First off, apologies to Colin for the short delay in posting this up.
A number of you will have seen the various posts by Colin regards his line of moderators. Following some lengthy chats last year he kindly sent me one of their products to try out. That we did; and many things about it impressed. Not least the build quality and finish was second to none - though personally not taken with the 'shiney' finish on the OLC lettering on it.
However, issue for us was the size and weight. I reported back to Colin and returned the moderator - we spoke at length on the review and his parting words were 'leave it with me' - yeah right!
A number of weeks passed and to be honest I forgot about it; when the chirpy chap is back on the phone saying he thinks they've cracked it and a suitably redesigned version was on its way. Whilst we all tend to like the sound of our own voice, it's still nice to have a manufacturer actually listen, take on what's said and care enough about what they do to act on it - there are precious few of those about.
New moderator duly arrived, threaded up to fit our 243 Howa and dimensioned specifically for it. This wasnt a re-hash of the earlier one, this was a new toy entirely. Weight and dimensions reduced significantly - our material test laboratory ( my kitchen, step- sons school ruler and the wife's kitchen scales ) swung into action - 420 gram, 38mm Diameter, 160 mm overall.
Simply, it is beautifully made - the fit and finish is absolutely top notch, the threading is flawless and the feel is solid with a capital S. OLC has gone and now badged with SP - again in polished letters, but no issue really.
SP against Ase S5
The S5 and SL5 are my usual working moderators because of a rock solid stainless build. The SP is a tighter package and if anything feels even more solid.
I keep going on about this, but you really have to handle one to appreciate the build quality - I'm prepared to sound like a dork on this - but it is that good.
Views on moderators seem to revolve around two key areas - weight and sound reduction. Weight is fairly factual and relatively easy to measure. There are lighter moderators, but for many of those there will be a trade off in terms of materials and construction. That's not all bad - very much horses for courses is my view. Sound reduction is where everyone falls out. Despite facts and figures and Decibel readings, how a moderator sounds varies from one ear to another and the circumstances. In 99% of cases the sonic boom from the bullet will far outweigh the muzzle report from a moderated rifle - as often will the bullet strike too.
My hearing is pretty hopeless at the best of times, so not claiming any prowess on that front - so roped in several spare 'ears' for tests.
The SP produces a very ear -comfortable report at the muzzle. The collective 'ears' concluded it sounded noticeably flatter than the S5, Maxim and Roedale we tried - not necessarily 'quieter' than some, but a flatter tone. Definitely no T8 ting!
SP next to S5
Would I use one? Yes. I have the luxury of switching gear as required, but that aside this is a quality piece of engineering that delivers all that I personally need most of the time.
I understand pricing is competitive with most of the other top moderator choices, so this offers a very useful option for those looking for a solid all stainless construction and not least something manufactured wholly in the UK.
We can supply and the model tested here is available if anyone wants to call and examine it up here - it will likely be with us at the Stalking Fair - and Colin maybe along as well. But if of interest, I'd recommend talking with Colin direct in the first instance to take best advantage of being able to talk direct with the maker.