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Posted: 9/15/2002 9:26:00 PM EDT
Okay I know the differences in pre ban/post ban rules on the two.
But what I'm really curious about is how much flash is really reduced by both items. The agency I work for states we are to have flash hiders on our AR's. I told the range master it is illegal to install a flash hider on a post ban gun. He wanted to argue the point with me but I wouldn't go there. He told me to install "what ever doo-dad I need or quit carrying the weapon".

He states, they, (our range staff) has proven many many times that muzzle flash is significantly reduced by even using a muzzle brake.

I told him it may be reduced by 5% or so but the BATF rules state the muzzel device on a post ban weapon shall not reduce flash signature, although I have not read that, only by hearsay. Can anyone shed some light on this subject?

I really doubt that in my line of work a muzzle brake will help. It's not like we are in a fox hole with nowhere to run and must fire hundreds of rounds at night in a gun battle.

When we confront the bad guy he usually knows the cops are out there and with all the spot lights, flashing reds and blues going, uniforms, shiny buttons and radios blaring it's really not to difficult to know where we are. Hiding is sometimes not as easy as it may sound and one or two rounds fired from an AR without a flash hider is not likely going to make any difference.

When I asked about what the dept. considered an approved muzzle device he just shrugged his shoulders and said "anything will do". I also asked why we don't have them on our shotguns and sidearms and he just made some stupid growling noises and walked off.

Your opinions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 10:10:44 PM EDT
Flash Suppressors reduce A LOT of flash. The best ones like the Vortex and Phantom reduce nearly ALL flash, and those that may not work quite as well as the best ones, like the standard birdcage, still work very, very well.

Muzzle Brakes will not reduce flash. They may redirect it some, and sometimes they may even redirect it out of you immediate field of view, but they do not reduce flash. Period.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 10:37:52 PM EDT
muzzlebreak, flashsuppressor

same thing
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 11:41:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dissipator16:
muzzlebreak, flashsuppressor

same thing



Link Posted: 9/16/2002 12:11:51 AM EDT
I think I gather from your post that you are an LEO. Police departments may have post ban semi auto assault rifles. Muzzle brakes are loud. And if you fire at night, you will want a flash suppressor, just so you aren't blinded.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 9:14:11 AM EDT
Well for one, muzzle brakes and flash supressors are not the same thing. And yes LEO's can purchase post ban assault weapons that are equipped with flash supressors. (had one and sold it).

Is there anything in writing somewhere that I can take to our staff that provides a legal discription and the amount of flash reduction that is allowed by a muzzle brake.

Personally I believe a muzzle brake is worthless except for reducing muzzle flip and felt recoil.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 12:55:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 5:42:05 PM EDT
To add further clarification - if you already legally possess a post-ban LEO AR, which for some reason you got with a muzzle brake or bare barrel instead of the usual factory flash suppressor, you can legally add a flash suppressor to it.

If you currently have a post-ban rifle you use for duty use, you can't add any evil features to it. Get a department letterhead authorization and purchase a LEO rifle.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 8:07:50 PM EDT
A little off topic, but can you change a post ban upper (only) to pre ban configuration and attach it to a preban lower.

Thanks,

TS
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 8:56:16 PM EDT
Troy, thanks, I'll try contacting BATF.

Circuts, I sold the LEO model and I'm currently using a post gun and I'm aware of the legal issues involing muzzle end devices. Thanks.

I'm not trying to make a pre ban gun from a post ban gun, just trying to learn how much difference there is in muzzle flash compared to MB vs FH.

I'm not changing anything on my postban weapon, the arguement with the range staff is, they claim a muzzel brake significantly reduces muzzle flash, and I say it dosen't. I'm just trying to get some hard info to take to them to prove my point. Just thought someone here may have a lead on where to get data on muzzle brake requirements and I think Troy answered that.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 10:01:59 AM EDT
You can settle that argument pretty easily, if you've got a threaded-muzzle LEO or pre-ban rifle, and one each brake (AK74 or A2 lookalike), 3-prong or A1 or A2 style flash suppressor and a vortex or phantom flash suppressor. Bring along your wrench or armorer's tool.

At dusk, or even waiting for full dark at the range, shoot a mag with a bare muzzle, then a mag with the brake, then a mag with the A1 or A2, then a mag with the vortex or phantom. The discussion will be over.

If ATF determines that a muzzle brake measurably reduces flash over the same round fired from a bare barrel, it's classified as a flash suppressor (although it may also function as a brake and/or comp).
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 9:45:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By new-arguy:

Originally Posted By dissipator16:
muzzlebreak, flashsuppressor

same thing






Specifically tell me what the difference is and we'll see if I can't pick it apart and give back-up as to why you are wrong. This is not to say that I won't be able to support you as being correct also, but this subject is dominated by hearsay!
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 9:48:22 PM EDT
Specifically, flash suppressors reduce the amount of flash, muzzle brakes do not.
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 10:06:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2002 10:08:45 PM EDT by FALFire]
Disipator16

Well we really don't have to pick anything apart since the BATF states no post ban AR can legally have a FLASH HIDER mounted on it, excluding LEO models.

Somehow, someone, somewhere decided to make a muzzle device that apparently does not reduce muzzle flash (?) but instead reduces recoil and the BATF is okay with that.

The million dollar question is still, how much difference in muzzle flash does a MB vs FH make and how is it measured and by what standards sets these two items apart.

Simply put if you or I were to install a flash hider, as described by BATF, on a post ban AR we would likely have some quality time in a jail cell somewhere preparing our testimony and providing PROOF there is NO difference. I'm sure however, BATF would be happy to provide ample documentation to a federal court there is indeed a legal definition that proves they are in fact not the " same thing".

Maybe you are willing to go there, but I'm not.
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 10:38:01 PM EDT
All you have to do to tell the difference between them is shoot milspec ammo from carbine barrel with a muzzle brake, and one with a flash suppressor. I have done this with many flash suppressors and brakes. Brakes do not reduce flash. They sometimes redirect the flash up, or down, or to the sides, but they DO NOT reduce it.

Flash suppressors on the other hand, work VERY well at eliminating flash signature. The difference is like night and day. We're not talking a small difference. We're talking the difference between large beach ball size flames, or long, bright streaks of flash with muzzle brakes... to little golf ball size puffs with a flash suppressor like the A2, to tiny flickers with the Phantom and Vortex.
Link Posted: 9/19/2002 2:28:25 AM EDT
Thanks new-arguy. It is very difficult to get some people (our range staff) to understand just what you say. They firmly believe a muzzle brake reduces flash as much as a flash hider. This is why I was hoping to get written data on the subject.
I'll still try the BATF sources as suggested before. Unfortunatley the range staff won't give in on someones beliefs. I really don't want to have to give up carrying my AR just because I don't want a MB on it. Written documentation from a realiable source is my only chance of proving them wrong on this subject.
Link Posted: 9/19/2002 9:13:31 AM EDT

He states, they, (our range staff) has proven many many times that muzzle flash is significantly reduced by even using a muzzle brake.

Tell him you don't believe him and to prove it to you. At least one of you will learn something from the experiment.

When we confront the bad guy he usually knows the cops are out there and ... it's really not to difficult to know where we are.

The flash hider is to hide the flash from YOU, not the target.

When I asked about what the dept. considered an approved muzzle device he just shrugged his shoulders and said "anything will do".

Then how about one of those fake hiders that slips over the barrel and leaves a bare crown?

Really though, since you're an LEO and the rifle is for duty use you should get an LEO AW with a real flash hider.
Link Posted: 9/19/2002 9:47:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2002 9:53:11 AM EDT by FALFire]
Mike_L, Thanks for the reply.

I did. They believe otherwise.

I know that. They believe otherwise.

Thought about that too! They would likely never know the difference.

Had one, but the darn thing was not nearly as accurate as the AR I use now, (3"-4" groups @ 100 yards vs 1/2"- 3/4" groups) and I also use it for varmint hunting. Maybe it was a bad gun, don't know , don't care. I won't pay the cash for an LEO model just to have a flash hider. We don't do entries with these AR's, they are only used as perimeter containment weapons. SWAT does ALL entries.

When you purchase an LEO model, the rules state something like "This weapon is to be used for duty purposes ONLY and NOT for personal use".

Believe me, some of the game officers in Washington State have a serious power trip thing going on. So I would rather not deal with them on this issue.

As you already know, many people don't think too much of us owning assault type weapons much less hunting with them. No reason to fuel the fire.

I just found Kurts Kustom Firearms and I like his brakes including the fake model. Maybe I'll go that way.
Link Posted: 9/19/2002 8:19:35 PM EDT
FALFire: To pick another nit - the law forbids flash supressors not flash hiders.

Muzzle device rundown:

A flash suppressor reduces the flash signature of the firearm.

A flash hider prevents or helps reduce the flash that gets to the shooter's eyes.

A flash suppressor is a flash hider, but a flash hider (like the WW2 cone type) doesn't reduce flash at all - just shields your eyes.

A muzzle brake reduces felt recoil by directing muzzle gases backwards.

A compensator reduces muzzle rise by directing muzzle gases upwards.

The GI "A2" style half-birdcage flash suppressor is also a compensator - but it's not a brake.

The GI "A1" style and original 3-prong flash suppressors only reduce flash, and do not function as brakes or compensators.

The AK74 style brake is both a brake and a compensator - but not a flash suppressor.

The AK47 "slant comp" (also incorrectly called a "slant brake") reduces muzzle rise but does pretty much nothing about felt recoil.
Link Posted: 9/19/2002 10:14:14 PM EDT
Hey thanks Circuts, that is great info. Maybe that will help.
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