U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Most of the time when a shooter buys their first suppressor, they choose a .22lr can like the new Mustang 22 from Rugged Suppressors because it is among the quietest options available. Indeed, rimfire cans tend to make .22lr firearms – especially rifles – near Hollywood quiet. But the problem with many of them is that they lack several features found on centerfire suppressors. This is done to keep the price as low as possible since the prospect of dropping a huge sum of cash on a can plus the $200 tax stamp can be very off-putting to shooters on a tight budget.
But as someone who has bought a good amount of el cheapo products built from some of the worst pot-metal imaginable, I can attest to two things: You usually get what you pay for, and it’s better to buy once, cry once. And that seems to be the impetus behind the newest can from Rugged Suppressors – the Mustang 22. And while the can is laden with tons of great features, can it justify its high price? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Rugged Suppressors Mustang 22
Now if you’re new to suppressors, let me give you a quick and dirty rundown on how they work.
Essentially, suppressors are just like car mufflers, but instead of reducing the sound of an internal combustion engine, they subdue the report of a detonating cartridge.
OK, not really. It’s actually very simple. Think of a balloon. If you pop a balloon, the sound of the air escaping all at once is pretty loud. But if you untie the knot and release the air slowly, it’s substantially quieter. A suppressor works much the same way; it delays the release of the hot expanding gas that follows your bullet out the muzzle. The baffles inside provide space for the air to expand internally and begin to cool, which reduces its volume. This is why it’s always advisable to run subsonic ammo through suppressors for maximum performance because the sound of the projectile breaking the sound barrier on a supersonic bullet can’t be muffled.
And that’s it. That’s literally how all suppressors function. They go about the mechanics slightly differently, but in essence, they all work the same way.
But if that’s the case – you may be wondering – what makes this new can from Rugged so special?
Getting What You Pay For
For starters, the Mustang 22 is a two-piece, modular can. Meaning, the Mustang’s tube is segmented in the middle, allowing shooters to cut the can’s length in half if they want a more compact package to mount on something like a compact .22lr handgun. Does this reduce the suppressor’s performance? Obviously. You’re reducing the amount of internal volume, so of course, it doesn’t capture as much gas for as long. And this matters with both standard velocity and high-velocity rounds. But if a shooter is running subsonic ammunition, it has almost no effect on performance, all while reducing the overall length and weight of the suppressor and by extension, the firearm host.
Another noteworthy feature of the Mustang 22 is its use of Grade 5 Titanium. This gives the Mustang the ultra-lightweight characteristics of an aluminum can (actually lighter) without sacrificing durability or longevity. This is part of why the Mustang is more expensive than your standard extruded aluminum rimfire can, the cost of materials and machine-time is simply greater.
Lastly, my favorite feature of the Mustang is its user-serviceability. Many inexpensive suppressors are monolithic and feature both the end-cap and the base sealed from the elements. This is much cheaper to manufacture, and truthfully is normally fine – but not on rimfire suppressors. This is because rimfire ammunition tends to be much dirtier and feature exposed lead projectiles. And over time any rimfire suppressor begins to collect lead, carbon, and wax, which both increase the weight of the can as well as reduce its sound-reducing performance. After a very long time, this can even lead to a dangerous situation where the buildup can obstruct the muzzle and lead to a catastrophic failure where a portion of the bullet can strike a baffle and deflect through the wall of the suppressor.
And if you’re unlucky enough to have that failure occur on a portion of your suppressor that’s serialized, the ATF may not allow the manufacturer to replace the suppressor – meaning you’re out both the cost of the can and the $200 tax stamp.
Thankfully, the Rugged Suppressor Mustang 22 is designed with this in mind. Not only is the reinforced base of the suppressor the serialized part, but the baffles themselves are also designed to prevent misalignment due to user error.
Mustang 22 Specs
Length: Standard Configuration: 5.3in / Short Configuration: 3.4′in
Weight: Standard Configuration: 3.3oz / Short Configuration: 2.4oz
Volume at Ear: 113dB
Thread Pitch: 1/2×28
Baffles & Tube: Hard Coat Anodized Aluminum
Mount & Direct Thread: Grade 5 Titanium
Finish: High Temp Cerakote
So, is the new ultralight, modular Mustang 22 from Rugged Suppressors worth a buy? With an MSRP of $465, the Mustang isn’t the cheapest option available, but it is irrefutably one of the most durable and lightweight options on the market. If a shooter is in the market for a rimfire can, and wants an option that will take plenty of abuse and keep performing, they’d be hard-pressed to find a better option.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.