Police Product Test: SureFire Muzzle Brake

POLICE Magazine reviews the SureFire Muzzle Brake, Uncle Mike's Active Shooter Response Bag, and the Insight Technology M3X LED Weapon-Mounted Light.

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Over the past few years I have seen a number of muzzle brakes and flash suppressors come to the market. Many of them make amazing claims to reduce flash signature and produce no muzzle rise, among other things. SureFire manufactures both muzzle brakes and flash suppressors that function alone or act as a mount for SureFire's sound suppressors.

I have noticed the SureFire Muzzle Brake being used by many top three-gun match competitors. This made me wonder, Does this brake really work that well? There was only one way to find out: mount them on various long guns in .223 Remington and .308 Winchester.

The test beds were an M4 Carbine and a Springfield Armory M1A/M21. These two rifles would be good weapons to see how well the SureFire Muzzle Brake functions.

While my testing of the muzzle brake on these rifles was unscientific, there was a noticeable reduction of muzzle rise from the M1A and the M4. I found the rifle recovered very quickly between shots, with me barely if at all losing sight of the target area.

The M4 with the Surefire brake shot like a 22LR chambered rifle. My M4's red dot was on target shot after shot whether I fired slow fire or as fast as I could pull the trigger with a solid sight picture. There was virtually no muzzle rise/loss of sight picture.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Just watch the various competitors running SureFire's brake in three-gun matches. You will see how little muzzle recoil/rise there is and the fast shot-to-shot target acquisition.

What allows you to run a carbine or tactical rifle like this is the design of the brake. This brake is designed to vent the gases laterally and vertically down via ports on the top of the brake and its side ports. The lateral ports allow the weapon to track evenly. SureFire calls this design Impulse Diffusion.

Impulse Diffusion allows for faster follow-up shots and reduces the felt recoil by the shooter. This will correlate to better control and less fatigue by the shooter during long training sessions. It is the redirection of the gases and felt recoil that will have you making faster more accurate follow-up shots.

You can find SureFire muzzle brakes for many of today's duty long guns. The muzzle brakes will fit rifles chambered in 556, 6.8 and .30 calibers.

I have heard arguments that these brakes will destroy your "night" vision or the flash signature will give you away. To satisfy my curiosity, I fired some shots in the dark and could not tell the difference between the SureFire Brake and an A2 Flash Hider. You will have to be the judge. However, if you are planning to obtain suppressors for your department I would definitely go with SureFire's Muzzle Brake or flash hider so you can mount one of the many suppressor options from SureFire.

Uncle Mike's: Active Shooter Response Bag

When it comes to being ready for an emergency situation, you have to have the right gear. Uncle Mike's has been offering officers affordable duty bags and gear for years. This past year the company introduced its Active Shooter Response Bag. The A.S.R. is designed to keep your patrol rifle magazines, spare handgun magazines, and other essential gear required to respond to an active shooter or other emergency call in one easy-to-carry bag.[PAGEBREAK]

Unlike most gear bags which have all the pockets sewn in and pouches permanently attached, the A.S.R. comes with hook-and-loop panels and MOLLE stripping sewn on so you can customize the bag to your needs. You will find a single pocket in the front section of the bag and four in the main section of the bag. These pockets are the right size for items such as protective gloves or emergency clotting agents and other wound treatment essentials.

The A.S.R. is unusual in that it gives you numerous carry options. It can be used as a shoulder bag, with or without a waist strap, or it can be used as a small backpack. I haven't seen another shooter's response bag that does this. Uncle Mike's Active Shooter Response Bag is built to adapt to your needs, not the other way around. It is well made, sized just right, and like other bags from Uncle Mike's is built to serve you for years. If you carry a patrol carbine, consider carrying this bag as part of your daily kit.

Insight Technology: M3X LED Weapon-Mounted Light

When it comes to lights, Insight Technology has long been a leader in the market. Over the years the tried and true M3 has been the staple. It started out as one of the most affordable weapon lights on the market and has become one of the most used lights around.

The current evolution of the M3 is Insight Technology's M3X LED. Like its predecessors, this light has a polymer body to reduce weight. The difference is in the lamp, a 150-lumen LED instead of a xenon bulb. This gives you a longer runtime and a bulb that will last practically forever.

Since this is an M3 body it will fit into a holster designed for an older M3. This will keep you from having to go out and purchase a new duty holster.

You will find the M3X comes with two Slide-Lock bars; one for a 1913 Picatinny rail and the other a "universal" to fit weapons that have light rails but are not Mil-Spec. This is a big thing if you have an older H&K or some of the original railed pistols.

I have had an M3 on my H&K P30 for a couple of years and it has yet to let me down. I especially like how easy the M3X is to operate. For momentary on, push down on the left lever; for constant on, push it up. The right side is just the opposite: up for momentary on, down for constant. This method of operation makes use of a single activation bar.

I have used various M3s on handguns and carbines, and I like that it's easy to operate the toggle switch when using a vertical grip on an M4. If you prefer, Insight offers a pressure switch.

Insight Technology's M3X carries on the tough affordable traditions of this series. If you liked the original M3, you will love this light.

Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer and is a contributing editor to POLICE.

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Scott Smith Bio Headshot
Retired Army MP
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