Yeah, not everyone owns (or even likes) the AR-15, but I’ve had a fair number of AR-15 / M4 related search engine hits, so I know many of you do. Besides, it’s what came to my mind this morning for a post – lucky you. ;-) If you’re buying or building one, let me give you a quick break down on your flash suppressor options. If you’re buying a stock model off the shelf, chances are very high it’ll come with the A2 birdcage flash hider. Bird cage action:
This is the standard, even amongst the military. You can purchase a Vietnam-era A1 flash hider if that’s your flavor, but why? The new A2 flash hiders come with a closed bottom port. What’s that mean to you? If you’re firing prone, in the sand and stuff, you won’t get dirt kicked up in the air beneath the barrel with a closed bottom port.
Next up is the “Phantom” flash suppressor. This piece is supposed ALL flash, so it’s perfect night vision equipment. You know, if you’re into dumping big money into those hoity toity scopes. I’m not, but that’s just me. Still, I like this design and it comes in two versions, with the bottom port closed and without. If you already have one without the bottom port closed, you can buy a wicked cheap timing washer and time the 5-port Phantom so that the openining is not exposed directly below. This will help. Phantom action:
Next up is the Vortex. It has a cool name, and it looks cool. I’m not a big fan of the design, but it’s also supposed to eliminate all signature flash. It comes down to personal preference. Vortex action:
If you’re more interested in controlling muzzle rise from rapid fire than you are the flash signature you’ll want a muzzle break. These things will keep you right on target regardless of how fast you fire. They come in a few different versions. Pictured here is the Bushmaster “Izzy” and the AK74 version for the 5.56:
Note that there are additional options out there, but this covers the most common. AR-15’s are big business nowadays. A LOT of people own them. I remember when you used to go to a gun store and it was rare to see military style rifles. Now they’re everywhere, and AR companies are making all kinds of fancy shmancy options to customize the rifle. Many of them are just unnecessary add ons that make very minute differences. They’re marketed to people with a severe case of Black Rifle Disease (BRD). You know, the people that need every single attachment – 14 times over, the people that convince themselves they NEED the latest gadgets. That being said, have a little fun, go buy some features – 14 times over.
– Ranger Man