It’s a nice, sunny day. You arrive at the range with your favorite carbine for some plinking and target practice. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting some quality trigger time with your rifle. The smell and taste of burnt gunpowder
coupled with the concussive force of the muzzle blast can be exciting, even something to look forward to, provided you’re only sharing the range with a couple of shooters.

But when you’re at the public range on a busy weekend or standing shoulder to shoulder with 20 other shooters at a tactical carbine class, the bits of carbon and thick clouds of blast residue hurling your way can be downright stifling. It’s especially unpleasant when you’re stuck between two shooters, each with monster brakes that feel like they’re competing to see which can collapse your lungs first.

The overload of concussive forces and sound from muzzle blasts is even worse for duty personnel who may find themselves in life-and-death situations and have to move and shoot with a team in everything from small rooms and cargo holds in seafaring freighters to underground tunnels. Silencers are good to help mute this sound and blast, but unfortunately they’re not available in every situation. If sound suppressors are not an option to help you tame that blast, there is another solution, though.

One of the hottest new accessories on the market today is the muzzle blast control device. In fact, this category is so new that there isn’t even a uniform name for them yet, and they’ve been called everything from “blast mitigation devices” to “blast shields.” The devices attach to muzzle brakes and generally throw a rifle’s blast and everything that goes with it in a uniform direction. Fire, smoke, carbon junk and even some of the sound is projected forward and not to the sides or back toward the shooter or his or her neighbors.

These blast control devices are attached much in the same way as a silencer. They interface with a compatible muzzle brake and are usually installed via a quick-attach system proprietary to the particular device’s manufacturer. Remember, these devices are primarily made to keep blast debris and forces away from your shooting partners and not necessarily to enhance your rifle’s shootability. They are designed to interfere with how your muzzle brake works when not covered, so be aware that they probably will affect your rifle’s feel and performance. Of course, to what degree depends on each manufacturer’s design.

If you shoot in groups or are just considerate of your fellow shooter, you’ll probably want to look into getting a device of your own. Scroll through the gallery above for some of the latest muzzle blast control devices.

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