AAC’s Blackout flash suppressor is a very effective design that also acts as a quick mount for their line of sound suppressors. This model is for a 6.5mm Grendel. (Photo: David M. Fortier)
Although the A2 birdcage remains the standard, there are better flash-suppressor designs available. One that I have been using over the past several months is the Blackout from Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC).
An open. three-prong design, the Blackout does double duty, acting as both a flash suppressor and a fast-attach mount for a sound suppressor. The standard unit (without sound suppressor mount) is 2 1/8 inches long and weighs 2.9 ounces. It adds 1.87 inches to the overall length of the rifle.
A model with a sound suppressor fast-attach mount is 2 1/2 inches long and weighs a slightly heavier 4.35 ounces. In addition, two other models are offered. All are machined from an aerospace-grade heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel that sports a SCARmor coating for durability.
I received a sample for my 16-inch 6.5mm Grendel and proceeded to mount it up and put it to work. Testing took place in total darkness using Alexander Arms’ 123-grain Scenar load and Wolf Performance Ammunition’s 120-grain MPT. Observers stood at safe distances at 3 and 9 o’clock to the muzzle and a camcorder was placed at 11 o’clock.
Five shots were fired with each load, first with the standard A2 flash suppressor and then with the AAC Blackout. The results were impressive, with the Blackout performing extremely well. Flash signature with the AA 123-grain load was noticeably reduced compared to the standard A2 flash suppressor. Only a couple stray sparks were visible with the Blackoutº- it was almost invisible.
Wolf’s load was also noticeably reduced, again rather than being a flash or a fireball, it was relegated to a dispersed shower of sparks. The reduction in flash signature was very noticeable to both the observers and shooter. Flash reduction was on par with Smith Enterprises’ highly regarded Vortex.
To see if AAC’s Blackout had a negative effect on accuracy, groups were fired prone from a rest. Three five-shot groups were fired at 200 and 500 yards using Wolf’s 120 grain MPT load and a 1-4x24mm scope. Average group size at 200 yards was 2 3/4 inches. At 500 yards it was a very respectable 6 3/4 inches. No negative effect was noted regarding accuracy – if anything, accuracy was improved.
AAC offers a number of models of Blackout flash suppressors for different applications. They are definitely worth consideration if you are looking for a step-up in performance over a standard A2. Price of the standard unit is $59.