Gemtech-Improved Outback Upgrade (IOU) Program

By Tom Murphy

Gemtech is a company, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, that has been building world-class suppressors since 1993. Gemtech, originally Gemini Technologies, was an outgrowth from Automatic Weapons Company, started by Dr. Phillip Dater in New Mexico in 1976. Dr. Dater had been working with suppressor design since the early 1960s. Later there was a move to Boise, Idaho, and in 1993, he started Gemtech with several other designers. Recently, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, parent company to firearms giant Smith and Wesson, purchased Gemtech. American Outdoor Brand’s CEO, James Debney, stated that the combination of Gemtech’s product development capabilities with American Outdoor Brands’ experience in brand management and manufacturing expertise will help to efficiently develop firearms and suppressors.

The Outback Suppressor

About 20 years ago, Gemtech introduced the Outback suppressor; a 3-ounce aluminum can with 1/2 x 28 threads to fit a .22 Long Rifle (LR) pistol or rifle. The original price was $299, which compared to other quality .22 LR suppressors, was a bargain price. Gemtech also offered adaptors to mate barrels threaded in 3/8 x 24 to the Outback.

This writer purchased an Outback 15 years ago and adapted a Savage MK II heavy barrel rifle by threading the muzzle to 1/2 x 28, which allowed the Outback to thread directly on the barrel without any adaptor. The MKII is a bolt-action rifle, and when subsonic ammunition like CCI’s .22 Long Rifle Hollow point 40-grain ammunition is fired, the sound is quieter than a .177 caliber air rifle.

The only concern that I’ve had about the Outback is that the female threads are cut directly into the aluminum. Some care must be used to ensure that the suppressor is not cross-threaded when installed on the barrel. Lately, the Outback is being shared between the Savage MK II and a recently acquired Ruger.22 /45 Lite NRA Commemorative MK III pistol. I always clean the barrel and suppressor threads with a product like Hoppe’s #9 and give both a good inspection with the Mark I eyeball. Having owned cars whose engine heads were straight aluminum with no steel spark plug...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N3 (March 2018)
and was posted online on February 9, 2018


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