TFB Review: A Visit To TBA Suppressors – Part 2
Although Todd Brueckmann grew up hunting and shooting in rural Virginia, he didn’t set out to open a firearms manufacturing company. From an early age he was into cars – so when he out-welded his high school shop teacher in an informal competition, the future seemed clear. But after years of building and fixing race cars and dragsters for constantly broke customers, Brueckmann turned his skills towards his other passion – silencers.
One of the first suppressors he ever owned was an offbrand rimfire setup that had horrible accuracy issues and would completely seal closed after only a few hundred rounds. It was this silencer that made him think he could build models that perform better and still be affordable.
As I stated in last week’s post, TBA Suppressors is located in beautiful Virginia farm country. Sitting in the middle of a few dozen acres, the spot is perfectly laid out for firearms and silencer development. Brueckmann has targets set between 10 and 300 yards so that he can test accuracy, take meter readings and try different hosts in a short period of time. With the addition of a new manufacturing facility with plenty of space for expansion, it’s an awesome setup.
TBA recently rebranded from their original logo. And while I understand the reasoning behind the change (a scary Grim Reaper haunting non-gun owners), I’m a fan of the 1980’s metal band style art. Originally, he viewed his TBA logo in the reflection of a wine glasss and after looking for skilled artists at tattoo parlors, Brueckmann finally found local designer who came up with the logo in and painted a full size image in exchange for a silencer.
I was lucky enough to spend most of the day with Todd talking about silencers and the future of his business. He has gained the respect of other industry leaders by building affordable cans that out perform more “premier” models. But he wasn’t bragging – he just genuinely enjoys building silencers that look and sound great.
Although the TBA shop is outfitted with high tech automated milling machines, Brueckmann’s talent and skill for metal working is what makes the quality show in his silencers. He walked me through some of the seemingly basic processes of milling tubes and monocores making the process look all too easy.
TBA offers suppressors made from aluminum, steel and titanium and while many are made as pre-set models, custom options and finishes are available. Much of the anodizing is done in-house, but Brueckmann works closely with fellow local business Hi Caliber Manufacturing to make silencers with custom finishes.
We talked briefly about using monocore designs versus classic baffle designs – TBA will be shifting towards monocore builds going forward. Citing the easier and cheaper manufacturing processes for monocore builds, Brueckmann is focusing on designing new models that reduce first round pop (FRP) and overall suppression on par with baffled models. Besides, on the integral models a monocore design makes disassembly and cleaning a simple task.
Back on the range Brueckmann and I shot almost every model TBA offers for sale. Of course my favorite gun to shoot was the integrally suppressed Ruger Mark IV “Sicario” but I was also impressed with their centerfire offerings. On a precision bolt gun, the TBA Covert sounded great. On the other hand, the Covert model was also attached to a select fire FN FNC which performed well enough to be run quietly instead of punishing the shooter.
It is no secret that I like unique silencers, so the Mini Peacemaker mounted on a cheap pocket pistol immediately caught my attention. That setup was awesome on many levels; small and quiet.
One of the challenges that TBA faces with their pistol caliber silencers is that they don’t manufacture their own boosters, relying instead on Gemtech mounts. The cans themselves perform as advertised – we ran the Peacemaker on a variety of hosts, and besides the select fire MP5 which had some bite, it sounded as good as any of my pistol silencers from the big manufacturers.
TBA Suppressors is a small business growing into a market normally reserved for major players. They build cost effective silencers that perform as well as being attractive. Whether you are a first time buyer or an NFA veteran, their builds are worth your attention.
TBA will be displaying their products at the 2018 SHOT Show for the first time this year. Stop by booth N403 and to say hello to Todd and handle a Sicario in person.
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December 1, 2017 at 03:45PM