When I first opened the shipping box I was surprised at the packaging for this can. It was heavily decorated with motifs of the classic Hollywood monster and had something of a 90’s vibe to it. I immediately liked what I saw. The Wolfman cometh.
Today we’re going to be talking about this shiny modular piece of kit and how it functions on both semi-auto center fire pistols and a bolt action .22LR.
The Dead Air Wolfman suppressor itself is finished in bright stainless steel and is quite catchy in its appearance. I like that, unlike so many other super tactical cans out there, it really looks like a piece of performance equipment on a hot rod. My initial observations were positive, and I set about reading the owners manual (I know, who does that?) and reviewing the manufacturer description of the product.
Dead Air describes the Wolfman this way . . .
“What started out as mild plastic surgery for some in-line improvements to the Wolf-9SD ended up turning into an entirely new beast. The Wolfman is the next generation of suppression. Like its predecessor, it’s a modular, multi-caliber suppressor. It specializes in subgun, light-duty rifle, and pistol use. It provides ultimate suppression in its full-length configuration while still providing exceptional performance when set up in the short configuration. The Wolfman also has an Ace up its sleeve, the front cap can contain a user-provided rubber wipe that can drop suppression levels even further.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I like to see what the company has to say about their product before I give it a go. Sometimes it is all true, other times it is…stretched a bit. Luckily, the Wolfman isn’t all marketing hype and my testing has shown it to be a real, hard-use performer.
Dead Air has a wide range of effective calibers listed for the Wolfman, and it is stated to be ideal for pistol calibers. The sub gun and light-duty rifle uses were unfortunately not on the table for this review, but I had a couple other guns ready to go that would be able to make good use of the Wolfman and see what it can do.
A minor difference I saw on the company site is that the current Wolfman is offered in a Cerakote finish. I have no complaints about the bright finish on mine, in fact as I stated earlier I like it for being stand-out. Dead Air apparently offers it this way as the ‘naked’ option.
That is, of course, a cosmetic situation, not a functional one. I suppose if you were using it hunting, (it’s rated for 350 Legend), that you may want a duller finish. However, I’ve been hunting large game for most of my life now and I’ve never seem it come into play where an animal notices the color or glare from your rig. Sitting out on the edge of a field at dawn makes everything wet and shiny with the dew and I doubt a deer is going to pick out your suppressor.
I know this is a minor point, but I’m sure that there will be some dudebro hunting experts who will fight me on that despite the fact they probably haven’t even touched a suppressor before.
Moving on (so this doesn’t turn into an Ask Josh column about how so much of the hunting industry is a sham marketing scheme) let’s talk about the can itself and what it looks like to assemble and use it.
The main draw of the Wolfman is that it uses a two-part main body with a removable, replaceable main cap. Inside this cap can be placed a rubber wipe for the ultimate in noise reduction.
I shot the wipe that came with the Wolfman. It definitely drops the noise level considerably, but it also affects accuracy to a minor extent. The Glock 19 Gen 5 I have here is decently accurate and I used a SilencerCo threaded barrel for this review.
The gun was also equipped with new XS R3D sights. I got both regular and suppressor height versions, but in my infinite wisdom I installed the standard set on the gun before going to the range and subsequently forgot to swap them out.
Nevertheless, it was an okay setup and I still managed good groups with it. Going back to the wipe, I noticed that it opened the groups, but to an extent I was comfortable with for 25 yard plates…about 3” at that distance.
I used the wipe primarily on the short configuration. With the wipe removed it was perceptibly louder, but not by much. After removing the wipe, accuracy tightened right up, and group size was cut in half. This pleased me very much and I spent a decent amount of precious 9mm ammo getting familiar with it. You’ll have to decide if the wipe’s accuracy/noise reduction tradeoff is right for you
9x19mm From Black Hills Ammunition
Accuracy and repeatability was tested at 25 yards from a bench rest. Velocity was measured with an Oehler 35P chronograph. Average is for five shots.
BHA 100gr HoneyBadger 1303fps (no discernible velocity change suppressed, no discernible impact change)
Suppressed Long: 3.75” average
Suppressed Short: 1.5” average
BHA 125gr HoneyBadger Subsonic 958fps (no discernible velocity change suppressed, about 1” left POI shift)
Suppressed Long: 3.25” average
Suppressed Short: 2.5” average
BHA 124gr JHP +P 1222FPS (no discernible velocity change suppressed, no discernible impact change)
Suppressed Long: 2.75” average
Suppressed Short: 1.75” average
My initial assessment of the Wolfman was completed as far as reliability and accuracy, so I set about some recreational testing to see how it would fare on a small game rifle with iron sights, a use that it would certainly see as it is a quick swap on 1/2-28 threads.
A note about my suppressor testing: I’m not a professional suppressor reviewer. I don’t own a $50,000 acoustic testing machine or am a university research fellow looking for minute variations in suppressor performance. My approach to testing suppressors is real-world and based on how you, a first-time buyer or general hearing enthusiast, may perceive those items.
Frankly, I don’t really know who is just standing there at 90 degrees to the muzzle saying “Wow this isn’t what the manufacturer listed at exactly two feet to the left of where this other guy is shooting.”
The noise I picked up with my own ears was completely tolerable and not once was I uncomfortable with the report, long or short. I found that, while it was not movie silent, there was no pain at all and it was more of a loud pop than a straight up gunshot.
The sound meters I brought with me ended up not having a high enough decibel rating for me to make an accurate assessment of the exact noise level, however I doubt that any buyer will have commercial grade microphones, either. What I can say is that I was completely comfortable and would be happy to shoot this can, long or short, without ears in all day. It was simply a joy to shoot with.
The longer length was noticeably quieter to the unprotected ear, especially in the 9mm. I didn’t notice too much difference shooting .22 between the longer or shorter lengths. One thing that didn’t make it into the data was my CB cap pest control .22 Short loads from CCI. I like this ammo for obvious reasons and putting a suppressor on it is out-of-this-world quiet. The firing pin dropping makes more noise than the shot!
I like that the CZ I have has iron sights that extend higher than the can itself. I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to take the Wolfman out after rabbits or squirrels on the and of the CZ. The can is light enough that the rifle’s balance isn’t thrown off at all. There are, of course, other dedicated .22 LR can options that are objectively cheaper or better, but in the Wolfman to have a convertible, configurable model that can do 9mm and .22 (not to mention 300 BLK and 350 legend)…that covers the bases for most people.
Changing out the mounts and features is accomplished easily with just the supplied wrench. The can is available with a variety of mounting options and I used the 9mm booster and the supplied direct-thread 1/2-28 mount.
You can shoot the Dead Air Wolfman on a .22 with the booster installed, but that just adds weight when changing out the mount only takes a minute.
All in all, I really like the Dead Air Wolfman. The can is rated for full auto on pistol calibers and semi-auto on center fire rifle. This modular, multi-use can is suitable for 5.56mm, 300 BLK and 7.62x39mm as well as hard-to-find jobs like the 9x39mm.
This is a choice can for most guns, and unless you have a .45 caliber pistol or rifle, you’ll see that the Wolfman does most of what you want a suppressor to do.