As a resident of Big Sky Country I am constantly running into native companies that are making some very nice firearms products. Recently I came across one of these firms while chatting up a professional varmint hunter who was taking one of the courses I teach. At the end of the day he pulled out his custom AR-15 complete with a very nice looking silencer threaded on the muzzle. Having chronic and severe silencer envy (I blame Nick), I immediately started drooling. However, what really fascinated me was underneath the silencer. It was threaded on a beautiful looking flash hider that also came with a separate flash hider/muzzle brake combo which threaded on the same way as the silencer. I was in the market for a new muzzle device so I called up Elite Iron in Potomac, MT to get the low down on their products . . .
Elite Iron is a small town Montana business with some big name clients, namely McMillan, which chose Elite Iron’s Bravo SD Suppressor as standard equipment for their CS5 Sniper System. Kathy Poling handles the business end of things at Elite Iron and very generously sent out one of their CQC 1 Tactical Muzzle Brakes for me to test on my S&W M&P-15A. A short time later, the CQC arrived in my mailbox .
Picking the CQC up you immediately notice it weighs significantly more than a standard A2 flash hider. However, with this jump in weight there is a huge leap in quality. The attention to detail with the CQC is phenomenal. There’s not a single machining mark to be found on it. Every thread, every hole, every edge on this device is meticulously machined to be nothing short of perfect. In all honesty, it made the A2 that came standard on my rifle look like it was a cheap airsoft version.
One unfortunate byproduct of this device is that with the cap threaded on, a full barreled rifle looks a bit goofy. However, taken in concert with the advantages of the product, it’s a cosmetic issue that I got over.
As anyone who shoots ARs knows, the rifle is pretty damn loud thanks to the supersonic qualities of the 5.56 round. This issue really manifests itself when you shoot next to the guy with the muzzle brake that funnels all the gasses to the left and right or if you’re training tactically and shooting indoors with your team. These are the issues that Elite Iron tries to help remedy.
The design of this muzzle brake is intended to throw the sound from the gun being fired forward and away instead of to the sides and up. This helps the rifle sound less harsh to those directly to the sides of it as well as to the shooter. It also retains common muzzle brake qualities found on other models that are intended to reduce muzzle rise.
I haven’t had a chance to shoot at night yet, but as you can see from the video below, the advantages are apparent even in the daytime. Without the muzzle brake threaded on, there is a prominent flash and loud report, as one would expect. But firing with the muzzle brake on, you can see a reduced flash and a pronounced difference in the sound of the report. From behind the rifle, the difference in the noise is markedly reduced and I definitely noticed a difference in the consistency and size of the flash.
Night testing is on its way as we are conducting a carbine class this weekend. But from my preliminary testing I can say I’m pretty impressed with Elite Iron’s CQC 1 Tactical Muzzle Brake. It does exactly what Kathy advertised it does and is ridiculously high quality.
The one downside of quality of course, is that it comes at a price. For this particular model, that price is $225. For that amount of coin you get a muzzle brake that will allow you to thread a silencer directly to it as well as a compensator/muzzlebrake combo that makes shooting more enjoyable for those around you…all while protecting your threads. Is it worth it? I can’t make that decision for you, but as someone who is in the market for a silencer and spends time shooting in close proximity to other members of my team, it’s becoming worth it to me.
Threading: 1/2 x 28
Materials: Chrome Moly Steel
Ratings (out of five stars):
Performance * * * * *
Worked exactly as advertised. You couldn’t ask for anything more.
Build Quality * * * * *
Flawless workmanship with extreme attention to detail
Overall * * * *
While it performed beautifully and was built with craftsmanship usually reserved for mega yachts, it’s high price holds it back from achieving a perfect rating.