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View Full Version : Fsc 556 vs. battlecomp is one less evil?


Moonshine
04-16-2012, 5:17 PM
I'm gonna pull off the a2 break and put one of these on and will build a gripless fixed stock lower so I have both bullet button and detachable configs with my upper. The consensus seems to be that the Fsc and battlecomp are technically legal but possibly grey area. Is one less evil?

Merc1138
04-16-2012, 5:33 PM
Just buy something else that isn't marketed as a flash suppressor, problem solved.

Bhobbs
04-16-2012, 5:52 PM
I believe Kestryll is running a FCS on his Mini with no mag lock. Iirc the BATFE said it wasnt a flash hider.

seainc
04-16-2012, 5:57 PM
FSC556 BATFE approval letter. (http://www.hkparts.net/shop/pc/images/FSC556_web.pdf)

Chaos47
04-16-2012, 6:03 PM
It is highly debated but most on Calguns agree that both the FSC556 and the Battlecomp are illegal on semi auto centerfire featureless builds in California.
Both are fine on magazine locked rifles.

The ATF letter does not matter, as its CA DOJ's decision.
It's their 4th step to consult the ATF and if they decide its a flash hider in any earlier step they stop at that point and rule it as one

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=14Sc8MNP9AO6JgHxcnqm5oR45LDLIhpqeBHsCN8-K4XU&pli=1
978.20 Definitions
(b) “flash suppressor” means any device designed, intended, or that functions to
perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter’s field of vision.
From SB23 (PDF)


During Hunt v Lockyer it was determined that:
1. That the DOJ’s definition of “flash suppressor” exceeded the authority granted to them by the legislature.
2. That the definition of “flash suppressor” was unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous.
Durring the trial the DOJ filed a declaration by DOJ Special Agent Ignatius (Iggy) Chinn
Hunt v. Lockyer Declaration of DOJ Special Agent Ignatius Chinn (PDF)
Quote from Ignatuis Chinn’s Declaration:
7. Accordingly, DOJ determines whether a particular feature or device is a flash suppressor as defined in section 978.20(b) by inspecting the device, reviewing material regarding the device provided by the manufacturer or otherwise, and/or consulting with ATF. In particular, DOJ determines whether a particular device is a flash suppressor under the regulatory definition by following a step-by-step analysis. In nearly all instances to date, DOJ has been able to determine that the device in question is a flash suppressor in the initial stage of the analysis, without needing to proceed further in the determination process.
8. The first step is determination of whether the device in question is designed or intended to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision. The assigned Firearms Division personnel examine the device and review material produced by the manufacturer of the device to see what the manufacturer has said publicly about its designed or intended uses for the device. Manufacturer materials reviewed can include brochures and packaging provided with the device, advertising materials, websites, and point-of-sale or other marketing materials. If it is determined that the device in question was designed or intended to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, then the device is determined to be a flash suppressor, and the inquiry is at an end.
9. If however, it is determined that the device in question was not designed or intended to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, then the analysis proceeds to a determination of whether the device nonetheless functions to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision. If it is determined that the device in question does not function to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, then the device is determined not to be a flash suppressor, and the inquiry is at an end.
10. If, however, at this stage, Firearms Division personnel were unable to determine whether a particular device functions to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision based on inspection of the device, they would consult with ATF.


So in short the CA DOJ’s system for determining a Flash Suppressor is:
1. Examine the device and the claims made by the manufacturer.
If at step 1 the device is found to be a Flash Suppressor there is no need to progress to later steps and the device is determined to be a flash suppressor.
2. Test if the device does nonetheless function as a Flash Hider
If at step 2 the device is determined “not function to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision” then the device is determined not to be a flash suppressor”
3. If unable to determine, consult with ATF



Yes, Kestryll runs a FSC556 on his Mini...
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=538446&highlight=Kestryll+mini+fsc556
So some do disagree with this stance. It's ultimately up to you and if you feel like being the court case to find out if it is legal or not.
Hope you have deep pockets...


You asked which one is less evil (not that it matters really) as to me they are both illegal on a featureless.
I would say FSC556 is down right illegal.
1 the name Flash Supressing Compensator
2 gas expansion chamber
3 Prongs
4 they make the TTO which specially says
"The TTO features all of the compensation of the FSC556, but does not poses the flash suppressing tines of the FSC556."

Battle Comp physically doesn't have many features of a flash hider so I would say it is "less evil" but still illegal on a featureless.
1 Gas expansion chamber
There is debate about the 1.5 model that it is even worse then the others due to its open end

But with how the CA DOJ defines a flash hider it has less to do with how it is designed and more on what is claimed and advertised.
In that case both have claimed their flash hiding ability numerous times...

spdrcr
04-16-2012, 6:32 PM
Chaos47 pretty much nailed it.

While I have a Battlecomp 1.0 on one of my uppers, for my featureless builds I chose a Surefire MB556K and a JP Enterprises Benny Cooley Muzzle Break.

Chaos47
04-16-2012, 6:48 PM
Don't get me wrong I think the FSC556 is badass! I think BattleComps probably works well but are a bit overpriced compared to the FSC.

If they where legal I would probably run an FSC, but as things are today I wouldn't risk it when theres so many more options out there.

Moonshine
04-16-2012, 7:16 PM
What break would one use then?

vintagearms
04-16-2012, 7:20 PM
I use the BC 1.5 on my featureless without issue. Its not designed as a flash suppressor and not marketed as such. Technically most of the aftermarket featureless grips are "gray areas" except maybe the Hammerhead.

Moonshine
04-16-2012, 7:22 PM
Update: battlecomp is now Stating on their web page it is CA legal;

http://battlecomp.com/?page_id=2

Of course that's an easy statement to make because it's obviously legal on bullet buttons but could be misleading. Come to think of it though th AWB as a whole is misleading.

Chaos47
04-16-2012, 7:35 PM
They have allways claimed its CA legal.
Notice they never say for featureless builds anywhere on their website.


EDIT: BTW I don't get why you are stirring the pot on this as I see that you have posted in multiple threads about these brakes before:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=8080810&postcount=10
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=556885&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=544536&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
for example...

Chaos47
04-16-2012, 7:46 PM
What break would one use then?
Take a look at this list and pick what you like (Scroll down a bit)
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=14Sc8MNP9AO6JgHxcnqm5oR45LDLIhpqeBHsCN8-K4XU&pli=1


I use the BC 1.5 on my featureless without issue. Its not designed as a flash suppressor and not marketed as such. Technically most of the aftermarket featureless grips are "gray areas" except maybe the Hammerhead.

You use a BC 1.5 without issue? So since you haven't been arrested for it yet its legal in your mind? :eek:


Technically?
Not being DOJ approved does not mean gray area.
Laws tell you what you can not do, not what you can do.


978.20 Definitions
(d) "pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon”
means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp in which the web of the trigger
hand (between the thumb and index finger) can be placed below the top of the
exposed portion of the trigger while firing.

spdrcr
04-16-2012, 7:57 PM
I use the BC 1.5 on my featureless without issue. Its not designed as a flash suppressor and not marketed as such. Technically most of the aftermarket featureless grips are "gray areas" except maybe the Hammerhead.

Just because you haven't had an issue yet doesn't mean it will remain that way. I've seen numerous CalGunners running unpinned 14.5" uppers on their rifles too "without issue". Doesn't mean it's legal. Someone has to be the first case for an over-zealous CA DA. I do hope you have adequate funds set aside "just in case".

I'm not sure what The Right People's position is on the BC and whether or not they would take on that case should it come up in the context of a featureless build.

It's just not worth the risk when there are plenty of dedicated muzzle break options out there that perform well.

generalpetres
04-17-2012, 12:28 PM
i would go with the fsc556 as it has some flash hiding capabilities but isnt considered a flash hider by the batf. only thing i will say is you will have to get use to the over pressure you will get when shooting this, its not bad but its there. also people wont like to shoot to the sides of you which will happen with most compensator's that direct gases back towards you. now do you want something that looks good or do you want something to help control recoil and muzzle rise? if you want to control muzzle and recoil i might also suggest a sjc titan.

tonyxcom
04-17-2012, 12:51 PM
I would just run the PWS TTO or Surefire Brake and call it a day.

No reason to dance around potential jailtime on a rifle that will likely never see combat or even some tactical situation where a flash hider would mean the difference between life and death. Lets get real here.

vintagearms
04-17-2012, 1:11 PM
They have allways claimed its CA legal.
Notice they never say for featureless builds anywhere on their website.


EDIT: BTW I don't get why you are stirring the pot on this as I see that you have posted in multiple threads about these brakes before:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=8080810&postcount=10
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=556885&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=544536&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
for example...

They dont have to mention featureless. Per your post above"
So in short the CA DOJ’s system for determining a Flash Suppressor is:
1. Examine the device and the claims made by the manufacturer.
If at step 1 the device is found to be a Flash Suppressor there is no need to progress to later steps and the device is determined to be a flash suppressor."

As the manufacturer stated this is a compensator and not a flash suppressor, CA DOJ would not go any further. Since compensators are not flash suppressors they would be legal on any build, featureless or not.

Sicarius
04-17-2012, 1:15 PM
Phantom brake is legit on a featureless... and cheap too.
Kevin

Chaos47
04-17-2012, 2:49 PM
They dont have to mention featureless. Per your post above"
So in short the CA DOJ’s system for determining a Flash Suppressor is:
1. Examine the device and the claims made by the manufacturer.
If at step 1 the device is found to be a Flash Suppressor there is no need to progress to later steps and the device is determined to be a flash suppressor."

As the manufacturer stated this is a compensator and not a flash suppressor, CA DOJ would not go any further. Since compensators are not flash suppressors they would be legal on any build, featureless or not.

So you agree with me that if they claim flash hiding capabilities that it is a flash suppressor?

"Minimal Flash Signature" BattleComp Promo Video (http://youtu.be/Kr433ma17a0) at 1:00

Testimonials Page: (http://battlecomp.com/?page_id=18)
“During the night shoots, it has no more flash than the A2.”
“flash comparable to an A2”
“works without the excessive noise and flash usually associated with compensators.”
“flash was similar to an A2”
“it does a MUCH better job controlling noise, blast and flash.”
“Night fire drills resulted in barely any flash”
“I have used another comp from the makers of a top tier flash suppressor and this is much better”

I'm sure I don't have to tell you an A2 is defiantly a flash suppressor.


Lets look at the actual wording:
http://www.calgunlaws.com/Docs/ASSAULT%20WEAPONS/Cal%20Regulations/NRA-HuntPDecOfIgnatiusChinn061205.PDF
8. The first step is determination of whether the device in question is designed or intended to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision. The assigned Firearms Division personnel examine the device and review material produced by the manufacturer of the device to see what the manufacturer has said publicly about its designed or intended uses for the device. Manufacturer materials reviewed can include brochures and packaging provided with the device, advertising materials, websites, and point-of-sale or other marketing materials. If it is determined that the device in question was designed or intended to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter's field of vision, then the device is determined to be a flash suppressor, and the inquiry is at an end.


Naming it a compensator is fine, and possibly would have made it so.
But they have also made claims to its ability to suppress flash. That is where they went wrong.

They can't have their cake and eat it to.

702Shooter
04-17-2012, 3:30 PM
BattleComp is hosting a cocktail party tonight in Las Vegas. I've been looking forward to asking them about this exact issue. I'll probably get the same response as on their site but who knows, maybe they will provide a bit more insight in person.

Chaos47
04-17-2012, 3:43 PM
BattleComp is hosting a cocktail party tonight in Las Vegas. I've been looking forward to asking them about this exact issue. I'll probably get the same response as on their site but who knows, maybe they will provide a bit more insight in person.

I would love to hear what they have to say about it. But I am sure they will tout the party line.

I would also love to see if they could produce a letter to back up this statement they have made:


“According to CA Department of Justice Firearms Bureau Chief Steve Buford, with whom I consulted to confirm Pat's statement; the BattleComp is a CA legal compensator.”
-Owner of BattleComp
Claim on M4Carbine.net (http://www.m4carbine.net/showpost.php?p=672018&postcount=59)

702Shooter
04-17-2012, 4:01 PM
I would love to hear what they have to say about it. But I am sure they will tout the party line.

I would also love to see if they could produce a letter to back up this statement they have made:


Claim on M4Carbine.net (http://www.m4carbine.net/showpost.php?p=672018&postcount=59)

I could be mistaken but I'm under the impression that Buck owns BattleComp. He's also a mod on that forum. More than one owner? Could be...

Either way, I'll be more than happy to ask tonight. Getting a letter like that would be good for me too since the AR-15 we are giving away has a permanently attached BattleComp.

Moonshine
04-17-2012, 6:37 PM
No intention of stirring the pot, just trying to make up my mind on which to use and have a hard time doing it. Although ultimately I will probably just continue to go bullet button because I hardly have the $150 to buy the brake so I definitely don't have the $15,000 for a good attorney.

They have allways claimed its CA legal.
Notice they never say for featureless builds anywhere on their website.


EDIT: BTW I don't get why you are stirring the pot on this as I see that you have posted in multiple threads about these brakes before:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=8080810&postcount=10
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=556885&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=544536&highlight=fsc556+battlecomp
for example...

Chaos47
04-17-2012, 8:41 PM
I don't get why you are trying to make up your mind on which to buy when you have been told they are both illegal multiple times.

You in fact have even stated "My answer: do you have the money for a good attorney? If not you may want to not take any chances."

There are cheap options; you could run featureless with a thread protector or as Sicarius said the YHM Phantom brake (Models 5M1 and 5M2) are pretty cheap.

http://www.riflegear.com/p-271-ar-15-thread-protector-knurled.aspx
http://www.riflegear.com/p-272-ar-15-thread-protector-plain.aspx
http://www.riflegear.com/p-261-yankee-hill-machine-phantom-muzzle-brake-556mm-aggressive-end.aspx
http://www.riflegear.com/p-264-yankee-hill-machine-phantom-muzzle-brake-556mm-flat-end.aspx

Fate
04-17-2012, 9:05 PM
Nice work Chaos47. Seems someone has been paying attention in class :)

To the OP and other readers, listen to Chaos47. He's got it nailed. Both of the OPs "choices" are no go on Featureless if you wish to avoid being a test case.

Chaos47
04-17-2012, 9:14 PM
Thanks Fate, as I have said before your posts on the subject are the basis for my stance

Moonshine
04-17-2012, 10:04 PM
Thank you Chaos, based on your info I'm going to stay with bullet button on this build and if I want to go featureless have a proven brake such as the phantom on another upper rather than trying to have it both ways by switching the upper between a bullet button and featureless lower. As you pointed out, BATF letter or not it's not worth risking it.

702Shooter
04-17-2012, 11:26 PM
I talked with Buck about this tonight. The long and short of it is that the CA DOJ will not issue a letter because they say the BattleComp conforms to the Federal AWB so it's legal in CA.

He went on to say that they sell them in all 50 states and that although they do mention some flash hider capabilities, the device is considered a compensator.

Chaos47
04-18-2012, 1:52 AM
Interesting thanks for the heads up!
How was the night?
And how did he take the questioning?

CA DOJ has not and does not test devices for approval.

Conforms to Federal AWB?
Gonna call BS on Buck for that one.
ATF does not test devices for approval anymore. They can not say that it conforms to it when it is impossible for it to be tested!

Looking through the text of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban or "Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act" as it is really titled I can not find a definition for a flash suppressor so how can BattleComp claim to conform to something that isn't written?

If anyone can find a federal definition for flash suppressor in the 1994 bill I would love to see it.

Anyways FSC556 has an ATF letter and it is still illegal in California on a centerfire featureless rifle.


So until someone becomes a test case we will never know for sure.
But I know what side of the fence I will stay on

If anyone is interested heres a PDF of:
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
103rd Congress (1993-1994)
H.R.3355
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103hr3355enr/pdf/BILLS-103hr3355enr.pdf
Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act starts on pdf page 201

702Shooter
04-18-2012, 8:29 AM
Interesting thanks for the heads up!
How was the night?
And how did he take the questioning?

CA DOJ has not and does not test devices for approval.

Conforms to Federal AWB?
Gonna call BS on Buck for that one.
ATF does not test devices for approval anymore. They can not say that it conforms to it when it is impossible for it to be tested!

Looking through the text of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban or "Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act" as it is really titled I can not find a definition for a flash suppressor so how can BattleComp claim to conform to something that isn't written?

If anyone can find a federal definition for flash suppressor in the 1994 bill I would love to see it.

He took the question fine and had zero hesitation with his answer.

I don't recall saying anybody tested it. I said that it conforms to the AWB.

FYI, Buck is a firearms instructor as well as CA LEO.

I'm meeting up with him again tomorrow. Gonna shoot some video demonstrations and hopefully get a better explanation for us all. His answer last night was pretty detailed but by the end of the night, things got a bit blurry. ;)

Fate
04-18-2012, 1:04 PM
If you're going to have a meaningful conversation with Buck, you need to limit discussion to "featureless" use and have a good understanding of Hunt v. Lockyer and the testimony of Ignatius Chin during that trial as to how the CADOJ determines whether or not a device is a flash suppressor.

Anything less will result in an inaccurate/invalid answer.

702Shooter
04-18-2012, 1:39 PM
If you're going to have a meaningful conversation with Buck, you need to limit discussion to "featureless" use and have a good understanding of Hunt v. Lockyer and the testimony of Ignatius Chin during that trial as to how the CADOJ determines whether or not a device is a flash suppressor.

Anything less will result in an inaccurate/invalid answer.

Guess I won't bother then because none of that means anything to me. No offense meant to Calguns.

All I care about is that I'm not getting myself into a bad legal situation by giving away an AR, with a permanently attached BattleComp, to a CA resident.

zfields
04-18-2012, 3:33 PM
Guess I won't bother then because none of that means anything to me. No offense meant to Calguns.

All I care about is that I'm not getting myself into a bad legal situation by giving away an AR, with a permanently attached BattleComp, to a CA resident.

Its fine if its mag locked.

prerunners4life
04-18-2012, 7:01 PM
I was talking to the gunsmith at ammo bros Ontario and he said the battlecomp is a POS.. He said it cause's over pressuring or something like that and it's not good for your rifle, so after listening too him I bought a JP tactical comp and that thing is GREAT