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Muzzle Brake - Flash Hider ?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bullet, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Bullet

    Bullet Well-Known Member

    Do I have this right?

    A Flash Hider is suppose to reduce the muzzle flash and a muzzle brake is suppose to reduce muzzle climb and rear recoil.

    So is a muzzle brake also a flash hider?
  2. cpileri

    cpileri Well-Known Member

    well, a sound supressor is a bit of both but...

    I have heard of a product called a Muzzle Miser that was a combination muzzle brake and flash hider, but i can only find a fleeting reference to it on the net- and have never seen even a picture of one let alone the real thing.
    It is mentioned in Boston's Gun Bible.
    I have some custom ideas for a combo device. But the world isn't ready for my design yet. :)
  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    No. Usually, a muzzle brake greatly increases muzzle flash, because it takes gases that were moving more or less forward and redirects them up and to the sides, more into your line of vision.

    A flash suppressor, on the other hand, stabilizes and channels the gases straight ahead, so you have less muzzle flash from the shooter's perspective (but still plenty from other angles).

    A SOUND suppressor (aka "silencer," which is of course something of a misnomer) cuts the muzzle blast by making the hot gases essentially go through a muffler, so it cuts flash to almost nothing AND reduces recoil somewhat. Silencers are NFA class III devices, though.
  4. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    I have taken a number of carbine classes and during the night shoots, time was given to see the flash signature of each weapon. At all of them there were a good mix of people using flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, and bare muzzles. In one class, the instructor fired these individual weapons in front of the class both into the side berms and into the backstop so we could see the flash from both the sides and the rear. In another class, each person just told what muzzle device if any they had and then fired a couple rounds while everyone watched. In that class, all shots were fired at pretty much a 90 degree angle to the viewer. All of the weapons were AR15s.
    The Phantom and Vortex flash suppressors produced almost no visible muzzle signature as viewed from the sides and the rear.
    The various muzzle brakes had significantly more flash than a flash suppressor, but far less than a bare muzzle.
    The bare muzzle produced a huge fireball several feet in diameter.

    Based on these experiences, I would definitely NOT say that a muzzle brake increases the muzzle flash. Based on my own experiences, a muzzle brake does significantly decrese muzzle climb.
  5. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Well-Known Member

    The answer is, it depends.

    My Smith "Vortex" Brake on the FAL is functionall a flash hider to me, as just little bits of flame are visible, and they aren't that bright. Better than nothing by a damn sight.

    I suspect someone could make a combo device, but usually the two needs are independent. If you don't live somewhere like /kansas/ get a supresssor.
  6. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Well-Known Member

    Some extracts from the Glossary on my website:

    flash hider: a cone-shaped device fitted to the muzzle to screen the muzzle flash from the firer

    flash suppressor: a device fitted to the muzzle to reduce the flash from burning propellant

    muzzle brake: a device fitted to the muzzle which deflects part of the muzzle blast to the side or rear in order to reduce recoil

    compensator: a type of muzzle attachment for hand-held weapons, in which all of the diverted gas is directed upwards to resist muzzle rise

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Without getting bogged down in semantics..

    A plain muzzle will have the most blast/flash.
    Most modern comps* will redirect that blast/flash to the sides.
    Some of them will also reduce flash significantly (eg MSTN QC).
    Any decent flash-hider (Phantom, Vortex) will suppress the flash almost 100%.

    * JP, Miculek, MSTN QC, etc
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Also note that virtually all competitive rifle "comps" these days operate under both of those definitions: they direct gas to the side using large surfaces normal to the bore vector, and they direct some of that gas upwards to compensate for muzzle rise. In a rifle comp, directing all the gas upwards causes too much muzzle dip.

    In IPSC/USPSA "Open" pistols, you see some of them with only upwards vents/ports, but most have both types.

    Also note that a sound suppressor undeniably acts as a muzzle brake (since the gas is contained temporarily) yet none of the muzzle blast is technically redirected to the side or rear of the device (except for some back-pressure down through the bore, the rest vents out the front).

  9. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Well-Known Member

    Two other definitions from the glossary:

    suppressor: muzzle attachment to reduce flash and blast

    silencer: muzzle attachment to eliminate flash and blast

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion

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