This is all for fun, and not overly scientific in my experimentation. Shooting the VZ58 with different muzzle devices/shields/brakes, and some semi-hypothetical questions:
While the VZ58 pistol doesn’t really need a brake, I figured it would be fun since it is a short barrel and the 7.62x39 isn’t quite as soft-shooting as an AR I'm used to. I also knew its 12" barrel would have a pretty impressive fireball, regardless of the muzzle device on the gun, and brakes can maximize that effect. Initially, I shot it with the factory “flash hider” which did mitigate the flash, but only to a degree - it also seemed like it was more sporadic and less uniform and less predictable of a flash - sometimes it would be off to the side, sometimes it would be straight up in the shooter’s vision, sometimes I didn’t notice a flash at all. So i tossed the extra 30 cal SiCo ASR Muzzle Brake on it instead, mainly to act as a host for my suppressor, but then I got to experimenting without the can.
Left photo: After that initial range session, I tossed an extra 30 cal ASR Muzzle brake on it so I could mount the SilencerCo Omega300 can I have. That turned the random fireball into two concentrated, consistent fireball breaths out the side of the brake, as intended. The brake made it a very soft-shooting gun, but holy shit was the concussion bad throughout shooting line on the range. I think it was even worse in the two neighboring stalls than it was in my own stall. Even back behind the line, it was loud as hell, and rocked you pretty good. Definitely not making any friends, but getting lots of looks, and smiles from those who shot it.
Right photo: I got the ASR Blast Shield when it came with another gun I bought used. I tossed it on the VZ58, and went to the range. While my brother was shooting it on the line, I felt like the report was more of a low bass boom bouncing off the back of the indoor range, and less like a concussive shockwave. It was definitely better. However, when I shot it, I realized quickly that the one giant fireball out the front was popping right up in my line of sight to the target, to the point it was definitely interfering with my shooting. While I wasn’t timing anything, I feel like the flash probably would’ve slowed me down if I'd been shooting drills, and it would definitely ruin night vision - probably more than the blasts going out to the side on the bare brake, since the blast shield put it right in your face instead of in the peripheries.
Fast forward to today, I bought an “ASR BRAKE.” SilencerCo really failed hard on the naming of this one, since the “ASR MUZZLE BRAKE” is typically what comes up in searches, and there’s very little info on this thing. Anyway, the ASR Brake is another ASR Muzzle Brake attachment that looks like the blast shield, but with holes around it and their “Anchor Brake” on the end - it’s on the right here in the photo:
The hypothetical questions of the day include:
- how much of that concussive blast and lateral flame/shockwave the ASR Brake thing will actually give me, how much the Anchor Brake will help me, and
- how much vertical fireball i will still get.
- Would leaving off - or even replacing the anchor brake with a 30-cal flat endcap give me more or less of a fireball out the sides, or reduce my recoil mitigation of the original brake?
ALSO, I'm only doing this all with a brake because that's what 30-cal ASR mount I have. I don't have flash hider, but do y’all think there’d be much of a difference, benefit, or drawback in tossing on an ASR Flash Hider instead of the Muzzle Brake to work in conjunction with either of these other devices?
I am kind of hoping for a happy medium between the Blast Shield and the ASR Brake over the bare muzzle brake when it comes to concussive-boom-reduction, and I'm hoping the holes in the sides will allow most of the flash to go out the sides instead of up into my vision.
I do want to add, of course, that in a perfect world, I’d just have the suppressor mounted on it at all times. but that’s not always doable, logical, or even really necessary. Also, I may try some of these on my AR pistol or Tavor, too, since I have ASR brakes/hiders for those as well, but for now - it’s just a 30 cal thing.
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