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Thread: A2 Bird Cage Flash Hider History & Development

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lysander View Post
    A little over simplification here.

    The three prong flash hider remained in service until the barrel assembly it was on was replaced, or the flash hider itself became damaged, the same went for the A1 bird cage.

    We had a handful of three prong M16A1s in 1988.

    Supplies of replacement A1 birdcages lasted until the 2000s, when they were finally classed surplus to requirements.
    Those were some really old M16A1s. The 3-prong FH was dropped from the M16A1 in Dec. 1967. Even the later XM16E1 and Model 604 were eventually outfitted with A1 FHs before ceasing production, but most were produced with 3-prong FHs. The good thing about the 3-prong and A1 birdcage FHs is that they did not need to be timed. The A2 FH does because of the closed portion needing to be on the bottom.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade04 View Post
    Those were some really old M16A1s. The 3-prong FH was dropped from the M16A1 in Dec. 1967. Even the later XM16E1 and Model 604 were eventually outfitted with A1 FHs before ceasing production, but most were produced with 3-prong FHs. The good thing about the 3-prong and A1 birdcage FHs is that they did not need to be timed. The A2 FH does because of the closed portion needing to be on the bottom.
    I swear we had some, not many, M16s with 3 prong FHs in Army Basic (1986). We certainly had a couple guys with chrome BCGs. I envied them because they were easier to clean.

    Andy
    Last edited by AndyLate; 07-09-21 at 13:33.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyLate View Post
    I swear we had some, not many, M16s with 3 prong FHs in Army Basic (1986). We certainly had a couple guys with chrome BCGs. I envied them because they were easier to clean.

    Andy
    I'm sure you did. 3-prongers remained in service for years after that reported drop date. On my second go around in the military, I saw them in the late 70s in Korea and early 80s down at Benning.

  4. #14
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    Flash hiders were replace for cause, not just to make all the M16s "up-to-date".

    The dates given were the production cut overs. By 1967, how many M16 and M16A1s were produced? I think somewhere in the half to 3/4 million range. And no M16A1 got an A2 flash hider until they started to be re-manufactured as A2s

  5. #15
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    What determined the size and shape of the cut-outs on the A2?
    Big brother is watching...and listening.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepare View Post
    What determined the size and shape of the cut-outs on the A2?
    Highly compensated defense contractors.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepare View Post
    What determined the size and shape of the cut-outs on the A2?
    The A2 was a no-brainer. It had to fit the size envelope (and blank firing adapter) of the A1 and offer similar flash supression. Port shape followed the A1, probably as much for aesthetics as any other reason.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepare View Post
    What determined the size and shape of the cut-outs on the A2?
    Tooling on hand.

    The cut-outs for the A2 Compensator are the same as those on the A1, they just did not cut the bottom one and moved the rest of them to the top half.

    The external dimensions were dictated by the, then NATO standard, rifle grenade.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for the info.
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  10. #20
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    Reminds me of a post I made on the site back in 2014. Maybe some of the newer folks would get a kick.


    Ode to the A2 Flash Hider


    To the humble flash hider Uncle Sam calls A2,
    I have a few words of appreciation for you.
    Hiding flash is what you do best,
    You do it as well as all of the rest.
    But somewhere along the way what I've found,
    You fell out of fashion, just tossed to the ground.
    Surefire, AAC, Smith, BCM,
    Maybe you’re not as trendy as them.
    There’s no “Vortex,” “Battle,” or “Black” in your name,
    But you expertly handle the flash just the same.
    Proven for decades, worn and abused,
    In jungles, mountains and deserts used.
    Reporting for duty from sunset to sunrise
    You kept many a soldier’s position from compromise.
    A classic look that’s always a fit,
    You even compensate a bit.
    A mount for suppressors with no special collars,
    And best of all you’re only eight dollars.
    Perhaps the reason I love you the most,
    Is the way you just work without any boast.
    So thank you A2, for all that you do,
    As for me, my ARs will be wearing A2s.

    --Know1

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