AR15 Suppressor and Muzzle Flash

Project ar15 Sep 09, 2023
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Ar15 Suppressors backpressure

Suppress that muzzle flash

The use of suppressors with AR-15 rifles has become increasingly popular among shooters seeking reduced noise, muzzle flash, and recoil. However, this technological advancement is not without its challenges. While suppressors excel in dampening the effects of firing, they can introduce complications related to over-pressurization of the gas system, particularly with AR pistols. This article will look at the benefits and considerations of suppressor usage with AR-15s, addressing the potential issues associated with gas system over-pressurization and exploring solutions to maintain optimal functionality.

Benefits of Suppressor Usage With AR15s

Suppressors, commonly referred to as silencers, are attachments that reduce the noise generated when a firearm is discharged. Beyond the obvious benefit of noise reduction, suppressors also offer advantages such as diminished muzzle flash and decreased recoil. This makes them an appealing choice for recreational shooters, hunters, and tactical operators alike, enabling improved accuracy, quicker target reacquisition and follow up shots. A popular set-up is an integrated suppressor, where the handguard extends beyond the end of the barrel and covers a portion of the suppressor. This gives a truly unique aesthetic to the firearm and provides some protection for the suppressor itself. Suppressors have a two main attachment options. One is to remove your current muzzle device and thread the suppressor on in its place. the other is a harmonious symbiotic connection where the suppressor goes over and threads directly to the muzzle device. This greatly enhances the versatility of the firearm and it's capabilities. Giving shooters the ability to go from loud to silent in mere moments, should the need or desire arise. Depending on length and construction, suppressors generally reduce noise levels by about 30db (decibels). While far from "silent" this critical reduction is sound gives users the ability to use the AR15 for home defense without worry about damage to their hearing or the hearing of loved ones who may be present. The use of a suppressor in conjunction with subsonic ammunition diminishes these noise levels even further. Creating a unique and pleasant shooting experience. Though generally speaking shooters still use ear protection even while shooting with a suppressor especially when using Supersonic ammunition. 

Over-pressurization and Functionality Issues

One of the challenges posed by suppressor usage with AR-15 rifles revolves around over-pressurization of the gas system. AR-15s rely on a gas-operated system to cycle the firearm's action, which involves diverting some of the high-pressure gases produced during firing to power the cycling process. When a suppressor is attached, the additional backpressure can lead to an influx of excess gas into the system.

This over-pressurization can potentially disrupt the proper functioning of the firearm. For instance, it may cause issues like bolt bounce, failure to extract or eject, and even increased wear on internal components. These problems can significantly impact the rifle's reliability, accuracy, and longevity.

Adjustable Ar15 Gas Blocks

To mitigate the challenges of gas system over-pressurization, shooters often turn to adjustable gas blocks. These blocks allow users to fine-tune the amount of gas redirected to the cycling process, ensuring that only the necessary gas enters the system. By adjusting the gas flow, shooters can maintain the proper functioning of the AR-15 even when using a suppressor.

Ar15 Pistols and Exacerbated Issues

The issue of gas system over-pressurization is particularly pronounced with AR pistols. These compact variants of the AR-15 often use pistol-length gas systems, which inherently generate higher pressure levels due to the shorter gas tube. When a suppressor is added to an AR pistol, the excess gas can lead to unwanted consequences.

One such issue is the escape of gas around the charging handle area, which can push the charging handle backward towards the shooter. This unexpected recoil-like effect can disrupt the shooter's rhythm and accuracy. In response to this phenomenon, some charging handles are designed with ports that allow excess gas to escape, helping to mitigate the effects of the excess gases.

While suppressors undoubtedly offer numerous advantages in terms of noise reduction, muzzle flash, and recoil control, they also introduce challenges related to gas system over-pressurization in AR-15 rifles. Shooters must be aware of these potential issues and consider using adjustable gas blocks to maintain proper functionality. AR pistols are particularly susceptible to over-pressurization, which can lead to the unwanted movement of the charging handle. However, innovative solutions such as ported charging handles demonstrate the industry's commitment to addressing these challenges. By carefully balancing the benefits and considerations of suppressor usage, shooters can ensure their AR-15 rifles perform optimally while reaping the rewards of reduced noise and enhanced shooting experiences.