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View Full Version : Best Flash Hider/ Compensator???



Solothurn
07-29-2008, 06:57 PM
What's the current favorite? Flash supression is my main concern but if it functions as a compensator that's a nice bonus.

Phantom and Phoenix seem good from reading the advertisements, but I'm not finding any user reviews that tell anything worthwhile. Are they any better than the less-expensive A1-style flash hider?

Jack-O
07-29-2008, 08:47 PM
I'm running some tests currently with the Phantom and a new design by PWS (here (http://primaryweapons.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=6&idproduct=57)) that is a compensator. I havent tested them at night personally so I cant speak to that, but the PWS is absolutely fantastic with recoil reduction and may even have significant accuracy improvement (i need to verify this further tho).

dletsch
07-29-2008, 10:07 PM
Most of my testing has been .223 or 5.45, not 7.62, but the PWS comps are the only ones that provide significant flash reduction and recoil control. They are not as good as a Vortex at suppressing flash, and not as good as a JP or FF at recoil control, but do seem to provide almost as much flash suppression as an A2 and about 2/3 of the recoil reduction of a quality brake.

dtom29
07-29-2008, 11:23 PM
Pwc ???????

John W in SC
07-30-2008, 04:12 AM
Some time ago my wife and I tested two 5.56 guns with 16" barrels. One had an A2 birdcage. The second was threaded but had no device on it. We brought along a Phantom. I shot while my wife watched. Not total darkness, but close enough. Not totally scientific, but close enough. We used the same ammo for all tests.

As might be expected, the largest flash came from the barrel with no device. The birdcage was much better, but still gave a noticable flash. The Phantom gave almost no flash at all.

The Phantom was clearly the winner in our very limited tests.

John W in SC

dletsch
07-30-2008, 06:31 AM
Pwc ???????

Typo - I meant PWS.

http://primaryweapons.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=6&idproduct=57

Jack-O
07-30-2008, 06:53 AM
PWS claims that thier new break actually reduces recoil MORE than thier already significant J-Tac break. I have not tried the J-Tac so I cant speak to that but I will say that on a very light x39 that had a noticably irritating recoil (more-so than a standard x39 actually) adding the PWS fsc47 made it feel like an AK-74 with a stock break, and is now my lightest recoiling x39.

I believe sherman house may have done some testing on the jtac. maybe he'll chime in here.

VaGlocker
07-30-2008, 08:02 AM
Anybody done any extensive testing on the 4 piece Bulgy break\hider? I've got one coming for an AK-104 build I'm doing.

Dan-O
07-30-2008, 08:23 AM
PWS has a pretty good thing with the Brake/FH combo.
The things work and they look cool too.


I expect Rifle Dynamics and Onesource will have them shortly. ;)

Gabe Suarez
07-30-2008, 08:45 AM
Muzzle Brakes are all well and good. I think I can control things well enough. What I am concerned about is how well it hides flash. If it hides flash AND cts as a brake, very cool. But I think giving up flash hiding characteristics for braking is a foolish trade.

Juggernaut_S12
07-30-2008, 08:56 AM
I kinda like Smith enterprises Vortex...

http://www.smithenterprise.com/spec/vortex05.mp4

Does a pretty good job eliminating flash.....
http://www.smithenterprise.com/imagesprod/AK47-Vortex-2.lg.jpg

Edit: then again, the TROMIX shark break is a weapon unto itself.....

Jack-O
07-30-2008, 09:34 AM
The front part of the PWS looks very similar to the Smith design (which is supposedly the best available). I have yet to test mine in the dark, but if it only does as good as the AR-A2 style break on the gun to begin with, then I'll be very happy.

Dan-o, Have you tried yours in the dark yet? is it the same model we are linking to?

Dan-O
07-30-2008, 09:58 AM
The front part of the PWS looks very similar to the Smith design (which is supposedly the best available). I have yet to test mine in the dark, but if it only does as good as the AR-A2 style break on the gun to begin with, then I'll be very happy.

Dan-o, Have you tried yours in the dark yet? is it the same model we are linking to?

Jack,
The model I am playing with is the FC556 (Going to have the AK model to play with soon too)

Let me get one thing clear,
It is no Vortex.
However I think that if you are one of those who likes a brake that this model does an outstanding job of reducing muzzle flip and the flash signature is WAY lower than other brake designs.

If for instance you lived in a place that was FH unfriendly, the PWS brakes are the way to go.

PWS makes good stuff (They are AK people)

gunplumber
07-30-2008, 06:18 PM
Did some informal tests years back and found an incredible difference in flash from brands of ammo - a greater difference than between one type of flash and another. I wish I could find my notes to recall which was which, but for example, one type of 7.62x39 had less flash without a flash hider than another brand had with a flash hider.

I really like the bulgy 4-piece, but I've found the increased backpressure on a full length barrel can cause battering of the rear trunion. So consider anything with "braking" as also a candidate for a +15% recoil spring.

I also found the shorty that worked fine with the bulgy style brake had lethargic (2 feet) ejection with the long bulgy flash hider. I also had switched ammo - from wolff gray case to old wolf green case - so I need to rule that out befoe the results are more valuable.

Shannon Hogan
07-30-2008, 06:48 PM
A few years back I compared M16 issue FH with the Vortex FH for AR 15 rifles (I had twin Bushmaster AR's). I had my buddy shoot each while I viewed from an angle about 45 degrees from bore axis and about 25 yards past gun muzzle.
Results with Mark I eyeballs Vortex deleted about 95% of the flash.
With the M16 Birdcage FH the flash was notable but not significantly.

Then we did it again while I used an AN/PVS 5 NVG's and the Vortex produced a 2 foot long plume! The M16 Birdcage FH only produced a few faint sparks.

Lesson here is trial and error until one has a good FH that hides well from natural vision and with night vision optics.


I will be testing my Fuller AK 47 with it's Phantom FH with and without NVG's in the near future.. I'll present my findings in a new thread. I'll also be testing my para FAL with its Vortex FH.

NIGHT VISION RULES THE NIGHT!

Shannon

Gabe Suarez
08-01-2008, 09:53 AM
OST has added Primary Weapon Systems as a vendor and we will be carrying their stuff very soon, if it is not already on the cart. I have two of their brakes coming. I understand that while it is called a brake, it is also a flash hider. Cool.

I'll take my Go To AK and some ammo out and see what I see....or not. I'll report back. Based on preliminary research, this may be a very good piece of gear.

Razorback
08-01-2008, 10:11 AM
What's the current favorite? Flash supression is my main concern but if it functions as a compensator that's a nice bonus.

I'm happy with my Wolverine flash hider.

I should have bought two, as it's not offered anymore.

Gabe Suarez
08-01-2008, 10:11 AM
Razor,

The man making them is back in business and I will have some available soon!

johnnyreb
08-01-2008, 10:16 AM
Gabe, a local SWAT member asked why I worshipped a web based, profit, guru oriented organization if I was to possible join LEO affiliated groups and building a Range in the near future.

Because of the intergraty and honesty here at the WT / SI is why. ( And Yes, I worship the " LORD THY God Only !!!!!)
However, you and other select WTers & SI instructors have my faith and respect Sir;) .


I look for forward to your post on this issue. I have no problem saving to buy a better tool but not if the benefits are not worth the extra price. Thank goodness I do not have to spend my own money to find out what works best.

Cafe_Racer
08-01-2008, 10:16 AM
It appears they never wanted it to suppress flash completely, in order to keep it classified as a compensator. If the F/H prongs were extended it could be a true compensating F/H. I would think this is the next evolution.


It will be particularly usefull on .308 MBR's, permiting the operator to apply the doctrine Gabe has developed for the AK.

Gabe Suarez
08-01-2008, 10:41 AM
johnnyreb,

All I want is your respect bro. The faith goes to the Lord.

Cafe Racer,

If I had named the Wolverine as a Compensator, it would have been a Compensator and that would be that. They go by name only unless you send one to them for "testing" as PWS did.

As I said, I will test them compared to a Phantom, a Wolverine, a Type 84 ect an we'll see what we see....or not.

sfgrng
08-01-2008, 11:16 AM
I tried a Krink, a Slant and a AK-74 style on my Yugo and found that the latter worked best for muzzle / recoil reduction and minimal flash.
Works for me.




Stay safe.

jamesavery22
08-04-2008, 08:07 AM
PWS claims that thier new break actually reduces recoil MORE than thier already significant J-Tac break. I have not tried the J-Tac so I cant speak to that but I will say that on a very light x39 that had a noticably irritating recoil (more-so than a standard x39 actually) adding the PWS fsc47 made it feel like an AK-74 with a stock break, and is now my lightest recoiling x39.

I believe sherman house may have done some testing on the jtac. maybe he'll chime in here.

I went from no brake to the fsc47. Wish I had done something/anything in terms of testing. None of the ranges allow photography though :\ In terms of flash difference the only thing I noticed was that some of the people I've taken to the range no longer say "theres flame coming out of your rifle..."

Crucible
08-04-2008, 09:12 AM
I have a J-tac on my Yugo underfolder and the compensating function works well. I cannot say with any certainty the flash characteristics however as I've not been able to shoot in an environment where I've seen it to any degree.

C-

benEzra
10-25-2008, 07:47 PM
What effect does the PWS compensator/FH have acoustically? I know some styles of compensators/brakes make a rifle noticeably louder, often remarkably so.

Jack-O
10-25-2008, 09:33 PM
What effect does the PWS compensator/FH have acoustically? I know some styles of compensators/brakes make a rifle noticeably louder, often remarkably so.

I have not noticed a significant increase if any at all.

SHIHAN
10-26-2008, 02:14 PM
Gabe any results with the PWS vs. the others?

motorhead
10-27-2008, 02:05 PM
The absolute best recoil and flash reducing devices ever concieved are sound supressors, bar none. making things quieter is cool too!

http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/6011/suppressedzm8.jpg

WIG19
11-20-2008, 05:38 AM
Trying to sort through the reviews and looking at the beautiful crisp threads on the end of my Romanian while looking thru the OST listings. Not prepared to get into $100 range but wondering between Type 84, the KCI A2. Any recommendations between the two?

Also, for the little bit more money does the Phantom contribute some noticeable brake to the game? (The pic of the Phantom on OST appears very "silver/stainless" looking. Is that just the particular photo, or are they park'd or otherwise more darkly finished?)

Thanks for any replies.

Dave in PA
11-20-2008, 05:43 AM
I hope I don't muddy the waters with a new question, but I recently got a new Type 84 flash hider, made by Tapco, at a gun show for the princely sum of $9. When I compared it to other flash hiders, it seems the bore diameter is very close to the size of a 7.62 bullet, but the bullet does pass through. Is that normal? I checked but could not find whether Tapco makes a 5.56 diameter hider for the AK and don't want to shoot it until I am sure there won't be a big BOOM!

SHIHAN
11-20-2008, 12:49 PM
Trying to sort through the reviews and looking at the beautiful crisp threads on the end of my Romanian while looking thru the OST listings. Not prepared to get into $100 range but wondering between Type 84, the KCI A2. Any recommendations between the two?

Also, for the little bit more money does the Phantom contribute some noticeable brake to the game? (The pic of the Phantom on OST appears very "silver/stainless" looking. Is that just the particular photo, or are they park'd or otherwise more darkly finished?)

Thanks for any replies.

Tha nPhantoms are parked and work well.

MattCFII
11-20-2008, 06:02 PM
I hope I don't muddy the waters with a new question, but I recently got a new Type 84 flash hider, made by Tapco, at a gun show for the princely sum of $9. When I compared it to other flash hiders, it seems the bore diameter is very close to the size of a 7.62 bullet, but the bullet does pass through. Is that normal? I checked but could not find whether Tapco makes a 5.56 diameter hider for the AK and don't want to shoot it until I am sure there won't be a big BOOM!

I have a Tapco type 84 on my WASR and it works fine so far. I noticed too the smallish hole but it definitely is wider than .310


Trying to sort through the reviews and looking at the beautiful crisp threads on the end of my Romanian while looking thru the OST listings. Not prepared to get into $100 range but wondering between Type 84, the KCI A2. Any recommendations between the two?

Also, for the little bit more money does the Phantom contribute some noticeable brake to the game? (The pic of the Phantom on OST appears very "silver/stainless" looking. Is that just the particular photo, or are they park'd or otherwise more darkly finished?)

Thanks for any replies.

I like my Phantom and it isn't shiny, I say maybe a little satin finish on the parkerization. It does a great job with flash. One thing to keep in mind though if you want to put a bayonet on the type 84 is the way to go IMO.

gunplumber
11-20-2008, 06:05 PM
I hope I don't muddy the waters with a new question, but I recently got a new Type 84 flash hider, made by Tapco, at a gun show for the princely sum of $9. When I compared it to other flash hiders, it seems the bore diameter is very close to the size of a 7.62 bullet, but the bullet does pass through. Is that normal? I checked but could not find whether Tapco makes a 5.56 diameter hider for the AK and don't want to shoot it until I am sure there won't be a big BOOM!

I think its an attempt to idiot proof it.

I have a bunch of US made AK 74 M24 brakes. I originally had them made with an exit diameter for the 5.45, but I just don't trust some ignorant person from putting it on a 7.62 and making a big mess - then trying to blame me - so I've been boring them out to 7.62.

I imagine TAPCO had the same quandry. I also bored out all of my Type 84s (this was before TAPCO made them - it cost me moire in time than it would to buy from them) to put them on 7.62x39 guns.

Dave in PA
11-20-2008, 06:52 PM
Matt and Mark,

Thanks for the replies. I will have my machinist buddy measure it to make sure of the size and shoot away! Initially when I looked at the bore size it just made me a little nervous.

TrnHrd
11-21-2008, 02:43 AM
As I said, I will test them compared to a Phantom, a Wolverine, a Type 84 ect an we'll see what we see....or not.

Pretty sure Gabe has been backed up, given this month's activities. But I'd look forward to this review; my AK-foo on muzzle devices is still too weak.

In years past, on that smaller, more finicky black gun, the vortex was tops in my testing, the phantom almost as good, and then things descended. Blast enhancers (shudder) were not well looked on.

I mean, really, guys had those on heavy barreled, kludged up A2's that had to be 10+, loaded. The awesome recoil of the .223 just seemed to require it for them, I guess. No one on the line enjoyed shooting by them, but they had neat surprises in store during night shoot portions!

dtom29
11-21-2008, 06:13 PM
The Krebs A2 works very well. I have them on 4 of my AK's. You won't get much more flash supression out of any of the others that you can't get from the A2.They aren't the newest and sexest, but they work.

JohnN
11-22-2008, 08:29 AM
I have found the Saylor Machine Phoenix flash hider to be the most effective for suppressing flash in an AK. IMHO

Jim Fuller
11-22-2008, 08:50 AM
The FSC 47 is a very nice product, excellent muzzel brake and decent flashider. That said in the less expensive area is the type 84 which works as good as a birdcage and you can still hang a bayonet on it.

WIG19
11-25-2008, 04:21 PM
Thanks to all; looks like it will still be worthwhile waiting for the impending field test.
:)

TrnHrd
12-12-2008, 08:34 AM
I'm sure everyone's been busy, but hope to see any further results. Rifle Dynamics is still in process on my order, from before the elections. I can't imagine how far into the future they're spoken for, given new customers who've "found religion" since early November.

Let it suffice that I don't have a good AK handy to test devices on, so I'm relying on the others here. Gabe's test idea sounded pretty comprehensive!

WIG19
12-12-2008, 01:11 PM
I went ahead and ordered a Krebs A2 style from One Source (and Gabe's book) since odds they would be in my Christmas stocking were Slim, and he left town. ;)

Looking forward to it getting here. And having wonderful weather to go out & validate some winter weather practices, the AK being very "mitten friendly" by design.
HOOAH!

citizensoldier
12-12-2008, 06:22 PM
I went ahead and ordered a Krebs A2 style from One Source (and Gabe's book) since odds they would be in my Christmas stocking were Slim, and he left town. ;)

Looking forward to it getting here. And having wonderful weather to go out & validate some winter weather practices, the AK being very "mitten friendly" by design.
HOOAH!

Hooah! Just got my KCI flash hider and book yesterday!

CS

nightowl
12-13-2008, 06:10 PM
Will the KCI AK M16 Type Flash Hider accept a bayonet? For that matter will the Phantom or FSC47?

Jim Fuller
12-14-2008, 04:02 AM
Will the KCI AK M16 Type Flash Hider accept a bayonet? For that matter will the Phantom or FSC47?

The only flashider that the Bayonet will fit is the Type 84 or the original slant comp. The Bayonets can be modified to fit the Fortress and Wolverine flashiders but all others to my knowledge will are to large for the Bayonet.

vandal
12-29-2008, 02:08 PM
Another happy FSC47 user here!

Coolhand77
12-29-2008, 02:30 PM
I'm using a Phantom (flat front, not the "glass breaker" design) on my AR pistol (7.5" barrel). I started out with the stock A2 FH on it and the blast and flash were...difficult to deal with, especially that close. Swapping it out improved the blast (directs it forward a bit more) and minimized the flash, while still having a "no snag" front end (unlike the vortex). I tested it with 62 grain green tip, and older 55 grn lake hills, as well as various civilian loads and it seems to do a good job minimizing the flash.

jamesavery22
12-30-2008, 07:59 AM
Anyone see PWS's product pages?



This device has been classified as a non-flash suppressing device by the BATFE. See the document here (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:void%28window.open%28%27/store/pc/documents/ATF_30_47.pdf%27,%27comp_doc%27,%27resizable=yes,l ocation=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,tool bar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,width=700,height =600%27%29%29).


...
First, the test weapon was photographed with no muzzle attachment.
The test weapon was then photographed with the corresponding military-style flash suppressor.
The test weapon was then photographed with the submitted muzzle attachment.
...
the flash-reduction effectiveness of the submitted devices is not comparable to that of the equivalent military-style flash suppressor since they did not effectively dampen the flash signature...


http://primaryweapons.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=57

Don't think they said what "military style" FH they used for comparison.
Not exactly the best advertisement IMHO. Kuddos that its not considered a FH. I guess. If it actually doesn't suppress flash then not so much.

Dan Jones
12-30-2008, 08:22 AM
Hello

Not strictly on topic, I apologize.

I am building a SBR AMD 65. Could the flash hider on this weapon be replaced with something more compact?
Is the existing flash hider effective?

thanks

SHIHAN
12-30-2008, 03:24 PM
Hello

Not strictly on topic, I apologize.

I am building a SBR AMD 65. Could the flash hider on this weapon be replaced with something more compact?
Is the existing flash hider effective?

thanks

That flash hider is loud and pretty much sucks.

Coolhand77
12-30-2008, 05:24 PM
Hey, I just got in from doing a little shooting with the AR pistol. I originally tested the Phantom with the m885 ammo and got very little if any flash. Tonight I tested some of my 55 grain ammo (cant remeber the military designation at the moment...I think its m193) and I got intermittent flares with the same weapon. Any ideas?

TrnHrd
12-30-2008, 05:32 PM
I've even seen variance from different lots of the same ammo (we used to check some of the duty ammo at night, etc.)

Try out a bunch of different types of 55 grain ball, or AK folks with different FMJ's etc. and I'll bet you'll see some differences. I will say that as the flash suppression gets "better" on the gun, the differences were reduced.

twodogstx
12-30-2008, 06:56 PM
Across several weapon systems, (AR, AK, FAL, Rem 700 bolt, M1A) my own conclusion is that nothing surpasses the Vortex. I wish I had a copy of the video we did at hmmmm...... "another gun school" one night. It did not seem to matter whether it was fmj, soft point, AP, hot hand loads, the vortex was superior in suppressing the flash. We did not do any fancy smancy measurement of light emitted. It was just that obvious. Your mileage may vary...as they say.

TrnHrd
12-30-2008, 08:01 PM
Yep, at a different class there was a similar test. The only thing, at that time, that worked better than the vortex was a can. Had numerous folks who didn't realize the flash suppression added by a good sound suppressor.