I was at a neighborhood birthday party Saturday when one of my neighbors asked me about the Templar Custom MC-E muzzle brake I’d mentioned in previous posts.
I’ve found it to be a great brake to use, though I haven’t yet personally tested being the shooter beside it to see if it is “neighbor-friendly” as claimed. In your backyard range or in combat that isn’t a big deal, but I’ve been on the firing line where another manufacturer’s dirty brake (not a MC-E) vented copper fouling and embedded it into the arm of an instructor beside the shooter. To say he was unhappy is a fair statement, and that rifle was removed from the line as a safety hazard.
So, how does a good brake stack up against one of the more popular flash hiders?
Here is the Smith Vortex, fired on full-auto.
Here is the Templar Custom MC-E, fired on full-auto.
This is not an apples-to-apples test.
The Smith Vortex is designed with the goal of reducing the flash of unburned gases venting from the front of the rifle that can potentially give away your position in low-light or dark situations. More importantly, muzzle flash can momentarily blind the shooter, and the effect is more pronounced on shorter-barreled rifles (shorter barrels=less powder burned in barrel=more flash). The Templar Custom isn’t a flash suppressor, but a muzzle brake, and while it will keep the shooter on target and vents gases to the side so that the shooter can still see the target without the blossom of fire obstructing his or her view, there is no promise (especially with shorter barrels) that the flash will be reduced like the Vortex. They are difference muzzle devices, designed to solve different problems, but it is interesting to see the difference all the same.