First off, I have to admit I was highly skeptical about the Po’ Boy Suppressor, since it costs less than the NFA Tax Stamp it requires. I know from experience how much it costs to build a decent suppressor. There is one suppressor in my safe that I built on a Form 1 from scratch using parts that can be purchased easily off the internet. Reliable parts don’t come cheap.
However, after doing my due diligence, talking to some other gun fanatics like myself, and actually getting to handle a Po’ Boy Suppressor, I am a little less skeptical. I now understand how this up-and-coming company has been able to build a reasonably quiet suppressor, while keeping the cost less than the cost of the tax stamp required to own one legally.
Looking at the Po’ Boy Suppressor from the standpoint of the average shooter who spends some time on the range a couple of times a month, I can see the niche that Black Aces Tactical is trying to fill with this suppressor. It is hard for many shooters to justify dropping $400 to $1000 on a suppressor, another $200 on the tax stamp, and then waiting 4 to 8 months to get possession.
Let’s take a look at the Po’ Boy Suppressor to see exactly how it stacks up.
Black Aces Tactical
Black Aces Tactical is better known for their shotguns that don’t look like shotguns, their aftermarket stocks that can transform a standard semi-automatic rifle into a mean-looking exotic, and their specialty accessories. Personally, I’ve even considered building a Bull-Pup Ruger 10/22 using a Black Aces conversion stock.
To be honest, it can be hard to find any information about the company itself. Part of this may be due to the better part of valor (discretion), as some of the firearms that Black Aces manufactures and sells are on the edge of being classified as NFA weapons. If they are regularly dealing with the BATF, I can understand wanting to present a low profile.
Overall, Black Aces products get good reviews—both within the industry and from among the users of their products. I have concluded that the company is legit, and that they are in the game to stay.
The Black Aces Po’ Boy Suppressors
Black Aces produces two options on the Pro series of Po’ Boy Suppressors. If you are an AR-15 shooter, the 56 series of Po’ Boy suppressors will fit your rifle. Ak shooters, on the other hand, will shop the 47 line of Po’ Boy suppressors. That’s it. No pistol calibers. No big bore calibers.
Pro Series 56 Po’ Boy Suppressor
The 5.56/.223 round is the overall leader in chamberings for the AR-15 platform. The 5.56mmx45 cartridge is the bullet that the US military (and most NATO countries) have adopted as the standard main battle rifle. The adoption of the 5.56/.223 round by the military, as well as its performance characteristics, have made it a favorite among civilian shooters.
The Black Aces 56 Po’Boy Suppressor is aimed squarely at the civilian AR-15 shooter. AR’s have become commonplace. Thousands of these rifles are used almost like .22 caliber rifles for target shooting and plinking. The thought of investing in a suppressor that will likely be more expensive than the rifle itself puts a suppressor purchase on the back shelf for many people.
However, with a total investment that can come in under $400, the Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressor comes closer to being a wanted accessory than a wished-for luxury. That combined investment puts the Po’ Boy suppressor in a price range that many casual shooters can handle.
So, what do you get for less than the cost of the NFA tax stamp? Actually, you get a lot. Just a quick look at the features is enough to see what makes the Po’ Boy suppressor impressive for the relative cost.
Features and Specifications
- Built using 4130 Chromoly steel for the exterior tube with a 316 stainless steel interior
- Dual wall construction for strength
- Corrosive resistant inner wall
- Cerakote high-heat resistant coating withstands temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit
- Direct thread design for stability
- Straight stack baffle design for easy disassembly and cleaning
- User serviceable interior parts
- Endcap fits an AR-15 stock wrench, with no special tools needed to service and clean the suppressor
- Length 8 inches
- Diameter 1.5 inches
- Weight 25 ounces
- Full auto capability
- Average noise reduction – 33 Db
What Shooters Say About the Black Aces Po’ Boy Suppressors
Comments and opinions about the Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressors are all over the map, such that it is hard to get a real read about these suppressors from user comments. Unfortunately, I only had a chance to handle one of these suppressors for a few minutes, and without the opportunity to do a proper range test.
From examining a used Po’ Boy 56 suppressor, I found what I had expected. My impression of the Black Aces Po’ Boy Pro 56 suppressor mirrors that of many users’ comments online.
The Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressors are on the heavy side. At 25 ounces, the Po’ Boy suppressor is considerably bulkier than many other suppressors on the market. A lot of this has to do with the choice of materials used in this suppressor’s manufacture. Where other manufacturers use titanium or other alloys, Black Aces has chosen to use Chromoly steel.
Using Chromoly steel is one way to keep the cost down. Chromoly is easier to machine and less expensive than other high tech alloys. The downside is the added weight. Twenty-five ounces added at the far end of your rifle doesn’t sound like much until you lug it around and try to steady it at the range.
Materials – Chromoly and Stainless Steel
You can certainly manufacture a workable suppressor from Chromoly and stainless steel. However, there are disadvantages that you must consider. One of the biggest is the corrosion factor.
Everything about shooting is corrosive. The residue from unburned powers is corrosive. The hot gasses created are corrosive. The environment produces corrosion, especially on unprotected steel. Corrosion can lead to some big problems with a suppressor built of steel.
The Black Aces Po’Boy suppressors are protected on the exterior with a ceramic high-temperature Cerakote coating. I must admit that Cerakote is a great way to protect firearms and accessories. However, there are some limitations to its use.
The main problem is that any interior parts can’t be Cerakote. In particular, any threaded openings must be Cerakote-free in order to operate properly. On a suppressor, this makes the threaded barrel attachment and the threaded end caps susceptible to rust.
Some users report that their brand new Black Aces suppressors showed signs of rusting and corrosion on the suppressor’s unprotected threaded portions. A few of these reports described finding rust on a brand new suppressor direct from the factory.
Corrosion is a downside of using steel. If you are willing to maintain and keep the suppressor clean and properly protected, corrosion should not present much of a problem. However, you should be aware of the need to be meticulous with your Po’ Boy suppressors’ care.
Noise Suppression Effectiveness
The biggest factor for most people who purchase suppressors is the noise reduction factor. In general, suppressors for the AR-15 platform chambered in 5.56mm/.223 will provide between 32 and 41-decibel reductions.
The Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressors fall near the bottom of this industry average. Shooting supersonic ammunition will achieve only a minimal amount of noise reduction. Much of the noise associated with shooting supersonic rounds comes after the bullet leaves the barrel.
The best sound suppression comes if you shoot sub-sonic ammunition. However, there are other problems associated with shooting subsonic ammo. The major problem is some rifles’ inability to cycle the action reliably with the lower-powered ammo. Unreliable cycling has nothing to do with the suppressor but can be an issue for anyone who wants to run the quietest possible rifle.
Black Aces makes it clear that the Po’ Boy suppressors use a straight baffle design. Straight baffles are cheaper to build and assemble. They also make maintenance easier for the most part. However, straight baffles are not the most efficient when it comes to sound suppression.
We are again back to cost versus efficiency. To minimize cost, Black Aces uses a straight baffle design. There is nothing wrong with this. There are newer and more efficient baffle designs, but they are more expensive.
My Take on the Black Aces Po’ Boy Suppressors
If you want a legal suppressor but are on a tight budget, the Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressor could be your solution, with some qualifications:
- The Po’ Boy suppressors should not be considered an option for anything but casual shooting and plinking.
- Weight is a big consideration. The Po’ Boy suppressors tend to be on the heavy side, which can make a huge difference in how your rifle handles and shoots.
- Materials and maintenance make a difference. You should expect to spend as much time cleaning and maintaining your Po’ Boy suppressor as you do your file.
- Don’t expect your AR-15 rifle to sound like a Ruger 10/22. The Black Aces suppressors aren’t going to deliver that kind of sound suppression, especially if you don’t shoot subsonic ammo.
In the end, if you want to invest the least amount of money in acquiring a suppressor, the Black Aces Po’ Boy suppressors will work. My advice, however, is to spend a little more money and buy a higher quality suppressor. You will probably be much happier in the long run.
The Black Aces Pro 56 Po’ Boy suppressors fill the niche for which Black Aces intends them. These suppressors provide a low-cost entry point for casual shooters who want to have sound suppression capability.
I hope this article has given you some insight into shopping for a suppressor for your favorite firearm. As always, you should do your research and draw your own conclusions. Above all, shoot safe and have fun.