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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2008, 9:19 AM
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Default Flash hider vs. Muzzzle brake

Can anyone actually define which is which. Are there any DOJ guidelines (insert laughter here) to enable me to figure out if my rifle configuration is OK or not?

Any help would be appreciated.

Gaz

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Last edited by gazzavc; 01-23-2008 at 11:17 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2008, 9:24 AM
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Generally, if the hole at the end is "open wide" and the same diameter as the barrel, it is a flash hider. If the hole is smaller in diameter than the barrel, it is a brake.


Brake:


Flash Hider:


Last edited by Hopi; 01-23-2008 at 9:29 AM..
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2008, 10:41 AM
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Hopefully this is current:

Quote:
978.20 Definitions




The following definitions apply to terms used in the identification of assault weapons pursuant

to Penal Code section 12276.1:
(a) “detachable magazine” means any ammunition feeding device that can be
removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action
nor use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is
considered a tool. Ammunition feeding device includes any belted or linked
ammunition, but does not include clips, en bloc clips, or stripper clips that load
cartridges into the magazine.
(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.
(c) “forward pistol grip” means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp forward
of the trigger.
(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.
(e) “thumbhole stock” means a stock with a hole that allows the thumb of the
trigger hand to penetrate into or through the stock while firing.
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Last edited by Dump1567; 01-23-2008 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:21 AM
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I added a picturre to the original post to help identify the part.

Gaz
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:25 AM
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Only flash SUPPRESSORS are illegal.

Just because a muzzle device is a "flash hider" or a "muzzle brake" does not make either inherently legal or illegal. The definition of flash suppressor can include both types of muzzle devices depending on what they actually do.

Confused? That's what they want.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazzavc View Post
I added a picturre to the original post to help identify the part.

Gaz

That looks like a flash hider.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdgfate View Post
Only flash SUPPRESSORS are illegal.

Just because a muzzle device is a "flash hider" or a "muzzle brake" does not make either inherently legal or illegal. The definition of flash suppressor can include both types of muzzle devices depending on what they actually do.
Not true. They are not illegal. They are only an evil feature on detachable-magazine semi-auto rifles and handguns.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazzavc View Post
I added a picturre to the original post to help identify the part.

Gaz
We cannot really see how wide the end of the muzzle device is, but it looks like a flash suppressor to me.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Hopi View Post
Not true. They are not illegal. They are only an evil feature on detachable-magazine semi-auto rifles and handguns.
Well you're right. Haha. That's really the context I was referring to, but as stated, my comment needed correction to be accurate when standing alone. Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh3239 View Post
We cannot really see how wide the end of the muzzle device is, but it looks like a flash suppressor to me.
I'll post a picture of the barrel when I get a chance, and then we can see whats what.

Thanks for your input chaps.

Gaz
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:43 AM
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I always heard if it has slots, its a FH, if it has holes, it's a brake.

I have the Smith Brake on my Mini-14 (the top pic in Hopi's post)

Hope i'm legit.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:52 AM
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Generally, if you look at the exit hole, if it is much larger, it is likely to be a flash suppressor.

If it is about the same size of the caliber, then it is likely to be just a muzzle brake.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViPER395 View Post
I always heard if it has slots, its a FH, if it has holes, it's a brake.

I have the Smith Brake on my Mini-14 (the top pic in Hopi's post)

Hope i'm legit.
Slots or holes are irrelevant. The question is whether the inside diameter of the device is a wide opening thereby allowing the escaping unburned and partially burned powder to fully combust quickly before going forward of the device. On muzzle brakes, with an inside diameter similar to that of the bore, this unburned powder is expelled forward and combusts in front of the barrel causing a dramatic flash.

Note that some devices have a dual function as both a brake and flash suppressor.

The Smith device that Hopi linked to is indeed a muzzle brake.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:01 PM
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By the way, a LONG barrel is probably also a flash suppressor! lol

A 24" barrel would have significantly less flash than a 16" barrel if you fire the same ammo.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohsmily View Post
Slots or holes are irrelevant.
So what about the Polytech M14 fake flashhiders? They just have the slots filled in, I dont know if their inside diameter is smalle or larger, but I seem to remember they are the same as the USGI ones apart from the unmilled slots.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double_action View Post
So what about the Polytech M14 fake flashhiders? They just have the slots filled in, I dont know if their inside diameter is smalle or larger, but I seem to remember they are the same as the USGI ones apart from the unmilled slots.
Usually, slots OR holes are required to allow air to get to the escaping powder and allow it to combust. What I mean in my previous post is that the presence of a slot or a hole does not allow one to distinguish per se whether something is a flash hider or muzzle brake (meaning, you can't say: flash hiders have slots, muzzle brakes have holes).

Also, there are some flash hiders that have neither slots nor holes. For example, the original conical flash hider on the M1 Carbine or a similar muzzle device on AK74s(?) I believe.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2008, 2:00 PM
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There are no true rules on what is or is not a flash hider or muzzle brake.

Most would say that a large hole in the end indicates flash hider, but the approved M1A muzzle brake has a large hole. Also the original M14 flash hider has a small hole in the end.

Flash hiders and muzzle brakes truly come in all shapes, sizes and configurations.

It would seem that actually testing whether a device reduces muzzle flash would be the answer, but there are no standards so no definitive testing has been done to my knowledge.

Looking at the device you have pictured, I would assume it is a flash hider simply because the functional end looks a lot like the M14 flash hider.
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Old 01-23-2008, 2:30 PM
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I guess the readers of this thread haven't been following the "Assault Weapons I.D. Flowchart" thread.

On the second page of the following document is one committees attempt at defining them: http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.html
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Old 01-23-2008, 3:41 PM
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Flash suppressors generally have a wide tapered muzzle opening, and may or may not have slits that extend all the way to the end of the muzzle device. Some flash suppressors have a narrow strait muzzle opening (slightly larger than the diameter of the bullet being fired) with "prongs" that run the length of the muzzle device.

Muzzle breaks generally have a narrow strait muzzle opening (slightly larger than the diameter of the bullet being fired), and have holes, slits or slots cut into it that allow gas to escape in a particular direction to reduce recoil and/or muzzle rise.
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Old 01-23-2008, 6:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudCamper View Post
I guess the readers of this thread haven't been following the "Assault Weapons I.D. Flowchart" thread.

On the second page of the following document is one committees attempt at defining them: http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.html
You know, I was following that thread for a while. My complaint was that the original flow chart was some Microsoft format that I couldn't easily read.

I was thinking about requesting some easily readable format but never did. Now, it seems my concerns have been met.

The author of that flow chart as done a very good job for readability.
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Old 01-23-2008, 7:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsreeftank
It would seem that actually testing whether a device reduces muzzle flash would be the answer, but there are no standards so no definitive testing has been done to my knowledge.
I remember reading the comments that people wrote to the DOJ complaining about the vague definition of how much flash reduction is "perceptible" to the shooter, and how subjective that definition is. I couldn't believe the smugness with which the DOJ blithely dismissed all the complaints, and refused to provide either any hard standard, or certify any devices as flash hider or muzzle brake.

So in a nutshell, this is how you tell: Shoot your gun. Notice the flash. Then put the muzzle thingy on. Does it flash less? If it does, you just made an assault weapon and are now a felon. If you are not sure, give it to the DOJ, and they can pass it around and have everyone try it out until someone says, "Well, that kinda sorta looks like it reduces muzzle flash to me" and they throw you in jail.

Sound fair to you?

Thankfully, there is only one guy known in the CalGuns world to have been busted for that, and he had the M1A/M14 type flash suppressor, which we would all know not to try. If you are really not sure, try it on out of state.
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Old 01-23-2008, 8:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Creeping Incrementalism View Post
Thankfully, there is only one guy known in the CalGuns world to have been busted for that, and he had the M1A/M14 type flash suppressor, which we would all know not to try. If you are really not sure, try it on out of state.
Hate to sound like a developmentally disabled person, but who was that?
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Old 01-23-2008, 8:18 PM
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Well Iggy does not know...
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Old 01-23-2008, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeping Incrementalism View Post
I remember reading the comments that people wrote to the DOJ complaining about the vague definition of how much flash reduction is "perceptible" to the shooter, and how subjective that definition is. I couldn't believe the smugness with which the DOJ blithely dismissed all the complaints, and refused to provide either any hard standard, or certify any devices as flash hider or muzzle brake.

So in a nutshell, this is how you tell: Shoot your gun. Notice the flash. Then put the muzzle thingy on. Does it flash less? If it does, you just made an assault weapon and are now a felon. If you are not sure, give it to the DOJ, and they can pass it around and have everyone try it out until someone says, "Well, that kinda sorta looks like it reduces muzzle flash to me" and they throw you in jail.

Sound fair to you?


Thankfully, there is only one guy known in the CalGuns world to have been busted for that, and he had the M1A/M14 type flash suppressor, which we would all know not to try. If you are really not sure, try it on out of state.
IIRC, muzzle flash comes & goes in something like .004 seconds wheras your eyes blink at .75 seconds. So the secret is to blink every time you pull the trigger & you're OK.
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Old 01-23-2008, 8:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfletcher View Post
IIRC, muzzle flash comes & goes in something like .004 seconds wheras your eyes blink at .75 seconds. So the secret is to blink every time you pull the trigger & you're OK.
Muzzle flash will temporarily blind a night shooter using a scope.
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Old 01-24-2008, 2:40 AM
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No holes. No slots. But it's a "flash-hider".
See:

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/bigpi...pg&imgDesc=M-1


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Old 01-24-2008, 3:35 AM
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If it is named as a flashider, then it is one. If it's named as a brake/compensator, then it is one.

There is no physical definition, so the name alone must suffice.

Case in point: US Military flash hider and/or compensator on M16/A1 and M16A2 rifles. The M16 and M16A1 have flash hiders, as defined by the -10 user and -23&P maintenance manuals.
Do not mill the bottom two slots, and it is now a compensator/brake, as defined by the -10 user and -23&P maintenance manuals.

No difference in physical dimensions, except the two bottom slots. Both hide the flash equally well, but one acts as a brake also.
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Old 01-24-2008, 5:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army View Post
There is no physical definition, so the name alone must suffice.
That is not how the law reads in this state.
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Old 01-24-2008, 5:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_9 View Post
Hate to sound like a developmentally disabled person, but who was that?
I don't know his name, but there is a little more about it at the link below.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...h+hider+arrest
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Old 01-25-2008, 3:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeping Incrementalism View Post
That is not how the law reads in this state.
Yes it does. It says what a flash suppressor MUST DO to be considered a flash suppressor. Nowhere does it describe the physical dimensions or design of a flash suppressor. Many flash suppressors compensate, or brake, the muzzle by accident of design. The M16/AR15 A2 muzzle "device" is such, as the two bottom ports were closed to lessen the dust signature of firing from the prone. Serendipity time.

No law regulates muzzle brakes or compensators. So now, my M16A2 compensator (as named by the US Government) which also works very well as a flash suppressor for combat purposes, is legal by name alone.

I have a Miculek brake on one rifle, as do many of you, and it certainly falls within the given wording of the law, as it redirects the flash away from the shooters vision (to the sides). Yet, no troubles at all with it on my rifle...why? It's CALLED a brake, and makes no claim to hiding or reducing the flash.

The law is pure semantics, with no grounding in reality.
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