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Flash Hider on AR 15

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TB336, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. TB336

    TB336 Member

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    Does a flash hider on an AR-15 truly make a difference? Looking into purchasing one, but I'd like to know if it has any true advantages over not having one.
     
  2. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    YES!

    I mean, if you never shoot at night in any way, may not matter. But even a bad flash hider with bad ammo (there is flash suppressant in much defensive / all-mil ammo) will give you little jets of fire instead of a soccer-ball-sized ball of fire.

    From another forum, I wrote up this a while back in answer to a not-dissimilar question:


    Long, long ago, when no one brought an RDS'd gun to class, the instructor had a little experiment at the end of the night shooting time, and we each, in turn, fired our guns while the others watched, to see how various muzzle devices worked. It was even ban period, so we had weird devices and bare muzzles.

    Discounting the commercial spec ammo fireballs (we did some ammo trading to get solid results) almost all worked fine. The three prong early AR, and the later AR18 one, both worked as well as the A2 flash hider. Same for similar designs in other guns like the G3 birdcage looking thing. The worst most did, like some Smith brakes and I think the Daewoo, were tiny, tiny cartoonish licks of flame out the ports. So small, we were all pretty sure they wouldn't give you away to downrange bad guys in real life unless very unlucky and fighting in caves, or something.*

    Older designs, like the M14, were pretty mediocre. Okay for not blinding the shooter, but some visible flame.

    Even with good, flash suppressing powder, mil-acquired ammo, bare muzzles still have a fireball. Commercial ammo is a soccer ball. Carbines are a softball, rifles (20" 5.56 I mean now) baseball sized or a bit smaller. So, the flash hider IS doing a lot of work here.


    I am totally happy with my YHM-5M2-QD. Seems to have had no impact on accuracy, side vents only so no dust kicking up, or distorted view, and zero flash on the darkest night. Others are similar like the SF brakes here or here, I am told. But... your friends may hate you if on line at the range. Get a blast can.

    I have not seen them much in person, but the current crop of SF flash hiders (or something different here to be confusing) seem very nice. Some people running them on precision rifles. 800 yard precision rifles.


    And for real flash suppression... get a suppressor
     
  3. TB336

    TB336 Member

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    So it will just decrease the size of the fire ball? No help to accuracy or anything else?
     
  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    A standard flash hider has little to no effect on accuracy.

    The purpose of a flash hider is to hide the flash from the SHOOTER.
    This is something the anti-gun nuts get wrong.... they think it's to hide the flash so no one can see the gun flash as they're being fired at.
    The flash hider is intended to prevent totally blinding the shooter in bad or low light.

    The AR standard flash hider also has some recoil reducing abilities.
     
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  5. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    At early morning range time, I can absolutely attest to the fact that a flash hider is night and day difference vs. a bare crown.
     
  6. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/ar-15-flash-hider-shootout/

    on a 20" barrel in daylight, they are not needed at all. on a 16" or less, in low light, yes. the standard A2 birdcage actually does work very well, and since they basically give them away, I cannot see any reason to get anything else unless you just like the look better.
     
  7. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    huge difference in flash, especially with a scope. The common A2 type are muzzle breaks, and while I never noticed much on 5.56, the recoil on 300AAC BO dropped 30% in feel. They also protect the muzzle, and the common ones do not effect accuracy
     
  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Linear compensator. Less recoil, mitigated flash, less report to the shooter’s ears. Wins all around.
     
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  9. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Flash hider also protects the crown from damage.
     
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  10. joed

    joed Member

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    When I was in the service in Vietnam in 1969 I took my flash hider off one night. On firing the gun there was a huge ball of flame out of the muzzle. With it in place you could hardly see anything but a few sparks. This was on one of the first models, an A1.
     
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  11. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    You need it as a seating point for a bayonet, and to launch rifle grenades.
     
  12. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    If you do a search on flash hider tests there are many videos out there on the subject.

    From those videos I selected the YHM Predator flash hider which also had a solid bottom that acted as a kind of break that help with muzzle rise and dust clouds when shooting prone. In the late evening I saw now flash. I also put it up against an A2 flash hider and the A2 did very well...and they are cheap.

    I live in California now so I cannot legally install a flash hider.

    The flash from a bare muzzle with only a thread protector is pretty impressive from behind the rifle.
     
  13. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    At $4-$6 each you ought to have one for every AR you own even if you have better devices installed like a linear comp. should you look to sell or trade, remove your comp/brake/suppressor host device and screw on an A2 in its place. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever buy another AR, that $40 comp can be sold separately, so long as it’s to someone legally allowed to purchase it. As VT said, it’s win win win for you while you own it, then still worth something if you should sell it.
     
  14. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    This. Troy Claymore is one of the best, IMO. I have a couple used ones in good condition I'll sell pretty cheap, as I run suppressors on everything these days. Also have a Noveske KX-3 and YHM Phantom I no longer need, all 1/2-28
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  15. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    It depends on the application (as with muzzle brakes). In any case, either will help protect the crown.
     
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  16. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Absolutely.

    Keep in mind that any sound reflectors on the target side from you will work to reduce the report reduction realized, though. ;)
     
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  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    They are handy to keep around; I have several in my parts drawers from builds that In put linear compensators on.

    Nice alliteration, GBExpat!
     
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  18. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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  19. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    The problem with most flash hiders and muzzle break test is that they show the size of the flash from the side. What is important is what you see, or don’t see, from the rear.
    I have a box full of them.
    B7905FDE-D860-45A0-B57A-22D2656535EB.jpeg
     
  20. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    <chuckle> Thanks, entropy. :)

    ===

    I first had the importance of the sound reflector issue impressed upon me in '73 or '74 with the first handgun that I ever bought.

    The girl that I was dating at the time (for some odd reason I still remember her name, Teresa ______) had some rural family property outside of the town where I was going to school and her Mom wrote out a "permit" for me to hunt & shoot there.

    I recall on a cold winter day, as I was walking between a pair of hummocks, the primarily-flat lane between them was probably ~30' wide and they were ~20' tall, I aimed my 4" Ruger Security Six at something inert that caught my eye ahead and squeezed off a round.

    WHOA! Cold, dense air, between those two "reflectors" really snapped that SOUND back on me. :what:

    That single lesson left me pondering, and I pretty quickly learned when I was out&about to scrutinize my surroundings for reflectors prior to squeezing off a shot.

    ===

    Welcome to THR, TB336! :)

    BTW, my ARs usually only sport Thread Protectors. If I perceive an outing-specific need for a flash hider, it is easy to change-out. ;)
     
  21. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Just kind of a random thought about muzzle devices... Some of the linear comps and blast diverters can be quite long and cylindrical and look very similar to suppressors. They even change the report of the firearm.

    Which just made me wonder, are suppressors regulated based on engineering/design specific parameters or by decibal reduction?
     
  22. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Generally they have to contain baffles to slow/cool/impede the release of the gas coming out of the muzzle.

    Many people were very surprised that the Noveske KX3/KX5 type devices were never classified as silencers.

    Long tubes with no baffles are not considered silencers.
     
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  23. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Flash hiders make an enormous difference in low light.

    It is actually amazing how well they work and how they turn a huge fireball into a few sparks.

    The generic A2 is a very good flash hider, and cheap.
     
  24. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    I like flash hiders for many reasons, but protecting the crown is a big one.

    It doesn't bother me to put any of my ARs down (muzzle down) into a rack, safe, barrel, etc.

    The crown is protected from spent brass, gravel, etc.

    One thing to always be cautious of, make sure you never put the muzzle of anything down into mud.
     
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You do know you can just edit the first post, right?
     
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