Muzzle devices like most modern rifle accessories have a myriad of designs in use. Some are expertly designed and accomplish their intended roles, others are a pile of promises and no results… looking better than they perform.
For the most part a muzzle device can do one thing well, you have to choose. It’s the nature of expanding smokeless powder that redirecting it will have benefits and deteriments and you as the end user need to select carefully.
The Citadel LMC (Linear Muzzle Compensator) is one such device and it happens to suit a role I need perfectly. A hands on evaluation is in the works but let me highlight why end users, especially in the SBR community, should consider the Citadel.
Muzzle Devices, General Information
First a real quick run down on muzzle device designations. Names mean things. The effect during firing it mitigates can be found in the name, the effectiveness varies based on design and manufactorer.
- Flash Hider: A muzzle device designed to direct expanding gasses to escape in a manner minimizing the visible signature. Hiding as much of the visible flash as possible to aid in concealment and lessen disruption of low light and night adjusted eyes.
- Muzzle Break: A muzzle device designed to direct expanding gases rearward around the shooter and interrupt rearward recoil, reducing recoil felt by the shooter in the process.
- Compensator: A muzzle device designed to direct the expanding gases to counter muzzle rise during recoil keeping the discharging firearm more level during recoil.
As stated earlier the best muzzle devices focus on one thing. In some cases two can be accomplished well. But any muzzle device reporting to do all three is likely poor at all three.
Back to the Citadel LMC. It’s a Linear Muzzle Compensator. As a compensator the Citadel LMC counters muzzle rise. It does not claim reduced recoil nor reduced muzzle flash signature, in the latter category quite the opposite is noted.
So why am I excited to test the Citadel LMC?
Short Barreled Rifles and the ever growing popularity of pistol style short barrels has shown a point of notice. As you shorten the barrel of a firearm more of the powder burn that is accelerating the round escapes from the muzzle after the round exits. What would hardly produce any signature in a 16 inch barreled rifle produces drastically more dramatic results through an 8 inch barrel. My AAC 51T Breakout is an excellent muzzle break but the amount of gas venting as the round exits needs to be noted.
- The amount of noise the shorter barrel generates is substantial, a break directs more of this noise towards the shooter and anyone near them and is half again as close as a conventional rifles muzzle, further increasing the noise.
- The increased powder burn off at the muzzle produces a lot of heat, flash, and gas that goes where it is directed to also. This direction is exactly the same as the increased noise.
The Citadel LMC address both of those by design. It channels the full force of expanding gases forward and up. The Linear Muzzle Compensator is designed to live up to its name and discharge directly forward of the shooter. This design reduces the noise, flash, heat, and gas concussive impacts that are common on shorter barrels wearing muzzle breaks or conventional compensators.
In addition to those advantages directing all the gasses forward allows use of longer handguards. With the aluminum, carbon fiber, or any material not absording the direct venting of the gas a barrel can wear a longer freefloat handguard than its length. This can aid the shooter by providing longer sight radius, more mounting surface, and more comfortable popular shooting positions.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this and evaluating the differences it makes while shooting.
If you’re interested check out http://www.hardenedarms.com/ecCat_84 for the full Citadel LMC line up
Stay tuned for the T&E
Oh and if you like fireballs like I do. Hardened Arms promises this delivers, just not towards you any more.