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There are many things that one can do to the ar15 to improve the performance of the weapon or just make it look better. Just one idea is to add or replace a flash suppressor, these look great, but also have a specific purpose. Another add or replace part is the compensator or muzzle brake, these look very similar to the flash suppressor and are about the same size, but again, the serve a specific purpose. You may decide on a silencer, which look great, although a bit longer than the previous two. Some folks like the sound that the gun makes with this particular part installed, but this is frowned upon in some states, so check the laws in your state before considering this guy. I have read that silencers are legal in 35 states. The reason I say (add or replace) above is because depending on when your gun was built, you may or may not already have one of these parts installed. If your gun was built during the assault weapons ban (1994 to 2004) you don’t. Again, check the laws in your state.

The Flash Suppressor

The flash suppressor was designed to do just that, suppress the flash at the end of your gun after firing. The unit directs the flash down and to the sides to prevent the burst of light from blinding you, that is to say, your eyes won’t have to readjust to your target each time you shoot in dark or dimmer conditions. You can understand why this would be important on the battlefield.

The Compensator

The compensator, although very similar in size and looks has it’s own special purpose. When shooting a weapon, the end tends to jump upward, this forces the shooter to reacquire the target. The compensator directs gases upward so that the end of the barrel doesn’t jump up. This action is a must for automatic weapons, such as the M16. It is also very popular with competition shooters as well. The AR15 is very popular in competitions and even though it is not fully automatic, these guys pull the trigger awfully fast and the compensator allows them to shoot quickly and stay on target.

The Silencer

I have read that the silencer, when used in combat situations, can eliminate the need for ear protection, not just from your gun, but the guys that are by your side. It also makes it easier to conduct radio communications in these situations. If you use an AR15 or any weapon, for that matter, for home defense, consider the fact that you are inside and it will probably be dark, the silencer will keep the (Bang) to a minimum, so you don’t end up hurting yourself and the flash to a minimum, so you don’t blind yourself.

In Closing

The flash suppressor, compensator and the silencer all have a purpose. It all depends on what effect you want. Myself, since I am not in the military or law enforcement, nor am I an expert marksman, I will probably look at these parts and install the best looking one on my AR15 and continue being the plinker that I am.


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