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Silencer Shop Authority: Eccentric Pistol Suppressor Roundup

When I was writing my reviews for the AAC Illusion 9 and SilencerCo Osprey 9, I often found myself drawing comparisons between these two eccentric pistol suppressors. Though the two represent very different takes on the asymmetrical silencer, they both largely share the same target market and buyers will naturally be pitting them against each other for years to come. Since I have had a chance to try both, I wanted to put together a head-to-head summary of these interesting silencers.

SilencerCo Osprey 9
SilencerCo Osprey 9
AAC Illusion 9
AAC Illusion 9

Size

If you are used to larger diameter symmetrical cans like I am, the first thing you will notice about the Illusion 9 is just how slim and light it is. Though the Illusion is about an inch longer than the Osprey, it also weighs around half an ounce less and is far slimmer than the SilencerCo suppressor. Considering these factors, I have to give a slight advantage to the AAC Illusion 9.

Left to right: SilencerCo Osprey 9, AAC Illusion 9, SilencerCo Octane 45
Left to right: SilencerCo Osprey 9, AAC Illusion 9, SilencerCo Octane 45

Design

After publishing my reviews of these suppressors, I think it is probably clear that I strongly prefer user serviceable pistol silencers. This gives the Illusion a leg up over the Osprey in my mind, but it does not tell the whole story. Because SilencerCo decided to make the Osprey 1.75” tall, it is quite possibly the most voluminous 9mm pistol suppressor on the market. As a result, the Osprey has effectively no blowback and even has very little first round pop. Unfortunately, the Osprey does interfere with most factory pistol sights, which limits its usefulness as an eccentric suppressor. While the matchup is very close, I tend to prefer the Illusion 9’s overall design.

AAC Illusion 9 baffle stack
AAC Illusion 9 baffle stack

Materials

Both suppressors feature aluminum tubes and mostly aluminum baffle stacks/cores with stainless steel blast baffles. In the materials category, the battle between the Illusion and the Osprey is a wash. We will call this one a tie.

Osprey 9 locking arm open. This allows us to adjust the orientation of the suppressor. It also frees the piston retaining ring for removal. Notice how the teeth that keep the piston retaining ring from unscrewing.
Osprey 9 locking arm open. This allows us to adjust the orientation of the suppressor. It also frees the piston retaining ring for removal. Notice how the teeth that keep the piston retaining ring from unscrewing.

Mounts

The Illusion and Osprey both use very similar piston assemblies. The main difference between the two is that the Osprey’s features fewer “teeth” than the Illusion piston. I understand that because of the way proper orientation is achieved with the Illusion, there must be more notches in the piston for the can to settle in. Unfortunately, these notches tend to fill with carbon and other debris while shooting and the assembly can be very difficult to remove for cleaning. These challenges make the Osprey’s my preferred mounting system.

Dirty Osprey piston
Dirty Osprey piston

Suppression

In terms of suppression, the Osprey 9 is the clear winner here. According to Silencer Shop, when tested one meter left of the muzzle, the Osprey beats the Illusion by about 3 decibels. In all actuality, this fact is pretty impressive considering that the AAC suppressor is a good bit smaller than the SilencerCo option. For its size, the Illusion is a very solid performer, but in terms of overall performance the Osprey is king of the eccentrics.

Blowback

Because the Illusion uses conical baffles, it is a bit gassier than the monocore Osprey. Simply put, there is practically no noticeable blowback with the Osprey 9. That said, the Illusion is no slouch in this category. Compared to the symmetrical cone baffles in other, traditional suppressors, the Illusion’s stack seems to do a better job of combating gas blowback. Still, the effect is noticeable and I have to give the blowback nod to the Osprey.

Price

Both suppressors come in at right around $675 dollars. At Silencer Shop, the Osprey and Illusion start at less than $10 apart, but the final price will vary based on what has been set by Powered by Silencer Shop dealers. Considering the nearly equal prices, there really is no winner in this category.

SilencerCo Osprey 9
SilencerCo Osprey 9
AAC Illusion 9
AAC Illusion 9

Conclusion

I completely realize that this will sound like a cop out, but the battle between the SilencerCo Osprey and AAC Illusion has ended in a stalemate. Though both are eccentric suppressors, they each represent very different takes on the concept. Shooters who want to maximize suppression and who do not mind some sight obstruction are likely to be happy with the Osprey. On the other hand, people looking for full use of most factory sights and a low profile silencer with respectable, but not top-end performance are likely to prefer the Illusion. I hope this helps some readers who may be torn between these unique suppressors.

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