Words and Pics: @TheOtherGuy1999
This review covers the new Airsoft Artisan (AA) Surefire FA556SA Suppressor, and whether it’s worth adding to your L119A1 or L119A2 RIF.
TL:DR – it is!
For full disclosure, I received this can free of charge direct from Airsoft Artisan for my help with the project. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give it an easy time. I’m a highly details orientated person and The Reptile House is trusted for its analytical reviews. As a guest writer, I uphold the same values.
Airsoft Artisan’s FA556SA is a replica of the old gen can, which is highly distinctive – and sought after.
Indeed, Airsoft Artisan’s is the first two part (can and hider) QD version of this particular model; with earlier releases representing a can only (and no separate flash hider), which screwed directly on to the barrel thread.
It comes with an Angry Gun (AG) OEM FH556-216A Flash Hider (FH), so for those already using the AG FA556SA Suppressor Replica (which represents the current gen UKSF can) AA’s product will be a drop in fit.
Inside the can is an anti-rotation pin which indexes with one of the four notches on the FH’s tines. The locking collar is then rotated by hand, so that it tightens down eccentrically on the underside of the FH. With the locking ratchet now clicking into place, the can locks to the hider.
Now the pros and cons – with cons first.
The most visible snag with the can is the prominence of the mock weld line at the front. That said, from less than a meter away it’s unnoticeable. If the owner so chooses, they could use some miliput to smooth things out. I’m happy with it how it is, and – in fairness – the mock weld isn’t as prominent as it looked in pre-release pics.
Those intimate with the original can may flag the position of the Surefire trademarks on the replica; but most people either won’t notice or won’t care. For those who are interested, the trades should be further back towards the centre of the suppressor. Don’t let this put you off, however, as the trades themselves are nicely done and pretty accurate. I’ve made AA aware, nevertheless.
Obviously I’ve sprayed my can to match my A2. If the owner wishes to keep the suppressor black, I’d recommend giving the whole can a coating of black spray paint.
The locking collar has a purple-ish hue in some lights and is sort of silver-grey in others; but not black. The silver parts of the locking mechanism should also be black. I did a quick test with black spray paint as can be seen below – it works well.
Without question, a solid friction lock is created between the can’s locking collar and FH. However, when the latch is supposed to complete its travel and click into place, it sort of….doesn’t. I’m not entirely sure if this is an issue with the suppressor or the flash hider, or a combination of both.
This snag again has been communicated to AA, but it could simply be limited to my unit. I think it happens because the splines on the AG hider’s collar (which, with the latch, form a ratchet) aren’t as well defined as, say, HAO’s RS spec hider.
Out of the box the suppressor feels very solid with decent weight. It’s constructed from sturdy aluminium and it feels like you can knock down a brick wall with it.
The finish is smooth, matte, high quality and impressive; especially given its highly competitive price.
You get a lot for your money, so this can is good value.
The immense detail on the locking collar is one of the things that really blew me away; and it’s also one of the things in the RS which sets apart this version of the can from the later, SOCOM-looking one. For Airsoft Artisan to concentrate on getting the shape right really speaks to their passion for bringing the important details to life.
The trades per se are authentic-looking and engraved nice and crisp; the front end exhibits the correct shape; and once mounted to the rifle, the can really looks the part.
It doesn’t take as many lines to explain the positives, but for me they far outweigh the negatives.
What we really mustn’t lose sight of is that this is the very first – and only – QD old gen FA556SA on the market and it’s unlikely there will ever be another; so my advice is to get one while you can.
Overall, Airsoft Artisan’s FA556SA is one of the better replica suppressors out there and the level of detail really stands out. In terms of impressions, I’d say this is the replica suppressor to go for when building an L119A1. It’s also a good choice for an L119A2.
Finally, big thanks to Gaz for his help in bringing this project to life and the to the community as a whole for showing interest in the project!
Any questions, contact me on Instagram: @TheOtherGuy1999