At a Glance: Best AR-15 Flash Hiders
- OUR TOP PICK: Surefire – AR-15 Warcomp Flash Hider 22 Cal
- Surefire – Warcomp 556 CTN Flash Hider
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Brownells – AR-15/M16 XM177 Flash Hider & Grenade Ring
Comparison of Best AR-15 Flash Hiders
Our Top Pick
|Surefire – AR-15 Warcomp Flash Hider 22 Cal||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Surefire – Warcomp 556 CTN Flash Hider||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Brownells – AR-15/M16 XM177 Flash Hider & Grenade Ring||View Latest Price|
If you do a lot of shooting in low light and don’t want to get blinded by the flash coming out of your AR-15 you will want to get a flash hider. That same applies when you use your AR-15 for home defense and don’t want to disclose your position to the intruder after firing your first round.
Our list of the 8 best AR-15 flash hiders on the market today
There are many different types and sizes of flash hiders on the market. To make it easier for you we ound the best eight of them so that you can choose the one which fits your bill the best.
Surefire – AR-15 Warcomp Flash Hider 22 Cal
SureFire, LLC. is an American company based in Fountain Valley, California. Their main products are headlamps, weapon-mounted lights, flashlights, and laser sights. They also make knives, sound suppressors, and flash hiders. The company offers a lifetime warranty on its products.
Its Warcomp flash hider fits M4/M16 weapons and similar with ½ – 28 muzzle threads. It has three functions:
- It reduces over 99% of muzzle flash. That helps to conceal the shooter’s location and preserve his dark-adapted vision.
- It eliminates muzzle rise. That enhances monitoring the target reaction and helps stay on target for faster follow-up shots.
- It can be used as a mounting adapter for all SureFire SOCOM Series 5.56mm Fast-Attach® suppressors.
It is machined from US Mill-certified heat-treated stainless steel bar stock, includes high-precision single-point cut threads for optimum thread interface and has a special coating to provide maximum protection under extreme conditions. The coating also helps with cleaning even after harsh use.
It can be used together with a SureFire SOCOM Series Fast-Attach suppressor to ensure superior suppressor alignment and prevent any ringing of tines inside the suppressor. Gas leaking from the back of a suppressor is mitigated by a rear labyrinth seal. It minimizes potential carbon buildup in the indexing system and also makes suppressor removal after extended firing easier. Every Warcomp is individually inspected for concentricity and alignment.
This flash hider works great and looks nice. It has a simple design that works. Installation as well as use is pretty easy. However, it is in the higher end of the price range.
- Over 99% flash elimination
- Muzzle rise elimination
- Mounting adapter for SureFire SOCOM suppressors
- Stainless steel
- Individually inspected for concentricity and alignment
- Ionbond DLC coating
- No permanent attachment
- SureFire no-hassle guarantee, lifetime warranty
- May be too expensive if you do not need a suppressor
- Requires fitting
Surefire – Warcomp 556 CTN Flash Hider
As mentioned above, Surefire is a California based company that manufactures high-quality flash hiders, among other products. It was founded by John Matthews, Ph.D. as a laser technology company. Later on, Dr. Matthews combined his laser business with his hobby, firearms. It is a well-established company that also offers a no-hassle lifetime warranty on all of its products so you can exchange them anytime.
Warcomp 556 CTN is a traditional birdcage flash hider with great performance and durability. Similar to the model described above, this flash hider
- significantly reduces muzzle flash with every shot fired,
- helps reduce muzzle rise for easier target tracking and faster follow-up shots, and
- provides a great mounting option for SOCOM Series Fast-Attach® suppressors.
This flash hider has wrench flats machined into the sides of the adapter for easier installation. Neutral porting helps with recoil management. It is machined from heat-treated stainless steel for durability and finished in a tough coating that is highly resistant to corrosion and gas/particle erosion. It is suitable for 5.56 rifles with ½ – 28 threaded barrels. It is quite short, only 2.4 inches, and it does not weigh much either, 2.7 oz.
This flash hider has the old school birdcage look that will make any AR-15 aesthetically pleasing. The design is neither too flashy nor too plain. It is easy and safe to use. Installation does not require any permanent modifications to the weapon system. You will like this flash hider if you want good performance with a traditional look.
- Stainless steel for durability
- Finished with corrosion-resistant coating
- Suitable for 5.56 (223) rifles with ½ – 28 threaded barrels
- Easy non-permanent installation
- Reduces muzzle flash and muzzle rise
- Mounting adapter for SOCOM Series Fast-Attach® suppressors
- Higher-end price range
Brownells – AR-15/M16 XM177 Flash Hider & Grenade Ring
Brownells is an American company with headquarters in Montezuma, Iowa. It sells rifles, shotguns, handguns, and accessories. It offers a lifetime warranty with exceptions for certain products like rifles, ammunition, and more.
Its flash hider & grenade ring is the perfect piece if you are planning a retro carbine build. This flash hider and grenade ring mirror the original device’s exterior dimensions. It has the same cuts and openings to maintain a classic look.
It is machined from 8620L steel and covered with black oxide finish. It fits ½ – 28 threads. The overall length of this cool, old school looking flash hider is 4.335″. With the grenade ring, the total length is 4.45″. It has a diameter of 1 inch. It is suitable for following reproduction builds:
- XM177 or Colt Model 610
- XM177E1 or Colt Model 609
- Colt Model 619/620
- XM177E2 or Colt Model 629
- Colt Model 630 or USAF GAU-5A
- Colt Model 639
- Colt Model 649 or USAF GAU-5A/A
It will work on many other models too. It is easy to install and only half the price of similar products. There are, however, a couple of issues with this product. The “black oxide” is a very high gloss finish almost like bright bluing. Considering this is marketed for retro AR-15s, it seems like a huge oversight to make it glossy. It would be better if it was parkerized, or at the very least, had matte bluing. Due to the reflective finish, the flash hider has tooling marks that are visible. Also, the wrench flats on the hider are a little narrow so it might be hard to fit a wrench between the hider and grenade ring.
- Machined from steel
- Includes grenade ring
- Perfect for retro carbine build
- Cool antique look
- Medium to low price range
- Suitable for all different types of firearms
- High gloss finish, not parkerized
- Narrow wrench flats
Smith Enterprise – AR-15 Vortex G6-A2 Flash Eliminator 22 Cal
Smith Enterprise, a US-based company, specializes in M14 and AR-15 rifle development as well as in retrofitting. The company has been making their products for law enforcement and civilians for over 40 years, so they know their stuff. The company offers a limited warranty on its products.
The Vortex flash hider is made from 8620 bar stock steel used in the manufacture of AR-15/M16 bolts and carriers. The flash hider is case-hardened to provide a high-strength core and tough, outer shell. It has a special, helix design that helps align the gas that exits the barrel. That improves the accuracy with all bullet types. This flash suppressor is well-made. The design is not new but has been tested as very effective. Four, specially angled flutes can hide almost 100% of muzzle flash, even during full-auto fire. It dissipates gas and retains unburned powder for the increased residual burn. The G6-A2 version has a smooth exterior and it’s easier for removing a legal silencer. However, the expense of a permitted silencer might not be that attractive to everybody.
You will achieve the best performance and hide the most flash if you use M-193, SS-109 (M855), and MK 262 service ammo or rounds with loads designed to reduce muzzle flash. Another great thing about this flash hider is the fact that it also helps direct sound from the sides of the muzzle more forward making it easier on your ears. It can be permanently attached to 14.5″ long M4 barrels for an overall length of 16.1″. If you do attach it permanently then you need to check the overall length of your rifle to see if you fit the SBR rule or not. The only downside of this flash hider is that it kicks up sand and dust every time it is used in a prone position. If you mainly use it in other positions it will work like a charm.
- Made from steel for durability
- Special helix design for effectivity
- Hides almost 100% flash
- Directs sound from muzzle forward
- Can be attached permanently
- Medium price range
- Kicks up dust in prone positio
Brownells – AR-15 XM16E1 3 Prong Flash Hider 22 Cal
As mentioned above, Brownells is an established US company selling great quality firearms and accessories. The company offers a lifetime warranty on its wares with exceptions for certain products like rifles, ammunition, and more.
The 3 prong flash hider is a great add-on for your retro AR-15 build. The “Improved” flash hider started after the “Duckbill” 3 Prong Flash Hider was discontinued, as the thin prongs were prone to bending & breaking. The Improved version works great for Model 602 & 603 rifles, as well as the XM16E1 issued to the US Military. This type of flash hider was used during the Vietnam war.
It is machined from steel and finished with a phosphate coating. It fits on ½ – 28 threads. It does not come with a crush washer. Be aware that it does not have wrench flats to install and you will need an armorer’s wrench or a specialty strap. Despite that, the installation is fairly easy.
This flash hider has a simple yet clean design that will look great on a retro rifle or any AR-15 of your choice. It is modeled directly based on the original mil-spec version. You will also appreciate the fact that the price is very affordable.
- Cool retro design
- Lifetime warranty
- Phosphate finish
- Works well
- Cheapest of all reviewed flash hiders
- Special wrench needed for the installation
- No gas redirection
Smith Enterprise – AR-15 Vortex Arc Helix Flash Hider 22 Cal
The Vortex Helix Flash Hider set the standard by which most flash hiders have been judged for a long time. This flash hider has tilted prongs that are precisely engineered through some exhaustive testing to disperse gasses and unburned powder very well. They also have a lot of surface area to absorb the heat from the fast-expanding gasses. Thanks to that, we could say that this is one of the best-performing flash hiders out there. On the other side, it doesn’t do anything to decrease the recoil.
This is a perfect flash hider when you are looking for simple clean lines. It is not too flashy like some of the more aggressively-styled flash hiders seem to be. Although looks aren’t the most important, there’s no reason your gun has to be ugly. Similar to all other Vortex flash hiders, it is made from stainless steel and heat-treated. It is suitable for 1/2 – 28 threading and works well with 5.56 NATO. The length is 2.317 inches and it weighs about 3.10 oz.
Shooters love this flash hider for a reason,it really delivers. It provides the lowest flash signature. Installation is very simple since no crush washer is needed and the unit self-tightens as the gun is shot. The design can be improved to eliminate the small ringing noise that is slightly audible with each shot. However, this is common with all pronged type flash hiders, they act similar to a tuning fork.
- Plenty of surface area to absorb the heat
- Tilted prongs
- Simple design
- Suitable for ½ – 28 threading
- Super low flash signature
- Easy installation
- Medium price range
- Ringing noise while shooting
Smith Enterprise – AR-15 Vortex G6-A3 Flash Eliminator 22 Cal
Similar to its Vortex brothers, this is one of the most effective flash hiders on the market for the price. It has four, specially angled prongs that hide nearly 100% of muzzle flash, even during full-auto fire. Dissipating gas and retaining unburned powder for increased residual burn help eliminate the flash.
This flash hider is constructed from 8620 bar stock steel. The same material is used in the manufacture of AR-15/M16 bolts and carriers. The flash hider is then case-hardened to provide a high-strength core and tough, outer shell. It has a special, helix design that helps to align the released barrel gas to improve accuracy.
The skirt is longer to hide the gap between barrel shoulder and flash hider on AR-15, M16, and M4 rifles. The ring is groove based. That works well for the integration of a Blank Firing Attachment (BFA) used by law enforcement trainers, and permits installation of the Smith Enterprise M4DC CQB sound and flash suppressor. The thread-on design requires no washer. The flash hider self-tightens as the weapon is fired. The G6-A3 model adds helical grooves on the outer surface that helps minimize carbon buildup between the Vortex and the M4DC. Thanks to that the installation and removal of the suppressor are easier.
If you use M-193, SS-109 (M855), and MK 262 service ammo you will experience the highest degree of flash suppression. This flash hider can be permanently attached to 14.5″ long, M4 barrels for an overall length of 16.1″. Just remember to measure the overall length of your AR-15 after permanently attaching this flash hider. You might have to register it as an SBR.
- High effectivity
- Made from steel for durability
- Longer skirt
- Thread-on design
- Helical outer grooves for easy cleaning
- Self-tightens with each fired shot
- Medium price range
- Ringing noise while shooting
Griffin Armament – Taper Mount Minimalist Stealth Flash Suppressors
Griffin Armament was founded by two brothers, both combat vets. They were both army snipers, and were deployed numerous times overseas in the regular military and other government capacities. They both lost their hearing due to their army service. That drove them to the idea of manufacturing silencers to protect the hearing of fellow shooters. Thanks to their knowledge in manufacturing, design, and understanding of silencer applications their company became one of the leaders on the market.
This is the smallest flash hider we are reviewing today. It is part of the Minimalist series and supports the Optimus® 9 Mid-Size configuration as well as the Optimus micro with taper extension.
This compact flash hider is constructed of 17-4 PH stainless steel. It has 3 flash suppressing prongs with anti-resonance features integrated. The Minimalist Flash Suppressor weighs 2.9 ounces. That is approximately 40% less than most other flash suppressor mounts. The lighter weight makes the host firearm barrel lighter and more responsive to the shooter. This flash suppressor does not require timing. It is also compatible with the taper mount thread protector for added protection of thread mounts.
Its diameter is 1.075 inches. It is quite short, with an overall length of only 1.8 inches. It is suitable for the following calibers, 5.56mm (.223), 9mm/.45, and 7.62mm (.30). It performs unexpectedly well for such a small muzzle device. This is the flash hider for you if you want good performance, high quality, and medium price range. There is however one downside. You can notice a little bit of pinging when working the bolt unloaded and doing a function test. Thankfully, there is no pinging during firing.
- Small and compact
- Made from stainless steel for durability
- Lightweight, only 2.9 lbs
- Very responsive
- Good flash hiding
- Very short, only 1.8 inches
- Compatible with taper mount thread protector
- Medium price range
- A little bit of pinging when tested
What is an AR-15 flash hider?
A Flash hider is a device attached to the muzzle of a rifle. It reduces the visibility of the flash that is produced when firing the gun as red hot gases exit the muzzle.
Flash hiders are also known as:
- Flash guards,
- Flash eliminators,
- Flash suppressors, or
- Flash cones.
- Some people also call it a birdcage as it looks like one.
The main use is to reduce the chances that the shooter will be blinded in dark shooting conditions. The secondary benefit of the flash suppressor is the fact that it makes the shooter’s position less apparent to a perpetrator when used during home defense.
Historically, muzzle flash became a serious problem during night-time combat when barrel lengths were dramatically decreased as various shorter-barreled rifles and carbines were introduced.
How do AR-15 flash hiders work?
When you fire your AR-15, the powder inside the cartridge is transformed into energy that propels a projectile. There is a flash of super-hot gasses and unburnt powder coming out of the end of the barrel as a secondary effect of the firing. Such a flash is especially evident in short-barreled rifles or AR-15 pistols. Less powder is burnt before the bullet leaves the end of the short barrel. All the unburnt powder leaves the barrel along with the round in the form of an expanding cloud.
This unburnt powder is visible as a bright flash of light that can blind the shooter and subsequently briefly limit his reaction time. If you’re using an AR-15 in the dark while hunting or in an enclosed space as when defending your home, you will have these problems if you don’t use a flash hider. Not only will you be blinded by the bright light of the flash, but you will also give your position away to your potential enemy more quickly than the sound of your shooting would. When firing your AR-15 in an enclosed room, the origin of the sound of the shooting is not as easy to recognize as a glowing fireball is. If you use your AR-15 for shooting sports where you go through an entire mag at a time, you won’t be able to aim properly after the first round blinding you.
Why use a flash hider?
There are two main reasons why you should use a flash hider:
- You will want to have a flash hider if you prefer to shoot accurately without being blinded by the bright light of the flash coming out of your AR-15 after each use, especially if the AR-15 has a short barrel. The light will be especially bright if you fire your AR-15 in low-light or dark conditions or hunt at dawn or dusk. The light will leave you blind and you won’t be able to react to your surroundings for a couple seconds. Those seconds might be crucial for your hunting trip or even your survival.
- The second reason why you might want to use a flash hider is the case when you do not want to give away your position while shooting. The bright light caused by the flash makes your position visible. That is especially dangerous if you use your AR-15 for home defense. When protecting your property and the lives of your nearest and dearest, you do not want to be spotted by the intruder when you fire your AR-15.
What’s the difference between an AR-15 flash hider and a muzzle brake or a compensator?
There is quite a difference when it comes to these three muzzle devices so read up carefully.
AR-15 flash hider
We have described this one already above but to remind you, a flash hider is a device designed to hide the flash coming out of your AR-15 when firing. Although modern-day firearms and ammunition are designed to burn as much of the gunpowder as possible, as quickly as possible, it doesn’t always happen. Especially with short-barreled rifles, the powder is still burning as the bullet leaves the barrel. That creates a ball of flame bursting from the muzzle that will blind you if you shoot in low-light conditions, and it will make everyone, including your enemy, see you.
A muzzle brake is designed to reduce the amount of recoil you feel when you fire your AR-15. It has slots or holes cut in a manner that forces the gases to move in such a way that reduces the recoil you will feel on your shoulder. Recoil is a matter of physics. When you fire your gun, a tremendous amount of gas is released that pressures the gun to move back into your shoulder.
If the muzzle brake is designed and attached properly to the barrel, it disperses the gasses in a way that pushes them in the opposite direction, minimizing the recoil. If you use 5.56mm or .223 in your AR-15 you don’t necessarily need a muzzle brake because there isn’t a lot of felt recoil. That changes when you move to a .308 rifle or larger. If you use .338 Lapua or .50 cal, it is a necessity to have a good muzzle brake to keep your shoulder healthy. Yes, the bigger the caliber the more recoil you will feel.
Do ample research before buying a muzzle brake. Not all of them are made the same. Also, if you shoot your AR-15 at the range and have a muzzle brake installed be mindful of the people shooting in the lane next to you as the muzzle brake forces the gasses and noise at them.
Based on the physics of how firearms work, when you fire a shot from your AR-15, the shot causes the front of the gun to rise. There are special terms for that known as muzzle rise or muzzle flip.
The issue with muzzle rise/flip is that it causes your front sight to rise above the target you fired upon, forcing you to re-align before shooting a follow-up shot at the same target. Muzzle rise/flip is common to all firearms to some degree. AR-15 rifles with a moderately powered cartridge do not have a bad muzzle rise/flip.
A compensator is a device that helps to offset the muzzle rise/flip of your AR-15. It has holes or slots cut into the upper half of the device helping the escaping gases force the muzzle to stay down instead of moving upward. Thanks to that you can stay on or return to your target quicker.
Because an AR-15 has minimal muzzle rise/flip, the birdcage aka flash hider can be sufficient to help a shooter stay on target. That changes if we move to a .308 rifle or larger, or even some high-speed competition handguns. In that case, compensators start to become necessary.
How to choose an AR-15 flash hider
There are multiple aspects to consider when you are choosing your flash hider. We are mentioning the four most important ones so you can make an informed decision.
Design and effectiveness
You will want to buy a flash hider that performs well. Its design is the main determining factor in how well it serves its function. On the other hand, nobody wants to have an ugly AR-15, so the look of the flash hider is also somewhat important.
AR-15 flash hider size
‘Flash hider size’ can mean two things:
First, there are different threading sizes when it comes to flash hiders. The most common threading size is ½ – 28 and it is used for 9mm weapons as well as for AR-15s in 5.56mm/.223. If you use, for example, .338, then the typical threading is ⅝ – 24.
Flash hider size can also refer to the device’s length. That is important when you attach your flash hider permanently as different laws might apply when it comes to certain overall firearm lengths. If your AR-15’s overall length is under 26 inches it constitutes an SBR that is restricted by NFA.
AR-15 flash hider materials: carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium
Flash hiders are exposed to very hot, high-pressure gases. That is why they need to be made from high-quality, durable materials. However, no ultra-tough materials are needed in this case. Carbon and stainless steel are the most common and both work great. They withstand heat well and are corrosion resistant, especially when a quality finish coating is added. These materials are readily available and easy to work with which means a cheaper product for you.
The third option is titanium. It is becoming a popular material lately. It is lightweight and strong at the same time. That makes it work well for many firearms applications.
Here is the breakdown of the details of each material:
- Carbon steel is the most popular for making AR-15 flash hiders. It is durable, easy to machine, and cheap to get. So you get a high-quality device for a good price. This alloy needs a good finish, like phosphate or nitride, because it is sensitive to some chemicals and rusts easily.
- Stainless steel has similar benefits to carbon steel like durability and low price. However, it is harder to use. On the other hand, it shines when it comes to high corrosion resistance. Stainless steel does not rust or stain. So it does not require a finish coating.
- Titanium provides you with incredible strength and lightweight that is naturally corrosion and chemical resistant. Similar to stainless steel, a protective finish isn’t required. Its downsides include a higher price and harder installation.
AR-15 flash hider finishes: nitride vs phosphate
Finishes protect the flash hider against heat, corrosion, and abrasion. Carbon steel and aluminum need one otherwise they rust or erode easily. Stainless steel and titanium are robust so a coating isn’t necessary. However, a high-quality finish may still be beneficial.
The most common finishes for flash hiders are phosphate and nitride. They both offer excellent protection against heat with nitride being a better option. Here are some details of both:
- Phosphate is a popular coating for AR-15 flash hiders as well as gas blocks and bolt carrier groups. It provides great protection from corrosion and abrasions and adds lubricity reducing friction between moving parts. To apply this finish, the flash hider is submerged into a heated phosphoric acid solution containing dissolved manganese phosphate salts. A simple reaction takes place, causing the dissolved salt to fall out of solution and precipitate on the surface.
- Nitride is becoming a go-to coating for a lot of manufacturers. It has significantly better wear and corrosion protection than phosphate. It can also be used on bolt carrier groups and other parts. The nitriding process forms two layers on the metal substrate, a compound layer and a diffusion layer. The compound layer consists of iron, nitrogen, and oxygen, and is abrasion resistant and stable at high temperatures. The diffusion layer contains carbides and nitrides.
How to install an AR-15 flash hider
Installing a flash hider is similar to instaling a muzzle brake. However, they use different devices to lock them in place. A flash hider uses:
- A pew washer
- A second nut that tightens against the back of the device.
- In any case, always read the manual to achieve proper and safe installation.
The tools you will need include:
- Upper receiver vise block insert
- Barrel wrench
- Breaker bar
To install your flash hider properly, follow these instructions:
- Place your vice block into your AR-15
- Tighten the block in the vise
- Put the washer on the end of the barrel with the cup facing the muzzle
- Thread the flash hider on until hand tight
- Look at how the flash hider lines up – you want the closed-off portion to face the ground
- Using your barrel wrench, tighten the flash hider at least 90 degrees and no more than 460 degrees as it would crush the washer
- Check that the flash hider is lined up properly
Are flash hiders legal?
For a long time, flash suppressors were seen as “military” features. For that reason, they were on the list of federally defined devices that could cause a rifle to be defined as illegal. That applied especially if the lower receiver was manufactured after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban went into effect in 1994 in the United States. This ban expired in 2004 in most states, although some states, such as California, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, still have similar bans in place restricting the use of flash suppressors.
Is barrel length important when choosing a flash hider?
Barrel length is important when choosing a flash hider because the overall length (OAL) of a firearm determines whether said firearm will be regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA).
A permanently attached muzzle device is considered an extension of the barrel: “The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore.” Although not mentioned exactly, permanently attached muzzle devices are included in the definition.
That means the length of the barrel is important when choosing a flash hider which will be permanently attached as it might change the category of the firearm under the NFA.
Will I have to tune my gas system and buffer tube with a new flash hider?
The truth is that every flash hider works at a different internal pressure. That means that you should have an appropriate gas system and buffer for such pressure. You can always go for a quality adjustable gas block and then adjust the pressure accordingly. That way you won’t end up with an over-gassed AR-15.
Are silencers legal and do they do the same thing as flash hiders?
In the United States, the manufacture and sale of silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act. They are legal for individuals to possess and use for lawful purposes in 42 of the 50 states. However, a potential owner must apply for a revenue stamp administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Such a permit requires a federal tax payment of $200 and a thorough criminal background check. The revenue stamp is the legal document allowing possession of a suppressor/silencer.
The eight states that have explicitly banned any civilian from possessing a suppressor are California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. The states of Connecticut and Vermont allow silencer ownership, but prohibit using silencers while hunting. Federal law has severe penalties for crimes of violence committed using firearms equipped with silencers. The minimum prison sentence is 30 years.
Flash hiders and silencers/sound suppressors are radically different devices doing different things. Flash hiders hide the visibility of the flash coming out of your AR-15 after you shoot it while silencers are meant primarily to muffle the noise coming out of the rifle. However, a silencer/sound suppressor can sometimes combine both functions due to the nature of how it operates.
Can I use the same flash hider on rifles chambered in different calibers?
Yes, you can use the same flash hider on rifles chambered in different calibers. The only two things you have to be concerned about is that the projectile is the same diameter. The second consideration is the concentric accuracy of the muzzle threading. Other than that, you are good to go!
What are the downsides to using an AR-15 flash hider?
There aren’t any serious donwsides to using a flash hider, they are pretty standard on AR-15s. They will affect the overall length and therefore maneuverability of your rifle. In some states you will run into some legal issues over using them. Other than that, it’s all gravy.
When choosing a flash hider, you want to buy a high-quality one which eliminates the flash effectively for a reasonable price. To sum it up:
- If you would like a flash hider which can eliminate muzzle rise as well and you don’t mind spending a little bit more money, then choose the Surefire Warcomp.
- If you are planning a retro AR-15 build and want to save money choose either of Brownells’ flash hiders.
- One of Smith Enterprise’s flash hiders should be your choice if you are looking for a great flash hider with a simple design and outstanding performance in a medium price range.
- And if your goal is to have a small but effective flash hider, then pick Griffin Armament.
Have fun and safe shooting!