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Old 01-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default AR15 Muzzle Devices, RA XTC, PWS FSC556, PWS TTO, Surefire 556K, Ares Armor Effin-A

I drove out to the desert this Monday with a couple friends and a few thousands rounds of giggle pills. Ran some informal movement drills, and some rapid fire drills. Setup up a course of fire and did some impromptu team drills. We had an amazing time. We did, unfortunately, choose our course on an incline so we worked the hell out of our legs, I'm still damn sore. It was pretty damn hot and we burned the hell out of our necks and arms. All in all, just a great time with some friends!

I had a chance to shoot some various muzzle devices side by side. Unfortunately, since they are tuned and I didn't have enough crush washers I was only able to shoot them side by side one another. I really didn't want to take a wrench to my friends guns (I'm sure they would have let me). I just lined them up and shot a couple mags through each one after the other.

1) Rainer Arms RUC 16" LW profile barrel. Mid-length gas and standard carbine buffer spring. Aimpoint H-1 Micro. I have approximately 2000 rounds (and less than a month old lol) For the sake of this test I swapped out the H buffer with a standard carbine weight buffer. This is my rifle so I started out with the RA XTC compensator, swapped out the Effin-A later.

2) Stag 1x9 16" m4 profile, carbine gas system, standard carbine buffer, standard buffer spring, PWS FSC 556, Primary Arms M4 clone. Approx 1500 rounds.

3) Stag 1x9 16" m4 profile, carbine gas system, standard carbine buffer, standard buffer spring, PWS FSC TTO. Eotech XPS2 Approx 3000 rounds.

4) Sabre Defense barrel, m4 profile, 14.5" mid length gas system, standard carbine buffer, standard buffer spring. Primary Arms Micro clone. Approx round count 3000k rounds.

I will try stay entirely objective there, tho all my observations are purely opinions. I shifted my stances, how I gripped the forearm and did not use a sling when testing. I use the cheapest ammo I had, MFS 62 gr steel cased soft points. A little disclaimer, this is not a test of all things being equal. The only thing I could change would be the buffer and springs to try and keep things equal. The setup / best brake is .....drumroll please....the Surefire 556K. It simply had the most recoil reduction. The most recoil reduction and the most blast. Rated for purely recoil reduction: Surefire>PWS TTO>PWS FSC>RA XTC>Effin A. This is bit surprising as the TTO is basically a shorter version of the FSC. But its understandable, once you factor it weight. The Stag with the TTO was the heaviest, with a surefire flashlight, 12" quad rail and ACS stock.


Now my carbine came in dead last. I admit it. Not a problem to me, because even the M855 and XM193 with a standard flash hider really doesn't recoil all that much. With the exception of the Effin-A the difference between the recoil reductions between the Surefire, PWSs and RA is very slim. Barely there. No really. I had to really sit there, focus on the rifle, and concentrate on just how much recoil I was feeling. I wasn't even aiming (just making sure it was pointed down range). I pulled it tight, I pulled it in as tighter, I barely held the rifle. These are all very very nice brakes. They all reduce recoil very very well. I will have to admit tho, the RUC is the lightest, the only one with a LW profile barrel so in theory it should recoil the most. To a regular Joe Schmo like me, the recoil reduction differences between the Surefire, RA and PWS devices are minimal, almost negligible, that I'd honestly recommend them by price. I'd only recommend the Surefire if you wanted a suppressor later, or had a shorter barrel (its really long, I'd venture a guess that you could pin weld it onto a 13.7" barrel if you wanted to). BTW they are all annoyingly blasty and loud, well except the Effin-A.

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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Now, I know the 5.56/.223 doesn't have bone shattering recoil. What I'm really interested in is controlling the muzzle, ie muzzle rise compensation. To clarify, I consider the push backwards and the muzzle rise/flip as recoil. To me, muzzle rise/flip is just one component of recoil Now recoil reduction isn't completely seperate from muzzle control. Reducing recoil helps you tame that muzzle. What I really want from my muzzle device is help control muzzle flip during rapid fire, and transitions between multiple targets.

Some of you may say, why bother, the 5.56 AR is not that hard to control. I tell you that if had didn't have so much family here in Cali, I'd be living large in a free state. Now please keep in mind that the only way a civilian is able to use magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds here in California is to jump through a sh*ton of asinine and inane regulations. We need to remove "evil features" from our rifles. Evil as in any sort of pistol grip, either forward or rear, flash hider, and collapsible stock. If your rifle has "evil features" then you must use 10 round magazines and a magazine locking device in place.....wait too technical, you probably don't want to hear it. Long story short, in order to use regular (read: high) capacity magazines here in California, we cannot had a regular pistol grip, so I use a Hammerhead Grip from Exile Machine. My friends use a Kydex type slip on grip over their pistol grips. Our ability to control the rifle is severely hampered.
I give you exhibit A
http://www.solartactical.com/AR15-AR10_c36.htm
and exhibit B
https://www.exilemachine.net/shop/exile-machine-hammerhead-ar-15-grip-black-1.html
Please stifle any fits of laughter.
I prefer the Hammerhead due to being able to wrap my thumb around the grip.

My observations:
My LW barreled 14.5 Spikes, and my LW barreled RUC both are very difficult to keep on target while doing rapid fire drills. Since I didn't have too much time behind each gun. I limited myself to one magazine each rifle. Doing a serious of double taps and a few longer five round bursts while trying to keep the dot from bouncing around. I also noted how far off the target the dot went, and how long I could do before getting the dot back and target and slapping off another round.

The only rifle that doesn't have a neutered grip was #2 Stag with the FSC556, it was the easiest to control. The second easiest was Stag #3 TTO, followed by #4 Surefire and lastly my RUC with the RA XTC. Now it may seem that I'm bashing LWs. I'm not. I still love my LWs, but I have a new found appreciation for a little weight up front. Now the differences between all these devices is not big. Its the little things tho. In retrospect I should have put an A2 up front and used it as a control. But I still remember going from an A2, to a FSC and Dynacomp for the first time and really really feeling a difference, a big difference. I think these devices are worth the money and really improve performance.

Now onto the Ares Armor Effin-A. If you are a control freak, this is your MD. Now it may not be the prettiest thing you can hang off the end of you barrel, but it just works. I put about 150 rounds through it warming it up, and setting it up. When you start off with it, you take all the adjustment set screws out, and shoot a mag out of it to warm it up. Then you start tinkering with it. My muzzle flipped up and to the right at the 2 o'clock ish, direction. So I started pluggin away the lower ports and at the 7:30 position. I got it tuned so that there was very minimal muzzle rise and a push in the 3 o'clock direction. I over compensated and actually got the muzzle to go down after each shot and push left. I finally got it tuned to having less movement than any other rifle. This is a tweekers dream. I did catch myself in trying to make it perfect. But after doing a few runs on the course, I realized that I'm not always shooting in ideal position/condition and you can't make everything perfect. Its not as noise or blasty as they other comps. Its not as pretty. It takes some time and patience tuning. It takes some willpower to stop tuning it. I really like it and would recommend it if you don't mind the extra work and cost to tune it. Its does behave different with different ammo tho, as I found out when shooting M855 and XM193, as I seemed compensation was pronounced. With the MFS and AE rounds, compensation was very similar. I think it would also provide a worthwhile advantage for competition oriented shooters. I would like to add that I believe that this device caters to your specific shooting style and hold. After you tune it for yourself, I optimal just for you. At the end of the day, one of my friends shot the Effin-A and commented on how well the muzzle rise was tamed but thought pushed to the left. It pushed to the right for me. His support arm must be too girlie for the Effin-A.

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #3
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So I'm clear, when you mention recoil you are including muzzle climb?

To bad you didn't have the Spikes or BattleComp.

I will add that the BC 1.5 on a LW barrel will shoot flatter w/ less concussion and flash than the PWS on a medium contour barrel.

Thank you for the insight as I've been thinking about getting a Surefire MB556.

Wish I could have been there but then again my firearms aren't allowed in your state.

Next time break out the video cam

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
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So I'm clear, when you mention recoil you are including muzzle climb?

To bad you didn't have the Spikes or BattleComp.

I will add that the BC 1.5 on a LW barrel will shoot flatter w/ less concussion and flash than the PWS on a medium contour barrel.

Thank you for the insight as I've been thinking about getting a Surefire MB556.

Wish I could have been there but then again my firearms aren't allowed in your state.

Next time break out the video cam

I'm gonna give you some thoughts on the muzzle control, need a bit more time and for some reason I'm busy at work today....I'll try and finish it tonight.

I had a Spikes dynacomp and wasn't too happy with it as the felt recoil was a bit more than the FSC and TTO (didn't have access to a Surefire then). What I really wasn't satisfied with the Dynacomp was my ability to control the muzzle with it. But after shooting these all, it might have been because it was on a LW barrel. I had a Spike's 14.5 LW with a pined and welded Dynacomp, and Spieks T2 buffer, but sold it after getting the RUC. What I'm finding out is that LW barrels are a bit harder to control than the M4 profiles.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys! I'll be following this thread since muzzle devices are something I haven't given much thought to on the 5.56.

Man it must be nice having 80 degree weather in Jan!

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AgentTikki View Post
I'm gonna give you some thoughts on the muzzle control, need a bit more time and for some reason I'm busy at work today....I'll try and finish it tonight.

I had a Spikes dynacomp and wasn't too happy with it as the felt recoil was a bit more than the FSC and TTO (didn't have access to a Surefire then). What I really wasn't satisfied with the Dynacomp was my ability to control the muzzle with it. But after shooting these all, it might have been because it was on a LW barrel. I had a Spike's 14.5 LW with a pined and welded Dynacomp, and Spieks T2 buffer, but sold it after getting the RUC. What I'm finding out is that LW barrels are a bit harder to control than the M4 profiles.
No hurry just didn't want to misunderstand the info you put out. Thanks again for taking the time. I'm sure your arm had to be twisted.

You need a BC . Everyone that has shot either of mine always mention how flat the muzzle stays.
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Last edited by mjkeat; 01-05-2012 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Edit: You probably saved me some money. I was eyeing the .308 Dyna
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys! I'll be following this thread since muzzle devices are something I haven't given much thought to on the 5.56.

Man it must be nice having 80 degree weather in Jan!
Man its a Desert out here.....bitter cold at night, hot during the day. I drank about 3 liters of water that day. It was fun tho, I really didn't want the day to end, and kicked myself for not bringing more ammo. I would like to share that those 5 gallon water bottles you get from the office water coolers make excellent targets for your AR. Especially when filled up with water and a few drops of red dye #5. Just don't use a shotgun
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:38 AM   #8
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That was a good read. Thanks for the information, very helpful. Really guided me in the direction I was looking for on my MD.

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mjkeat View Post
So I'm clear, when you mention recoil you are including muzzle climb?

To bad you didn't have the Spikes or BattleComp.

I will add that the BC 1.5 on a LW barrel will shoot flatter w/ less concussion and flash than the PWS on a medium contour barrel.

Thank you for the insight as I've been thinking about getting a Surefire MB556.

Wish I could have been there but then again my firearms aren't allowed in your state.

Next time break out the video cam

I had video of all muzzle devices in action. My dumb@ss friend deleted them all, including half our videos of our run and guns. We've been trying to figure out whether he should:

1) pay for gas and lunch on our next shoot.
2) buy dinner for our next shoot
3) hump all the gear and targets for our next shoot
4) all of the above.

The least he should do is provide ammo for all the MB videos again >.<
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AgentTikki View Post
I had video of all muzzle devices in action. My dumb@ss friend deleted them all, including half our videos of our run and guns. We've been trying to figure out whether he should:

1) pay for gas and lunch on our next shoot.
2) buy dinner for our next shoot
3) hump all the gear and targets for our next shoot
4) all of the above.

The least he should do is provide ammo for all the MB videos again >.<
That sucks. I vote he has to change out targets by himself while the rest of you sip on ice cold water.
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