Nothing raises the blood pressure of anti-gunners like firearms and accessories that fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA). The NFA, passed in 1934, governs the sale and production of all the truly fun toys of the firearms world, namely suppressors, machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns. Many people mistakenly believe that these items are illegal. (Without the proper forms approved by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives, they are.) But with the approved forms, they are 100-percent legal to own.
There are many manufacturers of silencers/suppressors (the BATFE uses the terms interchangeably). Surefire, Gemtech, SilencerCo, and Advanced Armament Company are several that you may have heard about. Today, we are going to take a look at a product made by the Yankee Hill Machine Company.
The Yankee Hill Machine Company is located in Florence, Massachusetts, approximately 104 miles west of Lexington and Concord, the birthplace of the American Revolution. The Yankee Hill Machine Company makes nine different versions of the 3100-series sound suppressors. Today we’ll look at and evaluate the Q.D. Phantom suppressor.
Model: YHM 3100QD
MSRP: $629 (additional BATFE tax of $200 not included)
Weapon platform: M4/AR15
Caliber: .223 / 5.56×45
Weight: 20 ounces
- Length: 6.875″
- Diameter: 1.5″
Decibel reduction: -35 db
Material: Chrome moly steel and heat-treated Inconel 718
Finish: Matte black only
Attachment system: Quick-detach flash hider
Caliber rating: .17 HMR up to .223 /5.56mm
Flash hider thread mount options:
- M15 x 1 RH
- 9/16-24 LH
- M13 x 1 LH
- M13 x 1 RH
- Easy to mount
- Lifetime warranty
- Proprietary mounting system
The Q.D. Phantom suppressor isn’t for everyone, I will say that upfront. However, if you are looking for an affordable sound suppressor for your AR-15 rifle that comes with a lifetime warranty, it’s hard to pass this one up. The Phantom is heavier than almost all of the other suppressors in its class, but it has performed wonderfully for me the last two-plus years.
There are things someone in the market for a suppressor should know: First, it’s not like the movies. A .223/ 5.56mm fired through a suppressor still makes a lot of noise; it is still supersonic, after all. The second thing a potential owner needs to know about is heat. Any suppressor is basically a muffler, a series of baffles that dissipate sound. The bi-product of that is heat. I learned this the hard way the first time I took my suppressor with shooting. After two magazines of fast firing my rifle, I tried to remove the suppressor. To my surprise, I burned through the palms of my brand new Mechanix Wear gloves. I let the rifle cool down. The next time out, I brought a digital thermometer and recorded the temperature after two magazines of firing at a rate of one round per second. Below is the result: 530° F, and that is not a faulty meter.
One thing that is a little frustrating, but at the same time is inarguably a functional feature, is the Phantom’s quick-detach system. The Phantom uses a proprietary system that threads onto the existing thread pattern of your rifle. The quick-detach system forces you to use an awkward-looking flash hider that no other company uses. It really makes the rifle stand out like a sore thumb. That said, with the flash hider on, mounting the suppressor becomes shockingly easy. Line up the threads, twist the suppressor on in a clockwise motion until the clicking stops, and it’s ready to rock.
Shooting the rifle with the suppressor on is very easy, and it doesn’t interfere with the sight picture or alignment at all. I will admit that the fun factor for shooting goes way up when you have a suppressor; you instantly make a lot of friends on the range. In recent years, there has been a large push by hunters to use suppressors while hunting rabbits, coyotes, wolves, and other small rodents and predators. More than 30 states have allowed it as of the writing of this article.