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Vortex, Phantom, birdcage, something else?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Oleg Volk, Sep 14, 2004.

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  1. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Please advise on the best flash hiders for16" and 20" AR15s...also best places from which to buy.
     
  2. swingset

    swingset Member

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    Best for what? Reducing flash, taming recoil, looks, size?

    Lots to consider. Personally, tho not flashy, the A2 FH is a good all around choice, small, cheap, effective, not abusively loud.

    Most places have surp A2's for under $10. I think Bushmaster only charges $6 for one.

    Bushie's "Izzy" brake/FH is a great looking FH, tho a tad large and most seem to view the Phantom & Vortex FH's as good choices.

    FAC, Bushmaster, Model1sales, Sherluck, all have them about the same price. Brownells carries alot, and a C&R discount helps out there.
     
  3. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Two things to consider. First, how much flash suppression do you want? For the maximum in flash suppression, buy a sound suppressor! It cuts the flash to virtually nothing. For the non-NFA solutions, look toward the following:

    Vortex: This is the most effective, however the open end thends to get caught on brush, clothing, slings, skin, and everything else. No need for a bayonet with this suppressor, simply jab the enemy in the belly and twist the butt. He'll be crying for mercy if it doesn't kill him.

    [​IMG]

    Phantom: Effective but somewhat more fragile. It looks cool, but it's really no more effective than a birdcage. The main advantage here is the length. Because it's longer, you can chop the barrel to 14.5" and permanently install the brake. Looks more like an M4 that way.

    [​IMG]

    Birdcage: Good compromise but really designed more for grenade launching and marching through the jungle than hiding flash.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Flash suppression is #1, muzzle protection, blast reduction, short length, low price, in that order. Also considering Levang linear compensator. Suppressor is in the works, but will be some time in coming.
     
  5. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    www.adcofirearms.com has the 5C1 and 5C2 Phantoms in stock for something like $27 after shipping. The 5C1 looks like a ribbed A2 flash hider, it does not have the sharp edges on the front like the 5C2 (the 5C2 is pictures above).

    Also, one thing to consider: The 5C1 and 5C2 are closed on the bottom so your rifle will not kick up as much dirt when firing from the prone position, while a Vortex will always direct some blast downwards.

    You can buy A2's from Bushmaster for $5, if you're wanting super cheap.

    Kharn
     
  6. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Twisty Vortex!:cool: IME, they rock.
     
  7. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    From my limited experience the Vortex is the best flash suppressor; but I don't like the open ends (snags in brush, gathers grass, twigs and debris quite nicely) and depending on how they are installed the downblast signature from prone can be noticeable.

    However, I've been told the downblast can be changed by just chaning the orientation of the slots during install.

    I'd disagree with WA and say the Phantom is more effective than the A2 in flash suppression; but not so much that I've seen any need to get rid of my A2 birdcage.
     
  8. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I really like the A2 because of the ability to decrease your dust signature. A big benefit when shooting prone and you don't want a lot of dust in your face.

    Of course a simple solution would be to put a bit of plastic or rubber matting on the ground in front of your muzzle, but that's not always field expedient.

    I think most of us here judge the effectiveness of a flash supressor by the impact it has on the shooter. I would like to see a test where they set up a camera downrange and judged it from the targets perspective.

    Good Shooting
    Red
     
  9. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

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    Umm, the flash suppressor is there to protect the shooters night vision, not to hide the flash from the target. Both the Phantom and the A2 are good choices, though for night vision a Vortex or a can would be better.
     
  10. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    It was always my understanding that it was two part.

    1. To protect the shooters night vision.
    2. To help eliminate the signature from the weapon from the enemy.

    Good Shooting
    Red
     
  11. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    The purpose of a flash suppressor is, indeed, twofold. The problem for civilians is that there is really no 'tactical' situation where one would be effective to 'hide you from the enemy.' The fact that you have just made a noise that's loud enough to be heard for miles around gives you away. If you're good, you won't fire that 10th or 11th shot that's likely to be seen if you don't have a flash suppressor. Funny, the AWB did not say you couldn't put a sound suppressor on your gun, only a flash suppressor. Silly liberals, they didn't do their homework.

    By WA do you mean WildAlaska? While we're both in Alaska, I'm much younger and better looking than he. But I pay for it by having to work a day job.
     
  12. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    Vortex! At a crews class we did a no light (minimal moon or stars, as I recall) shootoff of a bunch of things. All in all we had (among others):

    3-prong open (AR-18, but like the original AR-15)
    AR birdcages
    HK Birdcage
    M-14 long style
    Vortex straight
    Vortex twist
    Phantom or something like it
    Nothin'

    The Vortex twist exhibited ZERO flash. At all. No one was downrange, but it seems there was no light emitted at all. Wow. Also, lots of close to the ground shooting, and simplly having ports at 45° seems to have worked, but prone and sideways.

    My AR-18 was the followup, with a tiny (2mm) almost cartoon-like lick of flame. Something about open-prongs makes the air mix a lot better. Even that 40 year old design kick ass all over everything birdcage like. Note that the no-bottom-port was great in normal prone, but kicked up dust when sideways, and presumably will blow stuff off walls. I would go today for a 4-port hider and install at 45°.

    Everything else was in the middle. Okay, and better than a target crown on an AR-15, which was a ball of fire 10" across. Wow.


    Some people also claim the Vortex (Vortices?) actually can increase accuracy, and others cause problems with it.

    Another point: Gemtech, maybe someone else, just is about to release a supressor that fits on standard 22mm hiders/launchers without other modification. You might want to call them up to talk about this, and see if they have a high-quality hider they make or suggest, which they are sure will be compatible.
     
  13. uglygun

    uglygun Member

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    Badger Arms, you didn't even need to go that far...

    The flash suppressors generally suppress the flash as is viewable from the shooter's perspective. Viewing from the target's perspective the muzzle flash is often still viewable, dimenished but still viewable.

    Flash suppressors aren't to hide you from targets that may see you, it's so that you don't rob yourself of any night vision aquity that you have gained allowing you to see better in the dark. Last thing you need is a flash bang going off in your face blinding you from seeing your target.

    That is truely the most honest answer. And it's a valuable reason to want one if you should use a firearm for defensive roles or even if you are firing in low light situations.

    Don't tell them though that you want a vortex for mounting a night vision sight to your rifle so that you can shoot without blinding/shutting down the NVD.


    I wouldn't mind getting a Norcal Precision nighthawk flash suppressor/muzzle brake. Would like to use it for shared duty on my 300WinMag and AR10, it's a massive thing though.
     
  14. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

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    Yeah, those little winking lights at ground level aren't stars...:neener:

    Gemtech makes the HALO suppressor which fits on any NATO standard muzzle device (22mm outside diameter) and works pretty well. Anything on the muzzle, even a brake, is better than nothing.
     
  15. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    "Funny, the AWB did not say you couldn't put a sound suppressor on your gun, only a flash suppressor. Silly liberals, they didn't do their homework."

    Actually, ATF ruled that a sound suppressor was also a flash suppressor, and was verboten on Post-Bans.

    Now a moot point.
     
  16. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Ha this calls for a poll.....whose better lookin, me or you...

    Got a pic?

    Betya I win...anybody want to be in a group buy:evil:

    WildhansomedevilAlaska
     
  17. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

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    I ordered some stuff from Del-Ton for my AR after getting good reviews of the place on AR-15.com. Old style Phantoms for $20 and very reasonable shipping.

    Check the last page of the "specials."
     
  18. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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  19. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Gemtech's Bilock mount acts as a flash hider and mount point for one of their suppressors.

    Just another option.
     
  20. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    crush/peel washers -- what are they? how many would I need per A2 flash hider?
     
  21. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Nowadays everyone uses crush washers. You just keep torquing the muzzle device until it's timed to your satisfaction. Generally, one should be used every time you reinstall the muzzle device, since they are deformed during installation.

    -z
     
  22. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    crush

    Where if anywhere can you get packs of crush washers?
    I've seen them run 3-5 bucks each, but they must be available in bulk somewhere, right??
    C-
     
  23. molonlabe

    molonlabe Member

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    I installed a vortex on my CAR 15 and had an opportunity to shoot it at a strange range that had these long tunnels with sound material in it to abate noise. It was quite dark in there and as advertised it does eliminate all the flash to the operator. Drawbacks are you cannot put the standard issue caps on the muzzle. You will kick up dirt by not using the ½ birdcage. Other than that I like it.
     
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