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If your work entails shooting under low light, you need a flash hider in your gun for various reasons. In the dark, this device reduces visibility, caulking you from being noticed. Targets such as bears and fish are sensitive; a small distraction such as light can scare them away, and a flash hider will help.
For law enforcement officers that lead battlefronts, the role of a flash hider is indispensable. It prevents the riffle gas from blooming and the flashing color from being visible to the enemy. With goggles, the device increases the chances of precision targeting.
However, not all the time will you need a flash hider. If there is a possibility that your target will return fire, then you better remove it. Also, when you use your rifle exclusively in broad daylight, you’ve nothing to hide. Here, we will show you the various ways to remove a flash hider safely without posing technical glitches to your gun.
How a flash hider works
The idea behind how a flash hider works is not rocket science; they use simple hacks to suppress light success. In case you are wondering how these devices work, here is a simple explanation.
When you fire the ammo, the gunpowder combusts to produce enough energy that rockets the bullet downrange. Initially, rifles such as AR-15 came with barrels long enough to allow the gases to burn completely. However, with the need to keep modern rifles as short and small-sized as possible, the barrels are continually reducing in length.
A standard M-16 or M-4 comes with a 16-inch barrel length. Most rifles need up to 20-inch barrel length to allow for the complete combustion of gunpowder. Meaning, in the standard M-16, the combusting gas will extend outside the rifle 4-inch length and blast. If this happens, the vision is suppressed, and you may not be able to follow the bullet downrange to ascertain whether you’ve hit the target.
Flash hider or suppressor works by lowering the temperature of the firing gas around the muzzle. Guns such as carbine-length firearms can efficiently heat up, mainly when used for an extended period uninterruptedly. Keeping the temperature lower ensures that the combusting gas burns in a range between 10-13 inches of the barrel. This way, it makes it easy to fire in an incognito mode, lowering your visibility chances.
The standard gas hiders come with a tube-like body with either three or six grooves at the side–also called prongs. The more the prongs, the higher the efficiency of the device.
Some hiders also double as muzzle breakers. They conceal the noise behind, making your hunt even more discreet. However, if silent hunting is what you are looking for, this combination may not be adequate; instead, a multi-caliber sound suppressor is your ideal.
How to remove a flash hider
Most flash hiders come with instructions on how to remove them. First, check on the instruction of use on your gun, since depending on your rifle model, this procedure may differ.
However, if there is no guideline, here is a step-by-step process of removing the device successfully.
- Check the length of your riffle
If your rifle is less than a 16-inches barrel, you need a muzzle brake and flash hider. Removing this device can cause you a lot of harm, to the worse, allowing the gas to blast on your face. Since this is something you may not want, it’s better to leave the hider intact. However, if your rifle is long enough, you can proceed to the next step of uninstalling the hider.
2. Check if the hider is pinned or welded
Your flash hider should be pinned in most standard rifles or guns. If so is the case, removing the device should not be daunting unless it lurks. On the other hand, if it is wielded, you may need some grinding.
3. Removing pinned hider
Locate the center of the pin. If it was screwed, use a screwdriver to unscrew it off. Once done, the whole hider is apart.
If the pin is stuck, you may need to dimple the head by drilling, then use the dimple to unscrew the pin. Wiggle the barrel off and on until the pin faces down. If the pin is loose enough, use a mallet to hit the side of the barrel facing up, and the pin will fall off easily.
4. Removing a welded pin
In most states, it is a legal requirement that the pin should be wielded; chances are higher than yours is. Well, while this ensures you’re safe, gun-wielding the device off your barrel may not be a walk in the park.
To avoid damaging your gun, we advise that you seek professional smith services, especially if you are new to rifles. But if you want to give it a try, go ahead and check the hider and locate the pin’s eye–the spot where the buckle is engraved.
Using a Dremel and a cutting wheel, grind the welded top. Once it is off, you should be able to see the pin. Use a screw to drive it out. If the pin unscrews for a while and cranks, dip the muzzle in hot water and retry driving it out. Also, resting it in water overnight can help break the grime or cold, keeping it tightly in places.
The difference between a flash hider compensator and a Muzzle break
In some guns, muzzle brake, compensator, and flash hider are fused into one. However, this does not mean they are the same; there are distinct differences in their functions that make them stand out.
- Flash hider
Flash hider comes with prongs that reduce the temperature of combustion gas. Its main function is to reduce the magnitude of the flash when you fire a bullet. Also, it ensures the gases blast inside your rifle and not outside.
Even though some flash hiders are made distinct to specific gun models, the standard hider is multi-purpose and should fit your M-16 and any other machine.
The compensator is also drilled or welled inside the barrel and functions to rechannel the blasting gas upwards. This way, the gas does not blast in a cloud of fumes that will impair your vision. Instead, it allows your focus on the target by ensuring the fumes disperse upwards.
By channeling the gas, compensators also prevent muzzle flips, also called muzzle climb. To some degree, it reduces the intensity of a flash.
- Muzzle brake
If you’ve been keen on tank models or other larger rifles, you must have observed a bulging tank at the end of the barrel. Well, not only are they good-looking, but they also serve a specific purpose.
For every action, there is an equal reaction according to Newton’s law of motion. This rule applies in almost everything, including when firing a gun.
As the gunpowder reacts, blasts, and propels the bullet, the explosion causes a reaction in the opposite direction. In the armory, this is called recoil. As the rifle recoils, the muzzle jumps and can affect your precision and stability.
Muzzle brakes function to prevent recoil by reducing the kickbacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do flash hiders affect accuracy?
Flash hiders do not affect accuracy, and it helps keep your focus by reducing the intensity of the flash.
Q2: Is flash hider necessary?
If your rifle is long enough, you may not need a flash hider, especially if you have a muzzle brake and compensator intact. However, if your rifle produces a visible flash that impairs vision, you need one. The same applies when firing under low light.
Q3: Does a flash hider reduce recoil?
Yes, flash hiders reduce recoil by almost 10% in standard guns.