, 1.93 in. (4.9 cm) outside diameter
Construction: Stainless steel exterior with Stellite baffles
Finish: Cerakote body with nitrided parts
Minimum Barrel Length: No Restrictions
Country of Origin: USA
I received this product on loan as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.
Photos by Tap Rack Bang Creative.