PDA

View Full Version : Has anyone been tried/convicted on the flash hider vs. muzzle brake issue?


Creeping Incrementalism
04-06-2007, 11:46 PM
Does anyone know of any California assault weapon trials or convictions where the gun owner insisted it was a muzzle brake, but the state insisted that it suppressed flash? Or any cases of seizures, arrests, or general hassles with law enforcement?

I have to laugh when reading the DOJ's opinion that anything that suppresses flash counts, but refuses to give any standards, measurements, or approvals. It is as if they are saying, "We won't tell you beforehand; you'll know it is a flash suppressor when we throw you in jail."

The Department believes the absence of specific measurement standards in the statute demonstrates the legislative intent that a device that reduces or redirects any amount of muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, be considered a flash suppressor. Furthermore, there is no legislative mandate or funding for the Department to establish scientific methodology for testing devices which may or may not be flash suppressors.

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/fsor.pdf Page 17

(... as if there were more than a handful of legislators that knew a flash hider from a kazoo)

I was thinking of getting the Bushmaster AK-74 type brake for my Mini-14. Bushmaster sells brakes and flash suppressors, and identified this one as a brake. My friend has one on his Mini and has had no problems, but then again maybe he has just been lucky, or been not unlucky.

http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/10-22/images/mmt-0018.jpg

http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/10-22/mmt-0018.asp

There was a previous thread about this particular brake on CalGuns that never got settled: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=41127&highlight=ak-74+brake

So what I'm thinking is, if no one has ever gotten in serious trouble over this issue, then I'll not worry about it.

hoffmang
04-07-2007, 12:05 AM
There was an arrest in Southern California where someone had an M1-A with the non California compliant GI flash hider. My understanding is that a buddy of his become a confidential informant and that's how the police found out about it, but that was at least an arrest if not more.

-Gene

Creeping Incrementalism
04-07-2007, 12:21 AM
There was an arrest in Southern California where someone had an M1-A with the non California compliant GI flash hider. My understanding is that a buddy of his become a confidential informant and that's how the police found out about it, but that was at least an arrest if not more.

-Gene

I remember hearing about that case. But no one disputes that the M14, and pre-SB23 M1As sold in California flash suppressors.

artherd
04-07-2007, 3:15 AM
There was an arrest in Southern California where someone had an M1-A with the non California compliant GI flash hider. My understanding is that a buddy of his become a confidential informant and that's how the police found out about it, but that was at least an arrest if not more.

-Gene

So far no conviction that I know of.

Wulf
04-07-2007, 7:50 AM
The M-14 flash hider is probably as definite as the flash hider vs brake thing gets, seeing as how SA got approval to bring in the M1A with the brake but not the FH that's been on there since the gun was designed.

What's scarry about the whole thing is DOJ's (or is it BOF now?) statement "a device that reduces or redirects any amount of muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, be considered a flash suppressor". By that standard I could argue that an barrel longer than standard is a flash hider since a longer barrel will tend to reduce the amount of flash and will redirect it further away from the shooters field of vision. Same thing for a nice deep target crown on a muzzle. What about a flash suppressed powder? Is that a device?

Over all it seems like one of those things where a DA that wanted to prosecute you, could based on the standard DOJ set, getting a conviction would be a whole nuther deal, and if a court ever really looked at the FH part of the law they'd probably decided it was confusing and unenforceable like the series gun ban.

DesertShooter
04-07-2007, 7:51 AM
I haven't heard of any convictions for having an "evil" attachment on the end of a muzzle, but...

If you view the muzzle flash of a G.I. M-14 (or civilian M1A with the G.I. "flash-hider") attachment at night, the muzzle flash is NOT "hidden", but is "dissipated" in somewhat of a "star" configuration. If you study that "star" configuration, you will notice that there is NO flash at the bottom of the attachment. That is because the "flash hider" was engineered to both "dissipate" the flash AND to direct most of the power from that flash in a downward and sideways direction....i.e., engineered to be a "compensator", and to assist with keeping the muzzle down when fired. If no attachment was affixed, the muzzle flash would be cone-shaped, with NONE of the energy of the flash being diverted to assist with the muzzle climb.

"Muzzle BRAKE"? "Muzzle COMPENSATOR"? "Muzzle SUPPRESSOR"? "Muzzle FLASH-HIDER"? Whatever "tag" you want to put on attachments of such engineering, they ALL will generate muzzle flash of some sort! So WHAT? Has anyone ever been killed by muzzle flash?

Hey, I can understand the "No bayonet lug" law. After all, bayonet charges have become quite popular with gangs and drug dealers! And, I guess that having a "pistol grip" on a rifle makes them MORE DEADLY! Then, there's the "evil" grenade launcher attachment on rifles....since rifle grenades are so plentiful and easy to purchase! HMM! 10-round magazines make firearms "more tame" than the ones that never need to be dropped and another full mag inserted! Darn, let's "micro-stamp" all firing pins, too! Let's require each and every round of ammo to have a serial number etched on it! And, let's not leave out the "hunters", for their highly-accurate, 'scoped rifles COULD be used as "sniper rifles"!
Yeah, and .22 caliber firearms....they need to be banned, since they STILL cause so many deaths! Surrender your Ruger 10/22 rifles, you "killers"!

OUCH! I just bit my tongue!

psssniper
04-07-2007, 9:14 AM
I once got into a discussion of the M1A's Cal approved brake and it's legality with a BLM Ranger. He didn't think it was legal but reasoned conversation swayed his opinion. Good thing as we had 5 M1As with us that day ;)
I don't know what he would have done if he had decided that we were illegal but during the course of conversation he did make me disarm.........
Now lets talk about those dangerous bayonet lugs........:D

dfletcher
04-07-2007, 9:40 AM
Has anyone ever wondered why it seems legislators and attorneys can write such precise language with respect to a wide variety of laws dealing with complicated issues concerning revenue, city planning & zoning and on and on. But they seem incapable of writing clear, concise laws regarding firearms? Is this by accident or design? Isn't the result of imprecise language greater leeway by law enforcement to do what they want rather than follow the law? Isn't the result a greater liklihood that you or I may be involved in the legal process at least long enough to suffer some penalty?

xenophobe
04-07-2007, 10:07 AM
There was an arrest in Southern California where someone had an M1-A with the non California compliant GI flash hider. My understanding is that a buddy of his become a confidential informant and that's how the police found out about it, but that was at least an arrest if not more.

From what I understand charges are still pending. Perhaps someone who keeps tabs on these circumstances, like Bill, may have more information.

triaged
04-07-2007, 3:14 PM
"Muzzle BRAKE"? "Muzzle COMPENSATOR"? "Muzzle SUPPRESSOR"? "Muzzle FLASH-HIDER"? Whatever "tag" you want to put on attachments of such engineering, they ALL will generate muzzle flash of some sort! So WHAT? Has anyone ever been killed by muzzle flash?Not true. Some however are better then others.

Take a look at this
http://www.silencertests.com/flash.htm
Sorry for the huge pic
http://www.silencertests.com/images/flashpics/flash3.jpg

Technical Ted
04-07-2007, 3:24 PM
From what I understand charges are still pending. Perhaps someone who keeps tabs on these circumstances, like Bill, may have more information.
If this is the case mentioned Fifty Cal Institute forum I'm thinking of, didn't the the raid also turn up a couple of .50 BMG tracer or API (complete rounds or projectiles, can't recall) for which he faces individual charges per each?

bwiese
04-07-2007, 3:27 PM
If this is the case mentioned Fifty Cal Institute forum I'm thinking of, didn't the the raid also turn up a couple of .50 BMG tracer or API (complete rounds or projectiles, can't recall) for which he faces individual charges per each?

I will just say this case has a variety of complexities.
I'm losing track, this may have involved belted ammo ("hicaps"!) too.

The credibility of the 'witness' may come into play as - IIRC - he may be working off some charges.

E Pluribus Unum
04-07-2007, 3:30 PM
Comeon children.... bayonet lugs are NOT illegal.

Alan Block
04-07-2007, 4:16 PM
True! The bayonet lug prohibition was never in Californias code, only in the federal code which no longer is law.

DRH
04-07-2007, 6:47 PM
I was thinking of getting the Bushmaster AK-74 type brake for my Mini-14.

I had that brake on my mini-14 and replaced it with a flash hider. It was loud and I notice no difference in muzzle climb. If you don't mind a used brake I will sell you mine. It has two small nicks and has only been used a couple thousand times.:D

http://www.hunt101.com/img/486631.jpg

swinterk
04-07-2007, 7:05 PM
So, if you use the MM grip, you're safer if you just unscrew
the flash hider? Do you need to put something on the end
of the barrel to protect the threads?

Technical Ted
04-07-2007, 7:10 PM
So, if you use the MM grip, you're safer if you just unscrew
the flash hider? Do you need to put something on the end
of the barrel to protect the threads?
AR15 1/2"X28TPI muzzle threading meet Schuster 1/2"X28TPI Thread Protector.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=469030
http://www.adcofirearms.com/acc/acimages/Thread%20Protector%20k.jpg

bwiese
04-07-2007, 7:41 PM
So, if you use the MM grip, you're
safer if you just unscrew the flash hider?

Safer? Dude, you MUST remove the flash hider if you use an MM grip with detachable magazine!!!

Otherwise you have a semiauto centerfire rifle w/detachable magazine with a triggering AW evil feature.

Don't be "M1A guy" that put a flash hider on his rifle and got popped.

MM-gripped detachable mag rifles can have ZERO 12276.1PC evil features - folder/telescoping stock, pistol grip, flash hider,


Do you need to put something on the end
of the barrel to protect the threads?

Prob a good idea. Thread protector, fake flash hider or muzzle brake all work.

swinterk
04-07-2007, 10:14 PM
By "safer" I meant legally safer. I was mostly asking for
info on some kind of thread protector, which Technical Ted
so kindly supplied. Thanks.

Yankee Clipper
04-08-2007, 12:06 AM
Every quarter we come up with the same question visa-a-vise flash-hiders on an M-14/M-1A. Please hit the search key on the subject and you'll find the same answers: DOJ says if the manufacturer sells it as a muzzle break (i.e. Springfield, Smith Enterprises, etc.) then it's legal. If it is the original M-14/M1A flash hider, then it is illegal. The succinct reason for the flash hiders is to keep the enemy from seeing your flash when you fire. If it keeps the flash out of your line of sight, and with proper design it should, that's another positive. If anyone wants to argue the point above of why we have flash hiders, feel free. The flash hider on a civilian M1A is just a necessary place to mount the front site and to keep it legal for Service Rifle Matches. Otherwise it’s just like the ‘bird-cage’ on the end of an AR15: it doesn’t better your groups and is something else that’s hard to clean.
Suggestion: avoid the Springfield muzzle break and buy the quietist muzzle break you can for your M1A. You’ll shoot much better without the increased noise and you’ll be environmentally friendly.

Wulf
04-08-2007, 9:08 AM
The noise from the springfield brake is Dramatically louder from a position a few feet to either side of the shooter. From directly behind the gun the blast is unremarkable and easily handled by normal hearing protection.

3GunFunShooter
04-08-2007, 9:25 AM
I have an AK 74 on my Mini 14.
Works great.
Cut my groups in half.
My take on the flash hider/brake is that
the AK74 has holes in the top so you are ok.
No flash hiding features if it flashes in the line of sight.

bwiese
04-08-2007, 12:29 PM
By "safer" I meant legally safer.

Your use of the relative term, "safer", implied that you thought there is some level of legal safety in using a flash hider with a MonsterMan grip.

There is no legal safety in this, because it is 100% illegal.

You cannot use one (unless the rifle were rimfire or were nonsemiauto/manually cycled).

swinterk
04-08-2007, 1:06 PM
This thread started out with questions about whether
anyone had actually been arrested for having a
flash hider. From there it progressed to a discussion
about how flash hiders are defined. I don't like the
uncertainty in this issue, and I don't see any particular
benefit to me from having a muzzle break on my
plinking rifle with the MM grip. I would just as soon use
a thread protector and avoid the issue entirely.

xenophobe
04-08-2007, 2:32 PM
If this is the case mentioned Fifty Cal Institute forum I'm thinking of, didn't the the raid also turn up a couple of .50 BMG tracer or API (complete rounds or projectiles, can't recall) for which he faces individual charges per each?

Yes. He's facing a wide array of charges. I understand that they're really going to try to nail him up against the wall with everything, valid or not...

Fate
04-08-2007, 2:44 PM
MM-gripped detachable mag rifles can have ZERO 12276.1PC evil features - folder/telescoping stock, pistol grip, flash hider,
Wow...of all people, I would have thought you would use the correct term for what is banned...flash suppressor, not flash hider. ;)

bohoki
11-08-2007, 1:29 PM
man i wish i could see a comparison to the old 3 pronger

Santa Cruz Armory
11-08-2007, 1:49 PM
My idea:

I purchased advertised muzzle brakes from a reputable company (Midway, Tapco, etc.) and kept the paperwork that shows I purchased them as muzzle brakes. I only run those. If you get popped, they advertise them in their catalogs/ online as brakes.

Just my .02

JALLEN
11-08-2007, 2:37 PM
I haven't heard of any convictions for having an "evil" attachment on the end of a muzzle, but...

Has anyone ever been killed by muzzle flash?



I wasn't killed, but the muzzle flash from a M1 Garand in the next lane almost set my mustache on fire one night. The only reason I escaped that dreadful fate was that the surprise of the noise caused me to jump a foot and a half straight up.:o

It was the loudest noise I have heard since I was safety officer in a 5" gun turret on a big gray yacht.

dfletcher
11-08-2007, 5:52 PM
I have an AK 74 on my Mini 14.
Works great.
Cut my groups in half.
My take on the flash hider/brake is that
the AK74 has holes in the top so you are ok.
No flash hiding features if it flashes in the line of sight.

Hopefully it's not a thread on type that could be turned 180 degrees so that the holes & flash are redirected away from your line of sight, yes? I can imagine a DOJ type breaking out his pliers to make that happen.

gspam1
12-06-2007, 10:54 AM
Darn, I thought I had the OLL maze worked out and now this. I had thought if I used a Bullet Button on my OLL, then I could keep the other evil features. My 6.8 has an A2 style flash hider. Does the A2 need to come off?

bwiese
12-06-2007, 11:05 AM
Darn, I thought I had the OLL maze worked out and now this. I had thought if I used a Bullet Button on my OLL, then I could keep the other evil features. My 6.8 has an A2 style flash hider. Does the A2 need to come off?

Not if it has a fixed 10rd or less mag (i.e., BulletButton) - because then it doesn't have a legally-defined 'detachable magazine'.

gspam1
12-06-2007, 12:04 PM
Not if it has a fixed 10rd or less mag (i.e., BulletButton) - because then it doesn't have a legally-defined 'detachable magazine'.

Thanks B!. Excellent news indeed.

dixieD
12-06-2007, 1:57 PM
Now lets talk about those dangerous bayonet lugs........:D

M1 Garands all have bayonet lugs. Why is it legal? Also is there any law regarding having a bayonet mounted? I'd like to see what the effect on POI is on my Garand with the bayonet attached.

D

bwiese
12-06-2007, 2:17 PM
M1 Garands all have bayonet lugs. Why is it legal? Also is there any law regarding having a bayonet mounted?

People keep getting the now-expired Fed law and the current CA laws confused.

Bayonet lugs are not a controlled feature on California rifles. Any rifle in CA can have a zillion bayonet lugs mounted and - no matter what else on the rifle - will not change its status due to a bayonet lug.


I'd like to see what the effect on POI is on my Garand with the bayonet attached.

The bayonet may indeed move POI a bit - but that may be less than dispersion in typical milsurp ammo Garand guys seem to shoot. Using match 30-06 ammo - and with a decent shooter/proper sights - I imagine it'd be noticeable and there'd be two 'clusters' on the target, one for no bayonet, one for with bayonet attached.

I know that STG58 FAL-type rifles can move their POI almost 6" when fired normally vs when its front bipod legs are extended and dug into ground.

Yankee Clipper
12-06-2007, 8:56 PM
I assume BW is correct on the move of the POI with bipod or bayonet attached on just about any rifle. But when the command comes to 'Fix-Bayonets' the POI on the target is going to be 'good-enough' on any shots you get off. So I'm wondering dixieD, why you'd want to fire your rifle with the a bayonet attached-especially now days when we are normally firing these rifles at 100 to 600 yards? Just curious!

Originally Posted by dixieD
M1 Garands all have bayonet lugs. Why is it legal? Also is there any law regarding having a bayonet mounted? I'd like to see what the effect on POI is on my Garand with the bayonet attached.
People keep getting the now-expired Fed law and the current CA laws confused.
Bayonet lugs are not a controlled feature on California rifles. Any rifle in CA can have a zillion bayonet lugs mounted and - no matter what else on the rifle - will not change its status due to a bayonet lug.
The bayonet may indeed move POI a bit - but that may be less than dispersion in typical milsurp ammo Garand guys seem to shoot. Using match 30-06 ammo - and with a decent shooter/proper sights - I imagine it'd be noticeable and there'd be two 'clusters' on the target, one for no bayonet, one for with bayonet attached.
I know that STG58 FAL-type rifles can move their POI almost 6" when fired normally vs when its front bipod legs are extended and dug into ground.

Scarecrow Repair
12-06-2007, 11:03 PM
So I'm wondering dixieD, why you'd want to fire your rifle with the a bayonet attached-especially now days when we are normally firing these rifles at 100 to 600 yards? Just curious!

I can't answer for dixieD, but I sometimes shoot my 1861 Springfield replica with the bayonet because it looks so much more impressive and doesn't get in the way of loading much.

If I had a bayonet for other rifles, I might do that too, just for fun. Heck, if you miss that watermelon or water jug, chaaaarge!

grammaton76
12-07-2007, 12:28 AM
DOJ says if the manufacturer sells it as a muzzle break (i.e. Springfield, Smith Enterprises, etc.) then it's legal.

Actually, DOJ says that it uses a number of factors - including but not necessarily limited to, manufacturer designation, one sales literature, and function. If it were as simple as "the manufacturer says this is not a flash hider", that would be nice and actually fairly clear.

But, bear in mind that the DOJ may choose to rely on any of the above causes to decide that something constitutes a flash hider. And that's just according to Iggy's deposition for Hunt vs Lockyer, which is (sadly) the most definitive word we've had on it so far...

dixieD
12-08-2007, 10:32 AM
I assume BW is correct on the move of the POI with bipod or bayonet attached on just about any rifle. But when the command comes to 'Fix-Bayonets' the POI on the target is going to be 'good-enough' on any shots you get off. So I'm wondering dixieD, why you'd want to fire your rifle with the a bayonet attached-especially now days when we are normally firing these rifles at 100 to 600 yards? Just curious!

No reason other than the fact that I have a bayonet and want to know what to expect regarding POI if it is attached.

One thing I noticed is that since my gas cylinder is a little loose (I need to peen it), when the bayonet is mounted movement of the gas cylinder and therefore the front sight might be more substantial from one shot to the next.

I think I'll bring the bayonet next time I go to the range.

Doug