Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Flash Suppressor And Muzzle Brake

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Ever since the invention of firearms and gunpowder by the Chinese, many improvements were done to them, through the years, leading to the sophisticated arms and ammos we use now. Leaving the canons and other heavy artilleries, they vary from assault rifles to the hunting shotguns that are accurate, riskless and long ranged. These sophistications in the arms are accomplished through the incorporation of several other devices on to them. Two such devices that used for smooth shooting are Muzzle Brakes and Flash Suppressors.

Flash Suppressors

As per the Criminal Law Code (2014) of the State of Maryland, a Flash suppressor is a gadget that functions, or meant to function to noticeably minimize or deviating the muzzle flash from the field of vision of the shooter. That is, the Flash suppressor is a device attached to the muzzle of the gun, which invariably reduces the flash discharged by the burning propellant gases on firing, through cooling or by dispersing the burning gases that leaves the muzzle. The flash suppressors decrease the chances of blinding the shooter, in low light shooting conditions. The flash suppressor is not a muzzle brake; though it is normally mounted in the latter’s position.

A flash suppressor is also called flash guard or flash eliminator or flash hider. The military of all countries use flash suppressors for supporting soldiers’ night vision. Many people think that a flash suppressor can hide the flash from the targeted object. Actually, a flash suppressor can only reduce the amount of flash signature, when it is compared to a barrel without any flash suppressor. Since light travels in a straight line, anything that blocks the flash from the object will block the bullet’s path too.

The two primary flash suppressors that armies use are Duckbill and Birdcage types. The Duckbill has multi prongs, whereas, the Birdcage has a ring around at its end in addition to the prongs. There are some other flash suppressors known as hybrids, which are flash guards as well as muzzle recoil compensators; the White Sound Defence FOSSA-556, being one example. The flash suppressors belong to the category of military features, and using it on rifles other than military is illegal in New Zealand and some States in the USA.

Muzzle Brakes

A muzzle brake is defined as a “device attached to the muzzle of a gun tube that utilizes escaping gases to reduce the force of recoil”, according to the Marriam-Webster Dictionary. A muzzle brake or recoil compensator directs the propellant gases to force the firearm forward. While doing so, it helps in counteracting the recoil force. The brake is designed in such a way that it takes some of counter force of the gun. When the bullet escapes the muzzle, the mounting gases immediately try to leave through the space where there is the least resistance. If there is a muzzle brake, the gases will first strike along the solid metal wall, and the resultant force will move the gun forward, thereby counteracting most of the backward force of the gun.

Muzzle brakes are unavoidable in the case of large calibre guns. If the .50 BMG is fired without an attached muzzle brake, it will definitely result in the dislocation of the shoulder of the shooter. As the muzzle brakes force the gases to hit on both sides of the barrel, without allowing the gas to seek vertical direction, the sight line of the shooter will not be obstructed. Muzzle brakes have no effect on visible flash, and are solely designed to lessen the disastrous recoil, that is typical to large cartridges. Most of the devices available now feature side-ports-muzzle brakes that are intended to reduce recoil and muzzle rise. A compensator controls the vertical movement of the barrel by allowing some of the gases go upwards, forcing the muzzle back to the position. The most effective muzzle device is a silencer, which reduces the sound as well as recoil of the firearm.


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References :


[0]http://www.militaryfactory.com/dictionary/military-terms-defined.asp? term_id=2113

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muzzle%20brake

[2]http://www.hallowellco.com/abbrevia.htm

[3]http://www.recoilweb.com/preview-flash-suppressors-muzzle-brakes- compensators-tip-barrel-5927.html

[4]http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/12/foghorn/ask-foghorn-whats-the- difference-between-a-muzzle-brake-a-compensator-and-a-flash-hider/

[5]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzle_brake

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