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Thread: Muzzle Break/ Flash Suppressor

  1. #1

    Muzzle Break/ Flash Suppressor

    man, I am learning a lot about AR 15s just by doing research to see how I want to build mine...

    I know the diference between muzzle breaks and flash suppressors, sort of...

    is one better than the other for some reason?

    do they do the same thing?

    do I need one or should I want one? why?

    the gun will probably be used for range shooting 50% of the time and for the pure enjoyment of ownership the other 50% of the time, if that helps.

    THANKS AGAIN!!!

  2. #2
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    They don't necessarily do the same thing.

    A flash suppressor will just help mitigate the muzzle flash, but not necessarily reduce muzzle climb as a muzzle brake would. Basically, if the bottom of whatever is attached to the muzzle is open (via slots/slits/holes/etc.), meaning gases can go down, then it's likely not a muzzle brake, as gases jetting downwards would do more to add to muzzle climb rather than help eliminate it. If the thingy at the end of the muzzle is closed at the bottom, it's a muzzle brake, since expelled gases would tend to push down, somewhat countering the muzzle climb.

    One example would be comparing the flash suppressor on the new Ruger SR 556 with an A2 flash hider on another AR-15 design rifle. The Ruger SR 556 basically uses the same flash suppressor that's available on their Minis, which is a suppressor only, and doesn't really act as a muzzle brake since the bottom is not closed. The A2 flash hider acts as a muzzle brake as well, sine the bottom is closed (no slots/slits).

    Or something like that.

    -JT

  3. #3
    VERY EXTREMELY HELPFUL! Thank you!

    I saw one called a (i think) Tromix Shark muzzle break. it had holes on th top and slots on the sides but I believe the bottom was solid.

    it all makes sense now. thanks again!

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member deadeyedick's Avatar
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    It's BRAKE, not break.

    And I better not hear you say CLIP unless you're referring to an M1 Garand.

    "It's Fumbles...it was always Fumbles."

    Dr. Calvin "Fumbles" Killshot

  5. #5
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    I purchased a Bushmaster AR-15 when the so called " Assault Weapons Ban "was still in effect. I had a muzzle break/compensator placed on the barrel. It's accuracy is outstanding. Of course it's anecdotal. I have no idea how the rifle would have worked with the standard issue flash suppressor. I can tell you it shoots a lot better than it did with a plain barrel.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    Twolimes,

    Check this article by Chuck Hawks:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/muzzle_brakes.htm

    And this one on flash suppressors:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_suppressor
    Shoot to stop.

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dawg View Post
    Twolimes,

    Check this article by Chuck Hawks:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/muzzle_brakes.htm
    Interesting. Although, it seems that they might have been using a much larger round when talking about how the sound can be dmaging to the ears (shotgun?).

    "The test load was Remington Express 225 grain Core-Lokt factory loads with a claimed MV of 2780 fps and ME of 3860 ft. lbs."

    I don't know much about the muzzle velocities of the AR 15, but I would think it would be substantially quieter than this (great article though)!


    this is like the one I saw:


  8. #8
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    Let me deal with muzzle brakes on AR-15 type rifles first. Now, we all know that a muzzle brake directs part of the burning propellant gases upward near the muzzle. This is to offset the muzzle flip caused by the recoil of the firearm and allow for a more rapid recovery for follow-up shots.

    Now, on an AR, the weapon is designed to significantly reduce muzzle rise by directing the recoil forces directly back into the shoulder. The bore line runs from the muzzle straight back through the centerline of the stock and into the shoulder. On many other rifles, the bore line runs above the centerline of the stock, and in some cases above the stock itself, accentuating muzzle flip. Besides that, the recoil forces generated by a .223 caliber round are not really significant in themselves. Added together, this simply means that there is really no need for a muzzle break on an AR-15 type rifle. In fact, they can sometimes cause problems, as I'll address in a moment.

    Flash hiders are another story. Once again, we all know that a certain percentage of the powder charge of any round burns beyond the muzzle of the weapon. This produces muzzle flash. Most rifle ammo, including .223, is designed for optimal performance in barrels of 20 inches or longer [usually 22-24"]. Thus, when the barrel length is shortened, more propellant burns outside the chamber/barrel and causes a greater flash. While this is not usually a problem in daylight, in low light or darkness it can seriously impair night vision, rendering the rifleman virtually blind for a short period of time. The British noticed this problem when they introduced the Enfield No5 Mk1, a short barreled jungle carbine chambered in .303 British. It was essentially a cut-down and slightly redesigned Enfield No4 Mk1. The muzzle flash from the 20 1/2" barrel of the carbine was significantly enhanced over that from the 24" standard rifle. So, they incorporated a conical flash suppressor to direct the blast forward and not upward into the operators sightline.

    Now, the AR-15, as with most short barreled rifles, produces a significant muzzle blast [more so in the 16" bbl versions]. It is not overwhelming, but it is significant, especially at night. For this reason, a flash suppressor is a desirable option. There are many designs of suppressors, three prong, four prong, cage, etc. All work rather well, but there is one thing to keep in mind when installing a suppressor. You want to install it so that the muzzle flash is not directed directly upward into your sight line. The less superheated gas and burning propellant crossing your sight line, the better for your low light vision.

    I apologize for the length of this post, but I was bored. I hope that this helps you.
    Last edited by Mac45; 07-16-2009 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mac45 View Post
    Let me deal with muzzle brakes on AR-15 type rifles first. Now, we all know that a muzzle brake directs part of the burning propellant gases upward near the muzzle. This is to offset the muzzle flip caused by the recoil of the firearm and allow for a more rapid recovery for follow-up shots.

    Now, on an AR, the weapon is designed to significantly reduce muzzle rise by directing the recoil forces directly back into the shoulder. The bore line runs from the muzzle straight back through the centerline of the stock and into the shoulder. On many other rifles, the bore line runs above the centerline of the stock, and in some cases above the stock itself, accentuating muzzle flip. Besides that, the recoil forces generated by a .223 caliber round are not really significant in themselves. Added together, this simply means that there is really no need for a muzzle break on an AR-15 type rifle. In fact, they can sometimes cause problems, as I'll address in a moment.

    Flash hiders are another story. Once again, we all know that a certain percentage of the powder charge of any round burns beyond the muzzle of the weapon. This produces muzzle flash. Most rifle ammo, including .223, is designed for optimal performance in barrels of 20 inches or longer [usually 22-24"]. Thus, when the barrel length is shortened, more propellant burns outside the chamber/barrel and causes a greater flash. While this is not usually a problem in daylight, in low light or darkness it can seriously impair night vision, rendering the rifleman virtually blind for a short period of time. The British noticed this problem when they introducer the Enfield No5 Mk1, a short barreled jungle carbine chambered in .303 British. It was essentially a cut-down and slightly redesigned Enfield No4 Mk1. The muzzle flash from the 20 1/2" barrel of the carbine was significantly enhanced over that from the 24" standard rifle. So, they incorporated a conical flash suppressor to direct the blast forward and not upward into the operators sightline.

    Now, the AR-15, as with most short barreled rifles, produces a significant muzzle blast [more so in the 16" bbl versions]. It is not overwhelming, but it is significant, especially at night. For this reason, a flash suppressor is a desirable option. There are many designs of suppressors, three prong, four prong, cage, etc. All work rather well, but there is one thing to keep in mind when installing a suppressor. You want to install it so that the muzzle flash is not directed directly upward into your sight line. The less superheated gas and burning propellant crossing your sight line, the better for your low light vision.

    I apologize for the length of this post, but I was bored. I hope that this helps you.
    nope, that's why I asked...because I wanted to know.

    That all makes sense. I think I liked that brake because it looked cool, but the more I think about it...standard birdcage suppressor seems like a smarter choice.

  10. #10
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    Twolimes,

    It is hard to tell exactly from the posted picture, but it appears that suppressor would direct the muzzle blast through the cuts on the sides. If the unit attaches so that the slots are parallel to the ground [to the sides of the barrel] it may be quite effective as a flash suppressor. I can't really tell how much gas, if any, the top cut on the end would direct upward. It may be negligible.

    Good luck with your build.

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