View Full Version : Favorite Muzzle Device?
I am curious to hear your take on the use of muzzle brakes on AR-15s. They seem to be gaining rapidly in popularity, and Iím even guilty of having one on a rifle myself. Iím looking at this issue as a LEO for two reasons. One is the reduction of flash when firing in low/no light conditions. The other is when shooting around others (as LEOís and military are more likely to do), especially when inside small spaces (interior rooms, vehicles, etc.). I could care less what competitors on the one way range use on their rifles, but Iím starting to doubt the viability of anything but a flash hider on a ďworkingĒ rifle.
Finally, what muzzle device do you prefer overall?
Thanks in advance,
To answer the first part of your question, I believe that muzzle breaks and compensators should be relegated to Special Purpose Rifles used by designated marksmen and snipers. These types of devices have obvious benefits in the reduction of recoil during long range precision rifle application on a dynamic battlefield. However, due to there amplified noise, pressure waves and flash particularly when used on a short barrel they have little to no application for general use on an M4 or equivalent duty weapon. All of these negative effects do not overcome the positive which is the management of felt recoil. Also, due to proprietary design most will not work with issued suppressors if not from the same brand.
Don't be confused between a muzzle break and a flash hider. A muzzle break will redirect gas in order to decrease felt recoil. A flash hider will reduce the flash signature being emitted from the muzzle but will not redirect gas or reduce felt recoil. Some manufacturers have attempted to combine both muzzle break and flash hider with varied results but generally the combo will never be as good as a dedicated break or hider.
Recoil will vary based upon the length of the barrel, the length of the gas system and the type of gas system, not to mention shooter ability. There are a lot of users that will attach a muzzle break to a short barrel in an attempt to reduce the felt recoil, but in doing so will actually increase flash due to excessive amounts of unburnt powder and capturing gas in the break, creating a large fireball effect.
On high round count weapons such as military M4's or LE duty weapons, the violent redirection of gas creates immense stress on the metallurgy of the muzzle break and soon the metal will give way. I have seen many muzzle breaks either decrease in effectiveness due to the degradation of the metal, blow out completely or even shear off the weapon during high round count training.
I have tried all kinds of muzzle breaks and flash hiders over the past nearly 2 decades of shooting. I have Surefire FH556-212A Open Prong on both of my HK416's. I have a Surefire MB556K Muzzle Break on my SPR. On all of my other guns I have the standard A2 Birdcage. The open prong flash hider does a great job of reducing the flash to zero on the 416's. Even the short barrel (10.5) does not produce flash when using standard .223 ammo.
The Redback One mantra for this subject is this:
"Recoil is managed with technique, not hardware."
Thanks for the quick reply! Good to know about brakes giving out over time. I hadn't heard that before but it sounds logical. I mentioned it in another thread but I'm transitioning to a hider due to purchasing a can.
I had to miss your HRVT course in St Augustine but a good friend and coworker was there and provided great feedback - making me regret missing it even more!
Yeah, the HRVT course was pretty good! I hope to book another one with another agency soon and maybe you can get on that one.
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