Question of the Day: Who Needs Muzzle Blast?

Muzzle blast can be uncomfortable and, as SWR points out, rude. So why would the civilian disarmament industry include a muzzle brake as a “military feature”? I know: that’s just how they roll. In fact, I find it amusing that the feds haven’t mandated suppressors (a.k.a., silencers) for all rifles given the predominance of Consumer Safety bureaucrats (a.k.a., safety Nazis) in our local, state and federal governments. Not that I want them infringing on our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear noisy ass firearms. No sir. Anyway, do you suppress your blast? Or is that part of the fun?


  1. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

    I’m waiting on my first Form 4 precisely because I have recently come to this same conclusion. Why deal with muzzle blast for no reason? Why take the chance on hurting my hearing when out for game with my rifle? Why should I go deaf if I have to shoot a home intruder? I can’t think of a good reason for any of these .

  2. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Easy way to resolve this paradox: For the statist, protecting us from ourselves is secondary to controlling us. They may be genuinely interested in our safety, or they may use public safety as a justification for tighter control, but protecting the government from the little people always comes first.

    1. avatar William says:

      Not sure if I mentioned this before, but suppressors are MANDATORY in Finland, simply because of noise pollution issues (I assume that’s the reason); they took a 180-degree different view of the suppressor.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        Still anti-freedom and anti-choice, but at least it’s a cooler anti-freedom position.

    2. avatar DavidPA/NJ says:

      They think of controlling as a side effect, they only do it to protect us for our own good. Or that’s how they see it. It’s the opposite of freedom, but distinctly different than slavery.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    This is your ear drum. This is your ear drum on muzzle blast. Any questions?

  4. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    I think that media and politicians have firmly latched onto the idea that silencers are only used by elite assassins to kill deadly ninjas in jungles silently so the Government can deny it ever happened.

    and that’s that.

    1. avatar William says:

      Yep. Thought ain’t in it.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      I agree that fear is that of the silent killer in our midst, even though that image has no basis in reality. I’ve seen it on blogs–silencers have no acceptable purpose; the only reason to use a silencer is so you can kill and get away with it. Silencers are illegal and banned by the government; only criminals and evil persons would want one. Ummm hmm. Yup, guess they got that right. /sarc

    3. avatar JMS says:

      All the gun grabbers have learned everything they know from Hollywood. It’s retarded. Feinstein saying AW ‘features’ have a clear “military purpose: to allow for spraying fire from the hip”… okay. Yeah. Because no military in the world would EVER suggest this unless their goal is to waste ammo and hit nothing. That, of course, is just one of infinite examples. Indeed, basically every example of these peoples’ impressions of guns, how to use them, and what they do has come from ridiculous movies.

      …from the same Hollywood, by the way, that is so very anti-gun in real life but just loves to glorify them on film.

  5. avatar Totenglocke says:

    One does not simply suppress a Mosin Nagant, Comrade.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Hitler tried to suppress the Mosin Nagant and look where it got him.

      1. avatar Russ Bixby says:


    2. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Once for me, a Mosin just “went off.”

      It was at the range; a kid with one commented on mine. We handed our rifles to one another, pointed straight up with hands at the midpoint – nowhere near the triggers – and (in my case) the bolt drawn back.

      As he handed his to me, his horribly worn sear let the bolt do its thing and BOOM.

      When it’s at eye level and a foot away with milsurp ammo, the boom merits capitalization.

      It was quite some time before my ears stopped ringing, and I’m now just a tidge more conscientious about checking others’ arms from a distance before I touch ’em.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        A standard test is to take an unloaded Mosin and cock the action with safety off. With the mosin muzzle up rap the butt stock on a hard surface. If the weapon fires it’s time to get into the guts and start replacing parts.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        a common test for the Mosin is to take an unloaded Mosin and c0ck the action, safety off. Point the mosin muzzle up and rap the buttstock on a hard service. If the firing pin snaps on an empty chamber its time to red line the rifle until you get it fixed.

        1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          I know that. He didn’t.

          The lesson learned was “visually inspect from a distance (through a trlescope?) and ask 20 questions before you let someone else’s hardware within a metre of your corpus.”

          I’ve no use for muzzle blast…

  6. avatar Clu says:

    It’s no help in a tactical or HD situation, but a few rounds outta my Mosin M44 always seems to open a few benches at the range… Dunno if it’s the concussion or the 2 foot fireball out the business end… Maybe both?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      When I go to the range with my Mosins what usually happens is the guys with the civilised rifles start to clear away and then the milsurp guys start showing up in the area. You’d think we was Visigoths or something.

  7. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    My priorities are flash suppression and muzzle-rise management, so my next muzzle device will likely be an Effin-A compensator setup optimized for those purposes. If I were running something with a stronger recoil impulse than 5.45 I might think differently.

    Related: with 5.45×39 I’m not particularly concerned about recoil compensation via muzzle device — I figure the majority of my felt recoil is from the bolt carrier cycling, not the round itself. That’s why I’m looking at various options for combining an adjustable gas block with a lightweight boron-nickel or hard nitride coated bolt carrier.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      The Effin-A comp is pretty nice. 2 points to make for it though. First, you will see a drastic difference between .223 and hotter 5.56 loads. Shooting it tuned to the .223 load with 5.56 green tips, the muzzle will actually push down a few inches. It will tire you out faster having to raise your rifle up after every shot. Second, like all brakes and compensators, the blast is redirected. You’ll feel the blast wave, and you will not make friends with anyone beside and behind you. On a side note, I wonder if the sound downrange is reduced…

      If you tune it for your self defense load, and don’t mind the increased volume, you’ll love it.

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        Thanks, that’s helpful. Since I intend to feed it a fairly monotonous diet of 53/55/60gr 5.45 for competition & training use, sounds like it’s a good fit for my needs.

  8. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Those cheap golf ball launchers work almost as good as a Noveski Pig. It throws the sound forward, not sideways.

  9. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Suppressed firearms were required at gun ranges on the east coast at the turn of the century, it was considered rude to shoot a loud firearm.

  10. avatar Nor'Easter says:

    I think the rule is that if you don’t understand it, you ban it.
    The real “beyond stupid” point is, of course, the bayonet lug ban. What this is supposed to prevent? 7/11 holdups at bayonet point? Drive-By bayonetings? I just dunno sometimes….

    1. avatar Paul53 says:

      Man, I think you’re onto something there. I don’t understand politicians!

  11. avatar Kirk says:

    Not allowed to. I live in an un-free State. 🙁

  12. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    Muzzle brakes are so damned annoying at the range. You are passing your inability to handle recoil onto my ears.

    1. avatar JohnCarter2 says:

      Maybe you should pick another hobby then, bro. Guns are too much for you.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        They tested muzzle devices in Finnland and found out that muzzle brakes increase sound by 5 to 10 decibels (ear plugs or ear muffs are about 30 db reduction) while suppressors decreased the sound the same amount that a set of good ear muffs would.

        Search around here, they had a graph about it:

  13. avatar Gyufygy says:

    I would love to have a suppressor/silencer/quieter/ball gag when I’m at the range, even indoors. One less source of noise in those echoing sonic hells, and it might shame the dude next to me trying to go full auto with a .44 Magnum to chill a little. Yay double ears. But yes, I would totally go for one.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Also, two questions of the day? This is turning into a quiz! Hmmm. What do I get if I pass?

  14. avatar Bob says:

    I dig suppressors but don’t own one. My comp ar is equipped with a muzzle brake and I love it. Maybe the guy next to me doesn’t but tough cookies. My opinion is that if your not suppressed you should be muzzle braked, flash suppressors are for suckers. ;D

  15. avatar WLCE says:

    I suppress my ARs but not my AKs (suppressing a 22 Ruger is also a varmint death machine)

    Best thing ever. Even dampening 20-30 decibels makes all the difference in the world. and yes, inside indoor ranges, you will probably get a high five from the guy next to you because you didn’t give him a concussion 😀

  16. avatar Moonshine says:

    “Anyway, do you suppress your blast?”
    I run a Miculek comp on my AR. Question answered?

  17. avatar Jesus says:

    Suppress it?


    I have a Loudener on it.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      Right from the mouth of Detective Sledge Hammer. “I made it myself!”.

  18. avatar CA.Ben says:

    I strongly dislike compensators on small rifles. Have a .44 magnum? Sure, magna-port it. But honestly, the 5.56 has minimal recoil, while putting a big ass compensator on it wrecks your ears.

    I would love a suppressor, but live in the PRK so that isn’t an option. Instead I have got a Vortex flash suppressor on my AR. Normal muzzle blast, with minimal flash. That’s my way to go.

  19. avatar Chuck in IL says:

    Not allowed to in IL. Yet. Hopefully after conceal carry is taken care of, we can get to work on NFA items. We really need a national law removing suppressors from the NFA.

  20. avatar Nigil says:

    Would have loved a suppressor for my Walther P22, back when I had one. But that tax stamp and associated fees would’ve made it cost as much as the gun. Also…how should I go about quieting my coach gun? (That’s why I keep ears in my bedside safe.)

  21. avatar APBTFan says:

    Now if we could only get rid of all that bullshit paperwork and that bullshit tax stamp.

    I have a buddy in England that finally got ok’d for a Walther G-22 and he was REQUIRED to get a suppressor.

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