The Sound of Silence: Bowers Group LLC Vers Series of Sound Suppressors

By Frank Iannamico

If you are familiar with the popular website Subguns.com, you will probably recognize the name Tom Bowers, the former owner of that site. The Subguns.com website was recently taken over by Frank Goepfert, a well-known Class III dealer. Since the change in ownership, the Subguns.com site name has recently been changed to Machineguncentral.com.

Tom Bowers’ company, Bowers Group LLC, has been in the sound suppressor business for a number of years. It started as a sole proprietorship with the goal of producing a quality suppressor at a fair price and providing great customer service. Establishing the business in the 1990s, Bowers is one of the oldest U.S. suppressor manufacturers still in business. While Bowers Group LLC may not have the advertising budget of some of the larger corporations, their products and service are second to none. Some important considerations to contemplate when purchasing a suppressor include customer service, will the company be around to offer it in the future and will they support their older suppressors that are no longer in production?

A popular product line offered by Bowers is the Vers series of submachine gun and carbine suppressors. Vers being short for versatility. The Vers line includes the Vers 9 and Vers 9S for 9mm and .300 Blackout, the Vers 45 for .45 and smaller calibers, the Vers 30 and 30T for .30 caliber rifles, the Vers 458 for .460 caliber applications and last, but not least, the Vers 50 suppressor for calibers .510 or smaller up to a velocity of 2,200 feet per second.

The Vers 9

Size matters. One of the most popular Bowers suppressors is the Vers 9. As the name implies, the Vers 9 is for 9mm applications. However, there are several variants of the suppressor available for different applications. In addition to the Vers 9, there is the Vers 9S and the new Vers 375. The Vers 9 and Vers 9S have often been criticized for their size. The suppressors are large, high-volume cans specifically designed for use on submachine guns and carbines, not pistols. Large volume suppressors reduce ejection port blowback, common in open-bolt submachine guns. Each of the baffles features scalloped ports in their bores, which help to create turbulence inside the suppressor and reduce the firearm’s report. Since the Vers 9 is large and has only five baffles, the inside of the silencer offers ample space for gas expansion. The Vers 9 is evidence that you don’t necessarily have to pack an abundance of baffles inside a silencer to still achieve excellent performance.

The Bowers Group Vers 9 is a full-sized, high-efficiency 9mm subgun and carbine sound suppressor and rated for heavy fully automatic fire in 9mm, with velocities up to 1,300 feet per second. As with the other 9mm offerings, it is an excellent choice for subsonic .30 caliber applications such as the .300 Blackout or Whisper. A Blackout option is now available that features two stainless steel blast baffles. Blackout optioned Vers 9 suppressors are rated to 2,200 feet per second and will last a lifetime using supersonic .300 Blackout or Whisper. This suppressor is matte anodized over a tumbled finish and contains the latest, most advanced subgun baffle stack. It uses the Versadapt™ insert system, which can accommodate a number of host firearms. The Vers 9 has a 1.75-inch diameter and an overall length of 11.25-inches with most inserts. Its weight with the insert is approximately 18 ounces (varies depending on the selected insert).

Vers 9S Suppressors

The Bowers Group Vers 9S is similar to the Vers 9, but it is 2.6-inches shorter and has four baffles instead of five. It is a high-efficiency 9mm subgun and carbine suppressor, rated for heavy fully automatic fire. While this suppressor is suitable for 9mm, it is their bestselling suppressor for subsonic .30 caliber applications such as the .300 Blackout or Whisper, and it will also provide excellent service with smaller rounds such as the .380 ACP. A Blackout option is now available. The Vers 9S BLK suppressors feature two stainless steel blast baffles, are rated to 2,200 feet per second and will last a lifetime using supersonic .300 Blackout or Whisper. This suppressor has the company’s latest, most advanced subgun baffle stack and has a matte ceramic-based finish. Its overall length is 8.6 inches and it has a 1.75-inch diameter. It weighs approximately 15 ounces.

Vers 30 and Vers 30T Suppressors

Versatility! The Vers 30 and Vers 30T are both rated from 17 HMR to .300 RUM/.300 Weatherby and nearly everything in-between. Suitable for shooting with popular calibers such as .17WSM, .22 Hornet, .22-250, .223, 5.56, .22 Nosler, .243 Winchester, .257 Roberts, .26 Nosler, .270 Winchester, .28 Nosler, .30 Nosler, .300 BLK, .300 Norma, .300 Winchester Magnum, .308, .30-06, 6mm Remington, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.8 Remington SPC, 7x30 Waters, 7mm Remington Magnum, 7.62x39, 7.62 NATO and many more. There is a minimum barrel length of 10.5 inches when shooting .223 or 5.56mm, but there are no barrel restrictions whatsoever with other calibers. Both the stainless and titanium suppressors are rated for limited full-auto use, not to exceed 500 degrees.

Both the Vers 30 and Vers 30T measure 1.5 x 9.25 inches. The Vers 30 has a stainless tube and stack and weighs a nominal 20 ounces. The Vers 30T features a titanium tube and weighs in at a mere 15.6 ounces. Each Vers 30 and Vers 30T silencer comes with a custom Griptastic™/SUPCOV™ high-temperature silicone suppressor cover.

Vers 375/Vers 375T

The Vers 375 suppressor can pass up to .375-inch bullets through the bore and features a titanium stack; the Vers 375 is designed to handle velocities of up to 2,650 feet per second. This is a good choice for .375 SOCOM, .375 Raptor, .375 H&H, AKs and FN 5.7, as well as slower .30 caliber applications, 9mm, .380 ACP and others.

Vers 45

The Vers 45 is a .45 ACP submachine gun and carbine suppressor, rated for heavy full-automatic fire. The Vers 45 features an advanced baffle stack and is popular with those who want the utmost in versatility due to the larger bore size. The Vers 45 suppressor is suitable for smaller calibers such as 9mm and subsonic .30 caliber applications, such as the .300 Blackout and .300 Whisper. Its overall length is 11.25 inches, with an outside diameter of 1.75 inches. Its weight is approximately 18 ounces. The finish is matte black anodizing.

Vers 458

The Vers 458 is a purpose-built .458 SOCOM suppressor, rated for fully automatic fire. Designed for those who need a unit capable of taking the pounding from a full-auto .458 firing supersonic rounds, but who do not want the bore size of a Vers 50. The Vers 458 is rated to pass .460-diameter bullets, and for velocities up to 2,650 feet per second. The Vers 458 is suitable for use in full-auto with full-power supersonic .458 SOCOM loads. The bore size and velocity rating combine to make this an extraordinarily versatile suppressor. It will also handle most .45 Raptor loads, full-power .45-70 and supersonic .30 caliber applications such as Lite .308 Winchester and the .300 Blackout or Whisper, down through the 6.8 Remington SPC and 6.5 Grendel. Its overall length is 11.25 inches, with an outside diameter of 1.75 inches. The Vers 458 can provide superb service while doubling up as a subgun can and gives up nothing while doing so. It is strong and light, weighing approximately 23 ounces (varies depending on the selected insert). The suppressor tube is also available in Red Dawn Rose color at no upcharge. Recently added to the insert lineup is the VWC .458. It is suitable for the Wilson Combat .458 SOCOM Rapid-Thread Muzzle Brake. Bowers Group LLC is not affiliated with Wilson Combat—this is a product made available by customer request.

Vers 50

The Bowers Group Vers 50 is a large-caliber, high-efficiency sound suppressor. The Vers 50 is designed for use with calibers .510 and smaller, up to a velocity of 2,200 feet per second. It is also suitable for any lower velocity rounds, such as the .50 Beowulf, .510 Beowulf, .50 Alaskan, .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum, .50 Action Express, .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, 45/70 and others. An extra cost option is an all stainless steel baffle stack, which increases the velocity rating to 2,650 feet per second. The Vers 50 comes with the AIMS™ mount that accepts the Versadapt™ series of thread adapting inserts. One standard insert is included with each suppressor. The Vers 50 is 11.25 inches long, with an outside diameter of 1.75 inches. It weighs approximately 20 ounces (depending upon the insert) and features a matte black anodized finish.

The Subject

The primary subject of the article is the Vers 9S suppressor. I was pretty much looking for a suppressor that had the “look” and size of the original MAC suppressor for a .380 caliber MAC 11, but with a modern, wipeless baffle design. For me personally, the main priority in buying a suppressor is sound reduction, not size or weight. Another feature that attracted me to the Vers 9S was the large number of adapters available, allowing the use of the can on virtually any caliber firearm, 9mm or smaller. Another attractive feature of the Bowers Group suppressor is their service policy. I use my suppressors on a variety of subguns, so I put a lot of rounds through them. Being fully aware of the carbon and the hazardous lead dust and particles mess, as well as the environmental consequences of disposing of the cleaning agents, I do not like to clean suppressors. After adding a few ounces of carbon and lead to my suppressors, I can ship them off to Bowers for cleaning on Monday and will most likely have them back in time to use them the following weekend, all for the cost of shipping and insurance.


One feature of the Vers suppressor series is the Versadapt™ Insert system, which allows you to change the suppressor thread pitch to accommodate a different host firearm as easily as changing the insert. At the muzzle end of the Vers tube is what Bowers Group calls the AIMS™ (Adapter Integrating Mount System). The male threads on the Versadapt™ inserts are designed to be threaded into the mount. At the time of writing, there are 27 different inserts for the Vers, which includes inserts specifically for the UZI and HK-style three-lug applications. One standard* insert adapter is included with each suppressor; additional adapters are available. The inserts have a hexagonal head to ease removal, and if a second insert is ordered a free wrench is included. The inserts are interchangeable: the Versadapt™ inserts can be used with any of the Vers series of suppressors although certain inserts are only appropriate for certain calibers/bore sizes. The thread size is laser engraved on each insert for easy identification.

*The UZI, VWC, and three-lug adapters are non-standard and available at extra cost. Only Versadapt™ standard inserts may be used with the Vers 30 and Vers 30T silencers.

With the exception of the Vers 30 and Vers 30T, the Vers series cans are high-volume cans engineered for heavy full-auto fire using the rated cartridges, without barrel length restrictions. While they can be used with traditional semi-automatic pistols, they are not designed for that application, and most pistols will not cycle. Thus, while it is perfectly safe to also use any of these cans on a pistol, the absence of a booster means that shooters should expect to cycle the slide manually.

Burn Protection

Suppressors can get dangerously hot fast. A shooter’s line of sight can quickly be impaired by the heat mirage emitted from a hot suppressor tube. Suppressor heat glows brightly in IR viewers. Hot suppressors are difficult to remove, even with “quick detach” mounts. Therefore, Bowers’ Griptastic™/SUPCOV™ high-temperature insulating silicone suppressor covers have been carefully engineered to provide everything required in a suppressor cover: they are nonslip, low profile and effective insulators that provide IR reduction and encourage cooling through convection by allowing airflow under the cover. The covers are available for a wide range of suppressor applications, and with over 20 models they’ll fit most silencers on the market. For the Vers 9, Vers 45, Vers 458 and Vers 50 any of the 1.75-inch diameter covers are appropriate; the Model GT1.75X10.5 will provide full coverage. The smaller Vers 9S suppressor uses the cover model GT1.75X8. At first, the covers may seem a very tight fit around the suppressor tube. The application of a small amount of water will allow the cover to slide on or off effortlessly.

Customer Service

Bowers Group LLC’s policy states that they stand behind every can they have ever made, regardless of how old it is, whether it is discontinued or even if you are not the original owner. If the suppressor baffles were damaged as the result of a bad threading job, or because the can loosened during firing or filled with crud from firing thousands of rounds, no problem. Their service goal is to get most cans out the door and on the way back to their owners in three to five working days. There is no charge for parts or labor; just a nominal fee of $20.00 to cover the cost of return shipping and insurance.

When necessary, Bowers Group LLC will make parts for their discontinued suppressors so that the cans can be serviced. Whenever possible, they will continue to make improvements backwards compatible and offer upgrades for a nominal fee.

Other Bowers Group LLC Services

Vintage and Modern Suppressor Retrofits

As a part of their ongoing support policy for both dealers and end users, retrofits are available for any vintage Bowers fixed mount PAS 9, CAC 9, CAC 45 or CAC 380 suppressors. Retrofits consist of a complete tear down and inspection, followed by the installation of an AIMS™ mount for the Versadapt™ insert system and the latest Versadapt™ baffle stack made for that model/caliber. The CAC retrofit includes one Versadapt™ insert. Upgrades to the stack are available to allow additional caliber versatility for all of the Bowers Group subgun/carbine suppressors. The added benefit to having your Bowers can retrofitted or upgraded is that the turnaround time is usually three to five shop days, and you are essentially getting a new can without the wait time and no transfer tax.

SIONICS-Type Wipeless Suppressor Conversions and Upgrade Service

SIONICS conversions consist of removing the existing internal components and installing a modern baffle stack and a wipeless end cap. This service is available for SIONICS and Military Armament Corporation, SWD, RPB and any similar can of sufficient build quality and containing directly interchangeable parts. Converted cans come under their service policy and are supported going forward as if Bowers Group LLC made the suppressor themselves. The service is offered for all calibers.


Bowers Group LLC
PO Box 430, Cornelius, OR 97113
(503) 992-8697

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N4 (April 2018)
and was posted online on February 23, 2018


Comments have not been generated for this article.