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View Full Version : I stumbled upon this thread on another forum about Muzzle Brakes...


Mossy Man
04-19-2012, 5:43 PM
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/88114-muzzle-breaks-pic-request.html

post #4

The guy makes a pretty convincing argument about this Choate Compensator NOT being a flash hider. He compared it to the characteristics of the "Muzzle Brake/Compensator" described in the flowchart here http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf

Thoughts?

Chaos47
04-19-2012, 7:50 PM
First up Flash suppressors are legal on magazine locked rifles in CA so I will assume you are asking if it is a Brake / Compensator for featureless reasons.


Although there is the section on the flowchart that describes features of brakes and hiders that part is more a guide not the law.

California law states:

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.

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

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


So primarily a device is classified by its name and claims made by the manufacturer. But that could still be risky so that's where design features such as Tines / Prongs / Expansion chambers / Open ended etc comes in to play.

In short choose a brake that is clearly marketed as one makes no claims of flash reduction and also does not have features resembling a flash suppressor.


There seems to be many Choate Compensator designs over the years can you post a photo or link to the one you are talking about? Oh and what rifle.. I assume Mini14


Chaos47's Featureless Build Guide (https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=14Sc8MNP9AO6JgHxcnqm5oR45LDLIhpqeBHsCN8-K4XU&pli=1)


EDIT: A little googling turned up this
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=42493

I emailed Choate awhile back and they state it is NOT California legal. It is the same unit they have made for over 27 years, by the way.

dfletcher
04-20-2012, 9:05 AM
I've seen these advertised as a flash hider and as a brake or compensator. Same product, different websites, different classification.