I purchased a new rifle and decided to change out the standard flash hider for something different, yet I didn’t know where to start to pick one out of the many options. After some research, I decided to try out the Primary Weapons Systems FSC556 comp/flash hider. When I saw the video from the company featuring the FSC556 on a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). Someone was shoulder firing the SAW, in a standing position, in full auto, with zero muzzle rise (check out the vid above to see). That was enough reason for me to take the leap and check out the FLC556 for myself.
Depending on where you get it, the FSC556 is a bit pricey at roughly $100, but I’ll let you decide whether or not it’s worth it.
As soon as I opened the package and had my first look at the Primary Weapons System FSC556, the first thing I noticed was its quality machining. The finish is an even matte black, which happens to match my Bravo Company receivers perfectly. The FSC556 has a nice solid, heavy feel to it. I felt like I could drop it without worrying it would be damaged. So, I did just that. I dropped it on my shop floor. Picking it back up, I detected no scratches, dings, or any other injuries to the compensator.
The FSC556 measures 2¼ inches long, and just a hair over ¾ of an inch wide, which makes this compensator a great fit if you plan to pin and weld it onto a 14.5 barrel. It weighs about 2.5oz, that is, about the same as a standard A2 birdcage.
The FSC556’s installation was a bit tricky, at first. Opening the new package reveals the compensator and a few metal shims in varying sizes. The FSC556 is a timed compensator, which means that a certain point on the compensator must be aligned to a specific position on the barrel for it to work right. The FSC556 has the company logo on it, and that logo must be at the 12 o’clock position. I found that just using the shims wore on my patience. In response, I bought a brand new crush washer (a compressed washer that fits on the barrel before the flash hider on most assemblies), and used that with the FSC556. Once I had the crush washer, the install became a breeze, taking only a minute or two.
Shortly after installing the FSC556 on my rifle, I went to a friend’s property and began shooting in a bunch of positions: prone, kneeling, sitting, standing, and bench resting. Immediately, I noticed a huge difference in muzzle rise, flash reduction, and felt recoil. While standing and shooting, the muzzle stayed in place, and only moved when I did, instead of wobbling with each round fired. With how much the muzzle flash decreased, I didn’t detect it at all. At first, because the perceived recoil was so reduced, I stopped to make sure I was using XM193 NATO ammo; it felt like shooting a .22 LR. On a less serious note, my friend’s boss joined us at the range with his Wilson Combat SBR (short barrel rifle). The 10″ barrel was mounted with the same compensator I was testing. But, the way the FSC556 diverts the expelled gases from the barrel made my heart skip a beat with each round he fired.
All said and done, I’m pleased with my decision to try a new compensator. The PWS FSC556 lived up to all my expectations. This small change delivered noticeable benefits to recoil, flash, and muzzle rise. I may not consider it for short barreled ARs, but for range use or just dressing up a plain-looking rifle, the FSC556 is an effective solution.
Photos in featured image courtesy of primaryweapons.com