Bushmaster AR15 question from newbie...


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CalamityJane
May 5, 2006, 09:29 AM
Good morning all. I haven't posted here in Rifle Country before, since I don't own a rifle. But,.....am seriously considering getting an AR15, a Bushmaster Carbon 15 model with the 14.5" barrel, which has the Izzy muzzle brake on it. I've done quite a bit of reading over the last week or so and have a question for any of you familar with this (or similar) model.

I've read a lot of comments that this configuration is very loud. So loud that it hurts your ears even with ear protection. And also so loud that others on the range won't like it. Is this accurate? I really like the feel and weight of the gun; have shot only one other AR and it was a 16" with nothing on the muzzle. It seemed fine to me. So how would the 14.5" with muzzle brake compare, really?

Thanks.
CJ

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redloki
May 5, 2006, 10:32 AM
I was at the range a month or so ago and there was a guy there that had one. There was also me and a father and daughter combo shooting a .22 next to me. We were all talking, shooting and having a good time. When he starting shooting that thing the girl ran to the far corner of the range covered her earmuffs with her hands and turned away from it. The noise and concusion from AR-15 pistols with muzzle breaks is horrific indeed. Lucky for the girl I always carry extra disposiable ear plugs and I had her double up. She was fine after that. The owner of that gun was going out of his way to try to be polite with that thing. Yes, Someone could get very annoying with that thing very fast but for a lot of firepower in a small package it can't be beat.:D

Thin Black Line
May 5, 2006, 10:40 AM
Yes, they're a little louder and it's bad if you're right next to the shooter
and a little too far forward --at least this is what ppl told me when I've
shot mine :p It's still a lot less than a 300 mag.

Why not a 16" bbl with a standard cage?

Bartholomew Roberts
May 5, 2006, 10:46 AM
They are noticeably louder and they can be uncomfortable on indoor or enclosed ranges. If you shoot on a nice open outdoor range, it becomes less of an issue but is still noticeable.

The easiest way to fix it is just go to a 16" barrel with a regular flash hider. It is slightly less than an inch longer than the total length of the 14.5" with the Izzy muzzle brake. The other nice bonus will be that if you ever need to work on the gun, you won't have to cut off the permanently attached muzzle brake. Then again, I doubt there is much work you can do with a Carbon 15 so that may not be an issue.

Outsider_10fp
May 5, 2006, 11:11 AM
well, someone lied to ya. My BM 11.5" bbl is no louder than any .308.
It does not scare girls pantys off of them.
I would not reccomend the Carbon, just get a reg recvr. Not too good of reviews on the plastic.

Now I will ask you this, what is the AR going to have as a primary function?
Plinking only? Get a 20" match uppper.
General SHTF? Get any 16", 14.5" or 11.5".

I wanted to push it to the boundries, and got the shortest non taxable bbl.
It is has been a perfect rifle and I can hit skeets at 250+ meters.
http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/5669/dsc014765gt.jpg

Correia
May 5, 2006, 12:24 PM
Outsider, that isn't an AK style brake on your gun.

The muzzle brakes are louder than a flash hider or a crowned muzzle. The shooter doesn't notice, but the people off to the side do. I shoot 3gun, and I often serve as a SO, so I have to follow the shooter around with a timer, standing right near them. Most 3gunners run some sort of brake, and those AK brakes are pretty horrendous. You get used to it if you are around it enough.

The JP brake is king. That thing vents gas to the sides like you wouldn't belive. :D Effective son of a gun though.

Outsider_10fp
May 5, 2006, 12:32 PM
No brake , just a CAR15 flash supressor.
It really isn't that loud. Louder than a 20", but like I said, not more than any.308

Correia
May 5, 2006, 01:08 PM
Outsider, the question was about the Bushy AK brake. Shoot one of those next to your gun, and you will see what I'm talking about. The AK brake is a whole lot sharper. I hate SOing the guys who are using these, especially if they are shooting over a metal table that reverbs the hell out of you.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
May 5, 2006, 01:26 PM
It is just as loud as a .308 and yes it is the 14 1/2" barreled little bugger:) . People don't run in terror from it, but they do mistake it for a .308 every now and again, wich is kinda funny with the itty bitty mags sticking out, but whatever. The Izzy brake and Y comp seemed even louder to me than my AK style brake when two guys pulled up next to me at the range with their AR's, but as was mentioned, I was to the side of them so they probably just seemed louder to me. They also had 20" barrels though so it is possible that my M4 with Ak brake actually was more tame(less loud) since I had a shorter barrel, the world may never know.

So is it loud, yes!!!! Will you go deaf on the range from shooting it with ear protection, No!!!! Now if you shot it inside your home and minus ear protection(home defense situation) you might, but I'd rather be deaf than dead !! I doubt that a shotgun would be any friendlier on the ears in that situation though:neener: !

I say go for it, but drop the carbon fiber receiver and get the aluminium.

Skipper
May 5, 2006, 01:27 PM
Correia; Actually, it was the IZZY brake, which is different from the AK brake.

Thin Black Line
May 5, 2006, 02:20 PM
I hate SOing the guys who are using these, especially if they are shooting over a metal table that reverbs the hell out of you.

Sorry 'bout that :p

CalamityJane
May 5, 2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks everybody for your replies. As to the question, why not a 16" with a regular suppressor, that's a good question. The answer isn't really a good one, it's just that the one with the 14.5" barrel in carbon fiber is in stock; I could walk out the door with it instead of ordering something. But that's not really a good enough reason, and I know it.

So, I am still thinking, and will try to curb my really bad "I WANT IT NOW!!!" character flaw.

Thanks again guys for your help. Appreciate it.

CJ

Don't Tread On Me
May 6, 2006, 05:49 AM
I've heard that the Y-brake is the worst. It directs a lot of blast at your 2 neighbors. Especially at ranges where people are close together on the line. Look at the angle of the vents and it seems possible.


I don't know. I've heard a lot of brakes at the range on a number of rifles including AR's. An AR pistol is definately louder, but it isn't anything to cringe over. Everything is loud when it comes to firearms.


My idea is like this, if you are made uncomfortable in anyway by the noise of a firearm at any given range - your hearing protection is not adequate. For example, there's a local indoor range that has a 50 yard rifle section. It gets really loud in there as it is like shooting in a large garage with people all shooting centerfire rifles. All they require is ear muffs, but I use earplugs with ear muffs above that. Then I am totally fine. With just ear muffs (even the Peltor 10's) the concussion of some rifles is too much indoors. I was next to a guy with a .338 Lapua Mag, and the end of his barrel was drilled as a brake (many holes all around the front of the barrel). That thing was a cannon. Without the double hearing protection, my ears would hurt. You could feel the blast in your sinuses.

Outdoors - no problem.


I'd rather have someone with an obnoxious loud brake next to me rapid firing and showering me with brass than having a black powder shooter. They fire 2 shots per interval, but each one smokes out my view (especially when there's no wind) and I have to sit there and wait for it to clear so I can see through my scope. I can always use good ear protection, but I can't make smoke disappear any faster.

Lebben-B
May 6, 2006, 09:37 AM
I have an AR that started out as a Carbon 15 M4gery with a 14.5" barrel and Izzy Brake. The brake is permanently attached to the barrel IOT bring the barrel out to the federal minimum of 16". IIRC, the brake is pinned to the barrel. That's the bad news. The good news is Sabre Defense makes a 1.5" A2-style compensator and a competent gunsmith can "pop" the pin on the Izzy and re-pin the barrel with the A2 compensator.

Pluses of the Carbon 15 M4:

+ Truly lightweight. My shot groups were 1-2" higher @ 7m because I was so used to the weight of a standard M4 that I was using too much "Oomph" to mount the rifle.

+ Standard AR parts fit. This allows you to use most, if not all, of the vast aftermarket bells and whistles available for the AR

+ Cost. The Carbon 15 is a bit cheaper than standard AR's.

Minuses of the Carbon 15 M4

- The upper receiver. The upper receiver has neither a forward assist nor an ejection port cover. The lack of these parts doesn't affect the performance or handling characteristics of the carbine, but some tacti-cool buyers want an AR as close to government issue as possible. The major issue with the upper receiver is with the charging handle. The charging handle is a T-shaped piece of aluminium that rides on a track inside the upper. It has a spring loaded latch that locks into a small detent on the outside of the upper receiver. In my eyes, this is the biggest weakness of the Carbon M4. The detent takes a lot of wear and tear from the charging handle latch through the course of loading, unloading, and clearing the rifle and I was concerned about it's longevity. I didn't want to look down the sights, squeeze the trigger and get hit in the nose by a charging handle that had popped out of it's detent. I wound up replacing the carbon fiber upper with an aluminium one for this reason.

- The take down and pivot pins are made of plastic.

Oh - here's a link to a site that sells the extended A2 compensator:

http://http://www.talonarms.com/talonarms/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=258

Hope that helps,

Mike

Dave Markowitz
May 6, 2006, 10:11 AM
My OPINION:

Muzzle brakes are totally unneccessary on a 5.56mm rifle, with the possible exception of rifles used in 3-gun competition. I'd much rather have a plain barrel or preferably, a flash suppressor. Brakes only became possible on 5.56mm rifles in 1994 when the AWB went into effect. Previously, pretty much all AR-15 types had flash suppressors; the brakes were substituted because to many people an AR with a nekkid muzzle looks funny.

5.56mm rifles equipped with brakes are obnoxiously loud to bystanders. They are not pleasant for the shooter, either, when shooting on a covered range. And if you have to shoot the rifle w/o hearing protection in an emergency, your hearing will get damaged a lot more quickly if your rifle is equipped with a brake than a plain muzzle or flash suppressor.

Outsider_10fp
May 6, 2006, 11:46 AM
I had to re-read this thread.
IF you were in a stuation that you had to fire your rilfe in a HD, your hearing would shut down. It is proven that those in that situation don't have a ringing in thier ears, they dont even remember the "BANG". Adrenaline shuts down your hearing to protect it from damage. SO that argument of loud goes out the window in a home/defense shooting.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 6, 2006, 12:33 PM
I have an AR that started out as a Carbon 15 M4gery with a 14.5" barrel and Izzy Brake.

In the past, we had some users report that the upper receiver of the Carbon-15 would develop small pocks where the nose of the bullet hit below the feed ramp of the barrel extension and that over time, this would create a crater that would cause feeding issues. Have you experienced anything like that with yours or can you see where they have made changes to address that problem? I had heard Bushmaster was fixing it; but I am still unclear if they did.

Muzzle brakes are totally unneccessary on a 5.56mm rifle, with the possible exception of rifles used in 3-gun competition.

Well, I would agree they are unnecessary. On the other hand a good brake on a .223 is great fun since you can literally watch the holes appear in the target with an ACOG or low-power variable. It makes it like shooting one of those video game rifles with simulated recoil. Probably the only reason I haven't broken down and changed my A2 over to a muzzle brake is I keep telling myself I will get a can and then have both a better muzzle brake and something that is quiet.

Correia
May 6, 2006, 01:10 PM
Outsider_10fp, it doesn't work like that at all.

Adrenelin doesn't "shut down your hearing to protect it". You experience what is called Auditory Exclusion. (and this doesn't always happen btw). The ear is still taking damage from the noise, regardless of what state you are in. Hearing damage is permenant and cumulative. You may not hear the boom, but you ear is still taking the hit, regardless of what your brain registers. There are many combat vets who experienced auditory exclusion at the time who still suffer from hearing loss caused by the gun battle.

That is why sound suppresors are so damn cool. :)

blackhawk2000
May 6, 2006, 01:16 PM
When I shoot my 14.5 A2 Bushy with Y comp brake it doesn't seem that loud. When someone else shoots it, it is very loud. When I RO, and the shooter has any brake it is very loud. Why the carbon model? They don't seem to be getting very good reviews.

If I could do it over again, I would get a 16" midlength. Less hassle with the muzzle device. Not sure how I like flatops. I like the look of the A2. At least with a non permament muzzle device, I can add a railed foregrip easy enough.

Lebben-B
May 6, 2006, 05:11 PM
...some users report that the upper receiver of the Carbon-15 would develop small pocks where the nose of the bullet hit below the feed ramp of the barrel extension and that over time, this would create a crater that would cause feeding issues. Have you experienced anything like that with yours or can you see where they have made changes to address that problem?

That's a good question. I dug through my parts box and found the old carbon fiber upper. Sure enough, there were 2 small notches that would line up with the feed ramps if a barrel and extension were installed. Prior to replacing the upper, I had run roughly 2K through it. I definitely think that had I left the carbine stock that it would have developed feeding problems at around the 8-10K mark.

I think it's safe to say that the upper receiver is the weak link on the Carbon 15 M4.

But with all the aftermarket parts available for the AR, I would still recommend the Carbon 15 M4 as a starter or base gun, but then I view all guns as starting points and not finished products.

Carbon 15 and SA GI 45 BEFORE:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a272/lebbenB/gunporn.jpg

And AFTER:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a272/lebbenB/S3000020.jpg

Mike

Still 2 Many Choices!?
May 6, 2006, 06:52 PM
I guess you stand corrected, lol:neener: . I agree the Y-comp has to be the loudest thing ever made! But muzzle brakes serve a purpose other than making the naked crowned end of an AR's barrel look cooler and annoying people at the range:banghead: ! If you like shooting at small targets, the AK brake is the best way to double-tap soda cans off hand at 50-70 yds. Combine no recoil with a good small red-dot, and now that is what I call fun:D !!

CalamityJane
May 6, 2006, 09:46 PM
Thanks again everybody. I really appreciate all the replies. Sounds like there are good and bad things, just like with most stuff. I'll continue to think on it.

CJ

geekWithA.45
May 6, 2006, 10:05 PM
Most .223 loads use fragmentation as a wounding mechanism, and fragmentation is VERY sensitive to muzzle velocity, and therefore barrel length.

IMO, 16" is really the shortest you should go.

Read up on 5.56 ammo before you buy:

http://www.ammo-oracle.com/

Still 2 Many Choices!?
May 6, 2006, 10:23 PM
The military disagrees:evil: M4 14.5" long barrel:evil: .

Remember, you are not limited to 5.56X45 ,"ball", ammo like our troops. With soft point ammo, frangible, ballistic tip, and everything else out there, 14.5" is the best compromise for close in,"social work".

Bartholomew Roberts
May 6, 2006, 10:41 PM
The military disagrees M4 14.5" long barrel .

Remember, you are not limited to 5.56X45 ,"ball", ammo like our troops. With soft point ammo, frangible, ballistic tip, and everything else out there, 14.5" is the best compromise for close in,"social work".

Except the military didn't choose the 14.5" barrel because it was handy for close-quarters. They chose it because adding four inches of barrel to the 10.5" XM177 was the easiest way to make it run reliably (dwell time issues)

Given that a 16" barrel with A2 flash hider is only 1.5" longer than an M4A1 (and only 1" longer than an M4gery), I'd be surprised if you could tell any difference between the two looking at timed runs through a shoothouse.

Most of the military guns I see designed for close-in work are using 11-12" barrels.

Lebben-B
May 7, 2006, 08:17 AM
Most of the military guns I see designed for close-in work are using 11-12" barrels.

True. And they're also set up to run with a supression system, which opens up an entirely new "can" of worms with blowback and dwell-time.

Mike

Still 2 Many Choices!?
May 7, 2006, 11:36 AM
You are of course correct that the main reason for the switch to a 14" barrel was to increase reliability in the xm177, but that does not mean that it also was not a handling compromise, or else the guys would all still be issued the M16 with it's 20" barrel. I agree that going through a set scenario with 14" barreled weapon vs. a 16" barreled weapon, it would be quite difficult to notice an edge going to either weapon. My preference is the shortest barreled weapon that will work reliably, and still be light with a heavy barrel. The 14" barrel with permanent muzzle brake with H-bar is the best, non paper work required compromise for what I wanted.

I was also actually speaking from the point of us here at home, not being military so by,"close in social work", I mean anything from home defense range(muzzle to 7yds) or even out to block defense ranges(7 to 150 yds), the 14" barrel with permanantly attached brake or flash suppressor, is the best compromise without getting into the BATF books and paperwork with a true xm177 configured firearm. I went the AR-15 pistol route for my PDW/ home defense weapon with a 10.5" barrel so I do see the really short barrel's benefit for," close-in work".:)

Bartholomew Roberts
May 7, 2006, 01:11 PM
Everybody makes the compromises that suit their needs. If you feel that having an inch less of barrel was worth the hassle of a permanently attached muzzle device, you are certainly more qualified to make the decision of what works for you than I am.

I just wanted to point out the difference for somebody who might not be aware that there would be a negligible difference in handling times between the two so they would have more information when making a choice.

geekWithA.45
May 7, 2006, 01:52 PM
The military disagrees :evil:

Yah. And the military also selected .223 :scrutiny: :neener:

But hey, that's one of the Four Eternal and Unresolvable Internet Debates That Will Persist Until Settled By Ragnarok.

Redhat
May 7, 2006, 01:59 PM
Any M16/AR15/M4 will easily peg the db meter unless extremely suppressed. They are so loud as to cause physical pain.

Anyone who has had that experience can tell you.

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