GEMTECH AURORA II
SIZE MATTERS —JUST NOT THE WAY YOU THINK
Size Matters — Just Not the Way You Think
Back in the dark ages of the 1990s, when Will Smith was still a young comedic actor, Gemtech began working on a specialpurpose suppressor. It had to be as small as possible, lightweight, and quiet. A lot of special and one-off items have been made for downed pilot survival kits — the Aurora would become one of them. Getting your grubbies on one of the originals was hard, but now there’s a newer and better one out there: The Gemtech Aurora II.
The first suppressor to be made in-house by new Gemtech parent company Smith & Wesson, these Auroras will actually hit the larger open market.
BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER
Several changes and improvements went into the Aurora II. First and most obvious is the exterior sleeve. It’s slotted and then slightly bent in at the middle. This makes gripping the silencer to take it on or off exceedingly easy. Secondly, it’s tandem threaded and bidirectional. Have a 9mm pistol threaded M13.5x1LH? There’s an end for that. Have a 9mm pistol in the preferred thread pattern of the only nation to put a man on the moon, ½x28? There’s an end for that too.
Each end comes complete with internal thread protectors and wrench flats that conveniently fit into an AR armorer’s tool.
The internals are a palindrome of wipes and spacers, so it makes zero difference which end of the Aurora II you use.
Less obvious are some of the internal changes of the Aurora II versus the original. Firstly, it uses wipe material that is 85A durometer polyurethane, much tougher than the original 65A material. Secondly, the spacers are now bidirectional. While there were several different versions of the original Aurora, depending on what year it was produced, many had spacers with different openings on either end. The idea was that having the muzzle-end hole slightly larger gave more space for a wipe to cave into as it wore.
After a lot of testing and trial and error, engineers at Gemtech determined that simply having the larger hole on either side actually increased wipe longevity. The change in material and spacer design made for a tougher suppressor. How much? The original Aurora had an anticipated wipe life of 10 rounds when mounted on a service weapon — and the Aurora II: 40.
Did we mention that the Aurora II is small and light? At just 3.3 inches long and a scant over 3 ounces, this can won’t crack any scales. Because it’s so small and light, no booster or Nielsen device is needed even when used with a Browning tilt-action barrel.
OLD TECHNOLOGY FOR NOVEL USES
Normally when we think of silencers that use wipes, old Mitch Werbell designs come to mind. Wipes can be made from all manner of materials, so long as it’s pliable enough to allow a projectile to pass through but seals up fast enough to trap the explosive gases behind. Those self-healing targets you throw downrange work much in the same manner.
There are definitely downsides to wipes; they can’t be used very much before replacement, accuracy can get thrown off considerably because the bullet passes through the material, and generally they aren’t as well suited for modern weapons when compared to present-day options.
But of course there’s a but. You can make a silencer exceptionally small with wipes and grease. As mentioned wipes help keep the gas sealed in, and the grease is an ablative media — in other words, a temporary performance enhanc- er. If you’ve ever heard about a suppressor being run “wet,” that’s in reference to an ablative media being used.
After the Aurora II is packed with grease and fresh wipes, it can be tucked away for years without any worries of leakage or evaporation.
THE PROJECTILE PREDICAMENT
While you may think that the Aurora II might make for a nice little nightstand or carry can, you’ll have to pump the brakes here. Because the projectile passes through several wipes and some grease along the way, even with the X-aperture in the wipes themselves, the bullet strikes material on its way down range. This means hollow points or any other expanding ammunition are a no-go. To quote Gemtech, “guaranteed endcap strike.”
Slightly further complicating matters is that only one side of the silencer threads off — if both sides came off, an endcap strike could be a quick fix.
While our service men and women the world over largely carry ball ammunition in their pistols, we won’t pretend this is the best possible choice for defensive application.
The internals are deceptively simple — and this is the cleanest they’ll ever be.
We don’t care what consenting adults do, but this kind of docking is absolutely not recommended.