Stalon X 108 moderator - tried & tested
- Credit: Archant
Paul Austin takes sound reduction to the next level with the latest moderator from Stalon... the Stalon X 108 gets a field test
I have a few pet hates when it comes to moderators, or, more accurately, the lack of them. No matter how often I explain the benefits, particularly to range shooters, many still insist on shooting unmoderated rifles - the classic argument being that they alter point of impact.
Invariably they do, as any change to barrel harmonics will alter your POI, but the crucial thing that many choose to ignore is that this only happens once, when you initially install the mod. Rezero the rifle and you'll never have a problem again. I suspect many just like the big-boy-bang of an unmoderated report, but the accuracy argument is frankly nonsense in my opinion.
In reality, overall accuracy is likely to suffer without one. The benefits of running a mod isn't simply a matter of sound reduction, they do much more. There's obviously a huge reduction in sound levels, transforming a 'kaboom' into a 'pa-chow', but recoil and muzzle flip are also dramatically reduced.
For game hunters especially, the reduction of recoil and muzzle flip alone makes them invaluable, as you can often retain your sight picture and track your impacts on quarry through the scope, making a quick follow-up shot much easier.
A muzzle brake will do the same, admittedly, but at the cost of battering anyone alongside you with overwhelming noise and the jarring concussive pressure wave forced backwards by the brake. The end result is a deafeningly loud report in the field or a fatigued and irritated shooter sat alongside you at the range.
Enter the latest release from Stalon: the all new Stalon X series. On average, it is 50g lighter than its predecessor and beautifully engineered with titanium threading bonding the two elements of this over barrel mod together. The new rust free titanium thread design meaning the two parts shouldn't cease-up, as if often the case with steal or aluminium mods.
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For the testing, I put the Stalon X up against my much-loved Wildcat Evolution on my .243, a superb mod, which is strippable (unlike the Stalon) and makes a worthy adversary in a side-by-side test. The slightly wider diameter Stalon is a handsome beast in its non-reflective matt black finish weighing in at just 336g, as opposed to the 428g Evloution, an impressive saving over the Evo, which is hardly a heavyweight when it comes to centrefire mods.
Both are overbarrel with the Stalon X being 23mm shorter and extending 33mm less then the Wildcat. So in terms of weight and length, it's already ahead of the game. Independent comparative sound level tests are listed in the illustration, but the general consensus form myself and two other shooters monitoring a string of shots using both mods was that the Stalon X was definitely the quieter of the two.
In short, the Stalon X is a superbly designed and elegant moderator, lighter and shorter than the all conquering Evo with superior sound reduction. Pricier, certainly, but as is always the case with cutting-edge kit, improved performance does come at a cost.