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Posted: 1/30/2011 10:23:30 AM EST
After much research and fondling of different 5.56mm cans at the SHOT show, I think I've settled on a Gemtech Halo for my .223 rifles.


Pro: Biggest pro is that it mounts to any 22mm NATO spec flash hider, I plan to run this can on almost all of my .223 rifles, that means AR's, XCR, MSAR E4 AUG, HK93, etc. Buying mounts for all of these different guns would be a large expense and it also means that I can let friends try it on their AR's or other rifles without buying new mounts (with me present of course). Another pro is the price point, it's a great value for the money.

Con: Weight and size, 25oz. is a lot of weight to hang on the end of a rifle's barrel and it is slightly longer than most 5.56mm cans.

I also considered the AAC M4/2000, but I don't feel like buying $100 mounts for all of my rifles.

Does anyone have a Gemtech Halo and what do you think? I've only been able to find positive user reviews besides a few AAC fanboys that just bash Gemtech with nothing to back it up. FWIW, I really like the AAC products, just don't want to buy their mounts.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 11:18:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 1:50:21 PM EST
I'm in the same boat as you. The halo is my next major purchase.

Don't mean to hijack your thread, but I do have a question Kel. I know that a peel washer is recommended for the the Halo to main concentrically. But is it imperative that the Halo be mounted onto a peel washer?

Say I have a friend who owns a AR with a standard 22mm flash hider, should I not mount the Halo onto the AR for fear of a baffle strike?
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 2:59:18 PM EST
I'm also curious about the peel washer question. I'm considering a HALO because I have a pinned vortex flash hider on my carbine.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 5:48:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/30/2011 5:58:50 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 4:24:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 5:36:43 AM EST
I keep reading about people that say that they didn't buy the Halo because the can always gets loose while shooting, but none of these people actually own the Halo. From people that have owned/tried the Halo, have the threads every come loose on your while shooting? As long as it stays tight, I think my worries are put to bed.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 1:15:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 1:27:30 PM EST by sjlmd]
Originally Posted By hartzpad:
I keep reading about people that say that they didn't buy the Halo because the can always gets loose while shooting, but none of these people actually own the Halo. From people that have owned/tried the Halo, have the threads every come loose on your while shooting? As long as it stays tight, I think my worries are put to bed.


I've had my Halo since last summer. I have had zero issues with loosening. So far, it has been run in several carbine matches, and for a couple of days of Gunsite 556. I don't think it is anything to worry about.


Action Shot

Link Posted: 1/31/2011 1:50:41 PM EST
shame they're not offered in 6.8.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 1:47:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 1:50:00 AM EST by Green0]
I had a Marine buddy from high-school who is dead now, who was a sniper and mentioned in an e-mail in September 2008 that his guys had KAC M4QD's and Gemtech HALO's. He also mentioned that their HALO's had to be re-tightened frequently.

It would seem the Vortex mounting option would eliminate the issue as the silencer won't be able to rotate independently of the flash hider [with the tines keyed into slots in the mounting geometry of the suppressor]. There really isn't going to be any substantial force imparted to loosen the collar independent of the suppressor IMO. That's just a thought.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 6:02:59 AM EST
Good friend has a Gemtech HALO. It's about a 2 year old version so I'm not sure if they've changed it much but his isn't hearing safe. It's LOUD.

Don' t know what I'd suggest for a 5.56 can. The ones I've heard are LOUD.

-David
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 8:54:06 AM EST
I have had mine since 07 and it has never been a problem for me.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 4:06:07 PM EST
I bought my HALO in the summer of 2008. It is built like a tank, for sure.

As for hearing safe.... I shoot mine on 12.5" SBR's and up and have no problem shooting out doors without ear plugs. To me it sounds similar to other 5.56 cans and none of them sound like a .22 can or say a 9mm can with subsonic ammo. You hear the sonic crack on all of them. I do believe the HALO takes care of 95% of the muzzle blast.

In my experience, the HALO will come loose. I keep a close eye on mine. The only way I have found to stop it is use some plumbers tape on the threads and that will lock it up pretty good.

I changed all my flash hiders from A2 to A1 because I wanted the thing mounted right up to the barrel shoulder. Timing an A2 is more trouble than it's worth as far as I am concerned. With a crush washer it's a snap, but with a peel washer or the shims, PITA.

I have since found that I really like the reflex style cans. I have bought an AAC SPR/M4 in 6.8SPC and just bought another in 5.56 which is still in process at NFA Branch. Yes the mounts are expensive, but the cans are excellent and the reflex design helps with gas blow black. And the MITER mount lets you adjust for POI shift. Excellent! That and I discovered Noveske barrels with a switchblock. The combination is incredible and the only way to shoot a suppressed SBR as far as I'm concerned.

But I still shoot the HALO as well. I use it on the longer AR's. 16" carbines.

If you buy a HALO, I wouldn't be letting my buddies stick it on their guns. They might have FH mounted wrong or with a crush washer and that can cause a baffle strike or end cap strike.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 6:09:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2011 10:22:23 PM EST by timpryor]
My Review

I bought my HALO from a vendor on arfcom, needless to say I had issues namely being misled about the model I was purchasing I will NEVER buy from him again, but at the price I got it for 200 below msrp I didn't complain too much.

I have the old model, the heavy one that wont accomodate the Vortex, which sucks since I was told it would and I already have a bunch of smith Vortex FH's

It is heavy but again since it primarily resides on my SBR its not a giant issue for me at least, I just wish it was a little Lighter

The sound reduction is good, but honestly not fantastic, still significantly reduces sound

I just wish I could time my A2 FHs right but thats a personal problem, If there was a brake I could use with it that would be even nicer, but thats not gem-techs fault.

Overall I am happy with it, there are of course pro's and cons along with everything in life

Pros:
No need for specific mounts
Cost the price I paid was a big factor
Sound reduction is good but not the greatest in the market
Ruggedness, I've only shot 700-800 rounds through it but it does seem VERY rugged

Cons
Weight
Length

Overall I would buy it again vs any other can in this price range, I would also have been much happier with it if I was told the this was the older model but again thats not gem-techs fault.


Update I've gotten several one from various members so ill just go ahead and spill the beans it was the aka Dennys guns
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:14:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By nmmi9100:
Good friend has a Gemtech HALO. It's about a 2 year old version so I'm not sure if they've changed it much but his isn't hearing safe. It's LOUD.

Don' t know what I'd suggest for a 5.56 can. The ones I've heard are LOUD.

-David

All 5.56 cans are loud.

I had the pleasure of hearing a HALO this past week on an AR. Sounded just like a M4-1000 or my own M4-2000... I don't think the human ear is a good tool for judging loudness because they all sounded the same to me (even though testing reveals otherwise).


Link Posted: 2/2/2011 1:41:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By timpryor:
If there was a brake I could use with it that would be even nicer, but thats not gem-techs fault.


I run a PWS brake with mine. The fact that the Halo would fit the PWS brake was the whole reason I bought the can in the first place.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 1:48:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/2/2011 1:55:52 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 2:54:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By kel:

All 5.56 cans are loud.
––-
...I had the pleasure of hearing a HALO this past week on an AR. Sounded just like a M4-1000 or my own M4-2000... I don't think the human ear is a good tool for judging loudness because they all sounded the same to me (even though testing reveals otherwise).


^^^^^^^^
This.


While 5.56mm silencers are certainly louder than pistol counterparts, the HALO is not "loud" as compared to other 5.56mm cans on the market - it's almost the same baffle design as the G5, just in stainless/inconel instead of titanium/inconel, with a different mount. The G5 always peaks out as a top dB contender put against anyone at any price, with the HALO coming in only slightly below it due to the mount difference. Now, is any 5.56mm can "quiet" as compared to a .22lr or 9mm can... that's just the battle of expectations vs. reality. Full-power rifle suppressors ain't James Bond, no matter what brand you listen to, but the HALO can certainly hold its own dB-wise with other 5.56mm suppressors.


Kel

PS: We recently made some HALO-compatible (all generations) flash hiders that are the Phantom-type, if you've got a really fat barrel that prevents the HALO closer from fitting, this has a "skinny tail" at the back that allows for use of a HALO on most any barrel, as well as "short" Smith VORTEX style flash hiders that are first-generation-HALO compatible...
Short VORTEX Previous-Model HALO compatible flash hiders and HALO-compatible Phantom-type Flash Hider

GEMTECH TEAM GUY


ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: Are you happy?


http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs063.snc6/167336_497458240918_95700145918_6651643_4377511_n.jpg

Any pictures of the short Vortex?

Link Posted: 2/2/2011 3:14:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/2/2011 3:14:50 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 3:30:40 PM EST
I'm pretty sure I got a HALO from the same dealer timpryor is taking about. He said it was a newer unit that would work with a Vortex and it wasn't until the paperwork was finished that I realized it wasn't a new HALO. Kel I like your vortex solution. I thought about having a longer collar made for the HALO to work with Vortex FHs, in the end I ended up having the rear of several vortexes spun down.


Link Posted: 2/2/2011 3:34:40 PM EST
Very slick!
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 3:48:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 4:22:04 PM EST
I have had one for a year now. It has been a great suppressor. I shoot the heck out of this thing and have had no issues at all. I also have not had any problems with it loosening up while shooting. My main reason for this can was being able to go from gun to gun and not needing all those extra mounts. I'm thinking about getting another this year if Gemtech does another tax day promo.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 7:12:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By BadassWeakling:

Originally Posted By nmmi9100:
Good friend has a Gemtech HALO. It's about a 2 year old version so I'm not sure if they've changed it much but his isn't hearing safe. It's LOUD.

Don' t know what I'd suggest for a 5.56 can. The ones I've heard are LOUD.

-David

All 5.56 cans are loud.

I had the pleasure of hearing a HALO this past week on an AR. Sounded just like a M4-1000 or my own M4-2000... I don't think the human ear is a good tool for judging loudness because they all sounded the same to me (even though testing reveals otherwise).




I think that's exactly what I said.
Link Posted: 2/3/2011 3:06:03 PM EST
I have one of the first newer style HALO's and run it on 6 different AR15's. 10.5" SBR's, 16" , 20" and a 12.5" M16. I have never had my HALO work loose on a Vortex but have on an A2, even on full auto with a heavy training and firing schedule.

Mine has been run hard and put away wet (literally) with out incident.

NOW IF I COULD JUST GET A 9/16 X 28 TPI VORTEX BILOCK FOR MY QUICKSAND TO RUN ON MY 6.5 GRENDEL!!!!

HINT, HINT, HINT KEL

Until that day,
Darkop
Link Posted: 2/3/2011 3:36:21 PM EST
Question I am new to the class III world, and I am thinking of a Halo as my first can. On my two main ARs I am running the Vortex G6A2 is this hider compatible with the Halo?
Link Posted: 2/3/2011 4:26:03 PM EST
I'm also thinking about getting a Halo as my first can.
Does anyone know if the Halo will work with the AAC Blackout flash hider (non silencer mount) or will I need to switch out the flash hider?

Thanks
Link Posted: 2/3/2011 4:34:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/3/2011 4:37:48 PM EST by SSeric02]
Originally Posted By kel:
PS: We recently made some HALO-compatible (all generations) flash hiders that are the Phantom-type, if you've got a really fat barrel that prevents the HALO closer from fitting, this has a "skinny tail" at the back that allows for use of a HALO on most any barrel, as well as "short" Smith VORTEX style flash hiders that are first-generation-HALO compatible...
Short VORTEX Previous-Model HALO compatible flash hiders and HALO-compatible Phantom-type Flash Hider



Whoa! What's the overall length on that Phantom-style flash suppressor kel?
Link Posted: 2/3/2011 5:40:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/4/2011 5:17:07 AM EST
I hate to hijack this, but will the Halo fit a 10.3 upper with the DD MK18 RIS II ?

Thanks?
Link Posted: 2/4/2011 10:16:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/4/2011 10:17:10 AM EST by LGK]

Originally Posted By kel:
Originally Posted By M1-Matt:
Question I am new to the class III world, and I am thinking of a Halo as my first can. On my two main ARs I am running the Vortex G6A2 is this hider compatible with the Halo?



***Yes. The newer HALOs (which are lighter than the previous generation as well) have a mount that is compatible with the Smith Vortex. As mentioned, this has the added benefit of locking in the HALO at four, repeatable points so it's "indexable" if you will, to repeat to the same place if you slide it down the same flash hider tine each time it's mounted. While I really haven't seen many issues of HALOs rotating loose on A2s, since it simply *can't* rotate at all on the Vortex, it certainly does stay put on that flash hider.


Kel


GEMTECH TEAM GUY

http://www.facebook.com/gemtech
http://twitter.com/gemtweetch
http://www.gem-tech.com/blog/




ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: Yep, I can keep 'em coming 24-7. Got lots of pics. There's lots of HALOs out there in the world. And lots of crappy camera phones.


http://i51.tinypic.com/2m68k9i.jpg


When did the new Halo shipped? If I'm going to buy one I want to make sure it's the newer version and not old. What's the marketing?
Link Posted: 2/4/2011 2:43:05 PM EST
I like the HALO and would recommend it. Mine is also older version.
It works great with:
A2
AAC blackout non-tooth (I replaced the SE Vortex which came stock on my Noveske)
FCS FH/Break (designed to work with HALO) on my 14.5" which Gemtech expertly turned, pinned and checked for alignment

Kel...Question: Theoretically...would a longer collar for the older HALO make it compatible with standard SE Vortex?
Link Posted: 2/4/2011 3:22:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By shadows:
I like the HALO and would recommend it. Mine is also older version.
It works great with:
A2
AAC blackout non-tooth (I replaced the SE Vortex which came stock on my Noveske)
FCS FH/Break (designed to work with HALO) on my 14.5" which Gemtech expertly turned, pinned and checked for alignment

Kel...Question: Theoretically...would a longer collar for the older HALO make it compatible with standard SE Vortex?

I'm not Kel, but yes, it would make it work with the Vortex, however, very few other muzzle devices would allow the collar to tighten up. This is why I simply had a few vortex's turned down. It allows my HALO to still work with all my A2s. My other idea was to make a longer collar, then have a C-shaped spacer made that went into the collar when you wanted to run it on any NATO style flash hider other than the vortex.


In the end I definitely wish I would have been sold the HALO I thought I was buying...
Link Posted: 2/4/2011 7:31:03 PM EST
Thanks for all the opinions guys, I'm definitely sold on getting the Halo.

Do you think it would have enough clearance to fit on my 11" 5.56mm XCR? It might be close with the gas block adjustment dial but I think it will fit.
Link Posted: 2/5/2011 6:45:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By hartzpad:
Thanks for all the opinions guys, I'm definitely sold on getting the Halo.

Do you think it would have enough clearance to fit on my 11" 5.56mm XCR? It might be close with the gas block adjustment dial but I think it will fit.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5200819204_7f45facf98_b.jpg

It'll fit just fine.
Link Posted: 2/5/2011 4:05:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2011 4:08:21 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 2/5/2011 4:13:30 PM EST
Hahaha, excellent photo kel! Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/5/2011 5:05:38 PM EST
Cool, just found out that the Halo will also fit my stock Galil flash suppressor. Add another rifle to the list for use with the halo. Bonus
Link Posted: 2/5/2011 5:26:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/5/2011 5:27:32 PM EST by 96Ag]

Originally Posted By kel:
Originally Posted By Hokie2000:
I hate to hijack this, but will the Halo fit a 10.3 upper with the DD MK18 RIS II ?

Thanks?



***As long as you use one of the HALO-compatible flash hiders that push the mounting surface forward (ie, our phantom-style flash hider HALO mount). The shorter ones and A1/A2s are a no-go - you'll run into the bottom of the RIS-II.

To answer the other question as to how long the various FHs are, perhaps a begging-for-a-resize photo would be worth a few words? (Ok, I resized it). The BE Meyers is shown for comparison as a commonly found military flash hider, but is an example of being too long for HALO use (although we have made some gov't-only HALOs that did fit this, once upon a time).


http://i55.tinypic.com/w2mtj.jpg




Kel

GEMTECH TEAM GUY

ps: Robarms above, good to go.

ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: "This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."

Not to infer to much, but does that mean that anything to the left of the SEI Vortex (I am assuming it is a G6) will work with the HALO? It would be awesome if the A2X worked.
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 1:21:41 PM EST
I bought the 2009 model HALO from LMO LLc. It is a little louder to my ears than my M4-96D but I love the fact that it can use the standard A2 flash hider and vortex. I put the HALO on and check the mount for tight after a mag or two and then it'sa race between me and the wife to the last magazine full of ammo. The HALO is a great can and I have fired several thousand rounds through it with no issues.
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 5:28:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By kel:
You know, it's pretty general good sense that you don't use a crush washer with any brand of suppressor. We at GEMTECH sometimes get tagged with the idea that ours are the only suppressors that require this step because we've been publicly vocal about this commonsense precaution, but Surefire, KAC, and I'm sure other brands all come with or advise shim kits or peel type washers (as do ours) to help clients from making mounting mistakes.

For HALOs, I'd generally prefer NO washer of any sort, mount an A1 or Smith Vortex or other symmetrical flash hider on there with a couple drops of Rocksett and be done with it - no fuss needed. The only reason for a peel washer is to cosmetically align the flash hider (which is unnecessary for a symmetrical FH). If you have an A2 where the blanked-out bottom slot needs to be aligned, then that's what the shim set we include is for.

Kel

GEMTECH TEAM GUY


ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: Shot Show flu got me after 12 days of travel and about a month of not sleeping, but I'm finding my way back through a weekend of near-hallucinogenic cough meds and heavy doses of Nyquil. On the plus side, I've done some very creative things this weekend.


Kel,

Is the topic of a crush/peel washer a non-issue with your HALO-Compatible Flash Hider? HALO-compatible Phanton-type Flash Hider The photo makes the washer-issue look like it is a non-player with this particular mount but wanted to confirm. Thanks!

Robert
in Colorado
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 5:32:42 PM EST
Kel,

On a similar note to the post above ... regarding shimmed brakes and possible alignment issues. Does this look like it'll be any kind of a problem? And secondly, to echo an earlier post, will there be any fitment issues with a 10.3 LW barrel and DD 9.0? Your help is appreciated.

Link Posted: 2/6/2011 6:26:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2011 6:32:56 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 6:39:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2011 6:43:10 PM EST by kel]
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 6:44:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/6/2011 6:45:20 PM EST by sweatpants]

Originally Posted By kel:

http://i55.tinypic.com/w2mtj.jpg


Not to infer to much, but does that mean that anything to the left of the SEI Vortex (I am assuming it is a G6) will work with the HALO? It would be awesome if the A2X worked.




***BCM A2X works with HALOs. Pretty much as you inferred is correct. The new 2011/late 2010 HALOs also fit the G6 SEI Vortex. Nothing fits the BE Meyers, other than the aforementioned unreleased-gov't-only HALOs.



Kel

GEMTECH TEAM GUY

ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: To answer that other question about the 10.3" barrel and DD 9" rail... hard to tell without trying, but much alike jeggings on a donut shop counter girl, it looks tight.



Thanks. I didn't see it in your post (and I am clueless), I am assuming whatever problems involving crush washers isn't an issue when using shims or peel washers?

ETA: I never asked my dealer about what version of the HALO I was buying ... if I supply you the serial could you help me out?
Link Posted: 2/6/2011 6:59:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By kel:

http://i55.tinypic.com/w2mtj.jpg


Not to infer to much, but does that mean that anything to the left of the SEI Vortex (I am assuming it is a G6) will work with the HALO? It would be awesome if the A2X worked.




***BCM A2X works with HALOs. (I'm glad that's awesome.) Pretty much as you inferred is correct about fitment left of the SEI. However, the new 2011/later 2010 HALOs also fit the G6 SEI Vortex. You can tell if it's a new model HALO by looking down the back end - if there's four "teeth" or stops for the tines, it's a new one. Probably has the distinctive GEMTECH Supergrabby Golfball Grip pattern on the closer as well.

Nothing fits the BE Meyers, other than the aforementioned unreleased-gov't-only HALOs.



Kel

GEMTECH TEAM GUY

ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: To answer that other question about the 10.3" barrel and DD 9" rail... hard to tell without trying, but much alike jeggings on a donut shop counter girl, it looks tight.



Thanks!


Link Posted: 2/6/2011 7:32:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By timpryor:

Overall I would buy it again vs any other can in this price range, I would also have been much happier with it if I was told the this was the older model but again thats not gem-techs fault.

Which dealer was this?
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 9:42:13 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/14/2011 7:56:06 AM EST

ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: "This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."


I'm loving the quote. Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse five?
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 1:20:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 1:23:06 AM EST by SchlaffTablett]
Nope.

Think more along the lines of "DON'T PANIC"... only pretend that that was written in large friendly letters.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 1:15:44 PM EST
I plan on running mine in a BC 2.0 when it comes in NRC month. 2.0 thread

I have a Smith Ent 308 can and a few vortex hiders, the HALO will work with the vortex?
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