Sunday, October 23, 2022

DonnyFL Shogun Airgun Moderator Suppressor Review

DonnyFL Shogun Airgun Moderator Suppressor Review

Airguns have matured since I was a kid pumping up my .22 pellet gun until my arm nearly fell off. Back then a 20 ft/lb .22 pellet gun with 10-pumps was a powerhouse and still they were not all that loud. Today, the amazing PCP - Pre Charged Pneumatic airguns are delivering massive convenience, accuracy and power up to 650 ft/lb with 40 ft/lbs of energy being common. With the massive air burst required to deliver that power, often in large bore sizes, there is a lot of air noise and that is where the DonnyFL Airgun Moderator comes in to quiet things down to a shocking level.

We see suppressors/silencers in the premium airgun world a lot but are generally known as shrouds or moderators by the Euro shooters and even to some degree in the US. In many cases some of these moderators or shrouds are nothing more than just empty cavities like the empty tube on my Walther Reign, but the more advanced PCP airguns like Airforce actually have tuned baffles. In most cases factory shrouds and moderators usually are not particularly great.

The right airgun moderator design can make all the difference in the world if you want to shoot in your backyard without a sound level that can exceed the noise level of many firearms rounds or totally tick off your neighbors. This was definitely the case with my Airforce TalonP in .25 caliber delivering a whopping 50 ft/lbs of energy out of a 12-inch barrel. The TalonP has tons of power, but the air volume required for the short pistol barrel is much higher than it would be in a longer barrel. The result was that it sounded like a .22LR pistol when you shot it and was not so neighborhood friendly to shoot at all. Another TalonP silencer brand hit the market which was over $500, and they just seemed too much. A friend told me about the DonnyFL airgun moderators with a note that they were “The Airgun Moderator” as an alternative and after looking at their site I was impressed.

A chat with PJ at DonnyFL, netted I would likely be most happy with the Shogun model - more later on why that model. Order placed and received in about a week with impressive professional packaging that screamed, if you love our packaging then you will love our quality product. Slipping the Shogun silencer out of the nicely branded tube, I was immediately impressed with the quality, fit and finish - for under $200 for most of their suppressors, this was stunning quality as I spun the Shogun onto the optional TalonP DonnyFL ½-20 airgun threaded adapter.

The DonnyFL Shogun was $185 including the ½-20 threaded and cap thread adapter. Of note, they offer six different adapter options in common airgun threading. DonnyFL also offers several pages of other options including the $45 ½-20 male threaded TalonP shroud adapter I added that slipped perfectly into the TalonP with a thread protector included. With the factory muzzle cap Airforce retainer screw tightened down on the adapter, the Shogun threaded right on. For the premium PCP airgun owners who have spent well over $500 on the gun, $225 should seem inexpensive considering the cost of pellets and with the capability to now shoot comfortably indoors or in the backyard. The quality of the DonnyFL silencer will match the quality of even the highest tier of airguns.

Where firearm baffles and designs need to optimize heat dissipation and powder burn on top of baffling high air pressure, simple compressed PCP airgun pressure is totally different from firearm pressure. According to PJ at DonnyFL, with airguns there is just this huge exponentially larger amount of relatively low velocity air pressure that needs someplace to go in a quiet manner. With firearms, the pressure is super high velocity, but compressed and hot. In the case of TalonP, there is a lot of pressure plus a larger than average amount of air volume to deliver the energy out of a shorter barrel.

PJ noted that a larger displacement DonnyFL Shogun silencer is needed just to manage all that TalonP air pressure. He also noted that once I could mount a silencer on my Walther Reign, the pressure is less in the longer barrel and a smaller silencer sounds just as quiet since the rifle length barrel needs less pressure for the same power. Basically Shorter Barrel = bigger required suppressor.

If you are familiar with typical firearm suppressor baffles, then the DonnyFL monolithic baffle design will really have you scratching your head. It is a totally different design optimized to give the huge volume of air someplace to go quietly. Its nothing like anything in the firearm industry and likely would not work at all with high pressure gas. The monolithic baffle stack is wrapped in a metal mesh and then a felt. The tube and end caps are also micro vented. The result is a very dead sounding airgun suppressor that works amazingly well.

Before anyone freaks out about the fact that I simply ordered and was directly shipped something that is a moderator-suppressor all without an ATF tax stamp, don’t worry, airguns moderators are not in the purview of ATF or federal regulations. Obviously, moron laws that were concocted by politicians make so little sense when it comes to anything Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms or explosives related.

Yes, airgun suppressors are legal and in fact have always been legal even though we have pellet sizes in similar calibers to firearms such as .22, .25, .30, .357, .457, and .50 caliber airguns which are widely all suppressed. The net of all this madness is that the ATF is still a bit sensitive about anything that might be used as a suppressor on a firearm. Thus the reason we see the thread adapter on the DonnyFL moderator copiously labeled with “For Airguns Only” and DonnyFL moderators are only available in airgun thread pitches which do not align to typical firearm thread pitches.

PJ noted that they do get odd questions from some customers who suggest using their silencers on something other than an airguns. DonnyFL notes that is completely illegal, but more importantly really dangerous since the design is not engineered to manage the heat and pressures of firearm rounds and would likely deliver a dangerous catastrophic failure. DonnyFL is not using the same materials or structural strength as what is used on firearms suppressors including titanium and super metals. DonnyFL was quick to note there are plenty of inexpensive rimfire suppressors available which are designed and legal to use on firearms. DonnyFL even goes further to assure there is no misunderstanding with compliance and will not make any adapters that offer common threading to firearms and in fact do not even have any firearm threaded tooling in the shop.

There is something so special about being able to safely shoot in the backyard with a proper backstop without disturbing the neighbors or even getting a look. As far as my neighbors are concerned my blow hard TalonP now equipped with the Shogun sounds about like an electric stapler which blends into the typical neighborhood soundtrack and goes unnoticed. The transformation is stunning and the utility of being able to shoot anytime is a transformative experience. One day you are the noisy neighborhood nuisance and the next day neighborly just by threading on a DonnyFL silencer on the airgun.

Though outside the city limits and technically legal to discharge a firearm in our neighborhood, the loose spaced houses are close enough that firearm discharge is frowned upon. With that noted, we are rural and we get a lot of critters that become nuisances really quick and dispatch is in some cases legally required. Of course the scourge of starlings this year has been so crazy dense and loud, you have to thin the herd a bit. The suppressed TalonP with its ATN X-Sight LTV 3-9 is a fantastic option for work at night and provides some video and images during the hunt.

Threading the Shogun onto the stripped Walther .25 Caliber Reign converted the barking Reign into crazy quiet with about the only sound being the hammer drop. From a quality perspective, the DonnyFL Suppressors/ moderators are fantastic and the price is right for the PCP airgun shooters.

So should you buy one if you are a PCP airgun owner and have a compatible airgun. Why in the hell wouldn’t you? I loved the Shogun so much I ordered a FatBoy and also a Ronin. The Fatboy is a big fat 2-inch wide and short suppressor with interchangeable caliber wipes. It is by no means as quiet as the Shogun or Ronin, but it has a lot of caliber flexibility in a small package. My Fatboy is mounted to my TalonSS which was already very quiet but is now hammer drop quiet even when the pressure is jacked up a bit. Just as DonnyFL noted, the Shogun was the perfect fit for the TalonP and my blowhard Umarex .30 Gauntlet, but a shorter suppressor like the Ronin was a better fit on the Walther Reign in a 2-inch shorter package. So yes, I freaking love these and totally and unequivocally recommend them for your PCP airguns.

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