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Question about AR15 muzzle devices

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hammerklavier, Jul 20, 2010.

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  1. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Member

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    What are my options if I want to run a muzzle brake on an AR15 most of the time, but have the option to switch to something else, such as a flash hider out of consideration for anyone shooting beside me?

    I know the barrel has to be 16 inches in order to have a removable device or it's a SBR.

    Do these things just screw on with a wrench or do they need to be pinned on to prevent recoil from causing them to come loose?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Screwed on with either a peel washer or crush washer to get them to tighten and stop at the right spot with the ports where they need to be.

    It ain't hard to change one, but it's not something you would want to do every other day either.

    rc
     
  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    In my opinion, an AR doesn't have enough recoil to justify the blast, flame, and distraction of a brake, unless this is an all-out racegun. A flash suppressor is far more pleasant to shoot, and far more practical on a rifle that might serve in a defensive role.

    Having said that, the Smith Vortex flash suppressor requires no crush washer because its angled tines make it self tightening. I am not aware of any brakes that are self-tightening, though.
     
  4. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I agree that the you don't need a brake on a AR. You appear to be aware that brakes are loud, but have you even actually shot with one? They are REALLY loud and really suck when you're shooting at a range where the stations are covered.

    I went with the Smith Vortex. It's not too expensive. Installation is a real snap and it works.
     
  5. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Member

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    The ideal thing would be a brake you could switch off, like you see on some Savage rifles.
     
  6. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    If you want a brake, yes (and if you can possibly find one sized for a .22 caliber bore, a gunsmith could probably make it work on an AR if price were no object). Even with the brake turned off, you still have to deal with more blast and flash than with a flash suppressor, though, because when turned off it basically acts like a bare muzzle with a deep counterbore.
     
  7. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i have brakes or brake/hider combos on almost all of my ARs. I don't think removing them is a good idea.

    Many of them are also designed to allow silencers to quick attach onto the brake, so that could be a good combo for you...
     
  8. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    Was there a ban that a flash hider...etc could not be removed from a pre or post ban rifle and replaced unless you permanently affixed the new device?
     
  9. Inspiribomb

    Inspiribomb Member

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    I really really like my JP Enterprises comp. I mainly got it because I like how it looks, but I'm sure it does something positive. I will say that if you stand next to the gun when someone is shooting it, it feels like getting slapped in the face. I only shoot outside with my AR so the concussion isn't an issue.
     
  10. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Also, you're going to have a POI shift ever time you change muzzle devices.

    I'd stick with a flash hider on 5.56. BSW
     
  11. Rokman

    Rokman Member

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    I also recommend the Smith Vortex. I would put it on and leave it alone if it were me.
     
  12. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The 1994 Feinstein law restricted post-1994 autoloading civilian rifles with detachable magazines to only one of the following "evil features": protruding handgrip, muzzle threads, flash suppressor, bayonet lug, adjustable stock. So if you wanted to put a brake on an AR and wanted to retain the normal handgrip, the brake had to be either pin-on or permanently attached, because a threaded muzzle on a post-'94 rifle was verboten. Thankfully, that bit of stupidity expired in 2004, although some of its metastases still linger in a couple of states.

    There is also a separate issue with rifle barrel length; Federal law specifies a minimum barrel length of 16" for a Title 1 rifle, so if you have a 14.5" barrel you have to permanently attach a >1.5" flash suppressor or brake to the barrel in order to meet the 16" minimum.
     
  13. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Some flash hiders also sorta-kinda act as a brake, like the standard mil-spec A2 one, and the YHM Phantom 5C1 and 5C2, all of which have a closed bottom. The Phantom is almost as good at hiding flash as the Vortex, I'd say about 90% as good. With the closed bottom reducing muzzle climb a tiny bit and preventing the muzzle blast from kicking up dust when firing prone, I'd pick a Phantom over a Vortex or brake.
     
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