Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hog huntin Harry, Oct 9, 2019.
What would be some rifle calibers that are low on muzzle flash, using only factory ammunition ?
It’s very ammunition dependent. Type of powder and anti-flash added to the powder make a huge difference. The only way to tell is to shoot some samples in low light and check.
It depends more on barrel length, the presence or absence of a flash suppressor, and the actual factory loading than cartridge.
.22 Long Rifle
Definitely depends a lot on powder type. Obviously the non magnum cartridges will have less unburned powder going out the end.
Generally the more efficient cartridges, fired from a longer barrel will have the least flash and blast. Specific examples I am personally familiar with are 5.56 Nato with heavy for caliber bullets, .300 Savage, 8mm Mauser. All of these are given a longer barrel and relatively heavy bullets. As the bullet gets lighter, the potential for flash is increased. With factory ammo, all bets are off as factories often use "whatever works best the cheapest" rather than optimizing burn rate for bullet weight and caliber. The only sure way to find out is to test multiple samples. I would look to some of the defensive loads specifically marketed as "low flash" as strong candidates.
Cartridges with a large caliber-to-case capacity ratio.
300blk will have less flash than 5.56
358win less than 308 etc all else being equal
You haven't mentioned a particular use.
Flash reduction is more of a consideration in antipersonnel situations than shooting at targets or game. In other words, military, police and civilian self-defense.
With that in mind, and considered as a class of weapons, pistol caliber carbines with 18"+ barrels would be a reliable choice for low muzzleflash. As others have indicated this will still be somewhat ammo dependent, but a .45 ACP or 9x19 round will usually consume all of its propellant within a rifle-length barrel. Another option would be a suppressor-specific cartridge like a subsonic version of the .300 AAC.
I'm planning on getting my sister a deer rifle that will be low on recoil and she wanted to shoot my 243 to see how she liked the cartridge and she said the muzzle flash was too much.
I am considering 308 and putting a limbsaver on it.
Some ammo, like Remington Hog Hammer, uses low-flash powder for low-light hunting.
Other than that, generally, the less bottleneck (overbore) the cartridge - the quicker and less amount of powder they will use, resulting in a sooner complete burn and lower flash.
Unless she’s shooting indoors or in the dark, I’ll opine it’s the recoil and muzzle blast (noise) she’s worried about, not so much the flash. The flash is literally gone in a blink of an eye, so it’s hard to really see. In daylight even the muzzle flash from a short barrel Moisin M44 shooting funky Russian surplus ammo isn’t too much when you’re beside the gun unless you stop-action film it.
Now the blast and recoil from such a Moisin is teeth-rattling. Definitely a head turner when shooting under a covered firing line.
High pressure-short barrel loads tend to have obnoxious muzzle blast, such as a .243 from a 16-18 barrel, while lower pressure rounds in standard length barrels are more tolerable like a .30-30 from a 20 incher. Look for a rifle in .243, 6.5 creedmore, or maybe a 7mm/08 with a 22” barrel or longer and the flash, the blast and the recoil will be tolerable.
Below is one single frame from a 5 second clip of a Moisin M44 carbine with a 20.5” barrel shooting the surplus stuff.
The Swede in a 22" rifle will be a great for her. Good luck finding one... 30-30 will knock down deer all day, seven days a week but won't knock your sister down. 257 Roberts is another soft shooting slayer of deer. If 243 is too much bark, these older, lower pressure cartridges in an 8.5 lbs 22" rifle are going to suit her better. That's a nice thing you're doing. Hope it goes well.
Generally has to do with:
-powder burn rate
-bore ratio (the larger the bore the more efficient powder burn in a given barrel length)
-overbore or underbore cartridges
Rule of thumb, medium bore intermediate power cartridges will be the lowest blast. (While still being capable to hunt with)
My 17.25" No4Mk1 kinda lights up the woods during early morning and end of day shots. The deer don't seem to notice. It's like their neighbor takes a nap and they just stand around. Of course, they could just be blinded by the muzzle flash and unable to move as well I guess LOL!
This. The muzzle blast can be brutal. You might try reduced recoil loads, or heavy for caliber.
Something in the 223, 7.62x39, or 30-30 class would potentially be more to her liking.
308 with reduced recoil loads would equal 30-30.
They do make reduced 243 ammo also.
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