I went out to the desert last night with a shooting buddy of mine to test a prototype AR birdcage flash hider designed by the wife of a major M14 armorer in Az.
16" AR shorty was used for this test and we put 20 rds through the standard birdcage first. A few particles of unburned powder exiting a few inches out the muzzle on occasion but not much in the way of flash, and certainly not even close to the fireball of any kind.
New design being tested: 20 rds downrange and we both guessed perhaps 10% more effective, still no fireball and not much flash out the sides of the birdcage or muzzle.
That ended the testing of the new birdcage but while we were out, we also tested some pistols and an M1a.
M1a: Standard flashhider, 4 rounds fired by each of us and we both agreed there was less flash than either of the AR birdcages tested. So minimal was the flash signature and the short duration of same that at 50 yds , it would be difficult to see where the rds were coming from. Literally no muzzle flash out the front as well as no flash escaping from the side splines, everything being kept inside the flashhider.
Next up, my buddies G26 with Federal Hydashok ammo: Fireball between 3-4 long and 3" in diameter with no trace of unburned powder out the muzzle. No ill effects of losing night vision at all on threats out in front of us.
Next up, my G17 with Win Ranger T standard velocity ammo: Fireball about the same as the G26 with no ill effect of losing night vision on threats in front of us and no trace of unburned powder out the muzzle.
Next up, my SA 1911 with Win Ranger T standard velocity ammo: Fireball was about 1-1.5" in length and not more than 1" in diameter. No trace of unburned powder out the muzzle and no loss of night vision on threats.
It's good to know that even the shorty AR's and powerful 7.62x51 nato surplus Port ammo didn't create much if any muzzle flash signature in the dark.
I'm not too concerned about losing night vision due to muzzle flash with the pistols or rifles after last night's outing. The M1a flash signature was just about non existent with nato surplus which was quite surprising to me. There was a lot of R+D on the M14 platform back in the day, and it seems they got the flash hider design right on the money.
Good question DE, I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on making the Socom my iron sighted shooter and selling the Polytech M1a. If I do, I'll try to get out again in the next month and report back.
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