How to setup your AR-15 with and without a suppressor

This video explores one way to set up an AR-15 for accurate and reliable function when using your rifle with and without a suppressor.  The addition of a suppressor increases gas flow and back pressure which changes the timing in the AR-15’s 8-step cycle of operation.  Here are a few tips we have learned to help maximize the performance of these rifles. 

8 thoughts on “How to setup your AR-15 with and without a suppressor

  1. Alex says:

    Great information as always. I’m building a 12.5″ with a carbine gas, unfortunately I couldn’t find a mid gas. I’m curious, I picked up a adjustable gas block but in my experience it’s just another failure point, what gas block would you recommend? I picked up a blue and red sprinco and a griffin armament suppressor specific buffer weight. Also using a radian raptor SD. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Mike Ross says:


      This barrel is a 14.5” CORE Series barrel with a Surefire Warcomp and a BCM MCMR handguard. This rifle has a Geissele SSP trigger in it but we run a wide range of triggers depending on the guns intended purpose.

  2. arprofaci says:

    I did catch you mentioning that about the buffers and I am still running the stock buffer so I will double-check what Smith and Wesson put in this rifle. Also, the “lock-time” concept was a new one to me, as was the 8 step cycle which, definitely gave me a new macro-to-micro perspective on how I’m running and upgrading my guns. I’ve got an Aero lower on the way and can’t wait to get in line for a 14.5 CORE Series barrel. I’m also looking forward to seeing more content from you, the detail and insight was some of the best a new gun-nerd like me has come across yet. Thanks Mike!

    • Mike Ross says:

      You might check head-space to ensure a proper (tight fitment). I would also encourage you to verify that you have a tight gas ring seal. I would also encourage you to check what buffer is in your rifle, most carbines ship with lightweight buffers as they are less expensive than a proper buffer which contains tungsten and is more expensive. I generally run either an H3 (5.4 oz.) buffer or an H2 (4.7 oz.) buffer. Heavier buffer weights increase lock time and produce more consistent chamber pressures while smoothing the rifles 8-step cycle of operation. This assists in increasing accuracy and reliability. All of this being said, 2 o’clock ejection is a sign of over-gassing and is not optimal. Many manufacturers fail to do their homework and test their products. Give us a call if you have any other questions.

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