It has been a regular science experiment kind of year, as many of us work to figure out some way to keep shooting. I myself have been heavily testing 7.62×39 AR’s, mostly in pistol configuration. And while I have been very happy thus far with reliability (and therefore steel case ammo cost!), the caliber does bring up one big problem. From shorter barrels, it is an absolute fire breather. 5.56 is already pretty obnoxious from a short gun. Moving up to the cheapest steel case x39 you can find, with God knows what leftover Soviet gunpowder, is even worse. Not to mention, the recoil difference in calibers is quite real. It isn’t unpleasant to shoot, but pound for pound, an AR in X39 does have noticeably stouter recoil.
So I went looking for something to even this out and was very happy to find Area 419 had the perfect solution. Area 419 is very well known in precision rifle circles for a variety of products, with muzzle brakes among them. We actually recently tested a 3 port model on a Springfield Armory Waypoint. But for this baby short AR pistol, we needed something a little different. Fortunately for us, they recently released the Hellfire Linear Flash Suppressor.
Built from the ground up for carbines, the Linear Flash Suppressor (LFS) does it all. You may be familiar with blast forwarding devices- a development of a few years back. They do a good job of pushing the obnoxious gasses from an SBR forward but do nothing to mitigate flash. And the flash on an SBR can be so big it is actually blinding. Area 419 wanted something that would do both and succeeded wildly.
The LFS is two parts, a pretty common system for Area 419. Which simplifies installation greatly. (I actually called before I ordered mine because I hate timing muzzle devices. If you have ever played crush washer roulette, you know exactly what I mean.) Area 419 assured me that installation was borderline monkey-proof if I knew how to use a basic box wrench, which is a fairly decent gauge of if you should even be attempting add-ons.
The inner part threads on your barrel with a wrench, no timing or port adjustment are needed. Box wrench, turn, inner part is installed. This is basically an adaptor, which also supports some suppressors. Next, you take the outer shell doohicky (technical term for the Flash Hider proper), which is reversely threaded, and screw it on. Bam! Installation complete. Since the device is linear and the outer bit is fully enclosed, no worries about where the insides are oriented.
Does it work? Amazingly so. It does significantly mitigate recoil for certain. But signature reduction? Borderline magic. The picture Area 419 uses on their own website is difficult to believe, but true in my experience. This is no question the best muzzle device I have seen yet for a short barrel gun. Worth every penny. If you have an AR pistol or SBR that needs taming, there is a new Sheriff in town. And its name is Hellfire LFS.