Friday, January 18, 2013

Flash hiders...

The "assault weapon*" banning crowd's obsession with 'flash hiders' is something I never understood. There's no real official difference between a "flash hider" and a "muzzle brake". During the ban era, it was common to silver solder a washer-thickness slice of rifle barrel into the end of an M16 bird cage flash hider, et voilĂ ! She is now a muzzle brake!

For that matter, I'm pretty sure that the other team doesn't get what a flash hider does in the first place. Believe me, the guys with the guns pointed at them will still see some flash, at least briefly.

Every time some civvie-oriented site or magazine does a flash hider effectiveness comparison, I have to shake my head and wonder "How is this ever going to apply to anything I am likely to use my carbine for?" Why not rank them on important factors, like how cool they look on the end of my gun, which one comes with the coolest manufacturer's logo stickers, and which one is currently fashionable and will inspire the most approving nods and make me look 'switched on' to my fellow MOLLE-encrusted students at my next carbine class?


*Now there's a tautology: If you assault somebody with it, it's a weapon. If it's a weapon, it's more or less designed to be useful for assaulting people.

44 comments:

Alien said...

You mean muzzle "break."

There, fixed it for ya.

Old NFO said...

Good points Tam, and no good answers here...

jimbob86 said...

What "flash-hiders" are useful for is a a muzzle protecting device and bore obstruction indicator: if the birdcage on the end of your pea-shooter is packed full of sandbag stuffing after you encounter some terrain that exceeds the performance envelope of your LPC's, you might want to look to that.....

Ninjasuperspy said...

I think probably number 3 or 4 here would provide you with maximum Operator Status: http://strikeindustries.com/shop/index.php/rifle-enhancements/ar15-platform/muzzle-brake-compensator.html

Bubblehead Les. said...

Uh, maybe it's because it just so happens to look like a........oh the heck with it! Who knows what happens to Facts when they enter the minds of these Idjits and they process them into some Fantasy "Higher Truth."

Bet you half of them believe Water is DRY most of the time.

Tasso said...

I, for one, purchase A2 flash hiders because they are the cheapest barrel thread protectors on the market. If, for legal reasons, I had to design a combination muzzle crown and thread protector that had no tactical value whatsoever, it would look exactly like the A2 flash hider.

Matt W said...

@Ninja

Ooohhh compensators, operators, has a certain ring to it

Anonymous said...

I have a perfectly legal FAL from DSA with a 16" barrel. But what it REALLY is, is a 14.5" barrel with a 1.5" ornament on the end.

Unfortunately, the Physics gods noticed, and said: "Verily, verily we say unto you, it shall be loud".

Samsam von Virginia

Joel said...

I always assumed that what the banners really objected to was the threaded barrels. With a threaded barrel, James Bond can reach into his dinner jacket and screw on the little thing that makes the gun go "pew" instead of "bang."

Anonymous said...

Alien said...
"You mean muzzle "break.""

No, I think we want the muzzle to brake, not break..... Pretty sure of that.

Duke said...

Having politicians write gun laws is like having Martha White write NASCAR rules.

Dave said...

No, Alien, she meant "brake". Like the pedal in your car. A brake slows something down.

1911Man said...

LOL at you folks "correcting" Alien. You failed to see what he did there.

Also, the much more important issue is that we must prevent assault rifles from having pistol grips, because with them they are as deadly as pistols.

Robert Fowler said...

All of my evillll assault rifles have standard A2 flash hiders. I'm behind the rifle, so I'm not going to see any flash anyway, unless it's getting dark. Now if there is a live target out front? Who cares because the flash will be rather brief.

Woodman said...

They told me in basic training the holes in the end of the barrel were supposed to counteract the tendency of the rifle to pull up and left as I fired it.

I have no idea if there is even a kernel of truth to that.

I spent most of my time as a SAW gunner trying to get that 1 round burst perfected at the range so I could afford a nice uncontrolled 15-20 rounder at the 100 yard targets for qualification.

Woodman said...

1,000, not 100.

It was the 100 yard targets I was trying to shoot once.

Scott J said...

Speaking of EBRs I put together my first lower last night since I got to go home early for the snowmageddon that wasn't.

PSA lower, CMMG parts kit, Hogue pistol grip and a cheap UTG m4 buttstock.

Now if DSA will just ship that barrel I ordered on 12/31....

I'll be screwing an A2 flash hider onto the end of it.

rickn8or said...

In light of the new legislation from New York, I submit the renewed interest in flash hiders/muzzle brakes is to get the Dreaded Evil Ugly Feature count above the threshold of... one.

cj said...

It's simple really...they have decided that, for some reason, it looks scary.

The two greatest examples I saw from the last gun ban were, once at a gun show, someone assembled a broom with enough of the cosmetic features that it was technically illegal as defined by the law.

The other was a video of, I believe a police officer, demonstrating taking a perfectly 'non-evil' hunting rifle, removing one screw, dropping it into another stock which suddenly made it 'evil'.

So when people who base their knowledge on what they see in movies (which they think is cool on the screen, but pants-wetting should they see it in real life), you get...flash-hider-phobia.

Tirno said...

I've been thinking that what I really need on the end of my AR-15 barrel is a heat sink. Barrels get hot, you know.

So what I need is something that is permanently attached, robust but thin metal, liberally perforated for maximum heat dispersion. It should be about 5.5 inches long, and have an inner diameter of about 1.75", and properly protect some 1/2x28 threads at the end of the main part of the barrel.

That way, I can screw a Gem-Teck Trek-T suppressor onto the end of an 11 inch plus 5.5 inch barrel, inside the 'heat sink' and have the whole thing be an overall length of 16.7" long.

Anonymous said...

What I want is a flash concentrator. I want my gun to also do 1d6 fire damage when I hit.

jf

jimbob86 said...

A pistol grip is a safety feature that allows you to effectively point an AR or shotgun at the door of your bedroom while you use the other hand to hold the phone and talk to the 911 dispatcher .... Why do the Powers That Be in NY not want you to talk to 911????

fast richard said...

Why do the Powers That Be in NY not want you to talk to 911????

They don't want that kind of evidence?

Trying to find the logic of gun grabbers is an exercise in futility.

Blackwing1 said...

I've got a Remington youth-model bolt gun in .30-06 that has a 20" barrel on it. Nice and compact, but the last time I took a deer with it was just after sunset, getting a little towards dusk (that's when the deer normally start to move around).

I quite honestly don't remember the recoil or the report when I took the shot, but the muzzle-flash from that short barrel lit up my scope like a flash-bulb. I didn't get back onto that buck until he'd made it to the edge of the clearing, and couldn't take a follow-up shot (which didn't matter, that slug took out both lungs and the heart, and he STILL ran 40 yards into the swamp).

Now that would be nice application for a "flash-hider", if they actually worked. Would that make my black-synthetic-stocked bolt gun look "tactical"?

JohninMd.(HELP!!) said...

Heh. just IMAGINE the terminal bed-wetting if the loons realized those 'flash-hiders' were meant to facilitate launching rifle grenades!
And what's wrong with you guys? Ain't there any love out there for bayonet lugs?

Jumpthestack said...

The only reason gun grabbers want to ban flash suppressors is because they come standard on an AR-15. What's surprising is they haven't thought to also ban muzzle brakes, which come standard on an Kalashnikov. I'm assuming whatever consultant they hired back in the day didn't bother to tell them the difference.

ProudHillbilly said...

The "assault weapon" banning crowd are not people who let their ignorance of the subject bother them.

Anonymous said...

Pointy, bumpy parts: bad.
Smoothy, roundy parts: good.

The whole argument is bogus and distracting anyways, from what they really want: all power concentrated in the hands of the government. Everything else is flack and chaff.

jf

Will said...

I don't recall where I found it, but in some Army publication, the A2 "flashhider" is actually referred to as a "brake". This is due to the solid portion at the bottom. That was originally done to limit airborne dust being generated when shooting prone. Then they realized it had an effect on muzzle rise, notably during full auto fire.
So, the standard A2 muzzle part should be properly referred to as a muzzle brake, since it performs that function.

Sigivald said...

My 20" AWB AR has no brake, but it also has a ridonkulous heavy barrel with no threads.

My M-4gery has a standard A2 birdcage. Big deal.

The "retro" I'm finishing up will have a 3-prong, to complement the charging lever in the carry handle...

Turns out none of them make a god-damn bit of difference in my everyday shooting, without a brap setting on the lower.

The focus on cosmetic features that sound scary reinforces the combination of ignorance and scare tactics that sadly works so well for them...

John A said...

Why do those "assault weapon" banners still wear shoes? After all, if you kick someone while you are wearing shoes, the charge goes from "assault" to "assault with a deadly weapon." So, legally, shoes are considered weapons of assault...

Robin said...

I can't remember the details, but I have a memory of some outfit getting their flash hider declared legal during that ban or California's by proving that it did not actually work. The flash was the same with it and without it.

Maybe someone else can remember what I'm thinking of.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Tirno...there is a company that makes said item for a 10-22...an 11" barrel with a permanently attached tube aboard big enough to house a "can" so as to not also have to register said item as a short barrel rifle.

It was in a shotgun news article from last year and I'll be darned if I remember the company name that made it.

Geodkyt said...

Tam -- I've noted a difference from behind the gun, especially 16" and shorter carbines. Enough flash on a naked or muzzle brake equipped AR to noticeably affect my low light vision. Whereas a decent flash hider (and while you don't need the latest $100 whiz-bang super hider, the $25 - $30 YHM Phantoms are great) significantly minimizes that, unlike the sucky GI flash hiders.

Plus, the Sad Pandas don't want me to have one, just like the bayonet lug. So, fuck them -- unless I think the rifle, the way I intend to use it, will be improved with a muzzle brake, I mount an effective flash hider on all my EBRs. (Well, unless it's intended to be as milspec as possible -- a wood stocked AK designed to emulate a Cold War SovBloc AKM doesn't look right with a modern Western flash hider.)

Same reason on evil bayonet lugs -- I'm putting a lug on the hunting/precision heavy barrel 20" I'm building because, well, fuck them. Neither the woodchucks, bullseye targets, nor the DNR give a shit if I have a bayonet lug, so it stays.

I'm thinking about dropping my "slave name" for "Gunny X". Power to the People. ;-P

Robin -- ISTR the same event.

Woodman -- As far as I know, the A2 flash hider doesn't do squat to control muzzle rise, although many people swear it does. (Many of the same people have also told me how their favorite caliber will "spin a guy around and rip his arm off" with ball ammo from a handgun. FWIW) There isn't enough direction of gases to do a whole Hell of a lot in that regard, given that teh front end is 100% open with no restrictions. While there will be SOME effect, frankly, so much more of the gas will just escape out the front as to make it practically meaningless.

It does (and was designed to) minimize giving away your position by blocking the gases that would kick up dust under the muzzle.

Brad K. said...

An assault is just an intimidating act. Like imposing, repetitive poses of the President intended to impress and intimidate, "Why he looks so resolved we should back him up!" Or showing pictures of dead children.

I like the way Lois McMaster Bujold defines a weapon: What you use to change your opponent's mind. Like using pictures of dead children, or a constipated President, to intimidate Congress into doing what you want, rather than what the the country needs.

Jennifer said...

That has something to with a shoulder going up, right?
They don't even understand what semi-automatic means, of course they don't get what a flash hider does. It sounds scary so ban it! Ban it all to hell!

phigmeta said...

Just yesterday I was watching "assault media" on MSNBC

Linoge said...

Pakkinpoppa, I believe you are thinking of the Tactical Solutions SBX barrel concept. They make them for 10/22s, and used to (and may still) make .22LR AR-15 uppers for them as well. The former works quite well, from what I understand; the latter works like crap, from personal experience.

If someone ever upsized a similar concept to .223, they would not be able to keep them in stock (though that new Sig submachine gun at SHOT Show gets close, with its permanently-attached, mega-long "brake" that coincidentally will also make handy-dandy baffles if you screw a tube over it.)

Robert Fowler said...

Bayonet lugs? Now we're talking. Some years ago, I found a combination flash hider/break front sight bayonet lug for my mini 14. Sitting on it's bi-pod with my M7 bayonet attached it looked awesome. I used to have pictures until my last laptop died.

Sometime you just have to go with your inner kid. I keep telling the lovely Mrs, I'm getting old but I don't seem to be growing up.

NotClauswitz said...

This whole thing makes me want to buy an 870 with a bayonet lug and a flash-hider and pimp the hell out of it with Magpul tactical tits on everything.

JD Rush said...

jf:
I have an 11.5 with the pinned DMPS 5.5 flash hider. It will do 1d6 fire damage with the right powder. And has a +2 to hearing damage, too.

Anonymous said...

"Heh. just IMAGINE the terminal bed-wetting if the loons realized those 'flash-hiders' were meant to facilitate launching rifle grenades!"

Will a .223 grenade launching blank kick that puppy out far enough that you don't frag yourself?

If I can throw the frag farther than the m-4 will launch the thing, what's the point?

rickn8or said...

"...I'm getting old but I don't seem to be growing up."

Getting Older is pretty much mandatory (well, preferred anyway); Growing Up is optional.

Cheesy said...

They should be happy that a MB/FS on the end of the AR barrel prevents attachment of a bayonet, cause bayos make them REALLY scary looking!