What would you do if this were your M4? Flash Hider/Suppressor Question


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Joe Link
September 10, 2008, 02:36 PM
I recently got an excellent deal on a 14.5" Colt M4 SOCOM upper, one of the ones that goes for $1200+ when you can find them. For the price of just this upper I could have got a complete AR, but I figured I'd do it right the first time and hopefully it'll last me. "Cry once", as they say, right? Now I'm saving for a complete LMT lower.

I'm not filing the NFA paperwork on it, so I need to get a flash hider permanently attached. I ordered a Phantom a few days ago for $26 shipped (which was great, because I'm super short on cash), but now I'm reconsidering. I've heard it's pretty difficult for a smith to remove a permanently attached flash hider without screwing up the barrel, and last time I saw these Colt barrels was two years ago at $450. I'm thinking maybe I only have one shot to get this right.

Right now there's no way I can afford to suppress this, but I'm thinking maybe a year or five down the road I might. The guy I bought it from recommended I get a flash hider from Gemtech that allows you to attach their suppressor over the flash hider, but it's $89 (yes, I'm *that* broke) and I have absolutely zero experience with suppressors (so I don't know what's quality and what's crap).

There's also the good possibility that when I'm ready to afford a suppressor, I'll have other AR's, so I could suppress one of them. On the other hand, having a flash hider that can accept a suppressor would probably be good if I ever had to sell this upper.

What would you guys do? I'd appreciate any and all comments.

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H2O MAN
September 10, 2008, 03:07 PM
File the NFA paperwork on it and then do what you want.

Joe Link
September 10, 2008, 03:15 PM
If I were going to file NFA paperwork on the gun I would have bought a 10.5" :D

Jason M
September 10, 2008, 03:16 PM
Well, supressors are cool and all but they are entirely impractical.

With that out of the way, I buy a lot if impractical things so if you get one, I won't bash you for it!

You will need to fill out the NFA paperwork for a supressor whether you buy one or make one yourself. You are allowed to make them (check your local laws), but the $200 fee still applies.

Besides all the paperwork hoops you will jump through, using a supressor with store-bought ammunition is nearly pointless. Since the bullet is going super-sonic when it exits the muzzle, a lot of the "crack" of the rifle is both the bullet exiting supersonically as well as the escaping gasses escaping super sonically. You will need to use sub-sonic ammunition to get the full effect of the supressor. And SS .223 is about as powerful as .22LR (but slightly more powerful).

But, like I said, if you want one, go for it! Do google searches for sites that sell them and do your research way before you decide to buy any Type 2 or other NFA weapon/accessory.

Now, "permanent" flash hiders can be removed without messing up a barrel. A competent gun smith can accomplish this.

Jason

elChupacabra!
September 10, 2008, 03:27 PM
If you invested THAT much into just an upper, you need to think VERY carefully about what you do to it regarding the flash hider, ESPECIALLY if you decide you may want to suppress it later. Think about it like this - what's the point of investing in such a high-speed upper just to ruin it with a flash hider that you want to replace / change later but can't? And if the difference between a $26 YHM flash hider and a Gemtech $65 flash hider / suppressor lug is the difference between a go / no go, I would wait another week or three until you can afford what you REALLY want, then buy that. Like I said, 5 years down the road when you want to upgrade the upper with a suppressor, how much is that $40 you save today going to cost you then?

I'd research all the suppressors very carefully, then select a flash hider that accepts the one you will want and permanantly attach it to the barrel as soon as you can afford it. If that's not today, then I'd wait.

waterhouse
September 10, 2008, 03:40 PM
Well, supressors are cool and all but they are entirely impractical.


Please explain.

using a supressor with store-bought ammunition is nearly pointless. Since the bullet is going super-sonic when it exits the muzzle, a lot of the "crack" of the rifle is both the bullet exiting supersonically as well as the escaping gasses escaping super sonically.

Have you shot suppressed and unsuppressed .223s next to each other? I find the difference in noise to be pretty substantial.

KingTiger
September 10, 2008, 03:56 PM
I'd file the NFA paperwork and then follow the advice elChupacabra gave. My AAC M4-2000 quick attaches & locks on my Phantom and makes my 16" sound like a .22 rifle. I don't like shooting unsuppressed any more.

Jason M
September 10, 2008, 05:04 PM
Well, supressors are cool and all but they are entirely impractical.

Please explain.


Quote:
using a supressor with store-bought ammunition is nearly pointless. Since the bullet is going super-sonic when it exits the muzzle, a lot of the "crack" of the rifle is both the bullet exiting supersonically as well as the escaping gasses escaping super sonically.

Have you shot suppressed and unsuppressed .223s next to each other? I find the difference in noise to be pretty substantial.

Suppressors shouldnít be impractical. The reason I say that is because if you use a weapon in home defense that has a suppressor on it, youíd better be ready for a more hefty legal fight from the DA. Itís not fair, but it will happen. The news will spin it and you will feel the pressure. It sucks, itís stupid, but it can happen. Itís the same as using hand-loaded ammo for self defense. It doesnít work well for you in court. If the weapon will not be a defense weapon, then by all means, suppress away!

Sure, they are quieter, but to get the full suppression benefit from the suppressor, the ammo will need to be sub-sonic. You donít HAVE to shoot sub-sonic ammo through it, though.

Andrew Wyatt
September 10, 2008, 05:13 PM
are you definitely going to go gemtech? if so, the gemtech FH is what you need.

Chipperman
September 10, 2008, 05:26 PM
If I were going to file NFA paperwork on the gun I would have bought a 10.5

You do know that the SBR is on the Lower and not the Upper, right?

Once you SBR the Lower you can have as many different short uppers as you want, with no additional paperwork. That's what I would do in your shoes.

Owen
September 10, 2008, 05:43 PM
Chipperman,

Is it ok to have multiple shorty uppers, one shorty lower, and other non-shorty lowers?

Chipperman
September 10, 2008, 08:34 PM
Is it ok to have multiple shorty uppers, one shorty lower, and other non-shorty lowers?

That is an excellent question, and one that has elicited conflicting WRITTEN responses from ATF. :banghead:

IMO (and IANAL), it is ok; as long as the non-SBR lowers always have a legal 16"+ upper attached to them.

Wes Janson
September 10, 2008, 10:10 PM
Well, supressors are cool and all but they are entirely impractical.

Besides all the paperwork hoops you will jump through, using a supressor with store-bought ammunition is nearly pointless. Since the bullet is going super-sonic when it exits the muzzle, a lot of the "crack" of the rifle is both the bullet exiting supersonically as well as the escaping gasses escaping super sonically. You will need to use sub-sonic ammunition to get the full effect of the supressor. And SS .223 is about as powerful as .22LR (but slightly more powerful).


Err, I'm not exactly the world's expert on suppressors, but your statement strikes me as being pretty much, well, wrong. No, standard .223 is not "silent", but it's sure as heck a LOT quieter through a decent can. You get less noise, flash, and blast, and I wouldn't consider that to be "pointless".

The reason I say that is because if you use a weapon in home defense that has a suppressor on it, you’d better be ready for a more hefty legal fight from the DA. It’s not fair, but it will happen. The news will spin it and you will feel the pressure. It sucks, it’s stupid, but it can happen.

Not this whole thing again...

Stuff may or may not happen in court. A tremendous, enormous amount will depend on what you actually do that winds up drawing the presence of The Law. And a tremendous amount depends on where one lives. Flatly ruling out entire types of weapons, brands of weapons, or loads of ammo just because of potential public perception somewhere, anywhere, strikes me as an ill-considered choice.

blackhawk2000
September 10, 2008, 10:39 PM
A friend and I removed my brake in his shed with a grinder. I wasn't terribly concerned with marring the finish, and it came out undamaged. I'm sure a smith could remove one no problems.

Javelin
September 10, 2008, 10:51 PM
A tax stamp for a 14.5" barrel seems a little expensive for such little benefit. I would probably look at the 11.5" top since you say money is tight and you cannot purchase multiple tops just yet.

I will tell you that I don't like suppressors on .223's (and do not know many personally that do). I like them on every other caliber I have one for and have heard. The FN 5.7mm out of a suppressor is annoying to me (and I even own an SWR-Spectre). Maybe it has something to do with the speed of the little bullet coming out of the barrel that makes that high pitch ping. The .308 does not make the noise either and it is supersonic.. just not moving as fast I guess. :confused:

For a .223 suppressor I feel that Gemtech is probably the top of the list though I would still probably look at SWR Warlock or maybe one of their lighter versions. Here is the link http://www.swrmfg.com.

Good luck!

:)

jburnett
September 11, 2008, 11:52 AM
When you have one "blind pinned" it is quite difficult to remove. I would suggest finding a good TIG welder and having him burn it in at three places (the minimum I've found ATF considers "acceptable") either by fusion or with very little filler rod. In the future should you want to fill out the NFA paperwork for an SBR you can take a small cutting wheel (on a die grinder or Dremel) and cut the fused welds. It might give you a couple of nicked/burned places on the bbl. but it's better than having the mill out a pin thus ruining the flash hider. This way you can continue to use the flash hider.

Edit: I must also say that suppressor aren't "impractical" at all. I shoot a .223 with a muzzle can on it routinely. I don't have to wear hearing protection to do so, it doesn't offend the neighbors the way a short-bbl'd .223 typically would (:D). I pop coyotes at night with it. Plus in a CQB situation where you're firing within confines you'll be the guy everyone wants to be near! Trust me, I took a tactical rifle class several years ago and two of us had suppressors on our carbines, we were the most loved in the group when going room to room! :lol
-J.Burnett

jmorris
September 11, 2008, 12:14 PM
I've heard it's pretty difficult for a smith to remove a permanently attached flash hider without screwing up the barrel

thats the point of permanent.

+1 on the paper work, or why not get a 16" upper.

Well, supressors are cool and all but they are entirely impractical.

My suppressed .223 makes less noise than some of my .22lr rifles and much less than any .22lr pistols. Not to mention the almost elimination of muzzle flash, if you hunt at night.

madmike
September 11, 2008, 02:54 PM
I have several Phantoms welded on. A good machinist should be able to lathe turn in front of the weld, breaking it loose from the threads, then recut the threads as needed. Of course, that will be pricey, and leave some welding residue.

And you can't do it to a chrome-lined barrel.

Why not get a NON-Colt barrel for this purpose, so when you later decide what you want to do, you have a pristine Colt barrel to use?

Though for myself, I've never seen the point of paying extra for a stupid Pony stamp.

blackhawk2000
September 11, 2008, 06:03 PM
Guys its not rocket scientistry. A cutting disc on an air tool is all we used in a dimly lit shed. It was a pinned and welded mini y comp from Bushmaster.

VARifleman
September 11, 2008, 06:48 PM
Get a quick detach attachment that is long enough permanently attached and get a suppressor for 1 Form 4.

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