I am going to start the review of the DaVinci Arms Bambino silencer with a bold statement: suppressed rimfire shooting is the best kept secret in the entire firearms world. There, I said it. But in all seriousness, if you live in a state that allows it, a quality rimfire suppressor (and appropriate host) is pretty much required kit. They are affordable, light, small and can be used on both rifles and pistols without the need for a piston. And, with the right ammunition, rimfire silencers are as close to shooting ‘silently’ as you will ever hope to get.
But before we dig into the Bambino, I’d like to take a minute to discuss the format of my reviews here at Modern Rifleman. It is my job to accurately and effectively relay the specifications, features and real-world use of a specific silencer to you, our readers. On the other hand, I would hope that you would keep your expectations in check – I have one silencer for a limited amount of time, ammo and environmental variables. If you are expecting full auto mag dumps, drop tests or aerial acrobatics, you might want to look elsewhere.
Lastly, I consider myself a ‘reasonably knowledgeable person’ and not a complete firearms expert or industry insider. I have, however, shot my fair share of cans and talked with some of the best minds in the business, all of which should help me relate to you what is important (and what is not) in buying a silencer that meets your needs.
One benefit to this perspective is that I tend to look at reviews from the point of view of the consumer: “Would I spend my money on this suppressor?”. All in the hopes of giving you as much information as possible when you are ready to click the ‘buy’ button.
Now that we have the boring stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at the Bambino.
DaVinci Arms, located in Ludlow, Massachusetts, designs and manufactures silencers, handguards and accessories. At the moment, DaVinci only makes two rimfire suppressors – the Bambino and the Bambino-LW that shaves 1.5oz off the standard version in exchange for being only rated for .22LR. However, the DaVinci team has been teasing us with some centerfire prototypes via social media:
But, we will stick to a purely rimfire discussion for today…
The Bambino comes nicely packaged in a twist-to-open transparent plastic tube complete with a basic owners manual and instructions. What you will notice, however, is that there are no tools, adapters or devices in the box. A key part to the the Bambino’s design is the rear endcap doubles as the takedown tool. More on cleaning and maintenance in a bit.
Aesthetically, the Bambino is very satisfying. The finish is smooth and even, the engraving is sharp and attractive, the end caps screw on precisely and the baffles slide in and out easily without any play or rattle. You can tell that this is a suppressor built by craftsman and engineers with a deep appreciation for precision. You know that intrinsically solid feeling that you hope to get with a quality firearm? The Bambino has it.
DAVINCI ARMS BAMBINO SPECIFICATIONS:
- Calibers: 17 HMR, 22 LR, 22 WMR, 5.7x28mm FULL AUTO RATED
- Reduction: 114.2 dB (Savage TRR-SR, CCI SV 22 LR Ammo, measured per MIL-STD-1474D
- Materials: 17-4 Stainless Steel Baffles, 416SS mount, end cap, and retention tool, 7075-T6 tube
- Finish: Melonite & Hard Coat Anodizing per MIL-A-8625 Type III Class 2
- Weight: 6.0oz
- Length: 5.5″
- Diameter: 1″ Body, 1.15″ Retention Cap
- Thread: 1/2-28
Looking at the specs, the one regret I have is not owning any hosts chambered in rimfire calibers other than .22LR. I think the Bambino review has finally pushed me towards picking up a new rimfire gun, so I’ll take any suggestions you may have in the comments section below. Also of note, the Bambino is rated for both the 5.7mm round and for full auto use.
At 5.5″ in length and 1″ in diameter, the Bambino is the size of the typical rimfire silencer offerings. Pictured above for comparison (Left to Right) is the SilencerCo Sparrow, the Bambino, the Spike’s Tactical Buckwheat and the SilencerCo Warlock II.
I used four ammunition types for testing:
Let’s talk briefly ammo rimfire ammo selection – to avoid the loud crack of rounds breaking the sound barrier, it is important to pick brands and types that will stay subsonic in your host gun. For pistols with barrel lengths approximately 4″ or shorter, standard velocity ammunition should stay subsonic. For rifles, you should pick ammo specifically marked as “subsonic”. My current favorite is the Gemtech Subonic Suppressor ammunition listed above.
So why bother testing the Bambino with high velocity ammo? Because one day you may want or need to run hotter rounds and you like to have an idea on the report.
I also used four host guns for testing:
- Ruger 10/22 with a Volquartsen barrel
- Ruger MKII with a Tactical Solutions PAC-LITE barrel/upper
- Walther PPK/S
- CZ455 Bolt Action Rifle*
*The CZ is not pictured in the article because it has no optic at the moment – It’s a silencer test chassis only.
Which of these guns are my favorite? All of them. Seriously, suppressing .22LR guns is one of the true pleasures in life. Trust me when I say you WILL own more than one rimfire suppressor, so you may as well own more than one host.
From the DaVinci Arms Product Page:
The Bambino suppressor is our extra rugged rim fire offering created from an evolution of our baffle technology developed during a Navy SBIR research grant. The Bambino is built from a very robust 17-4PH stainless steel baffle stack with a 416ss mount and end cap allowing it to withstand whatever abuse you will throw its way. Our baffles nest together to make removal for cleaning simple as the stack is separated from the outer tube. Our patent pending retention and take down tool guarantees the suppressor will not come apart when you go to disassemble it from the firearm. Should you decide you want to check out your suppressor while your on the range you have your take down tool built right in to the retention cap.
Extra rugged indeed:
A little M855 through our Bambino silencer on a 10.5" AR just for the hell of it on a sunny Friday in New England. WARNING! Don't try this at home, we are trained semi-professionals. #davinciarms #bambino #m855 #ar #silenceallthethings #igmilitia #dailybadass #madeinamerica #silencer #suppressor #gun #guns #rifle
(No, you shouldn’t run 5.56 through your Bambino)
Installing the Bambino on your gun is easy, provided you have good quality threading that is concentric to the bore. Just spin off the thread protector and spin on the Bambino. It’s always helpful and prudent to make sure the threads and shoulder are clear of debris prior to mounting.
Observations – Rifles:
Overall, although there was very little difference between hosts when using subsonic ammunition, the Bambino on the bolt action CZ was the quietest setup of the four. And that’s not a huge reveal or anything; with the action locked up tight, expanding gasses can’t escape in the form of sound back towards the shooter. On each of the rifles, there was no point of impact (POI) shift when taking the Bambino on and off between strings.
There was also no ‘first round pop’ (not typical with rifle hosts anyway) and the suppression level was pleasant – on par with the current market leaders. Of course, the high velocity ammo exhibited that familiar crack on top of the suppressed report. A clear reminder to shop for the appropriate ammunition for your hosts .
Observations – Pistols:
By design, the Bambino isn’t the lightest rimfire can on the market – remember it is rated for the hot 5.7mm round. However, I didn’t notice any extra bulk on the end of my pistols. Between the PPK and the MKII, the Bambino handles slightly better on the PPK, mostly due to its smaller size. Neither of the two pistols showed any change in POI when running with the can or running without.
I did find that the MKII did have a slight bit of first round pop when using any of the four types of ammo, with the High Velocity RWS being the loudest all around. Overall, the tone was pleasant and again, the sound reduction is equal to that of the top sellers currently on the market.
Blowback – the effect of gasses and powder being redirected out the action and back towards the shooter – was minimal on both setups. Although a few hundred rounds of various ammo types is a small sample size, neither pistol was overly fouled.
DAVINCI ARMS HISTORY:
In 2008, our parent company, FloDesign, received a US Navy funded SBIR grant to research and design a new integral suppressor system for the M4 platform. The DaVinci Arms suppressor uses similar technologies to prior FloDesign products. FloDesign specializes in fluid dynamics and acoustics as evidenced by their Hushkit design for Gulfstream jets, shrouded wind and water turbines, and use of ultrasonic acoustic filtration. The Hushkit and wind and water turbines utilized FloDesign’s patented mixer ejector technology to achieve higher performance with lower noise. It was this very technology that was incorporated into our suppressor system in the form of a ‘modified mixer-ejector technology’ (MMET) which reduced the sound, recoil and flash. After completing the SBIR grant, additional suppressors and accessories were designed.
Last year, while researching recent patents for suppressor designs, I inadvertently stumbled across FloDesign’s suppressor application. Not surprisingly, the Bambino’s baffles resemble the designs pictured in the original application. It’s always neat to see the hours of design and manufacturing work described on paper come to life as a tangible tool on the end of my barrel.
As long as you remember that lefty does not equal loosey on the adapter cap (it’s reverse threaded to avoid loosening when tightening the Bambino onto a barrel) takedown and cleaning is a snap. Just use the cap to unscrew each of the end caps that hold in the baffles and push them out. Genius.
Although there was some leakage of residue between the encapsulated baffles, the stack slid out easily and cleaned up with just a few minutes of effort with a rag and solvent. I’m not overly ambitious when cleaning my silencers – just enough to keep them free of buildup. However, regular maintenance is the key to happy rimfire suppression.
The Bambino is a do-it-all suppressor that just plain performs. In my past reviews, I usually don’t have any problem finding faults with the guns, gear and silencers I am lucky enough to evaluate. But I struggled to find something negative to discuss about the Bambino. It does have a slight first round pop on pistols. It’s a little heavy. It isn’t modular – the current trend in the silencer market. And the takedown cap increases the outer diameter a bit.
Otherwise, I place the Bambino solidly in the “would buy” category knowing that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Depending on your dealer, the DaVinci Arms Bambino is on sale at Silencer Shop for right around $340. If you only shoot .22LR and favor a lighter can, the Bambino-LW is definitely worth a look for about $299.
First time suppressor buyer? The process doesn’t get any easier than with Silencer Shop.