A question on Flash Hiders, and how to attach them


October 17, 2008, 10:02 AM
Not sure if this needs to go into the Legal section, or a section for local items only, but...

In the State/Kingdom of NY in order for one to have a flash hider on a rifle, it must be permanently affixed to the barrel. If it is a muzzle brake, it is fine, but a flash hider is a bad evil thing. I am specifically looking at building another AR-15 before the year ends, but this one will be in a classic style vs the M4-clone I've already built.

So, how would one go about making a birdcage not go anywhere? I'm planning to either go for an A1 or an A2 style build, but with new parts (classic Colt parts are just to much cash right now). Would this need to be welded, pinned, both?

I understand there are manufacturers who can sell you a barrel that already has this done, but if I'm doing my own buildup I may need to do this myself (or take it to my 'smith).

Thoughts? (and yes, I know about arf.com just wanted to ask the smart folks here too!)

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October 17, 2008, 10:32 AM
Why not just buy a barrel (semi complete upper) or a complete upper with a permanently attached muzzle device?

Several manufacturers offer what you are looking for.

October 17, 2008, 10:44 AM
That's what I may end up doing, but as with anything, if I find a great deal on a complete upper with a non-attached flash hider, I may need to make sure it is attached.

Then again, if I go with an A1 style, I'll need to FIND that upper somewhere....

My last one I built up myself with no completed parts (except the BCG of course) and assembled it with no issues, just managed to find a deal on the barrel and other parts. All told it was only $585 for the full rifle built the way I wanted it =)

So hopefully I can do that again. The flash hider seems like a sticking point. As is the Bayonet lug. I WANT one but NY says I can't. :barf:

Marcus L.
October 17, 2008, 10:47 AM
Permanetly attached means that it needs to be welded in place. A lot of experienced gun smiths that work on ARs should be able to do this for you or know someone who can in your area.

Be selective in what flashhider you use. The standard M4/M16 birdcage designs do little more than service as a muzzle break. They are very poor flashhider designs. In my opinion, the Smith Enterprises Vortex Flashhider is the best all around flashhider on the market. It reduces flash better than any other design around, and it improves accuracy. I've seen accuracy improvements in three different rifles I've used it on, and it is the only flashhider design authorized for mounting on M14s for the US Army because they showed improved accuracy.

October 17, 2008, 11:16 AM
The Vortex's are nice, and I've read about their functionality. I'm looking to build a near copy of a standard M16 A1 or A2, so using anything but a birdcage seems like it's out the door.

Seems there are options, even one where the flash hider is pinned and welded!! That sounds like trouble, unless done by a pro.

October 17, 2008, 11:20 AM
Most gunsmiths will silver solder it as opposed to weld it, and that's 'permanent enough' for the F Troop.

October 17, 2008, 11:34 AM
Yes, you need to have someone experienced to pin and weld it. You can also have it soldered.

October 17, 2008, 08:25 PM
By silver soldered, the BATFE means high temperature silver solder, not the stuff used for attaching wires on electronics.
This stuff does not refinish well and most gunsmiths use the welded blind pin approach.

The muzzle device is attached, a 3/32" to 5/32" blind hole is drilled through the brake and into the barrel to a depth of at least 3/32", 1/8" is better, and a pin of hardened drill rod is inserted and peened below the top of the hole to allow clearance for the weld.

Nickle silver weld rod is then oxy-acetylene welded to fill the hole.
After the weld has air cooled, the weld mound is dressed and touch up finished.
Nickle silver weld rod can be finished to match any surface coloring including parkarizing and nickle plate.

One welded blind pin is enough but many gunsmiths will install two for added security that the brake is not coming off without lathe turning the welded pins.HTH

October 17, 2008, 08:37 PM
Not to argue but I've seen soldered on MDs that were done so well that you didnt' need to finish them.

Yes, I should've stated "high temperature" solder. I believe it's 1100 degrees or so.

October 17, 2008, 08:46 PM
Not to argue myself, but I have heard some of the more diligent agents in our great state have gone so far as to chuck up a barrel in a lathe and try to power turn the muzzle brake/flash hider off.

If the high temp silver solder has any flaw in the bind the flash hider will come off.
With a blind pin or two, it will overtorque and destroy the barrel.
The agents apologize and replace the barrel at taxpayer expense.

I haven't heard many tales of doom and gloom here since the 94 ban expired, the black clad men and their black clad helicopters seem to be fairly relaxed right now, but I imagine the black clad days will again be upon us come January,,,,,,,,,

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