Oceania Defence SLS 3D Laser printed Moderators - .30cal 'Alpine Hunter' impressions

fcp

Well-Known Member
I own a few moderators including one of the Original Quicksilver Titanium mods in .223 from when they were still being licensed in the UK and for the most part they all do a pretty reasonable job in terms of sound reduction.

I've never been super happy with what any of them do for rifle balance though with even the lightest RF aluminium Wildcat coming in at 200g and more than double that for the centrefires.

I came across the Oceania Defence mods at the Phoenix in May which are being imported from New Zealand by Oceania Defence UK and placed an order for one about 2 minutes after I first picked it up.

What makes their product so compelling is the manufacturing method which uses a technique called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) to '3D print' the moderator in Titanium alloy resulting in a one piece moderator and baffle design that is optimised for the task enabling an internal structure that could never be fabricated using conventional machining techniques. The result is stunning - a single structure that is both incredibly lightweight and almost indestructibly tough (rated for full auto).

To say they are light is an understatement. At just 150g including the thread adaptor they are breathtaking. Honestly I'd be hard pushed to tell the difference on or off and for the first time in a very long time my favourite stalking rifle felt balanced once more!

The question was then how would it perform? To be honest even if it had performed at 70% of my steel cans I'd have been happy, but a couple of weeks use here during the early rut and then a week of Roe deer in Northern Europe at the beginning of Aug I can say that the mod performed brilliantly.. Absent a calibrated meter I have no idea what relative/ absolute level of reduction is compared to the old cans, but subjectively it is easily as good.

So what is the catch? Well like everything you pay your money and take you choice and as you would expect cutting edge tech (and in particular this manufacturing method which does not lend itself to high-volume production) doesn't come cheap. The Alpine Hunter in Ti is around £570 (they do a cheaper Iconel version but it weighs more and that kind of misses the point) which is probably at least double what you would pay for an average steel mod (and almost 3 times the cost of the Evo Spartan pictured below).

So even at nearly 600 quid is it worth it? Yes. IMO worth every penny for the way in which it transforms the rifle. I expect over time the manufacturing costs of this approach will come down and when it does I think its game over for everyone else (Oceania own W-W patents for the mfr technique I'm told), they really are that good!


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Oceania Defence - .30 cal (inclusive of adapter)
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Quicksilver Titanium .223 (minus thread adapter @80g)
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EVO Spartan reflex (Steel mod on the Rifle prior to this)
 

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Hi

Thank you for sharing your experience - adds another option to the mix!

L
 
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