AR Flash Hider vs. Brake

I have been using the brake provided with the 10.5" AR-15 pistol kit I bought. It is really loud! It looks like this:

Would changing out to an A2 birdcage style reduce the perceived volume for both me and bystanders? If so, is there a significant performance difference between the $6 ones and the much more expensive ones?

Or, should I just take it off and shoot without either one?

Or, are there better choices?

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That there is an interesting design. On that length of barrel, darn near anything, or nothing, will be loud. Just comes down to where the noise is directed.

Brakes are loud, and good brakes are really loud. The shorter the barrel the louder they are. Typically a brake will direct the blown back gas at about a 45 degree angle, so people to the side of a shooter will get the most effect. Having said that, a good brake that is tuned will make a difference in felt recoil and making follow up shots faster.

A flash hider is there to dissipate the flash for the shooter, when shooting at night. Your typical birdcage A2 or A3 style works well. The A1 (prongs) do too, and make a distinctive ‘ping’ when shooting. They do nothing for recoil, and the sound would basically be about the same as a naked barrel.

Ones that are made to do both functions generally do not do well at either one, or may do one function a bit better than the other.


@MarkinMT lays it out correctly.

Muzzle Brakes reduce felt recoil and Flash Hiders reduce flash.

For pistol length weapons I am fond of “Krinkov” or “Noveske Flaming Pig” design canisters for the front end. They mitigate the recoil to a perceptible degree and reduce the flash some but shove the sound “forward” the most. Yes they are a bit heavy but in most instances you can tuck them inside the hand guards for a bit more grip space. I actually like having the additional weight up front as it seems to smooth out the swing if traversing. I have a 3.5" Krinkov on my 7.5" tube tucked into a 10" hand guard and it pokes out about 1/4". Very controllable, not overly loud (much better than a brake or FH) but it still spits out a 8" fire ball after dark.

The cure for all of it of course is a suppressor but that’s a different topic.




I have linear comps on my 9mm ARs, flash/gas propels and directs the sound forward toward a target.

These are friendlier to shooters on to your sides as well to other shooters on the range line as the sound is directed away and not the the sides as other comps.


@Gary_H I put the Epsilon VG6 on my AK-47 and I really like it, even people who didn’t know it was on there commented on how controllable it was.
Otherwise only a suppressor is going to help and then you add length so its a trade off. :wink:


I found this on a blog post about AR noise. I have copied in the whole post. Another one I read said the AR pistol came in at 170 decibels. If it was me, suppressor time.
Facts on noise levels:

  1. Decibels measure sound pressure and are logarithmic. That means that only a 3db increase almost doubles sound pressure, a 6db increase quadruples sound pressure, etc.
  2. Gradual hearing loss may occur after prolonged exposure to 90 decibels or above.
  3. Exposure to 100 decibels for more than 15 minutes can cause hearing loss.
  4. Exposure to 110 decibels for more than a minute can cause permanent hearing loss.
  5. At 140 dBA noise causes immediate injury to almost any unprotected ear.
  6. There is also the more extreme ‘acoustic trauma’, which is an immediate loss of hearing after a sudden, exceptionally loud noise such as an explosion.

Comparative noise levels and length of time for damage to occur
Jet engine taking off 140 dB Instant damage
Thunder/Ambulance siren 119 dB 3 minutes
Hammer drill 113 dB 15 minutes
Chain saw/Earphones/Concert 110 dB 30 minutes
Bull Dozer 105 dB 1 hour
Tractor/Power tools 96 dB 4 hour
Hairdryer/lawnmower 90 dB 8 hours

Noise levels of firearms:
.22 caliber rifle 130dB
.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18" barrel 155.5dB
.243 in 22" barrel 155.9dB
.30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB.
7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB.
.308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB.
.30-06 in 24" barrel 158.5dB. In 18" barrel 163.2dB.
.375 18" barrel with muzzle brake 170 dB.
.410 Bore 28" barrel 150dB. 26" barrel 150.25dB. 18" barrel 156.30dB.
20 Gauge 28" barrel 152.50dB. 22" barrel 154.75dB.
12 Gauge 28" barrel 151.50dB. 26" barrel 156.10dB. 18" barrel 161.50dB.
.25 ACP 155.0 dB.
.32 LONG 152.4 dB.
.32 ACP 153.5 dB.
.380 157.7 dB.
9mm 159.8 dB.
.38 S&W 153.5 dB.
.38 Spl 156.3 dB.
.357 Magnum 164.3 dB.
.41 Magnum 163.2 dB.
.44 Spl 155.9 dB.
.45 ACP 157.0 dB.
.45 COLT 154.7 dB.

Properly fitted earplugs or muffs reduce noise 15 to 30 dB. The better earplugs and muffs are approximately equal in sound reductions, although earplugs are better for low frequency noise and earmuffs for high frequency noise.

Using muffs and plugs together: Take the higher of the two and add 5 dB. 30 plug with 20 muff gives an effective NRR of 35.

If you are shooting by yourself, with plugs and muffs on, you get to shoot up to a thousand rounds without damage (louder ammo/gun and the allowable drops by a factor of 5). Shoot with other people and you have to add all the rounds shot cumulatively (10 people shoot 100 rounds and everybody’s done for the day; toss a handcannon or 30 cal rifle in and you’re back down to 200 rounds cumulative). If you shoot on an indoor range then all the rounds fired while you are on the range go into your total. So you can see that it doesn’t take very long on a range to have a thousand rounds popped off around you.

Don’t forget about bone conduction of concusive sound waves. The mastoid bone will transmit the sound vibrations directly to you inner ear where the cochela and the hearing nerves resides. Constant exposure to this kind of concusive sound waves, ie: 50 BMG, industrial heavey machinery, will result in the degradation of your hearing quality. Even with ear muffs, bone conduction is a big factor in hearing.


Alright, I am torn between two different constructions. I am really attracted to the Krinkov - the only drawback I see is weight - 8.4 oz. of torque hanging off the end of a 10.5" barrel “sounds” like a lot.

The other design is less than half the weight at 3.4 oz. I found one video that compared this design to an open barrel with about 3 dB noise reduction at the shooter’s ear. That’s half as loud, so attractive, but I suspect the Krinkov does better.

Any thoughts?

edit: after I posted this I got to thinking more about my own questions. 8.4 oz @ 10.5" is less than 1/2 ft-lb of torque on the base of the barrel. If it can’t take that, then there is something wrong with it. The Krinkov has a lot more volume than the 6 port and disassembles for cleaning. Depending on shipping the Krinkov should be here … maybe soon? :smiley:

My opinion for short tubes is well documented and I roll the Krinkov. With a 10.5" tube she may be a bit more “swing heavy” than on my 7.5" but certainly not unmanageable. The flash is “Impressive” on a 7.5" + Krinkov after the sun goes down but not noticeable in daylight. That said I “think” the felt recoil on my pistol is LESS than on my carbine.



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Thanks @Craig6, I am looking forward to trying it out - although with current state of the country it will probably be a couple of weeks at best.

I got the Krinkov installed. I reused the crush washer, figure it won’t hurt?

Since I have never seen one before, I have a question. The spring clip lines up about a 1/16th of a turn before the cone gets screwed all the way down on the housing. Therefore there is play back and forth between the two parts, but the spring keeps it from backing out. It this normal?

@Henry4, this is a 3 piece Krinkov; the housing, the screw-in cone, and the spring clip as shown:
The cone will screw on past the alignment slots for the spring clip:
And to complete the picture this is how it looks with the cone backed off a bit and spring clip in place:
The crush washer is between the barrel and the housing. I don’t believe barrel indexing matters with this style of flash can.

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@Gary_H Excellent pics and wording. You have just demonstrated how the Krinkov is almost “idiot” proof in that if you back it off from the spring location 1 turn it almost comes apart and by over tightening the spring tells you that you are wrong. The separation between the cone and the can provides and “expansion chamber” for the gasses to escape into and get cooled /slowed with the increased volume while not being forced out the front. Which is of course how it works.



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